Learning Next Generation Animation at Allan Hancock College

In the earliest days of cartoon movies, hopeful artists had to make their way to Los Angeles studios to learn animation. Now, digital tools let students learn the basics in far more places—including Allan Hancock community college in Santa Maria, which offers an associate degree in the field.


Ken Cope—who worked on Disney’s "Beauty and the Beast" early in his career—teaches students two and three dimension animation at Allan Hancock College. Students start out in 2D, making pencil-drawn balls bounce, for example.  But when they transition to 3D projects, it opens up a world of new tools. Along with 3D animation computer programs, Cope’s students also try out virtual reality in an Oculus virtual reality headset on campus.

“Nowadays, what’s exciting is the extent to which virtual reality is a production tool, not just entertainment, or a fad,” Cope said.  Exploring virtual reality games and programs is fun, Cope said, and it can also give animation students a better sense of the characters and scenes they’re working on.  Read more...

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