Assignments - Fall 2010 - ARTC 4430 - Bowling Green State University
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Turning in files
• Assignments are due in the Homework folder prior to the beginning of class.
• Revised project files are due exactly one week from the critique due date or they will receive a zero.
• When turning in assignments, use the following naming convention: username_project1, username_exercise1, etc.
Assignments: [Week 1.1] [Week 1.2]
Description Due Dates
Assignment: Create a BGSU Class Blog

To do: Create a blog on By default, it will create the blog with your username and this blog will be for you to use throughout the time you are at BGSU.

Create another blog for the class:
Go to and log in then click on Dashboard on the right.
Click Create Another Blog
Under Blog Name type artc4430username - replace username with YOUR username
It is IMPORTANT to use this naming scheme.

Blog Title should be Your name's ARTC 4430 Blog
It does not matter if you want your blog to appear in the search engine.

Blog Type: Student
Blog Subtype: College of Arts and Sciences

Click Create Blog

On the next page, click LOGIN (in the text)

Click the Appearance:

At the bottom, go to Page 5 and at the top of the page, click the Mandigo
At the top right, click Activate "Mandigo"

***USE the Photoshop template I provide youin the homework folder to add your image. The Blog template chops off a part of your image so the photoshop file compensates for that. Make sure you turn off the "Turn off before Saving" folder in the Photoshop Layers before using Save for Web & Devices.

In the blog Dashboard: In the Appearance sections select Custom Image Header
(You need to have an image ready to go that is 800 wide x 250 high JPG)

Click Choose File and select your image. Upload

To see it, click Visit Site on top

To customize the side bar, click Appearance - Widgets then
Click Add next to Calendar
Add Links
Add Recent Posts
Add Recent Comments

Then SAVE Changes

Go to the Comments menu item and remove the first comment (check mark on it and Bulk Actions: Delete)

Click Settings menu and change the Tagline to Art Animation Effects
Save Changes

Click the Arrow next to Settings and select Discussion
UNCHECK- A comment is held for moderation
UNCHECK - Comment author must have a previously approved comment

  1. To add something to your blog use the POSTS - Add New - Don't forget to click Publish
  2. To change a posting, use the Edit - Don't forget to click Update Post
  3. To add images to a blog page, use the Media - Add New link. Use the Browser Uploader if you have any problems.
  4. Test to make sure we can get to the blog from the class website (Student Page).
We will be using the blog to post ideas, research, exercises and assignments as well as using it to critique each others work.
Due: Wed. Aug. 25

Assignment: Abstract Animation

Create a 60 second particle animation that combines abstract particles with sound in a meaningful way. Your goal should be to express ideas using color, texture, shape, line, value, motion, and timing. You must develop a concept and think about the feelings you want to evoke from the audience. You should focus on a non-narrative piece without characters or plot. You can create entirely non-objective shapes and particles or combine recognizable shapes with abstraction. The piece must make effective use of compositing layers of rendered material.

Although your animation will not be a narrative story, it should have a beginning, middle and end. Timing will play an important role. You should use the elements of art effectively to convey the ideas and emotions (color, texture, line, motion, etc.)


Think about the concept of a journey and what that means to you. It can be a physical journey or a mental or emotional journey. Along the way, you will encounter tension and at other times you will feel relaxed. Your piece must reflect a variety of feelings that evolve - one into the other.

Technical issues and requirements:

Use at least 3 different files with different environments, particles, etc. in them. You will be putting the pieces together in post-production - do not attempt to create all the scenes in a single file. You should have multiple abstractions happening and cut or use cross-dissolves to go from one scene to the other. Think carefully about the editing of your film. You may need closeups, midshots, longshots, pans, zooms, etc. to convey the mood you are seeking. Each animation should have a minimum of 8 different shots (you can reuse the existing scenes but you should use different camera angles.)

Projects will be graded on quality NOT quantity - no animation longer than 1 minute!

Do not include human or animal-like characters.
You may include geometry, video, drawn images, etc.
Be careful with color - too many different colors can ruin a piece.
Use effective lighting, textures and effects.
You need consistency (with variety) in the graphic style and color.

3 Particle Tests (Due Aug 30)

Experiment with the different particle systems and create three 10 second tests combining fields and different styles of particles sytems. Each test must consist of MULTIPLE particle emitters. Do not worry about color for the first part of the Tests. Add color later.

5 Particle Tests REDONE (Due Sept 8)

Redo your three particle tests and create 2 new ones. You can modify existing files or start over. Use various methods of color to create interesting visual effects in your particle systems. You can include collisions, collision events, per particle attributes, etc. You MUST have multiple particle systems in each test.

Find 10 sounds (Due Aug 30):

Find 10 interesting sounds that are COPYRIGHT-FREE. You can capture the sounds using the sound recorder or other device, create the sounds using Garage Band, Fruity Loops, or other sound generating application, or you can find the sounds on the Internet.

