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Traditional Hand-Drawn and Stop Motion online classes

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Traditional Hand-Drawn and Stop Motion online classes

Updated information about traditional hand-drawn and stop-motion animation classes being offered Online by the Academy of Art University.
These new classes are in addition to our current line up of traditional animation classes in such subjects as Experimental Animation, Intro to Animation, Character Design for Animation , Intro to Storyboarding, Character Design and Drawing for Animation, etc.

These classes may be taken as a part of a formal BFA degree , Certificate program for Continuing Education, or individual classes as Continuing Education for personal development


ANM 261 INTRO TO EFFECTS ANIMATION This class is written and taught by one of the top Effects Animators in Hollywood, Kathleen Quaife. More and more in today's Flash animation production environment animators are expected to supply every element in their scenes , including "effects animation" , such things as water, smoke, fire, explosions, laser effects, etc. This class will teach you this specialized skill. The emphasis is on traditional hand-drawn effects , but Kathleen has been very successful in her own work in adapting traditional effects to paperless applications like Flash and ToonBoom .

ANM 380 STOP MOTION ANIMATION 1 taught by animator and author Ken Priebe (book: The Art of Stop Motion Animation) .This course is designed to continue the student's knowledge of stop motion animation begun in classes such as ANM 180 Experimental Animation. Students will be focused on the basic principles of animation and the art of pantomime acting in stop-motion. Additional topics will be discussed in the following areas: animation history, film analysis, design and fabrication of puppets, props, models, sets, animation, posing, lighting, and camera tricks. A series of animation exercises displaying strong decisions in action analysis will be completed to complement any demo reel or personal skill set.

ANM 375 MAQUETTE SCULPTING taught by Jason Peltz. Maquettes are three dimensional sculptures of cartoon characters that are traditionally used as a guide for animators to draw a character consistently , even from odd or difficult angles (an up-shot for example) . Nowadays maquettes are also used as a pre-visualization tool for developing CG models of characters for video games and CG animated movies. (for instance Pixar uses a staff of maquette sculptors to sculpt characters in clay first , which are then digitized and used to construct the final CG version of the character. ) Character maquette sculpting is also a skill used to produce popular collectible figures and toys . I believe AAU is unique in offering this subject as an online course.

ANM 471 BG PAINTING FOR ANIMATION, taught by former Disney and Bluth layout/bg artist Ken Spriduso . This course focuses on the standards for TV and features. Students will first study backgrounds and will gain the technical knowledge needed to create them. Students will then make thumbnail paintings and continue on to finished paintings, including large pan scenes.

ANM 466 INTERMEDIATE ANIMATION taught by animator Tom Arndt. This course is intended to develop strong knowledge of animation through polishing and perfecting the practical working skills of 2D animation. Students will practice and understand the animation process from concept through final production. Individual projects and group collaborative projects will be assigned.

Spring '09 also sees the return of the Animation Assisting class:

ANM 366 ANIMATION ASSISTING taught by David Nethery. (for many years a Lead Key Clean-Up animator at Disney Animation) Students will learn the techniques and disciplines of assisting an animator. This is a lab class based on industry standards for assistant animators. Projects will include using exposure sheets, refining Keys and extremes, in-betweening, breakdowns and cleanup.

These and many other animation courses for Spring '09 semester can be found on the AAU Online Course Catalog web page .


We are in the process of adding many exciting new classes to our online animation department, including Vector-Based 2D Animation, Layout Design For Animation, Inspirational Art for Animation , Advanced Storyboarding, Maya for Traditional Animators, Stop Motion Animation 2.

General information about The Academy of Art University's Online program can be found here : The video presentation How Online Classes Work is a good overview of the Academy's online program.

To read about the animation degrees offered see here : Animation Degrees Offered by Academy of Art University.

-David Nethery
Coordinator of Online 2D Animation
Academy of Art University