Online Beginner Animation Course course at Sessions College

Online Beginner Animation Course

30 hours

6001: Intro to Motion

Learn the fundamentals of animation

How does animation actually work? In this online introductory animation course, you'll learn the 12 essential principles of animation including squash and stretch, anticipation, and exaggeration. Working with a professional animator, you'll explore how fundamental concepts in physics and motion are used to create sophisticated, convincing motion art in sequential art, video, 2D animation, and 3D animation, and more. Practical projects include stop-motion and flipbook-style animation.

Discover how animation works

Course At A Glance

Course Features

  • 100% online
  • Project-based
  • Instructor-led
  • Study at your own pace
  • Complete this course in 3-4 weeks


The course is taught by the following instructor(s):

Course developed by: Greg Marlow

Take this course as a standalone or as part of the following program(s):

Course Projects

    1. Analyzing Moving Objects

      All art is communication, and the struggle of motion art is to communicate the story of objects on the go. In the first lecture, we examine the pivotal concepts of physics that help us understand how to recreate real world motion in the minds of our viewers. We'll explore different forms of energy and force and the relationships between them. We'll also touch on Newton's three laws of motion, terminal velocity, and equilibrium.

    2. The Motion Artist's Media

      Once we start to understand how motion works, we face the choice of how to communicate it. This week, we'll explore different categories of motion art, including motion in a single image, sequential art, low frame rate motion, and full motion video. We'll then look at techniques for achieving motion in those categories, highlighting the manipulation of position, scale, rotation, and distortion, as well as options for combining multiple techniques.

    3. The Shoulders of Giants

      After studying why and how things move, and the different forms at our disposal for communicating movement in art, we will finish up the course by discussing time-tested principles for achieving believable and appealing motion art. We'll look at 12 canonized principles of animation, and we'll then examine how to apply these principles to actual animation workflows, with definitions and explanations of key terms and concepts like poses, blocking, key frames, breakdowns, and tweening.

Sample Student Work

For sample work, visit student gallery

Course Outcomes

What Are The Course Projects?

Creative projects explore motion capture, sequential art, stop motion, and animation principles.

What Software or Supplies Do I Need?
  • Computer with Internet connection (broadband recommended).
  • Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, and Animate or equivalent programs.
  • Access to a webcam or digital video camera and ability to connect it to a computer to capture footage.
  • Basic experience in the above software.
What Will I Learn?

Students in this course can expect to learn to:

  • Relate concepts of physics (including energy, force, and motion) to the communication of movement in art.
  • Analyze the physics at work in examples of live motion.
  • Distinguish between four overarching categories of motion art: motion in a single image, sequential art, low frame rate motion, and full motion video.
  • Achieve motion on a 2D plane using the techniques of position, scale, rotation, and distortion, as well as combination techniques, such as parallax.
  • Use a webcam or digital camera to create single image, sequential, and full motion stop motion animation.
  • Build animated GIFs and full motion videos in MOV and MP4 formats.
  • Apply 12 traditional principles of animation in both 2D and 3D motion art.
  • Set up a pose-to-pose animation workflow with key frames, breakdowns, and tweening.
  • Create appealing and believable animations based on traditional techniques.

Getting Started

Course Registration

  • Enroll today, start tomorrow
  • Study at your own pace
  • Complete within 3 months

Course Tuition and Fees
Registration Fee* $50
Total Course Price $669

Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from enrollment. All tuition includes a digital materials fee for course content.

Course Registration Form

To register for this course, use the form below to enter your information and desired start date. An Admissions Advisor will contact you to arrange payment and provide you with an Enrollment Agreement.

PD: Course Registration

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What Are The Courses Like?

Our courses are project-based. There are no set logins, so you can study at your own pace. In each course you’ll complete a series of lectures and projects designed to stretch your creative skills.

How Much Time Do I Need?

This course can be completed in 30 hours or less. You’ll have three months from enrollment to complete the course studying at your own pace. Extensions are available for those who need more time.

Who Are The Instructors?

Our courses are developed and taught by our faculty of professional artists, designers, and photographers. You’ll learn in-demand skills, get feedback on your work, and build a portfolio of creative work.

Is Sessions College accredited?

Yes. Since 2001, Sessions College has been accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).