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3D Animation Essentials

Online Course

What You Will Learn

Learn 3D Animation with Philip Piaget


This comprehensive course guides you through the fundamental techniques of 3D character animation. Building from the classical animation principles, you will learn how to make your creations come to life through true and tested workflows.


Watch the video to learn more!

The People Behind The Course


Philip Piaget


The course teaching is brought to you by, Philip Piaget who is a filmmaker, animator, visual artist, and a graduate of The Animation Workshop. He has directed the award-winning short film “Reverie” and previously studied Classical Animation at the Vancouver Film School.


Philip has over 11 years of experience and worked at numerous studios like Global Mechanic, Atomic Cartoons, Might and Delight, Makropol, and TinDrum for all kinds of animated projects from commercials to virtual reality.


Erik C. Schmidt


The course has been developed by industry veteran, Erik C. Schmidt who has been working in the animation industry for over 30 years predominantly on theatrical feature films for Disney, DreamWorks, Universal Pictures and ILM.


Erik's credits include Bolt, Meet the Robinsons, Black Panther, Chicken Little, The Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, and Sharktale, and many other notable titles.


Mikkel Mainz


Mikkel Mainz will give you feedback and be your mentor. He is an animation film director, founder of animation studios Skjald Creative and Sun Creature, and creator of the online hit series Tales of Alethrion. He has extensive experience teaching animation at film and design schools, including 10 years at The Animation Workshop.


Mikkel has also worked professionally in the animation industry, staying up to date with the latest skillsets and training new talents. His projects include Ivandoe (Cartoon Network), Monster Loving Maniacs (Ja Film), Song of the Sea (Cartoon Saloon), Emara (Eating Stars), and the TV series Høj (Skjald, DR, Copenhagen Bombay).

Module-by-Module Breakdown

Get a detailed breakdown of each lesson.
01. Introduction (Free)

Embark on your learning journey with our course introduction.


01 - Video Lesson (02:24)
01 - Lesson Notes (07:18)
02. Animation Principles (Free)

Delve into the 12 core principles of animation and familiarise yourself with industry terminology.


02 - Video Lesson (06:11)
02 - Lesson Notes (20:32)
03. Blender Overview (Free)

Get introduced to Blender, learning its interface, tools, shortcuts, and the animation workflow.


03 - Video Lesson (21:01)
03 - Lesson Notes (10:07)
04. The Bouncing Ball (Free)

Dive into the fundamentals of animation with this beginner-friendly lesson. Here, we'll explore the core principles of animation through a straightforward exercise, focusing on Timing, Spacing, and the classic Stretch & Squash technique.


04 - Video Lesson (28:41)
04 - Lesson Notes (11:40)
04 - Assignment
05. 3 Bouncing Balls
In this lesson, we will create 3 balls with distinct physical properties by exploring variations in Timing, Spacing, and Stretch & Squash. We will also introduce the principle of Arcs in this assignment.
05 - Video Lesson (46:55)
05 - Lesson Notes (07:10)
05 - Assignment
06. Forward Kinematics (Free)

In this lesson, we will learn about motion structures, and work with the first type: Forward Kinematics. We will also be making an animation with a simple character rig based on Pixar's Luxo Lamp.


06 - Video Lesson (33:41)
06 - Lesson Notes (07:33)
06 - Assignment
07. Inverse Kinematics
In this lesson, we will learn about the second type of motion structure: Inverse Kinematics. We will also be making an animation with a simple character rig based on Pixar's Luxo Lamp, albeit with a different way of controlling it.
07 - Video Lesson (35:11)
07 - Lesson Notes (05:25)
07 - Assignment
08. Basic Body Mechanics

In this lesson, we will begin working with a human character rig. We will learn some basics about how the body moves with a simple exercise. We will learn how to apply the animation principles to demonstrate one of the most important elements to create believable animation: weight.


08 - Video Lesson (01:09:45)
08 - Lesson Notes (14:12)
08 - Assignment
09. The Walk Cycle

In this lesson, we will learn how to work with animation in a loop and perform one of the most important actions in animation: The Walk Cycle.


