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82221 Context: Introduction to 3D and 2D Hybrid Animation

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: Design
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

Description

This subject introduces students to theories and best practices for 3D CGI animation. It is primarily a skill-based subject, focused on understanding the basic technical fundamentals of animation as expressed through industry-standard software. At the same time, students continue to build upon, and develop, the 12 principles of animation introduced in 82121 Context: 2D Animation Introduction. Students in this subject learn the fundamentals of 3D animation using Maya. Although underpinned by the same fundamental principles as 2D animation, this subject brings a new set of challenges and a different aesthetic to master. The technical complexity of the toolsets demands a patient and thorough approach, and students are required to keep a subject-specific notebook. There is also the challenge of how to invest nuanced performance in 3D digital animation with the human feel that is crucial to generating empathy. Students should be mindful that digitally generated animation can often appear sterile and cold, and an over-reliance on software-led movement must be avoided. Although it is possible to generate movement very quickly in 3D, it takes a surprising amount of time to refine this movement into a layered, believable and sympathetic form.

This subject also introduces methodologies for an effective production workflow with an emphasis on using multiple software platforms for digital animation production, focusing upon the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, Toon Boon Harmony, Autodesk Maya, Shotgun and Pixar Renderman. Students engage with class exercises and assets, demonstrating how each of these software production tools can broaden the student's fundamental skillset and knowledge of professional practices. By the end of this section of the subject, students are able to set up project files and directory structures and be able to use Premiere, Photoshop, Audition and After Effects to structure, create, manipulate and assemble a short film project in a professional manner.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. Understanding of animation principles in relation to the 3D interface
2. Ability to understand and respond to the brief in an appropriate manner
3. Evidence of understanding software technical skills and processes in the production and delivery of animation files

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes to the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Ability to contribute positively to critique and feedback process (C.3)
  • Ability to understand and apply fundamental animation principles (P.1)
  • Ability to demonstrate a high level of craft and production values across all methods of animation process (P.2)
  • Ability to work with production complexity, to breakdown, organise, manage, delegate, define conventions and archive projects (P.3)
  • Ability to iterate, reflect, edit and engage in self-critique and critical thinking (R.3)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject uses the problem-based learning strategy that involves students researching and developing their own solutions to complex design challenges.

The subject uses design professionals as mentors to ensure that all content and tasks are relevant to current professional practice in a global context. Individual verbal feedback will be given weekly from the commencement of the subject.

The subject combines one 3hr lab per week consisting of a 1hr lecture session and 2hr lab work per week. The lecture sessions will provide knowledge relevant to the subject, enabling students to work on their design projects. The knowledge provided is information on the" 12 principles of Animation" as well as the principles of using and understanding the technical aspects of 2D and 3D software. Students will be participating in individual tutorials and group discussions throughout the semester.

In the labs, students will work on their design projects with a mentor. At the beginning of each lab class, the mentor will discuss with the entire group the challenges they are facing with their projects. The mentor will then prompt students faced by similar challenges to facilitate collaborative discussions. Prior to each lab class, the students will be required to collect and utilise relevant reference material as directed by the studio mentor.

The mentor will be reviewing the work weekly and will provide feedback verbally. It will be the students' responsibility to record any feedback provided in studio. It is therefore imperative that students attend all on-campus engagements.

It is expected that students spend a minimum of 3 hrs a week outside of class hours to finish their tasks to an acceptable and expected standard.

Grades, marks and feedback on final design submissions will be provided through ReView.

Content (topics)

  • Animation technology skills using different software
  • Animation principles
  • Body mechanics
  • Editorial
  • Compositing
  • Image and Audio
  • Animatics

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Creative Suite Process Journal and Re cut of Media

Intent:

Introduction to multiple software platforms, primarily the Adobe Creative Suite, with a focus on the technical process and best practice for digital Animation Production.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

3

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

P.3 and R.3

Type: Exercises
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Evidence of understanding software technical skills and processes in the production and delivery of animation files. 60 3 P.3
Demonstrating an understanding of best practice, through iteration and experimentation as evidenced in the final re-edit film. 40 3 R.3
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: 3D Exercises and Generic Walk

Intent:

Introduction to the fundamentals of Maya and 3D Animation principles through a series of exercises and a biped walk.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

and 3

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

P.1 and P.3

Type: Exercises
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Animation demonstrates an understanding of the twelve principles and is based on solid physics. 60 P.1
Animation shows an understanding of process required in the 3D interface. 40 3 P.3
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: 3D Weight Exercise

Intent:

Continued development of understanding the fundamentals of Maya and Animation principles through the production of an animated biped character scene, focusing on weight.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

, 2 and 3

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

C.3, P.1 and P.2

Type: Project
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%

Minimum requirements

The DAB attendance policy requires students to attend no less than 80% of formal teaching sessions (lectures and tutorials) for each class they are enrolled in to remain eligible for assessment.

Recommended texts

How to Cheat in Maya 2012: Eric Luhta and Kennt Roy

Learning Autodesk Maya 2010: Foundation : Autodesk Maya Press