Over 93% of MCAD alumni are working and more than half (57.1%) are working in their field.*

This is no accident—MCAD’s animation curriculum gets students focused on their careers early and enables them to successfully transition from student to professional.

Animators produce work for advertisements, television stations, video games, educational purposes, feature-length films, and more. Top animators have a solid foundation in fine arts, mastery of motion design and timing, and experience utilizing both traditional and digital materials.


Potential Careers

Background Animator

Based on what's happening in the scene, this person creates and animates appropriate environments for characters to be placed in.

Character Developer

Makes model sheets, sometimes called "roughs" (thumbnail sketches and models of the figures depicting a range of movement, key poses, expressions, and emotions) based on the designer's concepts.

3D Modeler/Animator

Create three-dimensional visual effects and animated characters for television, video games, and other electronic media. 

Pixel Artist/Animator

Create images with deliberate control over the placement of each individual pixel, often with a limited color palette. Often used in video games.

Stop Motion Animator

Uses a technique in which objects are physically manipulated in small increments between individually photographed frames to create an illusion of independent movement.  


Responsible for the overall coordination of all animated characters within a project. Ensures each individual works together—from those in charge of layouts and storyboards to the voice talent.

Film Editor

Cuts together the sections/scenes of the film, matching the images to the soundtrack.


Hires the team, locates investors, manages expenses, handles distribution, and is responsible for the overall development of the film.

Project Manager

A business position that organizes and oversees an animation project. This includes hiring and supervising a team and ensuring that deadlines and budgets are met.

Inker, Opaquer, Checker

The inker traces the outline of each of the sketches onto an acetate sheet. An opaquer then takes the outlined acetate sheets completed by the inker and paints the colors of the characters on the opposite side. A checker makes sure all the cells, layers, exposure sheets, bar sheets and backgrounds are executed, marked, and registered prior to the beginning of filming.

Special Effects Animator

Special/visual effects animators are used in film, television, and the entertainment industry to create effects that cannot be achieved by normal means or are otherwise too expensive. Special/visual effects enhance previously filmed elements by adding, removing, or improving objects within a scene.

Storyboard Artist

Creates sequential drawings or storyboards that show the scope of the film's action by breaking down the storyline of a film, video, or animation into specific scenes with attention to scale, camera angles, and the type of action involved.


Identifies the subject of the film, defines the characters, and develops the storyline and dialogue.


*Based on the 2019/20 MCAD Alumni Survey. Includes graduates from 1990–2019 reporting full-time, part-time, and freelance/self employment.

Tell Me More about Animation at MCAD