2D Character Animation Online Course

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Close up iPhone showing Udemy application and laptop with notebookIn today’s world of animation, 2D animation has maintained its popularity and importance. With the rise of technology and the increase in accessibility to online education, there are numerous options available for individuals seeking to learn 2D animation skills. As a result, finding the best online 2D animation course can be a daunting task. This article aims to assist individuals in selecting the best 2D animation course by providing an analysis of various online courses based on their features, quality, and overall effectiveness.

Here’s a look at the Best 2D Animation Courses and Certifications Online and what they have to offer for you!

2D Character Animation Online Course

1. After Effects Motion Graphics Beast by Alan Ayoubi (Udemy) (Our Best Pick)

The After Effects Motion Graphics Beast Course is designed for both beginners and advanced users who wish to improve their skills in animation and motion graphics in After Effects. The course covers the basics of After Effects and the principles of animation, as well as keyframes, graph editors, and various animation techniques. Participants will also learn about text and shape animation, morphing animation, modern data visualization, and advanced motion tracking. The course includes practice projects and four real projects, with step-by-step instructions and access to project files. Participants will have a portfolio of animation projects to showcase to potential clients. The course is divided into the Introduction, Basics of Adobe After Effects, Animation Principles and Types of Keyframes and Graph Editors, Shape Modifiers from A to Z, Text Animation, Animation Techniques, Practice with Real Projects, Bonus 1. Liquid Gradient Title Animation, Bonus 2. Modern Data Visualization in After Effects, Bonus 3. Advanced Motion Tracking & Call Out Titles in After Effect, and End sections.

2. After Effects CC: 2D Character Animation – Puppet & Rig by Louay Zambarakji (Udemy)

Course Title: After Effects CC: 2D Character Animation – Puppet & Rig Course
Instructors: Louay Zambarakji

This course provides a unique opportunity to learn 2D Character animation methods and techniques, focusing on Puppeteering and rigging characters and graphics in Adobe After Effects CC. The course covers the concepts and tools necessary to create full 2D Character animations in After Effects, making it an asset for anyone interested in working in this software.

Participants are taught to master the Puppeteering tool and couple it with the rigging method to create exciting animations. The course covers the concept of Puppeteering in After Effects, the Pin tool, Puppet Overlap Tool, and Puppet Starch tool. Through these tools, participants learn to stiffen certain areas and overlap others for smooth animation.

Acquiring the 2D Character Animation Skills is Essential and Important when you want to work in After Effects. This course covers the Puppeteering methods and techniques in After Effects and Master the three essential tools and all parameters that will make a character animate smoothly. Participants also learn how to use pro-plugin to rig their puppet to create forward kinetics that will allow them more control.

Participants learn how to use shape layers to rig complex shapes and animate them. With these fundamental techniques, animating a character, whether cartoon or photographic, is made easy and animations are created fast.

The course covers the Puppet Tool including the Puppet Pin and Mesh, Recording an Animation with Motion Sketching, smoothening animations, applying the Wiggler effect to a Puppet Pin, Keyframing Pins, and creating simple and complex animations.

In every Character, there will be a need to stiffen certain areas and overlap others, and the course covers these two aspects thoroughly. Rigging is a method of linking layers in Forward Kinetics and animating from base to extremity, which is also covered in full.

3. Cinematography for 2D Animation Essentials by 2D Animation 101 Courses (Udemy)

The Cinematography for 2D Animation Essentials course is designed for beginners who want to improve their shots and create an emotional connection with their audience. The course is instructed by 2D Animation 101 Courses and covers basic cinematography concepts that are often ignored in animation.

The course addresses the common problem of amateur animations being covered from only one camera angle due to a lack of knowledge or challenges in drawing different character angles. Good cinematography creates a more immersive experience for the audience and can evoke emotions that are necessary for storytelling.

The course covers several essential concepts in cinematography, including frame compositions, rule of thirds, camera angles, blocking characters, dialogue coverage, panning and tilting in 2D, camera movements, and parallax. By the end of the course, participants will be able to apply these concepts to improve their animation scenes significantly.

The course also includes three versions of a scene: the amateur version, a more sophisticated version that includes over-the-shoulder shots, and the best version that includes camera movements. Participants will be able to learn how to bring everything together to create the best possible shot.

