For on-line syllabus go to http://JohnCraigFreeman.net and follow the Courses link.

 

Still from Jesse Macdonald.

 

PROFESSOR:           John (Craig) Freeman

EMAIL:                     john_craig_freeman@emerson.edu

PHONE:                     (617) 824-8862

OFFICE HOURS:     180 Tremont Street, room 1111, MTW 11:00-11:50 a.m. or by appointment

 

CLASS MEETS:      Mondays and Wednesdays: 4:00 - 5:45 p.m. at Ansin Building 112.

 

PREREQUISITE:     Undergraduate level VM 261 Minimum Grade of D or Undergraduate level VM 361 Minimum Grade of D or Undergraduate level MA 361 Minimum Grade of D

 

 

 

 

 

DESCRIPTION:       The second course in the two-course computer animation sequence, introducing students to advanced three-dimensional modeling and animation techniques and preparing them for independent computer animation production work. Continues to develop skills acquired in computer animation, including modeling, texturing objects, composing and lighting scenes, animating, dynamics, rendering, and post-production compositing.

 

                                    Class time is spent either in intensive instructional session, where we move through concepts as a group using hands-on examples; in discussion and critique; or in open lab production. Meanwhile, students complete a series of software training exercises and reading assignments outside of class as homework.

 

                                    Students will propose, develop and produce a semester long project. The project must reflect an understanding of the concepts we will be covering throughout the duration of the course. Each student will make a formal proposal to the class and a presentation of the progress of the project. The course culminates in the presentation and critique of all final projects during our scheduled exam period. Students complete the course with an original portfolio-ready animation.

 

OBJECTIVES:         ¥ To develop students' skills in advanced three-dimensional modeling and animation

                                    ¥ To introduce students to artists that shaped and continue to shape animation history

                                    ¥ To assist students in further developing their visual literacy, critical thinking and communication skills

                                    ¥ To guide students towards discovering advanced pictorial and animation principles

                                    ¥ To apply these skills to express themselves creatively and critically.

 

REQUIREMENTS:  ¥ Attend every class meeting

                                    ¥ Come to class prepared to work

                                    ¥ Complete all required reading

                                    ¥ Complete required software training

                                    ¥ Present a project proposal

                                    ¥ Present progress on the project

                                    ¥ Present the completed final project during scheduled exam

 

READING:                ¥ The Art of Maya: An Introduction to 3D Computer Graphics; 4th edition, by AutoDesk Learning Tools, ISBN 1-8971-7747-1.

                                    Students should have read the first half of the Art of Maya book during Computer Animation 1 and will be required to complete the book during this course. Please see the calendar below for the specific reading schedule.

 

SOFTWARE TRAINING: Students are required to complete portions of AutodeskÕs Getting Started with Maya 2011 software training. You will document your progress by taking detailed notes on the Software Training Notes document and handing in a version saved as lastname_firstname.docx with each project you turn in. Please see the calendar below for the specific software training schedule.

ASSIGNMENTS:     Propose, develop and complete an original, portfolio ready short animated movie which includes a fully animated character. You will be evaluated based on the projects originality, expressive creativity, conceptual depth and technical expertise. It can be narrative or abstract but should be rich in interpretive possibility.

 

                                    Project Proposal

                                    Each student will present a project proposal to the class. We will discuss the proposal and either approve the project or recommend changes. Students will be evaluated on the quality of the idea, the proposal and the presentation. Test your work and equipment ahead of time. The Proposals must include a concept narrative, a script (if applicable), concept art, a storyboard and a production schedule.

 

                                    ¥ The concept narrative should be concise and to the point and should be around 750 words. The content will make up the oral part of the presentation to the class.

 

                                    ¥ If your concept is abstract or non-narrative, you do not need a script.

 

                                    ¥ The concept art should include sketches of the character and the set as well as reference images (top, side and front).

 

                                    ¥ The storyboard should include high quality digital color illustrations at a 1280 x 720, 72 dpi.

 

                                    ¥ The production schedule should be organized and succinct. Include specific dates. A typical production schedule consists of concept development, script writing, concept art, storyboard, modeling, texturing, lighting, audio, animating, dynamics, rendering, compositing, editing, titles, credits, and final output. Your list must be specific to your needs.

 

                                    Presentations are formal and should be prepared as a PowerPoint presentation. The files must be saved in a folder titled lastname_firstname. Be sure that linked movie files are included in a folder with the .pptx file. The proposal must be turned in along with your software training notes at the pages.emerson.edu/

                                    Courses/semesterYear/courseNumber/Assignments_In/Proposal folder prior to the critique.

