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Rusty Animator School

The Animation School you've always dreamed of  but nobody ever made

overcome your animation struggles

On my journey to become a professional animator I realized that:

  • Degrees don't matter -- its all about your skill and the friends you have.
  • Traditional animation schools don’t teach you how to animate well enough to get a job as an animator (even though they can cost $100,000+)
  • Online animation schools are better, but they still only take care of their “star students” and talented prodigies, while they leave the rest behind, and the mentors are very hit & miss.
  • Most student animators get stuck with struggles in body mechanics - not the basics like ball bounces. And they frequently aren't ready for acting pieces because these individual struggles aren't addressed in cookie cutter school exercises.
  • The amount of people that *actually* become professional animators from these schools (let alone animators at a great studio like Disney, Pixar, and DreamWorks) is quite low if you're not a prodigy.

*in case you missed my whole story of how I discovered this click the tabs below to read it:

  • traditional school mistakes

  • online school story 1

  • Online School story  2

  • Online School story 3

  • Online School story 4

  • Professional & Rusty ANimator Story

My Traditional School Mistakes

It all seemed so clear. So simple.

Go to a great animation college - work harder than everyone else - get hired by Pixar.

Then relish a lifetime career that will never feel like a job -- as it does for most people.

Oh, how naive I was.

And I wanted it all FAST.

So I dove into a "top tier" university with an accelerated program to get a bachelor's degree in just 2 years.

What was the tuition?


(Yeah -- that much.)

But it was all worth it if it got me to Pixar or Disney —Right!?

So without hesitation I signed on the dotted line.

From day 1 I buried my head in classwork - determined to ace every semester (which were only a month long).

Because I didn't want to have a normal 9 to 5 Monday hating job.

Because I wanted a career that would never feel like work. And to make art that would inspire millions.

Thick dark circles soon sunk into my eyes as all nighters became common practice.

60, 70, 80, 120 hours of school work each week - sure.

Whatever it took to stand out.

Whatever it took to be a perfect prodigy artist.

And it worked.

Whatever the subject I did great. 3D modeling, rigging, lighting, even classes that seemed completely irrelevant like college mathematics or English composition --  I crushed it.

In a couple months I quickly rose to the top of my class, then to top of my school, and I received a lot of praise for my efforts.

I was winning all the battles but I had no idea I was already losing the war.

Then 1 day about halfway through my 2 year program I took my head out of the sand -- I mean classwork -- for 5 mins to come up for air.

5 friends were huddled over a single 15" mac laptop laughing and I went over to see why.

Turns out they were watching something called an animation student showcase on YouTube.

Apparently it was a compilation of the best student animations for the year from the world's first online animation school.

I never even heard of this school before. How did I miss this?

Immediately I wanted to see how good these animations were. To prove how my hard work was paying off yet again. To prove to myself I was going to Pixar.

Within seconds I was laughing along with my friends.

Entertained by each gag I saw.

And after a minute or so that excitement was instantly replaced with shocking horror as it hit me….

  • "Oh my god."
  • "All of their animations look far better than anything I’ve made since coming here."
  • "All their animations are far better than anything I’ve seen anyone do here at all."
  • "Has any student ever been this good at this school?"
  • "I’ve never seen examples as good as this here"
  • "Where did our best animation students even end up working?"
  • "Why did no one ever mention how many animation students got hired from this school"
  • "Oh god - did I go to the wrong school?"
  • "$100,000+ down the drain?!?"

This all hit me rapid fire as the result of the student showcase played on. And my authentic laughter shifted into forced chuckles.

When the agony was over I buried my head back in the sand (my classwork). Determined to work my way out of this problem. Determined to ignore what my gut was telling me.

From that day forward though doubt and anxiety never stopped building in the back of my mind.

Day after day from semester to semester randomly I'd wonder…

  • "How would my animation skills stack up to them?"
  • "Would those animators take my dream job?"
  • "Would I actually become as good as them by the time my schooling was done?"
And the doubt and anxiety really got out of hand when I dug deeper.

I was horrified to discover…

...That this online animation school only had their students do nothing but animate for 2 years.

No lighting, no compositing, rigging, modeling, scripting, English composition or math physics - just animating.

Not only that but the teachers at this online school were all working professionals at my dream animation studios!

They worked at Pixar, Disney, Dreamworks, and Blue Sky during the day and taught classes after work!

How could you not learn so much about animation from pros like these?!

I also saw that students in the animation showcase were getting hired at all those same amazing studios. Pixar, Disney, Dreamworks, Blue Sky, Sony, Blizzard, Weta, ILM -- on and on.

This built up a lot of disdain for my college classes:

  • "Why can't I learn like that?!"
  • "None of my teachers are working at Pixar or Disney right now."
  • "And Why do I have only 3 or 4 animation classes total for 2 years?!"
  • "Why should I be forced to learn lighting and rigging?"
My grades started to slip.

I started trying to put minimal effort into everything that wasn’t an animation class. And I tried to fight the curriculum of the school by animating extra on my own time.

But it was like trying to swim out to sea in hurricane waters.

I couldn’t put enough hours in with the demands of school.

