10 Best 2D Animation Courses Online

Consumers’ increasing demand for immersive entertainment experiences is giving rise to a rapid growth in animation.

This increasing wave of demand makes learning and gaining relevant experience in the animation industry an extremely worthwhile effort.

Whether you are a rookie or an intermediate, you can learn how to create animation and visual effects for films.

The 2D Animation Market Growth

The animation industry is projected to reach $270 billion in the next couple of years with the majority of the segments growing at the rate of 2 percent YoY.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of multimedia artists and animators will grow by four percent from 2018 to 2028.

This growth is primarily due to increasing consumer demand for high-impact video games, 3D movies, and computer graphics for mobile devices.

According to LinkedIn, animation is one of the 25 most in-demand technical skills.

You can learn the art of creating higher-quality graphics in gaming and other forms of media using illustrations and software programs.

In this article, we will show you some of the best 2D animation online courses.

1. Beginning 2D Animation: The Absolute Beginner’s Entry with Jeff Mumm

This course is vital as it lays a solid foundation for absolute beginners entering the exciting world of animation.

This Jeff Mumm’s course is a great option if you want to get into all forms of animation

  • Character
  • TV
  • Movie
  • Video game
  • Flash
  • Web
  • YouTube
  • Launch independent projects

The course is hosted on Udemy and teaches the fundamentals of animation.

The course is delivered in English and is not subtitled.

It also includes:

  • 1-hour on-demand/pre-recorded video
  • 14 lectures and ten downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile devices and TV
  • Certificate of completion

It currently has over 42 reviews, a cumulative 4.5-star course rating, with 313 students enrolled. The instructor is a 4.5-star rated Udemy course teacher.

The course video includes step-by-step breakdowns in image format for easy reference.

What you will learn

You will learn the detailed steps required to create amazing and great-looking animations.

You will also learn ‘easing,’ one of the twelve animation principles, and ultimately plan out an animated sequence.

The course covers the following topics:

  1. Keyframes to Finished Animations
    • Keys and breakdowns
    • Animation principle easing
    • Inbetweens, details, inks, and colors
  2. Character Animation for a Video game – Idle Animation
    • Keys, breakdowns, anticipation, and overlap
    • Details, inks, overlapping action, and color
  3. Character Animation for a Video game – Idle Animation
    • Contact poses and passing positions
    • Details, inks, overlap, and color

Pricing

This course sells for $49.99. However, at the time of this writing, the course was priced at $10.44 with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Key requirements

The course structure is simple and straightforward. Students do not learn how to use any specific software.

Albeit, they will require drawing software with layers such as Flash, Photoshop, GIMP, or traditional drawing tools and materials (pencil and paper) with a lightbox.

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2. Cinematography for 2D Animation Essentials with 2D Animation 101 Courses

This course is essential for beginners and aims to provide fundamental insight into the application of cinematography in animation.

It covers the art of taking amazing shots, drawing the different angles of a character, and making the audience feel your storyline.

The course is hosted on Udemy and covers basic concepts such as

  • Frame compositions
  • Camera angles
  • Camera movements
  • Rule of thirds
  • Blocking your characters
  • 2D tilting and panning
  • Dialogue coverage
  • Parallax

The course is delivered in English and not subtitled. It also includes:

  • One-hour on-demand/pre-recorded video
  • 16 lectures and three downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile devices and TV
  • Certificate of completion

It currently has 1,096 reviews, a cumulative 4.5-star course rating, with 14,850 students enrolled.

The instructor is a 4.4-star rated Udemy course teacher and has over 76,759 students across all his courses.

What you will learn

This course will teach you how to apply different cinematography concepts to your animations.

You will also learn to improve your shots and make the audience connect to your visuals.
The course covers the following topics:

  1. Basic cinematography concepts
  2. Static Camera
    • Blocking, dialogue, and camera angles
    • Rule of thirds
    • Frame composition
  3. Moving the Camera
    • Pan/Tilt: Moving the camera view
    • Camera movements
    • Improving a scene

Pricing

This course sells for $49.99. However, at the time of this writing, the course was selling for $10.44, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Key requirements

No prior knowledge of animation is required, but you will need basic computer skills to begin.

3. 2D Animation in Moho from Basic to Advanced with 2D Animation 101 Courses

This course focuses on the application of the principles of animation to create an organic walk cycle for characters.

Also, this course teaches basic to advanced 2D animation in Moho.

