Syllabus ARTC 4430

Instructor: Bonnie Mitchell
Office: Fine Arts Building
Office Hours: Wed 3-6pm

Section: 1001/1002
Semester: Spring 2016
Lab: 244 Wolfe Center
Time: M/W 11:30-2:50pm


ARTC 3120 Intermediate 3D Animation


This course is designed for students that have taken ARTC 3120 or ARTC 4130 and want to enhance their knowledge of animation and Maya by working with special effects in animation. The course will investigate complex concepts and techniques focusing on non-geometric modeling in Maya.

In this course we will study the physics of motion and creative expression of ideas. We will focus on physical dynamics, particle systems and coding to create animations. We will be programming using MEL expressions to enhance the dynamic effects.

Students will work with compositing techniques such as transformations, masking, effects layers, etc. to create time-based collages of effects and 3D computer imagery. We will also explore the art of abstraction and metaphor. 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.


Digital storage: External Drive (formatted for both Mac and PC) or Flash Drive . You will be expected to back up your data a minimum of once a week.

Recommended Readings

Maya books that may be helpful:

Learning Maya | Dynamics by Alias|Wavefront.
Learning Autodesk Maya: The Special Effects Handbook by Autodesk
Maya Visual Effects: The Innovator's Guide by Eric Keller

These books can be found on or most other book web sites.


Each student is expected to complete all projects, exercises, in-class exercises, the required readings and the final project. Details of the various assignments will be discussed in class. By the end of the semester, all projects should be part of your web portfolio.

During class time, students are expected to engage in meaningful classroom participation.


Attendance is mandatory. We will be covering a variety of materials throughout the semester. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility meet with a classmate or make an appointment with me to get the information.

Your attendance will be assigned a grade and factored into the overall grade.

Being 15 minutes or more late to class three times will count as one unexcused absence.
Leaving class early (15 minutes or more) three times will count as an absense.

Assignments and Critiques

Turning in Projects
Projects are due in the Homework folder prior to the beginning of class.

Revised projects are due exactly one week from the critique date. I do not accept late revised projects and you will receive a zero on the revised project if it is NOT turned in on time.

If you miss a regular critique, the project for that critique will be lowered by one letter grade.

During critiques, I expect each student's full attention and respect. Monitors will be TURNED OFF during critiques. Critiques begin promptly at the beginning of the class.

Final Critique
Attendance at the Final critique is mandatory. Missing the final critique will result in an F for the Final Project. NO late Final Projects will be accepted!

Grades / Evaluation

All project criteria is listed on the project page. Grading is as follows:

A (100-90)
Excellent - Above and beyond, artistically AND technically

B (89-80)
Very Good - Beyond requirements, artistically OR technically

C (79-70)
Average - Met the basic requirements

D (69-60)
Did not meet requirements

F (59-0)
Project not turned in or completely insufficient

Digital Arts Department Rules

Student Projects

Projects created in any Digital Arts course may be used by the ART department for the purpose of promoting the student, the department and/or the university in general. These materials may also be used by the ART department for instructional purposes in future courses. Please inform the instructor if you do not want your projects used.


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).