Animation Bootcamp - An Intro to Animation (online course)

Animation Bootcamp – An Intro to animation

How do you become a great animator? Start with a solid foundation.

This course will cover the fundamentals of animation and how those skills are applied in feature film animation. The knowledge gained here will establish the pathway to advanced classes were the student will dig deeper in specific areas of study.

Each class in the twelve week course will focus on one of the 12 principles of animation.

Timing and Spacing

Every move in animation is defined by the amount space that is covered in a set period of time. The timing and spacing of a move will establish the weight and believability of the action.


All action has an arc. Arcs can range from a flat line to a circle, establishing the path of motion through space making animation feel natural.


Anticipation is the beginning of every action no matter how small, communicating to the audience that something is about to take place. Imagine a baseball pitcher throwing a ball without a wide-up or a sneeze without an inhale.

Squash and Stretch

Squash and stretch creates a feeling of weight, impact and elasticity. Squash and Stretch should be felt not seen, except in a cartoony action.

Ease In and Ease Out

In order to move from one pose to another seamlessly ease in and ease out are a necessity. To create a natural performance the animation needs to move without starting and stopping too abruptly.

Follow through / Overlapping action

Not everything comes to a stop all at once. Sometimes one aspect of a character or object will move past a primary action, wiggle then settle to a stop. This follow through overlaps the primary action.


In order to make a realistic move feel more believable it must be pushed beyond the real limits of an action, caricaturing and broadening the move to make it read clearer on screen.

Action, reaction

Newton said it best, "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction".


If each shot has one thing to say, staging is saying that one thing in the clearest way, everything from camera angles to set piece placement to poses of the character.


Appeal has to do with good design, in form and in action. An appealing gesture is going to create a charismatic performance that the audience is engaged by.

Straight ahead / pose to pose / layered

Different techniques used to animate a shot.

Secondary Action

The action that supports the main acting in a scene. Secondary action is not meant to draw attention away from the performance, but rather support it.

Our hope is that through this course you gain a better understanding of what makes animation work. Once completed, you will have a rock solid foundation to take with you into everything you ever animate, and be well on your way to becoming a great animator.

Course Information

Duration: 3 months (12 weeks)
Start Date: March 1st, 2014
Instructors: Brian Menz and Matt Stroup
Prerequisites: None
Price: $1797 USD (or $599 monthly)

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