Class Catalog

Classes Now Offered

Summer 2017
Last Day to Apply: Monday, June 26, 2017
Term Dates: Sunday, July 2, 2017 - Saturday, September 16, 2017
Classes are usually listed as 90 minutes by default. The actual class times vary based on the number of students in the class. The instruction sessions remain between 60-90 minutes, but the critique sessions can range from about 1-3 hours.
(If you would like to skip the first class in either program and begin with the second class or higher, you can email admissions@animschool.com with your demo reel and qualifications to be considered.)
Time Zone Displayed: Eastern Time (US & Canada) - CHANGE TIMEZONE
3D Animation Track
In the 3D Character Program, students learn the crafts of modeling and rigging. This is where the characters are made.
1. Introduction to Maya
LEVEL:

Intro to Maya is an in depth study of working with Autodesk's Maya Software. This course was specifically designed for students that are new to 3D, or for students that are transitioning to Maya from a different software package.


Our 11 week course thoroughly explores the Maya interface, and covers the basics of creating and manipulating objects, rigs and animations. In addition students will have an overview of materials, lighting, rendering, and customizing the Maya interface.


This course will give the students the solid foundation they need to be successful throughout the rest of the courses in our programs. By learning the the basics of the Maya software package before taking our more advanced courses, students are better able to focus on learning advanced techniques in our other classes.


critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Monday 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Wednesday 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Tuesday 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Thursday 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
2. Introduction to 3D Animation
LEVEL:
A fast paced introduction to moving characters by studying the basic principles of animation through lecture and practical assignments from an accomplished instructor. The intent being to build and solidify an understanding of these principles as a foundation for more advanced techniques learned further in the Animation Program. Students will learn how to properly plan out their animations beforehand to save time and energy later in the process. They will apply themselves to their first animation assignment to create a bouncing ball, and continue on through multiple animation assignments, including a character walk cycle; ending with various forms of character turn animation. The appealing Bunny rig will be a valuable tool to build memorable animations with your assignments. Build lasting habits by using these essential principles taught in the course: timing, arcs, spacing, anticipation, ease in and out, weight, gravity, drag, secondary action, overlap, follow through, squash and stretch, and exaggeration. There is no replacement in the program for knowing and applying the lessons taught in this exciting course.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Tuesday 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Saturday 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Monday 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Wednesday 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Monday 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Wednesday 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
3. Animating Characters
LEVEL:
Students continue their personal growth in biped character animation by analyzing and creating more detailed and more intricate animations using motion and locomotion, starting with the instruction and assignment to animate a full biped. The Animating Characters course has three long animation assignments designed to help the students create work that demonstrates an understanding of principles such as: 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. In the assignments the students are given more freedom to explore secondary actions, by using the CubeAll character they are able to add their own style and expressiveness to their work. It’s through these intricacies that an animator gets the opportunity to stand out with their own visual storytelling and begin to make useful works for their own portfolios. Through the critiques of their instructor the students are able to bring their work to the next level in all their projects; learning how to create an appealing performance through the exciting assignments like the running jump. Students will understand how to create clear actions while being expressive and creative with their character; this takes the students to the point where they learn to do more than the essential to an action to create an animation, they learn to show aspects of a character that make them appealing before they even open their mouths. 

critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Monday 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Wednesday 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Tuesday 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Thursday 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Monday 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Thursday 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Monday 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Saturday 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
4. Body Mechanics
LEVEL:
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.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Monday 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Wednesday 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Wednesday 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Sunday 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday 11:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Thursday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
3D Animation Program
In the 3D Character Program, students learn the crafts of modeling and rigging. This is where the characters are made.
1. Body Acting
LEVEL:

The Body Acting course is a milestone in the Animation Program, in this course students focus on creating a multi-shot pantomime story that will likely be an important piece for their portfolio. By using a characters expressive actions and poses, the students learn to communicate situations and feelings to their audience. The students learn the values of thorough blocking to help make the splining and polishing stages simpler. Over the course of the term they will likely be surprised themselves at the level of progress this project will bring to their skills. They will learn to use essential tools to help them bring great performances from their character, some of these tools are: 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. With their first attempt in story-telling at Animschool, our students will gain important knowledge, experience, and a portfolio piece; while also allowing themselves to express their creativity at a whole new level.


critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Monday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Wednesday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Thursday 12:00 AM - 1:30 AM
Sunday 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Monday 11:30 PM - 1:00 AM
Wednesday 11:30 PM - 1:00 AM
2. Character Performance
LEVEL:
Having worked hard to understand how to make a characters motions into expressive behavior, students must now focus on adding vocal acting in their scene. By choosing an animate dialogue in a scene the students will see the enriching effect that both words and actions can have on their scenes. In Character Performance everyone animates a scene using an audio clip that has been approved by their instructor to ensure a strong vocal performance and to get the most from this opportunity.

