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Master the basics of digital animation with an Adobe short course

A poster image of the HugMatch app
  • Written byYusuf Tamanna
  • Published date26 March 2021
A poster image of the HugMatch app

According to Amna Albaker, in order to be a successful creative professional, you need to be motivated and disciplined. “It's very easy to feel defeated when learning a new set of skills, or to feel defeated because of how much great content is being produced out there,” she says.

Amna herself is no stranger to producing content. The Qatari multidisciplinary artist currently works as a producer for the global sport channel BeIN Media Group. On top of that she also freelances as an illustrator. Her illustration work focuses on topics that feed into wider society and shedding light on the female experience.

“My current obsession is combining illustration and animation with film photography; I love the unexpectedness and rawness that comes with shooting film paired with the creative freedom of digital manipulation and storytelling.”

With aspirations of finessing her animation skills even further, Amna attended the Adobe After Effects and Animation - Beginners Online Short Course and the Adobe After Effects and Animation - Intermediate Online Short Course both with London College of Communication.

An illustration showing the inside of a person's mind. The person inside is trapped.

“I love the range of courses offered by UAL and the obvious quality and extensive knowledge base you can gain from that type of mentorship, especially as a beginner,” Alma explains. She says started she dabbling in frame-by-frame animation well before attending the courses but knew doing both short courses would give her a solid foundation to develop her skills and confidence in using Adobe After Effects.

Meanwhile, for Chloe Koo, who also attended the Adobe After Effects and Animation - Intermediate Online Short Course, it was after visiting London College of Communication’s Postgraduate Show in 2019 that inspired her to doing a short course with UAL.

“During the postgraduate show I was thoroughly impressed by all the students’ fabulous projects. So, when Covid-19 shut down New York in 2020, I had more time to undertake one of UAL’s courses.”

A black and white portrait of Chloe Koo

Chloe’s background has always been rooted in design and technology. As a Korean American Visual/User Experience Designer she has long enjoyed drawing, coding and photography and studied design and technology at The New School in New York.

“I believe that having studied these disciplines from a young age helped pave my career path in design and technology. My design philosophy is to create things that are emotionally rich and grounded in meaning,” Chloe says.

Sticking true to her philosophy, Chloe is the founder of HugMatch, an interactive toy especially focused on the experience of visually impaired children ages 2-5 years old. The goal is to support each child’s sense of touch and hearing while developing their ability to socially interact alongside their cognitive, psychosocial and physical development.

With 8 years' worth of experience working at places including Amazon, IBM Watson and now at Deloitte as a Senior User Experience Designer, when the pandemic shut everything down, it made sense for Chloe to use that time doing a short course that would both be something she’d enjoy doing, but also a course that will give her skills she can apply to her other projects.

A poster image of the HugMatch app on desktop

During their time on the courses, both Amna and Chloe said one of the best things about the experience was the tutor, Francesco de Manincor. “I enjoyed learning from someone who has been in the field for many years, Amna says. Chloe agrees: “I enjoyed Francesco de Manincor’s teaching style. All the assignments he set were useful in helping me become a more well-rounded designer.”

Amna tells me the most rewarding aspect of her courses was realising the animation skills and techniques she wanted to learn weren’t that hard to execute at all. “I think my favorite experience was the aha! moment we would have when learning how to do something we had seen other artists/professionals do and figuring out that it was much simpler than we could have ever imagined!”

Likewise, Chloe loved that she was able to learn among like-minded creatives from across the globe. Something she wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. “I loved studying with my classmates! I enjoy learning with students from different cultural backgrounds generally and I can learn from them as well. Most were in the design/illustrative fields, so I was able to interact and connect with creatives such as myself.”

A screenshot of a short video Amna made with a person standing in between two doors, not sure which one to enter

With a new set of transferrable skills under their belt, both students are keen to apply them elsewhere. Amna says her courses helped her realise something she had previously dreamed about. Her eyes have been opened to an entire new industry and the prospect of a potential new career goal down the line.

Similarly, Chloe is actively putting the new skills she learned in 2D animation into her next big venture. “With the motion graphics skills I developed through this course, I am now utilising them to develop a mobile app, including 2D character animation and video prototyping!” She adds that she's also applying these newly acquired skills into her continued work on HugMatch and says her goal is help children with visual impairments learn just like everyone else.

When asked if she would recommend other students to consider doing a short course, Amna’s simple answer was “Just do it!”. While Chloe echoes those sentiments now that she’s done the short course, she admits she initially has her reservations. “I was a bit hesitant because of the time difference [Chloe had to wake up at 4am to attend the course in real-time from New York] but you get the rare opportunity to study with passionate individuals in the same field from around the world. Education is truly the one great equaliser.”

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If you’re looking to develop new skills or refresh the ones you already have, the short courses offered by UAL are delivered by industry experts with the overarching benefit of equipping you with skills and insights that you can easily transfer to your career or personal projects. Take a look at our diverse collection of short courses and find out how they can help you!

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