Pioneering online school Animation Mentor (www.animationmentor.com) has announced its new “digital campus” — a social learning platform where students will virtually attend classes, interact with friends and classmates, and get one-on-one feedback from their professional mentors (working animators hailing from studios such as Pixar, DreamWorks and ILM).
“The most exciting thing about Animation Mentor has always been the incredible community of mentors and students. It’s literally a big family,” says Bobby Beck, co-founder and Pixar alumnus, “And now it feels like our new platform will better facilitate what we’ve been doing all along, helping artists achieve their dreams through the power of community and social learning.”
As demonstrated in the video below, the digital campus uses social-media-style community feeds which allow students and mentors to customize what they see. In the classroom, users can see student work, receive messages and stay up to date on critiques and peer feedback. And on personal feeds, they can follow friends, classmates and others they find inspiring. Sophisticated annotation and commenting tools will enable mentors and fellow students to give detailed feedback on student work, bringing new dimension to the group learning and mentorship model that Animation Mentor has championed since launching as the first online animation school 12 years ago.
“When you’re an animator in the industry, you rely so heavily on your colleagues for inspiration, criticism, positive reinforcement, you name it,” says Shawn Kelly, co-founder and Lead Animator at Industrial Light & Magic, “Our goal is to recreate that experience for our students so they’re not only learning from their mentors and peers, but they’re learning how to learn from other animators.”
Beck, Kelly and Carlos Baena founded Animation Mentor in 2005 with a focus on the art of animation and importance of community, using the tried and true mentor-based approach.
“I’m very inspired by what our students and mentors create each term. The acting/performance and locomotion bar gets raised each year” says Baena, “We see alumni going on to work at the best studios and we couldn’t be happier for them. We are very proud of how the Animation Mentor community continues to grow and how the students continue to help each other throughout their careers.”
The digital campus will be instituted for all students beginning with Winter 2018 registrations (courses start January 2).