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Academy of Technical and Art Applied Studies

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Computer Animation Course code: 161407 | 6 ECTS credits

Basic information
Level of Studies: Undergraduate applied studies
Year of Study: 3
Semester: 6
Requirements: No requirements
Goal: The goal of the course is introduction with Maya 3D work-flow, character animation rules, as well as mastering of basic character animation tools, with skeletons and deformers, and the whole process of planning and working in short animations
Outcome: Students are going to get a chance to know character animation basics, acting and body language, to master biped character animation in 3D environment, to animate lip sync according to prerecorded sound, and apply animation principles in 3D technique.
Contents of the course
Theoretical instruction:
  1. Introduction, concepts and terminology, and technology of computer animation. User interface in Maya 3D, organizing node system, work environment, three-dimensional coordinate system and transformations in it, basic transformations (translation, rotation, scaling), views.
  2. Computer animation technologies. Movement, timing, extremes and key frame animation
  3. Terminology – extremes, frames, axis of action, line of action... Graph editor, animating with interpolation control between key frames.
  4. Motion path animation. Hierarchy.
  5. Introduction to principles of animation objects controls, as well as deformers and their attributes
  6. Character animation basics.
  7. Character of objects, application of animation principles in order to express character features Weight.
  8. Bipeds, animation and design.
  9. Character rigging.
  10. Character features expressions through animation. Pose, movement, timing. Parallel walk cycle animation of various characters.
  11. Idea, synopsis, script, storyboard, character design. Preparations for the final project. Acting and expressions. Animating stylized walk.
  12. Animating character in specific situation.
  13. Work on final tasks.
Practical instruction (Problem solving sessions/Lab work/Practical training):
  1. Basic Maya 3D animation tools.
  2. Hierarchy and animating objects in groups.
  3. Graph editor. Deformers. Animating bouncing ball
  4. Animation layers.
  5. Organizing projects.
  6. Use of reference.
  7. Character animation - animating biped jump
  8. Character animation - animating biped walk
  9. Body language in animation.
  10. Facial expressions, Blend shapes.
  11. Speech animation.
  12. Character animation - animating lifting heavy object
  13. Character animation - animating staircase climbing
  14. Work on final tasks.
Textbooks and References
  1. B. Dovniković, Mala škola crtanog filma, Zagreb, 1983.
  2. R. Williams, The Animator`s suvirval kit, Faber and Faber, New York, 1995.
  3. G. Maestri, Character animation 2 - Volume 2: Advanced Techniques, New Riders, Indiana, 2002.
  4. Harold Whitaker, John Kalas, Timing for animation, Focal Press, 2002.
Number of active classes (weekly)
Lectures: 3
Practical classes: 2
Other types of classes: 0
Grading (maximum number of points: 100)
Pre-exam obligations
activities during lectures
activities on practial excersises
seminary work
Final exam
Written exam
Oral exam