Design sound for animation

Business Sectors (Suites): Animation
Developed by: ScreenSkills
Approved on: 01 Mar 2017


This Standard is about designing the soundtrack for animation to meet the creative, technical and production needs of the project and to create a soundtrack that adds value to the story. This applies to creation of the final audio track or a temporary track (scratch mix) for an animatic. The role will involve liaising with people such as the director on the creation of voice over and dialogue. This standard is for you if you design sound for animation.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. determine the requirements that will affect your work by analysing

    briefs, specifications, scripts, visual references and technical and

    production parameters

    1. define the dialogue, music and sound effects needed for

    animation productions

    1. create the different types of sound needed to establish the

    atmospheric style of the production and to give immediacy,

    enhance action and help give pace and mood

    1. direct and record creation of sound to meet production demands

    and add value to images, narrative and action

    1. source supplementary sound material to suit the requirements of

    the production in terms of length, content, quality and creative

    effect, with due regard to copyright issues

    1. make ongoing adjustments to sound and picture material

    throughout the production when required

    1. create a sound breakdown that assists the timing and

    synchronisation of animation

    1. contribute to creating lip sync between dialogue and animation

    that meets production requirements

    1. liaise with relevant people in a way that supports the production


    1. review output with relevant people, offering suggestions that

    assist with the production

    1. take direction and act on feedback

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. the aims, objectives and narrative of the production and its overall

    conceptual vision

    1. the production requirements, such as delivery schedule

    (production pipeline) and technical parameters of the project, such

    as animation medium, post production methods, projection speed

    of the production

    1. The production process, and the implications to the budget and

    schedule when asking for changes to the picture

    1. the types of film sound, such as establishing sounds, sound

    motifs, sound-scapes, characteristic, ambient, empathic, hyperreal, diegetic, acousmatic, point of audition, extended

    1. the relationship between sound and image and how sound-scape

    and music can be used to affect the tone and mood of the piece

    1. the balance between fx, music, and voice tracks

    2. how to balance the need for atmosphere and clarity

    3. film grammar and editing

    4. timing and pacing

    5. shot breakdown and continuity

    6. how to use industry-standard sound software

    7. the possibilities and constraints of the software you are using

    8. the file formats for audio and video assets

    9. the people you need to liaise with at different stages including

    directors, composers, actors and animators


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

01 Mar 2020





Originating Organisation

Creative skillset

Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Designers, Sound Supervisor , Animation Professionals

SOC Code



Design; Sound; Animation; Soundtrack; Creative; Technical; Production; Story; Audio; Track; Scratch mix; Animatic; Liaising; Director; Voice over; Dialogue