Animation Fundamentals with Michael Relth


Not currently in session, select the spectate option for lifetime access to recordings from last term!

Animation is a beautiful medium for expression, it has limitless possibilities for storytelling and style. In this 8-week class, Michael will help students navigate those possibilities, through teaching the fundamentals of animation and explaining why those fundamentals are relevant in the first place. We’ll look at a number of examples of animated masterpieces to see what has already been explored, and together we will take those lessons and animate our own ideas!

Although this class will mainly focus on theory, fundamentals, and approaches to animation (software agnostic), we will not ignore the technical aspect of learning software. Michael will provide resources for various animation software programs, as well as provide a cheat sheet for a common vocabulary that will be transferable regardless of software. Michael will provide a 1 hour “office hours” style block of time for tech-questions per week for the software he is familiar with (Procreate Dreams, Adobe Animate, Photoshop and After effects.)

We’ll cover:
• Timing
• Spacing
• Keyframes
• Breakdowns
• Arcs
• Using reference
• Squash and stretch
• Turning form
• Acting
• Shot blocking
• Animation applications

Duration: 8 weeks
Date & Time: Starts Saturday, March 30th, every Saturday at 1:00 PM Eastern
Skill level: A basic foundation in drawing, painting, design or illustration skills
Tiers: Receive feedback or spectate without homework feedback
Format: 4-5 hour live class with combination of lectures, demos, and feedback. Recordings will usually be provided within 24 hours of each class.
Materials: Any animation software

Week 1: Animation fundamentals and context
Week 2: One good pose and wave motion
Week 3: Walks, from one good pose to many
Week 4: Pose to pose, straight ahead and layered
Week 5: Animation in context, filmmaking, story and production
Week 6: Acting, shooting your own reference, subtext and specificity
Week 7: Inbetweening, finishing, color, compositing
Week 8: Final project critique


Michael Relth graduated from ArtCenter College of Design in 2009 with a BFA in Illustration. He’s been a professional freelance animator and illustrator in different industries for over 12 years with clients such as Warner Animation, Procreate, Elastic, Brand New School, Scholar, Buck, and more, working for clients like Disney, Riot Games, Netflix, and the VMAs.