And I didn't have help from professional animators to show me how to reach the next level.

So I knew I was failing.

This brought anxiety and doubt to new heights.

And it all came to an overwhelming tipping point in my final class at the school.

The night before I was supposed to present my animation demo reel in front of all the animation teachers, and hundreds of students — I collapsed in complete depression in my apartment.

My demo reel was a complete failure in my eyes.

It was never going to get me a job.

So I was a complete failure.

And for most of the night I dug deeper into the abyss. Convincing myself I would never become an professional animator. That I wasn’t talented enough.

At some very early morning hour I reached a breaking point where I couldn’t wallow any lower — and I passed out.

When I woke up, I realized I dumped a year's worth of anxiety and depression in one night.

And with how terrifying it was I decided to just let go of all of it.

To let go of the tight grip I had on my dream.

To celebrate my hard work for these 2 years regardless of the outcome.

And to just have fun for the final days of school.

It was the exact mental shift I needed.

My demo reel presentation went amazingly well.

All the teachers and students that watched it were over the moon about my animations.

And I ended up graduating valedictorian.

Hundreds of job applications followed a couple weeks after (including the top studios like Pixar, Disney, and Blue sky of course).

So what happened next?

[Click here to see my online school story part 1]


To me this is unacceptable

This shouldn't still be the norm.

Students should not spend tens of thousands of dollars, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on animation schools without having a real shot at becoming professional animators…

So I’m doing something about it. 

Over the past 5 years, I mentored hundreds of students through Rusty Animator to help them sharpen their skills and get their dream jobs in the animation industry.

Chanthi Vijayapala Animator @ Cinesite (Hired Alumni)

I got hired as a junior 3D animator!


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!

Theron Chaplin Animator @ MPC (Hired Alumni)

I put my reel out on a Friday - Wednesday I got a Job


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.

Xavier Robertson Animator (Hired Alumni)

I got hired for my first animation job by boosting my skills in RAS after college.


My parents forced me to go the traditional route and get a degree at a college for animation.

Then soon after starting I found Rusty Animator School. And I decided to go to college and take Rusty Animator School --both in tandem.

After college I continued to study with Rusty to boost my skills up for about a year. Then after sending my reel to a game studio I got hired for my first animation job.

Liam Konieczny Animator (Hired Alumni)

[The Recruiter] was impressed by my reel and said it's was great work for a junior without experience


I was just reading [your messages] and I realized I haven't told you, but I got the job!! Best Christmas present hehe What a way to start the new year!

[The Recruiter] was impressed by my reel and said it's was great work for a junior without experience and they really wanted me on their project. It was so fulfilling for me to hear!

But after working day and night, I realized I couldn’t do this alone. I can’t be the only person who wants to help aspiring animators like you to make living doing what you love.

Otherwise I'll only be able to help a handful of animators every year - while thousands are continuing to join the wrong programs and struggle.

So I'm going bigger. WAY bigger.

I decided to create my own animation school.

I first got the idea to create one years ago, but I never felt quite ready… until 6 months ago, I decided it’s time to pull the trigger.

Of course, I didn’t want to just create another online animation school that’s the same as all the other ones out there.

I wanted to create something new. Something better. Something different.

I wanted to create an animation school I always dreamed of attending.

That YOU always dreamed of attending.

The kind of school that would actually deliver on it’s promise to turn you into an amazing animator and gets hired by the top animation studios in the world.

With this idea in mind, I started talking to other people for advice. The people that mattered most.


I sent a survey out to hundreds of animators like you -  asking what their dream animation school would look like.

I asked animators about past experiences with animation schools, what you liked and what you wished were different about them.

And if you were to create the best ever animation school from scratch, with unlimited resources, how you would actually do it.

After about 10 conversations, patterns started to emerge.

And by 30 chats I felt like I had a pretty good idea about what you wanted.

You told me that you wanted to go to an animation school that...

Kept Anonymous for their honest thoughts about their schooling

Has outstanding Mentors who care for each students progress beyond a paycheck

"In [my online school] the mentor gap was astronomical. Getting a good mentor felt like gambling. Like maybe you’ll win the jackpot and have a lot of good feedback or you’ll have nothing at all.

There are so many mentors who like easy money, an easy life. So they don't actually teach. They don't care. Most of them.

And the problem is so big that people camp the enrollment page to get a good mentor as fast as possible. So you see some mentors with 18 immediate student signups and others with zero who just get whoever couldn't make it into the 1 or 2 good mentors classes."

---KEPT aNONYMOUS---- // Graduate Animator from an established Online Animation School

Gives you Customized and Adaptable Animations unique to your specific struggles, skills and goals with small class sizes.

"The problem I have with [established online school] is everybody has to do the same thing. Your in a class with 8 or 9 people – they say 5 max but its not the case – but you all are doing the same exact walk cycle or jump regardless of where your skills are at.

Some students were really advanced animators who got everything instantly and then there were others that lagged way behind needing a lot more explanations and still not doing well. It was a huge waste of time. I would never join that school again."

aLLEN //  Graduate Animator from an established Online Animation School

Doesn't rush you into advanced animations before your ready and gives you in-depth feedback every step of the way.

