An Inside Look: Teaching Digital Animation Techniques Online

Digital Animation Techniques: Ink, Paint & Composite

Digital Animation Techniques: Ink, Paint & Composite focuses on identifying and understanding cinematography choices in hand-drawn animation. Typically the course is taught in person; students learn how to clean-up, paint and render their own animation with effects and techniques studied in films watched and discussed as part of the course. For such a hands-on class, the transition to fully online during the COVID-19 pandemic was a challenge.

“I’ve created a pretty thorough online experience via Canvas (LMS)”, says Associate Professor Ron Fleischer, “Normally I encourage students to play along, following me step-by-step and offering individual help to anyone that gets stuck in class. This would be nearly impossible to do when teaching virtually, so I needed to come up with a strategy that would augment my students’ studies.”

Ron’s solution? He essentially teaches each class twice – the first time creating a video tutorial of the entire lesson (broken down into 10-minute clips) and the second time live to the class via ZOOM. “Students can go through the video tutorials working at their own pace and pausing the video whenever they need to. If they don’t understand something they can jump back in the video and watch it again. And if they get stuck they can always message or email me.”