Animation Mentor

Mentor Graduation

Jason speaking at the Animation Mentor graduation ceremony in California.

Since 2006, Jason has enjoyed mentoring many promising students for Animation Mentor. Some of whom have gone on to become co-workers (see comments from his students below). Follow the ongoing adventure at: The Traveling Mentor.

Jason's Critique of his student's short film.

Animation Mentor 11 Second Club Winner

Congratulations to Anirban Paul, winner of the 11 Second Club competition. Anirban's entry won votes with its great acting of a dialogue clip from the Game of Thrones TV series. Anirban's prize was an eCritique from Jason

Mentor Student Comments

Seriously, Jason is the best mentor I have ever met. He perfectly spots what the student is need to progress about. He pushes about the all aspects of animation from ideas to creativty. The every second of the Q&A s are useful. And he gives as much as feedback as he can. I feel like he really cares about students and loves sharing his knowlage.The more questions the more answers. I just feel lucky that he is my mentor.
Jason has been a fantastic mentor. His enthusiasm for animation is evident and it helps to motivate me when I am feeling low on creative energy. He shares great examples of strong animation from people he admires, and the examples he has shown from his own work have helped me to understand more why I want to continue on this path. Excellent!
Jason is great. His passion for animation really shows and i can tell that it is important to him that we succeed. He goes above and beyond to help us throughout the week and gives us laser focused critiques that help us move forward quickly.
Add more brain storming classes!
I believe we can have more brainstorm sessions so that we can think outside our boxes and also we hear more details and comments from our class peers.
I can't think of a way Jason could improve. He has already gone above and beyond.
So far my Mentor has been incredibly attentive and helps multiple times during the week.
I believe that Jason is very thorough and also inspiring. He covers a lot of ground work and class and we always seem to do things a bit different in each class from viewing our work and having a class brainstorm session to having constrain discussions to viewing demos and see small details.
His classes are entertaining, and I love the fact that he does brain storming classes, it helps a lot.
My work has improved dramatically from my previous mentors. He not only feels like a mentor, but a good friend too. I'll miss Jason when the semester ends, but maybe I'll work with him some day.
My previous mentors could only look at my work once a week, and I relied on other students to look at my work. I value other students opinions, but they're learning like me. I like that he not only looks over our assignments, but encourages to put up a PR multiple times during the week for feedback.
All the mentors I had before were amazing, but with Jason all the Q&A's are different, and we learn a lot with him, and even if we don't have question, Jason has always something to teach us. Moreover, he shows us how he works step by step and it helps me a lot. Thanks a lot to him.
His classes are always superb. He lifts my spirit to animate and he's loaded with valuable info.
Perfect! Has a very clear understanding and practical knowledge of what he teaches. Straight to the point. Combines a very keen eye with a down on earth attitude. Great teacher keeps everyone involved. Vast knowledge of styles and studios based upon rich experience. Has given a great talk on anticipations and breakdowns. Knows how to communicate well no nonsense good structure to the Q&A's. High expectations towards the students but very fair in the corrections of the work.
Jason is extremely helpful and enthusiastic. You can really tell that he loves what he does, moreover, he's incredibly quick with the e-critiques, this gives you more time to work on your project. Because he's a great animator himself and always inspiring us with examples of beautiful pieces of animation.
He also tries to focus us on speeding up our workflow in Maya that we can concentrate most on our work itself.
Animation is a passion of him and we can feel it, because he teaches with all his heart. He gives detailed feedback and allows for studies of various animation clips to help us learn from other animators as well.
Jason is rigorous and demanding, but always takes the time to clearly explain what he expects from us, motivating us to do our best. I think one of his strong suits is the quantity and quality of references he gives in class, as well as the demonstrations he does in Maya.
Jason is very good, knowledgeable, and well spoken. Fantastic knowledge of the industry and animation in general. Great at interaction with the class. I love his knowledge of traditional animation which translates well to 3D making those little intricate frame by frame shots look easy.
Jason never makes me feel bad about my animations, he tells me all the good things about them and how to improve on those good things and he also points out my mistakes and shows me how to correct them. He always encourages us to ask questions whether or not its more advanced than our current level, he's always prepared to listen and help us as much as possible. I have learned in a month from him what I wouldn't have in a whole year.