"The pacing with my university was a problem. Spending a longer time on the fundamentals felt needed before rushing off to the advanced stuff. Frequently I felt pushed too far ahead and I'd get stuck with simple things that I should of had down. Then I fall all over myself and lose confidence.

I like being able to go at my own pace. Getting a set assignment, working on it, getting feedback on it consistently, but taking however long I need to get the skills down.

Plus, in university, we’d get an assignment, go work on it for 4 weeks or more, submit a finished version of it, get one bout of critiques, then get a grade and that was it. No draw overs or week by week feedback from blocking to blocking plus and so on."

MYKE//  Graduate Animator from an Animation university

So I went to my drawing board and starting putting one together.

Instantly it hit me that most of what everyone was asking for was already inside my live mentoring program - Augmented Animator.

The customized and adaptable animations specific to each student was already in there.

The mentality of not rushing every student into harder animations was already there.

And all of this was already proven successful with 13 mentoring terms.

So what everyone wanted was that.

That structure - but upgraded.

With the most important upgrade being:

More mentors. World class ones.

I immediately started reaching out to friends who were all around good people and all professional animators at top studios in the industry.

And I asked them what they thought about a school like this.

To my surprise and delight, their response was overwhelming.

Despite their busy schedules, they agreed that an animation school like that is missing and they wanted to be on-board.

They too wanted to create an animation school that actually makes a difference.

An animation school that really cares about you, that doesn't rush you ahead, that ends your struggles with body mechanics, creates captivating acting shots and actually gives you a kick ass demo reel that stands out from the crowd - so you can get hired.

An animation school where every mentor is not only a pro but they can translate what they know so you can improve, and they care beyond just a paycheck.

With the help of these mentors, and with your help, after 6 months of development, I’m beyond excited to announce that the first version of this school has come to life.

So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to...

The Rusty Animator School

Whether you're an animation newbie starting from complete scratch...

...Or you've already struggled like hell for years in schools that provided you with bad experiences....

You can absolutely start a successful career as an animator and keep it.


By learning the right way.

With a school that actually cares about your success.

With personalized attention from world-class mentors.

With live classes that customize and adapt to your specific struggles, skill level, and goals from week to week all term long.

Inside Rusty Animator School you'll:

  • 2x your animation skills in 1/2 the time with simplified focus on your struggles and goals
  • Level up and craft an unforgettable demo reel in months
  • Surround yourself with a supportive community and life long friends.
  • Wave goodbye to procrastination with accountability every week
  • Feel excited and confident that your going to become the animator you always wanted to be.

Rusty Animator is here to go above and beyond for you by tailoring your education to YOU.

Are you ready to start your dream career?

Several students inside Rusty Animator School already have.

As well as students who came before in Augmented Animator (my former live mentoring program).

And Rusty Animator School is essentially the evolved version of that.

So if you want to get a more concrete idea of what Rusty Animator School will be like for you - check out what they had to say about their learning experience:

What you get with
Rusty Animator School

Professional Mentors That Care

Rusty Gray

VFX and Game
Animator for 5+ years

Owner of Rusty Animator


  • Steamroller Studios
  • Digital Domain
  • MPC
  • One Animation


  • Xmen 
  • Cinderella
  • Pixels
  • Night at the Museum 3
  • Into the Woods
  • Oddbods
  • Rend

What students have said about my live mentoring before:

Carlos Gotay Animator @ Troll House Games

You have probably been my biggest inspiration...


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.

Liam Konieczny Animator (Hired Alumni)

That's all I kept thinking “THIS guy really cares about how much I succeed.”


You helped me the most. By telling me what the important stages of animation are, the essential body mechanic exercises to level up, the different approaches you can have, and I felt like you really cared and it was not just like some advice for enrolling in your school or something.

That's all I kept thinking “THIS guy really cares about how much I succeed.”

You know even though I had great mentors before from studios like Disney - they were really interesting and all, but I felt disconnected from them. It was embarrassing even to send them a message about things. I didn't feel close enough to do that.

But you really care - you're really here for your students. It feels like I can message you whenever – even though you have loads of things to do haha - you always answer.

Even just to talk about my mental health or something. You take time to talk about that and I really appreciate it. You really care about my progress I make and my animations and that's what really makes a difference.

Steve Filatch Former Walt Disney Studios - Animator @ Steamroller (hired alumni)

What made this course a difference was that Rusty cared about my struggles, my victories.


Rusty took the time. He took the time to hone in on my weaknesses. I didn’t feel rushed in each session. I felt appreciated. I felt valued. I didn’t get that from any other program. I felt very rushed. I’d hear “oh ok well we gotta go on to the next student.” What made this a difference was that he cared about my struggles, my victories. And that is just not forgotten.

Theron Chaplin Animator @ MPC (Hired Alumni)

I’ve learned from you more than I have from any other individual instructor...


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.

Xavier Robertson Animator (Hired Alumni)

Going into my first animation job I found my skill level was higher than the lead animators


Going into my first animation job I found my skill level was at a higher level than the lead animator at the studio.

I was able to finish animations faster, had them looking more appealing, and talk about the animation style better with the creative director.

