Animation Course Descriptions

100 Level Courses
ANIM 101: The 12 Principles of Animation. 4 hours.

An introduction to the twelve principles of animation developed by the Walt Disney Studios, which are recognized as the guiding principles for any animation. Students will produce short animations utilizing each individual principle and then start to layer principles together in order to bring their character to life.

ANIM 111: Animation I. 3 hours.

An introduction to traditional 2D animation techniques, which includes a historical overview related to current animation trends in education, industry, entertainment, and independent/experimental production. It provides practical aesthetic and technical experiences in the fundamental principles and physics of motion. This class provides an analysis or action and basic physical laws through the study of movement and time.

ANIM 121: Computer Animation I. 3 hours.

This course introduces students to the many areas and aspects of computer animation. Students will be introduced to basic 3D tools and techniques of modeling, surfacing, lighting, rendering, rigging, animating and compositing various elements. Students are introduced to the group production environment. This course emphasizes the wide range of talents and disciplines within 3D computer animation.

ANIM 161: Principles of Animation. 3 hours.

Prerequisite: ANIM 111 Animation I or ANIM 121 Computer Animation I 
This course examines the 12 principles of animation developed by the Walt Disney Studios, which are widely recognized as the guiding animation principles for all animation.

200 Level Courses
ANIM 211: Animation II. 3 hours.

Prerequisite: ANIM 111: Animation I and ANIM 161: Principles of Animation
Building on acquired animation knowledge and skills, this course challenges students to expand their animation skills and to continue developing a sense of timing. Students will be encouraged to develop their own sense of style and will create characters within a story framework. Students will identify and resolve problems that arise in time-based media as a study of emotional expression. This will provide a foundational knowledge of the fundamentals of performance in animation.

ANIM 221: Computer Animation II. 3 hours.

Prerequisite: ANIM 121: Computer Animation I and ANIM 161: Principles of Animation
Building on acquired animation principles and computer animation knowledge and techniques, this course challenges students to expand their computer animation sills and to continue developing a sense of timing. Students learn organic modeling techniques, basic rigging skills and intermediate compositing techniques. Students will continue to develop interpersonal communication and leadership skills while working in a group environment.

ANIM 290, 390, 490: Selected Topics. 1-3 hours.

Selected Topics are courses of an experimental nature that provide students a wide variety of study opportunities and experiences. Selected Topics offer both the department and the students the opportunity to explore areas of special interest in a structured classroom setting. Selected Topics courses (course numbers 290, 390, 490) will have variable titles and vary in credit from 1-3 semester hours. Selected Topic courses may not be taken as a Directed Study offering.

ANIM 291, 391, 491: Research. 1-12 hours.

Many academic departments offer special research or investigative projects beyond the regular catalog offering. Significant responsibility lies with the student to work independently to develop a proposal for study that must be approved by a faculty mentor and the appropriate department chair. The faculty member will provide counsel through the study and will evaluate the student’s performance. Sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible. Students must register for research (291, 292, 391, 392, 491 or 492) to receive credit and are required to fill out a Permission to Register for Special Coursework form. It is recommended that students complete not more than 12 hours of research to apply toward the baccalaureate degree.

ANIM 293: History of Animation. 3 hours.

This course will study all forms of animation from around the world. Animations and the animators who create them, will be analyzed in a historical and cultural context. Theories of techniques, technological developments, and criticism of animation are all studied in relation to historical developments, cultural influences and styles in the visual and performing arts. Each class will start by “setting the stage” by reviewing what is going on in the world around the animators that have influenced their work. Outside influences that will be discussed will include politics, what big movies were released, who were the big starts of the era, what technological breakthroughs/inventions were introduced, etc. Re-occurring cultural themes discussed throughout the semester will be labor relations, sexism, racism, and the growing global marketplace and demand for animation.

300 Level Courses
ANIM 311: Animation III. 3 hours.

Prerequisite: ANIM 211: Animation II
Building on acquired animation knowledge and skills, this course seeks to advance students’ knowledge in cinematic design and execution to better understand animation as applied to performance, emotion, and believability. Students will be encouraged to think of themselves as filmmakers through the understanding and appreciation of cinematic language and technique. The fundamentals of performance in animation will be expanded upon and provided with a emotion context.

ANIM 321: Computer Animation III. 3 hours.

Prerequisite: ANIM 221: Computer Animation II
Building on acquired animation and computer animation knowledge and techniques, this course seeks to advance students’ knowledge in cinematic design and execution to better understand animation as applied to performance, emotion, and believability as it applies to computer animation. Students are introduced to rigging with bones, motion effectors and modifiers, advanced surfacing and special effects work through lectures and practical demonstrations. Students will continue to develop interpersonal communication and leadership skills while working in a group environment.

ANIM 351: Advanced Character & Set Design. 2 hours.

Prerequisite: Candidacy in Animation Program. This upper-level elective course is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to design effective and appealing characters and sets for animation productions. Character archetypes will be extensively studied through the internal analysis and biographical history that will convey the final design for Animation production.

ANIM 352: Advanced Storyboarding. 2 hours.

