Project Based Learning Electives provided by the Berrien Springs Virtual Academy

The Animation Course: FALL 2023

Virtual Learning Coordinator: Tina Kohler,

Location: Online using Adobe Connect
Ages: 11-18
Day/Time: 12- 1 hour long sessions, 1 hour per week. The Animation Course is held at a specific weekly time using Adobe Connect.  
You do not need special software. See website for open days and times and software/hardware requirements.  
See how to register below


Instructor Introduction: Chad Stewart, former Disney animator and homeschool father to 8 wonderful children. Beginning his career as an old fashioned hand-drawing animator (flipping pages), he has been working in the feature animation world for about 26 years! He made the switch to digital/computer animation about 15 years ago and now has expertise in both types of animation. He has been very much a part of our 16 year journey in homeschooling our children and has enjoyed that process of teaching. About 10 years ago, he began teaching at an online animation school for career-minded adults and that experience was so positive that he and his wife began to envision The Animation Course for school age students. 

Animation LEVEL 1:
Topics covered through the class:

  • The Principles of Animation
  • Traditional Hand Drawn animation
  • Computer Generated animation
  • Joint critiques of student work
  • Animation History
  • and much more

​Animation LEVEL 2:
Prerequisite:  The Animation Course:  Level 1
Topics covered through the course:

  • Weight and Balance
  • Basic human structure
  • Force
  • Body language
  • Examining human walks and runs
  • Acting and Expression
  • Communication and the Face
  • Joint critiques of student work
  • and much more

Animation LEVEL 3:
Prerequisite:  The Animation Course:  Levels 1 & 2
Topics covered through the course:

  • Plot and Story Structure
  • Character development
  • Storyboarding
  • Dialogue
  • Showing not Telling
  • Communicating with the Camera: Basic types of shots
  • Editing:  Cuts and Transitions
  • The Power of Sound
  • and much more

Animation LEVEL 4:
Prerequisite:  The Animation Course:  Levels 1, 2 & 3
Topics covered through the course:

  • Instructor Mentoring and student critiques
  • Flexibility and film making
  • Good ideas come from observation
  • Overcoming frustration with perseverance and encouragement
  • Practice, practice, practice!
  • and much more​

Animation: CAT (Continual Animation Training)
Prerequisite:  The Animation Course:  Levels 1, 2, 3 & 4
Topics covered through the course:

  • Working together to achieve a singular vision
  • Filling a role well on an animation production
  • How to detail and refine an animation shot
  • Good ideas come from everywhere
  • Patience, patience, patience!
  • and much more

Drawing LEVEL 1: Fundamentals of Drawing
*The Drawing courses may be taken in any order

Topics covered through the course:

  • Perspective
  • How to “See”
  • Texture
  • Line and Shape
  • Design
  • Light and Shadow
  • Silhouette
  • introduction to “Creating a Character”
  • and much more

​Drawing LEVEL 2: Drawing for Animation
*The Drawing courses may be taken in any order
Topics covered through the course:

  • Character Expression
  • Shape and design
  • Personality
  • Gesture and motion
  • Structure: Skeletal and Muscular
  • Silhouette value
  • Creating a Character
  • and much more

Register for class on our registration site and also register to reserve your spot with The Animation Course

You may register for the LIVE or the Recorded and Graded class option. You do NOT need to pay a deposit.  After registering for the class with the Partnership you will receive a registration confirmation and instructions which will include the required discount code, to complete registration on The Animation Course website. If you have questions regarding the classes, contact Kayla at  The Animation Course

*All Partnership classes, including virtuals, are Project-Based Learning courses.  Every student taking a virtual course needs to complete a project of his or her choosing that correlates to the Learning Goal (why are you taking this class?).  The project for the Animation or Drawing classes could be in the form of a portfolio or video presentation of the work completed and must be completed and submitted to virtual coordinator by the end of the semester.

Teacher of Record:  Lisa Van Plew-Cid