|Syllabus - Fall 2012 - ARTC 4130 - Bowling Green State University
Adv. Digital Character Animation I
Sec 1001 (71187): T/TH 3:30 - 5:50pm
246 Wolfe Center (PC lab)
class notes |
Digital Arts website
Required (get at half.com, amazon.com, etc.):
Ideas for the Animated Short: Finding and Building Stories, Karen Sullivan et al. $29.95
The Visual Story, Second Edition: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media by Bruce A. Block, $34.95
Maya Character Creation: Modeling and Animation Controls, Chris Maraffi $35.00
Creating Characters with Personality, Tom Bancroft $19.95
An Essential Introduction to Maya Character Rigging, Cheryl Cabrera $49.95
Storyboards: Motion in Art, Mark Simon $39.95
Film Directing: Cinematic Motion a workshop for staging scenes, Steven Katz $24.95
Firewire External Drive (formatted for both Mac and PC), Flash Drive and DVD-R disks.
You will be expected to back up your data a minimum of once a week.
Black 3-ring binder notebook
8.5 x 11 plastic page protectors
Note (Index) cards - 4" x 6" for storyboards
8.5″ x 11" sketch book
Drawing supplies and paper
The course is the first of a two-course sequence. The course will cover 3D animation pre-production
including narrative language, storytelling, scriptwriting, storyboarding, character design,
animatics, character modeling and rigging for animation. Students are
expected to build upon the knowledge obtained in the Intermediate Animation class (ARTC 3120).
Class lectures will include demonstrations,
discussions, technical exploration, aesthetic inquiry and historical information relevant to
computer animation, character development and storytelling. Students are encouraged to pursue
areas of interest and explore new ideas throughout the course.
Steps to making a short animation
Story DevelopmentDeveloping the visual style and the mood of each sequence.
Students will be guided into generating ideas for a short animation, developing a character or characters,
themes, metaphors, plot points, and a short script. Short animation examples will be presented during class lectures. Students will study and
analyze the characters, plots, themes, conflicts, and dialogue in each of the presented films.
Story Visualization (Including character development and storyboarding)
This section is comprised of the steps needed to accomplish your storyboard. First, students will redefine and visualize their
characters, scenes, and such. Second, students will move into camera shot designs for storyboarding, and cinematics. Both
Hollywood and independent films will be used for studying the camera shots. Students will also create the layout and concept art
of each scene to set the mood of the story.
Character Modeling and Rigging (as well as Setting Modeling)
Students will create the 3D models of their characters in Maya and rig them using joints and inverse or forward kinematics. The costumes, textures and
any additional features or props of the characters need to be modeled, textures and lit. Students will also
create the setting of the animation in Maya and texture and light the scene. Essentially all modeling, texturing, lighting and rigging should be done during the fall semester.
Animatic and Story Reel
Students are required to create their final animatics and story reels for their animations. This is a pre-requisite for Advanced Character Animation II.
Techniques that students will focus on when creating their final animatics include:
Using motion, timing, duration, camera angles shots and shots, as well as lighting, screen layouts, and composition effectively.
Developing digital production styles involving techniques such as scanning, drawing, photography and video referencing.
Fine tuning character appearances, mood, lighting and set design.
Developing the sound design including sound tracks and sound effects that go with the script and match the camera shots.
Students will use these techniques to complete their animation.
The goal of this semester is to have all the components completed but maybe not refined. This includes:
Setting/Environment all modeled, textured and lit
Characters modeled, textured and rigged
Story completed and character profile
Animatic and story reel completed
Animation fully rendered and first draft completed
Each student is expected to complete all projects, exercises, in-class exercises, the required readings,
a final animatic, a modeled, textured environment and all characters modeled and rigged by the due dates.
Details of the various assignments will be discussed in class. By the end of the semester, the final character designs, and
documentation of your story should be part of your animation bible.
During class time, students are expected to engage in meaningful classroom participation.
There will be in-class screenings of animations throughout the semester. Exercises, assignments and/or class discussions maybe based on
material shown at the screenings.
Attendance is mandatory. We will be covering a variety of materials throughout the semester,
building upon each lecture. If missed, lectures will not be repeated. If you do have an excused
absence, it is your responsibility meet with a classmate or make an appointment with me to get the information.
1 absences = no penalty
2 absences = overall final grade lowered .5 letter grade
3 absences = overall final grade lowered 1 letter grade
4 absences = fail the course; dropping the course strongly recommended.
Being 15 minutes or more late to class three times will count as one unexcused absence.
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.
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!
90 - 100
89 - 80
79 - 70
69 - 60
59 - 0
A = Excellent - Above and beyond, artistically AND technically
B = Very Good - Beyond requirements, artistically OR technically
C = Average - Met the basic requirements
D = Did not meet requirements
F = Project not turned in or completely insufficient
Digital Arts Department Rules
• No food or drink in the lab.
• No cell phones, or beepers on during class. ALWAYS remember to turn off your cellphone before class.
• No sleeping during class.
• Hardware: No student is permitted to disconnect, reconnect, or reconfigure any workstation without the permission of a digital arts instructor. Any problems with hardware or software must be reported to a digital arts professor, preferably by email. Report should include Barcode number of the workstation and exact nature of problem.
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).