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Friday, May 26, 2017

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In the 3D Character Program, students learn the crafts of modeling and rigging. This is where the characters are made.


Once a design has been sketched on paper, modeling students sculpt them in 3D. It not only has to look beautiful, but the arrangement of points and edges also have to facilitate the next step: articulation. That’s where rigging steps in.

Rigging students place bones into the body to bend it properly and control the shape of the form in the myriad of possible poses. Students also learn to articulate the face, segmenting the muscles and motions of the face and head to make the character talk and emote in a convincing and appealing way.

Each week, modelers and riggers (Character TDs) from the best studios in the world work with the students one-on-one to give them the best opportunity for improving their own work.

Our 3D Character program is divided into 2 parts, the 3D Character track, and the 3D Character program.

The 3D Character track consists of classes 0-3. In the 3D Character track, students focus on modeling and rigging equally. In classes 4-7, our 3D Character Program, 3D Character students gain some experience in animation, so they are able to understand the perspective of the users of their characters, and pre-emptively solve problems that would otherwise only be noticed later. This insight gives them a great advantage: riggers and modelers who can also animate are in great demand. Additionally the student focuses more specifically on their area of greater interest, selecting two of Five electives covering the technical, tools side of rigging, or the sculpting and facial expression side of modeling, Environments or Lighting

Prior to acceptance in the 3D Character program students must successfully complete the 3D Character track classes or provide the Review Board with a reel demonstrating the prerequisite skills needed to be successful in the 3D Character Program.

Each term in the 3D Character Track and Program is 11 weeks long.

3D Character Track

3D Character Program prerequisite courses

Introduction to Maya


Essential Maya software skills for success

For students who are new to Maya or transitioning from different 3D software packages this is the place to start. This course will teach our students the fundamental skills they need so that instead of learning Maya basics during their program classes they can focus on learning animation principles, modeling and rigging.
This course explores the Maya interface, creating objects, primitives, lights, cameras, rendering and materials. Students will understand about grouping, parenting, constraints and hierarchies preparing them for further modeling, rigging and animation courses.
Students that already have experience with Maya may be eligible to bypass this course by submitting their demo reel or portfolio to our review board at admissions@animschool.com.

Introduction to 3D Modeling


Introduction to the principles of polygon/subdivision surface and other modeling formats, applied to simple objects

This class teaches topology layouts in theory and practice, achieving desirable shaping, modeling workflows, and the best rest state for rigging. Students model organic and inorganic objects, model a designed vehicle, and a designed character bust.

Students learn basic modeling concepts, working with manipulators, isolate selection, primitives, history, loft, bevel, extrusion, duplication, transformation space, soft selection, reflection editing, lattices, converting geometry types, projects, and workspace.

Introduction to Rigging


Introduction to the principles of rigging, applied to simple objects

Students use their modeling assignment to learn basic rigging concepts, including hierarchies, constraints, skinning, blendshapes, connections, joints, orientation, inverse kinematics, expressions, math operators, xray, curve controls, custom attributes, sets, Set Driven Keys, and hypergraph connections.

Intermediate Modeling


Intermediate Modeling Techniques

Students use the polygon/subdivision-surface modeling tools to make a character model based on a chosen character design. Areas of focus are bodies and hands.

Students learn the best practices for modeling an entire character in a hero pose, searching for appeal as well as technical integrity.

Through iterations and direction from the instructor, the students refine the shapes for maximum appeal and usability. Concepts such as normals, UV texture projections, and smoothing are discussed.

Next Step: Apply for the 3D Character Program!

3D Character Program

3D Character Program Students are required to take 4 or more of the following:

Intermediate Rigging


Intermediate Rigging Techniques

Students use the rigging concepts they’ve learned to place joints into their character model and apply smooth skinning.

This course teaches body rigging. Rigging controls like forward/inverse kinematics, twisting, and world/local constraints are added for ease of use during posing. Then shapes and customizations are applied to refine deformations. Concepts such as multiplier attributes, lattices, wrap, nonlinear, and wire deformers, beginning Python scripting,  and gimbal avoidance are covered.

