Matthewstevens_major-uni-of-bourn-ba-computer-visualisation-and-animation-graduat_banner© Matthew Stevens, University of Bournemouth graduate

Editing Assistant (Animation)

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

The lowdown

  • Supporting the Editor(s) and editing department, including logging the audio and visual material received, loading it into the computer and keeping detailed records

Is this role right for me?

To do this role, you will need to:

  • pay close attention to detail and be thorough and meticulous 
  • have knowledge of the technical aspects of the equipment
  • be able to take direction
  • have good communication skills
  • have good team-working skills 
  • appreciate the importance of a schedule
  • be prepared to respect the editors' or studios' working practices
  • show discretion if you are working on a confidential project

What does a Editing Assistant (Animation) do?

Editing Assistants support the Editor(s) and editing department, and their workload varies according to the size and type of the production. They log the audio and visual material received in the cutting room, load it into the computer and keep on-going and detailed records, as instructed by the Editor or 1st Assistant Editor.

They make viewing copies on different formats for various departments, clients and composers. They handle the housekeeping tasks for the editing department, keeping it stocked with relevant materials, ensuring that all equipment is in good working order and placing orders with outside suppliers.

They may work with the production and accounts departments on administrative matters relating to the editing department. They may also keep the Editor's diary, booking sessions internally and also with outside facilities. In a smaller cutting room, they may also act as a Runner.

Sound plays a vital part in editing for animation and, depending on the size of the production, the picture and sound may be handled by the same Editor or editing team.

Editing an animation soundtrack can offer more creative opportunities than editing the picture, which is substantially pre-edited by the Director. An interest in sound and music is very useful. While still at a junior level the Editing Assistant may do soundtrack breakdowns and they may be asked to transfer other breakdowns on to bar sheets for the Director and Animators.

Will I need a qualification?

You don’t need a degree to be an Editing Assistant in animation. That said, it can be a good entry-level role for graduates.

If you are considering taking an animation 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 an animation career:

Animation courses awarded the Creative Skillset Tick

What’s the best route in?

This can be a good entry-level role if you've got the right skills and attitude, whether or not you have a degree. You could also move into this role having started out as a talented animation Runner and having gained the necessary skills and experience – this is one of the most common routes into the role.

You will definitely need good IT skills and it will help you to have a basic understanding of the more commonly used software, e.g. Avid, Final Cut Pro and Premiere.

You could apply to be a trainee through Trainee Finder, which gives you hands-on experience in the industry and helps you build those all-important contacts that are essential when competing for a job:

More information about Trainee Finder

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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