Sheridan Animation Year 2 Semester 1


My name is Terry and here’s all my work from Year 2 Semester 1 of Sheridan’s Animation Program.

You can see my previous work here:


A Break Down of Year 2 Semester 1

The first semester of Sheridan’s Animation Program has a total of six courses broken into eight classes:

  1. 2D Applications: 3 hour class
  2. Animation Action Analysis:
    • Animation Lab: 2 hour class
    • Animation Lecture: 1 hour class
  3. 2D Layout:
    • 2D Layout Lab: 2 hour class
    • 2D Layout Lecture: 1 hour class
  4. Life Drawing: 3 hour class
  5. 3D Animation: 3 hour class
  6. Storyboarding: 2 hour class


2D Applications

This class is a continuation of Digital Tools from Year 1. Unfortunately, I lost all my assignment work, because I didn’t save it before the drive was wiped over the break. Lesson learned! 😦

Animation Action Analysis

Smear Frame

For this assignment we have to move a character from one side of the screen to the other using only one frame, called a smear frame.

Flame FX

For this assignment, we have to animate a candle flame in a loop.

Action Analysis

For this assignment, we have to animate a character pushing a heavy box (motivation, interaction, result).



Walk Take Run

For this assignment, we must animate 3 shots:

  • Shot 1: Character A runs/walks into the scene
  • Shot 2: Character A meets Character B, either character does a take
  • Shot 3: Character B runs/walks away



Final with Colour (for fun!):

2D Layout

Cafe Interior Rough Line


  • Counter for transaction
  • Doorway
  • Window
  • Seating
  • Linework must be rough, but ready for cleanup
  • Multiple underlays and overlays ready for animation (Ex. a character can walk behind or in front of objects)

Sheridan College Layout Shop Interior Rough Line

Street Corner Rough Line


  • A shop on the corner of a street
  • Linework must be rough, but ready for cleanup
  • Multiple underlays and overlays ready for animation

Sheridan College Layout Street Corner

Vertical Pan

Two camera movements – a pan and a truck in/out

  • Motivation for the pan and truck. Mine follows the milk stream down to a mouse swimming in milk, with a truck out to show a cat watching
  • Linework must be rough, but ready for cleanup
  • Clean line finished using vector
  • Multiple underlays and overlays ready for animation

Cafe Interior Clean Line


  • Choose either the shop interior or shop exterior to clean up.
  • Clean line follows the style of an established show. I chose Gravity Falls.

Sheridan College Layout Shop Interior Clean Line

3D Animation

For 3D, we are provided with a number of rigged models, which we animate step-by-step in class.

Bouncing Ball


  • Ball bounces once
  • Ball recoils like jelly after the bounce

Ball and Tail


  • Ball bounces twice before bouncing onto a box
  • Ball jumps off the box
  • Tail follows through

Bipedal Step to the Side


  • Character (provided) dows a stretch step to the side, away from a falling box
  • Character reacts to box that fell

Walk Cycle

Holy crap this assignment was tricky! I’ve never worked with a 3D model like this before and it was certainly a learning curve. I’m not at all happy with the result, but my mentality with my projects this year was to do my best with the time allotted and move on, rather than trying to perfect things which was what I did last year.


  • Character (provided) takes 4 steps

Dog Walk Cycle


  1. Dog (provided) loops in a walking cycle
  2. Tongue’s gotta stick out and flop!
  3. Ears gotta flop, plus follow through on all other body parts
  4. Two actions after the cycle completes. I chose bark and sit

Motivated Sit (audio provided)


  • Film 2 reference videos of yourself sitting down (front and side)
  • Sit down needs a motivation (audio provided)
  • Final video must be 5 seconds or less

Reference Video of Me!


Life Drawing

3 Figures: Natural, Skeleton, Cartoon

This is an in-class assignment where you draw the figure as they are posed, and then draw a skeleton and cartoon character of yours in the same position.

This assignment is right after we get back from the break. I was super rusty since I did zero life drawing over the summer and could barely remember what the skeleton even looked like (sorry for the crumple!!!!).

sheridan animation life drawing 3 figures


Two Great Danes come in and we draw them in class!

sheridan animation life drawing dogs

Skeleton Sketches

Skeleton models are brought in and we have to draw them in class – one 5 minute sketch and a 20 minute sketch from a different angle. We then take the 20 minute sketch home and research and draw one muscle in place on the skeleton.

Royal Winter Fair

  • 3 pages of quick sketches of quadrupeds (1-3 minutes)
  • 1-2 pages of studies of quadrupeds (10+ minutes)

Figures in Perspective

For homework we draw a simple scene of geometry in perspective on an 18x 24x poster. In class, the model poses in various positions, which we replicate in perspective within our scene.

sheridan animation life drawing

Life Drawing Portfolio

  • 2-3 1/2 minute sketches
  • 3 muscles sketches
  • 1 10 minute portrait
  • 3-4 5-10 minute sketches

Storyboarding Class

For this class, I won’t be posting all the assignments because one of them is the same every year and is very easy to copy. The other is a group project involving the whole class and I didn’t receive permission from everyone to post it 🙂

The project I can share is called The Tickle Monster. We are provided a full script as if working on a TV episode. We then have to design a Fun Pack (characters, location, props, etc.), then we create thumbnail sketches for the storyboard, rough boards, clean boards, and finally a leica reel using pre-recorded sound effects provided to us.

There is a lot of scrolling, but at the end, you can see a video with the whole thing 🙂

Fun Pack

Thumbnail Sketches (good luck interpreting them!)

Rough Storyboards (click the first image to flip through in sequence)

Clean Storyboards (click the first image to flip through in sequence)

Final Leica Reel with Sound Effects


That’s All!

