5 minutes after hitting play on my critique....
...in the 2nd class at the best animation school in the world - I was CRUSHED, overwhelmed, and ready to give up on my dream.
Each word during my critique, sounded like Russian mixed with calculus.
Each note of feedback stung like an icy wind cutting straight to the bone.
Just DULL SHARP PAIN.
Nothing my instructor was telling me made any sense. I was clueless how to proceed with improvements to my shot. And answers to my questions during class felt rushed, generic, or unclear.
Even though I was working really hard...this went on week after week.
And I was learning so poorly in this class that my skills were actually regressing. I started messing up basic principles in animating that seemed so easy before.
The worst part was, there were 3 more months to go in this class alone and only 4 more classes until the entire animation program was all over.
It felt like my dream job was completely out of reach.
My thoughts just spiraled:
And the swirling thoughts really spun out of control when I stopped to look at what all the other students in other classes were doing:
“Why are they doing so awesome?! Maybe I’m just not talented enough to be an animator...Maybe this isn’t for me...”
Although, oddly enough, there was a silver lining to comparing my progress to everyone else's.
One day it just hit me.
As I watched critiques from a few other instructors to their students, I noticed 2 key things:
This gave me just an ounce of hope, that maybe if I grit my teeth and hold out for one more class it will all be OK. The idea that, maybe, in the next class, I’d finally have the right mentor and that would make all the difference for me too.
As it turns out - it did make all the difference.
Well, not just the right mentor in the next class, but the next 2 in a row.
These 2 instructors picked me up off the floor, pinpointed my weaknesses, and encouraged my strengths. If they didn’t, in this critical moment, I definitely wouldn’t be an animator today.
I had completely failed the class before them and it didn’t matter. In the 6 months under their guidance I completely transformed my skill set, restored my obsession with the art, and the shots I made ultimately got me hired.
The right guidance even for only these few classes more than made up for any downside throughout the entire school program.
This is about taking responsibility, as it's not your fault that you’ve had the wrong guidance before, but it is up to you to do something about it moving forward - you’re dreams depend on it.
These next 2 truths, most students never see coming and they are crippling.
This one certainly took me by surprise.
I thought if I was learning at the best school and from current working professionals - all of them would be amazing teachers.
But even the best schools are plagued by bad instructors.
Some teachers knock you completely off tempo
Don’t get me wrong though, there are a lot of great instructors that are also professionals but it’s all too often hit or miss.
Why does this happen?
These might sound extreme, but if you’ve taken a class before you’ve probably experienced at least one of these. And when you're spending $1,000’s of dollars per class these issues should be a rarity.
Imagine if John Lasseter, Glen Keane, Richard Williams, and Brad Bird each offered to teach you animation every week for 2 hours.
Yes, the CEO of Pixar, The animator of Tarzan, The director of Roger Rabbit, and The Director of Incredibes - all sitting down to just teach you -nobody else.
"Every animation struggle I have would disappear!"
You're probably thinking: “AH man, sign me up!” right?!
But there's one major catch:
"Why cant the pros teach me everything!"
Now wouldn’t that be a HUGE bummer...
You’d probably be hoping to learn about all those different subjects that they are masters in - wouldn’t you?
I know I would.
This is an oversimplified example but this is basically what happens with virtually every animation school - even the best ones.
Every school teaches you the mechanics and acting. How much they teach and how well they teach it of course depends on the school but they all barely scratch the surface of story, planning, workflow and other critical aspects of being an animator.
Sure, the school might have some saved lecture videos or short demos here and there, but as a whole they have a rigid course structure that doesn’t allow time for developing other key skills.
This kind of focus can be all that some students need to succeed. Yet, many students fail to learn essentials like:
These essentials skills aside, even if you do have a specific problem with mechanics or acting, your instructor may not have the time to focus on helping you through it because of the way the course is planned out
Most of the students who face these hurdles never make it over them. They stumble through from one class or job to the next letting the problems compound - making their success far more challenging.
Stumbling to the finish takes a while...
It’s true you're not supposed to be perfect out of school but you should at least be ‘good enough’ to get hired - and many aren’t.
Again this isn’t about casting blame. This is simply about pointing out what's holding you back from getting the right animation guidance so you can reach your dream job with less stress, debt, and doubt.
Well - imagine if you had personally tailored live feedback with strict deadlines on exactly what you’re struggling with right now - no matter what level you're at.
Imagine skipping the massive amounts of time or tuition like you need for a full school program or a specific class that only focuses on 1 topic.
