The 3D animator has to keep up to date with constantly emerging new techniques, tools, software, methodology, production techniques and a lot more. Many people with interest in the field would wonder want it takes to be a 3D animator. 3D animation comprises of various aspects so the demand and requirement might be a bit varied.
While a lot of the skills of a 3D animator are learned it is important that the animator already has some qualities. The needed characteristics include being creative both artistically and technically. What this requires is more than an understanding and mastery of the technical aspects of computer animation and illustration but also a high ability to be creative artistically. It is also important to be innovative and intelligent. A good animator would be one who not only loves new technologies but learns to use them well and effectively.
Apart from the personal qualities also referred to as soft skills, as they can not be measured, one may also need some form of formal education to become a 3D animator able to command a decent income. Some institutions offer relative short courses on 3D animation. It would be helpful to have a bachelor's degree in any art related discipline especially if it has some courses on art history, English, social science, natural science, studio art with some emphasis on animation.
Next it is important to train and practice a lot. Your choice of education must involve a lot of studio work where you can train and practice. You should take the time to learn how to use latest technology that keeps updating almost everyday. Some programs that are necessary to master include Flash, Adobe Photoshop, 3D Studio Max, Adobe Illustrator, CAD, Adobe After Effects, Light wave, Rhino, Swish and many more. Ability to use these programs increases your value and proficiency.
As you begin on the road to becoming a creative and talented 3D animator it is also advised to build a portfolio of your work. The portfolio would serve as a credible evidence of your abilities and skills as a 3D animator in your chosen industry. A lot of the programs being used make 3D animation a lot easier and productive. You would however still need to put in a fair amount of hard word and dedication to become a proficient 3D animator.