Overall, the Cinematography for 2D Animation Essentials course offers a broad range of cinematography concepts that any animator should be familiar with to create a more engaging and emotional experience for their audience.

4. The Complete Spine Game Rigging & Animation Course by Jaysen Batchelor (Udemy)

The Complete Spine Game Rigging & Animation Course is designed to teach students how to create top-quality game animations using Spine Animation software. The course is suitable for beginners and those with some experience in game animation. The course aims to equip students with the skills to create professional animations for mobile apps or HTML games.

The course comprises six sections and takes approximately one week to complete. Students will create four different projects over the course, starting with basic Photoshop tools and animation concepts, building up to creating a character in Photoshop, rigging the character in Spine, and animating a run cycle.

The course includes over four hours of content, quizzes, and exercise worksheets. Students will receive lifetime access to the course materials and personal support from the tutor via the Udemy Q&A section or direct message. The course also includes a full money-back guarantee within the first 30 days of purchasing.

Overall, the Complete Spine Game Rigging & Animation Course is an excellent resource for anyone looking to acquire or improve their skills in game animation.

5. 2D Animation in Moho from Basic to Advanced by 2D Animation 101 Courses (Udemy)

The 2D Animation in Moho from Basic to Advanced course, offered by 2D Animation 101 Courses, aims to teach students how to apply the principles of animation to create an organic walk cycle for their characters. Students will learn how to use Smith Micro’s Moho for character animation, and the instructor will explain the interface and different panels of the workspace, as well as how to start a new project with recommended settings. Pre-made characters that are already rigged are also available for students to use for inspiration or practice.

The course covers importing images for character tracing, working with layers, and editing drawings. Students will also learn about cut-out animation, a technique that allows for faster animation, and how to use bones to set up characters for quick animation. Additionally, the course includes a tutorial on how to rig a character, followed by instruction on advanced character animation with a focus on creating an organic walk cycle that incorporates principles of animation to add personality and realism to characters.

Overall, the course is designed to help students improve their 2D animation skills and create engaging characters for animation projects.

6. 2D Animation Essentials in Moho & Anime Studio by 2D Animation 101 Courses, McCoy Buck (Udemy)

The 2D Animation Essentials in Moho & Anime Studio course is designed to help beginners learn how to create their own character animations using the Moho & Anime Studio software. The course is taught by 2D Animation 101 Courses and McCoy Buck, and is divided into three sections: Introduction, Drawing Tools, and Animation. The course provides a brief overview of the software interface, and covers how to draw using the Add Points Tool, Curvature Tool, Transform Tool, and Shape Tools. It also delves into working with layers, using a camera in Anime Studio, and making an animation of a scene.

The course is structured to help students learn how to use the Moho & Anime Studio software effectively, as many beginners may struggle with the software and lose interest in animation. The course aims to provide students with a strong foundation to make their own animation, and includes video training, quizzes, and exercises. The exercises can take from a couple of minutes to an hour, depending on the student’s learning skills and how well they remember the lessons.

The course is divided into three sections: Introduction, Drawing Tools, and Animation. The first section provides a brief overview of the interface and how to set the project settings. The second section covers the different tools used to draw in Anime Studio as well as techniques to manipulate and transform the drawings. The third section goes through how to make an animation of a scene. The course provides a comprehensive introduction to Moho & Anime Studio, and aims to help students master the essentials in a short amount of time.

Overall, the 2D Animation Essentials in Moho & Anime Studio course is an excellent choice for beginners who want to learn how to create their own character animations. The course provides a strong foundation in the Moho & Anime Studio software, and includes video training, quizzes, and exercises to ensure that students learn the techniques and tools covered in the course.

7. 2D Animation With No Drawing Skills in AE by 2D Animation 101 Courses (Udemy)

The 2D Animation With No Drawing Skills in AE course, offered by 2D Animation 101 Courses, teaches students how to create and animate characters using body language in After Effects. The course is divided into three parts: theory, rigging, and animation. The theory section covers the secrets of animation with no drawing skills, creating interesting characters, and other essential principles. The rigging section features tutorials on how to rig a character step by step, while the animation section teaches students how to animate body language for simple characters.