Imagine being able to learn in a group setting where basic and advanced students pitch in their ideas and notes together.
Imagine having a mentor that deeply listens to all your struggles, presents clear answers based on years of experience in VFX, Feature, and Game Animation at the Biggest Studios, and pushes you past what you're capable of with a custom tailored plan month after month.
Does that sound like the right guidance to you?
Is that the guidance you're seeking?
Now you can have it.
Personal, tailored, and live feedback to DEMOLISH any animation struggle you have and craft an unforgettable demo reel that lands your dream job
For the first time, you can get the animation guidance you need and say goodbye to that “lost, stuck, & overwhelmed” feeling.
For the first time, I’m offering you a chance to team up with an animation pro and tackle whatever you're up against right now with intensely focused feedback.
Never before has this be done.
You can’t hire a professional animator to physically sit next to you and walk you through everything or tear apart your scene file to find the source of your struggles - but this is pretty damn close.
Inside Augmented Animator you’ll:
Augmented Animator is here to go above and beyond for you, by tailoring the program to YOUR animation struggles.
Are you ready to reach your dream job?
The biggest result [from Augmented] is that I would get companies coming to me. And being like "hey we have a position would you be interested in it?" or if I applied they're like "yeah, come in for an interview"
It got me from no one - to hearing from a whole ton of people. And then I got hired as a junior 3D Animator!
A Professional Animation Instructor
VFX and Game Animator
Owner of Rusty Animator
Rusty is here to see you through it, he honestly cares whether we get better or not, and I think he comes across that way immediately…..
I can’t think of another reason why he wouldn’t be into this, if he weren’t trying to do this for other people, helping them grow, building a better community, and honestly I think that comes across without me even having to say it.
Yeah, that’s how I felt from day one, you know… I’ve learned from you more than I have from any other individual instructor, I’m sure.
You seemed really humble, like really wanting to help everyone out. Really wanting to take on that mentor role. Like let me help guide you on this path.
It was wonderful. You have probably been my biggest inspiration so far in helping me move forward as an animator.
VFX and Game Animator
Owner of Rusty Animator
Augmented Animator excels at how instructors and students interact.
All students will group up in a live call with there instructor on Zoom.
This in itself is not that unique, as most schools and workshops teach this way. It is great for students to see what other students are challenged by, what they are doing about it, and how.
Unfortunately, most of the time students in these group settings are all at the same skill level, and don't get a chance to give their feedback.
Augmented Animator changes that by mixing skill levels and asking everyone on every call to get involved and share their feedback.
Ultimately, this is FAR better at helping students get to know each other, gather more ideas, more perspective, and inspire collaboration.
To allow ample time for this to be an outstanding experience - each instructor every week will give extensive calls:
The group calls in Augmented Animator can easily provide the feedback and support you need for massive growth. No other animation program can match it.
It's as close as you can get to sitting next to a professional animator and having them walk you through animation step by step.
As this requires a lot of dedicated time - only a few students will have access to each instructor:
Spots are given on a first come first serve basis.
So if you wait...you may miss the chance.
But what else helps you excel inside Augmented Animator?
You'll get in-depth flexible feedback on any topic you choose (mechanics, entertainment, networking, productivity)
If you're new to animation - we'll get the basics down.
If your advanced - we'll dive into whatever struggle is holding you back from your dream job.
And you get to choose how long you get this feedback:
Using Zoom you'll get instant feedback that also allows for real time frame by framing and draw overs.
Calls with Rusty Gray will be up to 2 hours long
All calls will also be recorded for your viewing.
This way you can revisit notes, or even see how another student improved their shot.
If you want to CRUSH procrastination and make consistent progress you need unshakable accountability.
In Augmented Animator if you miss a call or fail to make any progress - you miss an entire week of feedback.
This keeps you focused and locked in - never allowing procrastination a chance.
And if you need even more accountability to build more habits - we'll help you do that in our live calls and by teaming up with other students.
At the start of the program we'll assess your strengths and weaknesses based on your dream job.
Then you'll end the program fully prepared with clear next steps and feedback on your updated reel.
Everyone has different struggles at different levels.
On week 1 - we'll build a game plan around what you most want to work on and what will most help you get hired.
Then for the rest of program you'll refer to this for next steps and adjustments.
It would be impossible to go through Augmented Animator and not see major improvements in your animation, assuming you’re willing to put in the effort.
It’s the best animation course I have taken for finding your weaknesses and improving them. Rusty goes the extra mile to make sure that you understand why something is not working, and will often steer you into identifying what’s not working instead of just telling you out-right.
