Become an Animator

What Animation Mentor Can Do for You

Starting out as an animator with Animation Mentor isn’t just about nailing down animation techniques; it’s like diving into this awesome adventure where your imagination gets to play hero and your skills level up with every step. Picture this: you, fueled by determination and backed by seasoned mentors, bringing characters and worlds to life with each doodle and click.

Animation Mentor isn’t just a school; it’s a hangout for cool artists like you, all sharing stories and striving to tell tales through movement. So, dream big, create bigger, and let Animation Mentor be your ride-or-die partner on this wild journey to animation greatness.

Starting the 3D Character Animator’s Journey

Discovering the Roadmap and What it Takes

Joining Animation Mentor’s 18-month character animation program means diving in with passion and dedication. From mastering the basics in the Maya Workshop to fine-tuning character performance, each course is like a step in your animation adventure, leading you to create your demo reel—a cool showcase of what you’ve learned and achieved, your ticket to landing that dream job. Along the way, follow the recommended learning path, ensuring you build a solid foundation before tackling more advanced techniques.

Maya Workshop: Animation Basics

12-Week Course

Master the Basics

Start with Maya Workshop: Animation Basics if you are new to Autodesk Maya®. The Maya Workshop is like the launchpad for your animation journey, where you dive headfirst into the world of 3D animation using industry-standard software. It’s not just about learning the tools; it’s about building a solid foundation of skills and understanding that will carry you through the entire program and beyond. Here, you’ll grasp the essential techniques, workflows, and principles that underpin the art of animation, setting you up for success in creating captivating characters and immersive worlds.

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Animation Basics

12-Week Course

Learn to Walk Before You Run

Animation Basics is your next stop for mastering the art of character animation. Here, you’ll dive deeper into essential principles like timing, spacing, and weight, all crucial for creating convincing character movements. With hands-on exercises and expert feedback, you’ll build confidence and skills to animate with purpose and precision. Whether you’re a beginner or honing your craft, Animation Basics sets the stage for your animation journey.

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Body Mechanics

12-Week Course

Let Your Actions Speak for Itself

Body Mechanics is a key course at Animation Mentor where you’ll delve into the intricate details of how the human body moves. From understanding anatomy to mastering weight distribution and balance, this course focuses on bringing realism and believability to your character animations. Through a series of practical exercises and mentor feedback, you’ll learn how to animate actions such as walking, running, jumping, and more, ensuring that your characters move and interact with the world in a natural and convincing way. By honing your skills in Body Mechanics, you’ll elevate your animation abilities to the next level, setting the stage for dynamic and lifelike character performances.

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Advanced Body Mechanics

12-Week Course

Action, Action, Action

Advanced Body Mechanics is where your animation skills truly hit their stride. Building upon the foundational knowledge from Body Mechanics, this course dives deeper into the complexities of human and creature movement. You’ll explore advanced concepts such as secondary motion, overlapping action, and complex interactions between characters and their environment. Through challenging assignments and personalized mentor feedback, you’ll refine your ability to create dynamic and realistic animations that captivate audiences. By mastering Advanced Body Mechanics, you’ll unlock the ability to breathe life into any character or creature, infusing your animations with depth, personality, and believability.

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Introduction to Acting

12-Week Course

Oscar-Winning Performances Begin Here

Introduction to Acting is a pivotal course at Animation Mentor, where you’ll learn to infuse your characters with emotion and personality. Delving beyond mere movement, this course focuses on the art of storytelling through animation. You’ll explore the principles of acting, studying facial expressions, body language, and vocal performance to convey authentic emotions and convey compelling narratives. Through a series of engaging exercises and constructive feedback from mentors, you’ll learn to create characters that resonate with audiences on an emotional level. Whether it’s conveying joy, sadness, or fear, Introduction to Acting equips you with the tools to breathe life into your animations and tell stories that leave a lasting impact.

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Advanced Acting

12-Week Course

Let Your Acting Shine

Advanced Acting is the course where animation truly becomes storytelling magic. Building on the foundations laid in Introduction to Acting, this course delves deeper into the nuances of character performance, emotion, and expression. You’ll explore advanced acting techniques, studying subtle gestures, nuanced facial expressions, and vocal delivery to create characters that feel truly alive. Additionally, you’ll tackle the challenge of multi-character animation, learning how to choreograph interactions between characters and bring ensemble scenes to life with authenticity and depth. Through challenging assignments and mentor feedback, you’ll refine your ability to evoke genuine emotions and convey complex narratives through animation. By mastering Advanced Acting, including multi-character animation, you’ll unlock the power to captivate audiences, elicit empathy, and tell stories that resonate on a profound level.

