Art of Animation 102: Introduction to Animating
Be an animator for television, advertising, video-games or film!
Developed by Andy Schmidt and Owen Welsh (Sims 2, Sims 3, MySims 3, Hellgate London, Halus, and many more), this six-week intensive class for animators teaches you all the necessary tools and tricks for not only animating traditionally on paper but how to approach the art form by creating a plan for your animation. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! You’ll get access to all the tools of the trade, tips on how to break in, and you’ll be working with Owen on your animations for the class.
During the course, you will animate several pencil tests, including; the bouncing balls of various weights, a character jump, a character walk —and rework them with the instructor’s advice. If you’ve ever dreamt of animating your own characters, this class is for you!
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- It meets between 9 and 11 pm ET, for six weeks.
- You will learn from professional animation Owen Welsh (Sims 2, Sims 3, MySims 3, Hellgate London, Halus).
- You’ll get Owens’s lessons and lectures and discussions!
- You will create 5-6 Pencil tests including a character jump and walk cycle.
- You will keep a sketch thread throughout the course to practice the skills discussed in class and provide a place for further instruction and critiques.
- You’ll watch in real time as Owen teaches how to draw for animation and how to plan your animations.
- You also get exclusive access to a dedicated class member-only online forum.
- You’ll have access to recordings of any class in the series for the duration of the class and a few weeks after its conclusion—so you never have to miss a class!
- Class size is limited to keep it awesome!
Owen Welsh has been working in the video game industry for the past 13 years for companies like EA, Flagship Studios and Qalang. He is most known for his character models on the Sims 2, Sims 3 and MySims franchises. Upon completing his B.A.S in Digital Visual Media at Expression college he immediately began working on properties for Electronic Arts.
During his tenure he has explored concept art, character design, 3D modeling, animation, visual effects and UI. Recently he’s completed a comic book and video game for Qalang called Halus & Hotstone. Additionally he’s contributed visual effects to Don Bluth’s Dragon’s Lair feature film pitch. Currently he’s working on a new comic for Qalang and a children’s book.
Along with his digital graphics career, Owen has studied under master animator and draughtsman Don Bluth participating in workshops, short films and master classes. Combining his apprenticeship in traditional animation and professional experience, Owen began mentoring artists and offering private teaching classes which led to some artists behind hired at Qalang. Following Qalang, Owen joined Intel Studios to develop film VFX on the largest volumetric capture dome in the world.
Now, Comics Experience is pleased to be able to pass this special knowledge on to you!
The single best intro to animation course on Earth! Or so we believe. Owen Welsh and Andy Schmidt co-developed this class to make sure you could learn everything we can possibly cram into six weeks.
What if I don’t know anything about drawing?
Have no fear, our courses are geared for the beginner as well as the experienced artist. Owen will take you through all the “foundational elements” upon which great animators build their careers. And that starts with the principles of animation; understanding how the principles relate to each other is monumentally important.
What do we do in this course?
Every student will be tasked with developing series of pencil tests. This begins with learning the principles of animation, applying these principles to simple animation tests and finally a character walk cycle. These principles and processes are provided to prepare you for a professional career in pre-visual development.
And best of all, by the end of the course, you’ll wind up with a series of animation tests which will serve as great demonstration of your skill.
Do I need to be a computer wiz for the class?
A little bit. If you are drawing with pencil and paper you will need a scanner to scan in your drawings attached to your peg bar.
Alternatively you can setup a tripod with your phone and aim it down at your drawings on your peg bar. Make sure the peg bar and the tripod do not move when filming. You will then need to load the sequence of scanned or photographed drawings into a software program where you can time them and export them out to a video file. This process will not be covered in class.
However the instructor can load up the pencil test for you if you send him a sequence of your drawings that are labeled: drawing001.jpg, drawing002.jpg, drawing003.jpg, etc.
What computer programs do I need for this course?
It is highly recommended and encouraged that you draw with pencil and paper. If you would like to animate digitally you are free to do so. Use whatever program you are comfortable with.
