Skip to main content

Course Review: The Rogue Animator - Learn How to Create Animation from Idea to Finished Animated Short

The Rogue Animator.
Premium Training by 2D Animation 101.
2D Animation 101's Premium Video Course, The Rogue Animator, aspires to teach you how to create your own 2D animated short in ten days. To do this, course instructor, Mark Diaz, takes you through his entire process of creating one of his animated shorts, then, helps you through the same process using your own idea for a production.

The course is targeted at beginner to intermediate animators (or anyone struggling to achieve an efficient work flow), who are generally one person teams, looking to get their own ideas into the world through video sites like YouTube.

About the Course


In the introduction video Mark explains exactly how much time you'll need to set aside each day to complete the course in ten days. He also understands that not everyone will have that much time to spare so offers some alternative, longer timeline examples. The key point being, that you need to take the time to watch the videos and apply the concepts on a consistent and, ideally, daily basis in order to achieve the course goals.

A scene from the course's demonstration animated
short you'll be creating your own version of.
The course its self is divided into days, so you know exactly how much you need to do to stay on schedule. As you follow Mark creating his short animation, each video has a short quiz attached with one or more questions. These are not usually difficult and are just there to help you retain what you've learned.

Each day ends with downloadable work book pdf's that summarize the main points of the lesson. Mark also makes all his working files and assets available so you can study them yourself if you wish. There's also plenty of opportunity to ask questions and get feedback on every stage of your learning.

At the end of the first ten days (if you stick to the schedule) you'll have learned a repeatable workflow for creating your own animated shorts. You will also have your own version of Mark's animated short to demonstrate that you can produce a complete animated production quickly.

From there, you should have the confidence to go through the exact same work flow again, but with your own, original idea. Stage 2 includes an introductory video but, after that, there is no video lessons for this part of the course. Instead you step through a written schedule, each day, that reminds you of what you should be working on. You can still ask questions and get feedback on your work as you go, so you're not simply going it alone on your very first original animation.

In Review


The Rogue Animator is not designed to teach you how to animate well, or mix sound well, or edit your final animation well. In fact, your purchase comes with several of 2D Animation 101's other courses bundled that go into the specifics of creating different aspects of animation and the software used in much more detail, if you are looking to improve your skills. It also includes a great course on how to make money from animation and design through sites like fiverr.com.

The main purpose of the course is to teach a repeatable workflow, that a single person production team (i.e. a rogue animator), can put into practice to produce complete animations quickly. The kind of workflow needed to succeed on sites like YouTube, where uploading new videos with some consistency is necessary in order to grow a channel.

Overall, I think it succeeds. The biggest take away is the work flow. If you were to adopt the same schedule using Mark's tips to speed up production, you could easily become a very prolific content creator of animation.

Mark, himself, encourages you to use this workflow to animate any small idea you have. Don't wait for epic ideas of awesome, just animate a joke or some other small thought you may have had. You may not be great right now but the more you repeat the process the better you'll get. Your confidence will grow to tackle more ambitious projects using the same workflow as your skills improve.

Moho Pro is a great bridge
between hobby and
Pro animation.
The course does focus heavily on specific software applications such as Adobe Story, Photoshop, Moho, Audacity and Adobe Premier. Which is great if you have those applications. It'll really help you use them more effectively and remember where everything is. With the level of detail Mark shows his process I think you could follow along even if you've yet to learn any of the software being used.

However if you're following along with other equivalent software, which Mark says you should be able to do, you will find the detail Mark demonstrates each application a little irrelevant.

Thankfully he does fast forward through processes you've already seen him perform in detail, so it's not a big problem. Though I did find it a little annoying that some of the daily quizzes asked recurring questions about short cut keys used in specific applications. e.g. I don't need to commit Photoshop short cut keys to memory if I'm not using Photoshop to create my graphics.

Mark's enthusiasm, style of teaching, humor and his general, on camera presence does make this course very easy to keep coming back to. You never feel like it's all too hard, especially with the many shortcuts presented to overcome common hurdles to completing an animated short.

What I particularly like about this course is that it is geared towards showing how one person can achieve an efficient production schedule and produce animated shorts on a consistent basis. It's not targeted at professional animators. It's for people who have an interest in animation and are just finding their feet, or have made some in roads but haven't figured out how to schedule their time to complete projects quickly.

Learning facial animation and
lip Syncing in Moho Pro.

There's enough here to get you started as an independent animator creating short, 2D animations for a YouTube channel, even if you've never animated before or don't think you can draw well enough. Once you learn the very important skill of actually completing an animation, you'll be able to improve all those secondary skills with every new project (and completing some of the bundled courses).

If the idea of becoming a 'rogue' animator sounds appealing to you then I highly recommend this course as an essential starter. Much of the software used is relevant to a professional career in animation if that's your dream. Moho, in particular is gaining ground in the professional animation space for its advanced features.

If you just want to animate as a hobby then you won't be overloaded with information. You'll learn just enough to get a great kick start into animating your own ideas and stories. The important thing is, you'll know how to get your idea to a completed animated short.

Learn more about The Rogue Animator on 2DAnimation101's website.


* This post contains Affiliate Links to 2D Animation 101 courses.

