As part of the Continuing Education program, RISD offers students the opportunity to earn a certificate in various fields. One of the certificates that can be attained is in Cartooning and Animation.
In order to earn a Certificate of Study in Cartooning and Animation, one must take five courses: A course which provides an introduction to cartooning and animation, a course which focuses on realistic sketching, a course which deals with digital media design, a course which is centered on digital animation, and finally a course based on comics and storyboarding. To those who can complete all five courses in a time span no greater than three years goes a Certificate of Study in Cartooning and Animation.
Ben was presented with his certificate on September 27, 2004, having completed the necessary courses. As such, Ben is quite literally a certified cartoonist and animator, and has contributed digital animated work to various websites. A crude example of a Flash animation which Ben rapidly created (hence the exorbitant unused space at the top) while he was taking the digital animation class can be found below (Flash must be installed):
Below is another Flash animation from the same class:
The bird character is, of course, Ben’s mascot, Henry the Heron™. This character, whose look is based on the appearance of characters from the Golden Age of Animation, represents Ben’s first serious personal foray into the world of the art of cartooning and animation. Learn more about Henry the Heron™ at Henry’s page.