Animation Classes for Film & Games

Online Animation Courses Taught by Industry Pros

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CG Spectrum student work

COURSE OVERVIEW

From Spiderman swinging from building to building to the Navii in Avatar, and Rocket, the smart-mouthed grouchy mutant raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy, many of today's films and games would not be nearly as sensational as they are without teams of knowledgeable animators bringing these characters to life.

Expert animators can take a CG character or creature and use techniques such as body mechanics, physics, and character acting to create a believable, relatable scene and in just 10 months, you'll have a handle on these approaches and more. Throughout our online 3D animation classes, you will learn advanced techniques for character acting and creature animation and use it to create finished pieces of work for your professional animation demo reel.

CG Spectrum's mentors have worked on blockbuster films and AAA video games and are ready to share their years of professional experience with you. You'll meet online weekly with your mentor as they work within your animation project files giving you in-depth feedback, keeping the experience personalized and ensuring that they are adjusting the animation course topics to optimize your potential.

Our goal is to ensure that you learn what it takes to work within a studio production pipeline and succeed as an animator and teach you the skills needed to tackle the everyday challenges a professional’s face.

Enroll in our online animation school today and become a part of the next generation of elite animators.

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"The amount of one-on-one is second to none. My time with CG Spectrum has been invaluable. Having never done animation classes online, I didn’t expect to receive the level of personalized learning and quality teaching that I've experienced. The techniques that I've learned have not only improved my animation skills by leaps and bounds, but they've also taught me to be a better storyteller through animation."

Richard Schilling

COURSE DETAILS

Next Intake
August 6th, 2018

Duration
10 Months

Course Delivery
Online

Skill Level
Intermediate - Advanced

Prerequisites

Introduction to 3D Animation or a portfolio submission demonstrating equivalent learning outcomes

A computer that meets the minimum recommended specifications

What You Get

  • Access to world-class mentors
  • Live weekly classes
  • Weekly recorded critiques 
  • Custom built curriculum
  • Original video content
  • Free Maya educational software license
  • Access to online learning portal

COURSE CURRICULUM

Study Period 01 - Acting for Animation

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Overview

Understating how characters think and reacts emotionally to their surroundings is one of the most important skills of becoming a successful character animator. In this study period, students will dive into the psychology of a character and learn what makes them tick.

Students will start out by adding character and emotion to a character walk and create a backstory that drives the mood of the character exploring several variations of emotion to build unique animations showing different states of mind.

Next, you will begin to develop your skills in pantomime acting, using only the body without the use of dialogue to convey emotions. Subtly and subtext plays a vital role in animating more believable and relatable scenes without going over the top and drawing your audience into a character’s performance.

Once you have a solid grasp on how a character emotes through body language you’ll begin animating a character dialogue piece complete with lip sync, facial and body expression. Students will finish the study period with 3 solid pieces of animation for their portfolio.

  1. Learn how to use reference in your animation to create appealing poses and speed up your workflow

  1. Find out how timing can add appeal and texture to your character animations

  1. Understand the importance of planning out your shot and using the blocking technique to build your shots

  2. Take your shot from blocked poses and introduce fluid character motion through the exciting process of splining

  1. Add anticipation and moving holds to your animation to help lead your audience and keep your character's motion alive

  1. Animate a character dialogue shot and get the hang of a facial animation rigging system to build believable expressions and lip sync 

  1. Explore polishing techniques that will take your animation to the next level and produce animation pieces for your portfolio

Study Period 02 - Advanced Acting for Animation

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Overview

This study period focuses solely on planning, building and executing a 2-person dialogue acting shot by getting you to animate two characters interacting with each other.

You'll analyze and dissect a piece of dialogue to understand the context behind your shot and begin planning your scene by shooting your own reference video to help guide your animation performance.

Once you've developed a plan for your shot you'll begin setting up your scene and learn professional workflows to keep it organized. You'll learn all about shot composition and cinematography by using cameras and character staging to develop an appealing visual aesthetic to keep your audience captivated.

