Do you love animated characters? Do you watch a lot of animation movies? Do you feel animated movies convey deep messages to the world? Do you want to learn animation? If so, this article is for you.
In this article, we will discuss animation, the different types of animation, and the steps involved in animating images.
Before that, which is the best animation software as of 2020? Is animation something that even beginners can learn? Are there any free animation courses available? Let’s find out…!
What is animation? What do you mean by animation software?
The animation is designing and drawing a series of cartoon images and bringing them to life by applying motion graphics and visual effects. An animation software displays the drawn cartoon images one by one (frame by frame).
There is a slight difference in the position of the cartoon characters in each image. The animation software displays the drawn cartoon images so fast that they perceive that they’re moving. This technique is called motion graphics.
Then colors, expressions, and visual effects are added to the cartoon images, and they are synchronized with the appropriate dialogues (audio) to “bring them to life.” Animation software is used to make an animation film like ‘Finding Nemo,’ ‘Shrek,’ ‘Aladin,’ ‘Finding Dory,’ ‘Toy Story,’ etcetera.
How to learn animation for free? Three things you must know while learning animation.
If you’re going to any professional course to learn animation, you must pay the tuition fee as no person does stuff for free these days. There are, however, a lot of free animation courses on YouTube.
Some of them are meant for beginners in animation, and others are meant for pros in animation. You can select and follow the appropriate YouTube channel for you.
If you want to become a great animation designer, you must follow these animation designing principles. They are:
1. Do not overload your audience.
When you’re making an animated film, do not overload your audience’s senses with complicated-looking characters and swift movements because the human brain can process only a certain amount of information at a time.
Keep your animated characters simple looking and their movements easy to understand so that people can appreciate your animation film quickly, and it’ll be a hit at the box office.
2. Make your animation film meaningful
Your animation film should bring out a message not easily noticed in day to day life, and it should bring the news out so that people remember it for a long time. In other words, “It should touch people’s hearts or make them laugh hard.”
3. Pair your animation with the appropriate dialogues
In animation films, there must be a perfect sync between the audio and the video (visuals and dialogues) to deliver the right message to the audience and to make your animation film sensible. Otherwise, your animation film will be a pain to watch, people will start “booing” early on in your movie, and your animation film will be a flop.
What is a video animation? Five best-animated videos made on animation software for free.
An animated video is a video that makes use of animation to convey a message to its viewers. Animated videos can be used in animation films, or they can be used to advertise a product, like Vodafone’s ZooZoo ads.
They are the most popular animated films of all time, each carrying a unique message.
1. Snowwhite and the seven dwarfs
This popular animation film conveys that one should befriend animals and live in harmony with nature as animals have feelings and can feel pain.
2. The Lion King
This famous animation film showed that one should be humble as a ruler (or a person in power) and caring for his subjects (or people who come under one’s position or jurisdiction). Only then will you truly be respected and loved by people under him or her.
3. Toy Story
I’m sure that many of you would have seen this movie. This movie demonstrated the essential tasks people can achieve by working together as a ‘team.’ The meaning of the word team is ‘Together Everybody Achieves More.’
This movie was recently released. It’s moral was that one should pursue one’s ambitions no matter what obstacles come in one’s way. After all, fortune favors the brave. The movie also demonstrated one’s duties towards one’s ancestors.
5. Finding Nemo
I’m sure that all of you would have seen this world-famous animation film. It showed that even fathers could be very caring for their sons. It also emphasized that as a parent, one should not be overprotective of one’s child. It might cause one’s child to revolt.
The movie brought out the message that there should be a delicate balance between parental care and giving one’s child the independence they deserve.
Five best animation software to download for free
Here we’ll see the best animation software as of 2020, their key features, and the OSs they’re supported. The five best animation software as of 2020 are:
Autodesk Maya is a 3D animation, modelling, and simulation software. The software utilizes the laws of Physics to dictate the behaviour of virtual objects. It also adds motion graphics/effects to virtual items.
The key features of this animation software are:
- It produces high quality, realistic animation videos.
- It can import SVG files easily.
- It applies the laws of Physics to dictate the behaviour of virtual objects to make them realistic.
- It can coordinate with some devices to produce special effects like smoke and mist.
- It has the animation tools necessary to create procedural and scripted animation.
It is supported on OSs like:
- Windows 7,8 and 10.
- Mac X OS.
- Any flavor of Linux.
Autodesk 3DS Max
Autodesk 3DS Max is a 3D animation, modelling, and rendering software. It is most useful for developing video games. One can create amazing visual graphics with it, which will give a realistic feel to the developed video games.
The key features of this software are:
- A wide array of OSs supports it.
- Virtual objects’ behaviour is dictated by the laws of Physics, thereby giving them a realistic feel.
- It can communicate with special devices to produce special effects like rain, fire, wind, and snow.
- It supports the creation and saving of file types like CFD, CSV, and VDB to enable animated simulation of real-world objects.
