Thursday, September 24, 2015

AnimSchool Student Progression: Juan Diego Lugo

We caught up with AnimSchool Student Juan Diego Lugo to ask him a few questions.
Juan has just completed his final course at Animschool. Since enrolling at AnimSchool in January 2014, his modeling skills have grown considerably. But don't take our word for it, why don't you take a look for yourself?

1. How has AnimSchool helped you grow as a modeler?

AnimSchool simply provides an enormous amount of resources, knowledge and help for a modeler in the making. The impression that struck me from the very first introductory class was that modeling requires particularly keen attention to detail, as it is the convergence of design, technology, anatomy and craft. As I got to more advanced classes, this impression only solidified. As a result, our own judgement changes, we scrutinize things more, and we develop a deeper appreciation for good craft wherever we see it.
On top of all of this, and what makes AnimSchool uniquely powerful in this regard, is that we have incredibly talented individuals giving us critique. Luis Labrador, Brien Hindman, Juan Pablo Chen, Dylan Ekren, and Dave Gallager to name a few. Amazing artists with real world experience who not only teach us concrete truths about modeling, but more profoundly, who they are as artists and humans ultimately changes you, it motivates you and inspire you to push for better work - you only need to put in the time.
I guess it's hard not to improve when you surround yourself and learn from these deeply influential artists, and really talented classmates who become your friends along the way. I guess every school or service or enterprise boils down to how good its community is, and I've found that this community is as kind and receiving as it is talented.

2. Tell us about yourself and how you got into 3d

I was born in Venezuela and lived there until I was 17. Getting a computer from a very young age exposed me to a whole new world of animated games and digital art, and it didn't take long for me to start learning how to create things. Eventually I found happiness in doing that.
Venezuela, even then, was a dangerous country. But here I had an escape from it with technology and art!
Sometime growing up I also met someone who was very influential in my life, and whom I admire. He studied 3D and was able to do amazing drawings and animations, and I think he gave me the confidence and the necessary mentorship to start playing with different 3D programs like Blender, Maya, and Cinema4D.

3. Are you currently working in the industry? 

I've been working for a little over a year remotely as a Rigging Artist for a studio based in California. Still, I would like to find something where I can be on site as well, perhaps something more involved. I'm hoping I can do that soon, after graduating and producing a new demo!

4. So you can rig and model! How has knowing both fields benefited your work?

I've been able to fill out gaps between modeling and rigging. I think knowing two areas deeply related to one another gives you a competitive edge, and the freedom to just do more or be more useful.
In my work environment I'm more critical of topology and how important good topology is for deformations, (specially in gaming where there are limitations from the engine) and that can potentially save you and others quite a lot of time.

5. Tell us about your tank girl model!

Well - the concept for her was made by Cory Loftis and when I first saw it, it really hit me. It has so much personality. Then it was just a matter of doing it, and Advanced Modeling in ZBrush was the key to learning how. Over the course of 11 weeks, we gathered references and started going for it. Our instructor was incredible, and we would get just on point critique and lessons on how to improve.. this process happened again and again, until she was finished, and even though I'm very happy with the result, I'm even happier of the things I learned, because it opens the door to a world of characters we can take on the challenge of doing in 3D.

6. Care to share one of the things you learned?

I gave this one some thought.
When working on a model or a project, the last 10% of the work takes as much as the last 90% of it.
It's simple but profound - we often feel like something is finished when we could push it so much more.

The last 10% takes as much time and effort as the 90% that led to it.

7. So have you ever revisited one of your models you once called complete?

I haven't, at least not yet. I feel more inclined to take on new projects with what I've learned from past mistakes - and this stills in me a sense of excitement as well. But it is in no way a bad idea, and it is ultimately necessary. For example, for my next demo reel, I'm sure I will have to revisit and mend a lot of things if I plan to present them next to newer, better projects, or else I run the risk of people thinking I have bad judgement or bad taste.

