3D Character Workshops

Make Characters

Character Workshops: Live web classes for teens age 14-18!
At Animation Workshops, we love making 3D characters and we share our knowledge with you. You can explore 3D character creation for fun or to see if it might be a good career option for you.
What is it?
Learn how to make 3D Characters! Students learn the crafts of modeling and rigging in practical exercises guided by a pro.
Each week, modelers and riggers (Character TDs) from film and game studios work with the students one-on-one to give them the best opportunity for improving their own work.
3D Modeling and Rigging is about bringing characters to life. Once a design has been sketched on paper, modeling students sculpt them in 3D using ZBrush and Maya. Then with rigging, students place bones into the body to bend it properly and control the shape of the form in the myriad of possible poses.
It's a lot of work to make characters, but it's worth that magic result: a character that seems to come to life on the screen. These aren't just recorded lessons: our students learn 3D live, directly from talented instructors working at animation studios, or star new graduates from our sister school, AnimSchool.
How it works
Our 3D Animation Workshops last 11 weeks. You meet live online with the instructors two times per week (for most classes), one session for instruction and one for reviewing each students work in turn. If you can't be there live for a class, you can watch the recordings of the classes.
We have beginning and intermediate level workshops. You can take as many or few workshops as you like, but if you pass 4 or more, you retain access to the class recordings.
Each week after class you work on the animation assignments, usually up to 10 hours per week then upload your work each week for review. You can ask your instructors questions during your live sessions.
To qualify, students need to be age 14-18, be able to communicate well in English and have a computer with a fast internet connection. You can take workshops from wherever you are, in most places in the world. You begin with the first class or show a reel when you first register, demonstrating the prerequisite skills needed to bypass workshops.
Animation Workshops is not a school. We offer online training in live workshops, but do not offer school credit or job placement.
Discover the 3D Character Workshops
Take the workshops that interest you, but for each subject you take them in order, so you can build on the skills needed for the next class.
0. Introduction to Maya
Duration: 11 Weeks
Learn the basics of Maya: the Maya interface, working with objects, modeling basics, how to animate objects, apply textures, and use lights and cameras to render your scene. Students with Maya experience can bypass this course. This course is offered at a lower tuition cost than all other courses.
1. Introduction to 3D Modeling
Duration: 11 Weeks
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.
2. Introduction to Rigging
Duration: 11 Weeks
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.
3. Intermediate Modeling
Duration: 11 Weeks
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.
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