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

Emeryville, California (EastBayDaily) —, 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.

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

About Animation Mentor Animation Mentor ( is a state-of-the-art online animation school focused on teaching character animation skills in a real-world production environment. Designed and taught by professional animators and visual effects experts working at top studios, Animation Mentor programs allow students to bring their animation school home by receiving face-to-face instruction from mentors 24 hours a day, seven days a week from all over the world. Students collaborate, network and grow both personally and professionally with support in a thriving community. After graduation, Animation Mentor coaches and connects graduates to jobs on feature films, television and video games. For more information, visit


Erica Garver


Rachel Falikoff