Lab details

The walking, running, physical motion, acting performance of an animated character – everything must be creatively decided on and tested before shot animation can begin. In collaboration with an animation director, selected animators will animate a series of exercises during a development phase to arrive at a consistent performance, style and quality before the production can start. Even an experienced animation director has to follow the story direction to portray the characters accordingly. Such development experience is very creative and ensures that the animation team understands the character’s psychology and style and, therefore, is able to deliver a truthful and consistent portrayal throughout the entire story.

The lab experience will be based on a character profile (a story) and a character rig Mark Oftedal (PIXAR, Warner Bros., Google) brings to the lab and you will work with Mark to develop the style and attitude of the character via the means of a series of animation lectures / exercises / animation sequence / shots.

Interestingly, the story will be directed in the same way Mark directs his Google Spotlights Stories short films for mobile VR. We encourage animators to consider taking the Animate for VR with Keith Lango (VALVE) a week before this Lab II. if they wish to get into VR more seriously, get their hands wet with VR pipeline and later working with Mark as well.

The lab is open for any techniques, styles and projects. If animators choose to animate in 2D and / or bring their own rig to the lab, it is also possible.

NOTE: LAB means that participants bring their own materials (projects, rigs etc.) to work with.


Develop and animate cartoon characteristics of a unique animated character and experience a series of lectures / exercises / animation process on how-to capture believable psychology in your cartoon character in animation. Make creative choices based on the character profile and craft a series of animation exercises simulating an intensive character development process.

Use the character development results to present your cartoon directing and animation skills to the world. If you bring your own character to the lab, which is part of a real project, use the results in a pitch or as an animation production guide / direction.

2D animators will be asked to install their own animation program on our machines.


An outline of the lectures and exercises will be announced.


This intensive character animation lab for 2D and 3D animators and animation directors.



Character animation basics training in Maya.

In order to be eligible for the lab, you need to submit your character profile. The profile won’t be used to evaluate your skills, but it is necessary to have one ready for the course.

  • Duration
    31.7.-11.8. 2017 (10 days).
  • Mentor
    Mark Oftedal
  • Skill level
    at least junior and intermediate experience
  • Price
    790 EUR / 21  240 CZK

    Price includes VAT. In case of EUR/CZK exchange rate should change, the fee in EUR is derived from CZK currency.


More info


Mark Oftedal

After 7 years at Pixar, Mark decided it was time for a change of scenery and traveled to Thailand to co-direct a hand drawn award-winning short film called “The Pumpkin of Nyefar”. At around the same time he co-founded the 3D software service provider DigitalFish Inc. DigitalFish’s clients include Dreamworks Animation, Google, and NASA. Since 2009 Mark has worked on character concepts for feature film clients such as Pixar, Sony Animation, and Warner Brothers Animation.

Mark recently worked with Oscar-winning director Jan Pinkava on his short “Windy Day”, and directed the follow-up “Buggy Night” for Google.

Join the Lab

Our partners