 

                                    Proposals that do not conform to these specifications or that are turned in late will result in a lower grade.

 

                                    Progress Presentation

                                    Students will present the progress of their project during a prescheduled time. The presentation must include a Maya project directory and a movie file.

 

                                    ¥ The Maya project directory must be optimized and include nothing but the necessary files and folders.

 

                                    ¥ The movie must be saved as a self contained QuickTime file titled lastname_firstname.mp4 set at:

                                            Video: H.264 Decoder, 1280 x 720, Millions

                                            Audio: AAC, Stereo (L R), 44.100 kHz

                                            FPS: 24

                                            Data Rate: 5,000 kbits/s

                                      All movies must include audio, titles and credits.

 

                                    The files must be saved in a folder titled lastname_firstname and turned in along with your software training notes at the pages.emerson.edu/Courses/

                                    semesterYear/courseNumber/Assignments_In/Progress_Presentation folder prior to the critique.

 

                                    Projects that do not conform to these specifications or that are turned in late will result in a lower grade.

 

                                    Final Project

                                    Each student will present the finished project during the scheduled final exam time in the form of a movie file.

 

                                    ¥ The movie must be saved as a self contained QuickTime movie titled lastname_firstname.mp4 compressed with the settings above. All movies must include audio, titles and credits.

 

                                    The file must be saved in a folder titled lastname_firstname and turned in along with your software training notes at the pages.emerson.edu/Courses/

                                    semesterYear/courseNumber/Assignments_In/FinalProject folder prior to the critique.

 

                                    Projects that do not conform to these specifications will result in a lower grade. Late final projects will not be accepted.

 

SUPPLIES:                ¥ Mobile FireWire or Hi-Speed USB 2.0 removable hard drive. I recommend LaCie. Minimum requirement is 40GB of storage space. 7200 (RPM) speed is preferable. Thumb/flash drives are not recommended for this course. Options can be found at: http://www.lacie.com/

                                    ¥ CD-R or DVD-Rs as needed.

 

GRADING:               The final grade will be determined according to the following criteria based on the corresponding percentages.

 

                                    ¥ Project Proposal: 20%

                                    ¥ Progress Presentation: 20%

                                    ¥ Software Training: 10%.

                                    ¥ Participation and Attendance: 10%.

                                    ¥ Final Project: 40%

 

                                    I will meet with each student individually at mid-semester to evaluate performance up to that point. An Incomplete will only be issued if there are extenuating circumstances related to illness or critical personal emergency and only after administrative notice has been received.

 

POLICIES:                Attendance and punctuality is required at all class meetings and will be reflected in the final grade. According to College policy, unexcused absences beyond five will result in a failing grade. Everyone must come to class prepared and engaged and everyone must participate in discussions and critiques. Your undivided attention is required during all discussions and critiques. No email, web browsing or other computer work will be allowed during these times if it does not support the discussion at hand.

 

                                    Students should be aware of the College policies regarding creative and academic dishonesty and the penalties for plagiarism and software piracy. While it is accepted that there may be occasion for stylistic or historical inspiration, influence and reference, the student will be asked to produce original work from ones own study and investigation.

 

                                    If you have a disability that warrants accommodations in this course, please register with the Disability Service Coordinator at 216 Tremont Street, 5th Floor, (617) 824-8415.


 

COURSE CALENDAR: Subject to changes as necessary

 

Wed. 09/08/10            Introductions

                                    Syllabus

                                    Presentation Schedule Sign-up

                                    Assignment: Proposal (see above)

                                    Software Training: Chapter 3 Polygonal Modeling (review), Lesson 1: Modeling a polygonal mesh from a reference image

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, Character Animation, 3D Characters, Skeletons. pp. 109-113.

                                    Lab Operations: Lab policies

 

Mon. 09/13/10            Lesson 01: Reference Images, Image Planes

                                    Software Training: Chapter 5 Subdivision Surfaces (review), Lesson 1: Modeling a subdivision surface

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, Kinematics, Skinning Characters. pp. 114-117.

 

Wed. 09/15/10            Lesson 02: Polygons Character Modeling

                                    Software Training: Chapter 6 Animation, Lesson 4: Nonlinear animation with Trax

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, IK/FK Blending, Animating Characters. pp. 118-121.

 

Mon. 09/20/10            Due: Proposals

                                    Software Training: Chapter 6 Animation, Lesson 5: Inverse kinematics

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, Walk Cycles, Facial Animation. pp. 122-125.

