ARTC 3100: Class Syllabus Spring 2014

ARTC 3100:
Animation Principles & Techniques
Colleen Murphy
Sec 1002: Mon/Wed 8:30am - 10:50am
244 Wolfe Center (MAC lab)
Office Hrs:


  • Exploration of traditional and experimental animation language and technique with an emphasis on the basic principles of animation. This course focuses on developing a sense of timing, staging, and concept-driven studio production.

Required Materials

  • SD Card for camera (8GB or more)
  • Flash Drive (recommended 8GB or 16GB) or External Hard-drive
    • Formatted for Mac and PC (Ex-FAT)
  • Sketchbook
  • 3" x 5" White Index Cards (100 cards or more)
  • Various materials (example: paint, sand, food) To Be Announced

Recommended Books

  • The Animation Book: A Complete Guide to Animated Filmmaking From Flip-Books to Sound Cartoons to 3-D Animation
  • Character Animation Crash Course, by Eric Goldberg
  • The Art of Stop-Motion Animation, by Ken A Priebe (BGSU Online)
  • Prepare to Board! Creating Story and Characters for Animated Features and Shorts, by Nancy Beiman (BGSU Online)


  • Each student is expected to complete all assignments, projects, & exercises on time. Details will be discussed in class. During class time, students are expected to arrive promptly, engage in meaningful classroom participation, and help their fellow students.

Grading Breakdown

  • A is Excellent, Above and Beyond
    • 90 - 100
  • B is Very Good, Beyond Basic Requirements
    • 80 - 89
  • C is Expected, Meets the Requirements
    • 70 - 89
  • D is Inadequate, Does not Meet the Requirements
    • 60 - 79
  • F is Failing, Completely Insufficient or Not Turned In
    • 00 - 59
  • Weekly assignments= 50%
  • Group Presentation= 10%
  • Weekly Attendance & participation= 10% (at least one thoughtful comment / critique per class)
  • Final animation= 30%
  • Link to Canvas


  • 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. In order to have an excused absence, you must inform me prior to being absent, or have an official written notice.
  • 1 absences = no penalty (use it wisely)
  • 2 absences = overall final course grade lowered by 1/2 letter grade
  • 3 absences = overall final grade lowered by 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.

Studio Lab Assignment

  • During the weekly sign-up lab sessions students will use the introduced technique and create an animation using the camera stand. The studio lab assignment is due every TBA unless specified.

Group Projects

  • The class will have a live action shoot for the rotoscope footage. Each student will then work on evenly distributed footage. The collected footage will be edited and then students will add music for the final screening.
  • To encourage collaboration and research skill development, students will form groups of 2-3 people and present the assigned topics during class sessions.


  • For the final project students will create a 1-minute animation with a title, soundtrack, and credits. Students can choose to work independently or in a group of 2, and they may use any combination of techniques introduced in this course.
  • 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 as 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 in the critique. If the student has extenuating circumstances please clear them with the instructor ahead of the due date. 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!

Digital Arts Department Rules

  • No food or drink in the lab.
  • 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 Work

  • 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.