Syllabus - Spring 2012 - ARTC 4140 - Bowling Green State University

ARTC 4140:



Adv. Digital Character Animation II
Atia Quadri
MW 1:00 - 3:20 pm

244 Wolfe Center

Office Hrs:

204A Fine Arts
MW 4:00 - 5:30 pm

syllabus | schedule |resources | students | Digital Arts website
Reading Materials
The Animator's Survival Kit, Richard Williams $22.29
Mastering Autodesk Maya 2012, Tod Palamar, Eric Keller

Recommended (but do NOT feel compelled to buy!): 
Maya Character Creation: Modeling and Animation Controls, Chris Maraffi $35.00
Maya Techniques: Hyper-real Creature Creation, Paul Thuriot and Jeff Unay $42.52
Film Directing Shot by Shot, Steven D. Katz $17.70
Cinematic Storytelling: The 100 Most Powerful Conventions Every Filmmaker Must Know, Jennifer Van Sijl $16.30
Stop Staring: Facial Modeling and Animation Done Right, Jason Osipa $31.49
Cartoon Animation, Preston Blair $16.47
Cinematography: Theory and Practice, Second Edition: Image Making for Cinematographers and Directors by Blain Brown $32.97
The Five C's of Cinematography: Motion Picture Filming Techniques by Joseph V Mascelli


Digital storage:  Firewire External Drive (formatted for both Mac and PC) 320-500GB, 4-16 GB Flash Drive and DVD-R/DVD+R disks. You will be expected to back up your data a minimum of once a week.

Sketchbooks minimum size 8.5" x 11" with appropriate drawing supplies to be discussed in class


The course is the second of a two-part sequence where students will go through a full production cycle, which culminates in a single finished animation. The course will 3D Animation, Lighting, Editing and Sound editing, Compositing and Rendering. Students are expected to build upon the knowledge obtained in earlier Maya classes.
Class lectures will include demonstrations, discussions, presentations, technical exploration and aesthetic inquiry. Students are encouraged to pursue areas of interest and explore new ideas throughout the course.
The overall goal of this semester is to have a completed 3D animated short of an approximately 1 minute-long duration.

Critical Grading Elements

Blog                                                                             10%
Deadlines                                                                  10%
Participation/Attendance                                         10%

Final Animation:

Key-framing                                                                20%
Lighting                                                                       20%
Textures                                                                      10%
Sound                                                                          05%
Product refinement/finishing                                  15%


Each student is expected to complete all projects and exercises by the due dates. Details of the various assignments will be discussed in class.
By the end of the semester, the final character designs, and documentation of your story should be part of your animation bible.

Work lost because of computer/software crashes or failure to back up files, will be counted as a zero. Learn to save frequently, and back-up and maintain multiple copies of work constantly distributed across different storage media (including the digital arts server). These are important habits to develop for your career. No excuses for lost work.

Homework should be posted on the blog or in the homework folder an hour before each class or it will be considered to be a late submission.
This syllabus is subject to change during the course and the instructor will notify students of any changes.


Attendance is mandatory. We will be covering a variety of materials throughout the semester, building upon each lecture. Whether you have an excused absence or not, it is the student’s responsibility to meet with a classmate and borrow notes/do what needs be done to make sure the student is caught up with the class when they next rejoin the class.

Missing class will result in lowered grades.

90 - 100
89 - 80
79 - 70
69 - 60
59 - 0
A = Excellent - Above and beyond, artistically AND technically
B = Very Good - Beyond requirements, artistically OR technically
C = Average - Met the basic requirements
D = Did not meet requirements
F = Project not turned in or completely insufficient
Digital Arts Department Rules
• No food or drink in the lab.
• No cell phones, or beepers on during class. 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 Projects
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).