Wondering how to become an animator from your home? We’ll take a look at the different types of animation and what you need to get started in each.
What Type of Animation Interests You?
When you think of animation, Disney and Pixar might come to mind. Throughout the history of those companies, they’ve utilized many different forms of animation. Early Disney films were hand-drawn cel animations, with each individual frame a unique piece of artwork. Think of films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarves or Sleeping Beauty.
Later, Disney and Pixar branched out into 3D animation, and films were made using rigged 3D character models and digital environments. Toy Story and Wall-E are examples of 3D animated movies.
In addition to these forms, there is also stop-motion animation and 2D animation. Stop-motion involved taking images of figures and changing their position ever-so-slightly to create the illusion of movement when the frames are played in quick succession (like The Nightmare Before Christmas).
Today’s 2D animation may sound like the cel animation of Disney’s old films, but 2D today uses computers to create the animation, instead of individually drawn images. Rick and Morty and Steven Universe are examples of this digital type of 2D animation.
Take some time to figure out which form of animation interests you the most or try your hand at all of them!
Software and Hardware
Depending on the type of animation you’re interested in, you’ll need different software to make it work. For 3D animation, Blender, Maya, and Cinema 4D are the biggest names. Blender is completely free, making it an amazing option for trying your hand at 3D animation, but Maya and Cinema 4D are currently considered more professional by industry standards.
If digital 2D animation is more your cup of tea, Toon Boom Harmony is an excellent option, along with Adobe Animate and Synfig Studio. For both 2D and 3D animation programs, the learning curve can be very steep. Look for tutorials on using the software and keep at it. In addition, many programs offer their own playlist of tutorials for your education.
For hand-drawn animation, you’re going to need a lot of paper. And pencils. And erasers. However, with modern technology, you can create hand-drawn animations digitally! Acquire a drawing tablet or an iPad, and start working. You can use a program like Rough Animator on your iPad or Krita on a computer.
With stop-motion, you’ll need a camera, tripod, something to photograph, and software like Stop Motion Pro Eclipse or Dragon frame to put it all together.
Once you’ve tackled those starting steps, you’re probably wondering what comes next. Well, it’s time for you to improve your craft! The best artists in the world are constantly working toward being even better, so you should, too.
Now that you know how to become an animator from your home, start learning some new tools so you can create Oscar-worthy art!