 

Wed. 09/22/10            Lesson 03: Texturing

                                    Software Training: Chapter 7 Character Setup, Lesson 1: Skeletons and kinematics

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, Materials and Textures, Shading Your Models, Surface Materials. pp. 127-131.

 

Mon. 09/27/10            Lesson 04: Skeleton

                                    Software Training: Chapter 7 Character Setup, Lesson 2: Smooth skinning

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, Texture Maps, 2D Texture Placement. pp. 132-135.

 

Wed. 09/29/10            Lesson 05: Rigging

                                    Software Training: Chapter 7 Character Setup, Lesson 3: Cluster and blend shape deformers

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, 3D Texture Placement, UV Texture Coordinates. pp. 136-139.

 

Mon. 10/04/10            Lesson 06: Skinning

                                    Software Training: Chapter 8 Polygon Texturing, Lesson 2: UV unfolding

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, Reflections, Bumps and Displacements. pp. 140-143.

 

Wed. 10/06/10            Lesson 07: Blend Shapes

                                    Software Training: Chapter 8 Polygon Texturing, Lesson 3: Normal mapping

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, File Textures, Photoshop File Textures, Creating Texture Effects. pp. 144-149.

 

Mon. 10/11/10            Columbus Day observed (no classes).

 

Wed. 10/13/10            Lesson 08: Walk Cycle

                                    Software Training: Chapter 9 Rendering (review), Lesson 1: Rendering a scene

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, Digital Cinematography, How Light Works, Light Effects. pp. 151-145.

 

Mon. 10/18/10            Due: Progress Presentations

                                    Software Training: Chapter 9 Rendering (review), Lesson 2: Shading surfaces

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, Casting Shadows, Depth Map Shadows. pp. 156-159.

 

Wed. 10/20/10            Due: Progress Presentations

                                    Software Training: Chapter 9 Rendering (review), Lesson 3: Lights, shadows, and cameras

                                    Reading; The Art of Maya, Lighting Setups, Scenery Lighting. pp. 160-163.

 

Mon. 10/25/10            Due: Progress Presentations

                                    Software Training: Chapter 9 Rendering (review), Lesson 4: Global Illumination

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, How Cameras Work, Camera Moves. pp. 164-167.

 

Wed. 10/27/10            Mid-semester Evaluations

                                    Studio: Work on final projects

                                    Software Training: Chapter 10 Dynamics, Lesson 1: Particles, emitters, and fields

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, Rendering, Rendering Scenes, Tessellation. pp. 169-173.

 

Mon. 11/01/10            Studio: Work on final projects

                                    Software Training: Chapter 10 Dynamics, Lesson 2: Rigid bodies and constraints

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, Artifacts and Anti-Aliasing, Render Output. pp. 174-177.

 

Wed. 11/03/10            Studio: Work on final projects

                                    Software Training: Advanced topics as needed

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, Rendering Optimization, Rendering for Compositing. pp. 178-181.

 

Mon. 11/08/10            Studio: Work on final projects.

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, mental ray, Maya Vector. pp. 182-185.

 

Wed. 11/10/10            Studio: Work on final projects

                                    Software Training: Advanced topics as needed

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, Effects, Adding Effects, Opti-FX. pp. 187-191.

 

Mon. 11/15/10            Studio: Work on final projects.

                                    Software Training: Advanced topics as needed

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, Particle Effects, Effects. pp. 192-195.

 

Wed. 11/17/10            Studio: Work on final projects

                                    Software Training: Advanced topics as needed

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, Paint Effects, Brushes. pp. 196-199.

 

Mon. 11/22/10            Studio: Work on final projects

                                    Software Training: Advanced topics as needed

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, Tubes, Brush Strokes. pp. 200-203.

 

Wed. 11/24/10            Thanksgiving observed (no classes).

 

Mon. 11/29/10            Studio: Work on final projects

                                    Software Training: Advanced topics as needed

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, Working with Paint Effects, nCloth. pp. 204-207.

 

Wed. 12/01/10            Studio: Work on final projects

                                    Software Training: Advanced topics as needed

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, Fur and Hair, Fluids. pp. 208-211.

 

Mon. 12/06/10            Studio: Work on final projects.

                                    Software Training: Advanced topics as needed

 

Wed. 12/08/10            Studio: Work on final projects

                                    Software Training: Advanced topics as needed

 

Mon. 12/13/10            Studio: Work on final projects

                                    Due: All late work must be turned in or it will not count on final grades

FINAL

Wed. 12/15/10            Due: Final Projects

3:30 – 5:30                  Final Exam Schedule