11 Best Online Animation Courses

Online animation courses provide a unique opportunity for animators to learn and improve their skills. 

Best online Animation Courses
image from Pixabay

Since the first animated cartoon back in the ’90s, the technology of animation has improved a lot, and now the internet has created a number of limitless resources for amateur animators to acquire more knowledge and enhance their animation skills.

Animation is dynamic because new tools will continue to emerge and animators need to keep up with the latest trend by learning how to use these new tools to make things look and move the absolute best they can.

We have put together this comprehensive list of online animation courses online. You will also get to know how to choose the best online animation course and the 9 Best online Animation Courses. These animation courses will help you improve your skills as an animator or might be a foundation for you if you are still an amateur animator. 

So first, let’s consider what to look for in an online animation course so as to choose the best one. 

How to choose the best online animation course

Taking an online animation course can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. When it comes to choosing the best online animation course, knowing what you are seeking to learn can help you decide if the course is the right choice for you. Before you sign up for any online animation course, below are some of the factors to consider. Choosing the right class depends on factors such as paying attention to the skill level, teaching style, and commitment level.

Skill level

With the use of the internet, there are lots of resources available for anyone who is looking to build new skills or improve themselves on them. However, there are so many different online courses out there, and not every one of them may fit the skill level you’re at. For example, if you’re already a pro and looking to sharpen your knowledge and skills more, taking an introductory online course will be a waste of time and money.

Teaching style

The Teaching style that is being used is another factor you should consider before taking an online class. The teaching style of some inexpensive classes may include pre-recorded video lessons and no interaction with the instructor at all, while others may offer one-on-one interaction with the instructor and even feedback tailored to the course you are enrolled in. The latter type of course generally costs higher.

Commitment level

Your commitment level is another necessary factor that shouldn’t be left out. You need to decide on how much time you can commit to the course as the duration of many online courses range from thirty minutes to 20 hours a week for several weeks. Knowing how much time you are committing to the online course will help you choose the right one.

11 Best online Animation Courses, Motion Graphics & 3D Courses 

There are numerous online courses for animation, motion graphics, and 3D that can be found on the internet. Some are quite better than others. The list below contains the best animation courses that will absolutely be worth your time and money.

  • Introduction to Classical Animation with Ryan Slater
  • The Beginner’s Guide to After Effects (Skillshare) 
  • 12 Principles of Animation with Justin Harrison (Udemy) 
  • Learn 3D Animation – The Ultimate Blender Guide (Udemy) 
  • Maya 2020 Essential Training (LinkedIn Learning) 
  • Animation Basics with Animation Mentor
  • 2D Animation For Beginners With Adobe Animate (Skillshare) 
  • Complete Animation Course by Aaron Blaise 
  • Character Setup and Animation (Coursera) 
  • How to Create Lifelike Movement (Skillshare) 
  • Blender 2.8 Essential Training (Linkedin Learning) 
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1. Introduction to Classic Animation with Ryan Slater

Duration: 76 minutes

This online class is aimed at beginners and introduces the classic techniques used in some of the biggest animated movies of all time. The course lasts just 76 minutes and is taught by Ryan Slater, an animation artist who’s worked at Nickelodeon, Disneytoons, and Cartoon Network, 

There are seven video lessons where you’ll learn the basics of 2D animation, how to create a moving character using just a pencil, paper, and a peg bar. There are also different tried-and-tested animation techniques, such as ‘slow in and slow out’ and ‘squash and stretch’, which, in a way, will help you start doing animation without any experience whatsoever. This course will give you a great start in becoming an animator. 

This course requires a $1 trial for your first three days and a $29.95 a month subscription to Slater’s site.

2. The Beginner’s Guide to After Effects (Skillshare) 

Cost: Free trial for 2 weeks, then $99/year

Skill level: Beginner | Duration: 6 hours

The Beginner’s Guide to After Effects is taught by motion designer Jake Bartlett and is an ideal option for anyone who is interested in the world of motion design and wants to learn Adobe After Effects.

The course covers everything you need to start creating good animations. This includes topics like Resolution, Timecode, Frame Rate, and more!

3. 12 Principles of Animation with Justin Harrison (Udemy) 

Cost: $19

Duration: a little over 2 hours

Skill level: Beginner

The 12 Principles of Animation course is a short course that covers the basics of animation and is particularly suited to an animation software known as Maya. 

The course is offered by 3DMotive and taught by character and technical animator Justin Harrison. It covers the 12 basic principles of animation, how those principles apply to everyday characters and objects, and how to use these characters and objects to give life to your character animations.

The course duration is two hours long. Other fundamentals covered in this course include timing, spacing, slow-in, and slow-out.

4. Learn 3D Animation – The Ultimate Blender Guide (Udemy) 

Cost; $139

Duration: about 26 hours

Skill level: Beginner 

The Ultimate Blender Guide course teaches you how to use Blender to create 3D animations and models. It is taught by 3D artist and instructor Alex Cordebard and is best for beginners who want to learn more about 3D arts or for anyone looking to improve their knowledge and skills.

Skills you will learn from this course include creating 3D models, exploring Blender basics and techniques, and creating a full 3D animation project.

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The course is quite costly, but considering the amount of knowledge and hands-on interaction in it makes it worth the cost.