Using strong storytelling poses, motivated action, and convincing body movement are essential to make a scene that not only helps you in class, but in your future career in the industry. By applying the constructive critiques of their instructor, the students will learn how to breathe life into the character in their scene. The students will be examining the motivations of their characters and how those factor in to their acting in the scene; these choices will determine the level of quality their scenes will contain. However, by learning from their experienced instructor the importance of acting and reaction, choreography, and controlling the audience's attention; the students will reach new heights in animation skills as well as with their personal portfolios.

critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Tuesday 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Thursday 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Monday 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Thursday 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM
3. Facial Performance
LEVEL:
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.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Tuesday 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Thursday 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Monday 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Thursday 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
4. Animating Appeal and Entertainment
LEVEL:
This final class is designed to help students get that extra spark of life and appeal in their animation. Now that students have a solid foundation in moving and acting, the focus shifts to acting choices. Our talented acting animator instructors help students learn to make the best, most entertaining acting choices and to achieve a high level of polish and sophistication.

Instructors work with students, teaching the broad strokes and the tiny details that will help take their work to the next level. Students animate new acting shots, and get help polishing their demo reel.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Tuesday 12:00 AM - 1:30 AM
Friday 12:00 AM - 1:30 AM
5. Introduction to Game Animation
LEVEL:
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Monday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Thursday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
6. Game Animation Pipeline
LEVEL:
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Monday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Thursday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
7. Advanced Game Animation
LEVEL:
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Wednesday 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Sunday 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
3D Character Track
In the 3D Character Program, students learn the crafts of modeling and rigging. This is where the characters are made.
1. Introduction to Maya
LEVEL:

Intro to Maya is an in depth study of working with Autodesk's Maya Software. This course was specifically designed for students that are new to 3D, or for students that are transitioning to Maya from a different software package.


Our 11 week course thoroughly explores the Maya interface, and covers the basics of creating and manipulating objects, rigs and animations. In addition students will have an overview of materials, lighting, rendering, and customizing the Maya interface.


This course will give the students the solid foundation they need to be successful throughout the rest of the courses in our programs. By learning the the basics of the Maya software package before taking our more advanced courses, students are better able to focus on learning advanced techniques in our other classes.


critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Monday 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Wednesday 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Tuesday 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Thursday 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
2. Introduction to 3D Modeling
LEVEL:

Students that are enrolled in our Introduction to 3D Modeling course will develop the skills needed to model 3D objects and characters. Our course focuses on practical application of the principles and techniques of efficient and appealing 3D modeling.

Throughout the course students will practice modeling organic and inorganic real world objects and objects from a design. Students will learn how to effectively interpret a design and realize that vision in 3D space. Students will also be taught about visual appeal, and how to make their models really stand out.

As this is an introductory course students are also exposed to several modeling techniques, including polygon modeling, Sub-Division Surface, nurbs, and more. Students learn about edge flow and topology, and how to optimize their models for the 3D pipeline. Because this course is taught by professionals in the animation industry students will also learn best practices and efficient ways to work, this will help students to accomplish more in the time they have available. 

critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Wednesday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Saturday 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Monday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Thursday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
3. Introduction to Rigging
LEVEL:

AnimSchool’s Intro to Rigging is an unparalleled introduction to the world of Rigging. Students will develop a remarkable skillset of rigging techniques, culminating in the rigging of an entire humanoid character.

Building on a series of fundamental rigging exercises students will gain an appreciation, and understanding of rigging principles. Each exercise builds on the previous, so students are able ease into the complexities of rigging.

Students will learn how to use hierarchies, constraints, controllers, joints, IK-FK rigs and switches, world space, local space, math nodes, bend shapes, skinning and more. With feedback and directions from our instructors, who are working as professional riggers in the industry, the sky is the limit for our rigging students. 
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Saturday 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Monday 10:00 PM - 1:00 AM
4. Intermediate Modeling
LEVEL:

Intermediate Modeling students will focus on creating a portfolio level character model. Students will be guided through the entire process from selecting and interpreting a design, thru modeling an appealing character with proper topology and edge flow. The finished characters will prepared for deformations and rigging.

