Many professionals are eager to learn animation but hesitate because of the perceived up-front costs. In addition to skills training, students may find that they need to acquire a lot of different animation applications, such as licensing Adobe After Effects or Premiere Pro. However, many free resources are available to help beginners get the hang of this exciting program.
Read on to learn more about the different types of free resources and tutorials available to help you learn animation.
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.
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.
Attending an entire course takes a commitment. If you’re not ready yet to participate in a class but want to start learning animation, enroll in a free online animation seminar. In this free introductory Animation course from Noble, you’ll learn how to create motion graphics animation from a photo. You will be adding easing and animating with keyframes like a pro. The class allows participants to test out animation. Love it? Then you’re ready to sign up for a full-length course.
Other online providers offer After Effects and Premiere Pro classes. Udemy’s Adobe After Effects: Complete Course from Novice to Expert teaches students how to create Motion Graphics, visual effects, and more through several projects. They also have courses that move more slowly, covering just beginner skills. Coursera has some free classes and many paid courses that cover animation. Most are specialized, so it helps to know what area of animation you’re interested in. You can find anything from VR to biomedical animations. As always, sites like LinkedIn offer animation courses.
In addition, YouTube and Twitch, among other platforms, have given artists and animators a space to post their content and process videos. These tutorials aren’t framed as ways to learn programs, but they are helpful for students looking to understand the process that goes into digital animation work.
Beyond the wide range of free tutorials available, students may also want to take advantage of some free trial software available to new animation students. Adobe offers users free trials of all its programs, allowing them to experiment with the program before committing to a license. These trial periods are also an excellent time for new students to take advantage of the free resources and tutorials offered by providers like Noble Desktop.
Free alternative applications are available to users, such as Frame.io or Blender. These programs come with their own drawbacks, particularly the potential for limited functionalities. In addition, users may find fewer free training options for these programs, particularly those like Blender, which are built with more advanced users.
- Animation is the art of creating the illusion of motion in a static object. Most modern animation is done via computer-assisted design, meaning that students must acquire the hardware and software necessary to build computer-animated projects. However, many free resources are available to help them learn animation skills.
- Service providers like Noble Desktop and others give students access to free introductory courses and tutorials to help them become comfortable with learning how to use animation software.
- Platforms such as Twitch and YouTube also host large numbers of artists providing free tutorials or demonstrations.
- Students may wish to take advantage of free software trials or explore their options for free alternatives.
- Once students have taken advantage of these free training resources, they should consider comprehensive training options offered in-person and online through Noble Desktop.
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 three days, students can learn how to use Adobe After Effects in Noble Desktop's bootcamp. This class is ideal for motion designers who want to start creating videos. It’s also helpful for Animators who want to get started with editing. The course covers how to edit video and audio, including cleaning up background noise and correcting colors in the film. You will also learn how to take images and animate them on the screen.
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.