The course is hosted on Udemy. It is designed to help beginners, as well as intermediate learners, understand how to use Moho for Character Animation.

The course is delivered in English and not subtitled. It also includes a

  • Four-hour on-demand/pre-recorded video
  • 24 lectures and one article
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile devices and TV
  • Certificate of completion

The course currently has 334 reviews, a cumulative 4.5-star course rating, with 5,881 students enrolled.

The instructor is a 4.4-star rated Udemy course teacher and has over 76,787 students enrolled in his courses.

What you will learn

This course will teach you how to rig and prepare your characters for animation and create animations.

You will also learn how to use drawing tools and trace characters in Moho.

Also, you will learn how to create an organic walk cycle by applying advanced principles of animation.

The course covers the following topics:

  1. Introduction to Moho
    • The Moho workspace and starting a new project
    • Pre-made characters to practice animation
    • Importing files for tracing characters
    • Zooming and navigation
    • Working with layers
  2. How to draw, edit, and trace a character in Moho
  3. Preparing a character for animation
    • Understanding cut out animation
    • Using bones
    • Developing the character for cut out animation
    • Rigging a character
    • Animation using keyframes
    • Rigging for a walk cycle
  4. Character animation applying principles of animation
    • Character animation of an organic walk cycle
    • Animation of the right leg, body, left arm, and right arm
    • Finishing the organic walk cycle

Pricing

Pricing for this course starts from $49.99 and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Requirements

Learners should be able to use a PC at a beginner level.

Also, they should be familiar with downloading software from the internet.

Beginners will learn how to use Smith Micro’s Moho for Character Animation.

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

This course is designed to show you how to create fantastic 2D game animations.

It teaches the use of Photoshop and Spine Animations explicitly.

The techniques taught in this course apply to any game animation software.

The course hosted on Udemy is delivered in English and includes the following:

  • Four-hour on-demand/pre-recorded video
  • 39 lecture, seven articles, and six downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile devices and TV
  • Certificate of completion

The course is structured to help you progress from basic knowledge in Photoshop and Spine to creating professional game character animations within a short time.

The course currently has 213 reviews, and a cumulative 4.5-star course rating, with 10,788 students enrolled.

The instructor is a 4.5-star rated Udemy course teacher and has over 459,263 students enrolled in his courses.

What you will learn

This course begins with teaching the use of essential tools in Photoshop.

Next, you will learn the basics of animation, and you will be required to create three of your animations and characters in Photoshop.

You will learn how to export your character design from Photoshop for use in Spine.

You will learn how to create bones and skeletons on the Spine. After creating your character, you will jump right in and learn how to animate a run cycle.

Lastly, you will learn how to export animations from Spine.

The course covers the following topics:

  1. Getting started with the course
  2. Learning the basics of Photoshop
  3. Animation in Photoshop
  4. Building a character for Spine animation
    • Slicing up a character for Spine animation
    • Exporting a character for Spine
  5. Setting your character up for animation in Spine
    • How to create your first bone
    • Creating a skeleton for your character
  6. Animating in Spine
    • Animating the run cycle part 1 and 2
    • How to fix problems with your animation
    • Exporting animation from Spine

Pricing

Pricing for this course starts from $64.99 and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Requirements

This course will teach learners how to use Photoshop and Spine Animation software. Learners are required to download Photoshop (you can get the free trial version) or Pixlr and the Spine Animation Software.

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5. Mastering 2D animation with Tony White

This course provides a comprehensive insight into the world of 2D animation.

With this course, you can become a 2D animation expert using hand-drawn and digital techniques.

The course bridges the gap between beginners, intermediates, and experts covering the core techniques of 2D animation.

It is suitable for professional animators and beginners who want to expand their animation knowledge.

This course hosted on Udemy is delivered in English and includes:

  • Four-hour on-demand/pre-recorded video
  • 31 lectures
  • Ten articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile devices and TV
  • Certificate of completion.

The course currently has 179 reviews, and a cumulative 4.6-star course rating, with 2,282 students enrolled.

The instructor embraces an in-depth, step-by-step instructional approach. He uses both classically

hand-drawn and digital techniques to deliver his tutorials.

The course material also includes the screening of a 10-minute animated film created by Tony White.

This film focuses on how the traditional animation industry rose and fell and how it might rise again.

It’s titled “Endangered Species.”

