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January 10, 2020 – January 12, 2020

Friday-Sunday | 10am-4pm | 3 Days

Instructor: Nate Sonenfeld

Location: Classes & Admin Offices

Learn to use Adobe Animate to enhance your video projects or to bring your illustrations to life.  The class will alternate between demonstration/lecture and open time for you to try out techniques with instructor support and feedback.  

On the first day, using the “Illusion of Life 12 Principles of Animation” as a framework, we’ll dig into Animate’s drawing tools and 3D layering and virtual camera functions (for life-like zooming and parallax scrolling).  Some short exercises will allow you to get comfortable with the interface and experiment with the tools themselves.  

The second day is devoted to the industry-standard work flow of storyboarding your project, making an animatic (a lightly animated storyboard to work out timing), roughing it out in Animate and doing a final pass in Photoshop.  This method takes advantage of Photoshop’s brush options and strengths at creating backgrounds and other digital assets. By the end of the day you’ll have one or more looping Photoshop gifs under your belt.  

The third day is devoted to a personal project in either Animate, Photoshop or both.  You are welcome to bring in something you are working on, or take on a short experimental piece, music video or other approach of your choice.  You’ll be able to add music using Adobe Premiere as a final step.  


  • The Animate/Photoshop interface
  • Comprehensive overview of Animate’s tools
  • 2D animation fundamentals
  • Compositing animation and video
  • Straight-ahead vs Key-framed animation
  • Animating in Photoshop
  • 3D layers in Animate and parallaxing backgrounds
  • Vector and bitmap graphics
  • Virtual camera
  • Digital puppet animation
  • Exporting and codecs
  • Get Instructor feedback and guidance for your animating

The workshop takes place in the Film Center Edit Lab (Adobe Creative Suite with Wacom pins and Intuos tablets). Bring a Mac formatted external hard drive if you want to take your work home.

Check out this example of the instructor’s computer animation work:


Prerequisites: A basic understanding of Adobe Photoshop and Premiere.


This class is in: Classes

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.