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9 Best Online Animation Courses For Beginners & Pros (2023 Rankings)

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By Scott Winstead

best online animation courses

With the best online animation courses, you can build the skills you need to build a successful career as an animator.

Animation is always an in-demand field, with new opportunities opening up all the time.

Whether you want to work in film, television, video games, or advertising, a good animation education is essential.

But how can you start?

The good news is, you don’t need to go back to school to get a great education in animation. And with the cost of college tuition increasing at over 5 times the rate of inflation, that truly is fantastic news.

These days, there are plenty of online courses that can teach you all the animation skills you need to pursue a career in the field.

Online animation courses are way more affordable than traditional college classes. Plus, you can take most online classes at your own pace and on your own schedule, so you can fit them into your busy life.

And you can take online classes from wherever you want — at home,  during a coffee break, while traveling. The possibilities are endless!

So, if you’re interested in becoming an animator, why not start today by taking an online animation class? It could be the first step to a rewarding and fulfilling career.

Of course, there’s no shortage of online classes in animation, and not all of them are created equal. You want to make sure the courses you choose have excellent content, are taught by true animation industry experts, offer pre-recorded video lessons that are well produced and easy to access, and are affordable.

That’s where we can help.

We’ve reviewed and ranked the best online animation courses available in 2023 based on content, instructors, student reviews, and cost.

Whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced animator, there’s a course on this list for you.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost for you, we might get a commission if you click the link and purchase.


What are the Best Online Animation Classes?

Here are our picks for the top animation courses online in 2023…

1. Simple Character Animation (Skillshare)

Simple Character Animation (Skillshare) Simple Character Animation (Skillshare)

Learn the basics of bringing your characters to life in this online animation class taught by BAFTA Award-winning director and animator Fraser Davidson.

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Award-winning director and animator Fraser Davidson has collaborated with numerous international sports organizations, including the NCAA, Fox Sports, ESPN, and many more.

Davidson will take you through this course to learn the step-by-step process of how to create a character through walk-cycle animation.

This course is targeted toward those who are ready to take their doodles off the paper and onto the screen. You’ll learn the basics of character animations, including things like shape layers, paths, masks, key framing, and key frame velocity.

Once you have created your character you will then learn how to share it as GIF. Perfect for impressing friends and family.

After taking this Skillshare course, you’ll be able to design amusing and accurate character movements by utilizing programs like Illustrator and After Effects.

Skillshare pricing is very affordable, and there’s even a free 30-day trial.

Our Skillshare review is worth a look if you want to learn more about everything they offer.

Click here to try Skillshare free for 30 days.


2. Professional Character Animation (Skillshare)

Professional Character Animation Made Easy (Skillshare) Professional Character Animation Made Easy (Skillshare)

This online course will teach you how to quickly and easily design characters in After Effects so you can bring your ideas to life.

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If you can create characters but feel like they never turn out like your favorite shows, then the Professional Character Animation course is for you.

In 9 lessons you will learn how to use the different elements of After Effects to create professional, life-like characters.

Led by professional animator Jared Freitag, this course is for those looking to expand their knowledge of animation.

Whether it is a hobby or a career, this course will help you learn how to turn your graphics into motion pictures in just a few short clicks! Well, maybe more than a few.

You may not receive a certificate to show off your skills but your animation projects are sure to excel afterward.

Click here to try Skillshare free for 30 days.


3. Intro To Motion Graphics: Explainer Videos From Storyboard To Animation (Skillshare)

Intro to Motion Graphics: Explainer Videos From Storyboard to Animation (Skillshare) Intro to Motion Graphics: Explainer Videos From Storyboard to Animation (Skillshare)

Learn how to create and animate explainer videos from concept to creation in this course from motion designer Hongshu Guo, a "Top Teacher" on Skillshare.

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As the world of animation continues to develop and progress, it can be easy to think you need to know everything at once. This Intro To Motion Graphics course by Skillshare is the perfect way to learn the basics.

This 3-hour long course contains 16 instructional videos on how to make explainer videos. From there you can begin to market yourself as a more skilled animator.

Learn to think of your own storyboards and animate transitions between scenes.

You will also learn loads of keyboard shortcuts and tricks to help increase your workflow. Perfect for a working animator.

Anyone interested in learning the professional workflow for creating an explainer film, entering the field of motion design, or including animation in their graphic design and illustration should take this beginning course.

Click here to try Skillshare free for 30 days.


4. Pixel Art For Video Games (Coursera)

Learn from field-leading experts, Andrew Dennis and Ricardo Guimaraes, about the skills and techniques of developing pixel art for video games.

