Animation has never been more popular on YouTube. From educational videos like Kurzgesagt to independent animations like Confinement, animation has become more diverse and common on the video-sharing website in the past few years.
Animation on easily-accessible platforms like YouTube allows people who are new to the medium to study how it’s created and how studios are structured. This accessibility is something distinct within the microcosm of YouTube. To gain revenue, these studios have to be active or risk losing views. This results in more videos of the animators working, as well as more direct technical questions being answered quickly and clearly. Shows that don’t update frequently often have creators that go on social media and display the progress they’ve made on their projects.
On the other side of the coin, YouTube allows a more fluid animation environment. Most of the animators on the site are making passion projects because they have other jobs or their audience will pay them to make what they already enjoy making. Patreon plays into this, allowing studios or individual animators to update more often while making things that they enjoy without being sanitized by a studio or brand. It also allows flexibility on the creators behalf, as they aren’t forced to work on deadlines that would make the final product shoddy and rushed.
The community is also a large benefit to those just starting to animate on YouTube. Animatics are frequent and while not quite animation, they give a good jumping off point to those just beginning to experiment. The styles differ largely as well, providing a good amount of inspiration. Whether you watch the bounce and curl of Louie Zong’s My Brother, My Brother and Me, or animatics based on musicals, each provides an easy jumping off point when trying to start the craft on your own. YouTube is also a platform that is easy to post to. Anyone can start posting for free and build a following that is as responsive to you as you are to them.
The recent resurgence in both popularity and content posted has resulted in an excellent melting pot of different styles and skill levels, mostly unhindered by branding or studio restrictions. YouTube is one of the best places to view content almost directly from the mind of the creator. Plus, these projects that are passionate, well thought out, and without the influence of executives detached from the public, and desperately seeking money for shareholders.