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Online Animation School


splash_spike.gifWould you like to seriously pump up your character animation skills? Want to get personalized instruction from industry leaders from the comfort of your easy chair? Check out The Online Animation School at

Eighteen months of study will land you some new skills, a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Character Animation, and expenses in the neighborhood of $14,000 USD. Take a look through their website for more detailed information on cost, payment and loan options, and curriculum information. has an insightful review with the pros and cons of attending this non-traditional program that you should read if you're considering signing up.

Similar services are starting to pop up specifically for Blender artists. Please contact us if you would like your school to be reviewed here at


  1. Another Linux "would/could client" here
    They should start to send their webmaster to school to learn how to make websites viewable
    by all the "possible" clients
    It's the fist basic lesson I guess :)
    But I don't have any Diplomas

  2. Anyone that designs their website JUST for use with flashplayer is...well, STUPID! This site should not be called animationmentor- it should be called FlashWhoreMentor.

  3. Very bad :-(

    Accessibility must be the first thing for an online training course. IMHO it's not so serious to cut out the linux community, that in BlenderWorld is very very large and active.

  4. @postlogic

    I do share your pain, but 98% of desktop users can view flash animations so it's not closing out that many people. Although I hear its something like 45% have the newest version so it should certainly only be compiled for oh... say Flash 6 (those stats found on Wikipedia).

    I recently got into an arguement with someone over the validity of making sites in Flash and I agree there is a time and place for everything, but his arguement was that anything you could do in Flash you could now do in DHTML. And, while DHTML can do a lot of snazzy things, it is lot bulkier than Flash and, due to various JavaScript variations, you're more likely to close out a large user base by accidently using a JScript function that Gecko doesn't undersand (although, as a side note, I see the latest version of (a href="">open lazlo can output to Flash OR DHTML).

    Anyway, just stirring things up as someone who does use Flash to make some of his websites :)

  5. Sheesh - that *is* kind of stupid of them. Oh well, we didn't really expect many people here to run off and order the $14,000 training straight away, but it is interesting to read about (if you *can* read it, that is ;-). Let's turn this around: what would your ideal animation/modeling/3d online training have to look like? Do you think an online training is good enough, or do you think that you need to do this in a face-to-face setting?

  6. For me the price is to high to even consider it.

    BTW. The site does not look like it uses Flash 8. In theory flash 7 should be able to show all unsupported features.

  7. Since Blender is about video, training should be as video. The structure of chapters could be directly taken from the existing material - 'noob to pro', 'wikibooks' - and should have one brief summary linking to other field and explaining the goal of this chapter. Like this every video should not exceed 5 minutes, first to make it able to quickly find the point of interest as also to keep ammount of information in a learnable range.

    Best would be one studio creating these tutorials to have synergy out of experience in one point and to give the student an environment which he can trust considering quality and actualness.

    Chapters/ tutorials itself should be written by the pros giving tips out of everydays work and receiving feedback from the community. Wonderful it would be to have the pro in a short interview at the end explaining his/ her thoughts on why the chapter has been done that way.

    For the license I think cc would be best ? Maybe a list could be done to enable people paying and then starting production after a certain ammount of money has been raised. What do you guys think, who would participate [feedback, storyboard, prepayment]?


  8. First, the issue I have with Animation Mentor is that it is STRICTLY animation. No modelling, compositing, texturing, etc. I'm more of a jack-of-all-trades person, wanting to know every aspect. Of course if all you like is animation, then hey, why not learn from the comfort of your own home with Animation Mentor?

    And to respond to Bart about what an ideal school should be, I think the US has some already. I'll list three that aren't traditional universities:

    What they have that I think matters is a well-rounded and extremely focused visual effects education plan, their own film studios, and experienced staff that have been in "the business."  Of course, they aren't on-line.  I think it's important to actually go someplace that has the acedemic environment and people with the same interests in order to get a better education and better experience.

  9. I just looked through the site and was able to see it fine, on a PC of course. I think you all need to remember the fact that this school isn't really marketing to those that are using open source programs and software. Maya is their software of choice to use in the course, and anybody using that planning to use it is doing so on a Mac or PC. Saying that they are dumb for shutting out Linux users is to ignore the fact that for the most part, Linux users are not their target market. People using open source programs are people who like to figure things out themselves, and not pay a buttload of money to do so. So chances are they also aren't going to be the ones to dish out 15,000 to take an online course.

    At least that is how I see it.

    By the way, there is some pretty cool character animation displayed on their site.

  10. Another thought on how instruction could be done well, using Verse, which I have mucked around with a bit in the past.

    Imagine sitting at your computer and having connected to an instructor's verse server. The instructor explains (into a microphone, and you hear from your speakers) that they are right clicking to select a vertex, and they then press the GKEY to move the vertex... and you watch as they do it. Next, the instructor asks you to do the same.... RMB to select, GKEY to move. You do it and the instructor sees whether you've done it correctly or incorrectly.

    This sort of thing may be doable thanks in part to Verse, which we we'll likely see compiled into official blender releases this year.

    Check out this Verse video:


  11. Maybe Linux is only 2% of overall desktop usage (I think that number is very low -- boxed sales would easily make up that much without even considering folks who download) but we're not talking about overall desktop. This is a specific market, 3d modelling, which has a larger than average Linux user base. Shutting that userbase out entirely is ridiculous.

