3D Animation

Free Animation Training

Free 3D animation training using Autodesk Maya

This course is meant to be taken in order. Progress through the classes and build your animation skills.

Lets begin…

3D Basics

3D Basics 1: Intro to Maya

In the first 3D animation class you’ll learn areas of the Maya interface most commonly used for animation. Also an explanation of the three dimensions and how to navigate through 3D space – plus much more!

No project file needed, just follow along!

3D Basics 2: Intro to the Graph Editor

In this second basics class you will be introduced to the most important tool in 3D animation; the graph editor.

No project file needed, just follow along!

3D Basics 3: Timing and Workflow Techniques

In the third basics class we will discuss some animation principles, and the difference between frames and key-frames. I’ll show you the best way to set up your interface for animating in Maya – you’ll also learn how to set up shelf buttons within Maya to select a group of controls with one click. Near the end we will use some basic animation principles to animate a classic ball bounce exercise.

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3D Basics 4: Timing and Camera

Building from what was learned in the previous class (Maya Basics 3). In the fourth basics class we will animate a ball bouncing across a stage with a camera panning to follow the ball. Some new animation concepts are discussed, and you’ll learn how to create and animate a camera in Maya.

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3D Basics 5: Secondary Action

In the fifth basics class you’ll practice more animation principles, “overlapping action” and “drag” demonstrated by animating “the wave principle” and then animating our Fork-In-Ripe Avocado character bouncing across stage. These principles are used in character animation.

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3D Basics 6: Basic Mechanics

This is the last Basics class, it’s designed to prepare you for the next section of the course – Body Mechanics. In the previous classes you learned a variety of animation principles. In this class you will use all the principles you’ve leaned so far to animate an arm point.

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3D Body Mechanics

3D Body Mechanics 1: Walk Jump and Cycle

In the first Body Mechanics class you’ll start to use more advanced animation principle combinations to create convincing weight. This is a two part assignment where you will create two cycles using the lower body of a mannequin rig, a jump cycle and a walk cycle.

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3D Body Mechanics 2: Walk Leap and Settle

In BM2 we’ll use the walk from the last class and turn on the upper body. Animate the upper body to complete the walk cycle. Animate the mannequin walking toward the ledge and have it leap off the edge, show a nice path of action through the air and then show weight in the landing.

Use Project File from previous class to build on what you learned.

3D Body Mechanics 3: Run!

In this class you’ll practice animating a run cycle. The focus is on weight, drag and creating a feeling of torque and power in the run.

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3D Body Mechanics 4: Pushing Weight

Focusing more on the concept of weight, we’ll animate a character pushing a large object off a ledge. Show weight and struggle with the character and weight when the object falls to the ground.

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3D Body Mechanics 5: Lifting Weight and Balance

In BM5 you’ll animate a character picking up and throwing an object. The focus is on weight and balance so the character doesn’t feel like they are off balance. Show a struggle with the character, also show weight as the object lands on the ground.

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3D Acting

3D Acting 1: Mood Posture and Posing

In this class you will use live action reference to practice posing. Creating silhouetted poses and coming up with appropriate poses for the dialogue is part of making good acting choices in your character animation.

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3D Acting 2: Pantomime Acting And Silhouetted Poses

Keeping silhouetts in mind when posing your character is extreemely important, many animators overlook this important staging aspect of character acting. It helps to clearly convey to the audience what the character is doing. In Acting 2 you can use the suggestions or choose a different narrative.

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3D Acting 3: Facial Animation

In Acting 3 you will use a more sophisticated rig, just the head to focus on transitioning through different facial expressions and emotions. Tips on how to handle eye movement, blinks and brow animation in conjunction with the rest of the face.

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3D Acting 4: Lip-sync Dialogue and Accents

In this class you’ll learn how to do properly timed and posed lip-sync. Using a phonetic chart to pose the mouth, additional tips for timing lip-sync so it “reads” naturally. In addition to lip-sync you’ll learn where to place accents on the head for more subtle acting – this is in preparation for the next class.

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3D Acting 5: Lip-sync Dialogue and Gestures

You can use the lipsync from the last class. In this class you’ll work through blocking and refining a character performing a piece of dialogue in a medium shot (waist up). This shot can be used as a demo reel piece (show reel).

Use Project File from previous class to build on what you learned.

3D Advanced Dialogue

3D Advanced Dialogue 1: Monologue

Using everything you’ve learned in the course this far, animate a character in a full body shot delivering a line of dialogue. More industry tips are provided.

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3D Advanced Dialogue 2: Two Characters

In AD2 I explain how to handle a shot with two characters acting and reacting to each other. More industry tips are provided.

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