How to Learn 3D Animation at Home
If you want know how to learn 3D animation at home, this article is a good place to begin. 3D animation is an amazing skill to pick up, and you can do a whole lot with it. From working freelance on simple logo animations for local businesses, to working on feature films, to creating and releasing your own content, 3D animation can provide you with an amazing and possibly lucrative creative outlet.
That said, animation in general, and especially 3D, can take some hardcore dedication to learn. Luckily, there are many different online resources to use if you want to go it on your own. Sites like YouTube and Vimeo offer amazing amounts of content for free. There are paid sites like Lynda, Udemy, and Pluralsight, and full on certification courses like Animation Mentor and VFX.phd. In addition to these, there are countless courses from great instructors that you can purchase as well.
Irrespective of which route you choose, know that you are in for a relatively steep learning curve. Animation in general can take years to master, and you’ll be spending a LOT of time in front of your computer, so it’s best to be comfortable knowing that going in. Suffice it to say, a comfortable chair and workstation would pay dividends.
To begin to learn 3D animation at home, I suggest you read this first. It will give you a good run-down of what you should know before you begin. You’ll want direction, as this art contains many different disciplines. There’s character animation, motion graphics, an visual effects, and many categories underneath each main discipline. Having an interest in one or two before you begin can cut your learning time and speed your progress, as you will only need to be focusing on areas that interest you.
This all breaks down if you want to be a generalist, or jack of all trades. In that case, learning to model 3D objects is usually the first discipline you’ll want to learn, and picking the right software from the start can really help. While most software is very similar and you can jump from one to another if need be, learning Maya or Houdini right from the start can put you closer to a career in a studio, or Blender can give you all you need to create your own content.
You’ll also want to learn traditional art like drawing, sculpting, and photography, as all will help you become a strong generalist. Learning math like trigonometry, linear algebra, and calculus, while not necessary for character animation, will help you become a very strong generalist. You will be faster and more efficient in a studio environment, or on your own shots if you go the freelance route.
If you want to begin your journey, this article can help.
Related: What is the best animation software to learn?