life drawing

Animation Portfolio Workshop layout drawings by 2018 grads

A look back at some layout drawings selecyed from animation portfolios from Animation Portfolio Workshop class of 2018.  Portfolios for animation schools require a solid knowledge of perspective shown in layouts like these.  In these drawings, 2 point perspective, composition, solid object drawing, sketching, center of interest, overlapping objects, depth, variation in shapes show a number of the important areas that APW students spend months practising in order to arrive at the final portfolio pieces.  These Animation Portfolio Workshop grads are in Sheridan animation.

Animation Portfolio Workshop layout drawings by 2018 grads 1
2018 Layout by Alisen Montoya Sheridan student
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What’s Learning The Language of Drawing Got To Do With Making An Animation Portfolio?

For 20 years we’ve encountered all kinds of ideas about what is actually involved in the preparation of an animation portfolio. A lot of these ideas have been erroneous, and a number of them have been downright comical in nature. We can talk about the comical ideas in a future post, but for now lets stick with the biggest misconception going around about how an animation portfolio gets made.

What's Learning The Language of Drawing Got To Do With Making An Animation Portfolio? 2
2019 Seneca Animation Portfolio Preparation / Soroosheh Safadel / Detail From Life Drawing
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Animation Portfolio Workshop Gesture Drawing


APW instructors demonstrate each drawing exercise.  Our instructors draw.  Our instructors are awesome.  The only way to teach something is if you understand it because it’s part of your daily life.  It’s the way Animation Portfolio Workshop operates.   Have a look at the following video to see

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Animation Portfolio Preparation at APW 2019

It’s that time of year again, and we have been very busy working with all of our current APW students on animation portfolio preparation.

As always, we have had another great group this year. The hard work and dedication that they’ve all devoted to learning how to draw over the past 38 classes and then applying those fundamentally essential skills to creating plenty of their best work for their animation portfolios has been an honour to help with and observe first hand as the process unfolds and develops.

Animation Portfolio Preparation at APW 2019 3
Renee McPherson / Seneca Animation Portfolio Preparation / Life Drawing


With Seneca animation portfolio preparations complete we are now closing in on finishing up the Sheridan animation portfolios as well as a number of portfolios for other programs. Congrats to all 2018-2019 Animation Portfolio Workshop students. Well done!!

What’s In An Animation Portfolio?

Want to know what goes into an animation portfolio?  It’s all about drawing.  The actual drawings in the portfolio are a byproduct of knowing drawing fundamentals like life drawing, perspective, character drawing, and many more.  No quick-tips or short cuts will ever substitute for the real thing.  If you want to get into animation school you’ll want to know this

What's In An Animation Portfolio? 4
Character rotation by Alisen Montoya. Animation Portfolio Workshop grad and Sheridan student.

Werner Zimmerman’s kind words about APW

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.

Well done guys! Keep them coming!

-Werner Zimmermann

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APW students ask Charlie Bonifacio

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.


Charlie Bonifacio talks about Afia Fobi’s 1st prize winning character.

A word from of thanks from Charlie to all APW Character Design entrants.

A word from Charlie Bonifacio

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.


Animation Portfolio Room Drawings

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. 

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