The instructor is an award-winning director, animator, and instructor. He is also a 4.6-star rated Udemy course teacher.

What you will learn

This course covers vital learning areas required to master traditional and digital 2D animation.

You will learn the traditional 2D animation production process.

Next up, you will learn about the equipment needed to create traditional and digital 2D animation and drawing techniques for animations.

You will understand the principles of movement, including weight, charting, squash, and stretch.

Lastly, you will also learn how to make an animated ToonBoom Studio character that’s rigged and walks through a vector-based digital environment.

The course covers the following topics:

  • A brief history of 2D animation
  • Setting up a 2D animation studio
  • The process of traditional 2D animation
  • Tutorial on bounce ball
  • Tutorial on generic walk – the hand-drawn way
  • Advice on inbetweening
  • Generic walk – the ToonBoom Studio way

Pricing

Pricing for this course starts from $39.99 and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Requirements

There are no academic prerequisites required for this course, albeit learners should be able to use a PC at a beginner level

Materials needed for this course include

  • Pencil-punched animation paper, basic lightbox, animation peg bar, and an image capture device or software.
  • The “ToonBoom Studio 8.0” software

Other Useful Resources:

6. Foundations in Modern 2D Animation with Brent Noll

This course focuses on learning animation in a modern way.

You will learn how to create amazing digital and contemporary animations.

Students will be required to engage in a series of projects to speed up the learning process.

This course is for animators with beginner to intermediate skills level.

The delivery platform for this nine week course is CG Masters Academy.

The course delivery is in English via a pre-recorded lecture video.

Learners are expected to spend eight to ten hours per week viewing lectures and completing assignments.

The question and answer sessions are

once a week. Learners enjoy flexible learning, and 365 days (one year) of full course access.

You will earn a Certificate of Completion when you complete and turn in 80% of course assignments.

What you will learn

This course will teach you the basics of animation using digital tools. This course also introduces students to foundational 2D rigs and how to merge traditional animation techniques with new tools.

You will also learn about Adobe Animate and the principles of motion. Other learning areas include animation finishing processes like lighting, inking, and coloring.

Students will practice the art of being an animation clean-up artist, design their animation friendly characters, and build a walk cycle.

The course covers the following topics:

  1. Learn the essential tools of Adobe Animate CC and how to use them
  2. Fundamentals of traditional hand-drawn animation
  3. Animation clean-up
  4. Character design for animation
  5. Walk cycles
  6. Lip syncing, a lesson in flash symbols, nested animations, and basic rigs
  7. Roughing out and completing complex from storyboard
  8. Creating your animation
  9. Continue creating your own animated loop (a looping short).

Pricing

The pricing for this course is $749.

However, financial aid options are available for students.

Requirements

The prerequisites for this course include basic knowledge of analytical figure drawing and fundamentals of character design.

Materials required: Adobe Animate CC, a graphics tablet like Wacom (or others), Adobe Premiere.

7. 2D Animation Essentials

This course aims to simplify the concept of 2D animation.

You will learn the fundamentals of animation and the importance of emotions.

This 8-weeks course is hosted on CG Masters Academy.

Course delivery is via a pre-recorded lecture video.

Learners are expected to spend 8-10 hrs/wk viewing lectures and on assignments.

The questions and answers sessions are once a week, and feedback is recorded individually.

Learners enjoy flexible learning and 365 days (one year) of full course access.

The course includes all lectures, feedback, and live Q and A recordings.

You will earn a Certificate of Completion when you complete and turn in 80 percent of course assignments.

As at the time of writing this course, the instructor was not announced.

What you will learn

This course will teach you the essential concepts in animation and how to use them to make efficient 2D animations.

The course covers the following topics:

  1. Introduction and animation basics
  2. Understanding and decomposing a movement
  3. Animating straight head
  4. Animation as a communication tool
  5. Overlaps
  6. Choreography
  7. Practical methods 1 and 2

Pricing

The pricing for this course is $749. However, financial aid options are available for students.

Requirements

Learners must have a basic foundation of drawing characters and knowledge of animation software.

Course prerequisites include Analytical Figure Drawing, Fundamentals of Character Design, Head Drawing and Construction, Foundations in Modern 2D Animation.

Materials required for active learning include

  • A graphics tablet like Wacom
  • A desktop or laptop computer
  • Adobe Animate (formerly Flash)
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • TVPaint animation
  • Some other software that can be used for 2D animation.

