3D Animation for Game Design

Create the exciting graphics, detailed characters, and lifelike animations necessary to bring your gaming vision to life.

Every gamer knows that exciting graphics, detailed characters, and seamless animations are essential to creating a realistic and engaging experience. With Autodesk Maya, learn the tools and technical skills necessary to bring your ideas to life—in the gaming industry, film and commercial animation fields, or technical 3D modeling. Start with classic animation exercises, such as the bouncing ball, to practice core skills like arcs, squash + stretch, and adding secondary action. From there, design an eye-catching character and a walking animation cycle and you’ll be ready to manipulate a 3D model to create the illusion of life through expressive posing and realistic motion simulation. Working as part of a creative team, develop a game concept and then craft your hero from initial concept to a fully-developed, expressive character. As you craft a final character sequence, you’ll hone your creative process and cultivate a foundation on which to further explore the field of animation.

Who Should Take This Course?

You could run for hours through a computer-generated, open-world landscape; your favorite adventures are of the 2D or 3D variety. This course is ideal for students with a passion for video games, an interest in animation and visual arts, and a desire to apply professional animation and storytelling techniques to their ideas. Previous animation experience is not a requirement for this course.

Advisors + Past Speakers

  • Jonathan London, Director, Producer + Founder of Geekscape
  • Craig Derrick, Managing Producer, Lucasfilm
  • Lawrence Xia, Software Engineer, Riot Games
  • Blue Sky Studios, Animation Film Studio

Plan your summer


Course Highlights

  • Industry Software

    Autodesk Maya is the professional 3D software used to create massive AAA titles, TV spots, major motion-picture film sequences, and technical 3D models in medical imaging and 3D prototyping. Use Maya to give texture and color to 3D objects, sequence frames, and perfect your 3D modeling in any industry.

  • Twelve Principles of Animation

    Developed by animators at the Walt Disney Company, these guiding principles offer animators a baseline for conceptualizing and creating realistic characters, believable movement, and effective animation. Analyze how these principles are used to craft realistic movement and discuss with professional animators how they incorporate the principles.

  • Rigging Characters

    Practice manipulating character movement, designing expressive facial animations, and breaking limbs into moveable components through character rigging to make your characters appear lifelike and believable in motion.

  • Critique + Feedback

    Meet with the creative team of an upcoming game headed to market. Preview, play, and critique the game design and share concepts with peers and industry professionals.

People were constantly giving me feedback, telling me if I needed to change something or giving me praise for things they liked. I don’t get that at home so for me that was a huge confidence booster.

Advisors + Past Speakers

Jonathan London

Director, Producer + Founder of Geekscape

Jonathan London is the owner and host of the podcast and news network Geekscape, a multimedia entertainment platform. London offers reviews and analysis in the realms of gaming, television and film. A writer and director of both short films and music videos, London graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and the Film School at Columbia University.

Craig Derrick

Managing Producer, Lucasfilm

Craig Derrick is an award-winning game industry executive who has spent more than two decades designing and developing some of the most popular video games on the market. He currently serves as a Managing Producer at Lucasfilm, the studio responsible for the Star Wars franchise. Prior to working at Lucasfilm, Derrick was the Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of Fifth Journey, a company with unparalleled gaming success in China. Derrick has written articles for the magazine Game Developer and has been a speaker at Game Developers Conference and San Diego Comic-Con.

Lawrence Xia

Software Engineer, Riot Games

Lawrence Xia is a Software Engineer at Riot Games in Los Angeles, a company with a goal to transform video games and how they’re played. Riot Games released the hugely popular League of Legends in 2009, which went on to become the most popular PC-based game in the world.