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Character Animation Bootcamp

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DESCRIPTION

If you’ve ever tried to animate a character in After Effects, you know how difficult it can be. In this course, you'll learn key character animation techniques in After Effects. From simple movements to complex scenes, you'll be confident in your character animation skills by the end of this course.

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Mar 7, 2022

1:00 pm

UTC

April 3, 2022

4:59 pm

UTC

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Classes Start

Apr 4, 2022

1:00 pm

UTC

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HIGHLIGHTED FEATURES
Exercises & Project Files for Every Lesson
In-Depth Feedback from Professional Designers
Verified Credential Upon Course Completion

Student Testimonial

"Character Animation Bootcamp gave me the skills to take on a 3-month character animation job upon completion. It's a really great course that has paid for itself many times over!" - Sam Bevington, Winter 2017

Course Instructor

Morgan Williams

Morgan has been a professional animator and animation director for over 20 years. He has created work for numerous clients including Sony Pictures, the BBC, Comedy Central, and WGBH Boston and have been the recipient of several awards including a local ADDY®, a Telly, and a Best in Show award at Minnesota Siggraph. His short film work has been screened at festivals around the world including the Philadelphia International Film Festival and the Annecy International Animation Festival. Morgan is a Certified Duik Instructor and a full time faculty member at Ringling College of Art and Design teaching and developing curriculum in the Department of Motion Design.

INSTRUCTOR'S CLIENTS INCLUDE:

Course Overview

WEEK NUMBER

Meet your classmates, get comfy with the course format, and dive right in with a lesson on using rigged characters and an Evaluation exercise designed to let us see where you are starting from.

What you’ll Learn
  • Familiarize Yourself with the Course
  • Practice with Rigged Characters
  • Workflow Tips and Tricks
week start

Apr 4

*

assignments

1 Project

run time

6 Hrs

We'll kick things off with one of the most important aspects of character animation, posing. You'll learn how to pose your characters for maximum appeal and readability. Next, you'll start locking down the basic key frames of a jump.

What you’ll Learn
  • Create Appealing Poses
  • Keying a Jump
week start

Apr 11

*

assignments

2 Projects

run time

6 Hrs

This week you'll start out finishing up that jump and giving it the in-between polish that it needs. You'll then move on to the all important walk-cycle, mastering the basics of keying a walk.

What you’ll Learn
  • Finishing a Jump
  • Key Poses for a Walk
  • Giving Movement Weight
week start

Apr 18

*

assignments

3 Projects

run time

6 Hrs

It's time to give that walk cycle it's final finesse and really make your character look like it's going places. You can even speed things up and take your character for a run. After that you'll learn the basics of a throw which relies on your ability to move a character's weight convincingly.

What you’ll Learn
  • Finishing a Walk Cycle
  • Weight Transfers
  • Key Poses for Animating a Throw
week start

Apr 25

*

assignments

2 Projects

run time

6 Hrs

We're giving you a bit of a break this week. First, you'll spend some time finishing up your ball throw assignment. Then, you'll have the rest of the week to focus on any exercises that you may have fallen behind on. We'll have a bit of useful bonus content for you to review as well.

What you’ll Learn
  • Finishing a Ball Throw
  • Identifying Key Poses for Actions
  • Different Keyframe types
week start

May 2

*

assignments

0 Projects

run time

6 Hrs

It's time to put all of your new knowledge to good use! It's up to you to animate a full :30 spot over the next few weeks to show off your MoGraph skills.

What you’ll Learn
  • Breaking Down a Scene
  • Creating a Character Performance
  • Putting Actions Together
week start

May 9

*

assignments

2 Projects

run time

6 Hrs

The final 2 weeks of class are Extended Critique. You can use this time to catch up, complete your final project, then turn it in for critique.

What you’ll Learn
  • Adding Final Polish to a Scene
  • Putting it All Together
week start

May 23

*

assignments

1 Project

run time

6 Hrs

The final 2 weeks of class are Extended Critique. You can use this time to catch up, complete your final project, then turn it in for critique.

What you’ll Learn
  • Extended Critique Period
week start

May 30

*

assignments

0 Projects

run time

6 Hrs

COMMUNITY

Don't Learn Alone

Our student community is welcoming, diverse, and growing rapidly.

Build Your Network

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Tuition

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$997
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Mar 7, 2022
for the Spring 2022 Session.
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FAQs

What is the course format?

Be engaged from anywhere in the world on your own schedule. Lessons open at a specific time but you can watch them and do your work whenever it is convenient for you.

Built in catch up weeks, extended critiques, and very flexible deadline policies make completing this course possible for even the busiest professional.

All of our courses are taught completely online through prerecorded lesson videos, podcasts, and handouts.

Students typically receive homework assignments twice per week, which have soft deadlines.

All student work is critiqued by our highly trained Teaching Assistants. School of Motion TA's are professional motion designers with real life experience in the industry.

During the course you will be invited to a private classroom that contains all of the Teaching Assistants and students in your session. This is a great tool for connecting, asking or answering questions, sharing thoughts or insights, and winning cool contests!

Character Animation Bootcamp vs. Rigging Academy

Our Rigging Academy uses DUIK Bassel anad is recommended after the completion of Characrerr Animation Bootcamp.

Here's the difference between the two:

Character Animation Bootcamp however teaches you the pose-to-pose method of animation inside After Effects, and how to master the art of Posing. You’ll explore common movements like walks, runs, jumps, throws, and more. This course is 12 weeks long, starts at a certain date and you go through it with a cohort of other students, you will be assigned a teaching assistant who with review your work and give your feedback throughout the session!