Pro Instructor - Rusty Gray
Theron Chaplin's - Axe Attack
Chanthi Vijayapala's - Figure Skater
Joe Toole's - Bounty Hunter
This is definitely something that will help you improve not just in the short term - but in the long term – you’re going to come out great. If you actually try and put in an honest amount of work.
That was my biggest takeaway setting time aside and prioritizing and trying to put everything down just, so I can become better. And if anyone else wants to do so – I highly, highly, recommend Augmented Animator to get on that path and more.
Whether your starting off on your journey and you don’t really know where you are, and you want to get more focused attention on how you can prepare yourself…
…Or if you’re like me where you’ve been doing this for a while and you haven’t been as involved with animation as you like to be and you’re ready to get back into it – absolutely - I would 100% recommend this course.
After graduating school I realized one of my biggest struggles was selling weight.
Then in Augmented Animator understanding weight was probably my biggest breakthrough. It definitely helped a TON. WAY more than I could have done on my own.
We’ll assess your current demo reel or shots, and discuss your strengths and weaknesses. Then we’ll develop your custom ‘animation master plan’ for massive improvements over the next 3 months.
We’ll work together as you progress on your work based on your ‘augmented growth master plan’ and make any adjustments we need to as we go.
For the Holidays there will be a 3 week break, then we'll pick up where we left off.
We’ll discuss whatever you’re working on, and you’ll start preparing your demo reel, if that’s a goal for you, for the last weeks review.
Finally, in the last week we’ll review all that you’ve created, and your updated reel if necessary. That way you’re as prepared as you can be for whatever's next for you as the program finishes - applying for work, making final adjustments to shots, creating a new shot, moving on to a new skill, etc.
Its all up for grabs - its your call how you want to improve.
Give Augmented Animator a shot for 30 days (a month of guidance) and if you’re not feeling it - you get 100% of your money back
Augmented Animator isn’t just about improving your animating skills - it's about improving your career, improving your life.
You have the freedom to not only learn about body mechanics but also story, creativity, entertainment, planning, networking, demo reels, interviews, and more.
You get to chose what to focus on that will best help you to succeed right now. No one else provides this kind of extensive on demand guidance.
So I’m confident that if you put in the work, you’ll be thrilled with your growth.
And if you don’t feel like you're improving - your protected with the 30 day 100% carefree guarantee.
Just shoot over an email with your animation progress, and you’ll get a full refund.
Yes, you actually have to put in the work. You have to prove you made an effort to attend live calls, ask questions, and do the animations. The reason for this is simple.
Augmented Animator is only for the dedicated artists out to make their dream jobs happen. The consistent do-ers. Not the consumers.
A massive amount of time, hustle, and guidance will be spent on each and every student. So if someone’s not on the same page - especially in group calls or community posts - you can see how it will devalue the experience for all of us.
That’s ok though because you’re totally up for improving right?
Can’t wait to see you on the inside.
When I started [learning animation] I thought I could be alone and just push through and do all these online tutorial's or something. But its so much easier if you have the support of your peers and a mentor to see you through it.
Augmented Animator helped me in so many ways I never really would of thought about when starting. Definitely just take the jump. I don't regret it at all.
I would urge you to go for this because it’s definitely something that might not come around again. [Other Courses] will be there for years and years to come and it's always going to be the same thing, whereas this is [doing] something different, and more tailored.
The whole Rusty school-of-thought is like let’s tailor it to you, and figure out what the best thing is for YOU to do.
I would personally recommend taking the course because this isn’t just a regular class. This is you and your mentor 1 on 1 and creates an individual plan just for you.
You show him what you have what your level is right now, and he’ll devise a whole plan just for you.
And it is incredibly helpful. And its something you’re not going to find in a traditional classroom – its in Augmented Animator.
Learn Animation With Friends is the Augmented Animator Referral Program.
Here's how it works.
If you refer 1 friend or several friends and they join Augmented Animator - you can benefit massively on your investment in the program:
Exclusive offer for Rusty Animator Alumni ONLY:
How to submit:
I feel that Augmented Animator is an excellent value for your money, and that any animator willing to set clear goals and put in the work can get a lot out of the experience.
Augmented Animator definitely helped me get closer to achieving the goals I wanted to achieve.
And I think that Augmented Animator offers a very high quality affordable option for those who are looking to step up the quality of their reel.
I put my reel out on a Friday and I got an email on Monday for a Wednesday interview.
Wednesday I got the job. And that's my story.