That’s everything from Sheridan’s Animation Program Year 2 Semester 1. I hope you enjoyed my work and found this insightful 🙂

If you’d like to see my work from last year, here you go:

And, if you’d like, follow me on Instagram, I post more of my art there (plus I’m not as serious as I probably sound in this post).

That’s it! Now you’ve seen my entire Sheridan Animation Portfolio for Year 2 Semester 1.

How to Get into Sheridan’s Animation Program

If you’re interested in applying to Sheridan’s Animation Program, click here to see my accepted entrance portfolio and my best advice on how to get in.

If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them. You can get in touch with me at

Thanks for reading!


Love Animation Podcasts?

If so, I also run a podcast where I interview some ultra rad animation people like Disney Director John Musker (Moana, Little Mermaid, Aladdin), South Park Producer Ryan Quincy, Cuphead Animator Tina Nawrocki, and many others on how they got into the industry and worked their way up.

You can find the podcast here: Animation Industry Podcast.

And that’s all for now.

Okay bye!

Sheridan Animation Year 1 Semester 2


My name is Terry and here’s all my work from Year 1 Semester 2 of Sheridan’s Animation Program.

If you want to see my work from last semester, you can find it here.


A Break Down of Year 1 Semester 2

The second semester of Sheridan’s Animation Program has a total of nine courses broken into ten classes:

  1. Character Design: 2 hour class
  2. Animation: 2 hour class
  3. Life Drawing: 3 hour class
  4. Digital Painting: 2 hour class
  5. Layout: 2 hour class
  6. Digital Tools: 2 hour class
  7. Story Development (composed of two classes)
    • Storyboard Class: 2 hour class
    • Story Principles Lecture: 1 hour class
  8. Animation History: 3 hour class
  9. Elective: varies, I have a previous degree in business so I am exempt from taking electives


Character Design Class

Our first assignment is to create an animal character and have them interact with a random object to tell a short story over a series of panels.

I created a fox and had him steal an egg. Here’s my sequence:

Fox Sequence - Terry Ibele

Next, we must create an anthropomorphic character timeline (baby, toddler, teen, adult, elderly). The focus for this assignment is to make sure the character is recognizable as the same character in every age.

I created a ladybug that grows up to become a butterfly.

Sheridan Animation Character Timeline

The next assignment is to create a complete character sheet (expressions and poses) with a new anthropomorphic character.

I chose to create a drag queen sheep and used the elegant Grant Vanderbilt as inspiration.

Untitled_Artwork (18)

Our last assignment is to create any character we want in any medium we want. The point of this is to find our voice as an animator and do something entirely in our own style with no limitations.

All we have to do is show two poses of our character and explain (visually or in writing) how we created the character.

I’m a big stop motion fan, so I decided to create a stop motion character.

Here is Gwendolyn and her duck Rex:

Queeny1Queeny2Final Queenby2

Animation Class Assignments

Our first animation assignment of the semester is to understand how to create a walk cycle using the conveyor belt method.

You can see the conveyor belt under the bug – the lines with the numbers. Basically the numbers tell you which frames the legs should be in different positions. It’s useful in creating an infinitely looping animation.

The professor provides us with a number of key frames (drawings of the bug in different walking poses) and all you have to do is draw the inbetweens. Alternatively, you could choose to animate the Pink Panther for this assignment.


After completing the bug, you can move on to animate your own original character in a walk cycle.

I wanted to challenge myself, so I created a skipping cycle for a robot I designed. I added a mouse trailing behind him to demonstrate a neutral walk cycle (no skipping) and threw a baby in for good measure.


Next we learn how to lip sync.

For this assignment, we must find the model sheets of an established animated character (2D/3D) and create a 360 degree head turn first.

After the head completes a full rotation, it must say, “meow” from prerecorded audio and then show an expression.

I chose Kuzco from The Emporer’s New Groove – one of my favourite movies.

Next we must animate a bipedal animal walking on all fours. This is a much more complex walk cycle, because each leg moves at a different pace.

I also wanted to challenge myself with this one, so I animated a panther breaking out into a run and pounce combo before returning to a neutral walk cycle.

A lot of animators use reference videos to help them understand how an animal moves. I was able to find a good panther walk cycle for reference, but not for the running and pouncing. Instead I had to study cats and dogs running, and a tiger pouncing to figure out what it should look like. I don’t think I was entirely successful, but I’m happy with the overall result.

The next assignment is a continuation from a character design assignment you saw above. You must rough animate a segment from the character sequence you created to show timing and motion.

Here’s my sequence again from Character Design class:

Fox Sequence - Terry Ibele

Below is my rough animation of it. However, I decided to animate my entire sequence instead of just a portion. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to get it all done, so the video below is cut a bit short.

Lastly, we have to animate a flour sack jumping in twice from the background and then interacting with a random object. The point is to demonstrate timing, action, and exaggeration like a Loony Toons cartoon.

The professor chose a bra to be my object, so here’s my flour sack interacting with it.

Life Drawing Class Assignments

I find Life Drawing the most difficult of all the classes. I went in for extra life drawing about three evenings a week to improve – and while I find the whole process exhausting (you typically draw ~100 poses over 3 hours), I’m happy with my progress.

Here is my portfolio from the first half of the semester. It’s composed of 30 second, 1 minute, 3 minute, and 5 minute poses.

Click on any image to expand it and see how long the pose was. 

For our next portfolio, we go to the Toronto Zoo to draw the animals.

Below are my sketches. The poses are comprised of quick gestures (30 seconds to 3 minutes) and studies (10 to 20 minutes).

Click on any image to expand it. 

Here is my final portfolio from the last half of the semester.

