Animation Certifications and Certificates

Understanding the world of animation certifications and career prospects can be overwhelming. This article aims to explain the different paths to certification, the jobs available for individuals with animation skills, and the quirks of the industry.

Key Insights

  • Animation involves creating the illusion of movement using successive images, often used in movies, video games, and visual effects.
  • Animators can work in various fields, including filmmaking, games development, and medical or mathematical animation, using software like After Effects and Premiere Pro.
  • There is a difference between certificates and certifications; the former is awarded after completing a training program, and the latter involves passing a proctored exam based on prior experience or training.
  • Noble Desktop offers certificate-granting programs in animation, such as the After Effects Bootcamp and the Motion Graphics Certificate program, which give students the training to pass certification exams.
  • While certification is not typically required in the field of animation, it can demonstrate competency and proficiency to potential employers.
  • The average salaries for animation-related positions vary, with animators earning an average of $75,270 per year, multimedia artists earning $75,270 per year, and art directors earning an average of $94,220 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If you’re looking for a way to demonstrate your skills in animation, you might be overwhelmed by the different certifications and certificate programs available. You might also have many questions, such as how do I become certified, is there a difference between being animation certified and being certified in an animation program, and will I need to become certified to get a job? This article aims to answer these questions so you can efficiently choose the right path toward an animation certification. Keep reading to find out more.

What is Animation?

Most people have seen animated movies or shows, but what is animation? Animation is the process of photographing a still image—typically a drawing—then making slight modifications to the image while taking successive pictures. An animator will rapidly show these pictures to make it appear as if the image is moving. An animator would create a series of pictures to show, for example, a flower on a windy day, each with the flower in a slightly different position. When viewed quickly, one after another, the flower will appear to move back and forth even though it’s not actually moving. 

Animation skills are great to have in many different jobs; they’re just fun! Animators don’t just create movies or television shows. They also create moving graphics for websites, video games, or visual effects. Most animators now use software to create the graphics, though some still use drawings and sketches to bring their imagination to life.

Read more about what animation is and why you should learn it. 

What Can You Do with Animation?

Learning animation opens doors to different fields. The most obvious field is filmmaking: producing visual effects, developing computer-generated special effects, or creating images for any media type. Movies, television, the internet, and (video) games all rely on Animators for their products. Yet, Animators can also work as Medical or Mathematical Animators, Illustrators, Games Developers, and VFX Artists. Illustrators focus on still images, both hand-drawn and computer-generated, while Medical or Mathematical Animators, Games Developers and VFX Artists develop 3D moving images. 

Video Editing & Motion Graphics Certificate: Live & Hands-on, In NYC or Online, 0% Financing, 1-on-1 Mentoring, Free Retake, Job Prep. Named a Top Bootcamp by Forbes, Fortune, & Time Out. Noble Desktop. Learn More.

The software that Animators use day in and day out is just plain fun! After Effects and Premiere Pro are the go-to animation software for professionals. After Effects allows users to complete video compositing, motion graphics design, and animation projects. Animators also learn software like Photoshop and Cinema 4D. Each type of software performs a specific function, such as image generating or developing special effects; Animators using multiple types of software can layer them to create stunning work.

Certifications vs. Certificates: What’s the Difference?

For those new to the industry, it can be slightly confusing to learn that there are multiple ways to become certified and that certifications are distinct from certificates. In addition, you can become certified in animation or an animation application like After Effects in a field like animation.

Certification is awarded to students who pass a proctored exam demonstrating their proficiency in animation skills. These exams expect students to have significant prior experience or training and first-party software companies and industry-standard organizations offer them. Many certification exams expire after a fixed period, requiring students to retake the exam to re-up their certification.

Certificates are akin to diplomas, conferred upon students after they complete a skills training program. These certificate-granting programs do not expect students to have significant training or experience before enrolling. In addition, certificates rarely expire.

Top Certifications & Certificates for Animation

Students seeking to become animation certified should consider the certificate granting programs offered through Noble Desktop. For instance, students who want to become certified in an animation program like After Effects can attend Noble’s After Effects Bootcamp and receive hands-on training in these tools. Students looking for a more immersive training course can learn animation tools and techniques in Noble’s comprehensive Motion Graphics Certificate program. These courses are also ideal ways for students to receive the training they need to pass certification exams.

Students seeking to pass a certification exam can turn to many higher education programs, such as those offered by LAfilm or NYFA. In addition, students seeking to specialize in a single program can become an Adobe Certified Associate by passing an exam demonstrating After Effects proficiency.

Should I Get Certified in Animation?

Like most creative careers, few jobs in the field of animation will require employees to become certified. A compelling portfolio of sample animations is more critical in the eyes of a prospective employer. However, becoming certified in animation programs can help demonstrate to an employer that a student has the experience and training that they will need to work on a variety of projects.

How to Get Certified in Animation

For students looking to become certified in animation, the ideal path will depend on how much prior animation experience a student has. Students with on-the-job training or a more formal animation education will want to pass a certification exam, as these programs test the skills they already possess. Students without prior experience or training will want to enroll in a certificate-granting program to receive the required hands-on training.

Learn Animation with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Many experts agree that animation is much easier to learn when taken either in a live online class or in person. Noble Desktop provides animation classes, from their live online training taken anywhere in the world to their in-person courses in Manhattan, so students can easily find a class that enables them to gain animation skills. Class sizes are small; students are not nameless faces on a computer screen. Instructors can provide plenty of attention and feedback to students. The school is committed to student learning, allowing students to retake the course free up to a year later if they want to brush up on skills. 

In just a few days, students can learn how to use Adobe After Effects in Noble Desktop's bootcamp. This class is ideal for people new to the field of animation and motion design who want to start creating moving graphics with industry-leading software. 

If you have more time, you can learn what it takes to become an Animator in Noble’s comprehensive Motion Graphics Certificate course. This class teaches animation with Adobe After Effects, video editing with Adobe Premiere Pro, and audio editing with Adobe Audition. These three pieces of software blend perfectly to create a polished final product. Participants will leave the course with a solid portfolio demonstrating their skills to future employers.

Key Insights

  • Students looking to demonstrate their animation proficiency may wish to become certified in either animation or an animation tool like Adobe After Effects.
  • There are two ways to become certified. Students can complete a certificate-granting skills training program or pass a certification exam.
  • Students with experience and on-the-job training in animation skills will want to take a certification exam. Students who need training will want to enroll in a certificate-granting program.
  • Whether you are looking to enroll in a certificate program or want to brush up on your skills to pass a certification exam, Noble Desktop offers students comprehensive in-person and live online animation training.

How to Learn Animation

Master animation with hands-on training. Animation is the process of manipulating still images so that they appear to move, often using software like After Effects, Cinema 4D, or Adobe Animate.

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