Prerequisite: Candidacy in Animation Program. This upper-elective course is designed to equip students with the knowledge, skill and “blue print” necessary to tell a compelling story. The course emphasis will be on aesthetic visualization, staging, composition, cinematic continuity, rhythm, timing and pacing.

ANIM 353: Advanced Modeling & Texturing. 2 hours.

Prerequisite: Candidacy in Animation Program. This course builds on the foundational skills students have already mastered and explores more complex modeling and texturing techniques. UV maps, nodal materials, fur/fibers, cloth and endomorph targets will be covered. Students will design and produce final images based on “real world” situations. Student will produce 10-12 models, including at least 2 at production quality level projects.

ANIM 354: Advanced Compositing. 2 hours.

Prerequisite: Candidacy in Animation Program. This course builds on the foundational skills students have already mastered and explores more complex compositing and visual FX techniques. Masks, pre-compositing, motion tracking, 3D FX and particles will be covered. Students will design and produce final images based on ‘real world’ situations. Students will produce 5 minor and 2 major production-quality level projects to be included in their portfolio.

ANIM 355: Advanced Rigging & Dynamics. 2 hours.

Prerequisite: Candidacy in Animation Program. This course builds on the foundational skills students have already mastered and explores more complex rigging techniques and how to apply dynamics such as collisions and fluids. Mechanical and organic rigs, ‘hard body’ and ‘soft body’ will be covered. Students will research, analyze, and design fully functional and physically accurate rigs for both mechanical and organic models. Students will produce 2-4 projects.

ANIM 356: Advanced Alternative Animation Techniques. 2 hours.

Prerequisite: Candidacy in Animation Program. This upper-level elective will impact advanced-level knowledge of and experience with specialized and unique processes of stop-motion and experimental animation. Students will come to understand and appreciate the value and aesthetic appeal of these very tactile processes in today’s world of computer-generated graphics. The history of these art forms will be examined in detail, as well as their very involved processes. Students will be guided through every step of their chosen technique, from idea to storyboard to lighting and camera considerations into animation.

ANIM 357: Advanced Virtual and Augmented Reality. 2 hours.

Prerequisite: Candidacy in Animation Program. This course explores the relatively new fields of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Students will design, build and explore characters and environments within Virtual and Augmented Reality. Students will be challenged to explore new and emerging avenues that are utilizing these technologies, such as Elementary Education, medicine and historical recreations.

ANIM 361: Advanced Modeling. 2 hours.

Prerequisite: ANIM 321 Computer Animation III
This course builds on the foundation skills students have already mastered and explores more complex modeling and texturing techniques. UV maps, nodal materials, fur/fibers, cloth and morph targets will be covered. Students will design and produce final images based on “real world” situations. Students will produce two major production-quality level projects.

ANIM 362: Advanced Rigging. 2 hours.

Prerequisite: ANIM 321 Computer Animation III
This course builds on the foundational skills students have already mastered and explores more complex rigging techniques and how to apply dynamics. Mechanical and organic rigs, “hard body” and “soft body” will be covered. Students will research, analysis, and design fully functional and physically accurate rigs for both mechanical and organic models. Students will produce two major production-quality level projects.

ANIM 363: Particles & Dynamics. 2 hours.

Prerequisite: ANIM 321 Computer Animation III
This course builds on the foundational skills students have already mastered and explores particles, particle systems, and dynamics such as collisions and fluids. Students will research, analysis, and design four projects that incorporate particles systems and physics engines.

ANIM 364: Motion Graphics. 2 hours.

Prerequisite: Candidacy in Animation Program or permission of instructor. This course introduces students to the many areas and aspects of motion graphics. Students will learn to combine graphic design tools and techniques with the principles of animation. Students will learn basic 3D modeling and texturing techniques as well as a wide range of 2D FXs. Students will utilize these new skills and techniques in creating a host of motion graphic projects.

ANIM 397, 497: Internship. Variable hours.

Interns must have at least 60 credit hours, completed appropriate coursework and have a minimum GPA of 2.5 prior to registering for academic credit. Also, approval must be obtained from the student's faculty sponsor and required forms must be completed by the deadline. Note: *Architecture, Music Therapy and Education majors do not register internships through Career Planning & Development. These students need to speak with his/her advisor regarding credit requirements and options.

400 Level Courses
ANIM 411: Animation Capstone I – Pre-Production. 3 hours.

Prerequisite: Any level III Animation course.
This course represents a culmination of our animation curricula. Students will begin production on a project suitable for film festivals, gallery exhibitions or the gaming community. Students will refine their story and designs and begin producing and assembling all the necessary assets their project needs. Students will also explore possible avenues to resolve any technical and/or artistic problems unique to their project.

ANIM 451: Animation Capstone II – Post-Production. 3 hours.

Prerequisite: ANIM 411: Animation Capstone I
This course represents a culmination of the animation curricula. Students will finish production on the project they started in Capstone I. The final product will include the necessary promotional materials their chosen medium requires. This project will be suitable for film festivals, gallery exhibitions or the gaming community. This course will also demonstrate techniques to produce a professional and unique promotional resume and demonstration reel.