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ARTC 400 Particle Systems and Dynamics
Bowling Green State University-School of Art
Syllabus - Fall 2003

ARTC 400 Particle Systems and Dynamics Professor Bonnie Mitchell
Section 001 (3) credits Phone: 372-6055
Tues./Thurs. 2:30AM - 4:50 PM Office: 109 Fine Arts Center
Room 1030 Fine Arts Center Office Hours: Wednesday 1-4 pm
Lab Hours: will be posted on doore-mail: bonniem@creativity.bgsu.edu

Prerequisites: Art 312 Intermediate Animation

Reading: Reading materials will be distributed in class. Maya books that may be helpful: Inside Maya 5 by Max Sims, et al; Maya: Secrets of the Pros with CDROM by John Kundert-Gibbs; Learning Maya | Dynamics by Alias|Wavefront; Acting for Animators by Ed Hooks, Animation Survival Guide by Richard Williams. These books can be found on www.amazon.com or most other book web sites.

Materials: Materials: You will need CD-Rs, DVD+R or other removeable storage to back up the contents of your account. You will also need a number of VHS videotapes for output of your animations.

Course Description and Objectives: This course is designed for students that have taken ARTC 312 or ARTC 413 and are wanting to enhance their knowledge of animation and Maya by working with special effects and compositing in computer animated films. The course will investigate complex concepts and techniques of non-geometric modeling and layering of imagery in Maya and AfterEffects. In this course we will study the physics of motion and creative expression of ideas. We will focus on physical dynamics, particle systems and MEL scripting to create layers that will be composited to create the animation. We will be programming using MEL to create effects not otherwise available in Maya. Students will work with compositing effects such as transformations, masking, effects layers, etc. to create time-based collages of live action, hand-painted/drawn and 3D computer imagery. We will also explore the art of storytelling, abstraction, metaphor, and narrative language. Class time will include demonstrations, discussions, videos, technical exploration, aesthetic inquiry, and historical information relevant to computer animation, compositing and special effects. The class will meet in the computer lab and the lectures are typically "hands on learning". Students are encouraged to pursue areas of interest and explore new ideas throughout the course.

Documentation of Your Work: Throughout the course, you will be expected to output your work to videotape. You should be focusing on the enhancement of your portfolio throughout the course.

Requirements: Each student is expected to complete all the assignments and in class exercises, the presentation, the required readings, the storyboards, and the final project. Details of the various assignments will be discussed in class. Assignments missing the scheduled review will be penalized one letter grade. No assignments will be accepted beyond one week from the due date. During class time, students are expected to engage in meaningful classroom participation.

Assignments and Critique: Assignments will be due by the critique due date. Missing the critique will result in a late grade assigned to your project. Critiques can be an effective method of improving your work. Listen carefully to what is said about your work and go back to the piece and make changes to enhance the final result. Assignments that are not reworked after critique may be lowered in grade value. All assignments are due and will be graded the class period following the critique. Final Critique: The videotape of the final animation will be reviewed at the final critique. The final animation must be 30 seconds to one minute and complete with audio, credits, and free of technical errors. The final tape will include all animations produced this semester. The final critique is an extremely important component of the course, therefore it is mandatory that all students attend and show their work. Missing or being late to the final critique result in an F for the project and lower your grade one grade level after the F has been averaged in. No late projects will be accepted after the final critique.

Attendance: Because there are a number of in class exercises that cannot be made up after class, absences, whether excused or not excused will effect your grade. If you are absent, you are responsible for obtaining the information presented in class and the assignment from a fellow student. Unexcused absences will not be tolerated and will effect your grade based on the attendance formula:
1 absence = no penalty
2 absences = grade lowered one grade value
3 absences = grade lowered two grade value
4 absences = grade lowered three grade values
5 absences = fail the course
Excused absences
(accompanied by a doctors note)
4 or more = recommend dropping the course
Being late to class three time will count as one unexcused absence. Students are also expected to utilize studio time and will be counted absent or tardy if they leave class early unless approved by the instructor.

Grading: Grades will be based on attendance, participation, assignments, research projects, storyboard and the final project. "A"s are only given to projects that far exceed the requirements and are excellent in most respects. "C"s are given for average work and "F"s are automatically substituted for missing assignments. All other grades are assigned in relationship to this. Late assignments will lose one grade value.

Student Projects: Projects created in this Computer Art course may be used by the School of Art for the purpose of promoting the student, the department, and/or the university in general. These materials may also be used for instructional purposes in future courses. If you have any reservations about your work being used please notify the instructor.

Lab Rules: All students must fill out the on-line student information form. Failure to fill out the form will result in loss of your account. No food or drink in the lab. No cell phones, beepers, or sleeping during class.

Student Concerns: Any student who wishes to discuss accommodations on the basis of a disability please come talk to me after class or during office hours. The goal of the Disability Services for Students Office is to help provide equal access and reasonable accommodations to BGSU students with disabilities. Students wishing to discuss their eligibility for such accommodations are encouraged to contact their office at 372-8495 (413 South Hall).

[Syllabus] [Schedule] [Student Work] [Assignments] [Technical Notes] [Links] [ARTC400 Page]