I just finished Workshop 1 of the iAnimate course and I have to say IT WAS AWESOME!!!
I can't compare it to any other online course out there, but I would love to share what the course was like for me.
If any of you are considering iAnimate I would highly recommend it! The administration part granted was not as organized as it could have been, but once we got into our classes things were amazing! I took their first Workshop (WS) starting with the bouncing ball, going all the way up to a walk cycle. For someone who had never used Maya before, this was a good decision. Knowing animation going into the WS was great but not necessary. For me it helped to solidify and experiment with spacing and timing. The progression of assignments from bouncing ball, to a "luxo-like" character, to full character really got me used to the graph editor and all the controls in Maya.
Besides your own classes you also have access to all the other classes that are being taught. I found this really cool! I got to watch in on some of the later workshops to get a feel for what they would be like and found this super informative. The students are also collecting a "best of" selection of the best Q&A's of all the teachers. This way if you don't have time to watch everything (which I assure you, you will not! There is way too much stuff to see), you will still know which Q&A's were really informative and watch those. Also Jason Ryan, the creator of the program gives a weekly lecture to show how he animates. These range from him showing us how he would tackle one of our assignments, to showing how he would analyse acting and how to tackle any new rig that gets created. All of these lectures are also saved in a section that you can download/watch as a student. I seriously tried to watch as much as I could, but there is no keeping up with all the amazing stuff on that site. We have a month break in December, so I'm going to try and catch up then.
Also something that should be noted is the "iAnimate rigs". They are really amazing! Again, I'm new to Maya, so I'm probably not the best person to judge, but the more experienced people told me they are the closest thing to a feature rig out there.
I also want to give a big shout out to my teacher Jacob Gardner. He was really great to learn from! Patient, enthusiastic, funny and an inspirational animator! If you guys get the chance to learn from him I would say jump on that opportunity right away!
One of my friends just pointed out that I hadn't posted in a while. Sorry about that!!! I've been really busy with work. I'll try to update again soon with more drawings, but for now: This is a drawing I did for my friend Deborah.