Again, this portfolio is comprised of 30 second, 1 minute, 3 minute, and 5 minute poses. Click on any image to expand it and see how long the pose was. 

Digital Painting Class Assignments

In Digital Painting we learn how background paintings are put together quickly in Photoshop.

For the first assignment, we’re given a line drawing of a castle in front of a full moon. Our task is to separate the layers, then use gradients and textures to fill in the drawing and get it production-ready for a show.

Here’s my final image. We do this in class, so I didn’t spend too much time on it.

Terry Ibele Group B Castle Study

For our next assignment, we have to create an image and then paint a day and night version of it.

Here are my day and night paintings. This was my first attempt at painting digitally, so I learned a lot during this assignment.


Terry Ibele Group B Exterior Day Colour Final Digital Painting


Terry Ibele Group B Exterior Night Digital Painting

Here is some of the detail closer up (notice the mouse in the window!)

Sheridan Animation Digital Painting (2)Sheridan Animation Digital Painting (3)Sheridan Animation Digital Painting

For our next assignment, we’re given what’s called a Colour Key. A Colour Key is a completed image that you use to create other images from in the same style.

The image we’re given is of a graphically stylized kitchen created using the Photoshop Pen tool. It looks very similar to the image below. We actually have to recreate the Colour Key during class, so the image below is how far I got recreating the Colour Key (we don’t have to complete it):

Kitchen In Class Assignment Terry Ibele B

Next, you must create an entirely new angle of the kitchen using the Photoshop Pen tool.

Here’s my new kitchen angle:

Terry Ibele Kitchen Assignment

For our final Digital Painting assignment, we can paint anything we want,

I chose to paint my mouse character from my That Guy Comic – he’s the same mouse that keeps popping up in all my animations and paintings if you look closely.

Here he is looking out over a city while a mouse pirate ship comes in through the clouds.

Terry Ibele B Final Digital Painting Assignment

This painting is actually huge if you open it up.

I spent a lot of time making very tiny details throughout the image. Here are some of them:

Sheridan Animation Digital Painting (4)Sheridan Animation Digital Painting (7)Sheridan Animation Digital Painting (9)Sheridan Animation Digital Painting (6)Sheridan Animation Digital Painting (5)Sheridan Animation Digital Painting (8)

Layout Class Assignments

For our first layout assignment, we must draw a scene using proper perspective and then redraw it using three different texture techniques: normal texture, random texture, and texture in the style of English satirical cartoonist Ronald Searle.

I drew a scene of a hot air balloon entering a frog temple.

Here’s the scene with normal textures:


Here’s the scene with random textures:


Here’s the scene in the style of Ronald Searle:


Our next assignment is called Big and Small.

Basically we have to draw a scene in perspective with a gigantic character or object and a minuscule character or object: think human vs Giant, or human vs fairy. We also have to set up the scene so that it works in a variety of shots that make everything look big, small, and big and small at the same time.

I also wrote a little story to go with my scene:

After the sun faded, the only energy source strong enough to power the core was the Gaping Mouth. Unfortunately the infrastructure needed to appease its voracious appetite for human sacrifices was immensely expensive. It wasn’t until the Business Bots began charging a hefty fee to watch the procession and cheer on the doomed that they started turning a profit.

Here’s the small portion of the scene:

Big and Small 2

Again, another small portion:

Big and Small 3

Here’s the big portion of the scene:

Big and Small 4

And here’s the whole scene at once:

Big and Small 1

And of course I included a mouse 🙂

Big and Small 5

Here’s a short time-lapse video of how I drew the scene using perspective:

For our next assignment, we have to recreate an animation-ready scene from a storyboard of a past student film. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the film online to link to.

To make it animation-ready, we must draw the image as separate layers for underlays, overlays, special effects, and animation.

Below is the layered scene of a Babushka washing her clothes in a basin. I drew and coloured this based on the storyboard from the film:


Here is the scene broken into layers. You can see the background in the top right, the underlays and overlays in the bottom right and top left, and the animation and special effects layers in the bottom left.Terry_Ibele_Babushki (1)

The next assignment is similar to the horizontal pan assignment from last semester. For this assignment we have to create a repeating diagonal pan.

Here is mine. It’s actually quite large. Click on the image to see it in detail.

Sheridan Animation Diagonal Pan (2)

Here’s the same diagonal pan, but broken down into layers. On top is the animation layer with the two caterpillars carrying the princess box. Next is the overlay of the trees, and finally is the background greenery with the stone steps.Sheridan Animation Diagonal Pan

The final assignment is to put together a layout portfolio based on what we learned in each class:

  • How to draw boats
  • How to draw cars
  • How to draw bridges/wooden constructions
  • How to draw normal and spiral staircases
  • Recreate a still frame from a movie, but build up all the objects and characters in perspective
  • etc.

Here’s a selection of my layout portfolio work. Unfortunately because of the amount of assignments from other classes and this being the last assignment due before school ends, I wasn’t able to spend as much time on it as I would have liked.

Click on any image to see it in greater detail: 

Digital Tools

For digital tools class, we learned the basics of Adobe Premiere and After Effects.

Storyboard Class

Storyboard Class is a continuation from last semester. I won’t be posting any of my storyboards, since they are easily copied and the same assignments are used year over year.

There are a number of assignments in this class including:

  • Storyboard Tests: This is where we have to replicate still frames from a movie. We get about 15 seconds per frame and have to do about 100 of them in a row.
  • Storyboard Studies: This is where we have to storyboard a scene from a film the Professor has chosen (Dressed to Kill), and a film of our choosing (I chose THX 1138).
  • Research & Script Writing & Storyboard: This is where we are given the basic overview of a story and we must write the script, create a location with characters, and then storyboard everything out

This class also has a one-hour lecture where we learn the basics of setting up shots and telling stories visually.