- It has notification ringtones.
- It allows/supports keyframe and procedural animation.
It is supported on OS platforms like:
- Windows XP
- Windows Vista
- Windows 7
- Windows 8
- Windows 10
Adobe Animate CC for teams
This is the most popular 3D animation software among them all. It not only brings animated characters to life but also makes infographics on them look lovely. This animation software has all the tools necessary to create cutting edge animations, video games, and web applications.
The key features of this software are:
- One can create lively, animated characters using this software.
- Once you can add filters, tints, and other special effects to animation layers.
- One can add aftereffects to animations quickly and accurately.
- One can create cutting edge websites, video games, and video ads using the animation tools in this animation software.
- One can export one’s animation in multiple file formats such as WebGL, Flash file, and AIR file.
- It has machine learning features incorporated in it that enables auto lip synchronization.
The OS platforms that support this animation software include:
- Windows 7, 8.1, and 10
- Macintosh X OS
Lightwave is a 3D computer graphics software. It can be used for a lot of purposes like video game development, animation film making, VR films, and video ad designing.
Its key features include:
- It uses a node editor to create a render buffer.
- It has the unique ‘Environment Light’ feature.
- It employs real-time visual graphics with the help of OpenGL files.
- It has a feature called ‘Volumetric Engine’ through which it creates special effects like clouds, fog, rain, thunder, snow, etcetera.
The OSs that support this animation software include:
- Windows XP, 7, 8, and 10.
- Macintosh X OS.
Cinema 4D is again a viral 3D animation modeling and rendering software. It supports procedural and polygonal subdivision animation modeling. It also has animation lighting, texturing, and rendering features. It is one of the fastest 3D animation software via which one can create stunning graphics effortlessly.
Its key features include:
- It can distort animated images in the desired manner using the ‘Lens Distortion’ feature.
- One can alter points, lines, tangents, and arcs using its ‘Spine Tool.’
- One can automatically create morph targets for sculpt layers using the software’s ‘Sculpt to Pose Morph’ feature.
- One can edit scenes easily with the ‘Take System’ feature.
The OSs that support Cinema 4D include:
- Windows 7 (only).
- Mac X OS.
- Amiga OS.
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How to install animation software on your device? Do you need to jailbreak your device to do it?
Most of the renowned animation software can be downloaded via Softonic downloader. To download animation software, one needs to:
- Go to www.softonic.com or search out their animation software on Google.
- Click on the link to download the animation software.
- Choose the location for storing the setup file and download it.
- Run the setup.exe
- Choose the language of the animation software and the location it should be stored on one’s computer.
- Finish the installation and use the animation software.
One does not need to jailbreak one’s PC to install animation software.
How much space does this software require on average, and what kind of configuration do you need to operate it smoothly?
Animate animation software from Adobe is the world’s most famous and widely used animation software. To install and run it on your pc, you need the following system configuration. It is:
- Intel Pentium 4 processor or above with at least 2GHz processing speed.
- Windows 10 OS or Mac X OS.
- At least 2 GB of RAM.
- 4 GB of hard disk space (this is relatively easy).
- A monitor resolution of 1280×1024 would be ideal.
- OpenGL Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) version 3.3 or higher.
- A stable and fast internet connection.
5 Different types of animation you should know as of 2020
These are the five different types of animation as of 2020:
3D animation is also known as Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) animation. This is often the type of animation used to make animation films like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, etcetera.
In this type of animation, a digital puppet, technically called a ‘Character Rig,’ is created. Then, its movements are defined by a series of motion paths called ‘Splines.’ The characters’ movements are gelled with appropriate dialogues to “give life” to the animation film.
Traditional 2D animation
2D animation is also known as ‘Cell Animation.’ 2D animated characters are drawn by hand for every frame. The animated characters are drawn on transparent acetate sheets called ‘Cells.’ Hence the name, ‘Cell Animation.’
There is a slight difference in the position of the characters in each frame. These frames are played so fast that it gives the audience the impression that the characters are moving. If the characters’ movements are synchronized with the appropriate dialogues, it brings the animation film to life and gives it meaning.
An example of a 2D animated film is ‘Jungle Book.’ It was a hit with the children in the 1990s. As technology advanced, colorings for cartoon drawings were not made on acetate sheets.
Instead, the cartoon drawings on the acetate sheets were scanned by a computer and colored digitally. This method proved more accurate and fast than coloring cartoon drawings on acetate sheets.
Vector-based 2D animation
This is a hybrid animation where the making of cartoon characters is done by hand and a computer. It is all integrated so seamlessly that people will not notice which part of the cartoon character is drawn by hand and which part of the cartoon character is animated by the computer.
An example of a 2D Vector animated cartoon is ‘Rick and Morty.’ It is prevalent among children to date.
Stop Motion animation
This is similar to 2D Traditional animation. In this type of animation, the only difference is that the cartoon characters are drawn (made) and colored by a computer instead of by hand and in acetate paper.
