The Gnomon Workshop

Character Animation: Fundamentals

with Chris Kirshbaum


This is Chris's first lecture in a series on character animation using software: Maya. In this lecture Chris introduces the basics of feature film style character animation. Starting with the bouncing ball and then moving on to using a character rig, Chris gives you a guided tour of the inner workings of software: Maya, covering the interface and how to develop good workflow habits. He discusses the basics of acting and emotion and demonstrates how to setup the always challenging walk cycle, from blocking in and smoothing out the animation to refining it by adding attitude and feeling.

Duration: 170 minutes

Format: SD 1024x768

Chris Kirshbaum

Character Animator

Chris Kirshbaum is an alumnus of CalArts Character Animation, and has a BA in fine arts (drawing) from Arizona State University. He is currently a Character Animator at Dreamworks. Chris's film credits as a character animator include Shark Tale, Flushed Away, Over the Hedge, Kung Fu Panda and Monsters vs. Aliens. In addition to teaching in the Dreamworks internal artistic development and training programs, he currently teaches character animation at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects. When not ensconced in the world of animation, Chris can usually be found either on a football field or behind a drum kit.

  • Chris is very fluent in the art of animation. Whether it is animating very subtle emotions or commandeering an extremely complex scene with multiple characters performing Kung Fu moves, Chris has the talent, patience and perseverance, assuring every scene he animates is of the utmost quality. In addition to his skill set, Chris has the remarkable ability of presenting his knowledge and experience to many others in a clear, concise and constructive forum. He "Can do" and "Can teach". Any student would greatly benefit from the tutelage of Mr. Kirshbaum.

    - Dan Wagner
    Head of Character Animation, Kung Fu Panda