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Animation BA Module Details

Year one | Year two | Year three

Year 1

Introductory Sessions is aimed at introducing and building foundation skills for animation, theory, practice, and communication. Students are introduced to the twelve principles of animation in both 3D and 2D practice as discussed in Illusion of Life (Thomas & Johnson) and explored in Animator’s Survival Kit (Williams).

Animation Principles deals with the application of the Principles of Animation, which are the core of the subject and from which all the following topics will emerge. The focus is on the applicability of the 12 Principles of Animation to basic character walks and their artistic relevance for a character’s personality. Special emphasis is given to a proper professional workflow that builds the animation up from concept, to sketches and thumbnail drawings, movement and pose studies, rough animation and final rough in 2D animation, and basics of character locomotion in 3D.

Visual Thinking and Communication expands on the ideation for cinematic thinking and visualisation and explores the character in relationship with their surroundings. This module shines a light on the artistic possibilities of developing ideas and implementing them in the pre-production stage of the film’s visualisation. Various subjects will approach the feasibility and further development of an idea and its translation into the cinematic format, and simultaneously discuss the necessities of visualizing cinematic narratives in the form of industry-standard storyboards, based on continuity editing. The storyboards will focus in their narratives on the characters’ emotionality in relationship to their environment, which is interpreted as the reflection of the character’s emotional state.

Project 1 is an animated short project, assisted by further information on pre-production. Each student will produce a short five second clip (dialogue free), professionally produced, covering the various steps of the pro-production process of concept, script (action) and character development, character design, storyboard, audio, and character animation. Emphasis is given to the professional work process, proper procedures, and creative approach. Students will be introduced to the wide field of audio, its use for animation and its significance for cinematic narratives.  

 

Year 2

Look Development, with optionality of either 2D or 3D, explores the stylistic possibilities of animated visuals and character animation and its ability to shape the emotional impact on the viewer. The core subjects will be dealing with the visual possibilities of the cinematic narrative in terms of design and explore in the drawing subject the significance design has on narrative and viewer alike. Design can imply the application of a style that fits the narrative, consequently, the students will be exposed to the suitability of style to a given narrative.  

Fundamentals of Movement explores and dissects movement and its underlying physical, aesthetic, and narrative abilities. Entering the production phase of a film, consequently, the emphasis will be on movement and its artistic interpretation. The initial analysis of general human movement with its physical laws, will lead to its artistic translation in animation. To further the understanding of character animation and its artistic interpretation through various character animation styles, the possibilities of movement and their historical evolvement is being examined in the subject of ‘Timing’, being one of the significant artistic means for character animation. Consequently, movement is scrutinized from various angles, to open a box of tools for playing artistically with character animation. The drawing sessions will likewise focus on the capturing of action poses and consecutive movement studies. 

Acting applies the aesthetic and narrative tools learned to the field of character acting with the goal of communicating the narrative comprehensively. The theme lies on character performance and follows the rules of acting for animation to produce character animation that is coherent, and translates the narrative’s needs, the character’s personality, and emotions into intelligible animation. Focus is on the believability of the character’s performance and the interaction between characters.

Project 2 is an animated short project of 10 seconds. Each student will produce a short 10 second clip, professionally produced, covering the various stages of the pro-production process, containing concept, script (simple narrative) and character development, character design, storyboard, audio, and character animation with strong emphasis on the character’s performance. Attention is given to the professional work process, proper procedures, and creative approach. Students will also consider audio, its use for animation and its significance for cinematic narratives.  

 

Year 3

Project Ideation, Concept, Script explores ideas and concepts for the final year project. This module’s core is on the conceptualisation of the final project, the animated piece that will be the centre of the student’s portfolio. Consequently, the project will follow a professional and structured workflow through the following modules, and go through all the stages of pre-production, production, and post-production. The students will, in this first segment, develop a short, animated film project from an initial idea, through the script and concept stage, either for 2D or 3D. Discussions, and critique sessions will ensure the project is cohesive and artistically individual.  

Script, Storyboard, Animatic, Design Layout continues with the pre-production of the final project and prepares the student for a professional work environment with respectful communication. In this block, students complete a shooting script and then step into the visualisation of the narrative. Consequently, in this module the emphasis lies in the production of the storyboard and animatic, layout and design. To accompany the project from the perspective of sound, audio sessions expand on the student’s knowledge of the use of sound in film, plus the proper production pipeline and use of digital audio tools for preparing professionally recorded sound for the final film project.  

Production follows with the final project’s production, and furthermore explores the feasibility of the class project. The importance of the production phase lies in asset creation and the production of backgrounds, and the character animation with the goal of a comprehensible performance. The additional audio section will assist the students in producing audio files for their final project. Each section will be accompanied by in-depth discussions and critique sessions, teaching the student the respectful manner of communication and information exchange in the arts.  

Post-Production ends the study with the final project’s post-production, and likewise finishes the class project. In the post-production of the project, students will finish their short films in a professional manner, produce promotional materials, and prepare them for the distribution to various film festivals. Each section will be accompanied by in-depth discussions and critique sessions, teaching the student the respectful manner of communication and information exchange in the arts.