Course Description

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

Required materials for this course

  • USB external hard/USB+Firewire drive at least 250GB and up!
  • Optional for addition carry on storage; such as USB Thumb /flash drive (at lest 4GB)
  • Several CD/DVD R/RW blank discs

Recommended Reading

    • 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
    • Goldberg, Eric. Character Animation Crash Course. Silman-Jame Press publisher, LA, 2008
    • 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

Note*   Due to the natural complexity of 3D Computer modeling, 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. In order to understand the complex aspects of Maya, there will be eight in-class exercises along with 3 assignments (Modeling with NURBS, Modeling with Polygon, texture mapping, lighting and camera) before completing the final project.

Outline: Term assignments and projects

1. Exercises (10 points)

  1. Exercises One: "Walking" Due Feb 1
  2. Exercises Two: "Attitude Walking" Feb 8
  3. Exercises Three: "Running" Feb 15
  4. Exercises Four: "Attitude Running" Feb 22
  5. Exercises Five: "Lifting" March 17

2. Prcessing Projects ( 60 points)

  1. Initial Shots Animatic with Sound DUE Jan 20 (week 2)
  2. Shots Breakdown (QuickTime) DUE Jan 27 (week 3)
  3. Blocking 1/2 of Story DUE February 3 (Week 4)
  4. Blocking 2/2 of Story DUE February 10 (Week 5)
  5. Breakdown/Re-Blocking 1/3 DUE Feb 17 (week 6)
  6. Breakdown/Re-Blocking 2/3 DUE February 24 (Week 7) 
  7. Breakdown/Re-Blocking 3/3 DUE March 3 (week 8) 
  8. Inbetweening 1/4 DUE March 17 (week 10)
  9. Inbetweening DUE March 24 (week 11)
  10. Inbetweening DUE March 31 (week 12)
  11. Inbetweening DUE April 7 (week 13)
  12. Rough Out the composition DUE April 14 (week 14)

3. Final Animation (30 points)

  • Stylistic
  • Beginning
  • Story Flow
  • Clarity
  • Ending

Requirement for each of the assignment and the term projects

  • Name Convention Format
    • (your user name)_ (project name).ext
    • Example: 
      • or saritds_animatic.m4v
      • saritds_ block01.m4v or saritds_
  • Each period of class project, students must bring all the work progress to every class section until the due date.
  • The final output on all assignments and final project will be on DVD disc if the file size is larger than 700MB.
  • Credit Format on all QuickTime movies
    • Project Name
    • Your Name
    • Course/Class Section/Semester
    • Instructor Name
    • University

Approximate Grade Emphasis (see above)

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 more that 15 minutes 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.

Class and Lab Rules:

  • No food or drink in the lab.
  • No cell phones or beepers on during class.
  • ALWAYS remember to turn off your cell phone before class.
  • No sleeping during class. • No using head/ear phones, chatting online, emailing, my space/facebook/ or other online surfing during class
  • No playing video games during the class time
  • 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.