Character Animation Bootcamp

Learn Character Animation in After Effects

If you’ve ever tried to animate a character in After Effects, you know how difficult it can be. In this course, you'll learn key character animation techniques in After Effects. From simple movements to complex scenes, you'll be confident in your character animation skills by the end of this course.

Course Duration
12 Weeks
Software
After Effects
Verified Credential
Intro to 2D Character Animation
Next Session Starts:
October 10, 2022
Next Session Starts:
As soon as you register
Enroll NowNotify MeLearn More

Cohort-based learning

Exercises & Project Files for Every Lesson

Technical & Creative Support Along the Way

Verified Credential Upon Course Completion

Course Overview

Want to bring animated characters to life? If you've ever tried to animate in After Effects, you know that the results aren't always what you would expect. Your characters stumble when they walk, float when they should jump, and just look wrong. If this sounds familiar, then we have a solution for you: Character Animation Bootcamp.

In this intensive course—taught by animation guru Morgan Willians—you’ll build a foundation of beginner and intermediate skills needed to take a character and add realistic motion. You’ll create your own walk styles, jumps, falls, and more. You can come to this course with just the barest understanding of After Effects, but you’ll leave as an animator. Best of all, you’ll complete an animated video that you can show off and add to your reel.

Course Outcomes
Learn how to pose your characters for maximum appeal and readability
Master the basics of keying a jump, walk and more
Design your own 30 second character animation using professional assets

What You'll Learn

Each week is jam-packed with intense learning. While you have some flexibility in how you tackle your workload, the course is curated in a specific order. We build up foundations that support more and more advanced techniques with lessons to practice your new skills along the way.

Week 1
Day 1
You'll Learn:
Familiarize Yourself with the Course
Practice with Rigged Characters
Workflow Tips and Tricks

Meet your classmates, get comfy with the course format, then dive right in with a lesson on using rigged characters. Be prepared for an Evaluation exercise designed to let us see where you are starting from.

Week 2
Day 2
You'll Learn:
Create Appealing Poses
Keying a Jump

We'll kick things off by creating strong silhouettes and poses, which are the foundation of good character animation. After that you’ll move on to your first big animation challenge: setting the key poses for a jump. Nailing these key poses will enable you to easily transition to a solid jump animation next week.

Week 3
Day 3
You'll Learn:
Finishing a Jump
Key Poses for a Walk
Giving Movement Weight

Now we’ll move on to the fun part: Start animating the jump by "tweening", or adding the in-between frames, which After Effects does for you automatically. You will get plenty of practice in the graph editor tweaking the timing and spacing of those key frames to make the jump feel realistic, as if it has weight and mass. Then move on to your next challenge, nailing those key poses for a walk cycle.

Week 4
Day 4
You'll Learn:
Finishing a Walk Cycle
Weight Transfers
Key Poses for Animating a Throw

It's time to polish up that walk cycle and learn how to “stick” a character’s feet to the ground. You can even speed things up and take your character for a run in a bonus lesson. After that you'll learn the basics of a ball throw. This challenging pose requires a good understanding of how a character's body should move when completing a motion.

Week 5
Day 5
You'll Learn:
Finishing a Ball Throw
Identifying Key Poses for Actions
Different Keyframe types

This week is part lesson and part focus time. Start off with tweening your ball throw, which requires a mastery of demonstrating weight transfer in a character. During the focus week portion, Morgan will give you a quick lesson on how to create your own animation reference, and why it's important as a character animator to have this skill.

Week 6
Day 6
You'll Learn:
Breaking Down a Scene
Creating a Character Performance
Putting Actions Together

Practice putting all of your skills to the test by animating an entire scene with a character. This is a great opportunity to start stringing all of the various movements you’ve learned together into a complete performance.

Week 7
Day 7
You'll Learn:
Breaking Down a Scene
Creating a Character Performance
Putting Actions Together

Practice putting all of your skills to the test by animating an entire scene with a character. This is a great opportunity to start stringing all of the various movements you’ve learned together into a complete performance.

Week 8
Day 8
You'll Learn:
Adding Final Polish to a Scene
Putting it All Together

We'll put the final touches on the scene that you started in Week 6, and then it's time for your final project! We've devised a movie trailer complete with music, VO, character rigs, and extra artwork, giving you everything you need to create a killer piece of character animation for your portfolio.

Weeks 9-12
You'll Learn:
Extended Critique Period

The final 4 weeks of class are Extended Critique. You can use this time to catch up, complete your final project, and then turn it in for critique.

What You'll Get

School of Motion courses are custom-built to provide you with an unmatched learning experience. We want you to actually enjoy logging into your classes, and we’ve designed our programs to be the most effective form of online education out there. In every course, you’ll get:

Cohort-Based Learning

Join artists from around the world on our custom learning platform. Never learn alone, as you’ll have immediate access to a forum of fellow students to share work, ask questions, and improve together. 

Exercises & Project Files for Every Lesson

Each course comes packed with free project files, assets, and additional material to keep you learning and growing long after the course ends. Our exercises are designed from real world briefs, so you’re learning the skills you need to excel on your next project or venture.

Technical & Creative Support Along the Way

You’ll be assigned a Teaching Assistant with years of experience in your chosen course. They’ll provide technical and creative feedback to guide you through new skills, improve your techniques, and provide encouragement along your journey. 

Verified Credential Upon Course Completion

Completing a course isn’t just about bragging rights. Once you’ve completed at least 70% of your work in a given course, you’ll earn a verified credential that can show current and future employers exactly what you’ve accomplished.

Permanent Access to Course Material

We all need a refresher now and again, which is why you’ll keep access to your course—and all the assets and project files—for the rest of your life. Come back to listen to exclusive interviews, review old lessons, and try out new techniques using your old assets.

