computer animation (the state of the art)

from Pixar’s “The Incredibles


Class meets during the 12 time in Sudikoff 115 and 005.  We meet during x-hours. More details can be found in the syllabus and assignment pages.

This course focuses on the practice, techniques and concepts of 3-

Dimensional computer animation. The best way to learn about computer

animation is to make some, so we will use Maya to create animations that display both the emotion of a character and the physics of a scene.

We will also look at the state of computer animation today, learning terms and working towards an overall understanding of the art of computer animation.

Rather than learning a little bit about all aspects of Maya (modeling,

animating and rendering), we will concentrate on getting good at animation by understanding the forces that make a character or scene come to life. You will learn enough about modeling and rendering to complete the assignments and make them look good, but we will not be focusing on these aspects. Models will be provided for your use.

The homework assignments will be due every week and screened during class on the day it is due (usually Tuesday or Thursday). Weekly assignments will teach you the principles of animation while you learn more and more complex aspects of Maya software. The final project will be a short animation, fully rendered.

Class critiques are a critical aspect of this course. Other class time will be dedicated to lectures, film screenings and work in the Maya lab. We will meet every x-hour in the Maya lab.

The material covered in class cannot be made up since much of it comes from a variety of sources not necessarily found in books. It is critical, therefore, that you attend each class. Missing classes or the x-hour will result in a lowered grade.

How to succeed in the class: Do the work, do it again, work smart, come to class.

Animation is a wonderful and complex art form. Maya is a powerful and

complicated tool. The more time you put into the assignments the more you will get from the course. Be prepared to put in large amounts of time in the lab. If you do the work, revise your work and come to class you will succeed.

Do the homework assignments and do them on time. Completing the

work on time will keep you from falling hopelessly behind. Once the

assignment is done, you will have until the end of the quarter to make

changes and improvements to the work. It is expected that all

assignments will be reworked at least once.

Attend class regularly. The information you receive in class is often

not available in books.

Final project: Each student will do a final project that uses the

information gained in the class. You can work in teams or on your own.

Plan extra time for this work. Expect systems to break down.


Homework (weekly assignments) (60% grade)

Final Project (25% grade)

Class participation and attendance (15% grade)


about the class....

quote of the day

“There are only 3 things in animation:




These imply the rest. Learn to do these things well and you can animate well.”

   --Bill Tytla,

Disney Animator