What software do I need?

We use Adobe Creative Cloud for our classes. The specific programs we work with are Photoshop, Premiere and After Effects. If you wish to work traditionally on paper for our animation classes, we recommend purchasing a copy of Dragonframe. For students choosing to animate digitally, we recommend purchasing a copy of TVPaint. We understand that software may not be affordable for all students, but these programs allow us to retime your scenes so you can get the most out of our mentoring. The focus of our classes is skills, not software, so we can only officially support the above listed programs. Once you are accepted into a class and have submitted payment, we will gladly provide a confirmation letter of your enrollment, which can be used to take advantage of educational discount pricing.

What hardware do I need?

Engaging with students is important and we ask that you are on camera during class sessions and participate in discussion. The platform we use is Zoom, so you will need a desktop or laptop with either a built-in or external web camera. Unfortunately the image size and resolution on smart phones is not sufficient for critiques and demos. Although tablets are acceptable for lectures, they lack the capability of running many of the software packages we use and cannot connect to the downshooter cameras we use. If you are taking one of our animation classes and would like to work traditionally on paper, we recommend one of the following cameras for shooting pencil tests: Ipevo 4K Ultra High Definition USB Document Camera Inswan INS-1 USB Document Camera Both are compatible with Dragonframe, have their own stand and may also be used as your Zoom camera if you don't have a built in webcam.

What supplies do I need?

All students should have a sketchbook for taking notes as many of the concepts presented in lectures are easier to draw. Students animating traditionally on paper should have the following drawing supplies. You may choose the pencils you prefer, but here's what we use: Prismacolor Col-Erase Blue and Carmine Red Faber-Castell Polychromos Cobalt Blue-Greenish Tombow Mono graphite pencils (HB or B) Faber-Castell Kneaded Eraser Animation paper needs to have holes punched for registration. For cost reasons, we suggest purchasing copier paper and using a 3-hole round punch with a round 3-hole pegbar. Round 3-Hole Punch Round Hole Pegbar A lightbox allows you to flip and roll drawings while keeping them in registration. The least expensive lightbox is a LED light pad which you can tape your pegbar to. LED Light Pad

What textbooks do I need?

For our animation classes, the following books are highly recommended but not required: Character Animation Crash Course by Eric Goldberg The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams The Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston

What should be in my portfolio?

To apply for our classes, you must include a link to representative samples of your best work. While a minimum level of drawing ability is necessary, your passion is more important than your skill level. Your motivation translates into faster mastery of skills. What's our best measure of passion? You love drawing and you do it a lot. PORTFOLIOS SHOULD INCLUDE: 1. Character Designs - We want to see your original character designs of humans, animals or inanimate objects, particularly in dynamic poses that express their personality. You should also demonstrate an ability to turn forms in space with your drawings, maintaining volume, consistency and solidity. 2. Sketchbooks - This is a great way to show your sense of humor, character ideas and design sensibilities. Focus on expressive rough drawings over inked or finished work. We want to see what you draw for fun! 3. Expression Sheets - Show us the range of emotions one of your characters can go through, not just in facial expressions, but also through body posture and attitude. Strive for unique poses that avoid stock gestures or generic symbols to represent emotions. Still not sure about what to include? Ask us for advice.

What should I put on my reel?

To apply for our animation classes, you must include a link to a reel of your animated scenes. Although our classes focus on drawn animation, you may include samples of your work in CG, stop-motion, digitally or traditionally drawn. REELS SHOULD INCLUDE: 1. Your work should demonstrate a basic knowledge of the physics of animation (weight, inertia, gravity and balance.) 2. Scenes that reveal personality. Action scenes are acceptable, but they should also clearly convey the emotion of your character. Focus on acting choices that are specific to how your character is feeling at that moment without relying on generic gestures or stock expressions. 3. Advanced Animation reels must show a good understanding of the 12 Principles of Animation (Squash & Stretch, Anticipation, Staging, Straight Ahead/Pose-To-Pose, Follow Through/Overlapping Action, Slow In/Slow Out, Arcs, Timing/Spacing, Secondary Action, Exaggeration, Solid Drawing and Appeal.) Still not sure about what to include? Ask us for advice.



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