3 skills your eLearning animator needs for amazing videos

microlearning video, animator skills, eLearning animator, eLearning, animator, animation

Your future animator needs these 3 skills to build awesome eLearning animation, awesome microlearning videos and animation

eLearning animation and awesome microlearning videos take a lot of knowledge and skills to produce. That’s why it’s so important to have a high-quality animator or animation team full with skills on your side when you’re creating a eLearning video course.

To produce awesome eLearning video animation, an animator needs 3 technical skills and a few soft skills. Having all 3 isn’t impossible – Definitely not a unicorn…It’s more like a narwhal! Just something you don’t see every day!

We break your perfect eLearning animator down into three skills-based components:

1. Pre-production

Pre-production skills translate your script into a storyboard. 

This isn’t just about being able to draw. This is about interpreting your script in a creative visual way, telling a story that aligns with your online learning content.

By definition, visual storytelling might seem pretty straightforward and simple— it’s the art/science of communicating a series of messages using graphics and illustrations.

Most instructional designers fall short here – as they have a background in writing, education, and content.

The pre-production artist must learn the eLearning content and then conceptualize visual metaphors and scenes aligned to a graphic story arc! Technical skills required:

– Ability to analyze complex content and create storyboards based on interpretation of the story arc or prompts.

– Develop characters through the storyboard process.

– And of course…Sketching

2. Assets and branding

The second skill is the ability to take your eLearning storyboard and interpret it in a way that aligns with your brand. 

This person would have graphic design and illustration skills to translate the storyboard into a branded scenes. They use software like Adobe Illustrator to build caricatures, illustrations, traditional vectors, and more that complement your microlearning video’s story. Technical skills required:

– Adobe create suite of tools, such as InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop

– Good use of typography, grid-based design, white space, and color theory

– Brand analysis to design solutions within corporate brand guidelines.

3. Animation (and a little bit of video editing)

The third skill your eLearning video animator must have is the ability to take assets and move them in alignment with your audio and sound effects. They will know animation software like After Effects or Maya, depending on the project.

– Diverse capabilities in the principles of 2D and 3D, such as; animation, modeling, rigging, texturing, shading, lighting, rendering, effects, scripting, tracking and compositing

– Ability to edit and incorporate content (stills, footage, music, graphics, etc.) as needed.

– Retouches, corrects, and color-grades video and photo content.


This person needs to be awesome with communication. Juggling animation projects and SME/Instructional Designer relationships can feel stressful. Effective project communication can ease the pressure and set up the elearning animation project’s success.

The importance of communication as an animator is HUGE!

Even as a eLearning animation agency – we feel that finding an animator with all 3 plus communication skills is very very difficult. 

Our solution? Hire an account manager, storyboard, illustrator and animator (animation focused). Our ability to give our clients entire teams in the same room (at our ninja base) is part of our secret sauce

You do need a full team of Ninjas on your side if you’re creating 60+ videos for your next eLearning project, though. 

That’s why Ninja Tropic has built a team of workers who are real gems. Every person has deep, niche expertise in their area of work, which means making better videos on a tight turnaround. 

Don’t try to DIY something so complex. 

Let’s chat about your next eLearning project. Schedule here!

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