A new online “animation gym” called AnimDojo (animdojo.com) has opened its virtual doors, inviting artists with a basic understanding of Autodesk Maya a place to hone their skills as industry-ready professional animators ready to meet the needs of today’s working studios. AnimDojo was created by Tom Box and Bader Badruddin, co-founder and animation director of multi-BAFTA-winning London toon studio Blue Zoo.
“AnimDojo provides animators with a method to gain additional skills to those covered in traditional learning settings. Simply put, there’s a lot of work for animators out there, but not enough animators with the level of skill required to work at the speed and quality that the studios demand,” said Box. “We hope to change that with AnimDojo.”
Aiming to address this industry-wide skills shortage, AnimDojo lets artists learn by doing to build skills in line with real-world, practical animation studio insight. Through regular mini-assignments, materials, peer review and the opportunity to have work critiqued by industry professionals, artists learn as they produce. AnimDojo’s courses have been specifically conceived and designed to impart foundational animation understanding through vocational practice rather than curriculum.
To encourage a constant drive for improvement in the AnimDojo community, participants can take part in animation challenges, work with character rigs and learn from interactive live sessions hosted on the site weekly. An “Animator’s Checklist” lends consistency to peer critiques. And active discussion forums allow members to build a professional network and engage in meaningful discussion.
This flexible program is priced at £15 per month (about $20 USD) with no minimum contract, and is not limited to students and graduates. Add-on features such as showreel feedback and accreditation can also be purchased.