A 3D fish underwater

Character Animation Essentials

Seeing your own characters come to life through animation is a magical experience.

This class will teach you the essential 3D character rigging and animation skills you need to get started.

Watch the trailer.
  • Class duration: 3h 59m
  • Number of lessons: 34
  • Software used: Blender
  • Prerequisites: Basic Blender Skills
  • Self paced learning

"Fantastic course. Highly recommended. Love that the character isn't a human, love the part with the NLA and the graph editor.
Thank you very much."

Gregory Forster

(Student Feedback - Into the Ocean: Character Animation Essentials)

About the class.

In this class I shall first demonstrate how to build a 3D character rig in Blender. This rig contains all the controls which are essential to be able to successfully animate your character.

Once the rig is complete, we will go on to analyse how a fish swims, using that information to help create a simple looping animation cycle.

Finally, I will show you how to make use of that cycle as an element within a longer animation which will truly bring your character to life.

Whilst this class builds upon the previous classes in the series, it also functions as a standalone class. If you’d simply like to learn about character rigging or character animation, you are free to follow along using the provided models as a starting point.

If, however, you have already taken the earlier classes in the series, you will be able to apply everything that I demonstrate to bring your own character model to life.

By the end of this class, you will have all the skills necessary to both rig and animate simple characters of your own, giving you everything required to start bringing your characters to life.

"The attention to detail is phenomenal and the instructions couldn't be any clearer plus the explanations on every move why it's done really helps you understand the inner workings of the software.
Learnt a lot in this class!"

Avrumi Berko

(Student Feedback - Into the Ocean: Character Animation Essentials)

What you will learn.

By the end of this class, you will have learnt:

  • How to create a simple armature and control its influence using weight painting.
  • How to analyse reference footage for animation.
  • How to create a perfectly looping animation cycle.
  • How to use the Non-Linear Animation editor to manipulate animation.
  • How to control animation along a path.
  • How to break up a cycle to make it believable.
  • How to render your final animation.
Behind the scenes of 3D animation

Good to know.

Blender logo

This is a beginner level class using the free 3D software application Blender.

No prior character rigging or character animation experience is required but a familiarity of Blender’s interface would be very helpful.

If you are new to Blender, I would recommend starting out with my Blender Essentials for Animators class, which will provide a solid foundation to build on.

If you would like to rig and animate a character based upon your own design, consider taking my Character Design Essentials and Character Modelling Essentials classes first.

The Blender software application can be downloaded for free from: blender.org

Ready to get started?

  • 4 hours of lessons
  • All project files included
  • Instant streaming access
  • One-time payment - Lifetime access
+ tax
Profile picture of John Knowles

Your instructor.

Hi, I'm John!

Before building Into Animation I worked as an animator and animation director in children's television for over 15 years.

I love animation and my goal is to give you the best start possible in this exciting and rewarding craft.

Meet your instructor