19 OCTOBER 2019

How To Make Animation Videos (Complete Beginner's Guide)

Whether it’s for a business, a school project or YouTube, knowledge of animations and digital arts can significantly enhance the quality of what you’re working on. If you, like many others are looking to start making animation videos but don't know exactly where to start, this guide is for you. In this interactive guide we'll be going over:

  • Drawing Tablets
  • Free 2D Animation Software
  • Character & Video Types
  • Editing Software
  • Feedback

  • Tablets

    If you're new to animation or digit art in general you may have no idea what a drawing tablet is and what it's used for. A Drawing tablet or Drawing pad is a device that allows the user to hand-draw images, pictures, animations, and graphics with a stylus.

    The two main types of tablets you need to worry about are:

    Pen Tablets - As you draw the image/graphic is displayed on a seperate computer the tablet is attached to. Are great for casual use and beginners. huiontablet

    Pen Displays - As you draw the image/graphic is displayed on the tablet itself. These one are typically several times the price of pen tablets and are great for experianced artist. tabletdisplay

    The two main tablet companies you should focus on:


    Huion tablets are generally cheaper and come in the two different types listed above. If you are brand new to animation and digital art, I would recommend starting off with a cheaper Pen tablet until you become accustomed to drawing on a tablet.

  • Huion Pen Tablets prices range from: $24.99 - $179.00

  • Huion Pen Displays prices range from: $349.99 - $899.99

  • Wacom

    Wacom tablets are generally more expensive then Huion tablets, but make it up with their excellent quality. I would recommend Wacom tablets to people who are more experienced with drawing tablets or people who are looking for an upgrade.

  • Wacom Pen Tablet prices range from: $59.95 - $379.95
  • Wacom Display Tablet prices range from: $519.00 - $3,299.95
  • Wacom Computers Prices range from: $2,199.95 - $3,499.95

  • None of this is to say that these are the only tablet companies with quality products. These are just the biggest, most used, and well-known companies that produce tablets. If you're not sure about these two there are plenty of other alternatives, find what works for you!

    Free 2D Animation Software

    When it comes to animation software there are many options to choose from. When you're just starting animation, it's best to start off with free software until you completely learn the ropes. Below are some of the best animations taken from our more in-depth Best Animation Software Guide!


    Krita is an open-source digital art software with animation capabilities built-in. Krita is one of the best animation software out, due to its large variety of drawing and animation tools made available. Since its an art software designing with Krita comes with a huge amount of artistic freedom and capabilities.

    Animation Recommendation: Original stories (TV Animations)


    Gimp is an open-source, raster graphics editor software primarily used for digital painting and image editing. Like Krita, Gimp comes equip with animation capabilities built-in. The difference with Gimp comes with its lack of animation specific tools made available, which limits the efficiency of your animation process.

    Animation Recommendation: Short Animation, GIFs, Video Game Sprites

    Pencil 2D

    Pencil 2D is an open-source, animation software available on Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Unix-like operating systems. Pencil is a very simple & minimalistic compared to other animation software. Pencil comes equipped with all the tools you need for animation but lacks more complex drawing tools made available with other software. Pencil is amazing for learning the ropes and basic functions of animation software.

    Animation Recommendation: Commentary & Story Videos, Original Stories


    PowToom is definitely the "most different" between the other software listed because it makes the animations for you. PowToon's main use is for businesses & companies, as Powtoon's makes it easy to create commercials and presentations. All you have to do is create the layout and overall structure the video will go in.

    Animation Recommendation:Business Presentations, Commercials

    There are many other animation software available, but those are just a few that show the general types of animation software out there. If you're looking for a more comprehensive list with more in-depth reviews check out our Best Animation Software Guide.

    Characters & Video Types

    Depending on the type of animation and the intricacy of it, designing and creating a full-length animation can be quite lengthy and time-consuming. One of the most important aspects of animation is a consistent animation style and typically you want to create one you can replicate across different videos. It's just like drawing with your art style. This will also help differentiate you and create a "brand of yourself" from other animators.

    Video Ideas

    If you're having trouble coming up with some animation ideas below are some of the most popular types of animations made on YouTube.

    Story Time/ Story Videos

    Typically with story time videos the animator picks an interesting moment from their life and as the name suggest, tell the story with accompanying animation visuals.

    Commentary Videos

    With commentary vidoes, typically the animator picks a particular topic and gives there opinion and experiances with. Also accompanied with animation visuals.

    Characters should be:

  • Simple design
  • Easy to replicate
  • Easy to show move and manipulate
  • These are just two of the more popular animation video formats on YouTube. If you're stumped look around for inspiration or think "What story do I want to tell?" You can make any type of video you like, the options are endless! Find what works best for you!


    Now that you picked the type of animation you want to make, the next step is script writing. A good script should have all of the dialogue that will be spoken in the video. Having a clear purpose is one of the most important things about writing a good script.

    Things to think about while writing:

  • Who's your target audience?
  • What message are you trying to send?
  • Why are you making this video?
  • What actions are you viewers going to take after watching you video

  • Storyboard

    Storyboards are the sketches of your animation. They're a great tool for mapping out the animation and the direction you want to take it. Think of a storyboard as your first draft. If you're looking to collaborate with other people, a storyboard is an amazing way to convey the story you're trying to tell (since they can't see inside your head :p). This process also allows you to see if your idea even works as a video. The dialogue should be more of a short summary, rather than what they'll actually say.

    Voice Recording

    Recording your voice is probably the easiest part of this process, just remember:

  • Speak Clearly and Concisely
  • Portray the neccessary emotions with your voice
  • Don't be monotone throughout the whole thing

  • Remember: A poorly recorded voice-over can kill your video!

    Editing Software

    Now that you've created your animation you may want to add in music or a voice over. To do so is pretty simple and easy. Like with our animation software we'll be focusing on free editing software. Below are a few free editing software you should check out if you're looking to edit your videos.

  • Davenchi Resolve (Amazing)
  • OpenShot
  • Veed

  • Of course, just like our other list, these aren't the only options available and we encourage you to look around and find what works best for you. If you want to know about some other options checkout our Best Editing Software Guide.

    Sharing and Feedback

    Now that you created you're first animation the best thing to do is get feedback for what you made. It's best to ask question on where you approve upon and apply the changes you see fit. Below are some animation communities that are good to post on:

  • Reddit r/animations
  • Prisim Animations Community Post
  • Reddit r/learnanimation
  • Instagram
  • Twitter

  • Remember: Don't be discouraged by haters and mean comments, just Keep Moving Forward. Nothing is perfect at the start! The more you practice and work to improve, the better results you'll get. Everything is in your grasp, you just have to work for it!

    If you think others would find this article useful please share it with them! If you have the time and are interested in learning more about or posting your own animation/digital art check out Prisim today!