An Expansive Alumni Community

You’ll gain instant access to our alumni platform, The Square. Here you can network with professional artists at every stage of their career. You’ll get access to new job opportunities and exclusive alumni events, such as meetups, virtual hangouts and reel reviews. 

Upcoming Course Dates

Enroll Now

Our cohort-based leaning program runs on a designated schedule, so you’ll always have a group of like-minded artists working alongside you for support and encouragement. We offer multiple sessions each year, so choose the best start date for you and get ready to go!

October 10, 2022
Fall 2022
Course Starts:
As soon as you register
Course Duration
12 Weeks
Enroll By
October 13, 2022
Always Open
Enrollment Options
Pay all at once
$997

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Full Price
$997
Pay all at once

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Full Price
$348
3 payments of
$348

One payment now, two more 30 and 60 days from now = $1044.

3 payments of

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Free Course
This one's on us!
January 9, 2023
Winter 2023
Course Starts:
As soon as you register
Course Duration
12 Weeks
Enroll By
January 12, 2023
Always Open
Enrollment Options
Pay all at once
$997

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Pay all at once

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Full Price
$348
3 payments of
$348

One payment now, two more 30 and 60 days from now = $1044.

3 payments of

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Free Course
This one's on us!
April 10, 2023
Spring 2023
Course Starts:
As soon as you register
Course Duration
12 Weeks
Enroll By
April 13, 2023
Enrollment Options
Pay all at once
$997

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Full Price
$997
Pay all at once

Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Full Price
$348
3 payments of
$348

One payment now, two more 30 and 60 days from now = $1044.

3 payments of

Cohort-Based Learning
Technical & Creative Support
In-Depth Feedback
Verified Credential
Free Course
This one's on us!

Course Instructor

Morgan Williams
Animator & Educator

Morgan has been a professional animator and animation director for over 20 years. He has created work for numerous clients including Sony Pictures, the BBC, Comedy Central, and WGBH Boston and have been the recipient of several awards including a local ADDY®, a Telly, and a Best in Show award at Minnesota Siggraph. His short film work has been screened at festivals around the world including the Philadelphia International Film Festival and the Annecy International Animation Festival. Morgan is a Certified Duik Instructor and a full time faculty member at Ringling College of Art and Design teaching and developing curriculum in the Department of Motion Design.

Our alumni are hired by companies like

Megumi Ikeda
Video Editor
“School of Motion courses provided me with the skills and feedback that my school couldn't provide. I wouldn't have gone viral or landed my internship without their in-depth courses.”
Justin Peterson
Motion Designer
“The decision to take Animation Bootcamp from School of Motion was a life changer. I have turned my passion of motion graphics into my career.”
Deanna Reilly
Animator & Illustrator
“School of Motion courses quickly reignited my passion for animation and helped me launch my career in an exciting new direction.agency”
Leigh Williamson
Illustrator & Animator
“I'm more confident, more relevant, more equipped, better connected and close to my goals since School of Motion entered my life.”
Join our growing community of over
15,000+ Alumni

FAQs

How do I know if this course is right for me?

Character Animation Bootcamp is for people who have a good understanding of the principles of Animation, and preferably have taken Animation Bootcamp. If you've been looking to add character animation to your skillset, Character Animation Bootcamp will teach you how to animate everything from walks, to throws, and facial expressions. By the end of the course you'll be ready to animate an entire project with a character from start to finish.

What are the prerequisites?

You need to be comfortable in After Effects to take this course. We recommend taking Animation Bootcamp first, as many of the lessons in that course will help you immensely when you move into the realm of characters. Animation Bootcamp isn’t required, just recommended.

What is the required software?

Adobe After Effects CC 2014.2 (13.2 or Higher)

What is the course format?

Character Animation Bootcamp is an 12-week course. Lessons become available at a specific time each week but you can watch them and do your work whenever it is convenient for you. The lessons include pre-recorded videos, podcasts, PDFs and assignments with working files.

All student work is critiqued by our highly trained Teaching Assistants. School of Motion TA's are professional Animators with real life experience in the industry.

During the course you will be invited to a private classroom that contains all of the  students and Teaching Assistants in your session. This is a great tool for connecting, asking or answering questions, sharing thoughts or insights, and winning cool contests!

How much time do I need to commit?

Character Animation Bootcamp is a 12-week course. You'll have the flexibility to watch the course content and complete your course work on your schedule. However, you can expect to commit at least 15 - 20 hours per week on course material. The video lesson are 1-2 hours in length. There are 13 assignments total. Assignments are typically assigned on Mondays and Thursdays with soft deadlines the next day. We have designated catch-up weeks built into the schedule so students have extra time to complete their assignments if needed. There is also an extended critique add-on for those that want more time with a Teaching Assistant after the 12-week course or need more time to complete assignments towards earning a credential.

Do I get a certificate at the end of the course?

Yes, if you complete, submit, and have 70% of your course assignments approved by your Teaching Assistant you will be eligible for a Course Credential through Credly. With your Credly Course Credential, you can share your accomplishments across your social networks, the blockchain, or to print out yourself.

Can I access my course content after the course ends?

Yes! Once you complete Character Animation Bootcamp, you’ll have lifetime access to all the course lessons and materials, so you can revisit them whenever you like. Also, if we make any changes to Character Animation Bootcamp following your session, you’ll automatically receive access to the latest version.

Please note: Video critiques change each session, so you’ll only have access to the video critiques during the session you're enrolled in. The written critiques you receive in your homework locker as well as the classroom content will also remain available to you forever!

Are you interested in learning more?
We can help! But first we need to learn a little more about you. Submit the form below to get the full course syllabus and more information on the course.