You're blocking ads, which pay for BlenderNation. Read about other ways to support us.

Interview: Shawn Kelly and Carlos Baena of AnimationMentor


I caught up with Shawn and Carlos again at this year's SIGGRAPGH in Los Angeles. We discuss some changes and milestones at AnimationMentor as well as what it's like to work at a big studio. I did the interview just outside the Expo, in a common area, and well, that always leads to some interesting background noise. You'll hear Fjorge members screaming "Fjorge" as they wonder the halls.

Interview: Shawn Kelly (ILM) & Carlos Baena (PIXAR) from AnimationByTim on Vimeo.

AnimationMentor is the online animation school, you can check out their summer showcase where students  demonstrate their understanding and principles of body mechanics, weight, character arc, acting techniques, and demonstrates their ability to show emotion and concepts that add life and originality to characters.


  1. Hehehe... The ILM guy (Shawn) liked BBB. That should say something!

    Every time, Blender and it's community keeps getting better and better.

    I do agree though, we need more awesomeness (because you can never have enough awesomeness!)



  2. Hey, Toy story 3 is coming out ! :D
    first I've heard about that in a loooong time :P

    great job Shawn Kelley ,Carlos Baena, and Tim Formica ! that was alot of good information!

  3. Why AM has such attention here at BlendeNation? I would understand it if they would admit using Blender in their school. But the situation is in fact opposite. Blender is in fact restricted there.

  4. @JiriH: they don't restrict the use of Blender at all, you can actually animate with any medium you like, even pencil and paper if you feel so inclined (see their showreel for examples). Whilst they do supply some ready made rigs for Maya, they teach people how to animate, not how to use one particular piece of software.

    I don't think you'll find it's just on Blendernation that they get such attention - they've made a very big splash all over the web, and deservedly so - again, see their reel and where their graduates have ended up getting jobs :)

  5. @JiriH : I'm an animation mentor student(awesome school... learn so much there!! and I'm only class 3 on 6!!) as Karl said you are tottaly wrong : they never restricted use of any sowtware, support is given for there rig in maya (it's an animation industry standar and that's why they choose this software to give there rig) but lots of guy using other software XSI is used a lot. some student use 2d animation (not a lot)... and even stop motion...
    I think it's hard for them to impose blender as the software to use in priority for many reason (they are here to give student the more chance to have a job in the CG industry not to promote on software.....blender foundation is doing job great and I'm so glad to see it pop up everywhere now)

  6. OK then. I am taking back my words. It would be nice if their rigs (I think the most famous one is called Bishop) were available not only for students so we could port it to Blender. Or at least if there would be some description of their rigs features. It would be nice to see some of AM students using Blender.

  7. They look spook!,Maybe they realize that blender is nearing to archive it goal of become an accepted 3d
    professional package.

    However,I agree, the school only teach how to animate not what software to use,but since this is a business they encourage
    Maya,because mayor studios use it.unless a mayor studio use blender in features film or shorts,Blender will remain in the hobbyist sector.

    Ton, you need to let go your baby and aloud it to grow up! and be independent ! let it get a job at Hollywood.
    You are a spoil Papa!

  8. I am a student at animation mentor. It's true they don't limit you but the riggers and programmers they hired are maya programmers. It's a great and amazing school. I am going into my short story. The new curriculum is awesome. They are not BS about the 78% job placement.

  9. WOW! The course prices went from $14G to $17G!
    plus no federal financial aid and certificate diploma only
    not a degree,nope-I rather get my associate fine art and graphic media
    which have animation courses is now being offer at my college,however, if i was rich i will go to this
    school in a heart beat.

    Great summer preview and funny! love it!

Leave A Reply

To add a profile picture to your message, register your email address with To protect your email address, create an account on BlenderNation and log in when posting a message.