Introduction to 3D Animation


Improve Your Character Skills With Animation Tests

Characters students’ introduction to the principles of animation. Character students join in the class with animation students. Students now get to use a character like the one they’ve been building, posing and animating them. Students learn how to use the experiences to inform the modeling and rigging process.

This gives the 3D Character student a well-rounded education, being able to experience the end-result of their labor from the users’ point of view. This insight enables them to take their character work to a higher level, faster.

Advanced Rigging


Advanced Rigging

Students learn facial rigging techniques that will help them break up facial articulation into the most usable set of functions and shapes.

Students take their deformation work to a higher level of refinement, and develop their grasp of complex rigging issues. Students learn how computation speed and performance requirements affect the decision-making when a rig approach is considered. Difficult problems are tackled, such as shoulder deformation, clothing, user interfaces, rigging automation, and scripting.

Advanced Modeling (ZBrush Modeling Introduction)


Advanced Modeling (ZBrush Modeling Introduction)

Students learn how to use ZBrush software, sculpting a character from a design. NOTE: This course requires the purchase of the student version of ZBrush, typically $450. Students learn the process of topologizing a dense sculpted mesh into a usable 3D model in Maya.

Students learn the best modeling work-flow and practices in order to make appealing characters. Students tackle advanced facial modeling and learn the landmarks including: how to evaluate a model from multiple vantage points, how to simplify lines, what to look for to reveal model problems.

Students also model a hard surface object or set piece for their character.

Rigging Automation and Tools Development


Rigging Automation and Tools Development

Modern rigging does not rely on hand-making rig parts for each character. Auto-rigging scripts and tools make many tasks easy. They take data like input positions and number of spine joints needed and then build a control rig in a few mouse clicks. With the control rig built, optimally, Character TD’s spend most of the rigging effort per character on the deformation rig. Building those tools and modifying them for a production’s needs is a large part of the rigging process. This requires a Rigger/Character TD be proficient at scripting languages.

Environmental Modeling


Environmental Modeling

Now it's time to place your characters into a set!

Learn how to make buildings, interiors, exteriors, and set pieces.

Use rhythm and style to make your sets shine.

Learn the secrets of set modeling, with instruction in UV's, Cloth simming and particle distribution of elements.

Learn studio pipeline needs: Asset Management, Previs, Cameras and Lights.

Introduction to 3D Lighting


Cinematic Lighting Principles in both real world and CG applications.

Learn the basics of 3D lighting in Maya from working pros, in live classes. Learn the principles of light, shadow, color, composition, and staging. How to render great images using Maya's tools.

This course is designed for animation or modeling students, and also for students who may want to pursue lighting and rendering as a career path.

"Online reviews with some of the best animators in the world who really take the time to look at your work." –Mark B.

"Now I know how to make animation better, appealing. After AnimSchool, I feel empowered." –Carlos R.

"AnimSchool has allowed me to advance in a career that is filled with opportunities" –Carlos G.

"I’ve learned so much and I’m really happy I chose AnimSchool! It’s pretty cool that I get to work on characters I love...I’m thrilled that I get to model, rig and animate Donald Duck’s nephews for a Disney project." –Nanda D.

"Without knowing anything about Maya 2 ½ years ago and be able to do these sort of things today – makes me really proud!" –Martin S.

"I didn’t know crap about 3D animation before I got here, so it’s really cool! I have an animation job now." –Maikoe A.

"I finished school, got a job and was promoted to Animation Supervisor--all because of AnimSchool." –Dimitar B.

"I've learned a lot from all the professional animators at AnimSchool! Their stories about daily work in major studios and productions worldwide made the profession come alive for me." –Imelda A.

"I had done commercials and worked on TV for 5 years, but during my first class at AnimSchool I realized that I didn’t know how to animate yet! This was just so different!" –Daniel J.

"I am now comfortable with modeling, character creation and rigging in Maya. Before AnimSchool, I didn’t know how to rig anything." –Richitos M.

"Even though it’s an online school it feels like a whole community of people who I have never met before but became really good friends with...it’s simply the BEST!" –Dilen S.

"The instructors are among the best. They have been super kind with me - they not only taught me how to animate better, they also pushed me to become a good team member." –Carlos A.

"From class to class I could see a marked improvement in my work." –Maxim K.