3D Animation Essentials

Learn 3D animation online with leading industry expert animation training.

Learn 3D animation essentials

Take the first step towards your career as a 3D animator

CG Spectrum’s beginner's 3D animation course prepares you for a career where no two days are the same! In this short course, you'll learn the principles of animation for film and video games with an industry mentor as your guide. You'll be animating from scratch in no time!

Why study 3D animation at CG Spectrum:
  • Learn how to animate even without prior knowledge
  • Gain confidence using industry software Maya
  • Be mentored by a world-class industry animator
  • Choose between 1-on-1 or small group classes (max 4 students)


If you're interested in learning animation, you've come to the right place! Whether you want to work in film, TV, or in game development, this online 3D animation for beginners course covers all of the essentials you need to get started, including the 12 Principals, body mechanics, and creating character walk cycles. You’ll finish the course with a solid foundation in 3D animation, a portfolio piece, and confidence using Maya animation software.

You’ll be personally mentored by an industry expert who will show you the latest animation and CGI tools and techniques used by top animation studios to create life-like scenes. 

At CG Spectrum you'll receive highly personalized training with small class sizes and 1-on-1 private tuition. Classes are 100% online, so you can learn from the comfort of your own home, in your own time at CG Spectrum.

*This short course is the perfect way to get started in the world of 3D animation. The curriculum is exactly the same as term one of the Foundations of 3D Animation Course, so if you decide to continue after completing your certificate, you'll be one-third of the way through!



Study duration

12 weeks


20 hrs weekly

Skill level



Basic computer skills


Weekly online classes, feedback and support


Autodesk Maya and animation rigs

Start date

May 6, 2024

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Why study with us

Learn 3D animation from industry pros who have worked on feature films and best-selling games

Whether straight out of high school, changing careers, or upgrading skills, our specialized expert-led animation training programs help you build practical job skills that serve throughout your career.

Industry Mentors

Learn from experts who have worked on major films and games

Flexible Scheduling

Plan your studies around your work and family commitments

Job-Ready Skills

Build practical and relevant job skills that studios are looking for

Payment Plans

Pursue your passion and start working sooner with flexible payments


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

Term 1: 12 weeks

Foundations 1: Essentials of 3D Animation

Starting by learning the basics of 3D animation, then dive head-first into animation software Maya where you'll learn how to create believable animation using the classic principles of animation. You'll put theories into practice, giving you a better understanding of body mechanics and locomotion.

What You'll Learn
  • 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
Course structure

Your pathway to the industry

Get started with the intro course and graduate with the option to continue to term 2 of the foundations course.

Pathway illustration for 3D Animation (Full pathway)

Get direct access to professional 3D animators as your mentors

To be the best, start by learning 3d animation from the best. All 3D animation classes are led by professional animators with years of real world experience working on award-winning animated movies and best-selling video games. 


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

(3 x payments)

$1,750 USD

(3 x payments)

Frequently asked questions

3D Animation Essentials course FAQs

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


Students can sign up for an educational license for Maya.

Autodesk Maya is popular industry software used to help create many animated games, films and TV shows.


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

These online animation classes include a weekly Q&A call with your mentor, so please have your webcam ready.

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

Studying 3D animation can open up a variety of career paths in the film and game industry. 

This short 3D animation course will get started on your journey, but in a competitive industry, continuing your studies with the full 3D animation study pathway ( 3D Animation Foundations and the 3D Animator Specialization) will better prepare you for a job by increasing your confidence in creating 3D animation work, and expand employment opportunities at animation studios.

The advanced course covers more complex techniques for animating 3D models, characters and creatures, and includes an entire term dedicated to career development and portfolio preparation to get you industry-ready. 

Once you've honed your technical skills, some of the junior 3D animator jobs you could pursue after completing the full study pathway include:

You may also wish to learn Unreal Engine to increase your hiring potential as an animator!

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