How-To: Glen Keane Animates A Dance

Glen Keane presented an animation demo at CalArts last weekend. Part of his talk, in which he animates a dance, was captured on video and posted online. The people who attended the lecture in person had to pay $40,000 a year for that privilege. We give it to you for free on Cartoon Brew.


  • Daniel

    Still the best school for animation

    • ages ago

      A long time ago, maybe…. today? not so much.

      • orly

        And these other schools would be? If all you can think of is Gobelins then jog on.

    • Marcus

      And still one of the best, if not the “best” for CHARACTER animation.

  • Tseng

    This demo alone is priceless.

  • Anonymous Student

    You missed the part of the video where we all threw our money at him. Because that’s really all we pay for at CalArts, right guys?

  • Emelle

    Pompous commentary there fella. You should credit the student who posted it, they probably meant for it to be reposted and appreciated by the masses who love animation, not to be re-blogged by someone who will mock their student debt.

    • http://www.moviecappa.blogspot.com/ Mike Caracappa

      Well, you have to admit, its kind of ironic for a student paying $40,000 a year to just blindly give their education away for free to other people on the internet.

      • Mac

        The corporate people don’t want the stuff they share from production, but other than that, no one gives a crap about the propriety of their education. They’re not threatened by spreading lectures and knowledge. We didn’t pay for what can be summed up in youtube videos. I wouldn’t bother, but if Kyler was so moved to share and he’s not pissing anyone off in adminstration, what does sharing a video have to do with tuition fees? It doesn’t change them, if you’re afraid of lectures undermining your competitiveness with the talent market, you’re *insane*.

        • http://www.moviecappa.blogspot.com/ Mike Caracappa

          Well, I don’t know about you, but when I went to Cal Arts, there were some people who just willy nilly giving away their class notes and lectures on the internet, whether it was written or filmed on video. The ones who do it are usually the ones who had their tuition paid for by their parents, and the people it undermines are the students who actually had to work to pay their way into college by themselves, whether they had to save up for it or work for it through scholarships. Maybe you should ask some of those students if they’d be so inclined to just give away their education to other people who never had to actually work for it. If you came back and told me they didn’t care, I’d question their sanity more than mine.

          • AmidAmidi

            Focus on discussing the contents of Glen’s lecture, not tangential debates about the value of CalArts.

    • john

      [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, "It is OK to post with a nickname or alias, but your email address (which we will NEVER share publicly), must be a real, permanent email address. Comments with fake or non-permanent emails will be deleted."]

  • Tomm

    Great post

  • Thomas

    Original posted (probably also the student filming) by Kyler Spears @ plus.google.com/u/0/108876230054906193575

  • Kyle_Maloney

    I could watch these types of demos for hours. Let us know if you find more.

  • Chris

    Loved how much he pushed the drawings.

  • http://www.moviecappa.blogspot.com/ Mike Caracappa

    I agree with everything you said, bro, because you’ve told me all the things I knew about myself when I was there too. But if it helps to prepare you in any way as an artist, I can tell you the day you leave school and you’re ready to go off in the woods and hunt, you’ll be doing it alone. :)

    • ’12 Grad

      You will not be alone. Along with the incredible opportunities to have your work thoroughly reviewed by your teachers and peers every week, with countless sources of inspiration spinning around you in every direction and the abilities to sharpen your craft and evolve your style, CalArts gives you the most fantastic network of talented friends. They will help you along when you’re off in the woods, just as you’ll help them along. We alumni are a team of hunters.

      • http://www.moviecappa.blogspot.com/ Mike Caracappa

        ’12 Grad, I understand what you’re saying and where you’re coming from. You will have certain peers who will always be with you no matter what, who will help you when you need it. But when I talk about being alone, what I’m speaking of is the place inside yourself where your true voice is, and it’s the core of your being as an artist. The day you decide you want to go looking for it, you will have to find on your own without the help of your peers. I say you’ll be without them because most of them won’t understand what your doing or what you’re looking for. It’s personal journey that happens when you voluntarily go on your own, or you have life forced on you with no choice but to go into that direction. It’s the only way you’ll know what you truthfully have to say about yourself and the world around you. All of your animation heroes, (like Glen Keane in the video up there) have been through this and had to find their voice on their own without the help of school or their friends. And Glen has got something important to say in his work. Making friends at animation school is part of the experience, yes, but you also need to recognize that in school you’re in a safe, protected environment. It’s another thing entirely when you’re away from the safety of that environment in a place where your friends and teachers can’t help you. You won’t want them there anyway when you’re trying to sort out your personal issues. Trying to avoid that pain as an artist only means you’ll have other voices in your head dictating your art that are not your own.

        You won’t understand what I’m saying until you’ve actually been there, but being alone is a good thing, and it will make more sense to you as time goes on.

        • Anonymous Student

          My intent with the ‘learning to hunt’ metaphor was to say that at school one develops skill sets, techniques and modes of thinking that enable a student to tackle artistic problems of their own volition – that becoming an animation artist is less about memorizing the 12 principles and more about building an intuition of when to utilize which of them and how much, for instance. The direction you ran with it is valid but I think you may have missed my point entirely.

  • optimist

    I’m just curious as to whether you got Glen’s permission to post this. If you did and he’s cool with it, great. Otherwise…

  • Alla Gadassik

    It’s really wonderful to get this brief glimpse of a classical drawn-animation artist at work. As a scholar and historian of animation, I often get to read early animators’ descriptions of their process, but obviously have no chance to see it for myself. For me, Glen Keane’s talk really belongs to a very old debate between drawing “pose-to-pose” and drawing “straight ahead” animation (in the Disney studio tradition, this was written about by Thomas & Johnston, Stanchfield, and Larson, to name a few). Many animators talk about their own balancing act between these two polar opposites — the first a calculated and almost mechanical progression from Pose A to Pose B, the second a much more improvised fly-by-the-frame kind of deal. I wonder how this balance shifts and transforms within CGI animation, where much more of the in-betweening is accomplished through algorithmic calculation.

    On a related note (and apropos some of the other comments here), if animators have not been generously documenting and sharing their methods and techniques with the wider public since the 1930s, then scholars or lovers of animation would not be able to understand, appreciate, and study the history of this art-form.

  • mee

    Kyler I love you! Someone else posted a Glen Keane lecture from the 1990s on archive.org — lousy VHS quality, but to treasure — Marahute, Beast, more — and it’s been downloaded 2700 times as of now: http://archive.org/details/jtopfGlenKeaneLecture01?start=3179.5

    It’s an hour and a half and it ends too soon.

    Any chance you can post more?

    This CalArts student posted on his blog about Keane’s 2007 lecture: http://www.animatedbuzz.com/journal/06-07/01.html#Anchor-31263

    I am so grateful to all of you who do this, like those who posted youtubes from CTN Expo.

    P.S. Aaron Swartz would smile: http://blog.archive.org/2013/01/12/aaron-swartz-hero-of-the-open-world-rip/