ANI 201 Animation I

Office: CDM 502
Fall 2013-2014
Class number: 11231
Section number: 401
MW 10:10AM - 11:40AM
CDM 00200 Loop Campus


ANI 201 ? 502 Animation 1 For Majors
Fall 2013 M,W: 10:10 ? 11:50
Instructor: Lisa Barcy -

Office Hours: Office Hours: (Rm. 454) Monday, 1:30 ? 2:30, Wednesday, 2:30 ? 5, Friday, by appointment (best to email me first.)

Course Description: This is an introductory course to the art and technology of animation. Through weekly assignments students will immerse themselves in a variety of basic animation techniques, both handmade and digital. We will explore important aspects of each technique such as timing, arcs, drawing, storytelling and animation design. We will also view many animation films and videos, both historic and contemporary. The coursework will prepare the students to complete a final project of 15-30 seconds in the media of their choice, and lay the groundwork for intermediate studies in animation. This is a labor intensive class, where you will frequently animate in class, but will also require a great deal of effort outside of regular class time.
Course Objectives: Students will have the opportunity to experiment with a variety of approaches to creating animations including drawing, Photoshop and After Effects, experimental materials such as sand, cut-outs or clay, and stop-motion. They will learn about animation as an expressive medium that can convey linear and non-linear ideas.
What You Need to Bring to Class: 

- A lot of energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to your medium,your assignments posted on time to COLweb.
- Art supplies (depending on assignment)

- An un-ruled sketchbook ? no smaller than 9?x 6?, 100 pages (min.) and drawing supplies

Textbooks and Materials:
The Animation Bible by Maureen Furniss

The Animators Survival Kit by Richard Williams

A good sized thumb drive for backing up your work (required)
A portable lightbox (optional) - You can purchase a small one for about $40 at Blick Art Materials. 

A pegbar - purchase at the DePaul bookstore.

ANI 201 SCHEDULE ? FALL 2013 Subject to change- always check back for updates!

Wed. 9/11
Intro to class, animation facilities and resources. Basic terms and watch inspirational films. Intro to first assignment ? 2D stop-motion. Demo on Dragonframe stop-motion software.
Assignment: 15 seconds (360 frames) of 2-dimensional stop-motion animation, shot in 818 on Dragonframe. Due on Wednesday of Week 3.
Read: Pages 1-35 of The Animators Survival Kit. Watch Richard Williams in class if time.
Chapters 1 and 2 of The Animation Bible. (Furniss)

Monday 9/16
Intro to drawn animation in Flash. Basic concepts that apply to all media.
Assignment: Drawn Morph Animation in Flash due at the beginning of week 3
Wed ? 9/18
View Morphs so far, work in class. Animating rotations and cycles in Flash ? using guide layers. More Stop-Motion demos/ film screening this as time allows.
Read: Chapter 10, A Survey of Stop-Motion Techniques ? The Animation Bible, also pg. 278 - 279 for demo on flat puppets

Mon. 9/23
View Morphs. Film screening of the day.
Drawing and animating basic perspective. Creating cycles. Work on rotations/ cycles in class. Using reference images, basic perspective.
Assignment: Rotating object and additional cycle Due Monday, Wk. 4
Wed. 9/25
View and critique stop-motion projects. Work on Flash animation.
Reading: Chapters 6 and 7, Direct Filmmaking - The Animation Bible
Mon. 9/30
View rotations/cycles and critique.
Intro to Hand-drawn figure animation - Keying, subtle actions, timing, acting, paying attention to the body, moving holds, consistency of scale, head turns.
Assignment: Bring in all key drawings (on paper) for this Wednesday. We will make revisions as needed. Begin scanning for PPT, or animating.
Screen: Richard Williams (see link on COLweb) , Parts 4 ? 6
Read: Chapter 8, Mixed Media and Drawing ? The Animation Bible
Wed. 10/2
View drawings and critique
Tips on hand-drawn animation, timing, and shooting keys, animatic-style. Have PPTs ready for crit Monday. If you are ready, go ahead and begin animating. The sooner you start, the more time you?ll have to tweak and make adjustments as you go.

Mon. 10/7
View PPTs
Lab time to animate ? individual meetings. Scanning your images ? batch processing in Photoshop.
Assignments: Scan all images as jpegs and import as a sequence into After Effects. Export to Quicktime and post to COLweb. Observed Behavior animation due at the beginning of Wk.6
Work on drawn animation, finish and export for Monday.

