Class Catalog

Classes Now Offered

Fall 2020
Last Day to Apply: Monday, September 28, 2020
Term Dates: Sunday, October 4, 2020 - Saturday, December 19, 2020
Time Zone Displayed: Eastern Time (US & Canada) - CHANGE TIMEZONE
3D Animation Track
In the 3D Animation Track, students learn how to move characters and make them act.
Introduction to Maya
LEVEL:
Learn the basics of Autodesk Maya. This 11-week course explores the Maya interface, working with objects, modeling basics, how to animate objects, apply materials and textures, and use lights and cameras to render your scene. Students will have the foundation they need to carry out the assignments in our programs. 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. Students with Maya experience can bypass this course. This course is offered at a lower tuition cost than all other courses.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Monday 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Wednesday 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Monday 10:00 PM - 11:30 PM
Thursday 10:00 PM - 11:30 PM
Introduction to 3D Animation
LEVEL:
An introduction to the principles of animation, applied to simple objects and scenarios. In seven assignments, students animate with balls of different weights, an alien tow-truck ship, and a ball with legs to learn about: timing, arcs, spacing, ease in and out, weight, gravity, drag, secondary action, overlap, follow through, squash and stretch, exaggeration and the basics of bipedal locomotion. Students learn software concepts such as: projects, workspace, AutoKey keyframing, hotkeys, graph editor editing, tangents, curve cycling, and playblasting. Demonstrating these skills becomes the foundation for more advanced techniques learned later in the Animation Track and Program.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Tuesday 9:30 PM - 11:00 PM
Friday 9:30 PM - 11:00 PM
Tuesday 9:30 PM - 11:00 PM
Thursday 9:30 PM - 11:00 PM
Tuesday 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Thursday 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Friday 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Saturday 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Saturday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Monday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Tuesday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Thursday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Wednesday 12:00 AM - 1:30 AM
Friday 12:00 AM - 1:30 AM
Animating Characters
LEVEL:
This course teaches the principles of animation applied to character motion and locomotion. Students are now ready to tackle full biped character animation in three animation assignments. Students learn 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. Technical concepts and workflows like gimbal lock, rotation order, euler filter, constraints, breakdowns, avoiding counter-animation, and Tween Machine are covered so students will understand how to create clear actions while being expressive and creative with their character. By using AnimSchool's simple segmented "block" characters, students focus on the specific positioning and angles of body parts to properly communicate a biped's pose, without getting lost in the ambiguity of fleshy characters.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Monday 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Thursday 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Monday 10:30 PM - 12:00 AM
Saturday 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Monday 10:30 PM - 12:00 AM
Thursday 10:30 PM - 12:00 AM
Tuesday 10:30 PM - 12:00 AM
Thursday 10:30 PM - 12:00 AM
Monday 11:30 PM - 1:00 AM
Wednesday 11:30 PM - 1:00 AM
Tuesday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Thursday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Body Mechanics
LEVEL:
Students learn how to make characters move with more weight, solidity, and believability in action scenarios. They make a biped character move in two assignments, blending different actions to create complex scenes with an emphasis on weight during movement, 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 provides 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 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Wednesday 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Wednesday 10:30 PM - 12:00 AM
Friday 10:30 PM - 12:00 AM
Friday 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Sunday 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Wednesday 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
Thursday 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
Wednesday 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Sunday 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Sunday 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
3D Animation Program
In the 3D Animation Program, students learn how to move characters and make them act.
Body Acting
LEVEL:
In this course students create a multi-shot pantomime story, learning body kinematics in the context of acting. By using a character's expressive actions and poses, the students learn how to make a character appear to think and make decisions based on external forces or internal motivation. Students learn posing, rhythm, solidity, beats/phrasing, appeal, personality, structure, solid and malleable parts, simplicity of form, straights and curves, texture in timing, thorough blocking, moving holds and how to stage their performance for optimal presentation to an audience. Multiple shot assignments focus on hookups, screen space, and cameras, knowing shot context and importance. With their first serious attempt at storytelling at AnimSchool students express their creativity at a whole new level.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Friday 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Sunday 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Tuesday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Sunday 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Monday 10:00 PM - 11:30 PM
Wednesday 10:00 PM - 11:30 PM
Sunday 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Tuesday 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Monday 8:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Wednesday 8:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Character Performance
LEVEL:
In Character Performance, students explore how to make a character seem alive and how to craft a believable dialogue performance. Now that the students are familiar with body mechanics and pantomime body acting, they are ready to tackle the challenge of full dialogue acting. Students learn clarity of acting choices, and how to make a believable performance.