8. Do you have foundation skills in traditional forms of art?

Yes, I have a bachelor in fine arts, which sounds loftier than it is. I learned to draw using charcoal, but we also learned clay sculpting and baking. Even though I don't use traditional mediums anymore, I wish I still did. Yet every bit helps and reinforces
3D skills, I think.

9. You've made some great progress since taking your first class at AnimSchool. Do you have any advice for those who are just starting out?

Yes, absolutely. I would urge everyone to try to connect beyond the classes with the other students that are putting in their time and effort. In my case, a few of the people I met on my first class accompanied me until the later ones, and doing google hangouts with them allowed us to critique each other while working on our projects, and that was great! I'd also recommend trying to do every art class, even if you don't draw; you will learn a lot. Lastly, I'd recommend taking advantage of the general reviews available during the week, because the feedback is very, very useful.

10. Thank you, Juan. Any last words for our readers?

I think I'd just like to add one last comment.
And it's to echo a tweet from one of my instructors here. He said we are responsible for our own success. And I think it's awfully true. It's easy to fall on the trap of thinking there are magic buttons, techniques or plugins or software, but it comes down to discipline and determination and love for the craft.


Thank you, Juan Diego Lugo for allowing us to share your progress and for taking the time to speak with us! If you'd like to see more examples of Juan Diego Lugo's work, check out his ArtStation !

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

AnimSchool Character Rig Giacomo Demo

In AnimSchool's General Reviews, Dave Gallagher demonstrates posing with Giacomo, Animschool's latest character rig.

Giacomo is just one of the many flexible and appealing character rigs the students have access to. For a full list of all our character rigs provided to student, head on over to:

This is clip from AnimSchool's General Review session where students get extra critique and feedback at no extra charge.
To view more great class clips, visit the AnimSchool Blog:

Come join all the students learning online at AnimSchool:

Thursday, July 16, 2015

AnimSchool's New Character: Giacomo

United States - July 16, 2015 -- AnimSchool is proud to present our newest character, Giacomo, exclusively for AnimSchool students.

AnimSchool is the leader in appealing, flexible characters. Our students animate with the most refined, advanced characters, using the popular AnimSchool Picker.

Giacomo was designed by famous animation veteran Sergio Pablos of The SPA Studios, and modeled by AnimSchool students Marcus Ng and Pablo Bellozas. Facial pose designs by Borja Montoro.
 AnimSchool rigs are built with each part and control being tested to extreme levels, making the strongest poses possible. You can see the range of motion and poseability students can achieve with Giacomo.

Giacomo has clothing options: shirt, pants, hat, shoes, and poseable toes.

To use Giacomo, apply to an AnimSchool program or individual class.

AnimSchool characters and the AnimSchool Picker are used by more than 20,000 users worldwide, and have been used to win numerous animation contests and for commercial needs. AnimSchool is known as the most trusted name for appealing 3D characters.

With over 200 students, AnimSchool was founded in 2010 to bring character-focused 3D animation instruction to students all around the world, through live online sessions with the best film professionals.

555 South State Street, Suite 315
Orem, UT 84058
801 765-7677

Monday, June 1, 2015

Importance of Character with Rahul Dabholkar

In this lecture our Instructor Rahul Dabholkar, Supervising Animator at Dreamworks India, talks about the importance of character in Animation.
He shares with us four important questions that you have to ask yourself about the character before starting to animate.

1. Who is your main character?
2. What's the situation?
3. What does he/she wants?
4. What makes this story unique and memorable?

To learn more about it - watch this video. And if you want even more - come and join us at


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Graduate Spotlight: Luis Trebino

Start us off by telling us about yourself and what you've been up to since graduating from Animschool

I have been studying animation for 4 years now. Animschool was an inflection point, where I started to really learn animation in a professional way. I'm currently working hard to be able to have a good demo reel in order to start looking for an animation job. Meanwhile I work half time in a architecture studio modeling and rendering architecture stuff. It isn't animation related, but it's ok.

Some of Luis's professional models and renders from his Architecture Studio.

So I didn't do too much since I graduated from animschool. I've continued working hard, trying to do good shots, and continue learning. Doing English classes ( that's important because I'm planning going out Spain).