I always wanted to be in your class, but obstacles arose... I researched each of my potential mentors for "Animation Fundamentals" (reels, films, shortfilms, blogs, websites, youtube accounts, eCritiques...) and in this research, you turned out my first choice.

A part of the talent you have to animate and draw, I loved the passion you print to animations and your actings, and the expressive and clear that you are in the corrections (in your ecritiques), how clarity you speak English, and the good impression you gave me. I could also see very positive feedback from alumnis and coworkers at Naughty Dog... so I had it very clear.

The day registration opened I rushed to secure my seat, but there were problems with the AM server (for some strange reason you appeared "SOLD OUT" from the start) and I could not select you. So I asked for being into first place in the waiting list for your class, and finally, a few days before reaching the registration deadline, Animation Mentor gave me the great news... :)

There are moments in life when one feels an inner urge that tells you the way, and that's when you must fight for it. It is very gratifying to know that I made the right decision. You have exceeded my expectations and I am very grateful.

Thanks for your contagious passion for animation, because it has been key for me to enjoy every time I sit down to animate.


Jason is a talented and professional animator who spreads his enthusiasm for animation.
Jason communicates concepts very clearly, makes weekly exercises as example for students, shows reference videos on the topics, and interesting clips in the industry... and he also is thorough and patient in critiques.
In short, I am delighted!
My mentor, Jason Martinsen, used to grab clips from animated movies and analyze them in terms of posing, overlap, anticipation etc. Also it was Super Awesome to watch him drawing on top of my work frame by frame, then hit play!! and Wow!! the shot is alive!! I mean all mentors draw on top of student's work but not all of them can draw frame by frame on a sequence!! Hats off.. Jason :) Manar Al Tawam
I just wanted to let you know that I've just landed my first job! I'm working remotely on a TV Christmas special for an Italian studio. I started Animation Mentor in June 2009 with very little animation knowledge, and now 3 years later I've made a small step into my new career, and I wanted t thank you for your part in that! You were a great Class 4 mentor for me - I learned so much! I loved going through shots frame by frame and having you point out all the little details we should be looking out for. And my pantomime shot with the guy reading the book, and Tailor jumping on his foot, is still the shot that everyone says is the standout shot on my reel. So thank you for your direction on that! I hope things are good with you. All the best! Sarah
I had tell you really really nice work... I was going through the 11-second club critiques and really loved your critique and how you explained yourself. Very detailed, animated and you're really into it. Just an awesome job!!! I had to check out your site and I was like damn!!! Really liked how you had your own reference up for everyone to look at so far I havent seen anyone do that. You should do some tutorials. I learned a lot in just a 30 minute critiques of yours that I will incorporate into my own work. Ill be keeping my eye out for some more critiques of yours. Thanks for the inspirational work. Peace. Tony Castro
The best mentor I've ever had! Stanislav
Hi Jason, I am a Junior Animator in Montreal. I have recently viewed a critique that you gave on the "11 second club." I was very impressed by your professionalism, attitude and passion. After researching you, your career path, travel and experiences, you have quickly become my new favorite animator! Dave Normand
Really spends a lot of time in the Q&As and classes can go for up to an hour and a half. He is also very active on the site, and will generally leave comments on PR or critique assignments much earlier than usual if you have it submitted. His critiques are also very good. All in all an excellent mentor Jason is very enthusiastic and honest and I value that very much. He gives very good input at the eCritiques and shares useful tips. I've learned a great deal from him and we're only midterm. I also appreciate that he generously gives insights of his experiences from various studios. That's invaluable since I know very little of the industry. It's also great that he checks the pr in weeks so you canget input several times before submitting the assignements. This is a great learning experience! He gives very useful feedbacks. He considers all tha aspects of animation principles and very strong mentor on body mechanics I would like to give jason massive props.