Students animate a scene using an audio clip that has been approved by their instructor using acting choices, strong storytelling poses, motivated action, and convincing body movement. Applying the direction from the instructor, students learn how to breathe life into 3D characters. Students learn the importance of acting and reaction, choreography, and controlling the audience's attention.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Monday 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Tuesday 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Tuesday 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Thursday 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Monday 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Wednesday 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Monday 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Wednesday 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Facial Performance
LEVEL:
Students tackle the demanding task of facial acting in more detail. Students 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 students dig into the nuances of facial animation that will help you to understand how and why to build stronger facial poses. 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 dive deeper into facial acting, and demonstrate how strong facial acting infuses depth and personality into your characters.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Monday 8:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday 8:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Thursday 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Monday 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Wednesday 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Animating Appeal and Entertainment
LEVEL:
Now that students have a solid foundation in moving and acting, the focus shifts to acting choices. This final animation class is designed to help students get that extra spark of life and appeal in their animation. Taught by veteran animators, their goal is to help students learn to make better, entertaining acting choices and to achieve a high level of polish and sophistication. Instructors guide with the broad strokes and the tiny details that will help take students' work to the next level. Students animate new acting shots, and get help polishing their demo reel.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Tuesday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Thursday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Tuesday 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Thursday 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Monday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Wednesday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Introduction to Game Animation
LEVEL:
Animators learn what it takes to work in the ever changing gaming industry and make assignments that are 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. Prerequisites: Introduction to 3D Animation, Animating Characters, or equivalent experience. A basic understanding of animation principals and body mechanics is a must.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Monday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Thursday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Game Animation Pipeline
LEVEL:
Students will learn to animate quadruped creature movement, attacks, and flight, using AnimSchool’s game rigs. They will then export them as enemies to play against in a game! Students will also expand their knowledge by learning how to animate on top of motion capture and giving it personality . Industry professional guests will aid the teacher in a mock interview with each student as they prepare for starting their career. Students must meet system requirements for running Unreal.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Sunday 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Thursday 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Advanced Game Animation
LEVEL:
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. By the end, they will have a cinematic rendered from Unreal for their demo reel. Industry professional guests will aid the teacher in a second mock interview with each student as they prepare for starting their career. Students must meet system requirements for running Unreal.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Wednesday 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Sunday 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
VFX Creature Animation
LEVEL:
Get ready to learn how to animate feature level VFX monsters! Students will be exposed to real world background plates and learn how to incorporate the study of the known and unknown to make monsters move inside real-life environments. This course will go over advanced techniques for quadrupeds and uniquely moving beasts with nontraditional proportions. Real VFX workflows will be used in this studio level course. This is an advanced level class that requires a proficient understanding of body mechanics. The class aims to provide students with a strong foundation and understanding of creature body mechanics so they are able to tackle shots in real-life environment.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Monday 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Wednesday 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
VFX Quadruped Animation
LEVEL:
Get ready to learn how to animate feature level VFX monsters! Students will be exposed to real world background plates and learn how to incorporate the study of the known and unknown to make monsters move inside real-life environments. This course will go over advanced techniques for quadrupeds and uniquely moving beasts with nontraditional proportions. Real VFX workflows will be used in this studio level course. This is an advanced level class that requires a proficient understanding of body mechanics. The class aims to provide students with a strong foundation and understanding of creature body mechanics so they are able to tackle shots in real-life environment.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
3D Character Track
In the 3D Character Program, students learn the crafts of modeling and rigging. This is where the characters are made.
Introduction to Maya
LEVEL:
Learn the basics of Autodesk Maya. This 11-week course explores the Maya interface, working with objects, modeling basics, how to animate objects, apply materials and textures, and use lights and cameras to render your scene. Students will have the foundation they need to carry out the assignments in our programs. 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. Students with Maya experience can bypass this course. This course is offered at a lower tuition cost than all other courses.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Monday 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Wednesday 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Monday 10:00 PM - 11:30 PM
Thursday 10:00 PM - 11:30 PM
Introduction to 3D Modeling
LEVEL:
An introduction to the principles of polygon modeling, applied to simple objects. This course teaches professional topology layouts for hard surface and character modeling. Students learn modeling workflows to achieve desirable shaping, and common rest states for rigging. Students model organic and inorganic objects, a real-world household object, model a designed vehicle, and a designed character bust. Students learn basic modeling concepts like edge flow, working with manipulators, isolate selection, primitives, history, loft, bevel, extrusion, duplication, transformation space, soft selection, reflection editing, lattices, converting geometry types, projects, and workspace. Students 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 stand out.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Thursday 12:00 AM - 1:30 AM
Saturday 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Monday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Thursday 11:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Introduction to Rigging
LEVEL:
An introduction to the principles of rigging, applied to simple objects and scenarios.