You recently won the 11 second club contest in November. Can you tell us about your shot?

My shot is about a school principal who's very angry with a student about something that had happened. He doesn't want to look tough, so perhaps he's annoyed. He is containing himself because he shouldn't lose control because he is the school principal. So he gives the kid some kind of advice, “you should never make important decision while you are upset”, and we see the kid very ashamed about that. In the end we discovered what the kid did, the principal shows him a firecracker.

Did you model the set yourself?

I didn't, I downloaded from a site which had some free 3d scenes, like restaurantes, offices,bars,streets. The site recently disappeared. Anyway, there are lots of good sites with free 3d models and scenes. I think animators shouldn’t waste time modeling things for a shot, only if it’s necessary I model some particular stuff that is difficult to find on the internet. But you can find almost everything for free or for a few bucks.

Can you describe your workflow and thought process for this shot?

When i first I listened to the audio I started to imagine what type of character would say that words. I usually do a very big researching job, thinking about the situation and planning my shots. I search the internet for images and ideas according to what I have in mind. Sometimes I get really good ideas for the shot with an image. Especially about the staging and the composition. I use, because you can filter results in order to search exactly what you need.

So, finally I came to the idea of a school principal very angry with a student about something that had happened. The character sounds like a big guy with a strong voice so he should move slow and show weight in his movements for this reason I decided to use Animschool’s Marshall rig for this shot. He is a big guy perfect for this shot.

I started with a basic layout, with some poses and the camera changes in order to have a general idea about the shot. After that I started to shot myself for some video references, having in mind the attitude of character: Confident, Imperative, and the physical characteristics: Strong, Slow movements, Big guy,... With the video reference I started my blocking pass with 4 or 5 basic poses being sure this poses are the best I can. Then I add some breakdowns and I start a basic lip sync. When I think everything looks as best as possible I go to splining and I clean all curves. Finally I'll polish everything.

You are really thinking about what is going on in the characters heads. Do you have experience in acting?

No, I don’t. But I think that considering the characters thoughts is an important part of the shot. We, as animators, need to build a complete personality for the character, that include physical characteristics, visual aspects and personality.

Do you have any advice to new animators?

Learning animation is a long and difficult journey. There are lots of up and downs and frustration. My advice is to never give up. There isn't a magic way to learn it quickly, just hard work.

Are you working on anything now? Can you tell us about it?

I’m thinking about participating to this month 11secondclub competition. But maybe it is a bit late for it. Anyway I’m working on some shots that I’ll able to finish by the next month I guess.

Do you have any animator heroes?

I follow lots of artist, not only animators.There are very inspirational work around there. Some artists I like: Aaron Blaise, Goro Fujita,Ram Imaquinario,Marta Masana,Anna Cattish, they all have facebook page, so follow them!

What have you thought of Animschool?

Animschool is great, they have a very structured way of teaching and that’s really good for starting animators. Students learn directly from professional animators now working in the industry. Every class is very structured, in this way you learn the whole process of a shot.

In addition to your animation classes each term there’s a new animation related class for students and graduated, like drawing or storytelling plus the animation general reviews, where you can attend for additional review of your work. Animschool also have so expressive and appealing rigs, really easy and intuitive to use. All characters are joint based. In opposite to blend shapes, joints are more flexibles so you can find better poses without breaking the rig.

Thank you, Luis!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Game Animation Pipeline - Student work critique Part 2

In AnimSchool's Game Animation Pipeline, Lead Cinematics Animator at Vicarious Visions - John Paul Rhinemiller reviews student work and gives them feedback on their animations.


Every Animschool student has live critique session with his instructor. That way we prepare our animators to work in industry, where giving and receiving critiques is a daily routine.

Come join all the students learning online at AnimSchool:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Character Performance - Student Work Critique

In AnimSchool's Character Performance, Dreamworks Animator Christopher Bancroft reviews the shot of Animschool Student Alvaro Granados.

View the finished result here:

Come join all the students learning online at AnimSchool: