Course overview

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.


General outline of ARTC 4140 plans 16 weeks (exclude 1 week of spring break)
Term Project

Section One: Pre-production (10 points)

  1. Rigging DUE Jan 26 (5 points)
  1.  “Shots Breakdown” (QuickTime) DUE Feb 2 (5 points)

Section Two: Production (30 points)
Total of 12 weeks

  1. Two  weeks of blocking
  2. Three weeks of Breakdown
    • “First Breakdown/Re-Blocking State in 1/2 of Story” (QuickTime) DUE March 21 (5 points)
    • “Second Breakdown/Re-Blocking Sate in 2/2 of Story” (QuickTime) DUE April 4 (5 points)
  1. Four weeks of Re-fine Motion
    • “The Third Breakdown State in 1/2 of story” (movie) DUE April 11 (5 points)
    • “The Third Breakdown State in 2/2 of story” (movie) DUE April 18 (5 points)

Final Production: (45 points) DUE May 6 at 1:15pm – 3:15pm
Composite, Lights, Motion, and Storytelling (QuickTime)

Class Exercises:

There might be some adjustment regarding to exercises. This will depend on the level of students in contrast of ARTC 4130 from last semester.
(15 points)

  1. Poses (3 point each)
  2. Turn around (2 point each)
  3. Getting up (2 point each)
  4. Lifting up (2 point each)
  5. Walking (2 point each)
  6. Running (2 point each)
  7. Jumping (2 point each)


Recommended Reading

    1. Online document under Maya help menu (highly recommended)
    2. Schleifer, Jason. An Essential Introduction to Maya Character Rigging. Focal Press publisher, 2008
    3. Williams, Richard and Sutton, Imogen. The Animator Survival Kit. Faber and Faber Publishing, 2001
    4. Goldberg, Eric. Character Animation Crash Course. Silman-Jame Press publisher, LA, 2008
    5. Hooks, Ed. Acting for Animation. Heinemann publishing, 2003
    6. Thomas, Frank. Johnston, Ollie. The Illusion of Life Disney Animation. Hyperion New York, 1995
    7. Clark, Kyle. Inspired 3D Character Animation, Premier Press Publishing, 2002 Demers,
    8. Digital Texturing and Painting. New Riders Publishing, 2002.
    9. Birn, Jeremy. Digital Lighting and Rendering. New Riders Publishing, 2002.
    10. Maraffi, Chris. Maya Character Creation. New Riders Publishing, 2004
    11. 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.


Requirement for each of the assignment and the final project

    1. Name Convention Format
      1. (your user name)_ (project name).ext
      2. Example: 
        1. or saritds_animatic.m4v
        2. saritds_ block01.m4v or saritds_
    2. Each period of class project, students must bring all the work progress to every class section until the due date.
    3. The final output on all assignments and final project will be a Quicktime file in H.264 compression, 720x480 pixels.
    4. At the end of semester, students must turn all materials DVD/CD. Below is the list of items on each project:
        1. Maya project directory including
          1. Maya models
          2. Textures
          3. Final rendering images
        2. Movie files
    5. Credit Format on all QuickTime movies
      1. Project Name
      2. Your Name
      3. Course/Class Section/Semester
      4. Instructor Name
      5. University
    6. You are required to update your artworks on your digital arts student portfolio during this semester.



Grades are based on the quality and quantity of your work. I will also consider your participation, craftsmanship, conception, ambition, productivity, and development of your artworks. The following will be considered on grading:

Craftsmanship: Technical ability and craftsmanship
Conception: The thought process and expression of idea behind artwork, which was created
Ambition: The ability to go beyond the class materials and to invest on research on all subject was given.
Productivity - The amount of completed artwork.
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.



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.



  • 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(accept research of requesting period)
  • 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.