So if you haven’t heard about this yet here goes. There is a new online animation school set to debut in November called AnimSchool. The school will be run by the creator of 3D Appeal Blog and 3D Appeal Blog Now, David Gallagher. David has been over at BlueSky for quite some time doing Character Development, including rigging and animating. He is very well rounded in all of the different specialties of the animation process. You can check out some of his crits on the 3DAppealBlogNow. The school seems to have two set paths for training: 3D Character program that teaches modeling and rigging and 3D Animation that teaches animation. As I was writing this post I had many questions so I went directly to the source and David was kind enough to answer some great questions about the school. A main difference between this school and others is this will be teaching other aspects other than just animation. The mentors he speaks of will be from a multitude of great companies including BlueSky and Pixar.
1. Will each student have the same teacher (say they took the 3D Animation course) the whole 21 months or do they have the opportunity to experience multiple teachers with each term?
David: Each term, the student chooses which teacher to learn from. The students will probably be learning from a different teacher each term.
2. I have heard that you are multi-talented as a Rigger and an Animator. Has this allowed you to be able to produce rigs that you know will help the animators achieve great shapes with and will you be teaching “Animator Friendly Rigging.”
David: I’m most definitely trying to teach “animator-friendly rigging”. I think any rigger or modeler who learns some animation will then become better at their craft, understanding the process of actually using the characters.
3. Will Alumni still have access to the site/school and or Rigs, demos and lectures once they have completed the course? How does that work? How does that work for students just taking one course?
David: Graduates from an AnimSchool will have continued access to existing and future character rigs, as well as video lectures.
For the students taking a single class, they are able to use the rigs for six months after the class.
4. Is there some type of reel review for professionals that want to take a single course so you know what level they are at?
David: People wanting to take a particular course apply for it at the website, sending a link to their reel. That teacher determines whether they are ready for their class.
5. Besides this amazing new venture with AnimSchool, what have you been most proud of while working in the industry?
David: After working in this industry so long, you wouldn’t think it, but I still feel like I’m getting started. I’m madly passionate about animating and modeling and making cool facial expressions. I’m just thrilled to be able to have done some of the shots I animated. Then some facial expression modeling for pre-production development. I’m really inspired and excited about appealing expressions.
6. What inspired you to start up AnimSchool?
David: I wanted to teach the skills that I know well: animating, modeling, and rigging. And there wasn’t a place online where I could do that, so I decided to make AnimSchool, with the help of so many of my former colleagues.
7. Will you be attending CTN this year?
David: We are so busy working on AnimSchool that I won’t be there! But I will plan for next year.
8. How many rigs will there be for AnimSchool or will the one rig be customizable?
David: Right now there are two: the cute skeleton guy and the human guy you can see on 3DAppealBlog or on the AnimSchool splash page. We have plans for a female character as well. I love making characters, so there will probably be others.
There’s only so much you can do with those editable uber-rigs. I personally get more excited about really fine-tuned custom deformations that work well with the character’s natural shape.
9. Will the rigs limits be more on an industry level or a student level?
David: The rigs are industry level. Certainly in terms of deformation and facials, since that was my specialty at Blue Sky for so long.
It sounds like an amazing opportunity and there are more answers to your questions found on his FAQ page here. Thanks again to David Gallagher for taking the time to answer some questions. Take a look around and check it out…check back in for updates.