KANSAS CITY'S NEW SCHOOL FOR ANIMATION
For those students with strong drawing backgrounds(portfolio review required), learn the fundamentals of traditional animation and creating the illusion of life the Disney and Warner Bros way. Study how to pose a character and get emotion from your scenes. We will train you how to get great realistic movement as well as broad cartoony animation.
Storytelling is at the heart of every discipline in animation. We will explore the fundamentals all the way through advanced ideas of telling a great story. We will study the most successful storytelling in films, games and television and what makes them great. Some of the most rewarding projects in your career will be when you help write the storyline and our goal is to prepare you to be a strong asset to your team!
Finishing your demo reel and portfolio correctly is one of the most critical parts of being an animation artist. You will receive direction from our experienced instructors how to polish your best pieces, what to show first, how to display them, and what the industry is looking for today. We will provide you with a template to build your website and help you to complete the process of preparing your work to be seen by Directors and Recruiters. Then, learn all of our tips and tricks to “work the business”. Learn to build a network and how to be the kind of artist that gets called again and again to major studios. Discover how to be exceptional!
Many of the films, games and television shows today have raised the bar for acting in animation.To put the finishing touches on your portfolio you will work on what animators in the industry call “dream scenes”. These are scenes with beautiful acting moments or physical moments that showcase complex or elegant body motion. You will develop subtlety in your acting and learn realistic facial animation. Also the course will go deep into the study of human dialogue and explore the differences between the facial motion in a movie like the Incredibles compared to The Avengers or Avatar. The future of films will use more and more cg animated characters and this course will give you the foundation and portfolio pieces you need to excel in today’s competitive job market.
Game Cinematics are truly the next form of filmmaking. Today the quality and execution of cinematics are that of blockbuster films. In this course you will use game assets to build storytelling scenes and combine all of your skills to produce high quality cinematics for your portfolio.
In this advanced course you will learn the basics of working with motion capture data, and refine and push your skills in key frame motion. You will be challenged to do some beautiful subtle animation as well as wild and stretchy animation with blur and multiple limb scramble runs like Wile E Coyote!
In this course students will learn the ins and outs of combat movements and fluidly traversing the game environment. You will build your portfolio with exciting combination moves of popular game characters in the act of combat using weapons or their bodies as weapons. Then you will study and produce animations of characters running, swinging and climbing in a game environment.
One of our favorite courses! Visual Development and Character Design are the birth of the visual style of the property. This is the most creative part of the animation process where you will explore your imagination to its limits! Learn and develop your own style while drawing from your favorite influences. Learn to stay within the box of a certain style and draw everything from characters to backgrounds to match.
(2D Students Only)
3D Animation fundamentals will teach you how to use Autodesk Maya to create animation using character rigs. It’s like puppeting your character without drawing! You will learn the basics of weight, posing, timing and movement to create some awesome pieces for your portfolio using characters like the Iron Giant, Homer Simpson, Woody and Buzz and even Spongebob!
Design for film and television continues to push boundaries to the limits. In part two of our design program we will also push you to the limit to see how creative you can get. You will learn advanced stylization tricks and challenge yourself to break out of your own restraints to create the best design work you have ever done. You will learn basic color theory and advanced character and background design concepts being used in the industry to make today’s most exciting films and shows.
*(2D Students Only)
Previsualization is now a huge part of the live action and game production process. It is storyboarding in cg with simplified models and backgrounds for the sake of exploring the storytelling before shooting begins. This is a booming industry with many new studios opening in the last ten years to facilitate all of the special effects driven shows being made for movies and streaming television. Most movies such as Marvel, Game of Thrones, Avatar, Spiderman, etc… Previsualize their shots before they spend the money on the special effects to see how things will look. Games are now getting very close to movies and use many of the same processes. It is a very exciting and rewarding process that demands a strong level of computer and animation fundamentals.
The storyboarding process has become very different between feature and television in the industry today. In this course you will explore the differences between those processes and build your portfolio with examples of many styles. You will storyboard in the style of the Simpson’s, Toy Story, Tarzan, and even Powerpuff Girls. You will learn the differences between what they are looking for in a storyboard for Family Guy in contrast to Bob’s Burgers, Disenchantment and other Primetime Shows. Your portfolio will begin to show great skill and diversity with great variety in acting, posing and staging in many of the most popular styles being currently used in the industry.
In this course you will learn the art of making a blockbuster film and how animation has become an essential part of their success. Whether it be Lord of the Rings, Avatar, the Avengers, or Jurassic World we will break down the formulas and strategies used in making these larger than life stories. You will learn the steps and processes used to add animation into the films and discuss everything from cutting techniques to the timing and stylization of the movement created for the motions.
Game animation is a very different type of thought process than movies. You have to think of seeing the character from every angle because most of the time the player is in control of the camera. Every motion the character does has to be able to return to an idle position or blend to countless other motions in the fraction of a second. There is nothing more fun than animating movements for your character and then instantly importing and playing them inside of a game engine!
Storyboarding has become one of the most hired positions in the animation industry! More than 50% of all artists in the Animation Guild are storyboard artists. Every project starts with breaking down the script into designs and storyboards. The Story Artist is the first person to bring a visual take to each scene and performance laying out the camera angle, cinematography, character acting and, as of late, the timing of the sequence. The fundamentals of good animation posing, composition, rhythm, dynamics, subtly, cutting, screen direction and much more will be explored in many different industry styles. Learn the difference between boarding for Family Guy, The Simpson’s, and boarding for Toy Story or Cars. You will begin to build your portfolio with every assignment.
Drawing correctly in perspective is a must for story artists. This class will provide the fundamentals of drawing in perspective in many different styles from organic landscapes to more difficult cityscapes. We will train you to use some of the latest and greatest industry tools and tricks to use in Storyboard Pro. This is an essential course before Storyboarding.