2D special effects animators are a breed apart. Their work is extremely detail-oriented and demands an incredibly high level of craftsmanship, yet the animation they create is rarely the center of attention like the work of character animators. Last month when I was in LA, I visited with retired Disney FX animator John Emerson who showed me how he animated the wings on the hummingbird Flit in Pocahontas and the way he did it nearly made my brain explode. Let’s just say he’s really good at handling an airbrush and cutting friskets. If 2D FX sounds like your dream job, then you may want to look into a new weekly FX animation course run by Australian animator Adam Phillips.
Phillips used to be the special effects supervisor at Walt Disney Animation Australia, and has since achieved Internet fame as the creator of Bitey Castle and the successful Brackenwood shorts on Newgrounds. His online course covers all the principles: lightning, flames, ripples, wave motion, smoke, dust, steam, and surface tension, among others. He tells me that, “It’s aimed at complete FX beginners and is taught from a traditional perspective so there’s no particular medium or software angle.” The real attraction is that the program is just $24/month and includes weekly articles, demonstrations, examples, illustrations and videos. The program length is approximately three months and can be started anytime. Find out more at Bitey.com.