3d & animation

6 Online Professional Animation Courses for Beginners

Learn 2D and 3D animation techniques, character design, typography, and more from top professionals

When Pixar released its much-loved animated film Toy Story back in 1995, 3D illustration was far from being mainstream. In fact, the studio took a big gamble with the film... and it paid off. Toy Story grossed more than $300 million and paved the way for a new market that continues to expand today.

If we look back at the different uses of animation that we’ve seen since then, 3D language has become a standard format for telling infinite stories, from television series to video games, coming on in leaps and bounds as technology has evolved.

3D language has become a standard format for telling infinite stories, from television series to video games.

To help you on your way to becoming a professional animator, we have made a list of courses sharing all the basics, taught by renowned professionals.

These courses will cover a range of digital illustration techniques, 3D animation, animated typography, and much more. To learn more about what each course offers, just click on its title in red.


3D Creature Design with ZBrush and Photoshop, a course by Rowena Frenzel

The natural world is a great source of inspiration, even when it comes to creating fantasy characters. 3D artist Rowena Frenzel looks to nature when designing imaginary animals that each have their own unique stories. She creates three-dimensional creatures for video games and board games, and shares them on Instagram for her 30K+ followers to enjoy.

In this course, Rowena guides you through the process of creating, coloring, posing, and rendering 3D animals of your own using ZBrush and Photoshop. Get inspired and bring the creatures that live inside your imagination to life in front of you.


Expressive Typography in Motion with After Effects, a course by Mat Voyce

Letters can say so much more than words in the world of typography, especially when animation is thrown into the mix. Graphic and motion designer Mat Voyce is known for his expressive typography, which he transforms into fun animations. He’s collaborated with the likes of Netflix, Disney+, Adobe, and the BBC.

In this course, dive into the world of animation and learn how to bring typography to life. Mat will teach you to express an idea, a quote, or a phrase by creating an original design in Illustrator and animating it in After Effects.


Dynamic Animation with 2D and 3D Illustration, a course by Advntr Studio

Digital illustration allows you to express the artistic world within you, a world you can bring to life by combining illustration and animation. Willie and Jill from Advntr Studio (@advntr) will teach you how to do just that: create captivating animations.

In this course, you'll discover the secrets of animation and learn how to use editing programs to tell a unique story. Willie and Jill will guide you creating an illustration on paper, which you will then digitize and animate using After Effects, Cinema 4D, and Octane Render.


Creative 3D Animation in Blender, a course by Paulo Filipe Souza

In 3D animation, Look Dev, also known as look development, is the magical moment where the project really takes shape and details are defined, such as lighting, shadows, and unique textures. 3D artist and art director Paulo Filipe Souza (@pfsouza), who has worked for major agencies such as Africa DDB, Wunderman Thompson, and W/McCann, understands the importance of every detail.

In this course, you will learn how to tell a story through 3D animation, giving it a professional look and feel using Blender. Under Paulo's guidance, you will explore the program's main tools and produce unique 3D visuals from start to finish.


Loop Animation with Mixed Illustration Techniques, a course by Itsacat&Goodog

Get to grips with everything 2D and digital animation has to offer and create an expressive piece full of personality. Illustrator Catarina Alves and motion designer Jonas Nunes, founders of the Itsacat studio and Goodog studio, will guide you through their processes. Together they have produced animations for major clients including Amazon, BMW, Nike, Nestlé, and Torres.

In this course, you will learn to produce a loop animation combining 2D and 3D techniques. Catarina and Jonas will guide you through the necessary tools for illustrating, animating, modelling, and transforming various creative languages into one unique animation.


Stop Motion: Create Animations with Your Smartphone, a course by Coke Riobóo y Lourdes Villagómez

Stop motion is a great way to get to grips with hand-drawn animations and produce original and entertaining results. All you need is a smartphone camera and some everyday objects (such as plasticine, paper, food, clothes, and, of course, imagination!) to bring your ideas to life. Learn how to create the illusion of movement and share your story with the world on social media.

Animators Coke Riobóo and Lourdes Villagómez (@cokeylourdes) will unveil their tricks for recording and editing video with your smartphone using stop motion techniques. Thanks to apps such as Stop Motion Studio and YouCut, you will be able to transform your everyday objects into animated protagonists.

Did you enjoy this list of animation and illustration courses and want to learn more? Check out these similar courses.

You may also like:

- Essential Animation Shortcuts for Adobe Animate and Photoshop 2021
- 7 Free Tutorials to Improve Your Animation Skills
- 5 Free Apps for Video Game Creators (Who Can’t Program)
- Adobe Photoshop for Concept Art, a course by Nacho Yagüe
- Introduction to Unity for 2D Video Games, a course by Juan Diego Vázquez Moreno

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