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How to Make an Animation: Top 15 Animation & Motion Graphics Tutorials on Tuts+

Want to master the art of animation? Learn how to create engaging animations and motion graphics with these handy tutorials.

Posted 13 Sep 2022
How to Make an Animation: Top 15 Animation & Motion Graphics Tutorials on Tuts+

Calling designers, videographers, filmmakers, and content creators looking to grab attention and captivate audiences! You can achieve this and more with animation, and it doesn’t matter if you are a complete beginner. We’ve rounded up the best motion graphic tutorials to teach you how to make an animation. 

What is Animation? 

Animation

People have brought their drawings and designs to life through animation for centuries – the first ever animated film was hand-painted in 1888. It remains a popular form of entertainment and a highly effective communication tool for designers, videographers, filmmakers, and content creators today.

That’s because it’s more eye-catching than simple static images and offers endless opportunities for expression and creativity. Add to that the fact that it’s versatile, universally appealing, and a great way of quickly and easily conveying complex ideas, and it’s easy to see why motion graphics and animations are so appealing. 

How to Create an Animation 

If you want to bring a dynamic element to your designs, then it’s helpful to understand the different kinds of animation. First, traditional animation is a technique in which the artist draws each frame by hand. It was the dominant form of animation until the development of computer animation. Then there’s vector-based or computer-generated 2D animation, which relies on the same processes as traditional animation but uses digital tools to animate illustrations.

Meanwhile, 3D animation is all about computer-generated objects that create the illusion that they’re moving in three-dimensional space – even though they appear on a two-dimensional TV, computer, or cinema screen. Finally, motion graphics is all about animating graphic design elements – like logos and icons – and are used mainly for design, multimedia projects, mobile apps, and web design.

Why Use Animation Tutorials?

From social posts and websites to explainer videos and emails, animation is trending everywhere, and designers, brands, and marketing agencies are embracing moving elements to get their message across. 

But with so many animation styles and different animation software that can help support creative projects, you might be wondering how to get started. 

Whether you want to learn how to animate in Procreate or After Effects or create an animated movie in Blender, our free online library of valuable resources is packed with animation tutorials and motion graphics courses to help beginners learn the basics. To point you in the right direction, check out our 15 favorite Envato Tuts+ tutorials on the subject. 

Top 15 Animation & Motion Graphics Tutorials on Tuts+

1. How to Animate in Procreate

How to Animate in Procreate

Got something to say? This tutorial takes you through creating a vibrant text animation step-by-step – from creating a custom canvas to using a layer mask and a clipping mask.

2. How to Animate in After Effects

Learn a range of techniques and start using After Effects like an expert. A tutorial designed for beginners, each lesson introduces a new skill that will enable you to prepare art for use in After Effects, animate all the different elements, and produce impressive text animations.

3. How to Animate the Layers of a Logo in After Effects

How to Animate the Layers of a Logo in After Effects

Bring your logo to life by learning how to animate it using After Effects. Once you’ve prepared your artwork for animation with layers, this helpful tutorial walks you through the stages you need to follow to make it move. 

4. How to Animate Handwritten Text in After Effects

How to Animate Handwritten Text in After Effects

Casual, eye-catching, and bursting with personality, handwritten text looks great when it appears on-screen as though it’s drawn in real-time. Achieve this effect by perfecting your use of the pen tool, thanks to this easy-to-follow tutorial that’s write-on!

5. How to Add Motion Blur Effects to Cartoon Animation Using After Effects

How to Add Motion Blur Effects to Cartoon Animation Using After Effects

If you feel the need for speed, this motion blur tutorial will bring realistic-looking motion to your next animation project. Armed with a scene and a character animation – which you can download from Envato Elements – you’ll be making looping backgrounds and adding motion blur to a moving object quicker than you can say ‘After Effects’.

6. Create a Pendulum Animation in Cinema 4D

Create a Pendulum Animation in Cinema 4D

Calling all 3D artists and animators – time to take your motion graphics mastery to the next level with this tutorial that shows you how to manipulate shapes, create textures, and animate and render in Cinema 4D to create an animation inspired by the works of Andreas Wannerstedt.

7. How to Make Liquid Animation Titles in Adobe After Effects

How to Make Liquid Animation Titles in Adobe After Effects

Go with the flow as you learn how to add liquid animation titles to your videos. This course introduces ways to customize templates and create eye-catching titles, from splashes to ripples. 

8. Designing a Cartoon Character for 2D Animation

animated cartoon character

Create a cartoon character asking to be animated with these 10 top tips. From organizing your ideas and coming up with a name that’s the perfect fit to selecting a color scheme and using software like Illustrator to revise and refine your sketches, this simple guide is a must for animation enthusiasts. 

9. Collage Animation After Effects Tutorial

Check out this in-depth tutorial on how to make a collage animation in After Effects. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to create scrolling null layers, bring all of your video, photo, animation and graphics assets into the program, and then pull it all together into one really cool collage effect!

10. How to Animate Any Photo With Cartoon Animator and After Effects

Introducing Cartoon Animator, Photoshop, and After Effects – the three programs you need to edit and animate static photographs. This tutorial talks you through the processes you should follow to turn a picture into a punchy piece of animation.

11. How to Use Shape Layers to Animate in After Effects

How to Use Shape Layers to Animate in After Effects

Making animations and motion graphics in After Effects is easy when you know how to harness shape layers. Start creating shape layers by drawing in the Composition panel with the shape tools or the pen tool with this helpful guide

12. How to Create Smooth Head Turns in 2D With Cartoon Animator and After Effects

How to Create Smooth Head Turns in 2D With Cartoon Animator and After Effects

Make your cartoon character turn heads – quite literally – with this animation tutorial that’s all about achieving a smooth and straightforward head turn using Cartoon Animator and After Effects.

13. How to Add Soft Shadow Effects to Cartoon Animation Using After Effects

How to Add Soft Shadow Effects to Cartoon Animation Using After Effects

Add an atmosphere of authenticity and make characters and objects stand out in a scene by learning to create soft shadows. This tutorial shines a light on the subject of shadows. It encourages designers, videographers, and animators to experiment with different effect options to edit their projects. 

14. Learn 2D Animation Basics in Blender

Learn 2D Animation Basics in Blender

Blender might be brilliant for 3D, but were you aware it also features several unique functionalities and tools that work exceptionally well for creating 2D animations? This guide introduces the essential tools and workflows you need to know. 

15. How to Animate a Dancing Character With ActorCore and Blender for Free

How to Animate a Dancing Character With ActorCore and Blender for Free

Get into the groove with this dynamic guide to creating dancing characters. From downloading 3D characters from ActorCore to applying your chosen animation in Blender and rendering your video, this guide is guaranteed to get your toes tapping. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our pick of the 15 best animation and motion graphics tutorials. But remember, there’s so much more to discover on Envato Tuts+. Head to our free online library to browse loads of lessons designed to teach you essential design skills. Then complement your creativity with access to thousands of royalty-free assets – head to Envato Elements and check out subscription options.

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