I blame you Rusty. You did it with the challenging animations we had in Rusty Animator School.

Without you Rusty I wouldn't have made it and gotten hired -- so thank you for everything! You're awesome!

Fahad Haddad

VFX, Game, and Freelance
Animator for 11+ Years 

"I don’t believe there’s a one size fits all approach to teaching. One of my objectives is to understand how you learn best, so that I can teach what I love: the art of animation!"


  • Weta Digital
  • Halon
  • Respawn
  • Playstation
  • Waterproof
  • Cinesite
  • Freelance


  • Kingdom of the planet of the apes
  • Godzilla x Kong - The New Empire
  • Transformers Rises of the Beasts
  • Avatar 2
  • The Last of Us Part 2
  • Fronite
  • Medal of Honor: Above & Beyond
  • Mortal Kombat 11
  • The Addams Family
  • Trollhunters: Tales of Acadia
  • Sausage Party

A sample critique from Fahad:

Michael Lewis

VFX and Feature Animator 
for 5+ Years 


  • Reel FX
  • On Animation Studio
  • Mikros
  • MPC
  • Jellyfish Pictures


  • The Monkey King
  • Scoob! Holiday Haunt
  • Paw Patrol the movie
  • Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the run
  • Call of the Wild
  • Noelle

Brittney Owens

Senior Animator and
Animation Director for 10+ years in Freelance, VFX, and Feature


  • Sony Imageworks
  • Animal Logic
  • ICON Creative
  • Rainmaker Entertainment


  • Spider-man: No Way Home
  • Hotel Transylvania: Transformania
  • Leo
  • Ariel

Alek Kolev

2D, Freelance, VFX, and Feature Senior Animator for 15+ years.
Animation Director & Supervisor


  • Wildbrain
  • Cinesite
  • Sony Imageworks
  • Superseed Studios
  • Artella
  • Framestore
  • Jellyfish Pictures
  • Various 2D Studios


  • Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse
  • The Mitchells vs The Machines
  • Hotel Transylvania 3
  • Angry Birds 2
  • Over the Moon
  • Monster Pets
  • Spirit Untamed
  • Paddington 2

No Student Left Behind

Its common practice for animation schools to see students struggling with a particular skill, not take the time to properly help them over come it, and then move them on to more advanced classes before their ready.

This happens for a number of reasons:

  • Many mentors don't really care, cant explain what they know, don't have the skills or don't have the time to focus enough on each student.
  • Most schools have one size fits all animation exercises -- for every student and a structure that limits how mentors can provide help.

In any event, this causes students to feel overwhelmed, overlooked, insecure, incapable, untalented, and rushed as their skills don't develop. Especially next to prodigies or classmates who already have years of animation experience on the job.  And this ultimately sets those students up to fail.

If you've attended an animation school before I'm sure you were nodding along.

Rusty Animator does not operate this way.

Whether you've struggled for years to learn animation at a level that can get you hired or your essentially an animation newbie bound to eventually struggle with this challenging art...

...Rusty Animator School will make sure you succeed.

Here - no student gets left behind or rushed along.

You may be wondering - how?

Read on.

Animation exercises are custom tailored to you
for unparalleled  level Ups

(2 Students with different animation plans for the term  -- adapting as we go)

Master the basics, rid yourself of body mechanic struggles, create your first entertaining acting shot, or craft 3 jaw dropping demo reel shots.

All of these permanent level ups are possible in 3 months depending on your current skill level.

But regardless of skill level you will grow far faster than you ever have before because each animation you do will be custom tailored to you.

Based on:

  • Your skill level
  • Your struggles
  • Your career goals
  • Your progress from week to week

Every animation will also be designed to challenge you, pushing your comfort zone, while also not being overwhelming. 

This custom tailored approach allows you to 2x, 3x, 4x your animation skills in rapid time.

3 Month Long Animation Terms

Joining Rusty Animator School is simple. You don't have to commit to 2 years of schooling like you would at traditional universities plus student loans or get locked into an 18 month online program.

You join for 3 months at a time. Then rejoin if you're up for more.

Completely bypassing student loans or big time commitments. Which gives you all the flexibility you need to learn without having to quit your day job -- at least until your hired as an animator.

Class times that suit you best

Most schools require that you completely rearrange your weekly schedule to suit their classes.

In Rusty Animator School you vote on the class times that work best for you -- usually with multiple classes to choose from on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

And with mentors in both European and US time zones there are class times for everyone. Its ideal especially for anyone who has a job or is already attended some kind of school.

Small Live Classes with Ample Critique Time

Many animation schools will pile you into a class of 8 or more students. And you'll only get a 10 minute recorded critique each week.

As Rusty Animator School is completely focused on every students success your setup to win with:

  • Only 4 Students a class. 
  • Classes that are 2 hours a week.
  • Giving you at least 30 minutes of critiquing time 

Another unique difference with Rusty Animator School is that every student in class will also be critiquing each other. This way your constantly developing your eye for your own animations, your getting even more feedback from your classmates while helping them in turn, and your not just falling asleep bored waiting for your turn in class.

