Foundations of 3D Animation Course

Online 3D animation course taught by professional film and game animators

Study animation from film and game industry experts

Progress faster with an industry mentor as your guide

Learn 3D animation from the best and discover what it takes to become a professional animator. Once you've mastered the foundational skills, you'll get your characters interacting with their environment and dealing with physical forces. Put this together to design powerful combat animations for games.

Why study animation at CG Spectrum:

  • Learn to animate exciting combat action scenes from scratch
  • Build character rigs and pro techniques in Maya
  • Be mentored by a world-class animator
  • Choose 1-on-1 or small group classes


At CG Spectrum online animation school you'll receive the highest level of personalized training. You'll learn the latest tools and techniques used by top studios and be guided every step of the way by your industry mentor. With online classes you can learn from the comfort of your own home, in your own time.

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Study duration

9 months


20 hrs weekly

Skill level



Basic computer skills


Weekly online classes, feedback and support


Autodesk Maya and animation rigs

Start date

Jan 9, 2023

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An industry-approved curriculum to get you started in the exciting world of animation

Term 1: 12 weeks

3D Animation Foundations

Starting with 3D animation basics, you'll dive head-first into industry software Maya and discover how to create believable animation using the classic principles of animation. As you learn the theories, you'll put them into practice, giving you a better understanding of body mechanics and locomotion.

  • Animate from scratch using the 12 principles of animation
  • Set up professional workflows using Autodesk Maya
  • Create progressively more complex animation pieces  
  • Work with character rigs to create animation cycles


  1. Introduction to Animation and Rigs
  2. Posing a Character
  3. Timing and Spacing
  4. Overlapping Action
  5. Pose Transitions 01
  6. Pose Transitions 02
  7. Lower Body Walk Cycle 01
  8. Lower Body Run Cycle 02
  9. Full Body Walk Cycle 01
  10. Full Body Run Cycle 02
  11. Walk with Prop 01
  12. Walk with Prop 02
Term 2: 12 weeks

Body Mechanics

Let's get physical! Learn 3D animation tips and tricks from your mentor while building on your foundation skills. Find out how to get characters interacting with their surrounding environment, and see how they deal with physical forces. Finish the term by learning how to design combat animations for games.

  • Convey realistic force & weight
  • Animate combat action scenes
  • Create animation cycles for video games
  • Build a believable fight scene
  1. Run and Jump Blocking
  2. Run and Jump Polish
  3. Parkour Blocking
  4. Parkour Polish
  5. Forces & Weight Blocking
  6. Forces & Weight Polish
  7. Weight Lift Blocking
  8. Weight Lift Polish
  9. Combat Actions Blocking
  10. Combat Actions Polish
  11. Fight Scene Blocking
  12. Fight Scene Polish
Term 3: 12 weeks

Storytelling for Animation

Master the subtleties of adding personality to a character walk. Then develop a backstory for your character and have a go at conveying emotions using body language by creating a pantomime piece. You'll finish with a character dialogue piece complete with lip sync, facial and body expressions - and have a polished piece for your demo reel.

  • Gather and analyze reference
  • Create unique character performances
  • Stage and animate emotional action
  • Convey realistic expressions
  1. Introduction & Overview
  2. Personality Walk 01: Keying
  3. Personality Walk 02: Breakdowns & Cycles
  4. Personality Walk 03: Polish &
    Progressive Walk
  5. Pantomime 01: Setup & Keying
  6. Pantomime 02: Breakdowns
  7. Pantomime 03: Polish Pass
  8. Drama Monologue 01: Setup & Keying
  9. Drama Monologue 02: Keys & Breakdowns
  10. Drama Monologue 03: Overlap & Follow-through
  11. Drama Monologue 04: Polish Pass
  12. Character Acting: Review & Final Pass

Small Class

The most affordable way to learn from top industry mentors in a fun, collaborative environment, while still getting plenty of personalized feedback.

  • Max. 4 students per course
  • Affordable high-quality education
  • Network while you learn

1-on-1 Private

Progress faster and enjoy more flexiblity with private mentorship. Ideal for busy schedules, career-changers, or artists upgrading skills or changing specialties.

  • Maximum level of mentor interaction
  • Greater flexibility to schedule classes
  • Customized learning experience


$1,185 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$3,199 USD

(3 x payments)

$1,485 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$3,999 USD

(3 x payments)


Get direct access to professional animators with studio experience

All 3D animation classes are taught by artists who have worked at major animation studios on films and video games.

Student Showcase

High quality student work that speaks for itself

With a focus on portfolio preparation, we help students build their competitive edge with high quality work that gets noticed. See what they are creating.

Studios that hire our students

Student successes

80% employment success rate

We’re proud to say that the majority of our advanced graduates are now working in the highly competitive film & games industry.

Wondering if CG Spectrum is right for you? Connect with our student ambassadors and find out.

Course structure

Pathway 1

Dive right into the full study pathway and be industry ready in 18 months.

Pathway illustration for 3D Animation (Full pathway)

Pathway 2

Not quite ready to commit? Start with the intro course and graduate with the option to continue to term 2 of the foundations course.

Pathway illustration for 3D Animation (Part pathway)
Frequently asked questions

Got questions? We've got answers.

What are the prerequisites for this course?

For this 3D animation course, you will need basic computer skills and a computer that meets the minimum specifications (see next question).

Please note: Term 1 of this program is the same curriculum as the Introduction to 3D Animation Certificate. So if you've already completed the introduction course, you may skip to term 2.

What are the software & hardware requirements?


Students can sign up for an educational license for Maya.


You will need a dedicated graphics card and a computer that meets the minimum requirements for Autodesk Maya

What 3D animation careers can I explore post-graduation?

This course gives you an excellent understanding of 3D animation fundamentals and depending on your level of commitment, skills, and portfolio pieces, you may be ready to start applying for entry-level artist positions.

To increase your hiring potential, the Advanced 3D Animation Course is recommended. It covers more complex techniques and includes an entire term dedicated to career development and portfolio preparation to get you industry-ready.

Some of the junior 3D animator jobs you could pursue after completing the full study pathway include:

Discover more about these 3D animator jobs, tips, and salary expectations on our careers page:

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