“The rest of the world would do well to recognize the importance of this school.”
Animation Career Review
20 years of excellence.
Since 1999 Animation Portfolio Workshop has set the standard for pre-art college training in drawing. Helping hundreds of students get into top animation schools.
Founded in 1999 by two highly skilled, experienced artists Gerard Sternik and Vince Peets, the Animation Portfolio Workshop is a social yet disciplined environment for budding animators to cultivate proper technique and learn how to measure their progress.
“Our program is laser-focused,” said Sternik. “It can be compared to an essential, no-fat diet, designed to whip each student’s artistic chops into shape and prepare them for the next phase of artistic life.”
Perhaps most unique about the APW is that over the years many APW graduates have returned to the workshop to become teachers and tutors—mentors to students about to set their goals and meet the challenges of animation school.
A successful animation portfolio requires a demonstration of skill in observational drawing and illustrative drawing, or what is referred to in APW curriculum as Life Drawing for Animation and Drawing for Animation.
Life Drawing for Animation
The Life Drawing for Animation course is made up of a series of drawing exercises that help to develop the skill set needed to create all the observational drawings that comprise an animation portfolio. Gesture drawing, contour drawing, constructive drawing, basic shape and mass analysis, as well as basic anatomical drawing are all practiced relentlessly by our students to enable them to complete the life drawings, hand drawings, animal drawings and object drawings required for the observational component of their portfolio.
Drawing for Animation
The Drawing for Animation course introduces and covers solid, structural object drawing, perspective and layout basics, character body construction, character design, storyboarding and animation basics. APW Students focus on and develop each of these areas through carefully designed drawing exercises. The goal is to learn the fundamentals and then produce completed assignments to use as portfolio pieces.
After the halfway point of the workshop, students apply the drawing skills they have been developing to the process of creating drawings for their animation portfolios. By the end of the workshop, students have completed their portfolios and are ready to submit them to prospective animation schools. The end of our course coincides with the due dates for portfolio submissions to top animation schools. Successful entrance portfolios submitted in late February/early March can receive offers of admission for programs starting in September.
The APW curriculum is derived wholly from these two core components of an animation school portfolio.
Since its inception in 1999, Animation Portfolio Workshop has maintained a ratio of 10-12 students per instructor/teaching assistant.
Students attend classes on weekends (*the Summer Intensive and the Winter Intensive have classes from Monday to Friday over an 8 week period). Each day of classes has three hours of Life Drawing and three hours of Drawing for Animation and a lunch break in the middle. A typical day of classes would look like this:
10am – 1pm Life Drawing for Animation
1pm – 2pm Lunch Break
2pm-5pm Drawing for Animation
Completed portfolios from our program have been used successfully to gain admission to these schools and many more:
- Sheridan College (Computer Animation, Classical Animation, Illustration)
- Seneca Animation Arts Centre (Computer and Classical Animation, Gaming, Visual Effects, Illustration)
- SVA – School of Visual Arts (Animation – Manhattan NY)
- Algonquin College (Animation)
- Capilano University (Animation)
- Vancouver Film School (Animation)
- Concordia University (Animation or Film program)
- Ringling College of Art and Design (Animation – Sarasota FLA)
- CALArts (Animation)
- Gnomon School of VFX and Animation (Animation – Hollywood, CA)
- O.C.A.D. – Ontario College of Art and Design (Foundation Year, Advanced Standing)
- Ryerson (Fashion, Architecture)
- University of Toronto (Biomedical Communications)
- University of Waterloo (Urban Planning)
- Animation Workshop (Animation – Viborg, Denmark)
- Gobelins L’ecole De L’image (Animation – Paris, France)