Online course
Physics of Animation

Everything around us is affected by the laws of physics and everything that we animate, no matter the style, is also governed by these same rules set forth by nature.

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Physics of Animation

Everything around us is affected by the laws of physics and everything that we animate, no matter the style, is also governed by these same rules set forth by nature.

The laws of physics still apply even when we caricature real life, and exaggerating these laws can be very challenging. A good understanding of the forces present around us is important as we create the illusion of believable physics in our animated environment. But we do not need to study complex physical or mathematical laws to understand how the world works - we see it in action all the time. We know what it looks like, and so will our audience. They might not understand why things work in a certain way but our audience will know when something feels wrong.

It is therefore important, as animators, that we have a working understanding of some of the basic principles of physics so we can recreate a believable world for our characters.

Our animation style will determine how we interpret these principles of physics. During this course we will tackle all the differences and similarities between animation styles while dealing with the laws of science. Visual Effects animation, as similar as it is to Feature animation can also be very far apart in its interpretation of the physical laws. We will study these various styles, discuss the reasons and motivations behind each motion and clarify any ambiguity that you might encounter.

This course, The Physics of Animation, is at its core, about Inertia. It will focus on animating objects in a state of rest and in motion, and the consequences of changing between states. We will study and discuss the effects of internal and external forces and describe the application of energy transfer in animation.

We will animate, and step by step, describe our thinking process behind a character in a variety of motions. We will go into details about spacing and timing, and demonstrate how to vary them in order to achieve specific physical effects.

In the end, you will have a better understanding of what makes an object feel heavy or light, slow or fast, realistic or exaggerated and how to easily switch between “styles” while paying close attention to the forces around us. Making motion believable is as simple as understanding the science behind its motivation.

Main animation subjects of this online course

  • Laws of Motion in Animation
  • Physics of Body Mechanics
  • Principles of Animation
  • Exaggerating Physics

Course data

  Course duration: 3 months

  The course starts every 3 months:
June 1, September 1, December 1, March 1

  Price for Independent Studies:
3 monthly payments for the course $199 USD each
or 1 full course payment $597 USD

  Prerequisites: Basic Animation Skills

  Recommended software: Autodesk Maya

 Additional animation tutorials:
CGTarian Masters Animation Workshops

Course instructor and animation mentor Rebecca Perez
Course creator:
Joe Bowers
Reviewing instructor:
Josiah Massingill

Registration open for:


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100% risk-free, 14-day money back guarantee.

Lecture previews

The best way to learn what this course is about and get an insight into it!


Lecture preview

Object motion laws and factors. What makes them move. Acceleration, action and opposite equal reaction, inertia, momentum.

Equal and opposite reactions

Lecture preview

See the references and learn in details what principles of equal and opposite reactions are between two characters.

Run cycle

Lecture preview

Run cycle poses in details, reviwing those in graph editor step by step. Foot, legs and body controls.

All that you need!

Content developed by professionals, challenging assignments and mentor's assistance is your way to success!


3 months of intense studies! Comprehensive animation course!


12 online meetings with your mentor and video reviews of your work!


More than 20 hours of video lectures and tutorials!


More than 50+ recordings of QnA sessions and video reviews available!

Reviews and QnA's

Attending QnA sessions and having your assignments reviewed by a mentor significantly increases your progress!

Hitting the table

Video review example

Stiffness improvement and detachment of different body parts in character motions.

Push scene

Video review example

Leg hyperextension issues. Body mass aspect and advice on spacing.

Run cycle

Video review example

Improvement and tips for realistic run cycle. Pose corrections, cutting extra frames.

Hitting the table 2

Video review example

Reviewing character motions in details in graph editor, fixing assignment step by step.

Students’ feedback

The best course and personal progress evaluation is students’ feedback.

Ibragim Botashev
This is one of the best courses on CGTarian. Joe prepared great lectures about physics, and Thomas is awesome instructor.This course really helped me to improve my animation. Thank you very much, Joe and Thomas!
— Ibragim Botashev
Andre Guy
Friendly lecturer(Josiah Massingill) who knows his stuff and genuinely wants you to do better. I have gain more than I could've wished for! Josiah critiques is very to the point and scientific, which I like. He points out what I did good, bad and provided one or more way to solve it!
— Andre Guy

Full list of student feedback you will find on "CGTarian Students' Reviews & Testimonials" page.

Full list of student reviews you will find on this page "Student Reviews".


100% risk-free, 14-day money back guarantee.

Independent studies
Monthly payment

3 monthly payments for the course
209 USD
Simple and convenient payment schedule.
Possibility to switch to one payment schedule.

Independent studies
Single payment

One full course payment
597 USD
In case of a full payment the price is reduced by 30 USD

Attention! This course is provided at a reduced price meaning independent studies without mentor's assistance, no online meetings or video reviews of your assignments. However, recordings of QnA’s and video reviews of previous groups will be available for your reference.

Download Free Demo Pack of the Course

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Where do our students work?

Many of our students got employed in world famous studios working on top level projects. Below you can find some of them:

Маша и медведь
World of WarCraft
World of Tanks
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