Class Schedule - Fall 2009 - ARTC 4130 - Bowling Green State University
syllabus | schedule | topics | assignments | class notes | resources | students | Digital Arts website
August Tentative Schedule: Assigned: What is Due today:
Week 1
23 Tue Syllabus, introductions, story, research, production pipelines and animation pitch bibles Assigned:

  • Setup class blog
  • make up character stories
  • Find 3 creative characters
  • Get 3-ring binder for anim. bible
    25 Thur

    Creating themes, genres, brainstorming, story structure and concept statements, Character building and bios, Concept art and mood Boards, blogging

    CRITIQUE: Character ideas


  • Write 8 character bios.
  • Create a mood board for your animation

  • Write about 3 characters that have inspired you
  • Due today:

  • Character statements
  • Blog review
  • Week 2
    30 Tue Story-writing, premises, plot-development, working with flash-cards for storyboarding, cinematics, camera shots, Character design, development. Research and creating references for stories

    CRITIQUE: Character Bios and Art


    • Expand on 3 characters
    • write a synopsis for a story surrounding each of these characters
    • 2 different designs of your characters (that means 6 drawings)

    • Find 3 animations that have been made in a style you appreciate, Discuss on blog
    Due today:
    • Character Bios
    • Blog review
    • Mood board

    1 Thur

    Important decisions to make for animation. Storyboarding for film. Different styles of story-telling and the importance of shot composition and timing, Animatics and what they entail

    CRITIQUE: Characters concepts



    • Write 5-7 sentence descriptions on 2 story concepts (bullet points)
    • Using flash cards make a simple storyboard for one of your chosen ideas
    • One image to depict the central idea your story idea (in color)

    Due today:

    • Character sketches
    • Story synopsis
    • Blog Review
    Week 3
    6 Tue

    After Effects for animatics and sound. Story edits and revisions. How to write a scipt.

    CRITIQUE: Flash cards and story

    • Read Ch. 1,2 and 3 in Ideas for Anim
    • Redo/Create a larger storyboard
    • scan flash cards and make a timeline in After Effects

    • Create concept art for your chosen story's character(s)

    Due today:

    • Story Plot
    • Index images
    • Concept Art

    8 Thur

    AfterEffects revisited, drawing out character specs for modeling purposes.

    CRITIQUE: Moving storyboards


  • Read Ch. 4 and 5 in Ideas for Anim
  • Flesh out and refine your storyboard
  • write a full script of your story
  • Update animatic
  • write your full story
  • Create concept art for environments
  • Due today:

    • Concept Art
    • Blog Review
    Week 4
    13 Tue

    More about AFX. Asset planning, Sound in Animatics,Character sheets, Modeling 101, organic and inorganic

    CRITIQUE: Storyboards and Animatic


    • Revise story and storyboard as suggested from critiques
    • Write your own personalized Production Plan
    • Create a rough boxed layout of your main environment

    • Find 3 locations (real or fictional) that you think are great settings for a story

    Due today:

    • New script
    • Storyboard
    • Rough animatics

    15 Thur


    More about modeling, Modeling Characters Intro, Story revisions and development, Production management



  • Refine storyboard and update animatic
  • Draw character specs on a grid to allow for modeling
  • Model (at least) 2 props for your environment

  • Draw character specs to model your main character
  • List all assets that you will need to model/create for your animation
  • Due today:

    • Production plan
    • Script
    • Blog review
    Week 5
    20 Tue

    Character pose sheets, more modeling, faces, hands etc. Intro to UV unwrapping and texturing.

    CRITIQUE: Animatic updates and story rewrite

  • Finalize script and story
  • Model more Environment objects
  • Set up and start character model
  • Compile artwork and script into one single Animation Bible
  • Due today:
  • Environment models
  • Character specs
  • Story review
  • 22 Thur

    Storyboard 2 critique, Cameras in Maya, how to set up your 3D animatic. Modeling and topology

    CRITIQUE: Animatic updates and story rewrite


    • Continue character and asset model animatic
    • Polish Animatic (editing and ink/color)
    • Add sound to animatic
    • Complete Animation bible
    Due today:
    • First draft (bible)
    • 2D Animatic
    Week 6
    27 Tue

    Matte Painting. Modeling Faces. Texturing 101.


    CRITIQUE: Environment and Character reviews

  • Complete 2D animatic
  • Rough Character Model
  • Rough Environment Model
  • Due today:
    • Animation Bible
    29 Thur

    Practice Presenting stories.

    CRITIQUE: Presentations

    • Complete Presentation and PRACTICE
    Due today:
    • Completed 2D animatic
    • Rough Character Model
    • Rough Environment Model
    Week 7
    4 Tue


  • type out notes from feedback received today
  • Due today:
  • Attendance with a prepared presentation
  • 6 Thur


    CRITIQUE: Presentation discussion notes

  • Finish modeling your character
  • Due today:
    Week 8
    11 Tue FALL BREAK - No class
    13 Thur

    Texturin. 3D animatics. Timing and story-telling with cameras. Fundamentals of key-framing and movement.

