Learn about posing, drawing, appeal, principles of motion, acting, and the classical principles of animation!
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.
The 3D Anmation Workshop I’ve created is divided into 2 parts, the Foundations of Animation track, and the Animation Program or Video Game Animation.
The Foundations of Animation training consists of 4 blocks. These blocks give the foundations and skills to prepare students for success in the second part of the workshop. The second set of blocks, make up the Animation / Video Game Animation Programs. It’s recommended to fulfill both trainings, to be prepared to work in the industry.
Introduction to Maya
Learn the basics of Autodesk Maya. This block 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 block if desired.
Introduction to 3D Animation
An introduction to the principles of animation, applied to simple objects and scenarios. Students will 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 Workshop.
This block 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. 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.
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.