Frequently Asked Questions

The Animation Collaborative is a collection of evening workshops held on-site in Emeryville, CA.  We offer workshops in character animation, character design, storyboarding, visual development, and gesture drawing, all led by some of the top artists working in the industry today!

The Animation Collaborative strives to find the best artists and the best instructors.  We are fortunate to have many local artists from Pixar, Industrial Light and Magic, and Tippet Studios as our instructors.  Some of our instructors have also worked at Blue Sky Studios, Sony Pictures Animation, Dreamworks Animation, and Walt Disney Studios, to name a few.  The Animation Collaborative is owned and co-founded by Michal Makarewicz, Directing Animator at Pixar Animation Studios.  Michal also regularly instructs workshops at AnimC, teaching some of our most popular workshops. 

We welcome all skill levels. Our student body includes those currently enrolled in universities and recent grads, as well as working professionals and freelance artists looking to expand on, or further develop, their skillsets.  We offer workshops in many different areas of the animation industry, so animators and designers alike are encouraged to explore our workshop offerings. 

Students must be 18 or older, be able to speak and understand the English language, and have a working knowledge of computers (Windows or Mac). Students are required to supply their own computer hardware and software.  Above all, The Animation Collaborative requires that students have a passion to learn!

We welcome international students! The application process is the same for international students. Please note that because AnimC is not an accredited program, we are unable to offer Visa, housing, or financial assistance to international students.  Our international students typically secure a Visitors’ Visa and find housing through services like Airbnb or Craigslist. Please feel free to email us with questions regarding housing in the area, or questions about neighborhoods and transportation near AnimC. International students are responsible for obtaining a Visa and housing.  AnimC is not responsible for students without valid Visas or who must drop out of a workshop for Visa-related issues.

Regular (Winter, Spring, Fall) sessions run 12 weeks.  Each workshop meets once per week, for 3 hours from 7-10pm. The Summer session runs 8 weeks, and meets once per week, for 3 hours.

Full sessions (Winter, Spring, and Fall) are $1,900.00 USD. This price includes a $250.00 deposit, which is required at the time of application. Shorter Summer sessions are $1,300.00 Tuition may change based on instructor and type of workshop.

We try our best to work our terms around the schedules of local universities in order to best serve our students. Winter term generally runs from late January to mid-April. Spring session picks up in mid-April and runs through mid-July. Summer session will run from late July to mid-September, and Fall session will run mid-September to mid-December. We try to put at least one break week between each term, but it depends on how the university schedules and holidays fall.

Full sessions (Winter, Spring, and Fall) are 12 weeks. Summer sessions run 8 weeks. From time to time, and instructor will elect to hold a workshop for fewer than 12 weeks. In that case, the length of the workshop will be listed on that particular workshop’s detail page. Tuition may also be adjusted.

We aim for our workshops to mirror the professional “dailies” experience. In dailies, artists present their work for director review and critique. Each student at The Animation Collaborative will receive individualized feedback on his or her work and will have the opportunity to present his or her work to fellow students for critique. Some of our Design workshops also include time for hands-on work done within the 3-hour meeting time. Animation assignments must be completed before each meeting. Each instructor will also give weekly lectures.

The Animation Collaborative offers assessment-based instruction. We tailor our instruction to the individual, not the group. Whatever your current skill level may be, we offer individualized instruction to help you achieve your creative goals.

No, our workshops feature structured coursework, assignments, and critique. In addition to the critiques and lectures, instructors may also open your work files so that we can assess your workflow habits and help to correct problems or technical troubles. During the course of the workshop, guest lectures will be brought in to cover various animation topics or areas of the pipeline.

No. Each instructor has a unique perspective and a different background, so all instructor teaching styles differ to some extent. The Animation Collaborative takes pride in the fact that our instructors are not tied to one rigid structure. Assignments may also be tailored to individual students in order to help them solve particular issues.

Yes! We offer many beginning-level workshops. We think it is VERY important that students learn good habits and build a strong foundation from the very beginning of their education. Animation Demo & Lecture is an excellent workshop for students of all experience levels. The workshop starts with the basic bouncing ball and teaches a solid foundation in animation and Maya.

Students are welcome to show any work they want to show, but it is generally not recommended to have multiple instructors giving notes on a particular piece. Students can quickly get overwhelmed if given contradictory feedback. Many of our instructors will guide students through a piece from beginning to end to maintain a consistent workflow and critique. Please talk to your instructor if you prefer to work on specific pieces during the workshop as they may have a curriculum in mind.

At The Animation Collaborative, all of our workshops are conducted live and in person. We do not record any workshop material. We do offer a Lecture Library of past Guest Lectures. These lectures are available only at The Animation Collaborative and only to current and past students. We do not offer these lectures for sale or online.

Most of our workshops are limited to 8-10 students to ensure that each student receives ample time for individualized feedback. Some of our workshops do not have assignments or critiques and are therefore able to accommodate larger groups.

Yes! If a workshop fills up during the registration period, we will begin a wait list. If enough people end up on the wait list, we will do our best to secure a second instructor and open an additional section of the workshop. If a second section is opened, we cannot allow students to switch between them as it becomes difficult to register new applicants. Wait Lists do not carry over between terms.

The workshops being offered can change from session to session based on student interest and instructor availability. We do our best to offer Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Animation each term. Additional animation workshops can be made available depending upon interest. We also try to offer Character Design I and II each term.

No recording of any kind is allowed in order to respect our instructors’ rights. However, most instructors will draw over your work, and we will make those draw overs available to you. You are able to take home your notes that night.

We understand that life happens! Many of our students are professionals and sometimes cannot attend do to work commitments. It is the student’s responsibility to get in touch with his or her instructor. If the instructor has time, he or she may be able to critique your work and catch you up on what you missed. In some cases, they will request that a student come early the following week to catch up.

We recommend bringing a notebook or sketchbook, and some writing/drawing utensils. Design workshops may require separate supply lists, which will be made available to you when you register. It is recommended that you bring a small USB flash drive or external hard drive for uploading assignments and collecting draw overs at the end of the evening.

For animation workshops, students are required to obtain a student license for Autodesk Maya. Design students frequently use Adobe Photoshop.

We do not currently have our own rigs. However, through a partnership with AnimSchool, we are able to offer selected AnimSchool rigs to our animation students. Beginning and Intermediate students will receive access to beginning/intermediate rigs, and Acting and Advanced students will receive access to advanced rigs. Rigs will not be provided to Animation Demo & Lecture students. Rig access is limited to students currently enrolled at AnimC. After the completion of a workshop, students will retain copies of the rigs to which they had access during their workshop. However, students will not have access to any rigs that become available in the future. Please see our Policies for more information.

Each workshop is limited to 8-10 students, unless otherwise stated. The Animation Collaborative offers up to 12 workshops each term, covering a variety of topics within the animation pipeline – storyboarding, character design, visual development, and animation, among other topics.

The Animation Collaborative is not an accredited program. As such, we cannot at this time accept student loans or offer assistance with Visas for international students. We can offer a Letter of Participation upon completion of a workshop if a student requests one.

The Animation Collaborative cannot offer financial aid at this time. All tuition payments must be made in full via credit card, check, or cash prior to the start date of the workshop. Payment plans can be made available upon request.