8. Learning 2D Animation Principles by Dermot O’Connor

This course focuses on the basic principles of animation.

You will also learn to design a solid character that can move and interact with their environment. This course is exceptionally beginner-friendly.

This course is delivered in English and includes:

  • Pre-recorded course video
  • One project file
  • Offline viewing on the mobile app
  • Access on tablet and phone
  • Certificate of completion
  • Quizzes and practice files

This course is hosted on LinkedIn Learning (Formerly Lynda.com) and has 24,119 learners. Skills covered in this course include Flash Professional and 2D Animation.

What you will learn

This course will teach you how to build a solid character, stage, and storyboard your animation. You’ll also learn how to create compelling storyboard styles and eccentric walks.

You will learn techniques such as

  • Stretch, squash, and volume
  • Developing stock mouth shapes for creating dialogue
  • Making spacing and timing comparisons
  • Use of anticipation, overshoot, follow-through, overlap, and settle
  • Creating thumbnails

The course covers the following topics:

  • Introduction
  • Design
  • Staging, storyboard, and layout
  • Technical issues
  • Animated physics
  • Anticipation, overshoot, and settle
  • Drag, overlap, and follow-through
  • Walks and runs
  • Dialogue
  • Thumbnails, acting and animating

Pricing

The pricing for a single one- time purchase of this course is $29.99.

It comes with lifetime access to this course and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

However, payment of $19.99 per month (billed annually) guarantees full library access.

You can also access over 15,000 expert-led courses.

Requirements

Learners should be able to use a PC at a beginner level.

9. Creating a 2D Animated Character for Unity By Shane Whelan

This course focuses on how to prepare and make an animated 2D character using bone hierarchy software.

You will learn practical animation techniques that you can incorporate into your game projects.

This four-hour course is for intermediate skill levels.

The course has a 4-star rating from 19 reviewers.

The course delivery is via pre-recorded learning videos on Pluralsight. Assessments are provided to help learners measure their skills.

The instructor has an average course rating of 3.9-star from a total of 38

reviewers across all the five courses he teaches.

What you will learn

You will learn how to design 2D game content in layers.

You will also learn how to rig and animate a character in Sprite or using reference material made into Sprites.

Other key learning areas include:

  • Organizing Sprites and Unity using layer sorting and colliders
  • Using a minimum of C# code for preparing a character animation system for interactive control

The course covers the following topics:

  1. Introduction and project overview
  2. Creating a 2D animated character for Unity
  3. Learning about our character
  4. Breaking up the character to prepare for Spriter

Pricing

Pricing for a Pluralsight course is in three categories:

  • Monthly for $29
  • Annually for $299
  • Premium for $449

Albeit, there is a 10-day free trial.

Requirement

Software required to learn this course includes Unity 5, Spriter, Photoshop CC 2015.

10. 2D Animation for Beginners by Animation Mentor

This course explores the precepts of traditional animation using modern digital tools used within the studio environment today.

This 6-week course delivery is thorough with live question and answer sessions. This course also uses project-based learning with demos and exercises to encourage learning by doing.

Through in-class examples and homework assignments, learners will practice useful 2D workflows and techniques.

What you will learn

In this course, learners will begin with the principles of animation to provide a solid foundation.

And then, move on to more physical explorations of movement and emotion.

This course is for both beginner and intermediate students with a basic level of drawing ability.

The course covers the following topics:

  1. Fundamentals of 2D animation
  2. The mechanics of weight
  3. Animating physicality
  4. Drawing with emotion
  5. Turning heads

Pricing

The pricing for this course is $899 and includes a non-refundable $100 registration fee.

Requirements

Learners’ software computer skills must be at the intermediate level, and they must also meet the minimum computer system requirements.

They also require the following:

  • Digital animation software like Rough Animator or ToonBoom’s Harmony
  • Tablets like Cintiq, Wacom tablet, or some digital painting device

Start Your 2D Animation Courses Online

Animation brings creative imaginations to life.

It finds applications in education, entertainment, advertising, scientific visualization, and gaming.

Go ahead and evaluate the courses and select the one that meets your needs.

Author: Nicholas GodwinNicholas Godwin helps businesses tell profitable brand stories that their audiences love. He’s worked on projects for Fortune 500 companies, global tech corporations and top consulting firms, from Bloomberg Beta, Accenture, PwC, and Deloitte to HP, Shell, and AT&T. Works with Mofluid these days.

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