Online 3D Creature Animation Course

All our courses offer tuition from some of the leading animators in the industry. Founded by Rob Hemmings and based on over 18 years of experience in the 3D animation industry, Animation A Team can equip you with the niche skills you need to succeed as a film, game or visual effects animator. Our tutors have worked on a wide range of films during their careers including:

  • Avengers Endgame
  • Jurassic World
  • Tom And Jerry
  • Dolittle
  • Men In Black
  • John Carter
  • 10,000 BC
  • Harry Potter Movies
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • The Dark Knight
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • Fantastic Mr Fox
  • Frankenweenie
  • The Chronicles of Narnia
  • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
  • Iron Man 2

Three course options offered, all exactly the same in every respect, the differences are:

* 8 Month course is for beginners, includes 2 month introductory course, you will learn how to use Maya animation tools and basic animation principles. Two sequences can be animated. It is possible to finish the two sequences earlier than 8 months, a third sequence will not be taught. Cost
* 6 Month is for students with Maya experience. Two sequences can be animated. It is possible to finish the two sequences earlier than 6 months, a third sequence will not be taught. Cost
* 3 Month animation experience required and for confident users of the Maya animation toolset. More time per week will be needed to practice techniques than on the 6 month course. One sequence will be animated. Cost

Note: When deciding which course to choose it is best to be honest with yourself about your experience level to get the most from your chosen course.

“You have no idea how much the techniques you tought me are of use to me right now, I’m so thankful to you Rob” Hari Rajeev, Dreamworks, India.
“The workflow Rob showed me was priceless, not only does it work on creature animation but on all kinds of animation.” Roberto Pita

The 6 month online creature animation course

The 6 month online creature animation course allows you to study the techniques used by industry experts around your full time job or college study. This course is different to many others, because although there are similarities to the workflows in 2D animation, it teaches keyframe CG animation methods more from a 3D perspective as opposed to a traditional 2D approach.

The course focuses your attention on the finer details of realistic motion in creatures or characters of any kind. You will be studying live action in detail and looking at poses and behaviour, to allow you to create truly realistic animations.

A 100% mentored VFX and Games Animation Course that allows you to factor in a full-time job or college study.

Why Realitic Creatures?

“Animators should have an eye for nuanced, realistic performance and dynamic physical action.”-Framestore, London.

It is much easier for a prospective employer to assess a students animation abilities, i.e observation, timing and attention to detail when applied to a recogniseable living creature because they are benchmark to which your work can be compared.

You can animate a fantasy creature in many different ways, none of which are wrong, your true animation skills are not really being put to the test in the same way. You will of course however be able to create far better performances with fantasy creatures when you have completed studies of the real ones first.

Most people can tell you if an animal does not move in a believable way without knowing why, the true measure of a good animator is his/her ability to understand the reasons for this. The courses offered here will sharpen the eye making the student more aware of the differences and similarities between gaits and motion of all real animals.

One-on-one tutoring

Students of our animation school benefit from one-on-one tutoring from animators who have worked on blockbuster films and have decades of industry experience. No matter where you are in the world or whether you are experienced or starting from scratch, our patient tutors can offer you bespoke critique on your movie assignments via notes, instructional movie clips and images.

Students who participate in our online 3D creature courses also have free access to the realistic fur files of our new animal rigs. (Course fees must be paid in full – only rigs animated in the course sequences apply).

A complete set (2 days worth!) of instructional movies of Rob animating this sequence below, from start to finish, are provided as backup to the bespoke daily instruction.

Once the techniques taught on this course are mastered, you will be qualified to confidently tackle any type of realistic animation project to the highest level.

For further information on how to register on the 6 month online 3D creature course (incl the 3 and 8 month courses) , to discuss your suitability for the courses, contact us today here.

Why You Need This Realistic Animation School

Its simple…….to learn the professional skills currently practiced by animation industry.

Studios, particularly in the games and film industies, are always keen to see this kind of work on a candidates reel because an increasingly large number of projects require it.

From my experience it became obvious that many animators just don’t animate creatures particularly well. I think when you have real world benchmarks to compare the animation to, it becomes a more exacting task in some ways.

A fantastic character animator doesn’t always make a great creature animator, certainly it is a skill that improves with practice and the application of well established technique. These techniques, once mastered, will help you to improve the quality of any kind of animation that you are producing. If you can demonstrate all skill sets to a high standard then you stand a much better chance of landing your dream job.