Not only did he prepare great QnA's and gave us great insights, tipsand loads of knowlage, but he was also ASKING for pr's he could comment on.
The eCrits where very good too! He took his time and animated in 2d ontop of our animation so we could see the difference.
Thank you very much for providing me such a great mentor. Jason is very motivated and always keen to give us feedback on our work, via the Public Review.
Also, he does the ecrit as soon as we've submitted our assignment, even if it is on Saturday, which is great in terms of getting a headstart on the following week.
On the technical side, Jason is very experienced and always has somegood example to illustrate the principles. His passion and love for animation really comes through in his Q&A's. Time and time again he has shown us new things in the clips he brings to the class which have really helped me. He always takes his time to show and explain things to us even if it goes over time which I am very grateful for. His ecritiques are very detailed but yet still to the point and has helped me loads in seeing my mistakes and areas for improvement!
I rated Jason superstar because he does everything I ask from my mentor. He just doesn't make his job, he does more. The Q&A's last more than an hour if it's needed, he gives us extra feedback during the week on our PR's, he gives us extra stuff like references by mail, the ecrit are awesome because we can see that he really knows his job and most of all he's really passionated by animation. Really, nothing bad to say about Jason.
I feel that my mentor is doing a Superstar job for multiple reasons. He is always excited to be at the Q&A's and he is always looking for questions and willing to answer any questions we have. He does a great job of explaining things, and is a very talented animator in my opinion. He is also very honest with his answers and critiques. He says what is working and what is not, and does a very good job explaining how to fix what isn't working. His attitude is very inspirational as well.
He is very attentive and very efficient in eCrit and Q&A. Because Jason is himself. And down on the ground. And that helps alot, and dosn't make it so stiff when we have QA's. Its alot of fun.
And i have learned so much from him, both from ecrit and QA's. And he just know what is inspiring to look at and talk about. And thats great!
I think Jason is great! He gives great feedback, is very enthusiasticand shows genuine interest in helping his students. Jason also communicates well with his students throughout the week. Sometimes he could be a bit more to the point when answering questions, but overall I've really enjoyed his class thus far.
Jason makes such an effort to teach, and really illustrates his point. He'll get up, show how you should of pushed the hips more like this, stuff like that... and he gets into pretty advanced stuff which is great, giving us an insight on acting for example.
Detailed crits! It was great to have such detailed feedback on the assignments, especially in the refining/polishing phases.
Jason was also really well prepared for the Q&A sessions with heaps of video examples to back up what he was talking about. I found it really helpful, especially with animation being a visual medium. He gives frank critiques, is there to comment midweek when it really counts, so i can double my experience by the double feedback inessence.
Jason's great. His Q&As are always interesting and he's full ofenergy to discuss things with us. His e-crits are full of details and he also helps us out during the week, checking the PR. Out of all my mentor I have had so far i fill like Jason does that little bit extra. e.g in the middle of the week if u need it he will swing by you work space. Send an email out to every one with hits and tricks.
He puts a lot of enthusiasm into every Crit and never seems frustrated or disappointed. Going into the next assignment he told us to not worry about how well we did or did not do on the last assignment, that we were "all going to be rockstars on this next assignment." I think this type of motivation is key when teaching. He's got a very keen eye and is never short of creativity.
My mentor is clear in his eCritiques, does them very fast after I submit them, he shows and plays in his web camera how should I pose my character, has a very practical thinking giving much ideas, replies fast to emails
Jason is great! his critiques are always out early, his comments straight to the point and his suggestions very helpful. his Q&As are also quite interesting and constructive. and he goes beyond the call of duty to help us out with our assignment issues. he's also given me some useful career advice. and we're barely even halfway through the term! excellent mentor!