Film Crew Position: Cleanup Animator

What does a Cleanup Animator do?

A Cleanup Animator is an integral part of the animation department, specializing in refining and enhancing the preliminary animation frames or drawings. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that the final animation appears polished, consistent, and adheres to the stylistic guidelines set forth for the project. Cleanup Animators work closely with lead animators and directors to translate rough sketches into clean, visually appealing, and on-model artwork that is ready for the next stages of production, such as coloring and compositing.

What role does a Cleanup Animator play?

The role of a Cleanup Animator encompasses the meticulous task of refining the line work of animation, ensuring that characters and environments are tidy and technically correct. They must interpret and work with keyframes provided by the principal animators, often redrawing to achieve a high level of clarity and smoothness required for the final output. It involves tracing or digitally creating a final version of an animator's drawing, removing any extraneous marks, and defining a consistent line quality. Cleanup Animators may also be responsible for creating in-between frames to ensure smooth motion when needed.

Do you need to go to college to be a Cleanup Animator?

While a college degree is not always mandatory to become a Cleanup Animator, many professionals in the field hold a bachelor's degree or have completed a specialized program in animation, fine arts, or a related discipline. Aspiring Cleanup Animators can benefit from formal education which provides foundational knowledge in drawing techniques, understanding of anatomy, and exposure to various animation software. However, a strong portfolio demonstrating drawing skills, attention to detail, and a clear understanding of animation principles can be equally important. Some studios may require previous industry experience or evidence of completed coursework in animation.

What skills do you need to be a Cleanup Animator?

Cleanup Animators must possess a combination of artistic talent and technical skills. Proficiency in drawing, particularly with a focus on precise line work, is essential. They should have a keen eye for detail to ensure consistency and quality in the animation. Familiarity with animation software and digital drawing tools is crucial, as many productions use computer-assisted processes. Strong communication skills are also important, as Cleanup Animators must collaborate effectively with other members of the animation team. Additionally, time management skills and the ability to meet tight deadlines are necessary in the fast-paced environment of animation production.

New to filmmaking?

Get Free Template

Use our budget template to get a kick start on your film project. Get access to dozens of templates no matter what type of project!