Animation History

Our final class is a three-hour lecture on the history of animation from different parts of the world. This class has a number of tests and a final exam, but it’s not too difficult if you attend the classes, plus it’s quite interesting!

That’s All!

That’s everything from Sheridan’s Animation Program Year 1 Semester 2. I hope you enjoyed my work and found this insightful 🙂

If you’d like to see my work from last semester, you can find it here: Sheridan Animation Year 1 Semester 1.

And, if you’d like to follow me on Instagram, I post more of my art there (plus I’m not as serious as I probably sound in this post).

Thanks for reading 🙂

How to Get into Sheridan’s Animation Program

If you’re interested in applying to Sheridan’s Animation Program, click here to see my accepted entrance portfolio and my best advice on how to get in.

If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them. You can get in touch with me at

Thanks for reading!

Are You an Ultra Animation Industry Fan?

If so, I also run a podcast where I interview some ultra rad animation people like Fred Seibert, Ryan Quincy, and Sarah Nelson on how they got into the industry and all that.

You can find the podcast here: Animation Industry Podcast.

Sheridan Animation Year 1 Semester 1

My name is Terry and I’m in the animation program at Sheridan College. Below you can find all my assignments from Year 1, Semester 1.

Before each assignment I briefly explain the requirements. Overall, I got a 3.8/4.0 GPA. However, I won’t share my marks for individual assignments (if you really want to know, you can email me at

If you’d like to see my work for second semester, you can find it all here.

A Break Down of Year 1 Semester 1

The first semester in Sheridan’s Animation Program has a total of eight courses broken into nine classes:

  1. Principles of Layout: 2 hour class
  2. Introduction to Painting: 2 hour class
  3. Character Design: 2 hour class
  4. Introduction to Life Drawing: 3 hour class
  5. Animation Principles: 2 hour class
  6. Introduction to Digital Tools: 2 hour class
  7. Story Development (composed of two classes)
    • Storyboard Class: 2 hour class
    • Story Principles Lecture: 1 hour class
  8. Composition and Rhetoric: 2 hour class
    1. Composition and Rhetoric Lab: 1 hour

The last class, Composition and Rhetoric is an English class which is mandatory for all Sheridan  undergraduate programs. However, I was exempt since I have a previously completed Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier.

Now, without further ado, here is my portfolio from each class.

Principles of Layout

In Principles of Layout, you learn how to use vanishing points to create objects and characters that appear correctly in any type of perspective.

Project 1: Character in a Scene

In this assignment, you must draw a character, then find the vanishing points based on their stance (shoulder line, hip line, and foot line). Then you simply fill in the rest of the page with structures and objects to create a scene.

I chose to draw Juna, a character from my fantasy novel. Looking at the image below, you can see how the perspective lines are drawn from her shoulders, hips, and feet to find the vanishing points in the distance.

Sheridan Animation Portfolio Layout

Project 2: Story Using Different Shots

For this assignment, you must recreate 3-5 shots (long, medium, close-up) from the character and scene in the above project to tell a story.

My story is about Juna searching for a pendant.

My last panel, which uses 3-point perspective, has a major flaw – according to the perspective I used, Juna is stretched out to be something like 20 feet tall! If I were to redraw it, I would do a better job measuring her proportions, which would make her much more condensed.

Sheridan Animation Portfolio Layout

Project 3: Field Guide

In this assignment, you must take one scene from the Project 2, and apply industry field guide labeling to it, which is a fancy way of saying what animation happens in the shot and how the camera moves.

In my scene, Juna walks from left to right as the camera trucks out. You can find the field guide instructions to this in the bottom of the image below.

Terry Ibele Layout Field Guide

Project 4: Pan

For this project, the goal is to create repeating foreground and background layers. However, you don’t want a viewer to notice that the layers repeat, so you must draw indistinct details.

You’ve likely seen repeating pan backgrounds in many animations, such as when a character is running, or when the camera pans quickly through a scene.

You can expand my pan by clicking on it below.

Sheridan Animation Student Layout Pan

Project 5: Layout Assortment

During each class in the semester we learned how to draw a different type of layout, such as a curving road, or how to draw gables on houses.  The final assignment is to polish up eight of these in-class assignments.

Below are my eight redone layouts. You can click on each image to see a larger version, and to discover what the assignment was.


Introduction to Painting (With Gouache)

The purpose of painting class is to teach you the principles of light, shadow, opaque vs transparency, gradient, depth of field, sky, colour, and texture.

Project 1: Opaque, Transparency, Gradient

The requirements of this project speak for themselves once you see my studies, but perhaps the biggest learning curve is simply how to paint with gouache. Gouache is not an easy medium to start out with – it’s somewhere between watercolor and acrylic, but never fully dries. It’s also quite expensive. It costs anywhere from $10 – $20 for a small tube, and you need to buy eight different colours, which are below:

  1. white (you’ll need a big tube!)
  2. black
  3. warm yellow
  4. cold yellow
  5. warm blue
  6. cold blue
  7. warm red
  8. cold red

Here are my opaque, transparent, and gradient studies:


Project 2: Form Rendering – Light and Shadow

The purpose of this project was to study how light interacts with objects and creates shadows to create realistic looking form.  To do this, we shone flashlights onto wooden shapes and then painted our observations.

