University of Technology Sydney

89203 3D Digital Animation 2

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 2023 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: Design
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This is a modelling project-based subject that requires students to apply their 3D modelling skills in the design and production of an animation ready environment and character model. The subject requires the creation and manipulation of 3D models and their appropriate application in animation production. Topics covered include advanced computer modelling and topology theory, lighting for production and character rigging basics. Students are also expected to further develop animation production skills, refine their understanding of the different areas of computer graphics in a production pipeline and how they work together.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

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

1. Develop and demonstrate an understanding of 3D modeling as it applies to the animation production pipeline.
2. Develop and demonstrate an understanding of CG lighting and texturing to create a scene appropriate for an animation concept.
3. Demonstrate these skills in the production of an environment and character ready for an animation pipeline.

Teaching and learning strategies

The learning experience for this subject incorporates a flexible range of teaching and learning strategies including lectures, computer labs, tutorials and specialised master classes focussed on supporting advanced industry standard knowledge and skills computer animation software skills for 3D animation. Advanced models of animation practice and design methodology are explored through computer lab workshops and masterclasses in conjunction with industry practice. Creative and reflective problem solving for 3D animation continues to underpin the learning experience. Self-selected peer learning groups and learning partnerships are encouraged in conjunction with lectures and tutorial / laboratory delivery.

Content (topics)

The subject is largely organised around the production of an environment and character under supervision, covering the following topics:

1. Principles and techniques of environment set modelling.

2. Principles and techniques of character modelling.

3. CG Texturing processes.

4. Lighting a scene ready for animation.

5. Basic character rigging.


Assessment task 1: Environment Model

Weight: 20%

Assessment task 2: Character Model

Weight: 30%

Assessment task 3: Character Rigged and Placed in Environment

Weight: 50%

Required texts

Mastering Autodesk Maya 2011, Eric Keller, Sybex ISBN 0470639350

Maya Studio Projects: Dynamics, Todd Palamar, Sybex, ISBN-10: 0470487763

The Complete Reference: Maya 8, Tom Meade, Shinsaku Arima. McGraw Osborne ISBN-10 0071485961

Maya 6 Killer Tips, Eric Hanson, Kenneth Ibrahim, Alex Nijmeh, New Riders Press ISBN: 0321278534

Learning Autodesk Maya 2008: The Modeling and Animation Handbook, Alias Learning Tools, Sybex ISBN-10 1897177380

Learning Autodesk Maya 2008: The Special Effects Handbook, Alias Learning Tools, Sybex ISBN-10 1897177399

Digital Lighting and Rendering, Jeremy Birn, New Riders Press ISBN 0321316312

Digital Texturing and Painting, Owen Demers, Waite Group Press ISBN 0735709181

MEL Scripting for Maya Animators, Mark R. Wilkins, Chris Kazmier, Morgan Kaufmann ISBN 0120887932

Mastering 3D Animation, Peter Ratner, Allworth Press ISBN 1-58115-345-7

Maya Character Animation, Jae-jin Choi, Sybex ISBN 0-7821-4328-8

Stop Staring: Facial Modeling and Animation Done Right, Jason Osipa, Sybex ISBN 0782141293


Beckmann, Patricia and Scott Wells. Exploring 3D modeling with Maya 6, Thomson/Delmar Learning, New York, 2004.

Capizzi, Tom. Inspired 3D modelling and texture mapping, Premier, London/Pearson Education, Rocklin, California, 2002.

Danaher, Simon. The Complete Guide To Digital 3D Design, ILEX, Lewes, East Sussex, 2004.

Franson, David. The Dark Side of Game Texturing, Premier Press, 2004.

Kerlow, Isaac Victor. The Art Of 3-D Computer Animation and Imaging (2nd ed.), John Wiley& Sons, 2000.

Magnenat-Thalmann, Nadia and Daniel Thalmann. Synthetic actors in computer-generated 3D films, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1990

Ng, Kian Bee. Digital Effects Animation Using Maya, Charles River Media, 1999.

Stripinis, David. The MEL companion [electronic resource]: Maya scripting for 3D artists, Charles River Media, Hingham, Massachusetts, 2003.