Syllabus - Spring 2011- ARTC 3000 Special Topics - 2D Animation

ART C2210:

Digital Imaging
Cathy Joritz
M/W 6p - 8:20p
1026 Fine Arts Center (Maclab)

Office Hrs:

204a Fine Arts
W 10:30a-12:30p
Th 5pm - 6pm
syllabus | resources: thanks to Bonnie M | weekly schedule | timeline | bios | ARTC courses |
Description & Objectives

This beginning animation class will provide you with an overview of a variety of different types of animation and give you the opportunity to try out several of them. Basic principles of animation will be covered, synch sound, general animation production methods and some history of animation. You'll learn how to use animation software packages such as Digicel's Flipbook and Boinx's Istopmotion. We'll make use of Quicktime Pro, Photoshop and perhaps Corel Painter and After Effects (time permitting). We'll view and discuss the work of accomplished animators – some famous, some lesser known – as well as their living and working situations. This class will include both commercial and independent animation. Animated films (and excerpts thereof) will be screened in class.

A variety of assignments will help you develop an understanding of movement and animation techniques while affording you plenty of freedom for creativity and self-expression. You'll learn some industry terminology and how many of the words used today are carry-overs from techniques long departed (i.e. pre-digital!).

You'll have assignments that take you out of the classroom (and into a gymnastics meet, for example) and we may go to the zoo together! Naturally, everything in this syllabus is subject to change.

Note: Creating animation requires a lot(!!!) of thought, time and dedication. You'll have some time to work in class but will most definitely need to work outside of class to complete your assignments! Find out what works best to help you concentrate over long periods of time. It is essential to stay focused and work hard in this class.

The syllabus and weekly schedule are subject to change. Please refer to both and the class blog on a regular basis.

Required Materials
NOTE: You must have all required supplies by beginning of the second week of class.

Digital storage: 4 Gig Flash Drive or larger. If you're serious, consider purchasing a 320 or 500 Gig portable drive. You will be expected to back up your data regularly. Lost data will not be accepted as an excuse for missing or incomplete assignments or any other lost class material.

Sketchbook, letter page size (8x11") or larger
portable light box, letter size or larger
pencils, eraser, pencil sharpener, lots of letter sized paper
Spiral binder to store hand-outs
3-hole pegbar orderable here
3-hole paper punch

Other small supplies, such as plasticene and other materials will be required during the semester. I'll let you know what you'll need as the semester progresses.
Required Book, Tuts, Forums, etc.

There is one required textbook for this course: The Animator's Survival Kit. You can purchase this book online or get it in the campus bookstore.

There are many other interesting and helpful books out there. If you have enough $$, buy this one too.
And Timing for Animation is an inexpensive, invaluable classic.
Creating 3D Animation -The Aardman Book of Filmmaking is also a great book, not just for stop-motion fans!

Btw, if you have any suggestions for texts, tutorials, forums or other online learning resources, pls. email them to me and do post them on our Animation Training Blog, where we'll share links, resources, vids, thoughts, ideas and more.


Each student is expected to complete all projects, exercises (including in-class exercises), required readings, and of course, the final to the best of their ability. Originality and ingenuity count! Make sure I see your work on on a regular basis throughout the semester so I can better guide you.

You will be expected to keep a sketchbook onhand throughout the course. Sketchbooks should include not only work and images relevant to course assignments but also relevant to your visual interests in general. Make it a habit to transfer your thoughts/ideas/sketches to your sketchbook! Demonstration of thought and work processes in your sketchbook will improve your grade. Sketchbooks will be reviewed periodically during the semester, so be prepared to "show your wares"!

IMPORTANT: Concepts for work must be approved before an assignment can be started.

Details of the various assignments will be discussed in class. You must adhere to deadlines and instruction. Final versions of all assignments should be placed in your homework folder. I'll give formatting details for each assignment, but in general still images should be handed in as tifs and digital video as Quicktime movies. Final assignment and project movies should NOT be compressed!

