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In the 3D Animation Program, students learn the craft of 3D animation; how to move characters and make them perform and act in a convincing way.

Students learn about posing, drawing, appeal, principles of motion, acting, and the classical principles of animation. Each week, animators from the best studios in the world work with the students one-on-one, giving the students the best opportunity for growth.

At AnimSchool, we eat, drink, and sleep animation! We love animating, and we want students who share our enthusiasm.

Animation is about bringing characters to life. This is a very demanding and competitive discipline, but for those of us in the field, all the hard work is worth that magic result: a character who seems to come to life on the screen.

Appealing, expressive characters are the heart of AnimSchool!

Our students learn animation from instructors who work at the highest level. In addition, animation students take one course in modeling or rigging. That broader knowledge is helpful at smaller studios, broadcast studios, game studios, especially if the animator later aspires to work on their own short film. Even film animators benefit from knowledge of modeling and rigging; they are able to customize their shots, and apply in-shot deformers for added appeal. (Students have the option of bypassing the modeling or rigging course if they already have the requisite experience.)

Our Animation program is divided into 2 parts, the Animation track, and the Animation program.

The Animation track consists of classes 0-3. These classes form a foundation of Animation skills to prepare students for success in the Animation Program. Classes 4-7 make up the Animation program. Successfully completing the program classes will prepare a student to work in the industry as well as make a student eligible for a certificate of completion.

Prior to acceptance in the Animation program students must successfully complete the Animation track classes or provide the Review Board with a reel demonstrating the prerequisite skills needed to be successful in the Animation Program.

Each term in the Animation track and program is 11 weeks long.

3D Animation Track

3D Animaton Program prerequisite courses

Introduction to Maya


Essential Maya software skills for success

For students who are new to Maya or transitioning from different 3D software packages this is the place to start. This course will teach our students the fundamental skills they need so that instead of learning Maya basics during their program classes they can focus on learning animation principles, modeling and rigging.
This course explores the Maya interface, creating objects, primitives, lights, cameras, rendering and materials. Students will understand about grouping, parenting, constraints and hierarchies preparing them for further modeling, rigging and animation courses.
Students that already have experience with Maya may be eligible to bypass this course by submitting their demo reel or portfolio to our review board at admissions@animschool.com.

Introduction to 3D Animation


Apply the principles of animation to simple objects and characters

From the classic bouncing ball to the workings of a walk cycle. Students will learn about timing, arcs, spacing, anticipation, ease in and out, weight, gravity, drag, secondary action, overlap, follow through, squash and stretch, and exaggeration. Instructors will share techniques on how to achieve believable motion in objects and simple characters, and will show you some tips and tricks on 3D animation workflow. Be prepared to absorb lots of information coming at you in a fast-paced and fun induction into the world of 3D animation!

Animating Characters


Fundamentals of character motion and locomotion.

This class introduces our students to the wonderful world of biped character locomotion. Students will complete three separate exercises to learn the concepts required for believable motion and locomotion including:
how to maintain balance, understanding where the character's center of gravity is located, sculpting poses for strong silhouettes, shape reversals, how and why a character anticipates a move, motivated action, secondary action and reaction, caricatured motion, how to avoid twinning, appeal in asymmetry, and staging.
Each student is encouraged to explore creative scenarios for their characters in each assignment, in order to start flexing those story-telling muscles. Instructors will guide students to a more clear presentation while also offering valuable insight that will bring more life into your characters!

Body Mechanics


Mastering physical movement with simple characters.

Students learn how to make biped characters move in two exercises, blending different actions to create complex scenes with an emphasis on balance, direction changes, action, realistic force, and Ik/Fk switching. Students also learn quadruped locomotion in a third exercise of animating a dog walk. The class aims to provide students with a strong foundation and understanding of body mechanics so they are able to tackle physical shots in real production environments. Students will continue to improve their workflows in order to work more quickly and efficiently and meet realistic deadlines.

Next Step: Apply for the Animation Program!

3D Animation Program

Body Acting


Body mechanics are explored in the context of acting.

This class will give you insight into how to understand the art of pantomime acting. Students will begin to focus on how to make a character appear to think and make decisions based on external forces or internal motivation. Instructors will share techniques on important building blocks such as posing, staging, rhythm, solidity, beats/phrasing, appeal, personality, structure, solid and malleable parts, simplicity of form, straights and curves, texture in timing, and moving holds.
Students will be able to explore story-telling in more depth, and will learn to stage their performance for best presentation to an audience.

