Art & Design

Animation Courses: Learn Animation

Considering a Course in Animation? 

The best way to learn more about animation is by doing one of the many animation courses currently available. Do you enjoy getting creative? Are you artistic? Do you like storytelling? Does the idea of manipulating figures to appear as moving images sound exciting to you? A career in animation may be perfect for you. An animation course will provide you with all the skills and knowledge necessary to work in animation. The good news is there are tons of animation courses currently available.

What is Animation? 

Animation, generally speaking, is the practice of photographing successive drawings, models or even puppets and manipulating them to move in a sequence. Animation works so well because our eyes can only retain an image for 1/16th of a second and because of this when numerous images appear in a quick succession, the brain blends all the images together into a single moving image. There are a number of different kinds of animation: traditional animation, 2D animation (vector-based), 3D animation, motion graphics and stop motion. 

A History of Animation 

It’s difficult to say when animation really began but it can be traced back to 1832 when the Phénakisticope was invented. This was the first widespread animation device that came into place and was invented by Joseph Plateau. It created a fluent illusion of motion and helped animation become what it is today. One of the oldest forms of animation in film is traditional animation sometimes called cel animation. In this form of animation, objects are drawn on celluloid transparent paper. Then, to create the sequence, the animator must draw every frame.  

This is the same mechanism as the flipbook although traditional animation is just on the grander side. This traditional form of animation is often 2D animation. Aladdin and The Lion King are great examples of this. However, not all 2D animation fits into the traditional form of animation. In the earlier years of traditional animation, animators would draw on a table that had a light inside it. This was so the creator could see their previous animation. Traditional animation is not as prevalent today, creators often draw their animations on tablets now. In addition, Disney has not used manual colouring in animation since the 1989 Little Mermaid.  

From this point, the other forms of animation emerged and today, the most common type of animation is 3D animation, also known as computer animation. In this form of animation, the creator uses a program to move the character’s body parts around. Then, they set their digital frames once the character is in the right position. They do this with every frame and the computer calculates these motions from each frame. Animators then adjust and tweak the curvatures and movements their characters make throughout. A great example of 3D animation is Toy Story from 1995. 

What Can You Expect to Learn in an Animation Course? 

The areas of study covered will all depend on what kind of animation course you choose. Whether you choose a part-time course to gain a diploma in animation or whether you decide to do a part-time third-level degree in animation, you can expect some overlap of the modules. You can expect to learn fundamental techniques such as scriptwriting and storytelling, character design and development, storyboarding, drawing and design for animation and camera and lighting techniques.  

If the course you choose is catered more toward game animation, you can expect to learn about the concepts specific to gaming animation like game logistics and level design. You will also learn animation hardware and software such as audio editing, image creation and editing, motion graphics, 3D animation, rendering, composition, lighting and texture, video editing and game creation. You will also learn how to use specific software’s in order to practically do animation and the types used can vary. If you want to know what software’s you will be taught, ask your course provider. 

If you are serious about doing an animation course, check out courses near you in the national course finder.  

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