Exclusive Demos from Mentors (Optional)

Struggling how exactly to create weight, snap, fluid overlap, or moving hold step by step into your animation?

Request demos from pro mentors during the term that use your specific animation scene files.

Then watch them break it down step by step in a video walkthrough.  Or watch demos requested from other students. And have lifetime access to it 24/7 to revisit it whenever you need to.

Get quick answers to your biggest struggles for big wins forever.

Here's a peek at the exclusive library:

These demos will double down on all the growth you’ll already have through animating and getting critiques.  

Every term mentors will be creating these demos outside of class.  So overtime this library will only get better and better.

Elizabeth K. RAS Student

RAS Demos are like having an Anim Supe sit beside you and figuring out your shot with you


Having RAS demos on my shot —- was like having an animation supe sit beside you and figuring out your shot with you.

There’ s so many times we as animators become shot blind. When you know there's something wrong with it but you don't know what it is. And you certainly don't know how to fix it.

So seeing mentors go through my own animation scene showing what to do — it felt very similar to a when I would have fellow animators in the studio or the supe swing by and just say “oh you just do boop bop boop” and your like ahhh ok.

Their 5-15 mins is like equal to weeks of you trying to figure it out on your own. And in some clear cases you know about how to go on fixing certain problems forever.

Realistic and Transparent Student Results

Online Schools often have misleading student showcases. How? They mainly showcase students who were already working professional animators with years of experience or in some cases years and years of schooling.

We think that sets students up for disappointment and failure. As new students then expect they'll get the same results with much less experience as professionals or even years of schooling.

We're adamant about sharing how much animation experience each student had and where they started — so you have a strong idea of what REAL results you can achieve.

In this showcase Smith, Theron, Liam, and Gary landed their first jobs as animators from RAS. As they just started - they don't have a ton of work experience yet.

Here's a bit of their story:

Smith with the Metroid / Samus shot - never animated a cinematic piece with a moving camera before or took his body mechanic skills to that high a level.  

Before RAS - Smith went to university. His family invested  precious savings for him to go to that school and live a good life. Yet when he graduated he had nothing to show for it. No job.

With a lot of guilt he decided to continue pursing his dream. To show his family that their sacrifice wasn't worthless after all. And in just 1 term (3 months) at RAS he did. He not only leveled up massively. But he got hired and was able to tell his mom he was going to cover the bills for a while for all that she's done for him. He then returned to RAS to make this shot and go to the next level. 

 Theron - Attended other animation schools for a total of 8 years. Came to RAS for 2 terms (6 months) and got an animation job in VFX. A year later he broke in games with a staff animator gig at an indie studio.

Unfortunately the staff game gig took on projects where they required him to do 99% mocap cleanup. And there was no animation supe to give him proper notes for improving his craft. It was a comfortable gig for a couple of years but creativity stifling.

Theron returned to RAS to reawaken the keyframing skills that had atrophied. In 1 term he got back on track. Then he made this Ninja Turtle Emote Cycle and landed a new game animation gig with a team that helped him grow even more -- on Fortnite. 

Liam attended a well known online school with Disney instructors before RAS.

And the results were far from what he wanted. The Basics went ok but when it came to body mechanics everything imploded. Liam wondered if it was his fault. That he wasn't good enough. Eventually Liam worked up the courage to continue and hopped into RAS.

It took a couple terms to unwind the bad habits from the Disney school and build up proper body mechanics. But once Liam did he dove into the deep end taking on this Batgirl scene which demanded more difficult mechanics than anything he attempted before and knocked it out of the park.  Afterwards Liam landed his first gig in Europe.

Gary's violin piece was the first musical and acting shot of that length he's ever done.

Before RAS Gary went to university, then to a well known online school. But he found his body mechanic skills and especially demo reel lacking.

In RAS he built his skills from the ground up. Essential mechanics all the way to Acting. Before this Violin shot he landed his first animation job with those earlier shots.

While working at that animation job he made this Violin musical in his own time. And he continues to leveling up at RAS as we speak.

Of course there's many more animators with fantastic animations in our animation showcase.

But to be as transparent as possible the students above have the most work experience. Does that inspire you?

We hope so. 

Because that means our student showcase doesn't have animations from rare prodigies or students who already have 5 to 10 years of work experience as an animator.

Yet our students:

  • are getting to pro level body mechanics in 3 or 6 months after years of trying to at other schools.
  • finally making believable and entertaining pantomimes, dialogues, and musicals.
  • crafting demo reel shots that are jaw dropping and/or emotionally compelling.
  • and they are getting their animation dream jobs

All while currently attending another school or working their normal 9 to 5's.

Fired up yet?

Here's a few more transparent results from students mentored in the past:

Alex's step on a box - early blocking. Many students over the years arrive after having gone to universities or online schools - with all kinds of fundamental and body mechanic struggles.  Alex was no exception there. So that's why we dove into this simple animation.

You can see these early mechanics are pretty rough. The head is far too busy, the overlap is clunky, the hips don't rotate correctly the whole time, and it comes to a harsh stop. Needless to say like many who have these struggles, it took Alex outside her comfort zone.

