Spring 2008

Still from Michael Botelho.


PROFESSOR:           John (Craig) Freeman

EMAIL:                     john_craig_freeman@emerson.edu

PHONE:                     (617) 824-8862

OFFICE HOURS:    180 Tremont Street, room 1111.

                                    Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 11:00-11:50 a.m. or by appointment.


CLASS MEETS:      Mondays and Wednesdays: 4:00 - 5:45 p.m.

                                    at 180 Tremont Street, 3D Lab, room T112.


PREREQUISITE:    VM 625, MA 625 or permission of instructor. Cannot have taken MA 626.


DESCRIPTION:      Computer Animation 2 is the second course in the two-course computer animation sequence, focusing on advanced three-dimensional modeling and animation techniques, and preparing them for independent computer animation production work. Students will continue to develop their skills acquired in Computer Animation 1, including modeling, texturing objects, composing and lighting scenes, animating, dynamics, rendering, postproduction compositing, and explore advanced character modeling, rigging and animation techniques.


We will continue instructional sessions where we move through concepts as a group using hands-on examples, although, these sessions will be greatly scaled back from Computer Animation 1. As in Computer Animation 1, Each session is supported with a folder of resource media and examples, which students access through the Courses folder on Emerson's Pages networked server. Additionally, students will develop and produce a semester long project. The content of the project is entirely up to the student, but it must reflect and understanding of the concepts we will be covering throughout the duration of the course. 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 three-dimensional modeling and animation

                                    To introduce students to artists, collectives and businesses 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 fundamental pictorial and animation principles through a series of specific exercises

                                    To apply these newly developed skills to express themselves creatively and critically.


REQUIREMENTS: Attend class meetings.

                                    Come to class prepared to work.

                                    Complete all required reading.

                                    Propose, develop, and produce an original final project.

                                    Make two formal presentations of work in progress.

                                    Complete, and present final project during scheduled exam.


ASSIGNMENTS:     All assignments are to be turned in at the pages.emerson.edu/Courses/

                                    semesterYear/courseNumber/Assignments_In folder prior to the beginning of class on the day the assignment is due.

                                    The assignments must be saved in a folder titled lastname_firstname in lower case letters.

                                    The assignment folder must be prepared for archiving, meaning it must contain only the necessary files and folders using the specified file formats and compression.

                                    Specified file formats for presentations include .ppt, .pdf, .doc, .html, .jpg, .swf or .mov. Presentations are formal and should be prepared in a presentation format. Leafing through individual files in production applications is unacceptable.

                                    Maya files must be turned in as a bare-bones project directory titled lastname_firstname in lower case letters with only the necessary files and subdirectories.

                                    Movie files must be saved as a self-contained QuickTime movie titled lastname_firstname.mov at 640 X 480 at 29.97 fps compressed with Sorrenson Video 3 codec with 24-bit color (millions), at a 3,000 K bytes/sec Data Rate.

                                    Students are responsible for the files working properly on the instructor station, so test your work and equipment ahead of time.


                                    Failure to abide be the assignment guidelines above will result in a grade penalty of up to a half letter grade deduction each. Students will be evaluated on the quality of the work as well as the presentation performance. No late work will be accepted after the final day of regular classes.


                          Proposal: Students will present a proposal to class for a semester long project. The class will discuss the proposal and either we will approve the project or recommend changes. The Proposals must include the following.


.                                   A concise concept narrative of up to 1,000 words. The content will make up the oral part of your presentation to the class.

                                    A storyboard and concept art consisting of high quality color illustrations in digital form at a 640 X 480, 72 dpi resolution.

                                    If your projects require a script, a draft should be included in with your proposal.

                                    An organized and succinct production schedule including specific dates. I recommend the following production pipeline, but students must add the necessary details required by the proposed project. A typical production pipeline consists of concept development, script writing, concept art, storyboard, modeling, texturing, lighting, audio, animating, dynamics, rendering, compositing, editing, titles, credits, and final output.


                          Presentation One, Two and Three: For presentation one and two, students will present a Maya scene file, screen shots and test renders of the progress on their project to date. Your presentation must also include a demonstration of a unique technique, which you have used in the project.


                          Final Project: All final projects must be saved as movies based on the specifications in the assignment guidelines above and must include audio, titles and credits.


GRADING:               Proposal: 10%.

                                    Presentation One: 10%.

                                    Presentation Two: 10%.

                                    Presentation Three: 10%.

                                    Final project: 40%.

                                    Participation: 10%.

                                    Attendance, punctuality and preparedness: 10%.


                                    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:               According to College policy, unexcused absences beyond five will result in a failing grade.