We were also graded on our attention to the eight basic elements of light and shadow:

  1. Highlight (where light directly hits the object)
  2. Halftone Light (the rest of the lit side of the object)
  3. Terminator (the mid line between the lit and unlit parts of the object)
  4. Core Shadow (the main dark area of an object)
  5. Reflected Light (the dark side of the object, which is slightly lit by light being reflected back onto it from the ground)
  6. Occlusion Shadow (the darkest point which is where the object is closest to the ground)
  7. Cast Shadow (the shadow created from the object)
  8. Penumbra (the soft edge of the end of the shadow)

Finally, we learned the Rembrandt technique of background lighting, which creates more appealing images. The technique is simply to paint a lighter background beside the shadow of an object, and a darker background beside the highlight of an object. This makes the object stand out more. You can see this technique used in my studies.

Here are my studies:

Sheridan Animation Student Gouache Light Shapes

Project 3: Gray to Colour

There are three main aspects to this project: depth and tone, gradient, monochromatic colour. Each aspect requires its own painting.

First, you must create a layout which demonstrates depth of field using layers, light, and color. You are encouraged to study other paintings to create your layout.

Once you’ve developed your layout, you paint it in flat tones.

terry ibele b black and white

The next step is to paint your layout again using gradients to show light.

terry ibele b gradient

The final step is to paint your layout in a monochromatic gradient (color of your choice!)

terry ibele b monochrome

Project 4: Cloud Studies

The reason we study clouds is because the sky is present in nearly every scene created in an animation. The sky is also important in setting the mood of a scene (think of a thunderstorm vs a sunny day).

We are also encouraged to experiment with different techniques to create different cloud effects, like adding salt to the paint, or painting with a sponge.

Here are my six cloud studies:

Sheridan Animation Student Gouache Cloud Studies

Here is my final cloud composition:

Sheridan Animation Student Gouache Cloud Studies

Project 5: Texture Studies

This is the final assignment of the semester. We must choose four different textures (hard, soft, hairy, etc.) to recreate photo-realistically.

I chose strawberry cheesecake (juicy), crystals (hard/sharp), cherries, (shiny) and water droplets (watery).Sheridan Animation Student guoache texture paintings

Character Design

The purpose of this class is to be able to create and communicate animation-ready character designs

Project 1: Character in Rotation

The purpose of this assignment is to create a character and use proper 2-point perspective to consistently rotate it in space. This is important because an animator must know what the character looks like from every angle in order to animate it in any situation.

Here is my character, Wilton. He’s a businessman who’s been deserted on an island. The rotations are:

  • Front
  • 3/4 Front
  • Side
  • 3/4 Back
  • Back (not necessary, but I wanted to do it because of bonus bum!)

Sheridan Animation Student Character Rotation

Project 2: Protagonist, Antagonist, Comedic Relief

One of the biggest ways to enable storytelling in animation is to make the visuals very simple and clear. This means that any viewer can immediately recognize any element in the animation, be it the location, action, or characters.

For this assignment, we’re tasked with creating three original characters that are immediately recognizable as the Protagonist, Antagonist, and Comedic Relief.

Here are my characters. My idea is that they are from a show about a Women’s NASCAR Racing League.

Sheridan Animation Student Three Characters

Project 3: Character Posing

Another important visual storytelling component is the information conveyed in a character’s actions.

For this assignment, we were tasked to create eight character poses that immediately convey what the character is doing. We were also to use a variety of angles: front, 3/4 back, 3/4 front, and side.

My idea was a jellyfish who leaves the ocean in a suit to explore life on land.

Sheridan Animation Character Pose

Project 4: Character Expression

Continuing on with visual storytelling, this assignment is to create a character and explore their expressions. You must create nine expressions from different angles: front, 3/4 back, 3/4 front, side.

The character I created was a bellhop who’s been sentenced to the elevator pillory.

Sheridan Animation Student Character Expressions

Project 5: Character in Another Artist’s Style

The final project in this class is to study another artist’s work (your pick!) and create a presentation on them, which includes the following:

  • A brief history of the artist’s life and work (1-2 minutes)
  • The elements of style the artist utilizes
  • What can be learned from their work
  • A creation of your own character in the artists’ style

For my presentation, I chose Matt Layzell. He was a Supervising Director at Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network and is currently directing his own show for Netflix.

I first discovered Matt’s work on Instagram and immediately fell in love with it. I encourage you to check his stuff out too by clicking the image below:

Matt Layzell Animation Instagram

I attempted Matt’s style by drawing a waitress from a diner who’s wearing the menu (plus a bonus pup!)


I tried to get in touch with Matt to show him, but was unsuccessful 😦

Introduction to Life Drawing

“I wish I had gone to more life drawing classes” was one of the most common things I heard from animation graduates.

Now I understand why.

I’ve found life drawing to be the most difficult part of the program so far – and the only way to get better is to practice over and over, hundreds of times.

Life drawing is extremely important to animation, because it teaches you to draw any character in any pose in seconds.

A good life drawing will also convey many elements, including:

  • pose (weight, movement, etc.)
  • structure
  • line weight
  • contour
  • foreshortening
  • and more

In the animation program, we have Life Drawing class once a week, but it is also offered every night for extra practice.

Project 1: Portfolio 1

This project is due at the end of the first half of the semester, where you must submit 10 drawings:

  • 2 thirty-second poses
  • 2 one-minute poses
  • 2 three-minute poses
  • 2 five-minute poses
  • 2 of your choice

Here is my first portfolio. You can click on each image to increase its size and see how long the pose was.

Project 2: Portfolio 2

This project has the same requirements as the previous one, it’s just submitted at the end of the second half of the semester to show how you’ve improved.

Project 3: Hands and Feet Portfolio

The requirements for this project are to study human, reptile, insect, bird, and mammal hands and feet. You must also choose a theme to tell a story.

Here is mine. Click on each image to expand it:

Project 4: Royal Winter Fair Portfolio

At the Canadian Exhibition, there’s a Royal Winter Fair that takes place in the fall (ironically). For this project, you must go to the fair and do life drawings of the birds and animals.

