Online Courses & Mentorship for 3D Artists

Do you dream of having a career working in computer animation? Make that dream into a reality! At The Academy of Animated Art, we focus on giving you valuable affordable education that will help you succeed in this competitive industry.

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About Academy of Animated Art

At Academy of Animated Art, strive to give you practical information that will lead you to a successful career in computer animation and visual effects.

“I don’t believe I would have been able to get the job I have today without the skills and knowledge I gained from tdu.

I was a little hesitant about signing up because I wanted to make sure I was getting my money’s worth out of an online class. These courses are worth every penny and then some! The investment I have made in my career.”

- Anthony Ragusa, Senior Lighting Technical Director, Blue Sky Studios

"I knew I wanted to be a lighter, but didn't feel I had enough experience or quality showreel material to get the jobs I wanted.

The showreel I used to get my current job contained a large majority of work from the assignments I did at TD-U. It has also helped improve how I go about breaking down the lighting in a shot and ensuring that my lighting starts on strong fundamentals."

- Chris Wetherly, Compositing & Finishing at The Foundry

"This course was so beneficial in my career because now I no longer doubt the decisions I make regarding my work.

Also, I didn't have money to afford college so I did not want to spend time just doing some boring tutorials I would just forget. I use what I learned from tdu everyday!"

- Anuar Figueroa, Lighting TD at Sony Imageworks


Is Academy of Animated Art right for you?

If any of this sounds like you, we are right for you.

  • Are you someone that has always dreamed of a challenging, rewarding career that pushes you both technically and artistically? tdu is right for you.
  • Have you been trying and trying to make better looking 3D images, but just can’t figure out where to begin? tdu is right for you.
  • Do you live where there are no schools are teaching visual effects or computer animation? tdu is right for you.
  • Are you looking to change careers but even the thought of paying to go back to a traditional school sounds like torture? tdu is right for you.
  • Have you ever dreamed of seeing your name in the credits of the next animated or VFX film? tdu is right for you.

Still, not sure if Academy of Animated Art is right for you?

Believe me, we get it. Although these courses are a fraction of the cost you would pay a traditional school, this is still a lot of money. So here are some reasons why you should be willing to give us a try.

  • We have our free, online webinar that gives you a little taste of tdu as well as provide you with some truly valuable information. This one-hour class will help you get to know us and see if we are right for you.
  • We also offer a 15-day money back guarantee. If you sign up and find that tdu isn’t right for you, we will offer a refund, no questions asked.
  • We offer lifetime access to all our courses. This means that you will have access to all the updates and changes we make to the classes as this ever-changing industry continues to evolve.
  • We offer access to our Facebook Private group that allows you the ability to connect with artists and industry professionals all over the world.

Certificate of Advanced Studies in Lighting

Receive Academy of Animated Art Certificate of Advanced Studies in Lighting by completing the following requirements:

  • Completion of a minimum of 5 Academy of Animated Art courses
  • Five still images representing a variety of proficiencies in different lighting conditions.
  • A minimum 10 seconds of lighting work done on animated characters.

Certificate submissions will be reviewed by industry professionals.


What are the origins of Academy of Animated Art?

The Academy is the brainchild of two Lighting TDs who decided to explore a different way of educating students on the non-animation disciplines of animated features and visual effects. tdu is designed to be an online education system that was affordable and accessible to everyone looking to get started in computer graphics or expanding their existing knowledge in this ever-changing industry.

While there are many options for students and professionals to improve their skills in character animation, there were very few options for those interested in lighting, compositing, rigging, materials, fx, and all other crafts in the industry.

We are here to change that!

Why did we create Academy of Animated Art?

We created Academy of Animated Art because working in animated features and visual effects has been a dream come true and we wanted to share that experience with you. It is an extremely complex and challenging industry, both technically and artistically, but it is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have.

What are the main philosophies of Academy of Animated Art?

  • Students are trained by current working industry professionals to learn the most up to date practices and techniques.
  • The goal of Academy of Animated Art is not to teach specific software packages. Instead, we focus on teaching the art of creating beautiful images and arming individuals with the well-trained eye needed to be successful in this industry.
  • Academy of Animated Art is an affordable, reasonable way to elevate aspiring artists into the career of their dreams!

Who is behind Academy of Animated Art?

Jasmine Katatikarn and Michael Tanzillo are the Co-Founders of Academy of Animated Art. They are both Senior Lighting Artists at Blue Sky Studios with a combined 20+ years of working on VFX and Animated Films.

Mike and Jasmine created Academy of Animated Art because working in animated features and visual effects has been a dream come true. They were both struggling, young artists who were a bit lost before making the decision to try and become lighting artists. Since then, they have been able to launch careers that have allowed them the opportunity to not only work in an industry that is challenging and fulfilling, but also lead a full life outside of work including traveling the world and starting a family.

This success did not come without a price. Mike and Jasmine have combined to spend over $100,000 on their education before getting their first jobs in animation. Even after that, there was still a gap between what they learned in school and what they needed to know to ultimately succeed in this industry. Now, after more than 20 films and countless student loan payments, they have designed a way to teach artists the necessary skills in order to be successful in this industry without the huge financial burden. The system included a school designed to be an online education system that was affordable and accessible to everyone around the world who wants to chase their dream of working on the next big animated film.

In other words, they have designed a school they wish existed so they could get their dream job faster and save $100,000 in the process.

That school is Academy of Animated Art.


This is the average salary for a Lighting TD according to Glass Ceiling.

Would you like to make a 6-figure salary working a job that is both technically and aesthetically rewarding on animated films?

Academy of Animated Art can help