University of Technology Sydney

89204 2D Digital 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 2024 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 subject covers the design and production of advanced 2D digital animation using appropriate software. The subject also covers the theory and conceptualisation of design in computer animations for the internet. Students are expected to understand design processes in the production of 2D animation; comprehend knowledge of relevant software; demonstrate design and production skills; acquire basic 2D animation skills; become aware of a range of possibilities and limitations of dynamic media and animation for the internet; and demonstrate appropriate design solutions for the advanced web applications of animation.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

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

1. Develop an understanding of the theory of the design and production of 2D digital animation.
2. Understand the language, limitations and technical aspects of current relevant 2D animation software.
3. Point to, and explain, the use of 2D digital animation for the Internet or other 2D environments, including non-entertainment applications.
4. Acquire basic 2D digital animation design skills using FLASH or other appropriate software.
5. Demonstrate these skills in the design and production of a short 2D digital animated sequence featuring the digitally designed character or object located in a digitally designed 2D setting suitable for the Internet or other 2D environment.

Teaching and learning strategies

The learning experience for this subject incorporates a range of teaching and learning strategies including lectures, tutorials, and computer labs focuses on developing industry standard knowledge and software skills for 2D animation. Models of animation practice and design methodology are explored through in-class lectures and demonstrations, and hands-on computer lab workshops, group and individual exercises. Creative and reflective problem solving for 2D 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 a short animated work under supervision, covering the following topics:

  • simple character design and development;
  • understanding and manipulating vector graphics;
  • principles of digital, animated character design;
  • designing moving settings and backgrounds;
  • locating character and setting;
  • expression of character or object through movement of character or object;
  • animation on the Internet and other appropriate 2D environments;
  • multiple paths of movement;
  • layering effects and interactivity options;
  • adding soundtracks and sound effects.


Assessment task 1: Design of storyboard for animation

Weight: 20%

Assessment task 2: Rough stage of 2D digital animation design

Weight: 30%

Assessment task 3: Completed 2D digital animation

Weight: 50%

Required texts

Franklin, Derek. Macromedia Flash MX creative web animation and interactivity, Peachpit; London/Pearson Education,

Berkeley, California, 2003.

This essential text should either be purchased or accessed through closed reserve in the library.

Recommended texts

Corsaro, Sandro and Clifford J. Parrott. Hollywood 2D Digital Animation: The New Flash Production Revolution, Premier Press, 2004.

This additional text may be purchased or accessed through closed reserve in the library.

Additional notes will be supplied in class.


Barrier, Michael. Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in its Golden Age, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1999.

Beck, Jerry and Will Friedwald. Looney Tunes And Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide To The Warner Bros. Cartoons, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1989.

Furniss, Maureen. Art in Motion: Animation Aesthetics, John Libbey, Sydney, 1998.

Glassner, Andrew. Interactive Storytelling: Techniques for 21st Century Fiction, A.K.Peters, Ltd., 2004.

Greenebaum, Ken and Ronen Barzel. Audio Anecdotes: Tools, Tips, and Techniques for Digital Audio, A K Peters, Ltd, 2004.

Kelly, Doug. Character Animation In Depth, The Coriolis Group, 1998.

Michael, Alex. Animating with Flash MX: professional creative animation techniques, Focal Press, Oxford and Boston, 2003

Sheldon, Lee. Character Development and Storytelling for Games, Premier Press, 2004.

Tumminello, Wendy. Exploring Storyboarding, Thomson/Delmar Learning, New York, 2005

Williams, Richard. The Animator's Survival Kit: A Manual of Methods, Principles and Formulas for Classical, Computer Games, Stop Motion and Internet Animators, Faber and Faber, London and New York, 2001.