Animation is a simple way to break down complex training materials, packaging it into a format that’s easy for learners to understand. Tortal’s animation services create learning materials that engage the user and help them understand your company’s key concepts, equipment, and procedures.
What is Animation?
Animation is the art of making something lifeless into something lifelike. Most often, it refers to the creation of moving images from still pictures. Once confined to the pages of flipbooks, animation now offers almost endless possibilities. It can be:
- Two-dimensional or three-dimensional
- Hand-drawn or computerized
- Comedic or serious
At Tortal, we use many different forms and categories of animation to increase employee engagement with eLearning content.
What Types of Animation Are Used in Training?
Animation can add interest to any kind of training, from employee onboarding programs to technical and safety training. There are several different formats to choose from and none is objectively “better” than any other. The right choice depends on the subject of the training material, your company’s branding and desired image, and the types of employees who need training.
Two-dimensional (2D) animation was the first kind of television and movie animation. It’s the format that comes to mind when most people think of cartoons.
2D animation is well-suited for training because it lends a sense of levity to what may otherwise be difficult subjects and is relatively quick and easy to produce. The graphics involved are simpler than in other types of training animation, but that simplicity often makes them less distracting compared to more complex styles. Learners can stay focused on the content without losing the entertainment value of the animation.
3D animation tends to look more realistic and have better graphics than 2D animation, but it comes with higher up-front costs. The cost differential may be minimal or nonexistent, however, if a company makes multiple videos using the same 3D models.
3D animation is particularly beneficial for interactive eLearning, especially when it is produced to look and feel like a video game, which naturally holds people’s attention. 3D training animation also works well for technical and mechanical training because it represents movement more accurately than 2D animation.
Animation Over Real-World Visuals
Animators have been superimposing moving images on real-world visuals for decades. The 1964 classic Mary Poppins and the 1988 hit Roger Rabbit are two particularly famous examples.
Both movies use cartoon characters interacting with humans to add whimsy and humor. Superimposed animation can improve training by helping employees focus on crucial components of an image or video. Tortal often uses animation over real-world visuals to help employees improve their observation skills and hone in on important tactics, tools, or service techniques they’ll encounter in their jobs.
Benefits of Using Animation in Training
1. Animation illustrates examples effectively.
Some concepts seem inaccessible or abstract when described in writing or diagrams but make perfect sense when put into the context of a concrete example. Animation lets us create those examples with less cost to the client, as compared to the filming of a live-action scenario.
Animating machinery or tools: When employees need to learn how to operate complicated or costly machinery or tools, demonstrating those tools in operation can be cost-prohibitive. Animation lets us show all aspects of a mechanism, including the interior components, without the expense of operating the machine for every training session.
2. A sense of “fun” improves learning.
Science has shown that when learning is fun, people retain information better. They are more engaged and invested in the process, and they walk away with more vivid memories of what they’ve learned. People associate animation with playfulness and fun, making a training program more entertaining and engaging. The increase in engagement and knowledge retention easily translates to greater productivity later on.
3. Animated avatars make training seem more personal.
Consider a video designed to train a food service employee on a new POS system. The employee tries out the system using a simulator. When the employee makes a mistake, a helpful animated avatar pops up and points to the correct button. The positive experience helps the employee to internalize the procedure.
The avatar lends more warmth to the situation as compared to a text-based message indicating a wrong answer. At the same time, the recognizable avatar serves as a through-line for the program, lending familiarity and continuity.
4. Animation encourages employees to connect with training.
Training programs can include an avatar “learner” character, which helps employees visualize themselves in the situations presented. People relate to characters that are designed to mimic them and their situation, such as the job they’re doing. An animated stand-in for the learner can make the training experience more personal, encouraging employees to pay attention and better understand and relate to the material.
Tortal is a full-service developer of interactive eLearning solutions. We create content tailored to each client’s business needs and are the only service provider in our category to use proven engagement methodologies to connect with a distributed workforce.
At Tortal, we use animation because we understand its potential for effective engagement and its ability to increase knowledge retention. We work closely with clients to choose the most appropriate and relevant animation style and integrate it seamlessly into the content as a whole. From simple animations to Hollywood-level graphics, our studios have the equipment and experts to produce the animated training you need.
1. What is the difference between animation, AR/VR, and gamification?
As employee training incorporates more interactive, fun elements to increase engagement and efficacy, it’s becoming more common for training tactics to blur together. However, there are some key differences between these three techniques.
Animation takes still pictures and makes them move, but they are still viewed on a screen. They can be integrated into interactive content but on their own are passively consumed.
AR and VR, formally known as augmented reality and virtual reality, can be integrated with animation or live-action video. They are meant to be more immersive. VR makes the viewer feel like they are at the center of the action, while AR overlays text or design onto live video.
Gamification turns learning into games with points and/or rewards. Animation can be a great addition to gamified training because it makes the training feel like a video game.
2. What types of training materials are animated?
Almost anything can be animated. The selection depends on what a company wants to highlight and what could benefit from a training technique that’s easier for employees to understand and relate to. Some examples are:
- Sample on-the-job scenarios
- Illustrations of concepts or procedure flows
- Mascots and branded characters
- Technical instructions
3. How does Adobe Flash affect training animation?
Adobe Flash was used to power animation for many years, but it has its limits. There is currently an industry shift away from Flash and toward the more versatile HTML5 technology, which:
- Runs on more devices
- Translates more easily into different programming languages
- Is easier to create and edit
- Integrates with other content more easily
Dedicated to leading the way in training solutions technology, Tortal already uses HTML5 to develop learning animations. We also offer conversions of older animations from Flash to HTML5.
Tortal’s Training Animation Services
Contact us for more information on our animation services, the best types of training content to animate, and how animation could improve your training key performance indicators (KPIs).