Character Performance


How to animate a shot with dialogue

The exercise that all animators look forward to; Acting to dialogue. Now that you know body mechanics and pantomime body acting, you are ready to tackle the challenge. Students will learn how to select dialogue clips, and how to present the ideas in the audio in an interesting way by clarity of acting choices.
In Character Performance you will explore how to make a character seem alive, and how to craft a believable performance. You will explore who your character is in order to find that place where genuine acting choices come alive in your scene.
Multiple character assignments teach students about acting and reaction, choreography, and controlling the audience's attention. Instructors will guide students through building strong facial poses, as well as phoneme shapes that read with clarity and appeal.

Facial Performance


Take your facial acting up a notch!

Students tackle the demanding task of facial acting in more detail. You will learn to animate a line of dialogue with the main focus of the shot being the subtle emotional beats in the face. In Facial Performance you will dig into the nuances of facial animation that will help you to understand how and why to build a facial pose a certain way.
Learn when and why to draw the audience in tighter. Explore how the face works as a whole unit and shape, and how the small pieces play a role in delivering subtle changes in the character's thoughts.
Instructors will dive deeper into facial acting, and demonstrate why strong facial acting is important to infuse depth and personality into your characters.

Animating Appeal and Entertainment


Advanced Course: Guiding the Students to the most entertaining ideas and choices and appealing poses

This master class is designed to help students get that extra spark of life and appeal in their animation. This class is taught by the most talented AnimSchool animators.

Their goals: to help you learn to make the best, most entertaining acting choices and to achieve a high level of polish and sophistication.

Instructors guide you with the broad strokes and the tiny details that will
help take your work to the next level.

Students animate new acting shots, and get help polishing their demo reel.


Game Animation Emphasis

AnimSchool offers three gaming courses:

  • Introduction to Gaming Animation
  • Game Animation Pipeline
  • Advanced Game Animation

Game animation students learn the animations, tools, and skills specifically required for working in games.

Students learn about game theory, interaction, working with game engines, importing animation into Unity, and working in game cinematics.

AnimSchool animation students can choose a gaming emphasis, replacing animation classes 5,6 and 7(or take them after completing the program).

Introduction to Game Animation


How to create animations for games

Animators learn what it takes to work in the ever changing gaming industry and how make assignments set in a game development environment. Students coming out of the courses will have essential demo reel material required for most video game animator positions for gameplay and cinematics.

Students learn game theory, engines, and a basic understanding of pipeline. Students create player and enemy animations, using AnimSchool's game character rigs.

It's about GAMING! Each week students should send their teacher a current export of their plotted animation (.fbx) to be viewed IN ENGINE and also provide a playblast from Maya from front, side.

They should also be playing new games and come ready to discuss what they liked and didn't like about it.

Game Animation Pipeline


Advanced game animations, nuanced performances, and bringing animation elements together in a game engine

Students learn about working within a game development pipeline using Unity, while exploring new animation states that broaden their technical abilities.

Students expand their moveset of player and enemy animations like pushing/pulling, climbing, and more!
Students use AnimSchool's quadruped rig, "Hellhound"!

Advanced Game Animation


Cinematic Animation for Games

Students create the story moments that make games memorable, put together a story sequence with existing and new animation, and study camera techniques to make game cinematics animations! They learn how to be fast and efficient with their animations along and learn how to apply to game studios.

"Online reviews with some of the best animators in the world who really take the time to look at your work." –Mark B.

"Now I know how to make animation better, appealing. After AnimSchool, I feel empowered." –Carlos R.

"AnimSchool has allowed me to advance in a career that is filled with opportunities" –Carlos G.

"I’ve learned so much and I’m really happy I chose AnimSchool! It’s pretty cool that I get to work on characters I love...I’m thrilled that I get to model, rig and animate Donald Duck’s nephews for a Disney project." –Nanda D.

"Without knowing anything about Maya 2 ½ years ago and be able to do these sort of things today – makes me really proud!" –Martin S.

"I didn’t know crap about 3D animation before I got here, so it’s really cool! I have an animation job now." –Maikoe A.

"I finished school, got a job and was promoted to Animation Supervisor--all because of AnimSchool." –Dimitar B.

"I've learned a lot from all the professional animators at AnimSchool! Their stories about daily work in major studios and productions worldwide made the profession come alive for me." –Imelda A.

"I had done commercials and worked on TV for 5 years, but during my first class at AnimSchool I realized that I didn’t know how to animate yet! This was just so different!" –Daniel J.

"I am now comfortable with modeling, character creation and rigging in Maya. Before AnimSchool, I didn’t know how to rig anything." –Richitos M.

"Even though it’s an online school it feels like a whole community of people who I have never met before but became really good friends with...it’s simply the BEST!" –Dilen S.

"The instructors are among the best. They have been super kind with me - they not only taught me how to animate better, they also pushed me to become a good team member." –Carlos A.

"From class to class I could see a marked improvement in my work." –Maxim K.