Animation voice overs account for a huge portion of the voice over industry.
Working as an animation voice over professional can be an exciting and fun job, but not just anyone can do it. The task requires a great deal of professionalism and some truly unique vocal talent.
How Animation Voice Overs Work
The creation of animated films and television shows is intriguing and a little complicated; many individual elements need to first be developed and then seamlessly combined.
In traditional animation, the process commonly begins with the creation of a preliminary soundtrack, during which the voice actors record their parts — it’s easier for animators to synchronize images to the voice over, as opposed to voice actors matching pre-animated scenes.
Computer animation also follows this process. However, since computer animation is more easily adjusted than traditional animation, it has become much more common to make changes to the voice over than it was in the past. Based on adjustments to the animation, voice actors may be called in to reread certain parts of the script or to read for additional scenes.
Skills Needed to Create Great Animation Voice Overs
One of the most basic skills required to be a great voice actor for animation is pretty obvious: the ability to create unique voices! Imagination is essential to the animation voice over actor, who has to be able to convey a cartoon character’s voice believably. Stamina is also important to the art of voice overs, since the voice over actor often has to be able to maintain the affected voice for long periods of time.
What’s more, animation voice over actors may appear as cartoons on screen, but that doesn’t mean they are total goofs in real life!
To ensure a successful career, a voice over actor has to be extremely professional, which means showing up for rehearsal readings, practicing and going over scenes repeatedly until they’re just right. Taking direction well is also important, in order to capture the proper tone for the project as a whole.
Versatility Is Key to Animation Voice Over Success
One of the biggest must-have characteristics needed to break into — and sustain a career in — the animation voice over business is versatility. Providing the voice for just one cartoon character is unlikely to result in an extremely rewarding career, financially or emotionally. Animation voice over professionals who can perform a variety of voices will not only have more fun voicing their parts, but also find many more doors open to them.
Many production studios actually prefer to hire multi-voice actors who can perform multiple roles in a single film or television show. This allows them to make the most of their voice talent, as seen on both “Family Guy” and “The Simpsons,” two shows famous for their many-faceted voice actors. So while it’s not a strict requirement for working in animation, voice over professionals who can convey a cartoon dragon as well as the princess he is terrorizing are likely to do well in the business.