Learn how to animate a dragon with the Dragon Animation Masterclass – a 12-week course that will take you through all the fundamentals needed to accomplish the infamous challenge of animating a dragon in all its glory. This is the only course of its kind online, featuring our awesome Dragon Rig that you won’t find anywhere else.
In this comprehensive course, you’ll learn how to animate a dragon flight cycle and dragon walk cycle, and build a dragon animation library with assets to use later on. You’ll also learn how to attach the dragon animation to a motion path for flying, turning, landing, and roaring. Plus, you’ll learn how to animate the Dragon taking off!
Your instructor, Jonathan Symmonds, former lead animator of the Game of Thrones and House of Dragons, has created animation presets and cached dragon animation files for you to reference in real-time while you work. You’ll start with an in-depth introduction to the character and the rig before diving into the animation.
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from the best. Join now and create the most amazing dragon animation!
About the Dragon Animation Course
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to animate a dragon, then you’re in luck! This 12-week course is led by Jonathan Symmonds, an expert animator with over 8 years of experience in animating these magnificent creatures. You’ll learn everything you need to know, from setting up the scene and environment to building your dragon animation library and creating an epic dragon take-off for your demo-reels.
The course begins with an in-depth introduction to the dragon rig, followed by a detailed look at how to set up the scene for animating. You’ll dive deep into the rig and learn how to use it properly. Then, you’ll move on to animation, starting with flight cycle setups, from climbs to glides and turns. Next, you’ll learn how to land the dragon, including how to slow it down before settling on the ground.
One of the coolest parts of the course is learning how to animate a dragon’s roar! You’ll also learn how to create a walk cycle and build your asset library for the final stages of the take-off. The course ends with creating the final output for your demo-reels.
Animating a dragon is no easy feat, but with Jonathan Symmonds as your instructor, you’ll be learning from the best. Sign up now and take your animation skills to new heights!
What will i learn?
- Introduction to the rig and how a dragon moves
- Understanding the fundamentals of flight
- Creating your own set of flight cycles and building up your library
- Learning how to animate a character on a path and landing
- Developing a better understanding of weight and timing
- Landing a dragon and moving into a roar
- Understanding behavioral shifts in creatures during action
- Building an asset library and creating layered animation design
- Learning how to take-off an extremely heavy creature
- Switching cameras and scripting cameras
- Setting up basic lighting for the final look with Light Rig
- Implementing playblasting techniques and fine-tuning animation
- Learning how to animate a Dragon Walk Cycle
- Animating and cutting an in-scene camera
Flight Cycles & Walk Cycles Included!
Including the cached files from your instructor to help when animating
12 Week Course Breakdown
Introduction to the course. We will begin by looking into the rig and setting up the scene for animation along with some reference.
This week we will be creating different sets of cycles, from glides to climbs to turns and saving them into our library for use later.
In this week we will start to build our scene and environment while using our assets we created in the previous courses and applying them to the dragon on a path.
In this week we will be bringing the dragon into final approach to land and build the landing animation.
Now that we have approached to land, it is time to hit the runway! Let’s fine tune this section and start to prepare the dragon for the roar!
It is time now to take a small break and work on some asset building. Assets are small bits of animations that you can add later to the character to make it look really nice.
Using our assets we created we will now implement them in the landing and roar. Building the momentum for the roar is very important so make sure to pay attention to this lesson!
In this week you will learn how to animate a Dragon Walk Cycle. The course is extremely detailed and you even get your own GPU cached dragon from Jonathan to reference from.
This is where the course gets really cool! Behavior study. Jonathan will take you through different setups and techniques to improve and add subtle behavior changes to your dragon. Enjoy!
It is now time to take off. This 3 week section will be full of challenges. In this week you will be setting up the scene in preparation for take-off.
This week, you will continue to develop and block out the take-off animation.
In this final week, you will be finishing up the take-off animation with Jonathan and you will be preparing for final playblasting. Be sure to add in some of your really cool assets to the dragon that you did in Week 06.
Discover our unique Dragon Picker!
Kindly sponsored by MGLAND for Sophoria Academy Students
Choose your own Dragon Textures
Meet your Instructor
> Age: 39
> Speciality: Animation
> Experience: 20+years
“Surround yourselves only with the best. The better they are, the better you will become!”
Jonathan Symmonds, co-founder of Sophoria Academy, is a highly respected senior animator with over 18 years of experience in the industry. He has worked on a variety of notable titles, including “Avatar,” “Prince of Persia,” “Dark Tide,” “Knerten,” and “Trollhunter,” as well as being the lead animator for “Game of Thrones” and “House of Dragons.” With extensive knowledge in creature animation, Jonathan has been nominated 3 times for a VES Society Award and has delivered a TED Talk.
Join Jonathan in this fantastic course and gain insider knowledge from one of the greatest animators in the industry!
Frequently asked questions
Is this a Mentored Course & do i Get any Feedback?
This question has been asked numerous times. While the course is pre-recorded there is the possibility of submitting your work to the Mentor for reviews at any time, FREE of charge! We don’t expect you to just enroll in the course and off you go. The instructor, Jonathan is available to give you recorded reviews on your work as you progress through the course.
In order to submit your work for review, simply upload it to Dropbox or Syncsketch and Jonathan will review it and provide feedback on the animation progress.
Do i need to be an advanced animator to start?
No. This course is designed to accommodate all artists, from beginners to advanced. Your instructor mentions areas in the course that can be skipped over if you are familiar with certain parts of the animation process, so the more advanced animators can move forward while giving the beginner animators time to catch up.
Do i get access to the Dragon Rig?
Is there a payment plan available?
At the moment, unfortunately there is not a payment plan. We get asked this a lot! We are aware that a lot of students cannot afford to pay the full amount up front and as we would love to offer the course on a payment plan. We have split the course up if you would like to use another rig and just learn from Jonathan Symmonds.
If you would like to just do the course with your own rig, please look at the courses and choose the one that says *no rig!
Why choose us?
Benefits of studying with Sophoria Academy
With our online VFX courses, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills you need to become a successful VFX artist at a price that’s accessible to all. Join us now and take the first step towards your dream career.
Buy the Course and Dragon Rig separately
This can help if you want to do the course and use your own rig
Dragon Animation Masterclass (No Rig)
Follow the course with your own Dragon Rig
Buy our awesome Dragon Rig
If you just want to buy the Dragon rig, here it is!
Get the Quadruped Bundle!
Why not save money and get an amazing deal on the quadruped walk and run cycles!
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