The Animation Academy Goes Online

Posted by Glen Moyes on Saturday, 11 December, 2010 at 3:23 am

Yes, this is the announcement.

Founded by Charles Zembillas in 1998 (character designer for Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, and Jak and Daxter), The Animation Academy is an excellent training program for production design in animation, and coming up in March The Animation Academy will be going online.

What does that mean for Hackberry Hollow? Read more to find out.

Here’s the announcement that Charles Zembillas gave on Tuesday:

I’m happy and excited to announce that we’re preparing for online classes at The Animation Academy.

We anticipate the launch of our online program by the first week of March, 2011.

We plan on offering Character Design with yours truly as instructor, and a class in Photoshop Basics taught by Glen Moyes.

We plan on expanding the school online with a curriculum based upon our core classes in production design and development including at least two levels of Character Design and possibly three, Visual Development, and other key courses that would round out our current curriculum and build upon it.

More information will be forthcoming, but I wanted to take this opportunity to announce that our online classes are on the way.

Before I explain more about what this means, let me first start off with some backstory behind this.

I joined the Animation Nation forums (also run by Charles) in April 2008. A year later in April 2009 I started attending their monthly event called Animation Nation Night in Burbank, California. In August of that year I started bringing my projector and sound equipment to help out with the events.

That very same evening I also got to see Charles’ book “Controlling Illusion”, a collection of classroom demonstrations from The Animation Academy. I had been aware of The Animation Academy for a while, but I had never actually seen any work from it. Afterward I talked to an Animation Academy alumnus about the program. Now, during this time I was trying to create character designs for Hackberry Hollow and it was very frustrating. I knew I wanted to have something stylized and appealing, but I just couldn’t push the character designs in the direction that I was imagining. While looking at other character designer’s work I could tell that there was something they understood that I didn’t. I was trained in construction drawing, landscapes, figure drawing and had my fundamental drawing skills down but I really felt the need to start taking character design classes. Based on what I saw and what I heard from that student, I made my decision.

One week later I started taking classes at The Animation Academy. It was absolutely mind blowing and I’ve been a student ever since.

That was 15 months ago.

When the discussion came up about putting The Animation Academy online, and everything that will need to be done in order to do that, I knew exactly which team of people could make that happen.

Between now and the first week of March we’ll be focusing on a cause much worthier cause than our awesome story. And if you knew about all the Blender and Photoshop video tutorials I’ve released in the past, and the workshops we taught at the college for a year and a half, you’ll understand that all of us here are big suckers for…you know, actually helping people. The classes I took at The Animation Academy has and will continue to be instrumental in achieving an amazing visual style for Hackberry Hollow. The Academy is very important to us and we want to give something back.

So that’s what we’ve been up to. We have a lot of design work that needs to be done, lots of code to write, and course materials that need to be prepared before launch in March. During this time we’ll be doing a countdown to resuming Hackberry Hollow that coincides with the launch of The Animation Academy going online. Once that happens we’ll be in a position to put much more time into Hackberry Hollow than we ever could before. In other words, we are doing this for the long run and it will enable us to get Hackberry Hollow done sooner.

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