Any aspiring animator who is looking to reach their dream job will benefit from focus improvement on any of their struggles.
The only person this won’t work for is someone who doesn’t want to put in the work to become better. Someone who just wants to absorb information and skip practice.
Could you benefit from getting over 1 or 2 major animation struggles?
Then no - you won’t waste your time.
Augmented Animator is 3 months long. That’s 1 class at most animation schools. Not a BIG commitment. And it’s requires as little as 8 hrs a week depending on how much your looking to improve.
Augmented Animator combines all of my experience as a student and a professional from over a decade.
A wide range of skill in body mechanics, acting, quadrupeds, technical tools, workflows, composition, and especially entertainment through story as Memorable Animator students can vouch for.
A few credits from VFX and Feature shorts include: X-Men: Dofp, Pixels, Night at the Museum 3, Into the Woods, Cinderella and more.
More importantly, one of my greatest assets, as I’ve been told by my own students and coworkers, is my ability to break things down clearly and teach it simply.
Sure! You definitely can go to college, take a class, or learn on your own.
Of the 3 an online animation school will probably serve you best. I don’t recommend traditional colleges or learning on your own.
There are obvious pitfalls to learning on your own, like procrastination, or needing a second pair of eyes, like we’ve already discussed earlier.
Plus, many people claim you can do it all on your own, but I’ve never heard of a professional animator alive today, that's made massive progress by just blasting through a bunch of tutorials day after day. If they try, they burn out fast.
Traditional universities teach you a little bit of everything (modeling, rigging, scripting, lighting, etc) but this leaves you mediocre. and can cost up to $100k in tuition alone.
Online schools are great at taking you from the basic mechanics of movement to acting. You typically spend all of your time on animation for the entire program for around $18k.
However, no school will adapt to help you with any of your animation struggles, and let you choose what to focus on week after week.
They also won’t even cover in depth:
They will probably tell you these are all worth doing well, but they won’t give you clear action steps. It just be general tips.
With Augmented Animator you’re also protected with a 100% full refund 30 day guarantee. Can any college or online school offer you a guarantee?
Augmented Animator provides the flexibility to go anywhere your struggles are with instructor calls that go above and beyond.
No school or workshop provides mentoring or feedback on any struggle you have.
They only focus on body mechanics and acting - which is usually broken up over several classes with their own required assignments. It’s not flexible to focus on what the student needs to improve.
And they simply do not cover other keys to animating like: Entertainment, Creativity, Planning, Networking or Workflow. Yes, they’ll probably tell you these things are important but most of it will be left up for you to piece together on your own.
If joining Augmented Animator makes the difference between you getting your student loans paid or eating – do NOT buy this course.
I repeat you do NOT have my permission to buy this course.
Spend the money on your basic survival first. This won’t bring helpful pressure to the artistic challenges you’ll find inside. I truly want what’s best for you and if money is that tight this course is NOT what’s best for you right now.
Beyond all that, what about all the students who already paid in full?
It wouldn’t be fair to them to discount now or in the future.
What would your reaction be if you bought a TV at full price and then the next day saw it was half off?
This is also a barrier to keep out those who aren’t serious.
If you invest in Augmented Animator you probably won’t let it go to waste. You’ll put extra effort into making the most of it - you’ll be dedicated. And dedicated students are all that should be in Augmented Animator.
Augmented Animator won't be price this low again. In the future when this reopens a 3rd time (no idea when that will be right now) it the price will go up.
If you're looking to save on your Augmented Animator Investment, consider the Referral Program:
It’s not easy becoming a great animator - becoming an artist worthy of your dream job.
All too often the wrong guidance can lead you the wrong way. Or the wrong learning environment can hold you back from getting the most out of the right guidance.
And the most frustrating part is, it's impossible to reach your dream job alone. No matter how motivated, passionate, and determined you are, you’re bound to get tripped up without any help:
That’s what can happen if you chose to learn like everyone else - if you didn’t know the importance of finding the right guidance.
But that won’t happen to you.
You know better.
You know what to look out for, and how to improve most.
More importantly you’re ready:
So what are you waiting for?
If [animation] is what you want to do – just go for it. There’s no time like the present. And your not actually going to get any closer unless you start walking towards that.
That took me a LONG time to deal with. And I am so much happier now that I feel like I’m constantly progressing.
I think it was Neil Gaiman who said, “your goal should be like a mountain off in the distance and anytime your walking to closer to that mountain is a good sign.” And this class definitely helped me walk closer to that mountain.
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