    Class discussion about cinematography

  • Assigned:
    • Set up a 3D Animatic with your cameras set up.
    • Continue to unwrap Character UV's
    • Texture 2 props

      • Talk about a scene from a movie that used camera angles in a way that really evoked a powerful response from the audience. This should cover elements like timing, shot composition, motion
      • Discuss the terms "Mise-en-Scene", Cinematography and Shot composition in short, simple paragraphs
  • Due today:
  • Finished or almost finished Character model
  • 2D animatics revamped
  • Week 9
    18 Tue

    More about Texturing and working with Shaders in Maya. Lighting 101.


    CRITIQUE: 3D Animatics and cameras


    • Create rough Maya Animatic
    • Texture a minimum of 2 props or non-character objects in your asset list
    • Place tentative lights in your environment

    • Discuss 3 animations which have used texuring in a unique fashion.
    Due today:
  • Rough 3D Animatic for review
  • Blog review
  • 20 Thur

    Introduction to Rigging concepts. Joints, controls etc. Learning how to use rigs and understanding movement. Different types of binds. Grouping, heirarchies.

    CRITIQUE: 3D Animatics



    • place a skeleton into your character and name your joints
    • Do a test bind
    • 2 sec animation of character standing up from a sitting position
    Due today:
    • Complete Character UVs
    • Blog review
    Week 10
    25 Tue

    More about rigging. Joint Orientation and Fk set-ups. Production re-evaluation.



    • Refine 3D animatic for review
    • Re-adjust character topology
    • Re-evaluate your progress
    Due today:
    • Complete 3D animatic for class
    • Character test-bind
    27 Thur

    Using IK handles and creating a leg set-up. Modeling and topology fixes. Setting up Alpha channels in textures.

    CRITIQUE: Animation viewing and project progress


    • Rebind character to test new topology.
    • Texture and set up 1 full environment

    • Discuss in detail a single scene (animated) which displays great emotion and acting. What did the creators do to make the scene so powerful, eg Light effects, pauses, camera angles


    Due today:
    • Animation
    • progress review

    Week 11
    1 Tue

    Creating blendshapes for your character. Adding eyeballs and texturing them.

    CRITIQUE: Animation and project progress


    3 Thur

    Creating blendshapes. Using various deformers to build expressions. Making eyeballs and quick texturing solutions.


    CRITIQUE: Production Progress


    • Refine 3D animatic for review
    • Make a full "expression sheet" for your character
    • Add eyeballs and teeth (if needed) to your character
    • Create a single blendshape on your character

    • Discuss 3 famous characters (or people) who have very expressive faces
    Due today:
    • Environment model
    • Fixed 3D animatic
    Week 12
    8 Tue

    Work day(?)


    • Refine 3D animatic for review
    • Create a full set of blendshapes for your character


    Due today:
    • Matte painting progress
    • Fixed 3D animatic
    10 Thur

    Auto-rig set-ups and why they're useful. How to read a MEL script.

    How to animate an auto-rig.

    CRITIQUE: Animation and project progress



    • Refine 3D animatic for review
    • Add the auto-rig and bind your characters
    • If you're rigging yourself, set up controls on the legs and arms.
    Due today:
    • Character re-topologized
    • UV maps
    • 3D animatics in progress
    Week 13
    15 Tue

    Rigging concepts revewed. Finalizing a model for bind. Arm set-up, leg set-up, set-driven keys and hand set-ups. How to create switches.

    CRITIQUE: Animation and project progress



    • Include refined environment into new 3D Animatic
    • Fix any problems with your character rig and blendshapes


    Due today:
    • Character auto-rig bind
    • Character blendshapes
    17 Thur

    Reviewing 3D Animatics, discussing timing, cameras and Texture inputs. Basic lighting ideas.

    CRITIQUE: Animatics


    • Take 3 camera angles from your 3D environment (with finished models and textures) and adjust lighting using Photoshop to create Lighting Concepts for your animation.


    • Pick 3 clips of music that you feel might be able to express the 'feel' of your animation
    Due today:
    • Timed animatic with fully-textured environment
    Week 14
    22 Tue 3D Animatics discussed. Cinematics and timing in animation.


    • Finish texturing your environment
    • Add wip textures to your character
    • Update 3D Animatic with all finished assets
    Due today:
    • Timed and almost finished 3D animatic, with sound
    24 Thur Thanksgiving Break    
    Week 15
    29 Tue Final Asset overview. 3D Animatics reviewed.


    • Finish any remaining assets for final submission
    • Animate 90 frames with your bound character using one of your camera angles.
    Due today:
    • Final assets, including character(s), environments, textures etc
    • Blog Review
    1 Thur Individual meetings


    • Write a short paragraph about your experiences during this production. Describe any challenges you faced. Talk about what you would do differently next time.

    Week 16
    6 Tue Individual meetings  
    8 Thur Individual meetings    
    Week 17

    Dec 13

    Critique of rigged models, animatics, concept art, and animation.

    Also Due today:
    DVD with:

  • final animation in H.264 format (.mov)
  • animatic in H.264 format (.mov)
  • environment in Maya (maya file)
  • concept art (.jpg or .tif)
  • character modeled, textures and rigged (maya file)

  • Notebook with:
  • Animation Bible

  •   Due today: at 1:15 pm