Cartoony Animation Course for 3D Animators
Push your cartoony animation with classic Looney Tunes-style techniques in this 6-week workshop
Master Exaggeration - One of the 12 Principles of Animation
Exaggeration is one of the fundamental principles you need to master to give your characters dynamic ways to express themselves, and it’s also one of the core principles used by animators at Disney and Warner Bros. Now it’s time for you to incorporate classic techniques like squash and stretch and exaggeration into your 3D characters to push your cartoony animation to the limit. Create the modern versions of cartoon animation icons like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Scooby-Doo, Road Runner, and Wile E. Coyote.
Pro Animators Mentor You to Be Successful
Our cartoony animation workshop allows you to learn, practice, and get 1:1 feedback and reviews from our mentors. You will have the chance to learn from them in live conversations as they share insights about what studios are working on and what qualities they look for in an animator. Our mentors will work directly with you to grow and improve your cartoony animation skills.
Chief Creative Officer
Mark Oftedal is a character designer, animator, and animation instructor. He studied character animation at the California Institute of the Arts and earned an animator position at Pixar where he worked on Toy Story, A Bug's Life and Toy Story 2. Mark was also a part of the award-winning short film, "The Pumpkin of Nyefar", where he traveled to Thailand to co-direct.
Mark has also co-founded the 3D software service provider DigitalFish Inc. who clients include DreamWorks Animator, Google and NASA. Since 2009, Mark has worked on character concepts for feature film clients like Pixar, Sony Animation and Warner Brothers Animation. He's also taught animation at Animation Mentor and other studios and still continues to teach to this day. In 2013, he has worked with Oscar-winning director Jan Pinkava on his short, "Windy Day", and in 2014 he has directed the follow-up, "Buggy Night" for Google.
*All times are in Pacific Time
1-on-1 Feedback from a Studio Pro
During this 6-week workshop, you’ll have live Q&As with your mentor each week in addition to receiving an assignment designed to build your skills. Plus, your mentor will review and critique each of your assignments and provide you with a video of their feedback so you can improve your work.
Add Some Variety to Your Demo Reel
Showcase your animation skills by adding cartoony-style shots to your repertoire. Let recruiters know that you have the ability to animate in any style, and tailor your demo reel to stand out and be noticed.
Cartoony Animation Student Gallery
On-Going Rig Access
What You’ll Learn in Cartoony Animation Course for 3D Animators
What Makes a Strong Pose
In this introductory session, you’ll go over what makes a good pose and receive some drawing tips. You’ll also cover the difference between optics and constructional drawing.
Break Down Master Animators’ Poses
In this session, we’ll build upon what we learned last week and do a deeper study of animation from the masters. Your mentor will give a live demonstration of their technique and workflow for master studies of animation, before having you try it yourself with a provided clip.
2D Character Animation I
Create character animation drawings that properly convey appealing and entertaining actions to the audience. In this session, you’ll simplify your characters and use breakdowns to showcase dynamic character transitions.
Bringing 2D Principles to 3D Character Animation I
Bring a whole new experience to your 3D animation! This session ties together all the 2D principles you studied in previous sessions and you’ll see how to apply that to a character within Maya. Your mentor will demonstrate this workflow and you’ll start to block out a shot in Maya using these techniques.
Bringing 2D Principles to 3D Character Animation II
In this session you’ll refine the shot you started in Session 5 and keep pushing your shapes and lines of action. Your mentor will continue to demonstrate their workflow and techniques to bring that extra sparkle to your animation. You’ll finish with a clip of cartoony animation in the style of Looney Tunes and Disney’s Nine Old Men.
