Game Animation Fundamentals

Learn game studio animation workflows in this 6-week workshop

Learn how to animate and import characters in the unreal engine

Experience the exciting world of games with the help of pro animators currently working at top game studios.

In Game Animation Fundamentals, you will use a foundation in body mechanics to learn the workflow from Maya to Unreal Engine 4. You’ll give life to an animated character that you’ll be able to move with your keyboard or game controller—just like a real playtest!

Beau Pratt - Game Animation Fundamentals

6-WEEK WORKSHOP

$899 USD

Starts Tuesday
January 3, 2023

Register By
January 1, 2023

Pro Animators Mentor You to Be Successful

Our workshop allows you to learn, practice, and get 1:1 feedback and reviews from our mentors. You will have the chance to learn from animators currently working at prominent game studios in live, weekly conversations. They’ll share insights about what studios are working on, the latest animation workflow techniques, and what they look for in an animator. Our mentors will work directly with you to grow and improve your skills.

Reid Johnson - mentor game animation instructor

Reid Johnson

Animation Director
Undead Labs

Reid is a veteran in the game industry with over 20 years of experience. Recent credits include State of Decay 2, State of Decay, Digimon Rumble Arena 2, SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy Seals, MAG, and many more. Reid is currently the Animation Director for the Microsoft series State of Decay.

Read Full Bio

Tuesdays | 7:30 - 8:30 AM*

*All times are in Pacific Time

Examples of Reid’s Work

Click images to enlarge

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 a recorded training video from a professional game animator and an assignment designed to build your skills. Plus, your mentor will review and critique each of your assignments and provide you with a weekly video of their feedback so you can improve your work.

Make Your Game Character Come Alive

Ever wonder how your favorite game character was animated? Game animators create polished animation cycles so your character can move freely in 3D space no matter what camera angle you use. Plus your demo reel and develop a basic understanding of how game animation works with the Unreal Engine using our game-ready rig, Riley.

Game Animation Fundamentals Student Gallery

Noelia Encarnacion

Beau Pratt

Bryce Douglas

Seva Moodley

Oriana Lie

On-Going Rig Access

RILEY

What You’ll Learn in Game Animation Fundamentals

Week 1

Understanding Game Animation

Dive into game animation with an overview of the main animation workflow. Your first assignment will be understanding and animating idle and posed character positions.

Week 2

Put Your Animated Characters in the Game

Get an overview of how the Unreal game engine works and animate within the context of the game.

Week 3

Understanding Limitations and Constraints

Get insight into the limitations that animators face within game animation, including game-specific character rigs and low frame limits, and learn how to be creative even within those limitations. Begin to understand basic attack sequences for your assignment.

Week 4

Understanding Transitional Animations

Stitch together the animation cycles you’ve created and integrate them into Unreal.

Week 5

Polishing Your Animation

Once you see your animation in play, now it’s time to polish or add additional animation to make the game play smoother.

Week 6

Breathing Life Through Variation – Bringing It All Together

Import all the animations you created into the Unreal Engine and control your character through a basic game level. Congratulations, you just created level one!

Course Requirements for Game Animation Fundamentals

Course Details

LIVE Q&As |Weekly 1-Hour Q&As

LECTURES | 6 Pre-recorded Lectures

ASSIGNMENTS | 5 Animation Exercises

SOFTWARE | Our rigs and demonstrations use Autodesk Maya and Unreal Engine 4 (Free on Windows, MAC OS, Linux), but you are welcome to use any other 3D software or rigs that you choose.

  • IMPORTANT: The Unreal Engine 4 game engine requires an OpenGL 4.1 compatible graphics card. Make sure your computer meets the necessary hardware requirements to use the Unreal Engine 4 software.

HARDWARE | Meet Minimum Requirements

AGE | 18 Years or Older

LANGUAGE | Taught in English

Skills You Need Before You Start

Game Animation Fundamentals requires you to have a working knowledge of, and experience with, Autodesk Maya.

  • If you’re unfamiliar with Maya you can take our Maya Workshop.
  • You’ll also need a working knowledge of Body Mechanics, since our 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 Courses which include a thorough grounding in body mechanics.

What You’ll Learn

After taking our workshop, you’ll have a thorough understanding of game animation including these crucial skills:

  • Key workflows to migrate your animation from Maya to Unreal Engine 4—the standard workflow for game animation studios
  • An understanding of how to combine individual walk, jump, and run animations into a single in-game performance
  • Experience animating towards a character brief so that even your character’s walk cycle shows personality and tells a story
  • Basic knowledge of how game engines work so that you can contribute confidently to the collaborative team environment

FAQ for Game Animation

How do games animate models?

In video games, every character has a skeleton with different points that can move and are connected to each other. Once the character starts moving, running or jumping, the game logic chains together different animations to imitate real-life movement.

How to get game design and animation experience without a degree?

Our Game Animation workshops and our Core Character Animation Courses are great places to start your animation journey. Our courses feature exercises that help you build experience. Another way to get experience is to visit your local game jam. These are events where game developers gather to develop games and exchange advice.

What file format do game programs use for animations?

The format of the animation file will largely depend on the software and game engine in which you are working. It is best to take a look at the documentation files or do a quick Google search.

How to use traditional animation in a video game?

Feature animation, whether 2D or 3D, is based on the 12 Principles of Animation. Video game animation is different from feature animation because it is constrained to the limitations of the game and the characters are designed to be moved around by the game engine. However, as a game animator you still need to know and use the same principles you would use in feature animation to make your character appealing. A great example of traditional 2D animation blended masterfully in a video game is Cuphead .

How do video game animations work?

Video game animation is usually based on logic and events. When the player decides to move the character the game will use it’s logic to trigger walking or running animation.

What is the entry-level pay for a game animation job?

According to Glassdoor, a video game animator makes an average of $70,000 USD per year.

Do I need any coding knowledge to be a game animator?

You generally don’t need coding knowledge to be a game animator. That being said, animations in video games are based on logic which is written in coding scripts, so a bit of coding knowledge can help you solve problems that would otherwise require help form a technical animator or rigger.

Related Courses

If you’re interested in Game Animation, we think you’ll love these courses!

Animation
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Begin your character animation journey and master the basics.

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Body
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Learn to animate realistic bipedal movement.

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Advanced Body
Mechanics

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Create exciting and dynamic action sequences.

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Game Animation: Combat Attacks

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Create a thrilling fight sequence between characters.

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