Animation is one of those career fields that have it all. Turning it into your job gives you plenty of opportunities for growth, lots of flexibility, lots of space for unleashing your creative potential, and it also pays well.

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illustration by Bulma illustrates

The best part? Anyone can learn it and there is no need to acquire a relevant college degree. In fact, you can even combine your animation studies with your current college curriculum. All you need is the right online course and, probably, the help of a professional essay writing service to keep your grades high and keep up with two programs. Also we recommend reading reviews to choose the best service for your needs.

But how can one find the right option?

There are a myriad of online educational opportunities for future animators. It’s great on the one hand as it expands your options. But, at the same time, such a wide choice really makes it hard to distinguish worthy opportunities from those that will only waste your time is rather tricky.

Yet, if you are determined to master this art and start a successful career, we are here to help you get on the right track. In this article, we have gathered the most quality and exciting online courses that will help you reach your ultimate goal.

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illustration by Reijo Palmiste

Animation for Illustration: Adding Movement with Procreate & Photoshop

The first option on our list is a great online course available at SkillShare. The program and all materials were created by an American designer and illustrator Libby VanderPloeg, who has worked with such big-name clients as TED Talks, Tumblr, Instagram, and Netflix.

The main purpose of the training is to help aspiring professionals learn how to turn their illustrations into animated pieces with the help of a popular illustration tool - Procreate (iOS) and Photoshop.

The biggest benefits of it are that it is very easy even for beginners and that it is absolutely free of charge. Thus, it can be a great starting point for your career.

Introduction to Programming and Animation with Alice

The next big opportunity you can use to your benefit is an exciting, free training program provided by the well-known Duke University. The program lasts eight weeks, during which beginners can get a comprehensive introduction into the field, learn the basics, and start creating great projects from scratch.

The uniqueness of this opportunity lies in the fact that apart from teaching you how to add motion to your stories in 3D, it also teaches you the object-based programming language, Alice. Thus, after completing the training, you will be able to build and design your own game from the ground up.

Learn the 12 Principles of Animation for Games in Maya

This is a tutorial by a professional character and technical animator, Justin Harrison. He specializes specifically in the game development area. The program is available on Udemy and costs from $19 to $152, depending on the duration (2.5 to 26 hours of training) and other additional features you may choose.

One unique feature of this option is that it is project-based. That is, if you take the course, you will learn the 12 basic principles of this art in the process of creating your own project. Thus, you will gain both skills and hands-on experience.

To get started, all you need is Maya (preferred) or similar software of your choice.

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Animating with Purpose: Movement and Expression

Another free but effective class you can take on Skillshare lasts for eight weeks and teaches you how to create characters purposefully. The program of the course was created by Swedish specialist Claudio Salas. Throughout his career, Claudio has worked for such industry leaders as Google, Apple, and The New York Times.

In this online class, Claudio Salas will teach you to tell real stories through your work. Apart from adding movement, you will be learning how to add expression to your arts, creating engaging, emotionally-driven characters.

The entire course is built around using Adobe After Effects. Thus, to get started, you will need access to this tool, and it is also preferred that you have at least a bit of experience with the software and its plugins.

Learn 3D Animation – The Ultimate NEW BLENDER 2.8 Course A-Z

If you are looking for something big, thorough, and suitable for beginners, this will be a good pick. It is one of Udemy’s best sellers in this category. It has already taught thousands of students and has a pretty high rating, which demonstrates student satisfaction. Thus, it is definitely worth giving it a try.

The main reason why we have this course on our list, is because it spans a wide range of topics, meanwhile helping you acquire strong skills and real, hands-on experience. In the process of learning, you will be working on a number of shared projects, but, at the end of your journey, you will also create your original masterpiece under the supervision of the tutor.

Unity Certified 3D Artist Specialization

Finally, if you are looking for a course that will give you all the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience, but also want it to make you a certified specialist, this could be a great choice.

Although many of the classes we mentioned above also give you an opportunity to get a certificate, this one is not the same. It is one of the official certification courses offered by the video game engine Unity. That is, it gives you a professional certificate that is recognized in the industry.

The duration of the course is about seven months if you can study two hours per week. The range of topics it covers includes character setup, script integration, asset creation, and more.

The Bottom Line

Of course, there are plenty of other options, but these ones are undoubtedly the best. Whether you are a beginner or already have a bit of experience and skills, the courses we shared here will definitely come in handy for honing your skills and raising the bar. Thus, be sure to check them out and use these opportunities to your benefit!


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