Course Requirements for Cartoony Animation for 3D Animators
LIVE Q&As |Weekly 1-hour Q&As
ASSIGNMENTS | 5 Animation Exercises
SOFTWARE | Our rigs and demonstrations use Autodesk Maya, but you are welcome to use any other 3D software or rigs that you choose. Students also need the Grease Pencil tool (Free in Maya) and a simple video editing tool like VideoPad Home Edition in order to prepare and upload submissions for review
HARDWARE |Meet Minimum Requirements
AGE | 18 Years or Older
LANGUAGE | Taught in English
Skills You Need Before You Start
Cartoony Animation for 3D Animators requires you to have a working knowledge of, and experience with, Autodesk Maya.
- If you’re not familiar with Autodesk Maya you can take our Maya Workshop
- You’ll also need a working knowledge of Body Mechanics. This workshop builds on the skills needed for animating people and other bipeds. If you don’t know anything about body mechanics you can take our Core Animation Course which include a thorough grounding in body mechanics.
What You’ll Learn
We’ll begin with hand-drawn master studies of great animation, which will teach you cartoony tricks that are most efficiently absorbed via drawing. Once the juices are flowing, you will explore shape change and flexibility in a series of quick mini-lessons. Finally, you will create a simple cartoony animation following the traditional workflow and, when done, recreate that animation and workflow using a 3D character.
After taking our Cartoony Workshop you’ll be able to:
- Push poses to their extremes to create dynamic movement and stories
- Think like a 2D animator and be incredibly intentional when planning out your animation
- Craft and sculpt every single pose on screen, to ensure the narrative intent reads clearly
- Use smear frames and other advanced animation techniques to create appeal and visual interest, and to help your animation read
- Create shots that are eye-catching for your demo reel, which will prepare you to work on inspiring and innovative films like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
FAQ for Cartoony Animation for 3D Animators
What is cartoony animation?
Cartoony animation can be easily recognized by the exaggerated and stylized character movement. Think of Wile E. Coyote’s long neck drops and Road Runner’s spinning legs. The colors of cartoony animation also tend to be simpler, without excessive use of shading or detailing.
What is the difference between Japanese anime and western animation?
There are 2 main differences between Japanese and western animation. Western animation usually follows the rules of animating in 24 fps and focusing more on the exaggerated movements of the characters. Japanese animation, however, is done in a variety of frames per second (12, 8 or even 6) and focuses heavily on detailed characters and sharper, less fluid movement.
What’s the difference between 2D animation and 3D animation?
The biggest difference between 2D and 3D animation is the depth of field that 2D animation lacks. When something is not visible in 2D it doesn’t exist. In 3D every object is always present, even when it is behind something. This changes the fundamental way an artist needs to think when creating scenes and characters.
If I want to retake the workshop do I have to pay for it again?
Yes. However, all of our students have lifetime access to their classroom and all the instructional videos, study tools, tutorials, and breakdowns of the techniques covered in the workshop. If you would like to retake the class to get more individual instruction and feedback on your demo reel shots, you absolutely can.
Can I get a refund if I wasn’t satisfied with the workshop?
Can I include my work from the workshop in my demo reel?
Yes. The workshop is purposefully designed in order to help you build and polish cartoony animation shots specifically for your demo reel.
How many hours should I dedicate per week to make the most of the course?
The course videos, live demos, and feedback sessions take approximately 4 hours per week. The assignments and homework require an additional 10 hours per week of work time.
What Cartoony Students are Saying
Mentor was Phenomenal
I loved the breakdown of animation basics and how it relates to creating specifically cartoony animation. The mentor was phenomenal in explanation and education throughout the duration of the course. I believe this class was of great value and a good entryway for someone with existing animation experience to see the Animation Mentor world for the first time.
Pushing Me While Keeping My Original Idea
I came into the workshop with an idea already in mind. My mentor was good about pushing me while still keeping my original idea intact. His passion for animation was apparent in every class, through his breakdowns of old classic animation and recent productions, framing through shots and speaking to what he thought was “awesome” in what the animator did.
Every Student Needs to Take This Class
So Fun to Animate
Let Us Explore
I like that the mentor let us explore and build up a creative project based on our personal taste, following us constantly and helping with useful knowledge.
Best Teacher Ever
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