Alex's step on a box - final pass. At lot smoother and more believable than the shot on the left right? By the the time the shot got here Alex had figured out so much more about how the hips function, how push the weight, how to keep the head from being to busy, how to keep the character in balance and settle the whole move. 

Then Alex was ready to move on into more advanced animations. With the aim to keep progressing until demo reel shots are made that could get her hired. A good typical example of how most student start out with my live mentoring and its these simple shots of growth, these real results, that are often overlooked.

Myles made this dynamic light vs heavy Spider verse shot - with the hopes of becoming Myles Morales to impress studios. And even though this is a WIP (work in progress) not the finished piece,  it still helped get him his first animation gig at Rooster Teeth.

This happened mind you, after having graduated from an online school, still struggling with both mechanics / acting and then joining my live mentoring classes for 2 terms.

Bill's heavy gun pickup - was the result of simple animation exercises like the stand up from chair and simple game cycles that came before this impressive weighty piece.

From here Bill catapulted into even more challenging pieces like a 2 character UFC fight and a character jumping onto a Halo bike at speed and driving off.

After years of no studio gigs -- he's now at Scanline VFX

Chanthi's first ever creature shot after only having a few acting pieces. She was very brave to take this on after just having completed some simple emotion change exercises for bipeds. So not only did she have to wrap her head around how a dog is supposed to move piece by piece, but she had to get the emotion of the dog to come through in pantomime -- with very little acting experience.

Mike's first dragon animation was no easy feat. So much took him outside his comfort zone. There was little reference to go off of (cause dragons), he was wrapping his head around wings / bird flight, managing the weight and power of the dragon with all the controllers.

In the end this shot, along with others he made in Augmented got him his first studio animation gig. He's now a VFX animator at MPC.

Theron's heavy weapon attack. After attending animation schools for a total of 8 years. Theron still really wrestled with creating believable weight, powerful strikes, and connected body movement. Something essential for the game animation he wanted to have a career doing. With this shot he surged into a professional level of animation in 2 months permanently. And created more animations before the term was done. Then when the term was done he accepted his first job as an animator. Currently he has a staff position as a game animator.

Joe's first unique game cycle. As an animator who already had some professional experience he discovered he still had a fair amount of body mechanic struggles. As he needed time to push past those hurdles it took about half the term to finish this dynamic piece. And the original idea was to have everything loop. But in the end all of that I feel was very well worth it --for this appealing demo reel piece.
What do you think?

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  • Exclusive Demos from Pro Mentors (optional)
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4 monthly installments

  • Pro Mentors that Care
  • No Student Left Behind 
  • 3 Months of Outstanding Level ups
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  • Choose Your Mentor in different time zones
  • Small Live Classes with ample critiquing time
  • Exclusive Demos from Pro Mentors (optional)
  • ONLY 40 4 spots left

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What Animation Students say...

Smith Ramone Animator @ Studio Z (Hired Alumni)

I almost gave up on animation -- you and Rusty Animator School saved me


I think I almost gave up on animation too.

[Established Online School] is the most famous - most established. And I felt like if I don't study there I won't be able to get better.

Which I discovered wasn't the case at all.

So I think you and Rusty Animator School saved me.

Katie Nolan Senior Graphic Designer

Absolutely - I would 100% recommend this course


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.

Rachel Wu Animator @ Rockstar Games (Hired Alumni)

Rusty Animator School is definitely a good decision. I don’t regret it at all.


Rusty Animator School [AA] is definitely a good decision. It’s thanks to this course that I was able to have something on my reel that will be helpful for job hunting. I don’t regret it at all. Once I get a new job, I’d like to take more sessions.

Daniel Goodwin Animator @ Technicolor (Hired Alumni)

It's the best animation course I've taken...


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.


60 Day 'Best Animation School
You've Ever Attended'

Give Rusty Animator School a shot for 60 days (more than half the term) and if you’re not feeling it - you get 100% of your money back.


Rusty Animator School isn’t just about improving your animating skills - it's about improving your career, improving your life - permanently. 


If you landed your first animation gig or your dream gig -- imagine how fast your life would completely change.

In as few as 2 weeks after accepting an offer you'd be getting paid to animate on movies or games.

  • So you could quit normal 9 to 5 Monday hating jobs forever.
  • You could relocate to a new country/city and do so every year for new gigs or work from home in your pajamas. 
  • You could be surrounded by animators and artists who geek out on all the same stuff you do day in and day out.
  • And you could relish seeing your first animation pop up in the movie trailer, the game sneak peek, or in the credits for the world to see your art.

This isn't just some fantasy. This is how the day to day is for many professional animators.

And inside Rusty Animator School you have the best shot at pulling this off because you have the freedom to not only learn about body mechanics but also acting, story, creativity, entertainment, planning, networking, demo reels, interviews, and more.

It's all based on your skills, struggles, and goals week after week.

You get to chose what to focus on that will best help you to succeed right now.

No one else provides this kind of customized and adaptable mentoring.

And you have mentors that really care about your success.

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 60 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.

Rusty Animator School is only for the dedicated artists out to make their dream jobs happen. The consistent doers. 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.