                                    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.


READING:               Learning Autodesk Maya 8 Foundation, Autodesk Maya Press (2006), ISBN 1-897177-33-x.

                                    The Art of Maya: An Introduction to 3D Computer Graphics, by Alias Learning Tools, Sybex; 3 edition (March 18, 2005), ISBN 1-894893-82-4.


BROWSING:            3D Buzz.com http://3dbuzz.com.

                                    3D Caf http://www.3dcafe.com/index.php.

                                    3DLuVR http://www.3dluvr.com.

                                    Animated World Network http://www.awn.com.

                                    Autodesk http://usa.autodesk.com.

                                    Gnomon http://www.gnomon3d.com


                                    Highend3d http://www.highend3d.com.


                                    Tutorial Find http://www.tutorialfind.com

                                    Web 3D Service http://www.web3dservice.com/.


                                    Sounddogs.com http://www.sounddogs.com.


Please email additional URLs to john_craig_freeman@emerson.edu.


SUPPLIES:               FireWire Removable Hard Drive. I recommend LaCie. Consider the portability of the device. Minimum requirement would be 40GB at 7200 (RPM) with FireWire interface. Options can be found at: http://www.lacie.com/

                                    CD-Rs or DVDs as needed.


                                    Graph paper pad

                                    Drawing Pencils

                                    Technical erasure














COURSE CALENDAR: Subject to changes as necessary



Wed. 01/23/08             Introductions


                                    Assignment: Proposal

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya. pp. 98-108.


Mon. 01/28/08            Example: Only If They Could Have Seen It, Negar Azarbayjani, 2005 from MA626.

                                    Demo 01: Reference Images, Image Planes.


                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, pp. 109-114.


Wed. 01/30/08             Example: Argus; Josh Grayson, 2005 from MA418.

                                    Demo 02: Polygonons.


                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, pp. 116-122.


Mon. 02/04/08            Example: Star Wars Lego, Blake Metzler, 2003 from MA625.

                                    Due: Proposals

                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, pp. 123-128.


Wed. 02/06/08             Example: Boston Time, Tiberius Nour, 2004 from MA418.

                                    Demo 03: NURBS.


                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, pp. 129-134.


Mon. 02/11/08            Example: Dream Gallery, Rachel Eisengart, 2005 from MA626.

                                    Demo 04: Subdivisions.


                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, pp. 135-138.


Wed. 02/13/08             Example: Time 101, Nobuko Iki, 2005 from MA626.

                                    Demo 05: Texturing


                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, pp. 141-148.


Mon. 02/18/08            President's Day observed (no classes).


Tue. 02/19/08              Example: Real-Unreal Nilobon Kuanpermsin, 2005 Masters Project.

                                    Demo 06: Rigging.


                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, pp. 149-156.


Wed. 02/20/08             Demo 07: Skining.


                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, pp. 158-166.


Mon. 02/25/08            Due: Presentation One

                                    Demo 08: Setting Keys, Graphing Animation, Path Animation, Set Driven Key.


                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, pp. 167-174.


Wed. 02/27/08             Demo 09: Expressions, Nonlinear Animation, Dynamic Simulations.


                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, pp. 176-184.


Mon. 03/03/08            Demo 10: Sound Sync, Order of Operation, Hierarchical Animation.


                                    Reading; The Art of Maya, pp. 185-194.


Wed. 03/05/08             Demo 11: Blend Shapes.


                                    Reading: The Art of Maya, pp. 195-200.

Spring Break

Mon. 03/11/08            Spring Break (no classes)


Wed. 03/13/08             Spring Break (no classes)


Mon. 03/17/08            Due: Presentation Two


Wed. 03/19/08             Mid-semester Evaluations

                                    Studio: Work on final projects.


Mon. 03/24/08            Studio: Work on final projects.


Wed. 03/26/08             Studio: Work on final projects.

WEEK #10

Mon. 03/31/08            Studio: Work on final projects.


Wed. 04/02/08             Studio: Work on final projects.

WEEK #11

Mon. 04/07/08            Due: Presentation Three


Wed. 04/09/08             Studio: Work on final projects.

WEEK #12

Mon. 04/14/08            Studio: Work on final projects.


Wed. 04/16/08             Studio: Work on final projects.

WEEK #13

Mon. 04/21/08            Patriot's Day (no classes).


Wed. 04/23/08             Studio: Work on final projects.

WEEK #14

Mon. 04/28/08            Studio: Work on final projects.


Wed. 04/30/08             Studio: Work on final projects.


Mon. 5/5/08, 6:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.    Due: Final Projects.