Here are my drawings. Click on each image to expand it:

Project 5: Bone Portfolio

The final project of the semester is to study the parts of the skull, scapula, vertebrae, and pelvis (using real and plastic bones which are given to take home). You must also study how they enable movement, and tell a story with your drawings.

Here is my bone portfolio. Click on each image to expand it:

Animation Principles

In animation class, we learn the basic principles that will enable us to animate anything in the future.

Project 1: Pendulum and Ball Studies

For the pendulum study, we have to create a pendulum which swings back and forth in a loop. You’ll notice it swings faster at the bottom, and slower when it gets to the top on either side:

Next are my ball studies. The purpose of the ball studies is to study weight, squash and stretch, timing, and objects interacting with their environment.

The first is the balloon. For this assignment, you must show a balloon coming in from a window on the left, lightly falling to the ground, hitting a box, and coming to rest on the floor. The background animation is unnecessary, but I wanted to have some extra fun.

Next is the bouncing ball. You must show a ball falling from the ceiling, bouncing off a box, onto the floor, and out a window on the left. Things to note are the squash and stretch principles when the ball bounces, and the hang time in the air.

The last ball study is the bowling ball. The reason a bowling ball is animated is to convey weight. Things to note in this animation are the speed of which the bowling ball drops, the slow fall over the edge of the box, and the slight bounce when it hits the ground before it rolls away.

Project 2: S and C Curve

The principles of S and C curve are studied in this assignment. The S and C curve are fundamental to all fluid motion in animation – from how hair blows in the wind, to an arm waving.

The first part of this assignment is to simply follow a template that moves a line back and forth. You can see the distinct “C” when it falls and the “S” when it picks itself up again.

The second part of this assignment is to apply the S and C curve to a book page using perspective. Here is mine:

The third and final portion of this assignment is to choose a marine animal to animate using S and C curve. I chose a dolphin. You can see the S and C in its tail. Part of the assignment is to study a real life marine animal’s motions and replicate them (vs the cartoony-motion that I applied). A basic background is provided to give the illusion that the animal is moving forward. Other students animated animals like jellyfish, seals, sharks, and goldfish.

Project 4: Timing

For this project, we study how timing effects motion.

The first portion of this assignment is to create a rough animation of a character pointing at an object with the arm dropping slowly at the start and ending fast.

The second portion of this assignment is to use the same key frames from the first portion, but to have the arm drop fast, then end slow.

As an extra study, you can also explore how a character would lift its arm and slam it on the table. Here is my attempt.

The final portion of this assignment is to create a rough animation of a character picking up a ball and throwing it into the distance. Here is mine.

Project 5: Balls with Ears and Tails

The final project is to animate two bouncing balls, one with ears (C curve), and one with a tail (S curve) to tell a story. You must incorporate all the elements learned so far.

The requirements for this project are that the characters must come in from the distance, move to the foreground, and interact in some fashion. Everything else is up to you.

Here is my final animation:

Introduction to Digital Tools

While we completed many projects in this class, I’m not posting any of mine. The reason is because they are simply results of following specific instructions that help us learn Adobe Photoshop, Harmony Toon Boom, Harmony Storyboard Pro, and Adobe Premier.

The projects include creating:

  • A title board
  • A simple animation
  • A moving pan
  • A storyboard
  • A demo reel
  • and more

Story Development

Story Development is broken into two classes:

Class 1: Story Lecture

This class is simple a 1-hour lecture which introduces you to the concepts of story structure (beginning, middle, end, conflict, etc.), characters (protagonist, antagonist, etc.), and other useful elements like eyeline, and shot hook-up.

There are two tests in this class, which get added to your overall Story Development mark.

Class 2: Storyboard Class

In this class, you learn the history and basics of storyboarding and shot composition. You must also create your own storyboards based on the requirements. I am not posting mine, because they can be easily copied, which ruins the point of these assignments.

The part of this class I found most useful were the storyboard tests. During class, a clip from a movie is played. At the start of each new shot, the screen is paused for 15-30 seconds. During that time, you must replicate the composition from that shot onto a storyboard.

While I found these tests a bit nerve-wracking, I  greatly appreciated them. They taught me how to quickly convey complex compositions in just a few lines.

Bonus! 24 Hour Film Competition

Besides your regular classes, you also have the opportunity to participate in the 24 Hour Animation Student Film Competition open to all animation students worldwide.

The competition is judged by artists from some of the biggest studios in the industry including Dreamworks, Disney, and Laika, so it’s a great opportunity to get some decent exposure.

The requirements are simple:

  • Be an animation student
  • Have a team of 5 students
  • Create an animation in 24 hours (based on the theme provided)
  • Your film must be exactly 30 seconds long
  • Be creative!

Here is the theme for the year we competed:

In 24 hours make a 30-second animated film depicting a strong point of view educating to your audience about the need to have empathy. Whether it be race, gender, lifestyle, social mobility, disability, geography, or even species, we all face challenges in making our reality be understood. Animate an experience that will help convey to the audience what it is really like to speak your truth.

Below you can watch our entry and judge how well we did for yourself 🙂

Overall, I am extremely proud of our team for finishing. We learned so much about story, production, animation tools, and team work.

Plus, we came 14th out of 219 teams!

If you’d like to see the winning entry, you can find it here.

That’s it! Now you’ve seen my entire Sheridan Animation Portfolio for Year 1 Semester 1.

How to Get into Sheridan’s Animation Program

If you’re interested in applying to Sheridan’s Animation Program, click here to see my accepted entrance portfolio and my best advice on how to get in.

If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them. You can get in touch with me at

Thanks for reading!

Are You an Ultra Animation Industry Fan?

