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How Difficult is it to Learn Animation?

Are you curious about learning animation but worried it might be too hard? Of course, the difficulty that comes with learning a new skill is somewhat subjective. The challenges of learning animation depend on the kinds of work a student wants to do, how detailed and professional they need their animations, and how much prior training they have in digital design skills. 

No matter your current schedule or comfort level with animation, plenty of tools are available to help make learning more accessible than you might think.

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.

What Are the Most Challenging Parts of Learning Animation?

The most challenging part of learning animation lies in the technical skills and techniques that handle animated images' subtle and complex elements. Everyone has seen an animated commercial, film, or web element that cuts corners and looks unreal or uncanny. Professional animation projects demand attention to tiny details to look perfect. It is easy to animate a bouncing ball that loops, but it is much harder to animate realistic hair. These techniques will only come through practice and careful attention to detail.

How Does Learning Animation Compare to Other Fields?

The field of animation is a specialized area of art. It blends artistic expression with practical applications. Similar fields that allow a blend of art into everyday uses include graphic design, user experience (UX) design, and user interface (UI) design. Graphic designers create images for company logos, websites, and more. UX and UI designers focus on a product’s design, ensuring it’s user-friendly and meets the target audience’s needs.

To enter one of these other fields, you’ll need creativity and training. Graphic Designers must have strong foundations in color theory, typography, layouts, and graphic design software knowledge. UX/UI Designers use software to create wireframes, prototypes, mockups, or user flows. Since most UX/UI Designers work in teams, they need strong collaboration and communication skills. Creative software– like Sketch, Photoshop and Illustrator, among others– allows UX/UI Designers or Graphic Designers to work their magic and are included with an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

Graphic design, most experts agree, is not as hard to learn as UX or UI design. However, graphic design requires more creativity. UX design calls for data management and research skills, plus creativity. Becoming a UI Designer occasionally requires coding knowledge, which can be incredibly challenging.

Practice, Practice, Practice

As an artistic skill, the best way to overcome challenges in learning animation is to practice techniques repeatedly. This may not seem like solid advice, but there is very little that you can do that is more effective than simply animating more and more complex designs to sharpen your skills as an animator.

Complementary Design Training

Another way to ease the process of learning digital animation skills is to complement animation training with other digital design skills, such as learning Photoshop or Illustrator. These skills will translate to animation training and make students more comfortable using computer-aided design software.

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.

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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