Discover the Best Online Animation Courses of 2021

Would you like to know which animation programs will help you start your career? We compiled a comprehensive guide featuring the best online animation courses of 2021. You can apply your artistic skills in a tech job with one of these education tracks.

What Is Animation?

Animation is the creation of a moving image using drawings or digital renderings. Animators create worlds and characters to tell stories through films or game design. If you are good at drawing and want to become a video game designer or animation production designer, taking an animation course is a great choice.

There are five different types of animation. There is traditional animation, 2D animation, 3D animation, motion graphics, and stop motion. To develop skills in any of these key areas, you should sign up for one of the best animation courses in 2021.

Breakdown: The Top 10 Online Animation Courses

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The top online animation courses will help you start your career in animation. Learning how to draw creatively in 2D and 3D is not as easy as many think. Experts in the field have years of experience and education under their belt.

Below are some basic facts about the best online programs in animation. Note that prices are subject to change.

Provider and Course Certificate Length Price
Animation Mentor
Animation Basics
No 12 weeks $2,499
Introduction to 3D Animation
No 11 weeks $1,620
The Art of Aaron Blaise
Complete Animation Course
No Self-paced $10
Chris Krisbaum
Character Animation: Fundamentals
Yes 170 minutes $49
Character Setup and Animation
Yes 9 hours Free
Creative Coding
Yes 14 weeks $249
3D Character Animation
No 11 weeks $1,698 per workshop
LinkedIn Learning
Introducing Blender 2.8 for Beginners
Yes 1 hour $44
12 Principles of Animation
for Games in Maya
No 2.5 hours $12.99
Learn 3D Animation –
The Ultimate Blender Guide
No 26.5 hours $12.99

What Can I Learn in an Animation Course?

In an animation course, you will learn the basics of drawing, video editing, animation tools, and more. Some courses offer specializations to help you learn specific skills. These include game design, 2D and 3D animation, computer graphics, and texturing techniques.

The Best Animation Courses of 2021

The Best Animation Courses of 2021

The best animation courses in 2021 will take you through all the topics mentioned above. Check out the detailed list below to launch your career.

Animation Basics | Animation Mentor

Subjects Covered: Animation basics, body mechanics, feature animation acting

In this beginner-friendly course, you will learn all the fundamental topics to start your career in animation. The course will teach you critical skills and principles like how to create a walk cycle. This will help you convey different emotions through your characters. You will also master more skills by animating bouncing balls with different weights.

Key Takeaway: This interactive course is a great place to start if you want to launch your animation career.

Introduction to 3D Animation | AnimSchool

Subjects Covered: Playblasting, curve cycling, graph editing, autokey framing

The 3D animation course features two different parts. The classes will equip you with the proper skills to be eligible for a certificate of completion. To gain acceptance into the program, you must first complete the animation track classes or provide your own reel. This school also offers financial aid options.

Key Takeaway: If you’re interested in the basics of 3D animation, this course can help you learn in only 11 weeks.

Complete Animation Course | The Art of Aaron Blaise

Subjects Covered: Animation fundamentals, scene approach, 2D animation

Aaron Blaise is the creator of famous movies like Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, and The Lion King. He created a comprehensive curriculum to help students grasp the fundamentals of animation. His course features his own animation approach, which will help you learn the best practices in the industry.

You will cover all 12 principles of animation as well as TVPaint source files. In addition to purchasing the complete course, you will receive videos, PDFs, and original drawings. With over 20 downloadable HD video tutorials, you can work your way to a position in the animation industry.

Key Takeaway: You can learn from an industry expert in this comprehensive animation course.

Character Animation: Fundamentals | Chris Krisbaum

Subjects Covered: Maya, character fundamentals

Chris Krisbaum is a character animator working at DreamWorks. He has seen to completion Over the Hedge, Kung Fu Panda, and Shark Tale. In this lecture, Krisbaum will help you master Maya, a software used in character animation.

You will learn the basics of film-style character animation with Maya. By the end of the class, you will be able to create a character from scratch.

Key Takeaway: You can hone your character animation skills with this free course from Chris Krisbaum of DreamWorks.

Character Setup and Animation | Coursera

Subjects Covered: 3D modeling, Unity, product development

This is an excellent course if you want adequate training to join the animation industry. It will help you prepare to attain the Unity Certified 3D certification. This course will help you transition into animation if you are already a programmer.

As part of the program, you will complete a series of challenges to learn the main topics covered in the exam. The sci-fi-themed adventure sessions will help you develop the right skillset to animate and style realistic characters. The instructor will also cover Unity’s Collaborate service, which is used for version control.