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Feature Animation Acting & Polish

12-Week Course

Bringing it All Together

Feature Animation Acting & Polish is the pinnacle course where animation transcends into cinematic brilliance. Building upon the skills acquired in previous courses, this advanced level class focuses on refining character performances to meet the exacting standards of feature animation. You’ll delve deep into the art of nuanced acting, studying how to convey emotions, motivations, and intentions with subtlety and depth. Moreover, you’ll learn the importance of polish in animation, mastering techniques to elevate your work to the level of professional feature films. Your mentor will also share best practices for creating your portfolio and advice on how to get hired for your dream job in the industry. Through rigorous assignments and mentor feedback, you’ll hone your ability to craft characters that resonate with audiences and contribute to the storytelling process seamlessly. By mastering Feature Animation Acting and Polish, you’ll not only demonstrate your proficiency in animation but also your capacity to breathe life into characters that leave a lasting impact on viewers.

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On-Going Maya Rig Access















Studios that Hire Our Animation Students

Personal Mentorship

Animation Mentor has been teaching students to animate for over 15 years! We’ve learned many things since 2005 that have helped our school grow, but one thing that remains consistent is that every student is unique. Some students take to body mechanics like acrobats to trapezes, and others find facial animation to be as easy as blinking. No matter their skills, we are proud that every student gets their own individual video feedback from our mentors. The learning experience here is truly personalized.

Professional Animation Tools and Assets

We teach our students how to work in a studio environment so they’re ready for jobs when they graduate. This training starts from day one, with exclusive access to professionally designed character rigs and art assets. We ensure students learn using the same tools and animation workflows that professionals use in their day-to-day work.

A Community of Animators

The animation community is one of the most diverse and passionate groups in the entertainment industry. We wanted to bring this spirit to Animation Mentor and create a place for animators just like us, who are eager to learn and improve their skills. As a member of our community, you’ll make friends with like-minded peers, share feedback, and grow as artists.

Experienced Mentors

Our mentors come from world-class animation studios like Disney, Pixar, Sony, and Industrial Light & Magic. As a student, you will have the opportunity to learn from artists that created the animated masterpieces that inspired you to start your own animation journey.

FAQ for 3D Character Animation Courses

How long do the character animation courses take?

Each of our Core Animation Courses is 12 weeks. Without breaks, the entire series of 6 classes takes 18 months and will teach you everything you need to know to become a professional animator.

Can I get financial support?

Yes. We have interest-free student loans. You can learn more about them here.

How many times per week do I need to be online?

You will need to be online at least once a week for your weekly live Q&A with your mentor and classmates.

How much work do I need to do outside of class?

If you really want to understand the material and build your skills, you will need to invest at least 15-20 hours a week working on the assignments. Don’t feel pressured to speed through your education, learning animation isn’t a race. That’s why all of our material is accessible through the online campus,  allowing you to rewatch lectures as often as you like. We also offer peer tutoring and a support team that is available to help you overcome hurdles and master the principles you are working on.

Will I learn how to make 3D character models?

No, our Character Animation Courses teach you how to animate 3D characters. We provide you with free, professionally-designed character rigs to work with. If you want to learn more about character modeling, take our Introduction to Character Modeling workshop.

Will I be able to create a full portfolio after taking all of the classes?

Yes. Our 6 Character Animation Courses are designed to give you the skills you need to work in an animation production environment. As the final step in your education, we help you refine and polish your best work for your demo reel or portfolio.

What does a 3D animation portfolio look like?

A 3D animation portfolio—also called a demo reel— is a short (30sec – 3min) collection of animated shots you’ve created. It’s best to keep it simple with a title card that has your contact information and 2-3 of your strongest shots, starting with the strongest one. Recruiters would rather see your best work than an overview of everything you’ve ever done. You can see examples of shots used in our students’ demo reels here.

What is the difference between an art portfolio, a 3D animation portfolio and a 2D animation portfolio?

A 2D animation portfolio should represent your skills in the animation of 2D objects, characters, and environments while a 3D animation portfolio should show your skills in the 3D space. An art portfolio features your best artwork, illustration, photography, or graphic design, depending on the niche you’ve chosen. Remember to tailor your portfolio to the job description.

How hard is it to get a job in animation?

Like any other creative career, you need to be able to demonstrate your skills. The better your skills, the easier it is to land a job. That’s why we help our students refine and polish their work to create an outstanding demo reel that they can show to studios and other potential employers.

How can I get my first job in animation?

Taking a look at job board websites is a good start. You should also keep an eye on the career pages of companies you’re interested in working with. However, like every industry, most people find their jobs through their connections and referrals. Becoming part of an animation community or organization is essential to building those connections.