09 - Video Lesson (58:54)
09 - Lesson Notes (15:06)
09 - Assignment
10. The Run Cycle
In this lesson, we will learn how to work with animation in a loop and perform a variation on a walk cycle: The Run Cycle
10 - Video Lesson (50:04)
10 - Lesson Notes (13:45)
10 - Assignment
11. Advanced Body Mechanics

In this lesson, we will learn how to create broader and more energetic animations incorporating the concepts of dynamic posing, line of action and gesture. We will also place special focus on the principle of Anticipation, Overshoot, Overlapping Action and Follow-through.


11 - Video Lesson (54:31)
11 - Lesson Notes (15:18)
11 - Assignment
12. Hierarchies & Constraints

In this lesson, we will learn how to influence and drive objects with others through a Parent-Child hierarchy or through constraints.


12 - Video Lesson (45:09)
12 - Lesson Notes (12:56)
12 - Assignment
13. Pantomime & Performance

In this lesson, we will begin to explore Acting for Animation. We will learn how to begin developing a character's performance through the use of body language.


13 - Video Lesson (01:05:02)
13 - Lesson Notes (16:25)
13 - Assignment
14. Dialogue & Lip Sync

In this lesson, we will learn how to synchronize animation to sound to enhance our performances through lip sync.


14 - Video Lesson (01:37:35)
14 - Lesson Notes (10:36)
14 - Assignment
Certificate of Completion
screenshot course

Who Is The 3D Animation Essentials For?

The 3D Animation Essentials is the right choice, if:
  • You're a beginner who wants to learn the secrets of 3D Animation.
  • You're a trained artist who want to maintain your 3D Animation skills and get a fresh perspective on your work.
  • You want to improve your portfolio with 3D Animations.


Enrol in our 3D Animation Essentials course and gain a robust foundation as a 3D animator



What you get:

  • Access to Free Lessons



What you get:

  • Lifetime Full Course Access
  • Animation Community



All Basic features, plus:

  • Classroom Feedback Sessions
  • Support and Q&A



All Advanced features, plus:

  • 1:1 Mentorship






Access to Free Lessons
Get started here if you want a free sneak peak into the course before committing to the paid version.
Lifetime Full Course Access
Lifetime access to all the course material.
Animation Community
Access to CADA's animation community where you can meet and learn from like-minded students and animators.
Classroom Feedback Sessions
Virtual classroom setting where Mikkel Mainz will give feedback on hand-in assignments.
Support and Q&A
Receive ongoing support and get answers to your animation questions.
1:1 Mentorship
One-on-one mentorship support with Mikkel Mainz. Get full attention and individual feedback on all your hand-in assignments.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get access to the free lessons?

Please follow the steps in the video below to get access to the free lessons. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.


  1. Click on the "Get Started" button under the "Free" section.
  2. Create an account.
  3. You now have access to the free lessons.
Do I get individual feedback on my hand-in assignments?

Students enrolled in the "Pro" tier will benefit from individual feedback through one-on-one mentorship, ensuring their individual needs and goals are met.

Students enrolled in the "Advanced" tier will have the opportunity to receive feedback in a virtual classroom environment. Here, the instructor will review a selection of hand-in assignments, providing valuable insights and guidance to the entire group.

Who is this course designed for?

The 3D Animation Essentials course is perfect for beginners in digital arts, as well as for those with some experience in CGI who want to deepen their skills in animation. It's ideal for anyone passionate about bringing characters and stories to life through animation.

Do I need any prior experience or knowledge?

No prior experience is required. The course begins with basic concepts, making it accessible to beginners, but also progresses to more advanced techniques that will benefit those with some background in digital arts.

What software and tools will I need?

You'll need access to a computer capable of running Blender, which is a free and open-source 3D creation suite.

How long is the course, and is it self-paced?

The course is self-paced and the time required to complete the course varies based on your skill level and the effort you invest in your assignments. There are no strict deadlines, but each lesson includes a hand-in assignment that you can receive feedback on by enrolling in the Advanced or Pro tier. 


By submitting just one assignment per week, you can anticipate completing the course in approximately 10 weeks.


For those who are highly motivated and able to complete 2-3 assignments weekly, you can accelerate your journey to becoming an animator and finish the course in just 4 weeks.

Is there any certification provided at the end of the course?

Yes, upon successful completion of the course, you will receive a certificate of completion, which can be a valuable addition to your professional portfolio.