If so, I also run a podcast where I interview some ultra rad animation people like Fred Seibert, Ryan Quincy, and Sarah Nelson on how they got into the industry and all that.

You can find the podcast here: Animation Industry Podcast.

Accepted Sheridan Animation Portfolio [+ advice on how to get in]

Accepted Sheridan Animation Portfolio

If you need help with your portfolio, email me (terrystories <at> and I may be able to put you in touch with a tutor

My name is Terry and I’m an animation student at Sheridan College.

Below is my accepted animation portfolio from 2018. I received perfect on everything except the storyboard portion.

In this post I’m going to explain exactly what Sheridan is looking for in your portfolio and how to get in.

Best of luck!

My Best Advice

If you’re worried about your skill level, so was I.

Before I started working on my portfolio, I never had any formal training. I hadn’t drawn anything seriously except for doodling in my notebooks.

My only advantages were that I spent a year watercoloring an Instagram comic about a gay egg and a secret agent chip mouse, and I had dabbled in stop motion animation in highschool (you’ll see some in my portfolio below).

When I handed in my portfolio, I was very nervous, but I ended up getting 95% – and if I could go from zero to 95% in just a few months, so can you.

I also recorded a podcast with a fellow student on how to get into Sheridan’s Animation Program, what it’s like in first year, and how to do really really well. If you’re interested in going to Sheridan, you should 100% give it a listen:

Or, if you’re an International Student, give this podcast episode a listen. Whitman Theofrastous, Second Year International Student of Sheridan’s Animation Program explains the entire process to applying and getting in. He also answers questions like:

  • How much will it cost
  • How many hours a week you can work at a job (or your co-op)
  • How to find a place to live or apply for residence
  • Plus many other common questions

Here’s How I Did It

First off, the biggest thing that helped me was knowing the general requirements ahead of time and studying other portfolios that got accepted. 

If you search “accepted Sheridan animation portfolio” in Google, you’ll come across a whole bunch of images and videos from other students. 

Once I got an idea of what I needed to learn, I began to self study and then hired a tutor at the endend speed up the process. 

You don’t have to hire a tutor though, I’ve spoken with dozens of other Sheridan students and everyone had a different path:

  • Some went to art school
  • Some attended summer animation workshops that specialize in Sheridan portfolios
  • Some came from Sheridan’s Art Fundamentals program
  • Some came from other countries
  • Some came from other degree programs
  • Some just studied completely on their own

If you’re eager to learn and willing to stick your head down and work hard, I don’t think you’ll have any problem getting in. It’s just a matter of learning the right techniques and applying them with your own creativity.

The requirements generally stay the same every year, but the specifics change (example: they change the action of the hand drawings each year).

The portfolio requirements are sent out in October (or as soon as you apply) and there’s an open house in November where you can line up to get your portfolio reviewed by a prof. When I went, I tried to have the first draft of all my portfolio pieces done (even though some were really rough) so I could get pointers on what to focus on. This was extremely helpful. The prof’s biggest feedback for me was to add my own personality to my pieces. She told me to imagine someone else handing in a portfolio that looked the exact same as mine. How would mine stand out?

This is great advice, since the Sheridan profs look over 1,000 applications. They can only spend a few seconds looking at each piece on their first run-through, so make sure yours stands out immediately. 

After I edited my pieces with the prof’s feedback, I kept redoing each piece until I was completely satisfied with it. It felt a bit counter-intuitive to redo something from scratch every time instead of just fixing parts, but I’m glad I worked this way. It taught me to how to draw efficiently, plus each piece improved overall every time I redid it.

Perhaps the biggest challenge with the portfolio is time management, but it’s completely doable. I was working full time (40+ hours a week) and watercoloring a daily webcomic every morning and evening. I found that a few hours a day was more than enough to work on my portfolio and get it in on time (it was stressful at times though!)

In the next sections, I’ll tell you what to focus on for each piece.

Life Drawing

I found this part the toughest. So do most students.  You’ve got to convey motion, stance, structure, etc. very quickly. The only way to get good at this is to do it a lot. Sheridan puts a lot of importance into life drawing. In fact, they offer nightly life drawing classes for students to keep practicing.

I found a studio in Toronto that offered life drawing (Toronto School of Art), so I went about a dozen times and practiced all the time at home from YouTube videos (just search for “life drawing” on YouTube). My tutor also helped a lot with pointers and areas to work on.

At the open house, the prof told me to make sure I included all parts of the body (including the private parts, which I was leaving them out for the sake of time) and to make sure I showed construction of the form (specifically the rib cage, the torso pinch, and the shoulder angle).

Sheridan is looking for four life drawings, two 1-3 minute poses, and two 5-10 minute poses. Make sure you label your drawings with the time you spent on them and don’t try to cheat by spending extra time to make them perfect. It’s very easy to tell if someone spent extra time on their drawings, because they should look like they were sketched quickly.

Here are my accepted life drawings:

Accepted Sheridan Portfolio Animation Requirements

Accepted Sheridan Portfolio Animation Requirements

Accepted Sheridan Portfolio Animation RequirementsTerry Ibele Figure Drawing 2

Hand Drawings

I found this the easiest. There are many hand-drawing tutorials on YouTube that taught me the basics. From there I just kept redrawing until I was happy. I took multiple pictures of my own hand for reference and to practice from.

For my year, the assignment was to show a hand about to pick up an object and then a hand holding the object. I thought it would be interesting to show a hand squishing some dough, so I made biscuits from scratch and drew my hand holding the dough. Unfortunately it looks like I’m holding poo :/

Accepted Sheridan Portfolio Animation RequirementsAccepted Sheridan Animation  Portfolio

Character Rotation

After I found the idea for my character, I used two-point perspective to properly construct her from every view. Sheridan wants a front view, 3/4 front view, side view, and 3/4 back view.

