Key Facts about the Animation/VFX Industry
- In 2012 UK animation companies employed a workforce of approximately 4,600.This is an increase of 53% since 2004.
- The majority of the animation workforce is based in London (56%), followed by the South West of England (18%) and Wales (11%). Since 2009 there has been a 20% increase in the number of people working in London, which is the result of many important projects in the VFX/animation industries being London based.
- The majority of roles within the industry are animation (18%), production (16%), business management (16%), strategic management (13%) and art and design (10%).
- 38% of those employed in the industry are freelance or self-employed.
- 57% of businesses employ less than 10 people, 8% employ over 50 people.
- 92% of people working in animation are graduates and 48% of these hold postgraduate qualifications.
- Women in animation represent 40% of the total workforce compared to 36% within the creative media industries. The proportion has increased by 22% since 2009.
- The proportion of the workforce from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background represents 3.5% of the total workforce.
(Creative Skillset 2012)
The animation industry stretches across many of the creative industries. Animated content can be found on television, in feature films, commercials, websites and computer or video games. It can be generally divided into: 2D drawn or traditional; 2D computer generated; stop frame; and 3D computer generated. There are a wide range of opportunities in animation e.g. freelance, contract work, and more permanent jobs. These can be found at small production companies, larger studios, computer generated post production facility houses and at computer games developers or interactive media designers
(Source: National Careers 2013)
Jobs in the industry are divided under four animation disciplines:
- Development including Director, Producer
- Pre-production including Art Director, Character Designer, Production Designer, Layout Artist, Storyboard Assistant, Prop Designer
- Production including Animator, Animation Director, Inbetweener, Runner, Model Maker/Puppet Maker, Camera Assistant, Effects (FX) Supervisor
- Post-production including Checker, Compositor, Editor, Special Effects Animator, CG Compositor (FX), Key Compositor
In terms of development, versatility is the key and if you can work with puppets, models and drawn and computer-generated animation, you may find more options open to you. Another progression route for animators is to go into teaching or lecturing
(Source: Prospects 2013)