Coming Soon to 
Rusty Animator School Students:

As Rusty Animator School is brand new, this is just the 1st version of the school.

Many more upgrades are planned to give students every single advantage you could ever dream of.

Like an iPhone 1 or the first Space X rockets, over the course of this year and every year after this school will constantly evolve and improve.

Here are some of the exciting updates all Rusty Animator School Students will get access to regardless of what term they joined:

More Exclusive Character Rigs

With the 1st Rusty Animator School character finished - we're working now giving it more upgrades as we develop other characters.

Only Students of Rusty Animator will have access to these rigs so they will be unique to studios who view your demo reel.

How to get Hired Vault

One massive advantage to helping students get hired will be --to actually dive deep into how to get hired.

Imagine having access to a vault full of wisdom on how to land your first animation job or your dream gig.

In this vault you'll go behind the curtain to hear what most students don't:

  • How pro mentors in the school actually got their first jobs. What emails they sent. How they wrote those emails. What social media outreach they did. How they applied. And how they continue to land the next job.
  • Advice directly from Recruiters and HR staff at top studios like Pixar, Dreamworks, ILM, Weta, Riot, and Fortiche. How best to apply - beyond the website. How to build rapport 

Advice from Animation Students

Smith Ramone Animator @ Studio Z (Hired Alumni)

If I had gone to another school instead of RAS I wouldnt of focused on all the things that really matter


If I had gone to another school instead of Rusty Animator School I wouldn't of had the structure, the focus on body mechanics, and all the things that really matter.

And what made me keep coming back to you is that I saw that you respected the craft. That you knew what mattered the most at each step of the way.

I've seen other people trying to make shots that weren't the best for them at the moment - the best for them to grow.

And I knew that every term that I took with you at Rusty Animator School - each shot would be the best thing for me right now to grow the most.

Steve Filatch Former Walt Disney Studios - Animator @ Steamroller (hired alumni)

I have to say I’ve tried a lot of schools and this by far is the best one.


I have to say I’ve tried a lot of schools and this by far is the best one.

Not everybody can teach. Rusty knows how to teach. I speak as an educator of 17 years. He made me fall in love with animation all over again. The way he teaches you is in a traditional sense, which a lot of mentors don’t there more worried about technical stuff or how to get from one place to another. Which is fine, but doesn't lead to as much progress.Rusty gave me the knowledge, the exercises, and passed down the practice of how to make real progress.

Carlos Gotay Animator @ Troll House Games

There’s no way you’ll get there if you don’t take some time to be around a good team


Moving forward is taking a step forward and starting. And if you don’t start you’re not going to get there.

There’s no way you’ll get there if you don’t take some time to be around a good team, a good group of people, classmates, mentor, to help push you and guide you along the way.

Yea its not going to be easy. No its 3 years later for me.

I’m still not quite at the level but I know I’ll get there.

And I know everyone else will get there too as long as they keep taking the initiative to move forward. So keep at it. Keep going. And you’ll definitely make it just be sure to ask for help, get help, and invest in yourself.

Joe Toole Animator @ Ronin Film & Freelance

I would urge you to go for this


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.

Fernando Cuevas Animation College Student

Its something you’re not going to find in a traditional classroom


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.

Join Rusty Animator School Now

You've spent years learning the wrong way. Try the right way.

Get Started Today

6 Monthly Installments

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How is Rusty Animator different from other schools?

Rusty Animator School provides the adaptability to go anywhere your animation skills that you need - based on your struggles and goals week to week with pro mentors that care.

No school or workshop provides this kind of personalized training.

Traditional Schools:

  • Emphasize degrees when they don't matter
  • Don't any or very very few professional animators to teach you how to animate well enough to get hired.
  • Are structured to NOT focus on animating the entire time in school. You probably will just have a couple classes on it. 
  • Also leave you highly likely to graduate with zero job offers and a lot of debt. $30k to $100k from the tuition alone.

Online Schools:

  • Tend to rush students ahead into advanced classes before your ready.
  • Are very hit/miss with mentors from class to class. Which with all your investing in for time/money, can feel like gambling.
  • The animation exercises are cookie cutter and don't adapt to each individual student.
  • And tend to cater to their prodigies or students who already have years of on the job experience.

Other schools also simply do not cover other keys to animating like: Entertainment, Creativity, Planning, 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.

Will this work for me?

I don't care if your a 65 year old with blue hair that's graduated 2 universities, 3 online schools and still don't have a job. Rusty Animator School will set you up to win.

  • Even if you’ve “never animated before”
  • Even if you’re “not creative”
  • Even if you never made anything “pixar worthy”

You'll finally have a school that cares about your success, personalized attention from world class mentors, with in-depth critiques that answer all your biggest animation questions.

So, If you still think your a special snowflake who will always have it harder than 1,000s of other animators ask yourself -- are you just looking for an excuse not to join? An excuse to prove you can't succeed?

Rusty Animator School is built off my 5+ years of working experience in VFX, Games, and TV. At studios BIG and small. And my battle tested live mentoring with 13 successful terms worth of students. Many of who accepted their first animation jobs ever.

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 the practice.

That kind of person wont make it anywhere no matter what school or course they join.

