If you are anything like me and are trying to learn the art of animation then you probably know that it is something that takes a lot of work outside of the class room if you are attending some kind of formal schooling for it. For those that are going the route of being self-taught it also requires that you know some great resources. One of the things that I hope to do with this blog is post up as many useful resources for you as I can. So the first resource that I would like to talk about to everyone is one that I have recently started using these past couple of months.
Now if you are like me and are attending a bigger university and studying animation you probably have had a similar experience as myself. Most of the classes that you are in dealing with animation take a very general approach to the whole industry. They try to teach students to be able to do every aspect of the production pipeline. While this may be good to know, it’s not realistic for anyone wanting to work for a larger studio where you will likely have a very specialized job. So myself wanting to focus strictly on character animation took it into my own hands to learn as much as I can on my own and found Digital-Tutors.
This is a pay service but if you are able to afford this, I’m telling you now.. you will not regret it. The instructors that create the video lessons are all professional and most if not all have industry experience in the subjects that they are teaching. I have been using this over my summer vacation from school to really focus on just character animation lessons and techniques.
This site has one of the most creative methods for providing these lessons. Essentially you just stream these high quality videos over the internet, but their development team has made it much more interactive. Aside from their community forums where you can get questions answered about specific issues, they have a plethora of options built into the video player that allow for better absorption of the material being taught.
For example, I am able to tag certain videos as a whole that deal with a particular topic lets say (Tangents & the Curve Editor). Or I can even tag and make notes on individual sections of a particular video. Example: Lets say at 8:52 in the video I want to remember that instructor talked about a particular hot-key dealing with the curve editor. Well I can simple make a note at the exact moment in time on that video and it will store it there for me to reference anytime.
Now this site is not only for people who want to do character animation. They offer training in just about every major software package I could think of. However, I have noticed that they seem to offer the most in the areas dealing mainly with the 3D graphics realm. They have a great library of Maya and 3D Studio Max lessons. They teach all aspects of the pipeline and what is great, is that I can focus on any topic I want. If all I want to learn about is strictly character animation related topics I can do just that!
I highly recommend this site to any aspiring animator or even graphics artists who would like some more supplemental training. It is a great alternative for people, and the price that you pay is quite reasonable for the quality training that you receive.
If you would like to learn more about them, definitely check out their website where they have a very good informational video explaining their whole system.