Animation Students Share Workflow Tips and Career Advice

Alum and Content Creator Sir Wade Neistadt spoke with 10 Animation Mentor students and alumni who animated shots in our Student Showcase.

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Alum and Content Creator Sir Wade Neistadt spoke with 10 Animation Mentor students and alumni who animated shots in our Student Showcase.

Lucky for us, they covered everything from practical workflow tips to career advice!

We highlighted some of our favorite parts below, but we’d also encourage you to watch the whole interview.


Watch the Interview


How did you plan your shot?

“Once I had the original idea, my planning process started with, “Who is this character? I wanted it to feel as genuine as possible.”
– Noelia Encarnacion


“I don’t know how to draw. That was my first take on doing it for the animatic and it turned out good!”
– Chandrahas Tanguturi

“I’m a very reference-heavy animator in terms of planning, because I can do it quick and get ideas out there.”
– Madison Erwin


What was your workflow?

“Drawing it out and making an animatic was really useful because I could get the timing right beforehand. I think that helped speed me up a lot.”
– John Cimino

“For my first pass I blocked every 8 frames. Then you break it down and do every 4 frames and then every 2 frames, and that’s the first pass with blocking.”
– Annamaria Haasbroek


“I stick to reference at the beginning just to get it all in roughly and then I do another pass. It was the whole thing animated on 2s.”
– Matei Neagoe Focsa

What are the best tips and tricks you learned from class?

“I retook class 4, not because I failed or got a bad grade. I did it because I felt I hadn’t learned as much as I needed to learn to progress.”
– Poppy Quesnel

“Focus on the body, don’t focus on the face [when you start a shot.”
– Annamaria Haasbroek

“Use the grease pencil tool in Maya so you can push your poses by drawing inside of Maya.”
– Bob Wilson


On a related note, congratulations to Annamaria and Matei, who recently started working at Pixar and Illumination Mac Guff! It’s so cool to see how your showcase shots opened up new opportunities for you both.



Thank you to Sir Wade for this insightful interview! You can enjoy more of his work here.


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Our professional mentors teach students everything they need to know to become an animator, from the 12 fundamental principles of animation to creating heartfelt moments between characters.

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