Will this help me if I've already been through a lot of Schooling / Courses

In all your schooling have you had outstanding and caring mentors the entire time? Did you have customized animations based on your skills, struggles, goals, and week to week progress? Did you receive in-depth critiques and feedback that explained body mechanics, acting, planning, workflow in high enough detail for you to make an outstanding demo reel?

And did you get an animation job?

If you haven't Rusty Animator School will not only help you - it was built for you.

I can't afford Rusty Animator School - Can I get a discount?

If joining Rusty Animator School makes the difference between you getting your rent getting 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 Rusty Animator School you probably wont let it go to waste. You’ll put extra effort into making the most of it - you’ll be dedicated.

How much time do I need?

8 hours a week is the minimum to make significant progress. Which is actually less than 2 hours a day.

So you can do that even with a full time job. My live mentoring students have proven that as most of them do work full time.

Of course, the more time you can put into it the better. As you'll make a jaw dropping demo reel faster and get hired. 

How are class times decided?

Students vote on the times a week that work for them. Usually this usually means we have classes on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. With some classes earlier and some later. 

In my live mentoring we've also had students from all over the US, Australia, India, Spain, Ireland, Sweden, etc.

Worst case scenario if there's no class time that works for you we can have a 1 on 1 class. But that has only happened once in 13 terms of live mentoring.

Overall, Rusty Animator School is very flexible.

How do I know this school is good?

As Rusty Animator School is brand new this is a great question. However, the school is essentially evolved from my live mentoring program called Augmented Animator. 

Throughout the course page here you'll see testimonials from their experience, example animations, and a video compilation of what it was like for them here: LINK

This is the most concrete proof you have that this school experience will be good for you. Beyond all that there are example critiques of our pro mentors and how the school is setup to be quite different from any other. 

What software / tools do I need?

In Rusty Animator School and in my live mentoring the software that most students use is Maya. It's the 3d software used the most by animators in studios so it has a lot of handy animation tools.

That said, if all you had was a simple 2d animation program or Blender because its free -- thats completely fine.

The art of animation itself, how you create overlap, weight, power, balance, and so on will all be the same. So you will learn either way. 

Outside of animating software, we use Zoom for our live classes and free sync sketch accounts for frame by framing your animation.

Steve Filatch Former Walt Disney Studios Animator @ Steamroller (hired alumni)

if you have any doubts – brush it off. Just take the class. You don’t know what you’re missing.


The different thing about this program for those of you that are having the doubts, he tailors the program to your needs, not a lot of people do that.

For me I wanted to make show reel pieces – I wanted a complete 3. I didn’t get 3 but I got 2. They were 2 QUALITY pieces though with a full-time job. And I was working 10 hours a day at my job. So, anything is possible. And Rusty made that possible.

So, if you have any doubts – NAH - shake that off – brush it off. Just take the class. You don’t know what you’re missing.

Xavier Robertson Animator (Hired Alumni)

If I could start all over again I would have done Rusty Animator School right away instead of college.


If I could of started all over again I would have done Rusty Animator School right away the entire time. Right out of high school. Instead of college.

I would have been so much better off. I would of learned faster. Got hired sooner. Especially with how focused on animation I'd be.

And its what I wanted to do. And realistically I could have done it. If I took the "L" on listening to my family saying I needed a degree and thinking I'm crazy. Then if it didn't work out I could always go to a college after for a degree. Or join the military.

I think people think they need to go to a regular college first then do animation later. Or their parents / society tell them they need to go to college or they wont be successful. But its not right.

Mike Hanchett Animator @ Spin VFX (Hired Alumni)

Understanding Weight was my biggest breakthrough


After graduating school I realized one of my biggest struggles was selling weight.

Then in Rusty Animator School understanding weight was probably my biggest breakthrough. It definitely helped a TON. WAY more than I could have done on my own.

Fernando Cuevas Animation College Student

After the course I’m WAY more confident in my skillset - I’m 10 times better than before.


From when I started, I wasn’t too confident showing off my animations. But after the course I’m WAY more confident in my skillset. I feel like I overcome so many different things and make it look really cool. Its like the different between day and night. Before the course and after the course I’m 10 times better.

Ngoc Vu Lead Artist @ Route 59

Definitely just take the jump. I don't regret it at all. 


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.

Carlos Gotay Animator @ Troll House Games

I highly, highly, recommend Augmented Animator


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.

Katie Nolan Senior Graphic Designer

I am so much happier now that I feel like I’m constantly progressing


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.

Chanthi Vijayapala Animator @ Cinesite (Hired Alumni)

with your course you really pushed me with my animation -  which improved sooo much!


I used to rely on reference so much. Which makes sense, but the problem is I would just copy the reference.

And with your course you really pushed me to push my poses and get more fluidity and get more looser with my animation - which improved sooo much!

Like I remember with the ice skater...that was the moment I realized Oh my god yes - this is what animation is. You're not just copying the reference, you're pushing it, because thats what gives it pizzazz. Thats what makes it look appealing and entertaining. Its one of those things you know but you don't realize. But the moment that you realize it - it's like "OMG I found the secret!"

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