Students will dive into animating their acting scene by using layering techniques to thoughtfully build their shot and hit important acting beats with key poses and believable body mechanics. By adding finer details to the limbs, fingers and face your animation will start to come alive as your characters begin to interact more convincingly with each other. The final stage of the process will have you refining your animation to a polished level then lighting and rendering your shot for your portfolio.

  1. Research and source a piece of acting dialogue and start building your story

  1. Shoot your own reference for your acting scene to fully understand how your shots performance will be delivered

  1. Build your scene and start staging your characters using cinematography techniques every animator needs to understand to produce a convincing story

  2. Learn proven studio workflows to help keep your scene organized as it becomes more complex 

  1. Block out key poses and acting beats to find a rhythm within your scene 

  1. Refine your animation and add detail to the spine, legs, arms and hands of your characters

  1. Introduce facial animation and lip-sync to your scene then add polish by refining the details, implementing lighting and finally rendering your scene for your portfolio

Study Period 03 - Creature Animation & Portfolio

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Overview

In order to stand out as an animator, it's important to diversify your animation skill set. By adding creature animation to your arsenal you'll be a more well-rounded artist and adaptable in a studio pipeline. 

The art of creature animation is a complex and challenging topic to master. In Study Period 03 students will focus mainly on the mechanics of creature animation to provide a solid foundation of animal locomotion. You'll learn a broad range of techniques to master the most animals most commonly used in a studio production. 

From quadruped walks, runs and jumps to animating winged creatures you'll have a solid understanding of creature animation and more diverse animation skillset upon completion of this study period.

To wrap things up you'll develop a portfolio of all your best work. You may want to revisit and polish some pieces you've already completed or start something from scratch. Whatever you decide you'll finish the course with a comprehensive portfolio that you can use in your journey to become an animator for feature film and video games.

  1. Broaden your animation skillset by mastering the mechanics of creature animation

  1. Learn the complex differences between animating 2-legged and 4-legged creature walks and runs

  1. Understand creature locomotion, weight and how physical anatomy affects animal movement

  2. Animate a quadruped jump and how different animals use their physique to maintain balance

  1. Move on to animating winged creatures and learn how different types of winged animals use their anatomy to stay in flight

  1. Select several pieces you have animated over the course and polish them to a professional level for your portfolio

  1. Learn how to promote your work and build a demo reel that recruiters will notice

MEET YOUR MENTORS

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Mark Pullyblank
Mentor of 3D Animation

Known for
Avatar
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Mentor-of-3d-animation-delano-athias

Delano Athias
Mentor of 3D Animation

Known for
Ready Player One
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Nick Fredin
Mentor of 3D Animation

Known for
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
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STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

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"It’s your career success that matters. I applied to some companies with my updated reel and get the chance to be hired by a small studio named Dwarf-Labs where I did some animations for a CG commercial. Then I was hired by Ubisoft where I worked for the last release of one of their big franchise, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate!"

Sebastien Muller

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“CG Spectrum Online Animation School has been an instrumental part of my growth. The mentors at CG Spectrum are amazing and have helped me sharpen my skills, acquire new ones and strengthen my abilities. This is an invaluable experience for anyone looking to learn 3D Animation & VFX or take their skills to the next level. Highly recommended!"

Phil Minter

GRADUATE PLACEMENT

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COURSE TUITION

Group Class

At CG Spectrum you're never just a number. We cap our online animation classes at 5 students so you get the most attention possible at a more affordable price. 

Monthly

$995

10 x payments

Study Period

$2985

Save 10%

Upfront

$7795

Save 20%

1-On-1 Class

By choosing the 1-on-1 option you will get more individual attention from your mentor while having the flexibility to work within your busy schedule.

Monthly

$1195

10 x payments

Study Period

$3595

Save 10%

Upfront

$9995

Save 20%

GET STARTED TODAY

Do you have questions about one of our courses? Contact us and we'll get right back to you.