Animation Mentor offers “Animals & Creatures: Master Class”

Animation Mentor Goes Beyond Character Animation with Animals & Creatures: Master Class

Emeryville, CA -January 11, 2011 – (Animation Mentor), the state-of-the-art online school for character animation founded by animators, for animators, today announces Animals & Creatures: Master Class, an advanced course on animating quadrupeds, flying animals, and fantasy creatures in a realistic animation style. In addition, the course covers how to effectively integrate animation with live-action footage, introducing new visual effects skills and bringing a new dimension to Animation Mentor’s core curriculum.

“Animals & Creatures: Master Class is a super exciting offering for us and one that we have been lovingly handcrafting for a long time,” said Bobby Beck, chief executive officer and cofounder of Animation Mentor. “This course was created after we talked with the largest visual effects studios in the industry about the advanced skills they look for when recruiting new animators and the stand-out shots they want in demo reels.”

“We saw a real opportunity to create something valuable to both aspiring animators and the animation industry,” Beck said. “From there, we brought together some of the world’s top creature animators to help develop the advanced curriculum and bring Animals & Creatures: Master Class to life.”

Animals & Creatures: Master Class is for animators who are passionate about telling a different kind of story — one still based on performance and solid mechanics, but with the addition of a heightened sense of reality and range of characters. Taught over two 12-week classes (24 weeks total), students in the course animate three new advanced character rigs provided by Animation Mentor. In the first class, students learn how to animate four-legged animals and fantasy creatures; in the second class, students focus on animating flying and fantasy creatures as well as integrating their animation into live-action photography.

“The first class is aimed at those seeking to learn the fundamentals of animating quadrupeds, which now star as major characters in many games and animated feature films. The second class focuses on creature animation as seen in visual effects films,” says Beck.

In addition to live mentoring from top visual effects professionals, students in the course have access to a rich curriculum of video lectures. In these lectures, leading visual effects character animators share tricks of the trade by creating original animated scenes using the new Animation Mentor characters, discussing animation theory, and breaking down shots from feature films. Instructors demonstrate how students can apply these theories and workflow tips to their own work using current industry best practices.

“It’s really exciting to see that Animation Mentor is starting this whole new curriculum focused on the creature world of animation,” said Peter Kelly, Animals & Creatures lecturer and mentor who is also a senior animator at Industrial Light & Magic. “Now students can learn both character animation and can now study animals and effects-based animation. It’s going to be amazing!”

“I am really excited about this amazing new course,” said Jean-Denis Haas, Animation Mentor campus mentor and senior animator at Industrial Light & Magic. “Animation Mentor is doing a great job of providing what animators really need to grow while keeping it fun and useful in the real world.”

Enrollment for Animals & Creatures: Master Class is now open for alumni of Animation Mentor’s character animation program. The program will begin accepting new applications from professional animators and non-alumni on April 11, 2011.

Who is a good candidate for Animals & Creatures?
This course is for graduates of Animation Mentor and professional animators. New applicants upon review of demo reel and other animation experience. This class is for animators seeking to tell a different kind of story using animals and creatures and a more realistic form of animation, as well as for those animators seeking to learn how to integrate animation with live action footage.

Who are the instructors? Some of the top visual effects experts in the industry. Here is a list of instructors who host sessions and provide lectures within the course, along with their imdb profiles of work they are known for. Note that all the work highlighted on imdb isn’t necessarily reference in the class with actual clips shown, although some clips of some work will be shown within the context of a session that these folks have worked on. We aren’t marketing the feature film clips used in the course with the launch of Animals & Creatures: Master Class, but I wanted to give you an idea of the expertise and talent of the instructor contributors are to this one of a kind course.

Shawn Kelly, ILM & AM Cofounder:
Brian Mendenhall:
Pete Kelly:
Glen McIntosh
Jim Brown:
Will Groebe
Dovi Anderson
Kevin Freeman:
Marco Marenghi:
Kenny Roy:
Jess Morris:
Tom Gibbons:
Rick O’Connor:
Charles Alleneck:

What Students Gain from Animals &Creatures: Master Class?
Animals & Creatures: Master Class introduces students to the basics of animal and creature animation and explores it deeper in the second part of the series. Each weekly class features a video lecture by industry professional.

· Access to 24 video lectures hosted by industry professionals working at studios with individual instruction and demonstrations.

· Learn different locomotion of animation besides walks. They gain animation skills in transition, behavior, weight and physicality.

· Animate with advanced rigs for three new characters, which were designed by an industry professional.

· Learn how to integrate animation into live action photography, which mean stand-out shots on a demo reel

· Learn the skills that prepare them for animation work at visual effects-focused studios, such as Industrial Light & Magic and Weta Digital, as well as in studios producing games, advertising and TV.

To learn more about Animals & Creatures: Master Class, visit

Register to view a live webcast where you can get a behind-the-scenes look at this course at