Maya Workshop: Animation Basics

In this 6-week workshop for beginners, learn essential techniques for 3D animation in Maya

Become a 3D Character Animator

Get your feet wet by learning animation basics in Autodesk Maya®, the most widely-used 3D animation software in the industry. We built our Maya Workshop for beginners who have a passion for animation, but zero experience. Start your journey to becoming a successful character animator by learning the techniques and tools that pro animators use to create iconic, animated characters.

Animation created in Maya Autodesk


$699 USD

Start the Week of
June 26, 2023

Register By
June 25, 2023

Pro Animators Mentor You to Be Successful

Maya is the most powerful tool for animators but it can be a bit intimidating. Our mentors are experts and will show you how to harness the power of Maya in just 6 weeks. They will ensure that when you choose to start Animation Basics, all of the software’s powerful options will help you create the best animation you can.

This workshop allows you to learn, practice, and get 1:1 feedback from your mentor. All you need to bring is your desire to become an animator. The knowledge, best practices, and professional rigs and assets you need are included in this online Maya course.

Marc Flash - Maya Instructor

Animation Mentor Logo

Marc Flash

Maya Workshop Instructor

Marc Flash is a graduate of Animation Mentor and is currently a Maya Instructor. In addition to being an animator, Marc is an accomplished graphic designer, website designer, painter, and sculptor.

Read Full Bio

Tuesdays | 8:00 - 9:00 AM*
Wednesdays | 8:00 - 9:00 AM*
Charnelle Tillman - Maya Instructor

Charnelle Tillman


Charnelle is a graduate of Animation Mentor and is currently an animator at Moving Picture Company. She’s worked as a previs artist and junior animator at Brazos Games and as a VFX apprentice at The Focus. Charnelle is also an accomplished graphic designer. In her spare time, she also tutors Animation Mentor students.

Read Full Bio

Tuesdays | 7:00 - 8:00 PM*
Joel Murphy - Maya Instructor

Animation Mentor Logo

Joel Murphy

Maya Instructor

Joel is a graduate of Animation Mentor and is currently a Maya Instructor. In addition to being Maya Instructor, he is currently a TA at New York Film Academy at Harvard University. In his spare time, he is an Alumni Tutor helping out current AM students to succeed in the program.

Read Full Bio

Wednesdays | 5:00 - 6:00 PM*

*All times are in Pacific Time

1-on-1 Feedback from a Studio Pro

For six weeks you’ll have live, weekly Q&As with your mentor, in addition to receiving a recorded training video from a professional animator and an assignment designed to build your skills. 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 each week.

Get Access to Pro Rigs

Gain access to professionally designed rigs like the classic bouncing ball, pendulum, Squirrels, and Stewart. After you finish the course you can keep them for your future projects.

Maya Workshop Student Gallery

Ximo Ferrer

Ximo Ferrer

Kooper Hval

James Hammerstein

On-Going Rig Access



What You’ll Learn in the Maya Workshop

Week 1

Maya Overview

In this session we cover all the basics of Maya, getting you comfortable with the main aspects of the interface, navigating in 3D space, and working with basic objects.

Week 2

Introduction to Animation in Maya

In this session we dive into Maya’s animation toolset and interface. By the end of this session you will have a basic understanding of how to animate within Maya.

Week 3

Fundamental Concepts of Animation

Using the concepts, tools, and techniques from the previous two sessions, you’ll animate our Squirrels rig performing a bouncy jump.

Week 4

Character Animation in Maya I

This week we’ll look at the basic tools, techniques, and workflows for character animation within Maya. You’ll learn how to make Stewart, our biped rig, perform a complex jump.

Week 5

Character Animation in Maya II

Now we’re ready to cover more intermediate character animation topics within Maya. You’ll create an advanced animation shot using a mechanical robot arm. This will prepare you for the more complex animations later on.

Week 6

Character Animation in Maya III

In this session we review the key topics covered so far within this workshop, as well as more advanced character animation topics.

Course Requirements for the Maya Workshop

Course Details

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

LECTURES | 6 Pre-recorded Lectures

ASSIGNMENTS | 5 Animation Exercises

SOFTWARE | Autodesk Maya

HARDWARE | Meet Minimum Requirements

AGE | 18 Years or Older

LANGUAGE | Taught in English

Skills You Need Before You Start

The Maya Workshop is not graded to help you feel comfortable learning the software at your own pace. There are no required skills to join, but we ask that you bring enthusiasm for animation and a desire to learn.

What You’ll Learn

This workshop will familiarize you with the basics of using Maya, including how to navigate the interface and 3D space, as well as the tools used for animation. After learning Maya, you’ll be so familiar with this fundamental software that you’ll be ready to jump right into learning character animation. After this workshop you’ll:

  • Be comfortable with the Maya interface, allowing you to focus on animation without getting lost in the software
  • Navigate the 3D viewport and move fluidly around your scene
  • Understand workflows and keyboard shortcuts to allow you to work faster and more efficiently
  • Have a basic understanding of how to animate 3D characters in Maya
  • Be able to model basic polygons, so that you can can create and populate your scenes with set pieces and props

FAQ for the Maya Workshop

Will I learn how to render an animation in Maya?

Yes, you’ll learn how to render your animation assignments so you can submit them for review. You’ll also master the basics of the Maya interface by creating simple prop models and you’ll learn how to use the graph editor to animate characters.

Will I learn how to export animation in Maya?

Yes, you learn how to export a quick “playblast,” a video file of your animation for review.

Does the course cover how to bake an animation in Maya?

No. This workshop covers how the graph editor works and how to use rig controls to create basic animation.

Why is Maya the most commonly used software by professionals?

Maya is considered the industry standard for professional animation because it’s powerful and high-quality. Most small and mid-sized studios use Maya. Some large studios use Maya, however, some major studios create their own proprietary animation software systems and production pipeline. If you have mastered Maya, you will easily be able to master these proprietary software, as most of them work in a similar way.

Related Courses

If you’re interested in maya animation, we think you’ll love this course!


12-Week Course

Begin your character animation journey and master the basics.

Learn More