  12. @Mantar

    3D Modelling has a larger than average Linux user base? I find that rather surprising. Aren't there more tools designed for Mac or Windows?

    I don't really know by the way, I'm genuinely interested.

  13. it has been said before, I'll say it again - this sucks:
    "Linux users may not be able to view site until the release of Flash Player 8.5."

  14. Hey everyone,

    As a blenderhead and current AM student I thought I could throw my input in here. Just hope to give out a little information.

    1) Before the school was officially released the amount of graphics/videos that had to be ditributed to the 300+ students is a bit much. They made a deal with Flash to help with cost/distribution so the whole site was done in Flash. They have since redone this and moved to a half html half flash site. The main page is still Flash but I wouldn't be surprised to see it move away from it in the future.

    2) The school is not focused on open-source. Like said above the school recommends the use of Maya. Although they allow you to use any program you wish they provide sets, props and fully rigged characters in Maya. Its just easier to use Maya for the program because you won't be spending most of your time trying to rig/model characters while trying to get the week's assignment done.

    3) The school is not focused on modelling, texturing, painting, moving vertexes, etc. The school is focused completely on animation and the technique. Some students are doing all their assignments in 2d. We have the choice to even use stop-mo for our assignments, the principles are all the same.

    4) The price may seem quite a bit but its comparable to any traditional animation school. Do some research.

    Hopes this helps! If you have any questions, hit me up.


  15. rijelkentaurus on

    Maya might be one of the leading 3d softwares, but it does run on Linux as well as Mac/M$:

    Don't kid yourself, Linux is more popular in 3d than most folks might think. There is also Houdini, another nice 3d software that runs on Linux. And Softimage XSI. I'm probably leaving some stuff out. I think it's a large enough market not to ignore, especially if they prefer Maya. If it was 3ds Max it would be a different story.

  16. Just another word on Linux/3D... I'm a student at City College San Francisco applying to Lucas Films as an intern this summer. Apparently, they're largely running Linux on the desktop, as the position I'm applying for is the Linux Desktop Support something or nother....

    I think these companies are technologically savvy, and have a lot of benefits to gain by utilizing the better processor management, easier roll-out and updateability, and drasically reduced workstation costs afforded by GNU/Linux.


  17. It's really cool that GNU/Linux is getting used so much in pro level animation, I honestly had no idea. I thought things like Renderman and such basically forced a lot of the major companies to work on Mac. Great news all round :)

  18. @Sympodius

    As far as I can tell, Renderman should work equally well on Macs as on Linux. I'm pretty sure that Pixar doesn't even do most of their rendering on Mac, but has a mixed renderfarm somewhere that does the heavy load. And even looking at some images from inside Pixar (specifically this one from Victor Navone's website:, it doesn't even appear that all of Pixar's animators use macs...and I *know* that Dreamworks uses mostly Linux/Unix (if you watch the "Making of..." thing on the Shrek DVD they talk about that at least a bit).

    So yeah, it's not nearly as Mac-centric as it might seem (I type as I'm looking at a G5 tower running blender and 2 G4 cubes as servers...)

  19. Linux is platform for most professional tools (like Shake, XSI, Maya and so forth) because it is UNIX style and resembles IRIX from Silicon Graphics. Many studios made their in-house tools for IRIX back in the days and it was easy for them to port them to Linux too.
    Artists don't need to know the OS they're using. Packages look and perform similarly regardless of the platform and they are usually launched from in-house asset management software anyway.
    It's all pretty much custom made AFAIK. I remember Ton mentioned that possibly around 90% of studio software is proprietary and not available outside that particular studio.. they have big code departments and lots of clever people figuring things out for production specific problems.

    As for the animation training, I'm happy education is free in Finland. But that course gets a big plus as it does not force a technique (like 3d) upon people - animation principles are the same regardless.
    I also think physical location, daily talks with other artists and face-to-face critique are good to have.

  20. Linux here, too.

    Flash-only pages are not only invisible to Linux users, they are also invisible to Google, wich is a realy bad thing for the page!

  21. @panzi

    Type in 'animation mentor' to google and the homepage is the first hit. The portal page is not flash for this reason.

  22. @panzi

    Actually, Flash files are not invisivle to Google since Macromedia released the Macromedia Flash Search Engine SDK. For example, type "Casino Games filetype:SWF" into Google.

  23. Err... wouldn't that simply be finding a flash file on an html webpage, rather than indexing the contents of the file? The latter is (one of) the objection(s) to using flash to display a website's content, instead of html.

  24. @Mantar

    No, the Flash Search Engine SDK allows search engines to pull all the text from a compiled Flash file so that it can be indexed. Google definately uses this system. The above command just makes sure it only checks for the text in SWF files, not other document types.

  25. it seems atm, only flash is allowed to use "You will need Flash Player xx to enter this site."
    how about sometimes, "You will need a browser have a better support for CSS 2.0 above to view this site."

    i might as well add "*.swf" on the Adblock plus

    sorry my badd


    my name is emmanuel samuel, i live in nigeria, i have dream to be an animator and i search for the best animation school in google , i found your school and am intresting to study in your school.

    i we like to know the nesecary things it take's to be won of your student, pls i want you to help make my dream to be fullful my dream. thanks for your co-operation as i look forward to your reply


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