Project Description

Our Disney Animator will instruct the students “The Disney Way” of Animation.

Walt Disney was an artist and animator before he started the the theme parks and to carry on his legacy we will draw the way it all started! Two decades of experience in the feature animation industry will be ‘drawn’ upon in teaching the Tradional Animation class.

Basic drawing fundamentals will be taught- volumes, proportions, perspective, construction lines, etc. Animated discussions will take place- favorite shows/movies/characters/industry related topics- the good, bad, and the ugly! Students will learn the process and evolution of animation and how to bring their drawings to life and infuse them with personality.

Basic 12 Principals of Animation are instructed first then the basic fundamentals of Animation will be re-enforced and combined (for example- squash and stretch principles combined with overlapping actions)

Mediums & Media/Programs Used

  • Pencils
  • Paper
  • Drawing Board
  • Flip-book Animation

Subjects Covered

  • Beginners Drawing
  • Concept Creation
  • Design Basics


Woody Woodman

Foundational Drawing / Illustration / Story Boards / Comics Instructor

Woody Woodman is an artist, storyteller and teacher with 20 years in the animation industry. After being honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps in 1991, I began my pursuit to become a professional artist, and enrolled at Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota Florida, where I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

I was recruited by Walt Disney Feature Animation and continued my education in their internship program in Orlando Florida in July of 1997. I began my animation career as an ‘inbetweener’ on the film “Mulan” with Barry Cook. I worked on several films; “Tarzan,” “The Emperor’s New Groove” and “Lilo & Stitch” Then I was accepted into the story department working with some of the finest storyboard artists and directors in the business. I also worked on “Treasure Planet” with Ron Clements, John Musker and Glen Keane. I continued to work for Disney in the story department on “Brother Bear” and a few films that where never realized, until the Orlando studio was shut down in 2003. Woody has continued his Animation experience working with such clients such as: Aardman, Lucas Films, Laika and 20 Century Fox.

Thomas Thorspecken


Thomas Thorspecken

Traditional Animation / Sketching / Foundational Drawing / Figure Drawing Instructor

Thomas Thorspecken, also known as Thor, attended the school of Visual Arts and Design in New York City.  In his 10 years as a freelance illustrator in the city, one of his assignments for the Daily News included sketching historic buildings throughout the city for a column called “Undiscovered Manhattan”.  Thor relocated to Orlando in 1993 to work for Disney Feature Animation.

After 10 years the studio closed, and he continued to pursue his passion for art through teaching and sketching.  His blog “Analog Artist Digital World” began in 2009 as a resolution to post a sketch every day.  He describes it as “his way to finally put down roots, to be part of the community, one sketch at a time.”  Thor has also been teaching Traditional Animation at Full Sail University and now is part of a great team of instructors at Elite Animation Academy.  Thor will continue his passion to teach and now will include Middle and High School students.  Some of the classes he will teach include Traditional Animation, Drawing Fundamental and Urban Sketching.

Sophia Hidalgo

Digital & Traditional Instructor

Sophia Hidalgo is a young animator, digital, and traditional artist skilled in 2D & 3D character animation, storyboarding, illustration, and editing. Some programs that she frequently uses are Autodesk Maya, Adobe Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere, Substance Painter, Illustrator, Animate, and Clip Studio Paint.

Graduated from University of Central Florida with a BFA in Character Animation where she produced a short film with her team. She is an intense anime enthusiast, avid video game player, and was also certified as a Veterinary Assistant. Going through a scientific and artistsic field she couldn’t let go of what she was truely passionate about, creating characters and stories through the world of art. ”