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Physics for Character Animators is a Course

Physics for Character Animators

Ended Mar 28, 2016

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Full course description

Course Date:

Feb 22 - Mar 28, 2016


5 weeks


2-3 hrs/week



Course Type:





Whether you're a traditional, CG, or stop-motion animator, to create realistic motion, it's helpful to know some physics. This course presents the concepts that are most useful to character animation artists. Topics of study include:

  • Center of Gravity and Static Balance
  • Dynamic Balance and Weight Shift
  • Joints, Levers, and Torque
  • Action and Reaction
  • Physics of Jumps
  • Physics of Walks
  • Creating Scale

This course is self-paced and has no math beyond multiplication and division. As a capstone assignment you’ll apply what you learn to create your own character animation shot.

Note: To get the most out of this course take “Basic Physics for Animators”, also available on Canvas Network.


Course Instructors

Alejandro Garcia

Alejandro Garcia

Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Professor Alejandro Garcia teaches physics to animation artists at San Jose State University. He has also been a physics consultant with DreamWorks Animation SKG, working on films such as Madagascar 3 and Mr. Peabody and Sherman.