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How It Works
How Does the 30 Week Course work?
The 30 week course is divided up into 5 modules over 30 weeks, covering all the important elements of animation. Each week starts with a Project Brief, telling you what exercise you should complete, what videos to watch, and in what order. Complete your exercise and send us your Maya file (Maya is the leading industry software, which you can download for free from the Autodesk website). We will review your work and send you a bespoke video critique. This way you get personally tailored feedback showing you exactly what you did right or wrong, and specifically how to improve your shot. There is also a free bonus module (Module 6) lasting four weeks which covers extra animal and creature animation, and also Motion Capture.
How long does the course last?
The course lasts 30 weeks, or just over 6 months, and runs contunuously, apart from a week off over the Christmas holidays. The final 4 weeks are focused on reviewing your demo reel, to make sure that you have a great reel so you can go out and find work as a professional animator.
Why can't I see the videos?
You need to be registered with us and logged in to watch most of the videos. However, the week 1 videos are free for anyone to view.
Do I start by myself or will there be other students on the course?
We start students off in groups just like in a classroom - that way you have a sense of a shared journey and purpose. We encourage all our students to share questions and comments at our FaceBook classroom, so you can see what everyone else is doing and compare notes.
How much does it cost?
The full 30 week course costs £3,000 (Pounds Sterling). See our pricing page for full details.
Do I need to know Maya or will I be taught it on the course?
There is a 4 week Maya module at the start of the course for beginners who have never used Maya before.
I already know how to use Maya - can I skip the early stages?
Yes. You can skip Module 1 if you already know how to use Maya. The shorter 26 week course without Module 1 costs 2,600 Pounds Sterling.
When should I deliver my work?
You should deliver your completed work every week, though the course is flexible and we work with all our students to juggle the competing committments of life and animation. We critique your work and send you your customised feedback video within 48-72 hours. We show you step by step exactly how to make the right changes to perfect your work.
Do I need a broadband connection?
Yes. You will need a broadband connection in order to be able to download the video files, upload your finished files to the ftp site, and download the video critiques of your work. The video files can be very large (up to 1GB, though usually much less), so a fast reliable broadband connection is highly recommended. If your connection is slow, aim to upload and download overnight.
How does my work get assessed and graded?
There is no formal assessment or grading process. Ultimately what counts is your demo reel and the quality of your work, not a grade. However, we will make sure that you get honest feedback every week, telling you the strengths and weaknesses of your work and what you need to focus on to improve.
How much time should I spend on the course each week?
You should plan on spending at least 8-12 hours a week on the course. It will take roughly 2-3 hours to watch the videos. The rest of your time will be spent doing the exercises.
What sort of software and hardware will I need?
The software we use is Maya. You can download a free student version from the Autodesk website. Maya will run on both a PC or a Mac, though a PC is slightly preferabe. Read our hardware and software page for more details.
What books should I buy?
The best book on character animation is The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams. Read our Recommended Books page for more details on that and other books.
At the end of the course, will I be able to enter the CG/Animation industry?
The goal of the course is to make all our students qualified to find work as an animator at the end of the course. Our job is to help you acquire the right skills to get a job. See our page on Success Stories and also our page on Industry Contacts.
Should I also learn to be a Maya generalist?
We say follow your passion. If your goal is to be an animator - learn animation. If you would prefer to take a Maya generalist course (ie one not focusing on animation) we highly recommend the Escape Studios VFX course in London. Escape studios also offer a mentored online VFX course.
Will I get a showreel as an end product and will I get help on my Resume/CV?
Absolutely. It's all about a good showreel. The principal focus of the course is on creating a great reel, which is your calling card to find work in the industry and a showcase of your skills.
What happens at the end of the course? Is that it?
Absolutely not. We aim to keep in touch with all our students using our Facebook page to create an online community of alumni who will help each other find work and progress their skills. We have hundreds of industry contacts in studios all over the world, and especially in London and Los Angeles. We will do our best to help you with introductions, and to place you in internships or even in work if we can possibly do so. We also encourage you to keep working on your animation reel after the course ends, and to let us help you with advice and guidance. As a professional animator your reel is never finished, it is always a work in progress.
What if I need more training at the end of the course?
We are working on an Advanced Animation Module aimed at animation professionals, focused on perfecting existing animation skills and developing an even better animation reel.
Any other questions?
Don't hesitate to email us at: [email protected]