Wednesday, 9 April 2014

How Animation Apprentice Works

Salman Khan - founder of the Khan Academy. Photo: Wikipedia
Here at Animation Apprentice we believe in the power of online training - and in the idea of "flipping the classroom", a philosophy of teaching pioneered by Sal Khan's Khan Academy. Khan's big idea is that physical classrooms are obsolete. Why take notes on a lecture during class and then do the homework later, when you watch the lectures in advance, online, and then use precious classroom time for workshops and feedback? Best of all, each student gets to learn at their own pace, so no-one gets bored or, worse, falls behind and can't keep up.

We don't have physical classrooms at Animation Apprentice, but we have something instead that we think is much, much better. We offer a weekly personal feedback tutorial, recorded as a video, which gives you a step by step guide to what you did right, what you did wrong - and how to do it better next time. How often in a traditional classroom will you get 20 minutes or more of a teacher's time devoted exclusively to showing you how to fix your work? It's a system that we think works far better than the traditional classroom model.

Out of date? We think so. Photo: Wikipedia
So what is the best way to use our videos? Lots of our students have day jobs, so each week we expect you to do around 8-12 hours work, depending on how ambitious you are. We understand that real life can and does get in the way, so our course is very flexible.

It will take you around 2 hours to watch the videos, and then at around 6-10 hours to do the exercise. Each exercise has multiple layers of complexity so you can tackle as much as you have time for. The more time you can commit, the better your work will be.

An excellent workstation. Two screens, one to play the videos and one to do the exercise.

The ideal way to learn is to use two screens at once, and do the exercise as you go along. On the left hand screen you watch the videos, on the right hand screen - you do the exercises. Follow the videos carefully step by step, click by click - and you won't go wrong.

Our Facebook classroom is a virtual learning environment

Once you are happy with your animation, you make a Quick Time of your animation, upload it to your YouTube account, and then embed it at the Facebook classroom, for review by your fellow Apprentices. Everyone pitches in - peer to peer review is strongly encouraged. After all, learning to give and take critique and criticism is part of becoming a professional digital artist. And we'll send you your bespoke video feedback, so you can go back in to your shot and fix what you've done, to perfect it and make it demo-reel ready.

To see how our feedback system works, watch this video here.  In reality our feedback videos are much higher resolution than this one, but it gives you an idea of how the system works.


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