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Welcome to the Animation Studio Guide

The Animation Studio Guide holds every bit of information that you'll need to get up and running in the Middlebury College Animation Studio.

It's also a great source of information even if you're not currently working in the studio, and even if you're not connected to Middlebury College in any way whatsoever.

If want to learn about Computer Animation on your own, please feel free to make use of this resource.

The Textbook from Intro to Advanced

The Animation Studio Guide is the textbook for the intro course that I teach on 3D Computer Animation. It is also the textbook for the intermediate and advanced topics that we cover in the Animation Studio courses.

Tutorial Based

The Guide is a series of tutorials with text, pictures, GIFs and video that give you the necessary tools to complete your very first assignments and exercises all the way up through your first full animated film projects.

I believe that we all learn best by doing. So each tutorial is structured to give you plenty of opportunities to actively practice the concepts within. Each assignment will list the amount of time that you should set aside for completing it.

Technical and Artistic

The Guide covers plenty of technical material because you can't do anything in 3D Computer Animation without a techincal foundation.

Along the way you'll encounter a fair amount of philosophy about the habit of making art, because if you don't ask some deep questions as you pile on layer after layer of technical sophistication, you might end up technically proficient, but hollow inside.

What the Guide Isn't

The Guide isn't everything. It's simply a compilation of exercises and project ideas designed to introduce you to the rich world of 3D Computer Animation.

If you're taking the intro course or working in the Animation Studio, great! You've got a community of fellow enthusiasts right around you whenever you need someone to turn to.

If you're working your way through the Guide on your own, try to reach out and find communities online to help you troubleshoot and to give feedback on your work. And be extra patient with yourself because learning 3D Computer Animation on your own can be hard at times, at least it was when I first struggled to learn it on my own.

Have Fun!

I find the work of 3D Computer Animation to be a joyful and pleasantly addictive part of my professional and artistic life. If I didn't enjoy the work so much, I don't think I'd still be at it so many years later. So as you first start out, look for ways to have fun with the tools, even at the very beginning when you're just learning to select a 3D cube, or when you're scratching your head wondering why your artwork suddenly disappeared!

A playful attitude and a bit of patience with yourself as you learn will carry you for miles.