This course has been designed for novice animators who are working to learn the basic tools and knowledge for developing simple art for video games.

Pixel art has a highly distinctive aesthetic that might be primarily seen in the video game business. It nonetheless investigates the aesthetics of shapes, color theory, and the overall structure of animation.

Whether you are a game designer, programmer, or are simply interested in design art for video games, this online animation course will support you in defining your style and bringing it to life on the screen.

Taking an average of 9 hours of study time, you can learn from these industry-recognized names at your own pace without leaving the comfort of your home.

The Coursera pricing model lets you audit classes at no cost. However, if you want to earn a certificate for completing the course, you’ll need to pay a fee.

Our Coursera Plus review takes an in-depth look at the popular course website.

Try this course free.


5. Interactive Computer Graphics (Coursera)

This free animation course is perfect for beginners wanting to learn more about the world of interactive computer graphics. Or more commonly known as GIF’s.

Ever wondered how they make the little dog dance? Well, this course is how you can find out. You will learn through a series of instructional videos, readings, and quizzes to help develop your knowledge and skills.

From understanding the graphical user interfaces to real-world interactions between humans and robots, this class covers it all.

This comprehensive course is definitely worth completing whether you are experienced in the world of computer graphics or are just now learning what a GIF is!

Click here to try this course free.


6. Create A Promotional Video Using Canva (Coursera)

Canva is a great tool for creating presentations, social media graphics, and even promotional videos. All you need to know is how to do it!

This Coursera course shows you step by step how you can create professional quality animated promotional videos through Canva. You will learn how to script promotional videos and how to make the video more aesthetically appealing.

This project-based course is perfect for beginners or those wanting to perfect their promotional video-making skills that can then be shared on social media.

The same abilities may be applied to producing promotional videos for any firm or industry, including real estate, banking, and healthcare.

All you need is a Canva account and a passion for professional, fun promotional videos.

Get started free with this course now.


7. Maya For Beginners (Udemy)

Autodesk Maya is one of the more basic software to learn which is perfect for beginners of 3D animation.

Whether you are looking to enter the film or gaming industry, or just want a fun hobby, this course is fun, simple, and interesting and will teach you 3D computer animation techniques to create scenes and characters.

You will learn from a Hollywood-trained instructor to understand the fundamentals of building 3D models using a variety of textures, lighting, and dynamics.

As you advance through this course you will work on a scene inspired by Dia de Los Muertos. Allowing you to create your own personal style.

By the time you finish this course, you will be able to create stunning 3D visuals that can be shared with the world or even used for professional projects.

This Udemy course is slowly becoming a necessity for aspiring animators as the use of Autodesk Maya becomes more popular.

Our Udemy pricing guide has more details on how their plans work.

Check out our Udemy review to learn more.

Click here to learn more about this course.


8. Introduction To Adobe After Effects (FMC Training Network)

An effective tool for adding animations and special effects to videos is Adobe After Effects. From straightforward cuts and pastes to more intricate compositing and 3D rendering, it offers a wide range of features.

You can utilize Adobe After Effects if you already have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

This will give you access to other software such as Photoshop and Illustrator, all of which are important throughout the animation process.

This course is a terrific method to master the fundamentals of After Effects, regardless of whether you’re an experienced artist or just getting started with an animation application.

Introduction to Adobe After Effects is taught by an expert in their field where you will learn everything from the interface to keyframe animation. Watch your skills flourish with this online course.


9. Motion 101: An Introduction To Motion 5 (FMC Training)

Interested in learning more about Apple’s Motion? Motion 101: Introduction to Motion 5 is the perfect entry-level course.

Apple’s Motion 5 is a very quick and simple animation program for making titles, motion graphics, and visual effects. Through this course, you will learn with step-by-step instructions how to use the most important features.

Topics such as timelines, keyframes, export options, and effects will all be covered through the in-depth guide. You will also be provided helpful tips to get the most out of the Motion 5 software.

If you are looking to master the art of Motion 5 then this 6-lesson course is a must. Learn through interactive instruction to ensure you are developing your skills the right way.


Final Thoughts on the Best Online Animation Courses

The world of animation can be diverse and difficult to navigate. Especially as a beginner. Completing an animation course can aid in building your confidence and skills to propel you through the industry.

Learn how to use the necessary tools, from industry-recognized instructors all from the comfort of your own home. It’s like having your own animation mentor on demand.

Whether you are interested in learning animation for games, film, TV, or even typography, there is a course for developing your skills.

Above are some of the very best online animation courses for beginners and pros alike to enhance your knowledge and bring your incredible ideas to life on the screen.

Start learning today!

Have any questions about our guide to the best online animation courses? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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