Students will learn industry standards for modeling in both posed and T-pose to best showcase their work. Starting from simple shapes and increasing detail and applying proper anatomy. Students will pay special attention to Bodies, heads, hands and feet. This course also covers topics like UV Mapping, normals and smoothing.    

critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Wednesday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Thursday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
3D Character Program
In the 3D Character Program, students learn the crafts of modeling and rigging. This is where the characters are made.
1. Advanced Modeling (ZBrush Introduction)
LEVEL:

Students learn how to use ZBrush software, sculpting a character from a design.  Students learn the process of topologizing a dense sculpted mesh into a usable 3D model in Maya.

Students learn the best modeling work-flow and practices in order to make appealing characters. Students tackle advanced facial modeling and learn the landmarks including: how to evaluate a model from multiple vantage points, how to simplify lines, what to look for to reveal model problems.

Students also model a hard surface object or set piece for their character.

NOTE: This course requires the purchase of the student version of ZBrush, typically $450.

critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Saturday 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
2. Advanced Rigging
LEVEL:

Learn the secrets of appealing facial rigging! AnimSchool's great face rigs are known all around the world. Our students learn facial rigging techniques that will help them break up facial articulation into the most usable set of functions and shapes.

Students take their deformation work to a higher level of refinement, and develop their grasp of complex rigging issues.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Tuesday 10:00 PM - 1:00 AM
3. Introduction to 3D Animation
LEVEL:
A fast paced introduction to moving characters by studying the basic principles of animation through lecture and practical assignments from an accomplished instructor. The intent being to build and solidify an understanding of these principles as a foundation for more advanced techniques learned further in the Animation Program. Students will learn how to properly plan out their animations beforehand to save time and energy later in the process. They will apply themselves to their first animation assignment to create a bouncing ball, and continue on through multiple animation assignments, including a character walk cycle; ending with various forms of character turn animation. The appealing Bunny rig will be a valuable tool to build memorable animations with your assignments. Build lasting habits by using these essential principles taught in the course: timing, arcs, spacing, anticipation, ease in and out, weight, gravity, drag, secondary action, overlap, follow through, squash and stretch, and exaggeration. There is no replacement in the program for knowing and applying the lessons taught in this exciting course.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Tuesday 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Saturday 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Monday 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Wednesday 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Monday 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Wednesday 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
4. Rigging Automation
LEVEL:

Students will delve into the world of Python scripting in Maya in our Rigging Automation course. Students will learn about Functions, Classes and Object Oriented Programming. The primary goal for the class is to prepare students to develop custom auto-rigging utilities, and interfaces, to optimize their workflow and automate repetitive tasks.

Students will take their knowledge of Mel and Python to the next level as they learn how to tackle many of the rigging challenges they will face in the industry. 
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Wednesday 10:00 PM - 1:00 AM
5. Intermediate Rigging
LEVEL:

Students participating in Intermediate Rigging will use the rigging concepts they have previously as well as more advanced techniques to create a production level Rig. Students will learn about using ribbons and follicles to create a more flexible rig. And a more advanced hierarchy and constraint system is used.

This course teaches body rigging. Rigging controls like forward/inverse kinematics, twisting, and world/local constraints are added for ease of use during posing. Then shapes and customizations are applied to refine deformations. Concepts such as multiplier attributes, lattices, wrap, nonlinear, and wire deformers, beginning Python scripting, and gimbal avoidance are covered.

Program Students are encouraged to use the character models from Intermediate Modeling to create a fully functional rig, and portfolio piece. Students without an approved modeled character may have one provided by AnimSchool.

critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Saturday 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
6. Environmental Modeling
LEVEL:

Environmental modeling will help students learn the technical and artistic skills to create visually appealing 3D environments.

Students will learn about analyzing and interpreting designs, blocking, rhythm, variation, spacing, UV Mapping, hard surface, organic, and prop modeling, generating textures, Maya's NCloth and more.

Students  select their own designs, and as a result this class has a very open structure, with lectures tailored to the environments requirements and abilities of the students in the course. Detailed critique sessions help the students push their environments to a professional level, while students learn from the coursework of their peers.  
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Saturday 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
7. Introduction to 3D Lighting
LEVEL:

Introduction to 3D lighting provides students with an in depth overview of the lighting tools available in Autodesk Maya and Mental Ray. Students will become comfortable working with lights in Maya and will learn how to compose and render amazing images.

In addition to learning how to light a scene in Maya students will be taught cinematic lighting principles, and how they apply to real world lighting applications as well as CG applications. This will better inform the lighting decisions that the students make.

Throughout the term students will light several different scenes, to allow them to experience several different lighting scenarios. Students will then light a scene of their choice for the final project. 
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
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