Untitled Document

Throughout 2013, Don Bluth will be offering four Master Classes highlighting the Art of Animation.  The first of the four classes will touch on the subject of Animation Principles and Drawing. The class will include live demonstrations as well as hands-on training in a small classroom environment.

The Art of Animation Master Class

March 4th - 8th 2013.


This program is perfect for the professional or student that wants to learn animation at a fast pace.
The course will take place over a one week period, and attendees will be required to animate one scene with in-betweens during that time.  Your rough pencil test scene will be cut into a planned production reel that has been predesigned for all the enrolled students.  The capacity of the class will be limited to fifteen.  The goal is to create an environment similar to an actual production house that is working on a real project.  Don will personally teach the class and critique each student’s work.

Class Schedule

Monday - Friday from 9:00 AM - 2: 00 PM. Break for lunch 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


In the early days of animation, analysis of live action was the main topic of discussion.  It was the basis for even the broadest based cartooning.  First, study the desired action as it happens in the real world, then bend it towards the absurd, or more accurately put, towards caricature.


Portraying feelings on the faces of your characters and in their body language is the element that will entertain.   If you can do it well the body of your life’s work will be satisfying to both yourself and your audience.  Acting is a "pretend" game; it is an illusion.  The animation challenge is the same as that of the live actor; the only difference is that an animator must be able to draw the convincing emotion with his/her pencil or computer while the actor uses his/her face and body as the instrument or tool.

Finding Strong Poses

Freddy Moore, an animation hero from the not too distant past had an enviable knack, probably intuitive, for drawing strong poses on his characters. The seasoned animators, older men with more experience, looked upon Freddy as a phenomenon. It was he who brought Mickey Mouse out from the rubber arms and legs look into the appealing personality we see today.  A strong pose gives a character visual readability; the audience should know immediately what the character is feeling.


Dancers move to a beat.  Musicians play to a beat.  Poets write to a beat. The most powerful animation is usually performed to a beat.  With that in mind, Animation can be described as visual music; it should have a rhythm. You will be adding drawings (frames), or taking drawings out through the rough animation process to achieve a definite rhythm in the action.

Scene Planning

I am a great advocate of planning the action and timing of your scene before you attempt to commit it to paper. Entertainment is always the goal. If you fall short of that goal, you will never take first prize. Your scene must touch the imagination of the audience, carrying them away to a greater awareness of their own lives. You’ll know you’ve done it when you see them smiling as they watch.

Curriculum for the Master Class

Day 1

Lecture and Discussion:

1) The Principles of Animation & Drawing for Animation.

Class Activity:

2) A Discussion of the storyboards from “The Happy Prince.”
3) An assignment will be given for you to animate, including in-betweens by the end of the week.
4) Thumb nailing your scene under the guidance of the director.

Daily Reading Assignment:

5) Literature will be handed out at the beginning of the week.

Day 2

Lecture and Discussion:

1) Knowledge and appreciation of entertainment and timing.
2) A study of comedy

Class Activity:

3) Show your finished thumb-nails tot the Director and get an okay to proceed to animate.
4) Expose your thumb-nails on the X-sheet which will establish the timing of your scene. Show your plan to the Director.
5) Begin animating your scene.

Daily Reading Assignment:

Discuss the reading material

Day 3

Lecture and Discussion:

1) Profiling the personality of the character you are animating.

Class Activity:

2) Show your animation poses to the Director to see if they can be strengthened,
3) Shoot your first ruff pencil test; it will be a pose test with no in-betweens.
4) Discuss your pose test with the Director before in-between.

Daily Reading Assignment:

Discuss the reading material.

Day 4

Lecture and Discussion:

1) Further discussion of the principles of animation versus entertainment.

Class Activity:

2) Get the directors feed-back on your animated scene.
3) Shoot your final ruff pencil test.

Daily Reading Assignment:

Discuss the reading material.

Day 5

Lecture and Discussion:

1) Class showing of the students animation assignments.
2) Discussion of how each scene could improve the entertainment value.
3) Relate the studied material with the current CG animation on the market.

Class Activity:

2) Director will show examples of great animating scenes then open up for discussions.
3) Finish animating then shoot your final finished scene.
4) Viewing of student scenes for critique by their peers.

Open forum with Questions & Answers session.


Don Bluth's ToonTalk
8670 East Shea Blvd
Suite 103
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260

View Larger Map

Tuition Fees

This course was designed for serious professionals and students that are interested in learning animation techniques.
Enrollment for this one-week course is $1000. The tuition fee does not cover food or accommodations.

No refunds on partial participation!

Payment Methods

We accept Checks, Money Orders, Credit Cards and Paypal.

Please mail checks and Money Orders to:

Don Bluth Animation
8776 East Shea Blvd
Suite B3A - 125
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260-6629
Phone: 480-314-0841

At Don Bluth Animation we offer several ways to purchase your seat for the Animation Masterclass.  We accept Checks, Money Orders and PayPal.

Purchase Tickets for our Animation Master Class.

Refund Policy

Our Promise
Your purchase of a Don Bluth Master Class comes with an unconditional money-back guarantee of satisfaction up to 24 hours before start date.

Paypal Purchases
If the Master Class (s) were originally purchased through Paypal, a refund will be issued to the same Paypal account within 30 days of the date of cancellation.

Check Purchases
If the Master Class (s) were originally purchased with a Money Order, Cashiers Check or Personal/Business Check, there will be a minimum of a 30-day waiting period before a refund check will be issued unless customer provides a copy of the bank draft or check from his or her financial institution.

Important Note
If a participant decides to leave before the end of the Master Class course week, he/she will not receive a refund for any days missed.

Powered by CubeCart
Copyright Devellion Limited 2006. All rights reserved.
Buy Searcher The Online Shopping Directory - Cosmetics, Jewellery, Gifts and more.