Animators Get Mentored Online

    January 18, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The 18-month accredited program from costs aspiring animators over $14,000, and that places students under the guidance of professionals from Pixar, Disney, and Industrial Light & Magic.

It’s not often one comes across something in technology news that really brings out an unsolicited “Cool” reaction. But has people from the biggest names in computer animation bringing their skills to the world of online education.

TechWeb reported on the new school, built with about a $1 million investment in the endeavor. 54 working artists from the likes of Disney and Pixar lead student sessions, and students complete coursework online.

Mentors work interactively with students, and deliver feedback on a timely basis. Those mentors include Pixar’s Bret Parker, profiled in the site’s December newsletter. Parker animated and voiced the babysitter, Kari, from “The Incredibles.”

One unique application stands out from the array of utilities like instant messaging and video critiques from the mentors. The proprietary tool described in the article lets a mentor “draw on top of the student’s drawings, frame-by-frame to critique the work.”

AnimationMentor offers coursework in computer, traditional hand-drawn, and stop-motion animation. Computer animators receive training in Maya, the software that graduates will likely find in a professional animation studio. The school even has a dedicated web comic called F5.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.