Course Overview

Units at a glance

Drawing pictures and making them move is nothing short of magic. Since at least the 1600s, people have been experimenting and inventing ways to make images move. In fact, it is these cool experiments, which you can replicate yourself, that have led us to the modern era of fantastic 3D computer generated animated movies! Get ready to take a peek behind the scenes as we track the history of animation magic.

Humans talk with their hands, and one way this happens is by communication through drawings. Traditional animation is hand-drawn animation, which evolved from the exciting invention of photography and motion pictures. We will trace these developments all the way through the classic principles of animation developed by the animators at Disney Studios.

How do they do that? Modern animated films are a complete wonder to look at and incredibly complex to make. With so many artists performing intricate jobs to create realistic characters, backgrounds, and movement, it takes organization and leadership to bring it all together into a finished film. From the tiniest pixels to the huge computing power needed for post-production, we’ll explore how CGI films are made.

Now’s your chance to join the ranks of talented animators! Everyone can try their hand at this fun art form and increase their communication skills and artistic expression while learning a simple 2D animation program. Pull out your photos and videos — you can use these along with your drawings to make cool mini-animation while you explore Tupi 2D Magic, a 2D animation program that will allow you to put everything you’ve learned into action!

Animated characters aren’t real, so animators don’t really need to understand the human body, right? WRONG! You actually DO need to know how to draw the human form, with bone structure and muscles, and appreciate real world body mechanics in order to draw believable, but also stylized, animated characters. Together, we’ll tackle the basics and then you can let your imagination fly, while taking your audience along with you for the ride.

Jump around. Walk. Run. Smile. Shake your head. Tap your foot. We move all the time, but how does it look in a sequence of images? Movement in animation must conform roughly to the laws of gravity and motion of the real world but can be used to express emotions, plot points, and character development. Studying natural movement will teach you to translate movement into animation, but you can still get creative and give that movement personality.

Have you ever watched a modern animated movie and wondered how they created those incredibly detailed and compelling characters and worlds? With extremely realistic lighting, physics, and even hair, fur, and skin, the world of 3D animation has become truly rich and visually compelling. In this unit, we will learn about the popular, open source, yet powerful, 3D modeling and animation software called Blender.

Have you ever watched an extremely vivid, polished animated movies or 3D video games and wondered to yourself: How do they create those 3D characters? We’re going to begin by exploring the basic tools and techniques involved in creating the 3D models for characters, and then you’ll even get to create a 3D character model of your own!

At some point, you have probably watched a modern animated movie like Ice Age or Shrek, or played a modern, high-end computer game and asked yourself: How did they make those characters move so realistically, and believably? Well…you’re about to find out! Get ready to take a look at the basic process involved in rigging, skinning, and animating a 3D character.

Want to go to the movies? Well, why do people go? Because of the story! It draws them in, makes them care about the characters, and it lets them immerse themselves in another world. Storytelling is as old as the cavemen, and it is the best way to entertain modern humans as well. How do you make sure your story will captivate the audience? We have the secrets and the tricks right here— come along and we will tell you a story about telling a story!

Silent films were great when they first came out, but now that we can have music, sound, and talking in our films… let’s do it! From recording voice acting to making your own sound effects, putting sound to animation is an exercise in imagination and precision. After all, you don’t want that “pop!” to be heard before the popcorn actually starts to pop or the “crash” to occur before the block tower comes toppling over. Funny, quirky, spooky, or serious— the sounds included in your animation and how you make them are really all up to you!

Animation is fun stuff! Who wouldn’t want to spend their days making amusing characters do silly things to entertain the masses? Well, perhaps you have a more serious side and would like to apply your talents to medicine or engineering. That is possible for animators too! Whatever your dream, today is the first day on the path to a lifetime of fulfilling work as an animator. Seize the day!

Course Highlights

Explore the many career opportunities in the animation industry.
Create your own animations and see your work come alive on the screen.
Learn about the different uses for animation.
Discover various animation techniques and how they have evolved over time.

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