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Best Online Resources for Learning Animation

Best Online Resources for Learning Animation
Credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

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 percent of B2B and 79 percent of B2C companies are using video in their content marketing plans. And some studies have indicated that adding animation to your website can boost sales by as much as 200 percent.

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.

However, 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, here are eight online learning resources, 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.

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  • 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, ebooks, 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. Admission via application process.
  • Animschool: One of the top online animation schools, Animschool was founded by Blue Sky Studio 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 via application.
  • iAnimate: Former Dreamworks professionals founded iAnimate, which offers a program of workshops geared to all levels of knowledge. Workshops are available live and can be accessed later for viewing, too. Admission via application.

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

Pamela Oldham

Based in Austin, Texas, Pamela Oldham writes on technology, healthcare, business and marketing topics. In her previous life as a senior-level marketing executive and continuing as an independent consultant, she's worked with small businesses and many of the world's best known brands in IT and healthcare.