Animation Training Programs

California Studios

The Walt Disney Feature Animation Training Programs are an in-depth work experience in traditional and CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) animation, including instructional activities, tutorial classes (lectures and film screenings), studio assignments, and production experience. These concentrated programs are designed to give the Trainees a highly developed, first-hand insight into the animation process.

Trainees accepted into the program participate in a three-phase training program tailored to their specific discipline. Upon entering the program, the trainee is placed under contact with the Studios.

I. Phase One:

This concentrated program gives a complete overview and introduces artists to the entire Disney Animation process. The program includes the following:

A. Tutorial

1. Classes--Trainees attend scheduled discussions on topics pertaining to the basic principles of animation art, production techniques, and studio processes.

2. Lectures--Trainees attend scheduled presentations as they relate to specific animation procedures, history of animation, and contemporary motion-picture advances.

3. Screenings--Trainees attend weekly screenings of animation and live-action classics, including discussions and historical overviews structured to make them aware of the problem solving necessary to achieve successful results in narrative and cinematic style, continuity, and performance.

B. Studio Assignments

At Walt Disney Feature Animation, the artist's greatest tool is his/her ability to draw well.

1. Drawing Skills--Great emphasis is placed to developing the Trainees' fundamental ability to draw for animated film through observational studies, action analysis, and traditional figure-drawing techniques.

2. Drawing Techniques for Animation Production--Assignments develop the Trainees' skills in order to draw characters consistent with model sheets, and develop line quality in clean-up from rough animation drawings.

3. Individual Animation Assignments--Basic principles of animation are applied, using studio facilities, in order to see how Trainees can creatively develop their own short segment of animation (the pencil-test concept). Assignments are based on the following progressive steps, each of which must be approved by supervising production personnel: proposal, thumbnails, storyboard, key pose and rough inbetweens, and key clean-up. Background/layout assignments will vary but will also develop similarly in progressive phases.

C. Production Experience in Other Animation Areas

To understand the overall Animation Production process as a blend of talent and teamwork, trainees are exposed to each phase of the artistic and technical procedure necessary for animation, under the supervision of production personnel.

II. Phase Two:

This portion of training continues with the Trainees concentrating on their specific discipline. Curriculum includes specialized exercises, lectures, clinics, and research.

III. Phase Three:

Prior to entering this final phase of training, Trainees are evaluated to determine whether they will continue. If evaluated successfully, Trainees begin work on production-specific exercises under the guidance of a senior artist in their discipline who acts as the mentor.

CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) Training Program

Training positions are available to individuals who have Computer Graphics education but lack practical experience in Feature Animation applications. Requirements include a degree in Engineering, Computer Science, Art, Traditional Animation, or related experience. Knowledge of animation principles, lighting, rendering, and use of CGI hardware and software is desired.

The CGI Training Program begins with the first phase of the Traditional Animation Training Program. Phase two then follow, focusing on areas such as basic CGI information and specific Disney CGI production techniques. Basic CGI information addresses fundamental computer graphics and computer animation concepts, as well as the history of this field. Disney CGI production procedures are also covered, and a production-type final project utilizes all these skills and concepts. Upon successful evaluation of the second phase, Trainees would them continue into their third phase, during which they are placed onto a production working on specific exercises under the supervision of a senior artist who will act as their mentor.

Portfolio Requirement and Guidelines

A. General Requirements

B. Guidelines

1. Traditional Portfolio:

2. Animation Services Portfolio:

3. CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) Portfolio:

4. Things They Prefer Not to See:

Animator Portfolio:

Assistant Animator Portfolio:

Effects Portfolio:

Inbetween Positions:

Layout Portfolio:

Background Portfolio:

Story Sketch Portfolio:

Visual Development Portfolio:

Computer Graphics Imagery (CGI) Portfolio:

Artistic Review Board

We are interested in you and would like to have the opportunity to see your work! In order to do that, you should submit a portfolio to our Artistic Review Board that demonstrates your ability to fill a position with us. Our Review Board, a committee of inviduals gathered from our artistic staff, evaluate and make recommendations based on the work they see. From their conclusions, we are able to determine how your knowledge, skills and experience might apply to Feature Animation.

We accept portfolio submissions through the mail only and will return your portfolio once it has been reviewed. Please don't ship COD or over-estimate the value of your portfolio contents, because your work could get delayed in Customs or incur a lot of additional fees. Also, we cannot be responsible for loss or damage to submitted work.

Portfolios send to California should be mailed to:

Walt Disney Feature Animation
CGI Training Program, Artist Recruitment
500 S. Buena Vista St.
Burbank, CA 91521-4866

Telephone: 818-544-5452

Generally, our Review Board meets every other Wednesday. On occasion, however, the Board does not meet or we may hold your portfolio for additional viewings. If that happens, we'll be sure to notify you of the delay. Once your portfolio has been through the process, we'll get back to you with the Board's evaluation.

All information from Walt Disney Feature Animation.