From there, it’s just a matter of using a ruler to draw out all the basic shapes (squares/spheres) and then rounding them out and filling in the details. The 3/4 back perspective is the hardest and most closely scrutinized.

Here are some more tips:

  • Parts of the character that are closer to the viewer should be thicker.
  • The profs want to see consistency between drawings, so it helps to draw the front view first, then extend lines from the top and the bottom of the character onto another page so your character is the same size in the next rotation.
  • Consider how weight plays a role in your character, it should look heavy.
  • Do not pose your character, this is a mistake many students make. The point of this exercise to show what a character in a neutral position looks like so it can be handed to an animator for them to animate.
  • The best character designs evoke story. To do this, think of two unconnected elements and combine them into a single character. Some simple examples are a bird that’s afraid to fly (what would she look like?), or a supermodel trash man, or an insect exterminator who keeps insects as pets.
  • Don’t get carried away with accessories, the profs are interested in the structure, weight, and the proportions of your character.
  • This is a great place to showcase your creativity. After looking at thousands of characters, they eventually all look the same, so my robot chicken grandma definitely stood out 🙂

Accepted Sheridan Animation  Portfolio

Line Drawings

Two drawings with simple two-point perspective are required here. Once I learned the basics of perspective, everything else fell into place. To practice, I found pictures of rooms and then tried to copy them using perspective. If you’re just starting out, one perspective dot should be placed off the frame on either the right side or left. The opposite perspective dot should be placed three times as far away on the other side. This will give you a nice looking perspective. From there, just use a ruler to line up all the shapes from where you place them in the frame.

The profs are also looking to see if you can draw things in proportion to one another and also want to see a good variety of shapes and objects on angles. For the room I learned a typical ceiling should be 9ft high and the door 7ft high. They also want to see you lay out a scene properly (rule of thirds, etc.) and get creative with what’s in the scene.

Originally I had stiff, Disney-looking characters in my room, but the prof said to redo them in my own style. Also, objects that are closer should have thicker lines.

For me, the assignment was to draw my bedroom and a park. I tried to incorporate a sense of story into the bedroom to make it more interesting. My idea was a teenage kid with some secret wizard powers 🙂

Terry Ibele Bedroom Line Drawing

Terry Ibele Outdoor Park Line Drawing


The requirements are to use four frames to create a story (beginning, middle, and end) and to use long shots, medium shots, and close ups.

I found it difficult to come up with an idea in four frames because I wanted it to be simple enough that anyone could understand what was happening at a glance, while avoiding the random twist ending I saw portrayed in most other portfolios (note: twists don’t often work well, because they end up being cliche and disappointing).

I didn’t get perfect marks here, so I’m not sure how they viewed mine (there’s no feedback on your portfolio). However, the biggest feedback I got from the open house was to use a variety of interesting shots and also that characters had to stay on the same side of the page using the rule of 180 (ex. If Character A starts on the left side, he should generally be on the left side in the rest of the panels or it breaks the flow).

Try to show action and expression as much as possible. There shouldn’t be any hidden or hard to see details in the frame that are crucial to telling the story.

Here are m. The characters were provided and the topic was “Hunger.” Everything else was left up to me.

Terry Ibele Storyboard


The animation requirements were to animate a character doing a recognizable action within 24 to 48 frames.

I downloaded an app on the iPad called FlipaClip to create mine. The prof at the open house was surprised since most of the ones she saw were hand drawn (they also showed construction) and scanned. I asked her if I should redo mine to be hand drawn, and she said mine was more than she was expecting so it was fine. I tried hand drawing at first using a light board, but found the app way easier. I also animated the clown they gave from the storyboard to limit creating a new character and also so they could easily recognize it. I chose running because that’s one of the basic animation sequences to learn.

5 Personal Pieces

This is where you can submit anything – sculpture, painting, animation, etc.

I ran out of time creating anything new, so I used some of my animations from high school and panels from my Instagram comic. If you have any extra animation, prioritize that, because it’s an animation program 🙂

Accepted Sheridan Animation Portfolio

Terry Ibele Personal Watercolour Mouse Village

Follow My Progress

I hope this post has helped you!

You can follow my progress by checking out my instagram, or by following my animation podcast.

Please note: I am no longer reviewing portfolios. If you’re looking for feedback, remember Sheridan offers a portfolio review day with the animation professors.

Best of luck!


Terry’s September Watercolor Newsletter


Click here to buy a copy of That Guy’s Comic Book.

In case you missed it, here’s the link to last month’s watercolor newsletter.

That’s all for September! (sorry this is waaay late, the animations took a while)


Subscribe to be the first to read my next watercolour newsletter by filling out the form below:

Terry’s August Watercolor Newsletter

August 2018

That’s all for August 🙂


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Terry’s June Watercolor Newsletter

June 2018.jpg

Click here for more details about That Guy’s comic book and to buy a copy.

In case you missed it, here’s the link to last month’s watercolor newsletter.

The reason I published this newsletter so late was because I was waiting for the printed comic books to come in the mail. They just arrived today!

Even if you’re not interested in purchasing a copy of the comic book, click the link above anyway – you can see a video of me talking about the book 🙂

That’s all for June!




Terry’s May Watercolour Newsletter

May 2018

That’s all for May 🙂


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Terry’s April Watercolour Writing Newsletter

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(I moved up my email subscribe box, since nobody was using it when it was at the bottom of my posts. Maybe I’ll get some sweet sweet new emails now? Or not? Hmmm.)

April 2018

That’s all! A super duper extra pooper scooper thank you for reading!



Terry’s March Watercolour Writing Newsletter

March 2018

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