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Best Online Resources for Learning Animation

image for Africa Studio / Shutterstock
Africa Studio / Shutterstock
  • Using animation on your company website is a vital strategy for increasing visibility and interest.
  • Animation is constantly changing and advancing. Keeping up with the latest trends is essential to help your site stay current and compelling.
  • There are myriad choices for learning to animate and selecting tools to assist you.

You may already be using video in your marketing efforts, but incorporating animation or motion on your site can help you further reach your target audience. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute says that 82% of B2B and 79% of B2C companies use video in their content marketing plans. Some studies have indicated that adding animation to your website can boost sales by as much as 200%.

This is an opportunity you can't afford  to miss. Cisco predicts that the internet will surpass 1 million minutes of video each second by 2022. But you must keep up with the changes. According to Webdew, here are the top 20 trends in animation for 2020:

  1. 3D everywhere
  2. Merged 2D and 3D
  3. Kinetic typography
  4. Broken text
  5. Sophisticated VXF
  6. Animated logos
  7. Seamless transitions
  8. Thin lines
  9. Grain
  10. Retro-motion graphics
  11. Morphing
  12. Web and app motion graphics
  13. Liquid motion
  14. Isometric design
  15. Huge and bold typography
  16. Digital surrealism
  17. Gradients
  18. Fantasy
  19. Virtual reality
  20. New minimalism

It is important that the animation makes sense. Lisi Linhart, a creative developer who specializes in animation, offers the following tips:

  • Keep design consistent.
  • Don't animate for no reason.
  • Don't force animations on users.
  • Consider use of different devices when adding animations (mobile versus laptop).
  • Don't make them too long.

Animators render multiple images that give a realistic illustration of movement when the images are displayed in rapid succession. This was once a laborious process that could only be achieved by painstakingly creating and assembling each complex element by hand. The methods used to create animation have evolved, thanks to advances in computer technology and the availability of animation software that make animation faster and less expensive.

Creative Bloq outlines and explains the 12 principles of animation as expressed by the masters of the genre, the original Disney animators. Though these principles were first introduced almost 40 years ago, they remain relevant today. Some principles are exaggeration, stretch and squash, staging, timing, and secondary action.

Gaining the skills to create realistic animation isn't a matter of merely learning a new software program or watching a YouTube video. Colleges and universities offer degree programs in computer animation that could help you get ahead in the world of website design.

If returning to school isn't in the cards for you, you might want to investigate the 11 online learning resources below, gleaned from a variety of expert sources on the subject. These are great places to consider for learning animation, depending on whether your goal is to get a basic understanding of the process or to someday become a professional animator.

  • Lynda: A great place for beginners, Lynda offers an excellent platform for learning basic principles and animation software, and it's affordable.

  • Gnomon Workshop: Gnomon Workshop is an affordable, high-quality platform that delivers excellent video tutorials online on a wide range of animation topics. 

  • Pluralsight: Pluralsight's animation education platform offers a full range of course subjects, from coding to Photoshop to 3D rendering. It's considered a great entry point for people who want to build a learning foundation in animation.

  • Bloop Animation: This learning platform offers an intriguing array of guides, e-books, videos, classes and more. It's definitely worth a look for anyone interested in learning about animation generally.
  • Animation Mentor: Established in 2005, Animation Mentor was founded by Pixar studio professionals and, as the name suggests, uses a mentoring approach to learning. The online school offers individual workshops as well as a full program. There is an application and approval process.

  • AnimSchool: One of the top online animation schools, AnimSchool was founded by Blue Sky Studios professionals and differentiates itself by offering education to prepare students for the more technical aspects of making a 3D animated film, including software and tools proficiency. Admission is by application.

  • iAnimate.net: Former Dreamworks professionals founded iAnimate.net, which offers workshops for all levels of knowledge. Workshops are available live and can be accessed later for viewing, too. Admission is by application.

For free online tutorials, go directly to the top animation software manufacturers' websites:

It's a great idea to start with one of the free or low-cost tools. As you become more skilled as an animator, you may want to consider other, more sophisticated software. Keep up to date on the industry trends and enhancements, and your business will benefit from the excitement that your website attracts with animation. 

 

Business News Daily Editor

Business News Daily was founded in 2010 as a resource for small business owners at all stages of their entrepreneurial journey. Our site is focused exclusively on giving small business advice, tutorials and insider insights. Business News Daily is owned by Business.com.

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