5. Animation Basics with Animation Mentor

Animation basics with Animation Mentor is a 12-week Animation Basics course that offers a high-quality interactive learning experience that will help you master the core skills based on the 12 basic principles of animation. 

These include motion and follow-through, how to realistically convey weight, how to animate a bouncing ball, and the creation of both vanilla and personality walk cycles. By the end of this course, you should be able to create a job-ready demo reel.

The Animation Basics course includes 12 hours of pre-recorded video lectures, which can be streamed on-demand each week, a weekly live Q&A with your mentor and classmates, a weekly e-critique of your assignment from your mentor, access to the Animation Mentor resource library with guest lectures.

6. Maya 2020 Essential Training (LinkedIn Learning) 

Cost; $39

Duration: 8 hours

Skill level: Beginner | 

The Maya 2020 Essential Training course focuses on the knowledge and tools you need to create high-quality 3D animations and models. It covers the core Maya skills – modeling, texturing, rendering, and animation and is taught by Animation Producer and Director, George Maestri.

Techniques taught in this course will translate to other fields outside animation. This includes motion graphics, film, and game design. By the end of the course, you would have learned how to add life and movement to your animations using the animator tools found in the Maya software.

7. 2D Animation For Beginners With Adobe Animate (Skillshare) 

Cost: $99/year

Duration: Less than 3 hours

Skill level: Intermediate |

The 2D Animation For Beginners With Adobe Animate course covers how to draw, compose, and animate characters by using simple and straightforward examples. It is instructed by Walt Wonderwalk.

The course covers a wide range of topics including the basics of creating vector drawings in Animate, how to add sound to your animations, and how to create nested animations.

This course is good for anyone who is interested in learning animation and simply wants to do it as a hobby, not a profession.

8. Complete Animation Course by Aaron Blaise

Cost: $50

Skill level: Beginner 

Aaron Blaise is a Disney animation veteran who has worked on major Disney movies such as The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. This awesome course, created by him, is made up of 13 HD videos and covers the 12 principles of animation that were developed by Disney’s Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston.

Blaise course is for beginners and animation students. His style of teaching is approachable and relatable and teaches things that even experienced animators may not have known on their own. In this course, you feel like you are learning from a friend. 

9. Character Setup and Animation (Coursera) 

Cost: Free enrollment, then $79/month

Duration: 10 hours

Skill level: Intermediate 

The Character Setup and Animation course are created for students who want to take up a career as a Unity 3D artist. The course is taught by Joy Horvath and is the perfect prep course for anyone studying to take the Unity Certified 3D Artist exam.

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A Unity 3D artist is considered as the bridge between the programmers and the designers and is a critical piece in animation development. Throughout this course, you’ll learn how to import assets and create effects for a more cartoony and stylish feel on a sci-fi-themed 3D adventure game while working as a Unity 3D artist.

10. How to Create Lifelike Movement (Skillshare) 

Cost: $99/year

Duration: 45 minutes to an hour

Skill level: Intermediate 

The ‘art of animation how to create lifelike movement’ course covers the top four principles of animation developed by two Disney animators in the 1980s. It is taught by Emanuele Colombo, a motion designer, and animator who has worked with Google and NBC. This course is a great choice for anyone seeking a more condensed online animation course.

By the end of the course, you will learn how to build an entire scene with a story in mind, master the After Effects program and be able to create a sense of realism, movement, landscape, and intrigue in an animation.

The tricks and tips offered in this course will sharpen your skills as an animator to create incredible, lifelike characters.

11. Blender 2.8 Essential Training (Linkedin Learning)

Cost: $44

Duration: 5 hours

Skill level: Beginner 

The blender 2.8 essential training course is one of the best online animation courses that covers the interface in Blender 2.8, 3D animation, 3D modeling, and how to use simulators to create fluid and smoke effects

It is taught by David Andrade, an award-winning animator.

This course focuses on the complete overview of how to do 3D modeling on the software, how to use the interface, sculpting, scene layout, VFX styling, and lots more.

It is available on LinkedIn Learning and comes with access to downloadable files, textures, and UV maps you can use while enrolled in the course.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best animation course online?

Depending on the type of animation you’re looking to learn and how detailed you want it to be, we recommend the following animation courses to learn animation online

  • The Beginner’s Guide to After Effects (Skillshare) 
  • 12 Principles of Animation with Justin Harrison (Udemy) 
  • Learn 3D Animation – The Ultimate Blender Guide (Udemy) 
  • Maya 2020 Essential Training (LinkedIn Learning) 
  • 2D Animation For Beginners With Adobe Animate (Skillshare) 
  • Complete Animation Course by Aaron Blaise 
  • Character Setup and Animation (Coursera) 
  • How to Create Lifelike Movement (Skillshare) 
  • Blender 2.8 Essential Training (Linkedin Learning) 

Conclusion

Online animation courses provide a unique opportunity for animators to learn and improve their skills. The technology of animation has improved a lot, and there are a number of limitless resources for amateur animators to acquire more knowledge and enhance their animation skills.

Hopefully, this article will help you to know how to choose the best online animation course and the 9 Best online Animation Courses. These animation courses will help you improve your skills as an animator or might be a foundation for you if you are still an amateur animator. 

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