Our new course - Lighting for Animation!

Now that Animation Apprentice is just over a year old, we think it's about time we started growing the range of courses we offer. We want to offer our students the best variety of training so as to make them fully rounded digital artists, capable of taking on almost any 3D challenge. After all, you can never know too much about the digital pipeline; every new skill you aquire makes you more employable and makes your work more interesting and more versatile.

We've been working recently with Ken Sullivan, a Pixar veteran who is developing a new course for Animation Apprentice, provisionally titled "Lighting for Animation". The idea is to teach sophisticated lighting, not just for animators but for any digital artist who wants to be able to take on 3D projects and light them beautifully and efficiently. Ken earned his stripes as a senior lighting TD on many Pixar movies including Cars 2, Toy Story 3, Up, Wall-E, Ratatouille, Cars and Incredibles. He also co-founded his own digital studio Savage Frog, getting to grips with the challenges of independent film-making and client-facing services work.

Ken describes the new course as follows:

In this course we will cover; how to direct the viewer's eye by enhancing what is important, and minimizing what is not; how to create and enhance mood, drama and emotion through lighting; using lighting as a powerful toolin visual storytelling; and the way lighting fits into the production pipeline of an animated film. We will investigate the do's and do nots, the tips and tricks - all the industry secrets that will give your creations a depth and a life force that will make them unique.

Some of the highlights will include:

  • lighting indoor and outdoor environments
  • creating mood lighting, in different artistic styles, such as film noir
  • underwater lighting
  • character lighting - so as to enhance great character animation and acting
  • Lighting for VFX - how to light your work so as to blend seamlessly with live-action plates

Over the next couple of months we'll be thrashing out our program, so as to make it clear, progressive and industry-relevant, with a view to launching early next year. We'd like to know what you think - what would like to see in an online lighting course? What kind of lighting scenarios would you like to see brought to life?

We're excited to be working with Ken, and we can't wait to launch our new addition to the courses at Animation Apprentice.