The cartoon characters animated by this method are more transparent than cartoon characters drawn and colored by hand. An example of a Stop Motion animated cartoon is ‘KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS.’
The animated pictures are displayed very fast by the projector and gelled with appropriate dialogues to create the impression of watching a movie on the audience. There are various types of Stop Motion animation, like Claymation, Puppets, Lego, Cut-Out, Silhouette, and Pixelation.
Motion Graphics animation
This type of animation is relatively recent and involves the creation of moving text logos and essential illustrations. Animations done using the Motion Graphics technique can be either 2D or 3D.
Again, the animated pictures are displayed very fast by the projector and gelled with appropriate dialogues to create the impression of watching a movie on the audience. Motion Graphics animation is mainly used in commercial ads, explainer videos, and advertising for sports events.
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A complete guide on animation software, step by step
If you’re planning to create an animation film or an animated cartoon, these are the steps that you must follow to produce a good quality one:
1. Understand the client’s requirements clearly
Before you begin working on your client’s animation project, you must understand clearly the following things. They are:
- What is the purpose of making the animation film or cartoon? What message should it convey to the target audience?
- What are the main features to use while making the animation film and animated characters?
- Make sure to find out who is your target audience, and how to make your animation film or cartoon appeal to them?
- What are your client’s expectations on the project, and using what animation software can you meet your client’s requirements?
Your client should fill all of the questions mentioned above/details in a form known as the ‘Brief.’ Then, you can start working on your animation project accordingly.
2. Coming up with the story or the script
Every film or serial is based on a story. So is the case with your animation film or cartoon series. You must write the script for your animation film or cartoon series in such a way that it conveys your client’s desired message to their target audience clearly and effectively. In other words, “It must touch their hearts.”
3. Choosing the right voiceover artist
No two persons on Earth are the same. So is the case with the cartoon characters in your animation film. Every cartoon character must have a unique personality, behavioural traits, talking, and of course, a unique voice.
To give your cartoon characters a unique voice, you must hire the appropriate voiceover artists, depending on your cartoon characters’ personalities and genders.
4. Create a Storyboard
A storyboard is a series of drawings (either hand-drawn or computer-generated) depicting how the script will play out frame by frame.
That’s just a fancy term for coloring the storyboard digitally. The cartoon sketches can be fully colored or custom colored. It includes eye-candy illustrations, text, background colors, and icons. This part of the animation is time-consuming and requires a lot of creativity to get the best results.
In this stage, the digitally created and colored cartoon characters are “brought to life” by synchronizing their movements (storyboard) with the appropriate dialogues (from voiceover artists). It gives the impression of seeing a film to the audience.
This stage of animation has to be done with patience and care to achieve the best results.
Any movie is a little more fun with a bit of music. You must give appropriate background soundtracks and sound effects whenever appropriate in your animation film. If your client’s budget is high, you can hire a music composer to create background music and sound effects.
If your client’s budget is low, you can download pre-composed music tracks from genuine websites like AudioJungle, Pond5, or Icons8.
8. Launching the movie
Last but not least, you must launch/release your animation film in countries where you’re likely to get a warm reception for your animation film to become a hit. Removing your animation film in countries that are hardly a fan of animation movies will only make you incur a loss, despite your animation film being good.
What do users think about this software? According to internet research and people’s reviews.
This is what users think about Animate, the world-famous animation software created by Adobe.
Animation films are becoming increasingly popular and loved by people of all ages these days. Still, only if one makes one’s animation film carefully and beautifully will be a super hit at the box office. Otherwise, it may become a flop, or it may not perform as expected.
Your animation film should convey a moral message to the target audience effectively and unambiguously. It should also have beautiful background music and cool sound effects to become a hit in the market.
Animation software can also make hilarious but meaningful video ads like the ZooZoo ads that Vodafone uses. One could even say that Vodafone became so popular in the first place due to its ZooZoo ads.
Kindly ensure that you have a dedicated and talented team working for you if you’re planning to create an animation film or cartoon series. All the best!
What is Quickdraw Animation Society?
Quickdraw Animation Society (QAS) is a non-profitable organization located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Their main goal is to promote animation as an art form. Hence, they conduct year-round classes and workshops in animation for beginners and pros in animation for free!
Which is the best animation software for beginners?
CrazyTalk Animator is the best animation software for beginners. It is quite robust and has a user-friendly interface that even beginners in animation can navigate.
How is animation as a career?
If you have taken Animation as a career, you’ll face stiff competition, and you might get bored of your routine, but if you’re good at it, your animation films will become a mega-hit, and you’ll reap profits in the millions. Doing animation films will also stimulate your creativity and give you a lot of inspiration.
Which 2D animation software is the easiest to use?
Anime Studio is the most comfortable 2D animation software to use. It is feature-rich and has a simple user interface that even beginners in animation can navigate. It is also available for free download.