Class participation is important and will factor into your final grade. However, your motivation to participate should come from a desire to share and to get the most out of this class. Pls show yourself to be a team player, treat each other with respect, and help each other when the opportunity presents itself.

Students will be expected to master all taught technology and continue to explore the software packages and subject matter on their own.

Please treat our equipment with care. The Digital Arts faculty put a lot of time and thought into trying to meet your needs and keep things running. We're doing the best we can and need your support. If you find equipment not working properly, pls. tell your instructor or PUT A SIGN ON THE EQUIPMENT DESCRIBING THE PROBLEM so it can be fixed.

Animators have to be problem solvers. There are often several ways to achieve a result so if you encounter a stumbling block, consider alternate plans and work-arounds. When doing assignments, always factor in more time than you think necessary. You'll be surprised how often you end up needing it.

Finally, animation often involves teamwork. Whether working on an assignment individually or as a team, pls be respectful of each other and a team player. If you know how to do things that other students don't, please help them. Pursue the challenges in this course with a positive attitude and as much effort as possible.

Help me help you...

I am here to help you. Take advantage of your time in class and ask questions. If you need extra help or would like to discuss ideas, problems or anything else, schedule a meeting with me during my office hours (posted at the top of this page). If you can't make it during those times, I'll try my best to accomodate you at another time.


There will be a sign-in sheet for you to sign at the beginning of every class. Attendance is important and mandatory!

We will be covering a variety of materials throughout the semester, building upon each lecture. If missed, material will not be repeated. If you must be absent, it is your responsibility to get the information from a classmate.

Note: there are no "excused" absences.

1-2 absences = no penalty
3 absences = overall final grade lowered 1 letter grade
4 absences = overall final grade lowered 2 letter grades
5 absences = fail the course (you don't want anything like this to happen, so don't miss!)

You may not miss the final critiques for any reason. Missing the final critiques will result in a horific grade and perhaps failure.

Being 15 minutes or more late to class three times will count as one gigantic absence. Out of courtesy and for practical reasons, I'd like you to arrive punctually. Announcements will be made at the beginning of class. If you're late, it's your responsibility to find out from other students what you missed.

Leaving early counts as an absence. Being mentally not present (i.e. falling asleep, daydreaming, playing games online, texting, facebook, etc.) will also count as an absence.

Assignments and Critiques

Generally tifs for still images (not animation test images) and Quicktime movies. Any material turned in for final projects must be of the highest possible quality.

Projects are due in the Homework folder prior to the beginning of class. Please keep the material in your homework folder in an orderly fashion. Your homework folder is not a "storage space". Keep only material that you'll be graded on in that folder.

Here's the server address (command + K or Go > connect to server):


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.

Late assignments: Up to 24 hours late – grade is lowered by one letter, 24 to 48 hours is lowered by two letters, and 48 to 72 is lowered three letter grades. Unless I expressly tell you otherwise, no assignments will be accepted after three days, meaning you will receive an "F" for that project.

Critiques are important. They're your chance to give and get feedback and great opportunities to practice verbal articulation about art/digital art related issues. Critiques are participatory events. 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. I may ask the class to come to the front of the class for critiques. If not, monitors must be TURNED OFF during critiques.

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

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 using head/ear phones, chatting online, emailing, my space/facebook/ or other online surfing during class.
• No playing video games 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 name of workstation and exact nature of problem.

If you do not obey the rules, you will receive a first warning. If it happens again, you will be asked to leave the classroom plus receive one half a letter grade drop and a third time you will receive a full letter grade drop on your final grade.

My personal note: Professionals treat the equipment of others with respect, always. Nothing will make you as unpopular with an employer as breaking, messing up or otherwise ruining equipment and a working environment. Again, pls help keep our equipment intact and our working/learning environment clean.

Student Projects & Copyright Info

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.

All images/digital files turned in as homework (i.e. final versions) MUST have your ownership, copyright and other pertinant information included in your file. Please get used to the idea of protecting your work by filling out the necessary information. Not including this information as part of your file will result in a 1/2 grade drop.

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).