In order for any 3D animation to happen, riggers (Character Technical Directors) take a completed character or prop model and use the concepts learned in this class to prepare it for deformation and action. Riggers insert bones (joints) into the character and refine the shapes and control systems so the character can act. Students learn basic rigging concepts including hierarchies, constraints, skinning, blendshapes, connections, joints, orientation, inverse kinematics, expressions, math nodes, xray, curve controls, custom attributes, sets, Set Driven Keys, and hypergraph connections. Each exercise builds on the previous, so students are able ease into the complexities of rigging.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Saturday 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Monday 9:30 PM - 11:00 PM
Tuesday 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Thursday 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Intermediate Modeling ZBrush Intro
LEVEL:
Students learn how to use ZBrush software, learning the unique interface and workflows. Students sculpt a character from a stylized character design approved by the instructor. This course teaches professional modeling workflow and practices so students can sculpt appealing characters. Students tackle advanced body and 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 sculpt clothing 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 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Sunday 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Saturday 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
3D Character Program
In the 3D Character Program, students learn the crafts of modeling and rigging. This is where the characters are made.
Advanced Production Modeling
LEVEL:
Advanced Production Modeling students learn how to create a portfolio-level character model. Students are guided through the process from selecting an approved stylized character design and using Maya's polygon modeling tools to create a character model with proper topology and edge flow that could be rigged and used in an animation production. Students learn professional techniques for modeling an entire character in a default and hero pose, searching for appeal as well as technical integrity. Through iterations and direction from the instructor, the students refine the shapes for maximum likeness to the design, appeal and usability. Concepts such as normals, UV texture projections, and smoothing are discussed. Students can use their ZBrush knowledge from the ZBrush class and work in conjunction with Maya, or model from scratch in Maya, depending on their preference.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Saturday 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
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
Monday 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Monday 10:00 PM - 1:00 AM
Intermediate Rigging
LEVEL:
This course teaches body rigging. Students build on the basic concepts and learn more complete full 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. Student learn about multiplier attributes, lattices, wrap, nonlinear, and wire deformers, beginning Python scripting, ribbons, follicles, pose-space deformers, stretchy limbs, and gimbal avoidance. Students learn how to make great deformations and build corrective shapes for characters. Students learn the aesthetics of body shapes.
Program Students can use their own character models from Intermediate Modeling to create a fully functional rig, and portfolio piece. Students without an approved modeled character may use one provided by AnimSchool.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Monday 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Wednesday 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Advanced Rigging
LEVEL:
In this course, students learn facial rigging. AnimSchool's Malcolm 2.0 is known around the world, with over 100,000 downloads in dozens of countries. Our students learn facial rigging techniques that will help them break up facial articulation into the most usable set of functions and shapes and provide a greater range of motion. Students take their deformation work to a higher level of refinement, and develop their grasp of complex rigging issues to make performing characters. (pre-requisite: Intermediate Rigging)
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Wednesday 10:00 PM - 11:30 PM
Saturday 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Rigging Automation
LEVEL:
There are many parts of CG pipeline that can be automated and made simpler by writing code. Modern rigging for instance does not rely on hand-making rig parts for each character. Many companies have Pipeline TD or Engineering departments responsible for automating the daily tasks of artists. And of course programming skills can be very beneficial for artists themselves. After taking this class an animator, modeler or a rigger will learn how to make their process faster and easier through writing code that will take care of the tedious parts of their work.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Saturday 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Tuesday 9:30 PM - 11:00 PM
Materials and Texturing
LEVEL:
Students learn how to apply materials and detailed textures using Substance Painter and Maya. Once a model's shape is formed, it's the material shaders and textures that make it come alive. 3D character artists should know how to texture models for job opportunities. Especially in game studios, for many Character Artists studio positions, they are expected to be able to apply materials and textures to their models. So we offer this course to learn modern “layered” texturing approaches using the popular newer software, Substance Painter.
critique time *
class time
instructor
notes
Monday 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Wednesday 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM
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 Arnold. 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
Friday 12:00 AM - 1:30 AM
Wednesday 12:00 AM - 1:30 AM
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Stay up-to-date on the latest news, special events and new offerings from AnimSchool!