Course overview

This course is an introduction to principles of 3D computer animation and traditional animation components. The focus is on exploring the techniques and capability of Maya software package to shape artistic skill. The topics will cover the art of storytelling, abstraction, metaphor, and narrative language.

Class lectures will include demonstrations, discussions, videos, and technical exploration.


Required materials for this course
Storage such as USB Thumb /flash drive (at lest 128MB), Blank VHS tape, USB external hard/USB+Firewire drive any size, CD/DVD R/RW.
Throughout the course, you will be expected to document your work by outputting completed animations to tape and also on CD/DVD. You should keep a scratch tape for class projects and a new clean tape for the final projects you will need to submit. You may be focusing on the enhancement of your portfolio throughout the course.

Recommended Reading
- Online document under Maya help menu (highly recommended)
- Lammers, Jim. Maya 6.5 Fundamentals, New Riders Publishing, 2004.

Note* 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.

Requirement for each of the assignment and the final project

  1. For all six in class exercises, you will need to turn in only Quick Time movie(320x240). Don't turn in Maya files.
  2. For all four assignments and final project, you will need to turn in each project directory on CD, which include Maya files (.mb), Quick time movie( 640x480), and all relate contents (texture files and such). NOTE* don't need to turn in sequential images if they access more than 700MB of total.
  3. The final output on all assignments and final project will be on DVD disc.


Approximate Grade Emphasis

6 in-class exercises: 18 points (3 points each exercise)
3 Assignments: 30 points (10 points each)
Final Project: 52 points (Writen Story = 2, Storyboards = 5, Animatic with sound = 5, Modeling = 5, Texture = 5, Light = 5, Sound = 5, Final animation = 20 points))

Grades are based on the quality and quantity of your work. I will also consider your participation, ambition, commitment and development of your work from one project to the next. The following will be considered on grading:

Craft - Technical ability and craftsmanship
Concept - Visual thought process. The ability to interpret course concepts inventively, the ability to search for and discover methods and ideas with insight, and the ability to organize clear visual relationships.
Ambition - The ability to study effectively during class hours, the ability to accomplish work on a weekly basis, and the ability to apply constructive discussion during the class.
Productivity - The amount of work completed and how complete the works are.
Development - How much of your work has been developed and improved since the beginning of the semester.

A = Outstanding, excellent work 100 - 90 points
B = Above average work 89 - 80 points
C = Average work 79 - 70 points
D = Below average work 69 - 60 points
F = Failing work 59 - 0 points


3d art is time extensive and the technology associated with it is always changing. Learning the fundamentals is a must. Techniques, concepts and ideas discussed in this class are essential for a 3d Artist. Because of these, attendance is essential.

1 absences = excused
2 absences = grade lowered 1 letter grade
3 absences = grade lowered 2 letter grades
4 absences = grade lowered 3 letter grades
5 absences = fail course. Dropping course recommended

Being late to class three times will be counted as one unexcused absence. Likewise, leaving class early will be counted as an absence unless approved by instructor.

Student Needs
Any student who wishes to discuss accommodations on the basis or a disability, please come and talk to me after class or during office hours.

Lab Rules:
All students must fill out the on-line student information form. Failure to fill out this form will result in losing your account. Use of beepers and cell phones is prohibited in the classroom environment. Please turn them off during class hours.