Animation Prerequisites

What to Learn Before Animation

Learn how to harness the exciting field of animation, applicable to careers in filmmaking, website design, video game creation, and more. Understand the various software professionals use, such as After Effects and Premiere Pro, and the potential pathways you can take to apply these animation skills to different roles.

Key Insights

  • Animation involves creating the illusion of motion through a series of still images, utilized in a variety of fields from movie production to medical animation.
  • There are no formal prerequisites for learning animation, but familiarity with computers and specific software like Photoshop, After Effects, and Premiere Pro is beneficial.
  • The field of animation is broad, encompassing roles such as Medical or Mathematical Animators, Illustrators, Games Developers, and VFX Artists.
  • Aspiring animators should be aware of the types of animation commonly used in their desired field and should have some understanding of the theories of design and composition.
  • Noble Desktop offers in-person and online animation courses, providing comprehensive, hands-on training. Their classes cover software like Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, with additional focus on video and audio editing.
  • An animator's salary can vary widely depending on the industry and specific role, but positions in the entertainment industry, for example, can offer salaries ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 or more, depending on experience and skill level.

You might worry that animation will be too hard to learn. This guide will help you understand the best methods for learning animation and what you should study to make the learning process easier. This way, you’ll be successful however you choose to apply your new skills.
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.

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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.
Is Animation Easy to Learn?
Animation skills are no more complex to learn than any other digital design skill. Compared to UX/UI design and other web design skills, some students find it much easier to learn computer animation. Students who are familiar with the process of computer-aided design may find learning animation to come easily to them.
What to Know Before Learning Animation
There are no formal prerequisites for learning animation. Students should be familiar with using a computer, assuming they want to learn computer-animated design skills. In addition, it can be beneficial for students to have background knowledge in both the career paths available to animators and the types of animation most commonly used in the fields in which they want to work.
Computer Skills
Students seeking to learn computer animation will, understandably, want to be familiar with computers before they start more advanced training. Animation processes, particularly those related to digital video animation, will require users to understand how to use programs that deal with layers and simultaneously move between multiple files, folders, and applications. These skills are not difficult to learn, but students should be comfortable using a computer before they start their animation training.
Fields of Animation
While not strictly required, it is strongly recommended that students research the kinds of animation before they undertake training. Many new students think that animation is only traditional in the vein of cartoon films, but it is quite a wide reading field of computer-aided design. For some students, using animation as a part of a medical design or engineering skill set may be appealing, and these desires will shape the kinds of training they will require.
Theories of Design and Composition
For students interested in animation's creative side, it can be helpful to learn the processes, theories, and history of animation as a creative concept. As with all creative design skills, knowing how animated artistic expressions communicate meaning is essential to learn how to apply techniques when creating digital designs. It is one thing to know how to animate a figure in a certain way using a tool like After Effects, but it is just as important, if not more so, to know why animating a figure in a certain way produces meaning.
Key Takeaways
Animation refers to a wide range of related fields that deal with constructing artist assets that create the illusion of motion. Animated images are used in various industries, from film and television to medical and industrial contexts.
There are no formal prerequisites to learning animation. Still, anyone hoping to learn how to create computer-animated images should familiarize themselves with the intermediate skills of using a desktop computer.
Students may also wish to research the various fields of animation and the kinds of career paths they offer. This will help them make more informed decisions when they begin their training.
Anyone interested in learning animation for artistic reasons will want to study some of the theories of design and composition to understand why certain types of animation and certain techniques are used in specific situations.
Once students grasp these basics, they can turn to Noble Desktop for comprehensive animation training in-person and live online courses.
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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