Character Animation Program

Six 12-week Classes

In this series of six classes – from Animation Basics to Polishing and Portfolio – students will learn to develop the artistic and technical skills they need to be successful as a character animator. Working, professional animators provide students with hands-on instruction and valuable industry insights. Graduates of program receive a Certificate of Completion and leave with exciting new shots for their demo reel.


Animate with exclusive Animation Mentor rigs in a proven curriculum to help you become industry ready.

Your Skills.

Focus your efforts on developing the artistic and technical skills that will transform you into the best animator you can be.

Your Demo Reel.

Develop world-class, animated shots that will make your demo reel stand out from the crowd.

06 classic polishing portfolio Polishing and Portfolio

Polishing and Portfolio

Class Length: 12 weeks
Upcoming Term: Spring 2017
Start Date: March 27, 2017
Application Due: March 3, 2017
Registration Opens: January 23, 2017
Price Per Class: $2,499 *
* Includes a $100 non-refundable registration fee

Apply Now

New Spring Deadline:
Mar. 03
Save your spot!

Take what you learned in your previous courses and apply those concepts and techniques to a new animated shot. You’ll also learn valuable techniques to refine and polish your animation to create work that stands out. Learn the best practices for what to include and what not to include on your demo reel, and get valuable insights into the hiring process at top animation studios. Get your Certificate of Completion at the end of this course!

The 3 Main Assignments in Polishing and Portfolio

  1. Create a New Shot
  2. Your mentor will help you choose what to do for this assignment, and it can either be to flesh out your reel with improved work, or to help you focus on a topic where you need more experience (body mechanics, acting, etc.). A lot of times this new shot ends up being the strongest piece on your reel because you’re able to apply everything you’ve learned from previous courses to this new shot.

  3. Improve and Polish Previous Shots
  4. Your mentor will review your previous work and will guide you on which ones are worth improving, and which ones you should move on from. There may be some shots that are almost ready for your reel, but just need a refined polish pass. There may be some shots that have a lot of potential, but need some fundamental body mechanics issues addressed. There could even be a shot that had great potential in idea, but was done so early in your educational career, that your mentor will direct you to do it again from scratch.

  5. Craft Your Demo Reel
  6. Not every shot on your progress reel will be worth putting on your demo reel. You’ll learn which shots you should include, you’ll learn how to order shots on your reel to keep recruiters interested, and how long your reel should be.

    Learn How to:

    • Use advanced spacing techniques to sell the physicality and believability of your characters’ actions and gestures
    • Clarify your acting choices and showcase the intention of the shot
    • Understand what areas you need to focus on and improve
    • Give your characters distinct, individual personalities, and make them recognizable, memorable and appealing
    • Polish your shot to create weight, texture and interest
    • Understand where to add subtle details that showcase your skills as a production-ready animator
    • Learn what it takes to create a kick-ass demo reel, including key mistakes to avoid

    Why it’s right for you

    • Learn from Animation Mentor’s proven, trusted Character Animation curriculum – the same curriculum taught to top animators working at studios like Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Industrial Light & Magic, WETA Digital and Blue Sky Studios
    • Learn from the best mentors, at the world’s first and most respected online animation school
    • Level up basic 3D animation software experience, and go beyond software tutorials to truly understand the art and craft of animation
    • Work with industry-quality characters and assets
    • Create a kick-ass demo reel full of your best animation and prepare yourself to apply for a job as a character animator

    What You Get:

    • A 3-year active student license to Autodesk Maya, including Mudbox, 3D Studio Max, and more
    • Access to the Animation Mentor community of over 5,500 students and alumni in more than 105 countries around the world
    • Instruction from top-quality mentors from the world’s leading animation studios
    • Over 12 hours of pre-recorded lecture material, made available to watch on-demand each week
    • A weekly eCritique of your assignment from your mentor
    • A weekly live Q&A with your mentor and classmates
    • Access to the Animation Mentor resource library with guest lectures, additional Q&As, and weekly video news
    • Ongoing access to all characters and rigs from the course, including Aia, Jules, Bishop, Sarge, Stella, Stan, Stewart, the Imps, Squirrels, Bird Ball and Monster Ball
    • By finishing and passing this class you will also gain access to our creature rigs, including Dozer, Dragon, Ogre, and Cat


    Earn a passing grade in Advanced Acting. Note: There is no Advanced Placement into this class.