To achieve simple animations, students must understand shapes, body language, emotional expression, character relationships, and what makes a good story. A character only needs a body, arms, legs, and a mouth, with eyes being optional. The course aims to help anyone interested in animation to start practicing with simple projects and characters while exploring the expressiveness of body language and character acting.

Drawing skills are not essential to animation, though they can help improve it. Understanding basic principles like timing, anticipation, and pose to pose is more important. The course demonstrates these concepts and how to achieve great body language while a character is talking.

Students who sign up for the course receive lifetime access to all the lessons, downloadable project files, access to student discussions, step by step in-depth explanations, printable workbooks, and full HD video tutorials. The course covers everything from theory to practice, including character emotion, design, project planning, rigging tutorials, technical tips, and animation tutorials.

8. Mastering 2D Animation by Tony White (Udemy)

The Mastering 2D Animation course, taught by award-winning animator Tony White, consists of 29 online tutorials that cover the core principles and techniques of 2D animation. The course includes extensive text-based lectures and over 4 hours of over-the-shoulder, apprentice-style video tutorials. Students will learn both hand-drawn and digital animation techniques.

Each tutorial offers a comprehensive, step-by-step approach to instruction, with a focus on the core principles of movement that can be applied to all forms of animation. While the digital elements of the course are demonstrated using ToonBoom Studio, students are advised to obtain a rudimentary knowledge of the software before studying the digital aspects in this course.

Tony White believes that an apprenticeship style of teaching is the best way to learn animation and that the instruction offered by many for-profit animation schools and colleges is inadequate. Drawing from his own apprenticeship experiences with three master animators, White has crafted a series of courses that are knowledgeable, accessible, and perfect for home-based studies.

The course content includes a brief history of 2D animation, establishing a studio to work with, the traditional process of 2D animation, tutorials on bouncing balls and the generic walk using both hand-drawn and digital techniques, advice on inbetweening, and testing your knowledge. The course concludes with final advice for apprentices and guidance on what to do next.

9. Dynamic 2D video game character animation with free tools by István Szép (Udemy)

The Dynamic 2D video game character animation with free tools course is instructed by István Szép. The course teaches students how to design and animate characters for their game using Inkscape and DragonBones. Inkscape is an open-source vector illustration software that allows for versatile character design. DragonBones is a free 2D skeletal animation program that allows for easy character part importing, bone system creation, and animation. The course covers designing a character, exporting the character for use with DragonBones, building the skeletal structure, creating and using meshes for soft body animation, and creating basic animations such as idle, walk, attack, and die. The course is mostly focused on DragonBones, and it is recommended that students have some basic Inkscape knowledge prior to starting the course. The course offers students the opportunity to ask questions and seek guidance throughout the animation process.

10. A complete guide to OpenToonz & Tahoma2D for 2D animation by Darren T (Udemy)

The A Complete Guide to OpenToonz & Tahoma2D for 2D Animation course is designed for individuals who have an interest in digital animation but may not have prior experience or may not want to spend money on animation programs. The course covers the fundamentals of traditional-style animation using OpenToonz and Tahoma2D, which are free software programs. The course instructor, Darren T, aims to make animation accessible to everyone and provides 130 lessons, demonstrations, exercises, and downloads for each project. The course is almost 11 hours long and covers topics such as installation, setup, walk-through of the layout, understanding projects and scenes, drawing tools, working with color, and rendering animation.

The course begins with an introduction to both programs, including installation, setup, and understanding the layout. It then delves into the differences between drawings, frames, levels, and columns, followed by a detailed look at the viewer and timeline/xsheet. The course covers all the drawing tools and how to use them, as well as working with color and using gradients and special fills. The camera is also covered, including how to place it, move it, and what the settings mean. Finally, the course includes a full demo of an animation exercise.

The course has received positive feedback from students who found it informative, well-organized, and easy to follow. The course is well-paced and includes a comprehensive guide on OpenToonz, explaining the various mechanics of the software and concepts thoroughly. The course also provides setup for the environment for 2D animation, which is rarely talked about in other user-created tutorials. The supplemental support through the DarrenT discord server is also highly regarded, as it provides an active community to assist in learning animation and development. Students have been able to produce their own animated videos, meet their animation goals, and recommend the course to others.