How to Make Your Own CGI Short Film

By Quinn Marshall

A CGI short film is a short movie made entirely on a computer using animation software. You can create your own short CGI animations and upload them to video sharing websites, add them to your portfolio or attempt to sell them for profit. Unlike the early days of computer animation, it is no longer necessary to understand a complex animation program and a programming language -- instead, you can use an online animation generator designed for simple and fast animation. You must master a complex animation program, however, to make Hollywood-like animations.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Paper

Step 1

Sketch out characters for your short CGI animation on a sketch pad and develop a story for the film. Draw several renditions on your characters to solidify their design in your mind and familiarize yourself with their idiosyncrasies, then create a storyboard around the film's plot by writing the plot in sequential order on a piece of paper.

Step 2

Navigate to an online animation generator, such as Go Animate at or Xtranormal at

Step 3

Click "Create Account" and enter the required information, such as your email address and how you heard about the website. Click the account confirmation link in the email the service sends you, then log in to your account.

Step 4

Create your CGI short film using the animation program, using your storyboard and character sketches as guidelines. Use the program's tools to create the characters, setting and animation. Render the animation when you're finished creating it using the program's or generator's render feature; this could take several hours.

Step 5

Save the video to your hard drive by clicking "Save" or "Download."

Tips & Warnings

  • To develop your CGI technique, learn a programming language and master an animation program such as Maya from