Generally the skills required to produce competent realistic 3D creature animation are simply not being taught”….

…. very strange when you consider that I became a specialist creature animator, essentially because there was always more of this kind of work in production. There are so few teachers of 3D animation who have worked exclusively in this field, you can really only learn on the job as I did, but getting a job is much harder to do now as there are far more applicants chasing each vacancy. Therefore the work on your reel really does have to demonstrate how capable you are as animator or you will stand little chance of success.

This is a unique opportunity to learn valuable working practices with an industry professional for 6 months. I am offering to share the skills and techniques that I’ve learnt and discovered, many through trial and error during my last 10 years as a specialist creature animator in feature film.

If you would like to be taught from scratch or just want to hone and develop your realistic animation skills then please consider the animation school that I am offering here. There are no deadlines and no examinations to pass and it can be completed entirely at you own pace. Most importantly you will have some competent examples of creature animation on your reel as a result of participating and you will have learnt how to produce them quickly and efficiently, vital skills for any future project.

Animation School Procedure

The course is designed to be the same as if you were working on a shot in a film studio, from the beginning right through to the end.

You learn all the techniques whilst animating your sequence.

The procedure is simple, the student submits a movie and I email back a crit (using a mix of notes, images and movies). The emailed instructions are bespoke, relating to the issues of your latest submission.

I start the course by emailing a few instructions on how to start a cycle, you send back a movie based on these simple instructions and then we go from there.

I do issue pre-recorded instructional movies to help demonstrate techniques, but these are just to back up any points that I may be making in the daily emails.

I review work in the morning, this gives the student the rest of the day to work on my comments, so if a crit is wanted the next day, a movie must be loaded onto ftp the night before.

I try to give feedback everyday (if required), though sometimes this maybe every other day. On average I am able to supply at least 2 or 3 crits a week (Mon-Fri).

You can submit a movie once a week or once a month, or whenever you can, you dictate the pace, this means the course can fit in around work or any other activity you are engaged in.

You are in contact with me from start to finish and will be able to email questions at any time.

You have a dedicated email account and a domain address to send larger movie files, I will supply ftp login details and ftp freeware link on request.

The movie you send to me should be a Maya playblast in the .m4v format(please let me know if you are able to do this, quicktime 7 pro version is useful or I can forward some freeware).

The Animaton School Modules

1.Choose a creature rig from the site.
2.Storyboard ideas. Think up with a simple sequence to animate,  the idea is to produce short sequences that demonstrate typical creature behaviour.
3.Study online live action movies: Observe creature behaviour and typical personality traits.
4.Creation of walk/trot/run cycles: Tips on how to create convincing cycles quickly.
5.Path animation techniques, QPAS.
6.Posing keyframes (Blocking animation): Use of stepped keys to create important key poses.
7.Splining and timing the keyposes
8.Polishing animation: Tips and advice on how to add the wow factor!
9.Weight pass: Some neat tricks that will give your creature/animal size.

The goal of the course is not to obtain some kind of certificate of excellence (Animation, as a career, is based upon demonstrated ability, your reel is your certificate) but more importantly to learn how to animate creatures quickly and convincingly using techniques and simple shortcuts that I will introduce where appropriate. Some you might already employ but many you will not. These will help you to speed up the production of good quality animation, a vital skill in visual effects and games animation. You will also come away with examples of creature work that you will have storyboarded and completed yourself with my guidence.

These realistic creature sequences are designed to demonstrate your animation skills to potential clients and improve your chances of finding work as an animator in the visual effects or games industries.

“You will create far better performances with fantasy creatures after completing studies of the real ones first”

animation by 3 Month online Creature Course student Paul Unders

“Thanks to you I got the job at Rockstar Games, without the creature animation course it would have been much harder for me to reach this level. Mentioning I have done creature animation course in my resume greatly helped me in getting the job.” Deepak Ventraman

“I really want to thank you for everything you taught me, it’s no small improvement to my workflow, instead it’s been a massive turnaround to help me observe movement in a whole new light! I applied your workflow to my two other characters and found the process really manageable and with results I was proud of. Something I know I could never have achieved alone. So once again, thank you!” Alex Potts

I am an animation recruiter with many contacts in the industry so will always be on the look out for suitable job opportunies for my students. I can also offer advice about reels, universities, interviews, companies etc.

For more information on any of the above contact us today here.

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