Dragon Animation Masterclass - *No Rig

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  • Mentor: Jonathan Symmonds
  • Skill level: Intermediate
  • Course time: 12 Weeks
  • Software: Autodesk Maya
  • Project files: Included - No Rig
  • Course Cost: $699 USD
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Course overview
Have you ever wanted to learn how to animate a Dragon? This 12 week course course will take you through all the fundamentals you need to know to accomplish the infamous challenge of animating a dragon in all it's glory. The only one of it's kind online!

In this shortened version of the Masterclass course, you will learn how to animate a dragon flight cycle, dragon walk cycle. build animation assets to use later on. You will also learn how to land the dragon and animate a roar! At the end of the course you will learn how to animate the Dragon taking off.

This course, even though the Dragon rig is NOT included, still includes the cached animation files to enable you to reference in real-time while you work.

This course will skip over the introduction to the rig as there is no need to discuss the rig if you have purchased this version of the course and you are using your own dragon rig from another source. We recommend Truong's Dragon Rig which is nearly identical to ours but lacks a lot of the rig features. CLICK HERE to get the rig.

Jonathan Symmonds, your instructor, former lead animator of the Game of Thrones and House of Dragons, will teach you all the tips and tricks you need to know. Join now!

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Dragon Animation Masterclass

About this 12 week course

One of the hardest characters to animate is a dragon! Why? Because there is hardly any reference of dragons and knowing how to get the timing correct on such a magnificent creature is a real skill. That being said, Jonathan Symmonds has over 9 years experience animating dragons, so who better to teach you than the man himself.

He will take you on a 12 week course where you will learn how to set up the scene for animating, build the environment and set up the cameras and lighting. Once animation begins, you will learn different flight cycle setups, from climbs, to glides, to turns and then you will put this into practice on a path.

Once the animation path is working it will be time to land the dragon. You will learn all about the weight of the dragon and how to slow it down before settling on the ground. Next you will be animating a dragon roar! This is so cool!

From the dragon roar it will be time to do a walk cycle and build your asset library for the final stages and take-off. The last part of the course will be the take-off and final output for your demo-reels!

Welcome to the course!

Course Information

  • Course Duration: 12 Weeks
  • This course can be taken at any time
  • Category: Animation
  • 699 USD
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Software required: Autodesk Maya 2019+
  • Instructor: Jonathan Symmonds

What will I learn?

  • Introduction to the rig and how a dragon moves
  • Understand the fundamentals of flight
  • Create your own set of flight cycles and build up your library
  • Learn how to animate a character on a path and landing
  • A much better understanding of weight and timing
  • Landing a dragon and moving into a roar
  • Behavioral shifts in creatures during action
  • Asset library build and layered animation design
  • Learn how to take-off an extremely heavy creature
  • Camera switching and scripting cameras
  • Basic lighting setups for final look with Light Rig
  • Playblasting techniques and fine-tuning animation
  • Learn how to animation a Dragon Walk Cycle
  • Learn how to animate and cut an in-scene camera
Don't hesitate

Learn from the Game of Thrones Lead Animator!

Flight Cycle & Walk Cycle cache Included!

The cached files from your instructor are included to help reference when animating

Course Lessons

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?

For this course unfortunately no you don't. A lot of students have asked us if they can do our course and use another rig, while we would recommend you actually use our rig, it is important to listen to the students. You can find other dragon rigs online and join this course using that 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 for those that cannot afford to buy the course with the Sophoria Dragon Rig included. You can still use another dragon rig like that from Truong (which was originally based on our Dragon when we worked together building his Dragon). It is nearly identical in dimensions, however the rig itself is not as advanced as ours.

By using his rig, you can join our course and still gain the necessary skills.
To purchase Truongs Rig, follow this link >>> Truong Dragon Rig <<<

How can i follow the course without a dragon rig?

You can use any dragon rig you want. This is why we have split the course.

You can still use another dragon rig like that from Truong (which was originally based on our Dragon when we worked together building his Dragon). It is nearly identical in dimensions, however the rig itself is not as advanced as ours.

By using his rig, you can join our course and still gain the necessary skills.
To purchase Truongs Rig, follow this link >>> Truong Dragon Rig <<<

Bundles - Get a deal!

  • Age: 39
  • Speciality: Animation
  • Experience: 20+ years
"Surround yourselves only with the best. The better they are, the better you will become!"

Meet your instructor

Jonathan Symmonds

Jonathan Symmonds has worked for over 18 years as a senior animator having worked on titles such as James Cameron's "Avatar," "Prince of Persia," "Dark Tide," "Knerten," "Trollhunter," to name but a few. He is more famously recognized as the 'Lead Animator' on the "Game of Thrones" and most recently "House of Dragons."

He has extensive knowledge of creature animation and is one of the co-founders of Sophoria Academy. He was nominated 3 times for a VES Society Award and has even done his own TED Talk.

Join him as he takes you through this fantastic course and learn some insider knowledge from one of the greatest animators around!

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Project Files

Our courses have all the working files set up and in an easy to understand format. Your instructor has prepared everything for you already!

Mentorship opportunities

Some of our courses offer mentorship features. Be sure to get a course with mentorship so you can have direct feedback from your instructors.

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  • Dragon Rig Included
  • Cached animations
  • 12 weeks of videos
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