Werner Zimmermann is an artist/illustrator/life drawing instructor presently teaching life drawing to animation students at Seneca’s Animation Arts Centre in Toronto. Werner offers his assessment of Animation Portfolio Workshop as preparation for animation students.
I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but now with the the new semester at Seneca I’m compelled to finally say it: Animation Portfolio Workshop is really making a difference in the quality of students that come into my first semester Life Drawing classes.
Although I am speaking solely for myself and not on behalf of Seneca College, after over 25 years of teaching I have seen all levels of students entering the life drawing classes. Simply said, there is a difference. Solid understanding of drawing fundamentals is immediately apparent in their work. Whatever they are doing, I personally endorse the work they do to prepare students for the creative challenges of animation programs regardless of school.
Animation study, as rewarding as it is, is very challenging, demanding and often exhausting. Any preparation, especially of the quality of APW is well worth seriously looking into.
“The study of gesture is not simply a matter of looking at the movement that the model makes. You must also seek to understand the impulse that exists inside the model and causes the pose which you see.”
Straight to the point, this thought from Kimon Nicolaides is taken from his famous book “The Natural Way To Draw”. Check out these examples of gesture drawings from past APW students who have studied and incorporated gesture drawing into their drawing practise.
Former Disney animator Charlie Bonifacio was kind enough to be our special guest judge for the APW 2014 Character Design Contest. APW Directors Gerard Sternik and Vince Peets gathered questions from APW students to ask Charlie. In this video, APW students ask “What is the biggest challenge to being a Disney animator?” and “How do you stay creative?” Since Charlie also has extensive experience as an animation educator, he took quite naturally to giving clear answers to important questions from people who are just starting out in animation.
Animation educator, former Disney animator, and our 2014 honorary guest judge Charlie Bonifacio takes time to thank each and every person who entered the 2014 APW Character Design Contest.
Charlie identifies originality, and a sense of character and personal expression as some of the qualities he looked for as he approached the task of judging the animation character designs and choosing the eventual winners.
A huge part of the animation portfolio is the room drawing. The room drawing is an opportunity to show the animation school that you’re applying to that you have a working knowledge of 2 point perpective. For some schools, it also is a chance to pose a character within an environment.
In 2012, Animation Portfolio Workshop was proud to be listed in the Animation Career Review’s top 100 Animation Schools in the World. To find out more about APW’s unique approach to helping students gain a substantial advantage in the competitive world of applying to top animation schools, writer Bonnie Boglioli-Randall interviewed APW Directors Gerard Sternik and Vince Peets.
Many thanks to each budding character designer who submitted drawings to the 2013 Character Design Contest! Our special guest judge Jim Zubkavich (Program Coordinator for Seneca Animation Arts Centre in Toronto) looked at all of the characters and chose Maisie Li’s character as deserving the 1st prize – free tuition for the 2013/2014 session of the Animation Portfolio Workshop. Here are some of Jim’s thoughts on what he saw in Maisie’s character.
Pixar animator and Animation Portfolio Workshop alumnus Graham Finlay dropped by to speak to Animation Portfolio Workshop students. Graham shared his story of starting off as a an APW student, moving on to 3 years of animation school at Seneca Animation Arts Centre and then getting his first job as an animator on tv series and feature films. These experiences eventually led him to San Francisco CA where he currently works as an animator at Pixar.
There was no shortage of questions from these motivated APW students. “What’s an average day like working at Pixar?…”How did you get the job?”…”Did animation school prepare you for the work you do now?” etc. Graham happily took the time to answer each question and surely inspired some future animators along the way. These students are at the beginning of the process of assembling their animation portfolios and then after that, applying to top animation schools. This kind of encouragement goes a long way!
The Animation Portfolio Workshop has been identified as one of the Top 100 Schools for Animation, Gaming and Design. In the world.
“To help students navigate through the world of animation schools, we’ve put together the Top 100 most highly-regarded and sought after animation schools on the planet.” Animation Career Review on April 17, 2012