Syllabus - Spring 2014 - ARTC 4140 / 5130 Bowling Green State University
ARTC 4130:

Animation Principles & Techniques
Thomas Huang
Sec 1001: T/TH 11:30pm - 1:50pm

Sec 1003: T/TH 2:30pm - 4:50pm
246 Wolfe Center (PC lab)

Office Hrs:
1020 Fine Arts
Mon 02pm - 05pm
syllabus | schedule | topics | assignments | class notes | resources | students | Digital Arts website
Reading Materials
  • Online document under Maya help menu (highly recommended)
  • Schleifer, Jason. An Essential Introduction to Maya Character Rigging. Focal Press publisher, 2008
  • Williams, Richard and Sutton, Imogen. The Animator Survival Kit. Faber and Faber Publishing, 2001
  • Hooks, Ed. Acting for Animation. Heinemann publishing, 2003
  • Thomas, Frank. Johnston, Ollie. The Illusion of Life Disney Animation. Hyperion New York, 1995
  • Clark, Kyle. Inspired 3D Character Animation, Premier Press Publishing, 2002 Demers,
  • Digital Texturing and Painting. New Riders Publishing, 2002.
  • Birn, Jeremy. Digital Lighting and Rendering. New Riders Publishing, 2002.
  • Maraffi, Chris. Maya Character Creation. New Riders Publishing, 2004
  • Osipa, Jason. Stop Staring; Facail Modeling and Animation Done Right. Sybex Publishing, 2003
  • Supplies

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

  • Drawing supplies and paper
  • Any digital video recording device for animation reference
  • Mirror for facial animation

  • Objective

    The course is the second of a two-course sequence. Digital character animation production and post-production including advanced animation techniques, inverse and forward kinematics, facial animation, binding techniques, video referencing, cinematography, lighting, compositing, and editing for the final production.


    Each student is expected to complete all projects, exercises, in-class exercises, the required readings. Details of the various assignments will be discussed in class. During class time, students are expected to engage in meaningful classroom participation.

    Due to the natural complexity of 3D Computer Animation, you will need to work outside of the class to complete your products. You must be a self-motivated and please have fun with your project.

    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. Late projects will receive a zero if not turned in on time.

    If you miss a regular critique, the project for that critique will be lowered by one letter grade. Late projects and papers will not be accepted without good reason determined on a case-by-case basis by the professor. This class is very dependent on having projects finished for the class critiques: if the student doesn't have the project COMPLETED, they will not be able to completely participate. If the student has extenuating circumstances, please clear them with the instructor ahead of the due date. Medical emergencies are excused, per doctor’s note. 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!



    Part I: Participation and Attendance (10%)

    Part II: Weekly Assignment/ Exercise (40%)

    Part III: Final Film (50%)

    A (90-100) = Excellent - Above and beyond, artistically AND technically
    B(80-89) = Very Good - Beyond requirements, artistically OR technically
    C(70-79) = Average - Met the basic requirements
    D(60-69) = Did not meet requirements
    F(00-59) = 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.
    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).
    I reserve the right to change these rules as I see fit in order to facilitate a better learning environment.