Animation is the art of using the illusion of motion to tell a story, communicate a message, or demonstrate a concept. Most modern animation is computer-assisted design, and students may be interested in how they can get an education in this diverse and exciting field. Watching video tutorials online is a popular method of learning animation. Video tutorials let students control the pace of their training, experiment with different techniques and styles, and offer step-by-step process explanations from skilled animators. This article will cover a range of videos, including what they teach and where to find them.
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.
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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.
Why Are Video Tutorials Helpful When Learning Animation?
There are many reasons that animation students may want to use video tutorials to supplement their training. These videos give students a lot of control over how they learn and offer flexibility in the pace and style of a student’s training.
The most significant aspect of video tutorials is that they tend to be free, meaning that students can experiment with their animation training without a huge up-front cost. Students on the fence about learning animation may not want to enroll in a paid training course. Instead, they can view video tutorials as an alternate way to get comfortable with the basics of animation tools and techniques. They can also switch freely between various video tutorials to suit their needs.
In addition, video tutorials give students control over the pace and structure of their learning. They can easily rewind videos to hear explanations again, fast-forward or navigate to their desired content, and switch to other tabs to have multiple videos open at once. Plus, they can pause the video and stop to pick up the content later. This is ideal for students who can’t reliably set aside a stable block of time to learn animation techniques.
Also, since there is no set commitment to training with video tutorials, students can more easily decide that they want to learn other skills if they decide that animation isn’t right for them. Then, if they decide that animation is right for them, they will have a leg up when they enroll in a more advanced training course because they have a foundation in the basics of animation.
Types of Animation Videos
Attending an entire course takes a commitment. If you’re not ready yet to attend a class but want to start learning animation, enroll in a free online animation seminar. These seminars mirror the instruction you'll receive in a full online training seminar. In this free introductory Animation course from Noble, you’ll learn how to create motion graphics animation from a photo. By the end of the two hours, 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.
Students may also consider the kinds of video tutorials that provide shorter, narrower lessons, such as how to animate a specific type of motion in After Effects or how to animate shapes. These courses are ideal for students who want to learn particular skills and tailor their education to their needs. These are often videos produced by providers like Adobe. Additionally, because the YouTube algorithm rewards this kind of video, many videos of this genre are available.
A final type of video tutorial that has become more popular in recent years is a live-streamed process video, where an animator or artist goes live on a streaming platform to demonstrate their process to a live audience. These videos are often recorded and archived, giving aspiring Animators an extensive library of process videos to choose from.
Why Learn Animation?
Career prospects for Animators are strong. Most Animators find themselves working in the entertainment industry, making graphics for movies or films. Yet, Animators are in high demand across multiple industries, not just the entertainment industry. Outside the entertainment industry, Animators may find themselves working in creative jobs in education, advertising, marketing, or the arts. Animators may find themselves creating short clips to summarize science concepts. Or perhaps they may create sales videos for publishing companies. The opportunities are numerous.
Learning animation builds an eye for detail. Depending on your interests and career goals, knowing art and design concepts and possessing strong English skills is a bonus. As an Animator, you might use software such as Autodesk Maya, Houdini, or software developed by the company. Animators who develop motion graphics and visual effects may primarily use Cinema 4D or After Effects. 2D animators use Adobe Animate or Toon Boom Harmony. Of course, knowing more than one or two types of software can only make you more marketable.
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How Difficult is It to Learn Animation?
Animation is an attainable skill that can launch a new career. There are many different kinds of animation skills that a student can learn, and some of these will be harder to learn than others. For example, students wanting to learn how to animate complex 3D objects in a program like Adobe After Effects will need more training than someone looking to learn how to build animated gifs using Adobe Photoshop.
Likewise, the prerequisites to learning animation will vary depending on the kind of training that you want to receive. Some training courses may require users to have background knowledge in programs like Photoshop and Illustrator. Other courses will not have any required training. Students may wish to consider studying design and composition theories. Hence, they understand the various animation techniques they will use, assuming they enter a creative field.
The cost of producing animation work will depend on the kinds of work and the applications utilized. Aspiring Motion Graphics Designers will need to license design programs such as After Effects or Premiere Pro, and most technical animators may need to acquire other CAD tools. The cost of each of these applications will vary from user to user, but the cost of software should be a consideration for new animation students.
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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.