Key Takeaway: You can learn everything you need to know about animation with Unity in this interactive, sci-fi-themed course.

Creative Coding | edX

Subjects Covered: Color, variables, looping, 2D drawing, JavaScript

For about ten hours each week, you will learn the best practices for designing software for creative purposes. The instructor will also teach you the basics of computational thinking. You will learn problem-solving skills, cultural literacy, and conceptualizing authentic creative works.

By the end of the class, you will be able to design and create an interactive experience for the web. As part of the course, you will also learn how to use JavaScript to design applications creatively.

Key Takeaway: If you want to learn to code in an artistic context, this course is the best way to do it.

3D Character Animation | iAnimate

Subjects Covered: Principles of animation, paths of actions, body mechanics

This 11-week course will take you through seven different workshops to equip you with industry-led skills. The school designed each workshop to help you learn how to create believable animation for different audiences worldwide.

In addition to the training sessions, the school also provides additional content to finesse your skills. You can attend the weekly webinar that attracts professionals from all over the world. Here you will learn about different approaches to animation and access live sessions with industry professionals.

Key Takeaway: This course from iAnimate is a great choice if you already know animation basics and want to dive into the 3D world.

Introducing Blender 2.8 for Beginners | LinkedIn Learning

Subjects Covered: Sculpting, 3D animation, rendering, 3D animation, VFX

This is a great course to cover 2D and 3D modeling, compositing, and post-production. The beginner-level course will give you an excellent approach to Blender 2.8. The instructor will help you learn sculpting, texturing, shading, and dynamic simulations, which are the basis of character development in animation.

During these sessions, you will learn the best practices for creating animation on different platforms. Whether you want to launch your career in the gaming industry or film industry, this is the right course for you.

Key Takeaway: This course from LinkedIn Learning is a great way to learn how to use Blender online.

12 Principles of Animation for Games in Maya | Udemy

Subjects Covered: Anticipation, timing and spacing, arcs, solid drawing

If you want to learn the guidelines for creating dynamic animations, you should enroll in this Udemy course. The instructor will teach the entire course using Maya. If you have good knowledge of software, you should consider this class to advance your gaming skills.

This is a beginner-friendly class, so anyone with or without experience can join and successfully learn animation with ease. This online course costs $19.99 normally. However, you can sometimes find it on sale for only $12.99.

Key Takeaway: If you want to learn how to animate games in Maya, this course from Udemy is the best way to learn the basics.

Learn 3D Animation - The Ultimate Blender Guide | Udemy

Subjects Covered: 3D graphics, cartoon creation, modeling, Blender simulations

If you are curious about 3D animation, you should consider signing up for this Udemy course. Here you will learn basic and advanced skills for creating and designing characters. This beginner-friendly course will take you through proper training to succeed in the industry.

As 3D animation is getting more and more popular, online course providers are designing programs to train students in design. Udemy features more than 100 lectures to help you learn 3D graphics and discover more about Blender.

Key Takeaway: You can learn Blender and 3D animation in one of many affordable courses from Udemy.

Professional Animation Certificate Programs

Professional Animation Certificate Programs

There are no certifications for animation, but there are many certificate programs. Although they are not professional certifications, these programs are fantastic at equipping students with the proper skills to navigate the industry.

Read on to see which of these two certificate programs is most suitable for you.

Animation & Production Design | Bennington College

Bennington College combines visual and performing arts in its animation program to bring out the creativity in students. This certificate program will cover Maya, Photoshop, Premier, and Adobe After Effects. It is a great choice if you want to eventually move up in the industry.

Animation & Motion Media | Lesley University

This is an exceptional part-time or full-time certificate course in animation. Lesley University provides the certificate to help students realize their creativity and achieve their dreams. Studying at the institution means you will gain real-world experience to start your career successfully.

How Much Can I Earn as an Animator?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, multimedia artists and animators earn a mean salary of $78,230. The highest-paid practitioners in the field earn $124,310 and above. The salary is also subject to change depending on your location and experience.

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Average salary


Top salary


Should You Learn Animation in 2021?

Yes, you should learn animation in 2021. If you would like to increase your levels of creativity and start earning a great salary, this would be a fantastic career choice. Once you learn animation, you will increase your chances of employment by a huge margin.

If you want a career in film, an animation course would be the best bet. Once you learn animation, you can become a web designer, animator, motion graphics artist, storyboard artist, game artist, layout artist, game animator, or effects animator. If you like an endless list of career options, this is an excellent path.

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