Online Spring 2024 Session

March 25th, 2024

April 8th, 2024

ANIMATION: Flight School 

David Torres

Animator, Pixar Animation Studios

Length of Workshop: 10 weeks. Once a week.
Days: Wednesdays starting September 27th, 2023
Time: 7pm – 10pm pacific time
Tuition: $1,600 (Includes a $200 non-refundable registration fee)
Prerequisite: A link to your demo reel is required with your registration.


Flight School is for students at an advanced level of skill. This workshop focuses solely on flight dynamics of animated creatures.

This Workshop will show various ways to approach flight for animation and how to understand and achieve successful flight performances. Tips and Tricks, approaches and theories will also be discussed during the blocking, in-progress, and final animation stages. Each week there are Mini-lectures that will cover all aspects of flight and animation along with the weekly critique.

Rig and Picker: A fully loaded dragon rig and picker will be provided for this class.

Flight School is to build a solid understanding of Flight dynamics and physics. Techniques, theories, ideas all culminate in this class to prepare you for a job creating memorable performances


  • Week 1
    • Understanding Flight: Lift & Drag and how it works. Learn about how loft and  aerodynamics work and how they are applied to animation.
    • Go over how different animals fly and how they can be applied to Animation
    • Understanding Loft and how to shape the Wing to create “Air Foil”
    • Understand the phases of a wing flap
    • Understanding how to setup a rig for a successful flight
    • Assignment: Wing Flaps
  • Week 2
    • Glide and wind turbulence
    • Understanding Turning in flight (Banking)
  • Week 3
    • Adding Head, legs and tail motion how to create a sense of weight
  • Week 4
    • Animating a Take Off
  • Week 5
    • Animating a Landing
  • Week 6
    • Weight exercise in which a flying creature has to pick up something and fly a way
  • Week 7
    • Animate a Bird or Dragon
  • Week 8
    • Flying obstacle course
  • Week 9 and 10
    • Student’s Choice


We recommend that students take Advanced Body Mechanics before taking Flight School.

A link to your demo reel is required with your registration.

 *Flight School is limited to 8 students to allow for maximum individualized focus. We encourage a comfortable, collaborative environment so that students can learn from their own assignments, the critiques of others’, instructor demos, lectures, and guest speakers.