Character Animation




Experience movement in a different way - through a blend of traditional animation along-side digital and technical skills.   

During this course you will learn to convey movement, emotion and physical weight of the models and to present the events of the story, using the 3D animation software Maya. Starting from drawing the poses and blocking out the scene to creating fluid movement in a space and time, we will guide you step by step through the wonderful world of animation. We will focus on developing your creative expression with the help of experimental and innovative animation techniques, to learn how to bring objects and characters to life in a convincing and credible manner.   

Additionally, we have planned a week-long 2D animation master workshop, which, along with the practical work, will be going through the history, theory and philosophy of animation - from its beginning until today. The workshop will be held by our famous animator, comic artist and illustrator, Aleksa Gajic. 
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Basic information:

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course duration:  13 weeks
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requirements:   3D/VFX Essentials course* 
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prices for international students click here        

prices for home students click here           
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     *or  equivalent computer skills
   **price based on minimum 5 participants
 ***internship available
    
Online application send here>

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Course content summary:

WEEK 1

   Introduction, graph editor, curves, autokey, playblast, practical examples to get a better understanding. 
    Exercise
  • Defining motion, understanding extremes, keys, breakdowns, and in-betweens. 
    Intro into the principles of animation. 
    Exercise
   Defining time, timing and spacing, organic movement, arc's
    Exercise

WEEK 2

   Performance, planning, analysis, references, storyboard, anticipation, squash and stretch      
    Exercise
   Movement, characteristics of movement, follow through and overlapping action. 
    Exercise
   Slow in and slow out, exaggeration
    Exercise

WEEK 3

   Staging, line of action, posing
    Exercise
   Getting to know the rig, appeal
    Exercise
   Straight ahead action and pose to pose, planning a walkcycle animation
    Exercise

WEEK 4

   Walkcycle, setting poses for a desired motion, weight and balance
    Exercise
   Connecting static poses into an animation, practical examples for better understanding
    Exercise
   External and internal forces affecting the action, secondary action
    Exercise

WEEK 5

   Practical example: jump
    Exercise
   Practical example: fall
    Exercise
   Summary and review of exercises.
    Exercise

WEEK 6

    Master Class with Aleksa Gajic  -  Aleksa  is  Serbian  famous  comic  writer, illustrator, animator, director and author of 
    the multiple award-winning  animated film  "Tehnotise - Edit and me". During  the 2D animation workshop, through practical
    work, we will be covering the history, theory and philosophy of traditional animation.

WEEK 7

   Introduction to acting, body movement  in the context of acting, silent  films as an example, planning exercises: together with
   lecturers working on an idea and planning an exercise, the aim of the exercise is to animate emotions through movement and
   body  language,  the  character is  one  emotional  state  and  due  to external factors goes  into  an opposite  emotional state 
   (eg, calm-nervous, happy-sad, serene-stunned, sad-scary ...)
    Exercise
   Rhythm, rhythm and texture, moving holds. 
    Exercise
   Personality and appeal
    Exercise

WEEK 8

   Arms, contrast, exaggeration, review of exercises. 
    Exercise
   Anticipation, miming, getting around the clichés, review of exercises. 
    Exercise
   Summary and review of exercises. 
    Exercise

WEEK 9

   Composition, layout, film.
    Exercise
   Separating scenes or actions into separate sections, advanced timing, planning the final animation.
    Exercise
   Animating dialogue, directing attention, animating multiple characters. 
    Exercise

WEEK 10

   Internal and external drivers, motivation, review of exercises. 
    Exercise
   Complex overlapping and anticipation
    Exercise
   Styles of animation, realism, cartoon-y, review of exercises. 
    Exercise

WEEK 11

   Secondary animation, body language. 
    Exercise 
   Animating dialogue. 
    Exercise
   Facial animation, eyes, expressions. 
    Exercise

WEEK 12

   Finalizing facial animation, review of exercises. 
    Exercise
   Subtext, details
    Exercise
   Work on fine-tuning your animation, adding details, controlling movement
    Exercise

WEEK 13

   Work on completing the exercises, reviewing the exercises, consultations
   Work on completing the exercises, reviewing the exercises, consultations
   Work on completing the exercises, reviewing the exercises, consultations



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Literature* :

Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas, The ILLUSION OF LIFE: DISNEY ANIMATION, Abbeville Press Publishing, NY, USA, 1981
Walt Stanchfield and Don Hahn, Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes: Volume 1, Focal Press Publishing, Burlington, MA, USA, 2009
Walt Stanchfield and Don Hahn, Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes: Volume 2, Focal Press Publishing, Burlington, MA, USA, 2009
Harold Whitaker and John Halas, Timing for Animation, Focal Press Publishing, Burlington, MA, USA, 2009
Hooks, Ed, Acting for Animators - Revised Edition: A Complete Guide to Performance Animation, Heinemann Drama Publishing, 2003
Williams, Richard, The Animator's Survival Kit, Faber and Faber Publishing, NY, USA, 2009

* all literature is available to students at the Crater VFX Training Center library
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Certificate:

Upon completion of the course students will receive the Autodesk Certificate of Completion and Crater VFX Training Center Certificate.

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