NO .mp3 files are alllowed. You must create or find .wav files.

A good starting point is the links to Sound Effects websites in the RESOURCES.

Audio Soundtrack:

Start with the audio and synchronize your animation to the sound. The audio should be sound effects that have been manipulated to create a soundscape. You MUST use copyright free audio. You have a few choices:

  • Create your own audio sound track (it should be abstracted also) - use Midi or a sound generator
  • Find some copyright free audio clips and manipulate them to abstract them
  • Find sound effects on the Internet and combine and manipulate them
  • Find someone else to create your audio

Part 1:
Gather a collection of sounds. Either record sounds from the environment, find copyright free sounds off the internet (no MP3 sounds - they have been compressed and the artifacts will show up in your piece), or use a sound generator to make sounds.

You will need a minimum of 10 sounds to work with. A larger collection of shorter sounds will be easier to work with. Sound files should not be longer than 20 seconds. They should be AIF or WAV files. We will be using these sounds to compose a soundscape for the particle animation.

Particle Systems Tutorials and Free Sound Files

Assignment: Post the finished Particle animation on your blog. Due: Oct. 4

Due: Mon Aug. 30
Collection of sounds (10 minimum)

Due: Mon Aug. 30
3 Particle tests (10 seconds each)

Due: Monday Sept. 8
3 particle tests REDONE with color

Due: Monday Sept. 8
Sound Track completed

Due: Monday Sept. 13
3 scenes together with audio (or half done)

Due: Monday Sept. 20
3/4 done

Due: Monday Sept. 27
Abstract Animation complete

Due: Monday Oct. 4
Abstract Animation revised

Description Due Dates

Small Group Effects Presentations

In groups of 2, research your assigned Maya Effect and create a demonstration of how it can be be used (include variations to show how the parameters change the look of things).

Write a step by step tutorial for others to use. Number the steps.

Include information about the parameters and options.

Due: One presentation approximately 15 minutes in length. One set of instructions for the other students that can be posted on the web. Save the file as a TXT or Word file.







Curve Flow

Surface Flow

Due: Wednesday Oct 4
Group Presentations
Description Due Dates

Assignment: Juxtapositioning of Unusual Elements - Earth/Wind/Smoke/Cloud/Fire - Realistic Particles

Create a 10-15 second particle animation that combines realistic particles with some objects that you would not normally find combined with that type of effect. For instance, you could have a garden hose squirting out dust or a apple tree with smoke and ash coming out of each apple. The combination of elements must be unusual and thought provoking.

Think about the earth and how wind effects the landscape. Wind has the capacity to carve mountains, picks up debris (including things as large as a house), it can obscure vision, it can disorient you and it is unpredictable. How can clouds and smoke also be used in an unusual context?

Your animation must not include a traditional Sci-Fi or Fantasy effect (no wizards with sparks coming from their finger tips). Model your environment and apply textures to it realistically. DO NOT try to tell a story using the traditional beginning, middle and end approach. Your combination of unusual elements should tell a story or get me thinking about the possible meaning of the piece.

Research DUE Oct 18: Find videos or images of special effects and objects you will be including in your assignment. You should have at least 6 different images to use as reference. Post these onto your blog.

Do not include characters.

Use effective lighting, textures and shadows.

BE UNUSUAL - take risks - create a combination no one expects.

Due: Wednesday Oct 20
10 second animation with textures and lighting

Due: Oct. 4
Ideas for animation

Description Due Dates

Assignment: Metaphor Animation

Create a short animation that explores a theme in a metaphorical way. In other words, you should use objects as symbols to represent other things. Do not tell a literal narrative story that gives the viewer all the answers. Make the viewer think and contemplate the issues. It is all right if the animation can be interpreted many ways but be careful, there is a thin line between an animation that makes absolutely no sense and one that can have multiple interpretations. The animation should be very experimental. Do not think of a narrative in the traditional sense. Play with the structuring of time, place and events.

Focus on creative uses of the tools, effective use of timing, and the principles of animation. Use cuts and transitions in the piece, NO straight camera flybys will be accepted. When planning for cross dissolves, render an extra 1 to 3 seconds of animation on both ends of the transition. You may work with combining 2d images created in Photoshop or Painter or digital video and composite them together.

Technical Components:
The final animation must include particles and compositing! You may create realistic particles or create experimental effects with particles. You must use the tools and techniques taught in class this semester. The piece will be graded based on its advanced use of textures and shading, lighting, motion, composition, color, modeling, as well as the inclusion of the advanced dynamics (particles), expressions, rigid bodies, soft bodies, etc. we have learned in class.

Story and character design:
If it can be done in live action, it is not appropriate for this animation assignment.
All characters must be inanimate objects that are personified or characters that are constructed in a very unique way thus not needing IK to perform correctly (no 2 or 4 legged creatures)

The story must have conflict and resolution and a beginning, middle and end
The story must be non-literal and explore an idea using metaphor

Due: December