Mac left a comment asking: I want to know that to become a successful animator, is it also necessary to learn rigging?
This is a great question, and of all the CG disciplines, rigging is certainly the most relevant to what we do as animators. Rigging truly is an art, and the rig an animator is given will make a huge impact on that animator's work - both in what the animator is capable of doing with the rig, and in how quickly the animator can get his work done.
Having a fast rig that you can work with quickly can make all the difference in the world when it comes to hitting your deadlines. On the flip-side, it takes a true rigging expert to create a rig that is fast, but is also very flexible and powerful, and has all of the options the animator requires when posing that character and creating a performance.
So for me, rigging is an incredibly important aspect of what we do.
That doesn't mean that we need to know everything about rigging ourselves, of course, as our job is often to simply be the animator. HOWEVER, if there is one thing that it is helpful to study a little bit and get *some* amount of understanding of, it's the basics of how your rig works, and how it's built.
I don't have a very deep understanding of how Optimus Prime is rigged up, but I know enough about his rig to know how I can pose him, what will break him, etc. And having a very rudimentary knowledge of how expressions work and so forth will help you at times with working with your character.
Additionally, many smaller studios prefer their animators to have a strong knowledge of rigging, and these smaller studios often have animator/riggers doing both jobs at once.
This is a case where knowing a bit about both jobs will open up more job opportunities for you, but be aware that these jobs are not generally going to be a feature film studios or often even larger games/tv studios. The big studios are still, by and large, looking for experts in each given field, as that structure has proven to provide the best quality work...
Anyway - like pretty much anything else, it can't hurt to learn a bit about rigging as long as it isn't distracting your time away from learning more about animation, but I wouldn't spend a ton of time with it unless you really love doing it!