If you will be 14 on the first day of class, you actually are qualified to take our Maya Workshop: Animation Basics. The workshop will get you started on the basics of an animation workflow, 3D Animation fundamentals, and how to use Autodesk Maya. A 3 year student license to Maya is also included in the cost of tuition.
While we can't take students younger than 14 into our workshop and students younger than 18 into our main programs due to legal issues we do have some resources to suggest that may help.
*Read the Animator's Survival Kit and Illusion of Life - Both are books used in our courses and a fantastic resource for both aspiring and current animators.
*Take Figure drawing classes - If there are any workshops in your area through local schools or museums that offer figure drawing, these can be a great start to understanding the human body's structure. You can also find many figure drawing resources online, though they aren't quite as good as the real thing.
*Bring a Sketchbook to the zoo, coffee shops, etc - anywhere that you can observe people and animals! You should focus on the "line of action" talked about in the books above and try to sketch the "idea" of what you're seeing in 30 seconds or less. Your goal is to try and communicate the motion and flow of a pose, not every detail of the figure.
*Download our free Squirrels Rig and watch the associated controls overview. Our YouTube channel is a great resource in general for free content and tips (Autodesk offers a free 30 day trial of Maya, used in the videos).
*Animation Mentor Blog: Tips and Tricks - This section of our blog contains advice from industry professionals as well as free animation tips.
*Animation Mentor Resources Page - This section of our site contains free resources for aspiring animators