Beast---courtesy-of-university-of-glamorgan_bannerBeast, thanks to University of Glamorgan

Animation Director or Supervisor

Personality type:
2D computer animation | 2D drawn animation | 3D computer animation

The lowdown

  • Having overall responsibility for the quality of an animated product, for keeping it on brief and for delivering consistent performances from the animation department

Is this role right for me?

To do this role, you will need to:

  • have solid animation experience
  • have a good eye
  • possess effective communication skills 
  • be a good people and project manager
  • be able to meet deadlines and to work to a budget
  • be able to work as part of the senior creative team
  • be able to interpret decisions and to communicate them to the animation crew
  • be able to help the team balance their creative desires with the requirements of the production

What does a Animation Director or Animation Supervisor do?

Animation Directors are responsible for the quality of the animation, for keeping it on brief and for delivering consistent performances by assigning, or casting, the appropriate Animators. The role of Animation Director may only exist on larger projects and is often combined with the Director role on smaller productions.

They interpret the brief from the Director and other relevant departments. They then guide, supervise and review the work produced by the Animators and Assistant Animators. They need to understand the implications of performance, style, quality, continuity, technical, scheduling and budgetary requirements.

When the animation for a production is carried out overseas, the role of Animation Director is often combined with that of the Overseas Supervisor. In principle, the role of Animation Director or Animation Supervisor is similar for all techniques of animation, although certain technical skills may vary.

They are responsible for keeping the animation on model (in style) throughout the production. They often provide the main liaison between the animation department and those who are involved in the later stages of the production process.

On longer format projects, they are usually responsible to the production department for delivering the required quota of animation, on time and on budget.

Will I need a qualification?

It will help you to have an animation or art-related degree if you want to become an Animation Director.

If you are considering taking an animation or art and design/graphics course in higher education, the following courses have been rigorously assessed by the industry and awarded the Creative Skillset Tick for the high standard of education they provide and the degree to which they prepare you for a creative career:

Animation courses awarded the Creative Skillset Tick

Art and design/CGI/Graphics courses awarded the Creative Skillset Tick

What’s the best route in?

This is not an entry-level job. To become an Animation Director you will usually need to be an established and experienced Animator. You will also need to demonstrate leadership, management and organisational skills.

You will normally start out in an entry-level role, such as Runner, before progressing through various animation roles. This will give you first-hand experience of most of the jobs within the department from Runner to Inbetweener and upwards.

Interested? Find out more...


  • Animation Magazine - a US magazine about the business, technology and art of animation and VFX
  • Animation World Network - production news, interviews, jobs and a big archive 
  • Shooting People – community-driven site, founded by filmmakers, and providing opportunities, news and animation jobs 
  • Skwigly Animation Magazine - the longest running UK based animation magazine and community. Offers news, interviews, reviews, podcasts, videos and tutorials 
  • Toonhound – website about cartoons, animation, comic strips and puppets in the UK
  • Own-it - offers intellectual property (IP) advice, information and learning resources for the creative sector 
  • Animation Nation - Animation industry news and useful links
  • 3D World Magazine - international magazine for CG artists, covering the fields of animation, VFX, games, illustration and architecture
  • Computer Graphics World - magazine covering innovation in computer graphics technology across various industries
  • Cinefex - quarterly magazine devoted to motion picture visual effects


  • The Art and Science of Digital Compositing by Ron Brinkmann (pub. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers)
  • Digital Compositing by Steve Wright (pub. Butterworth-Heinemann)
  • Visual Effects in A Digital World: A Comprehensive Glossary of over 7,000 Visual Effects Terms by Karen Goulekas (pub. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers)
  • How to Get a Job in Computer Animation by Ed Harriss


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