Skip to main content

Student Spotlight - Connor McGrew

I enrolled in iAnimate to further my skill development. I wanted to push my acting choices and lip-sync to the next level of appeal and to learn directly from industry professionals.

Student Spotlight features Connor Mcgrew, a 3D character animator from Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. In his free time, when he’s not animating, Connor watches an animation or works on his car.

Connor is a full-time 3D Character Animation student, and he is currently honing his skills to become a successful animator. He chooses iAnimate because he believes that working with industry professionals will be the key to his animation dream. Connor is open to working in a remote or hybrid setup for any related 3D character animation roles.

Student Animation Journey

Connor took the following Feature Student Workshop here at iAnimate:

Connor shows his passion and dedication in every learning that he gained from the Workshop, and during his assignments, he believes that preparation plays a major part to make a successful animation. Here are Connor’s professional and creative ways of doing the iAnimate work that led him to create his animations.

  1. During my first step of preparation, I look to create a persona around the character I am animating. Where did they come from? What happened right before this conversation? Where are they going after? These are the main questions I ask myself when evaluating a character.
  2. I then create rough sketches of facial emotions and poses I think to work well with the story before going into the thumbnailing scene.
  3. I then go into the layout and blocking of the scene. I tend to have a more thorough blocking pass before going into spline to have a better feel of the timing. Following my spline passes, I finish off with a thorough polish pass.

The most influential piece of information that Connor learned at iAnimate was toning down acting choices. Connor said that throwing lots of acting choices at a shot does not make a shot better. Animation is a form of team artwork. Many people will be adding and adjusting your portion of the art. Making good, simple, and realistic acting choices will convey a scene's sincerity more so than an over acted piece.

Connor's Student Reel

You can reach Connor via:

Student Spotlight Q&A with Animator Connor Yu

iAnimate: What do you think of your Online Animation Instructor(s), and how did they help you?

Connor: Learning from industry professionals has been incredibly influential on my development as an animator. When I was in the process of growing my skillset, half the time, I didn't know what I didn't know. I had no idea where to start and what I was doing wrong. Having a skilled animator lend their eye to my work has formulated what my eye catches when watching animation. Being able to see my work in the early stages and realize whether something will work or not has been a major step in becoming a professional.

iAnimate: How did iAnimate help you to evolve as a character animator?

Connor: Having a background in computer science, I love problem-solving. That was something I always enjoyed in animation as well, problem-solving. If I don't know how to do something, I am going to find a way to make it work. One of the most rewarding feelings I experience is when the arduous struggle of animating a shot finally comes together in the end. I am always pursuing that feeling of accomplishment.

iAnimate: What kind of animator do you consider yourself after taking your workshop?


“I consider myself to be an evolving animator. I never want to settle for where I am currently in my skillset. I believe that pushes me to always want to learn, not only when I'm animating but in life as well. Observing how things move and how people react in situations lends great development when animating. As the industry evolves, I hope to evolve and learn alongside it.”

iAnimate: What kind of animation project do you want to work on?

Connor: Feature animation has always been a long-time inspiration for me. The dynamic change of plot, characters, and environment in feature studios seems like a dream to test and develop my skillset at. I have also been a long-time fan of video games of all varieties, but specifically action cutscenes. Dynamic body mechanics and beautiful timing of the movement are second to none at major game developers.

Want to learn what Disney, Pixar, and Blizzard do in their animations?

Not Grades but Skills

Be mentored by industry professionals from the leading studios in the industry. Start your animation career and get the dream animation job you want! Learn more about iAnimate and the Workshops that are made just for you.

© 2023 All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.