Beginner · Specialization · 3-6 Months
Animation is a visual medium dealing with the manipulation of still drawings, models, or objects to create the illusion of motion. This manipulation consists of incremental movements that are then rapidly sequenced to make the artwork mimic various actions.
Animation is important to learn not only for entertainment purposes, such as those in film or gaming, but also in education and healthcare. It’s an engaging way to teach young children core concepts. Three-dimensional (3D) animation in particular is beneficial in the healthcare industry for creating visuals that convey complex medical scenarios to doctors, students, and patients.
According to Animation Career Review, budding Animators must consider the variables when it comes to job expectations, such as industry, location, type/size of company, and how much experience they may or may not already have. In the U.S., salaries can greatly depend on these factors, but top paying industries include: Motion Picture and Video, Computer Systems Design, Software Publishers, Advertising, and others. On the other hand, Animators interested in Biomedical Visualization can expect to make an average of $84,417 per year in the U.S.
The versatility of Animation can lend itself to a bevy of career options, with titles such as 3D Modeler, Art Director, Film and Video Editor, Flash Animator, Graphic Designer, Stop Motion Animator, Video Game Designer, Background Painter, Cartoonist, Character Animator, Concept Artist, Forensic Animator, Storyboard Artist, Texture Artist, and a wide array of others.
Animation courses offered through Coursera equip learners with knowledge in programming 3D objects; creating storyboards; building 3D games; using interactive tools developed in the computer-graphics research field; understanding famous character designers; analyzing visualization techniques and methods in biomedical science; and more.
Lessons on Animation are taught by instructors from major universities, including University of Glasgow, California Institute of the Arts, The University of Tokyo, Duke University, and other institutions. Learners can enjoy exploring Animation with instructors specializing in Computer Science; Information Engineering; Character Animation; Medical, Veterinary, and Life Science; and various other disciplines. Course content on Animation is delivered via video lectures, readings, quizzes, demos, hands-on projects, and other types of assignments.
The skills and experience you may need to have already before studying animation include having a creative mind with the ability to pay attention to the smallest details, some drawing or other artistic ability, and feeling comfortable working on a computer. Having a familiarity with computer graphics software and computer programming may also help you learn animation as well as learning how to create animated 3D movies. If you have some basic graphic design skills, they'll also be helpful. Another set of skills you may want to have to learn animation is the knowledge of color theory so you can understand the use of colors to express and communicate various emotions or feelings.
The kind of person best suited to learn animation is someone who may want to become a game developer artist, an animator, or visual effects artist for a variety of media including film or television, or a digital or graphics designer for the internet. Someone who may do well learning animation might also be able to work both independently and on a team. Often animators must work with a team of other animators or creative colleagues on projects. Someone learning animation will need to be able to handle feedback from directors, other animator team members, game designers, and clients and then edit their work to comply with those requests. Another characteristic of someone who may be well suited to learn animation is patience. That’s because creating animation is a labor-intensive process in order to capture the details that go into each character and setting frame to frame.
Learning animation may be right for you if you feel compelled to express your creativity using computer programs to create illustrations used on various media or platforms. It may be right for you if you want to learn how to design and develop game worlds and gameplay for video games, from concept to presentation. Studying animation is also a good idea if you plan to enter the virtual reality field where interactive animation and character animation and design are important to know. Studying animation may be beneficial for you to learn if you plan to become a 3D artist working on various platforms that require certification, such as Unity.