What supplies do I need? Do I need a light box?
Please look at the Requirements tab for specifics. But you have the option of working traditionally, meaning pencil and paper or digitally. They will require different sets of tools depending on how you choose to work. That’s all explained on the Requirements tab above.
Do I need to know a whole lot about animation, comics, or video games?
Absolutely not. All Introduction courses are designed for total beginners and those seeking to improve their craft. The class has a quick pace, so if you’re very new, be prepared to work, but one thing we pride ourselves on at Comics and Screen Experience is our ability to teach to an individual’s skill level.
These courses aren’t about the instructor, and that’s why we keep them small. We have an excellent track record with our students, and it’s our top aim to keep it that way. So, new to animation? Come on in, we’d love to show you around! Old pro? Let’s sharpen those skills and learn a few new tricks! Everyone’s welcome, and the group learning will help everyone improve!
What if I miss a class?
All of our classes are recorded and available to view via streaming link for the duration of the course. And on top of that, you’ll have exclusive access to the Comics Experience forum set up just for the class. You’ll be able to interact with the rest of your class all week long at any time!
The forum is where you’ll be able to post your work for your class to review, comment on, and make suggestions. And likewise, you’ll be asked to comment on your fellow students’ stories. You’ll problem solve together and find new methods to develop a character and punch up the professionalism in your work!
If I don’t live in the United States, can I still take the course?
You bet. We’ve had students jump in from Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America. Not Antarctica yet, but give us time! Some of these students have not been able to attend live, but they’ve viewed the recordings and interacted with their classmates online!
What do I do after the class?
Once the course is over, you’ll have all the tools needed to move forward toward your goals. You will have a foundation to pursue that plan and improve your art. You’ll have advice and instruction on how you can best network online and in person to secure work in the future. It’s important that you learn to go beyond the course and continue to develop.
Learning about animation is great, but do we get any practical industry advice?
You’ll get a LOT of practical industry advice. Networking is one of our main topics in all of our introductory courses. It’s, simply put, essential for anyone who wants a career in animation or comics. We discuss relationship building and ways to get your foot in the door and where to go to meet the right people and so on.
If I don’t want a career in comics, and just like making comics or even just want to learn more about the art form I love, is this class right for me?
Sure it is! How better to expand your knowledge and understanding of comics than by engaging with creators? And that’s what most of our students are—they’re creators. It’s a great place to learn just for fun if you wish too. We’d love to have you!
How do I sign up?
Click on the Paypal button and you’ll get an email confirmation and instructions within two business days giving you everything you need to get started with the course.
There simply is no better Animation 101 course offered—on the Internet or live. This is the best—period. If you want to make comics for fun or become a pro, your comics career starts here. Go ahead and reserve your spot today! Space is limited.
Sign up right now!
To participate in our live online sessions you will need:
- A computer or mobile device that meets Go To Meeting’s minimum requirements
- to agree to the terms included in Comics Experience’s User Agreement.
- High-speed Internet access
- Headphones/ear buds with microphone (optional, but strongly suggested)
- A mind like a sponge!
In order to complete the work, the following system requirements are recommended:
If you are going to work traditionally (pencil and paper) as we recommend, then you will need the following:
8.5 x 11 printer paper.
- Flatbed Scanner or a digital camera with a tripod:
Any scanner will do, but it must be a flatbed scanner that can scan 8.5×11 paper.
- Lightbox for 8.5 x 11 paper:
- Peg bar round hole:
- Hole puncher: EXAMPLE
- Scotch Tape
The darker the pencil lines the better your test will look. I like 2b pencils and Tombows have a nice dark lead.
- Kneaded Eraser (recommended for erasing pencils lines)
- Photoshop CC (used to create pencil tests for animation, even if working traditionally)
If you are going to work digitally (drawing in the computer), then you will need the following:
- Drawing Software: Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud) or TVPaint, etc. (need just one)
- A graphics tablet or Cintiq monitor
- 1 Gigabyte of RAM