Rigging Academy is all about setting up characters for animation work, but it will not train or empower you to actually make your characters move. This is an instant access course. It doesn't have a teaching assistant or homework and all the content comes out at the same time.

Am I ready to take Character Animation Bootcamp?

Who should take Character Animation Bootcamp?

Many people stay away from character animation for a reason. It's hard, and you don't know which tutorials you can trust. Character Animation Bootcamp is an amazing place to start if you don't have any experience with character animation.

One thing you should know is that this isn't a course on how to become a Disney or Pixar animator. Even though we will use principles of animation often used in Disney movies, this is for characters uniquely created in After Effects. Explainer videos and online video projects will be your main focus. You can however carry over some of the principles taught in this course to other applications. For example, the knowledge gained on building a walk cycle is going to carry over to other programs.

  • What are some common pain points?
  • Do you know how to animate logos, but characters seem terrifying?
  • Do you have no character animation experience?
  • Have you attempted, fumbled, and given up on character animation?
  • Are you looking for a repeatable character workflow?
  • Do you know how to work pose-to-pose?
  • Are realistic movements too difficult?
  • Does DUIK seem to be confusing?


If you replied yes to any of the questions above, Character Animation Bootcamp might be for you!

Character Animation Bootcamp Summary

Character Animation Bootcamp is for people who have a good understanding of the principles of Animation, and preferably have taken Animation Bootcamp. If you've been looking to add character animation to your skillset, Character Animation Bootcamp will teach you how to animate everything from walks, to throws, and facial expressions. By the end of the course you'll be ready to animate an entire project with a character from start to finish.

What are the prerequisites?

You need to be comfortable in After Effects to take this course. We recommend taking Animation Bootcamp first and have a good grasp on principles of animation, as many of the lessons in that course will help you immensely when you move into the realm of characters. Animation Bootcamp isn’t required, just recommended. If you've tried to animate characters and fumbled only to return to only animating logos, typography, and shape layers then don't worry. We can help build your character skills from the ground up.

What is the required software?

Adobe After Effects CC 2014.2 (13.2 or Higher)

How much time do I need to commit?

You can expect to commit at least 15 - 20 hours per week on course material. The lesson videos are 1-2 hours in length. There are 13 assignments total. Typically assigned on Mondays and Thursdays with soft deadlines the next day. We have designated weeks with no lessons or assignments built into the schedule so students have extra time to keep with the course pace.

Schedule and Course Length

12 Weeks of Character Animation Bootcamp

  • Week 1: Orientation week
  • Week 2 - First Half of Week 5: Lessons and Assignments
  • Second Half of Week 5 and First Half of Week 6: Catch up week (no new assignments or lessons this week)Second Half of Week 6 -
  • Week 8: Lessons and Assignments
  • Weeks 9 - 12: Extended Critique



What can I expect in Character Animation Bootcamp?

Character Animation Bootcamp is built to help motion designers with no experience. But, let's go over a few challenges that this course is going to offer:

Lessons Ramp Up Pretty Fast

Our courses are created to help you get up and running as fast as possible, and we don't have much time to do that. With how short the session lasts, you can expect to have your brain pushed into hyper-learning mode very quickly.

We have a lot of techniques to cover, and you'll be given hours of video content within the first two weeks. From there you'll process and apply what you've learned from those lessons into your homework.

Easier to Learn, Very Difficult to Master.

It doesn't take much to get your characters to start walking, lifting up their arms, or kicking. However, it does take a fair amount of practice to get it to look just right. Experimenting with how your character moves and working with different poses will yield great results. This is where the principles of animation, taught in Animation Bootcamp, heavily come in to play. Simply put, it may be easy to make something move but to give it the illusion of life will take time.

The Final Project is a Beast

School of Motion courses always end with a final project that asks you to tie in everything you've learned from your time in the course. The final project is animating an action adventure with our rig, Axel Dangerson. Axel is an explorer, much like Indiana Jones, and your goal is to move him through multiple scenes and to his final destination.

Using the methods you've been taught you'll help Axel jump, run, walk, fall, and many other variations of movement; planning your moves will become essential. Don't worry though, many students have made their way through the homework and have completed the final project. Most of them have had little to absolutely no character animation experience.



What will I be capable of after Character Animation Bootcamp?

You Can Animate Characters

After taking this course, you will know how to animate a character, but you may not know how to create and rig a character properly. This is where Rigging Academy comes in to help you start building out your own characters. Once you finish Character Animation Bootcamp make sure to sign up for Rigging Academy, which is actually an instant access course. You won't have to sign up for a session.

You can Animate a Walk Cycle

You've figured out how to create walk and run cycles, but there are several other poses and animated movements you'll want to learn. Maybe a hulk smash?

You Can Make Your Characters 'Act'

Maybe you want characters to interact with a mouse and a keyboard? Or maybe you want them to point to a whiteboard for demonstration? You’ll be able to knock out simple acting character animations after this course.

You Still have a Long Way to Go

You won’t be ready to fully rig a character, but you’ll the basics. You’ll also learn the different kinematic systems, such as inverse kinematics and forward kinematics, and how to properly use them. But, when it comes to having full control you'll need more time, experience, and training.

You'll Develop an 'Eye' for Character Animation

You'll have an increased awareness of what it takes to create a solid character animation. The foundational elements will give you the ability to study what others create and start experimenting on your own.