Popular posts from this blog

Featured Animator: Christian Haynes - 'Zack In Time' An Original, Independent, Animated Series on the Rise

Christian Haynes - Zack In Time.  If you've ever wanted to create an animated TV series staring your own original characters and stories then Los Angeles based writer, director, and animator, Christian Haynes is taking those next steps of putting together a team, developing a pitch/trailer for their series, Zack In Time. Featuring professional studio quality animation, they hope the show will get picked up by an animation studio for an official series. The path he and his team are taking is one you could easily follow as they deal with real life commitments, and building a following on Instagram and Tik-Tok showcasing their work behind the scenes. TET: Tell me a little about yourself. Who you are, and why you started animating? My name is Christian Haynes and I've loved animation ever since I was a kid. I would constantly be drawing cartoon characters from TV shows and movies and making my own little homemade comic strips.  As I got older, I became a lot more interested in st

Reallusion Releases Cartoon Animator 5 - One Version, More Features, Lower Price!

If you're serious about producing 2D animation as quickly as possible, while still achieving professional results, Reallusion's Cartoon Animator 5 makes the most compelling case yet as your animation studio/tool of choice. Cartoon Animator's point of difference has always been its ease of use and accelerated workflow. Creating fast, 2D animation using puppet, bone rigged based characters and props, on a stage with 3D depth for easy scene parallax effects. As it has developed Reallusion has incorporated more advanced features like motion capture for both face and body as well as being able to export scenes to post production tools like After Effects with the addition of plugins. After moving away from Flash based vector image support for a few years, Reallusion is back with full .SVG (scalable vector graphics) support for resolution independent graphics. They've also added Spring Dynamic physics and Full Form Deformation tools, both of which make it ridiculously easy t

Shotcut - Free Open Source Video Editor for Windows, Mac, and Linux

Shotcut Open Source Video Editor. I've been on the hunt for a while now for the best, free, open source, video editing application out there. In Shotcut , by Meltytech , which has versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux, I think I may have found a real front runner. This won't be a feature filled review, rather it will be my first impressions after having used Shotcut on a few of my YouTube videos so far. One of my key criteria for a video editor is the ability to import any video format directly into the project. This may seem like an odd focus initially but having convert video to something your video editor can use is annoyingly time consuming, and it creates a new generation of footage, potentially with a loss in quality if you don't really know much about video format specs (that's this guy right here!). Shotcut will happily work with my OBS recordings (.FLV), and .MOV, .MP4 files that I get from two different cameras. Not only that but Shotcut doesn't hold me up

Eric W. Schwartz: Cartoonist, Animator and Amiga Die Hard

July 1992 Edition, CU Amiga Featuring Amy the Squirrel. American Cartoonist, Eric W. Schwartz , (whose unofficial Amiga Icon, Amy the Squirrel, is pictured on the July 92 edition of CU Amiga cover on the right) is my only real animation hero. Sure there are the big names like Disney , Chuck Jones , Tex Avery and even Preston Blair whose influences can all be seen in my own cartoons but Eric did what none of the others could. He showed that really great 2D computer animation was within my reach with little more than an Amiga Computer , a copy of Deluxe Paint and Moviesetter . This was at a time when computer based animation was in its infancy (outside of computer game animation) and Flash was something that lights did. There were many great Amiga artists but Eric was really the only one consistently making very funny, traditional style animations. His humor and drawing style is heavily influenced by classic Warner Brothers and Disney cartoons but he managed to build on this,

Make Disney/Pixar Style Characters with Reallusion's Character Creator and Toon Figure Bases

The Extraordinary Tourist Classic Coat outfit created using Reallusion's Toon Designer for CC3. I've talked before how I've wanted to get into 3D Disney/Pixar style character animation since I first saw the animated cutscenes for the very first Tomb Raider game back in 1996. It's why I initially bought Reallusion's iClone 3D studio app as soon as I could afford a computer that would run it. But then Reallusion released their 3D Character Creator (CC) for iClone and I wanted to create my characters with that (and I did try with Bat Storm ). But the focus of CC was realism, even with ToKoMotion's stylised body morphs . Now with Reallusion's Cartoon Designer bundle for CC3 which features two packs, Toon Figures , and Toon Hair , designing Disney/Pixar style 3D characters just got a whole lot quicker. The two packs are the bare essentials for creating Toon style characters. Five body morphs (2 male, 2 female, and one adolescent body morph that w

TimeBolt: Fast Video Editing for Anyone Creating Online Courses, Podcasts, or Vlogs.

I resisted making tutorial videos for a long time because I don't like editing. Specifically I don't like editing me teaching as I step students through a process during a screen record. I have a tendency to insert long pauses not just in the middle of sentences but between multiple words in the middle of sentences as my pace matches what I'm doing onscreen. This makes for very long and very slow paced video tutorials. To counteract this I have to edit out all the pauses. This can take hours, or even days on particularly long tutorials. For example, when I created my main course, The Lazy Animator Beginner's Guide to Cartoon Animator , I literally injured the thumb on my right hand, operating my mouse, as I spent weeks taking out all my pauses (seriously, I had to wear a thumb brace for a few weeks to fix the pain). Recently I came across TimeBolt , a very affordable, fast editing application with the featured purpose of removing all the pauses from your video (and even

Review: Headshot Plugin for Reallusion's Character Creator 3

Headshot for CC3. Quite possibly the best 3D Avatar I've made of myself in any 3D application. Creating a realistic 3D human avatar is a whole lot easier with Reallusion's new Headshot Plugin for Character Creator 3. The plugin is an AI powered extension that can generate 3D digital humans from one photo. Which sounds like an amazing proposition but, in practice, if you're trying to achieve a specific likeness to an actual person, Headshot will give you an excellent base to work from. Headshot has two modes, Auto and Pro. Auto Mode Auto is well worth a try if you have an ideal photo of a front facing person that is properly lit and posed to Headshot's optimum requirements. It's also the only mode that will take a crack at generating a hair model. I grabbed an image of Harrison Ford, dragged it into Headshot without changing any of the default settings (other than specifying 'male' and selecting an 'old male' setting) and this is what I