Mon. 10/14
Critique Observed Behavior assignments.
Intro to After Effects and the Bouncing Ball assignment.
Read: Chapter 11, Animation in Real World Contexts - the Animation Bible
Assignment: Complete first pass at the ball bounce for Wednesday. Export to Quicktime and post for Wednesday.
Wed. 10/16
View bounces in progress
Making the bouncing ball more complex - adding squash and stretch effects. Possible lab-time.
Assignment: Finish bouncing ball w/ squash and stretch ? Export to Quicktime. Due Monday 10/21

WEEK Seven
Mon. 10/21
View Bouncing ball assignments and critique.
Intro to creating digital puppets in Photoshop, for use in After Effects. Things to consider when designing a character.
Assignment: For this Wednesday, create a collaged character in Photoshop.
Read: From Begin To Board, chapter on character design, (handed out in class.)
Wed. 10/23
View first attempt at puppets. Demo on walks. After Effects demo on parenting and creating a walk with lower extremities. Null objects. Walk key guides, how to avoid ?skating?.
Assignment: Make any necessary revisions to your character. Import your character into After Effects and parent it. Have the walk (lower extremities only) finished for Wednesday of next week. Your character must take at least 5 steps.
Over exaggerate! Break joints, try adding a double bounce.
Read and View: The Animator's Survival Kit, (book) pp. 102-122 (video) parts 5 and 6. All about walks.

Mon. 10/28
Continue with walk animation and complete for Wednesday. Film screening of the day.
Assignment: Finish first attempt at walks, export to Quicktime, and upload to COLweb for Wed.
Wed. 10/30
1st complete Jointed walk due. Revise walk and add an arm swing. Bring in that prop I mentioned earlier and have your character interact with it. Export and post on COLweb for Monday 11/5.
Visual story development through storyboarding. Developing original ideas for your final. Mining your sketchbook and personal life for stories. Making an animatic. The Cyclical Narrative.
Assignments: Begin final storyboard. 10-12 panels. Please note that the storyboard is considered a part of your final project grade and is required. 1st draft due this Thursday. These should be well thought out boards, not something hastily scrawled in your lined notebook 5 minutes before class. Ill-conceived, illegible, or no storyboards is an automatic 5 point deduction from the final grade. Storyboard draft due this Monday.

FINAL CRITIQUE ? MONDAY NOVEMBER 25 8:45 a.m ? 11 a.m.
Read: Chapters 4 and 5 (on pre and post production) in The Animation Bible How does this affect your approach to your final? What advice do you think applies to your project?

Mon. 11/5
First draft of storyboards for Final Project due. In class critique - respond to each other?s boards and give constructive feedback. Be prepared to make revisions if needed. Come prepared to work on final in class next week. Begin Animating!

Wed. 11/7
Revised storyboard due. Begin final animation. Discuss planning, workflow. In the next two weeks you should come to class prepared to work. We will have more of a studio environment and I will be addressing technical issues as they arise. Regular attendance is expected.
Read: Chapters 12 and 13, Computer Animation and Digital Visions -The Animation Bible

Mon. 11/11
Continue working of final animation - individual meetings. Bringing your work into Premiere, editing and exporting it. Strategies for adding sound (optional).
The Class Vimeo Page.
Wed. 11/13 - Continue working on final animation - individual meetings.
Mon. 11/18
Last official class before finals are due.
Due next week ? No one is still animating or rendering or exporting. No exceptions ? if you?re hard drive crashes and you didn?t back up your work it is not an excuse for not having work completed on time.

FINAL CRITIQUE ? MONDAY NOVEMBER 25 8:45 a.m ? 11 a.m.
Post all sketchbook documentation on COLweb.
ATTENDANCE MANDATORY -NO LATE PROJECTS ACCEPTED. Everyone?s final is finished and uploaded (and not still in the queue) to our Vimeo page. View finished projects -give praise or constructive criticism, party down. Have a good break!

And now?The Not-So-Fine-Print

Grading and Expectations: Students are expected to come to class each week prepared to work and animate in class. You should also be prepared for any in-class discussions.
A indicates excellence, student has worked exceptionally hard and has developed on both a technical and conceptual level. Approaches work with enthusiasm and dedication.
B indicates above average work - Students conceptual approach or skills have improved. Effort is evident. Student has a genuine interest in their work. Needs some improvement either technically or conceptually.
C indicates satisfactory work. Basic requirements have all been met. Work needs improvement in two or more areas. May need to improve attitude, working methods, punctuality, or ability to plan work.

D work is unsatisfactory in some respect, key concepts are not understood or assignments are missing. Frequent tardiness.

F is substantially unsatisfactory work, frequent tardiness, or failure to show up.
*Late Assignments are automatically marked down an extra point for every day they are late. I will accept assignments no later than two weeks after the due date, after which no credit will be given for the assignment. Failure of technology is not an excuse for late work. Back up your work.

Attendance: Chronic lateness and absence will be reflected in your final grade. I am not a stickler for being right on time, every time, I understand that delays happen, but if you frequently waltz in more than 10 minutes late and miss part of a lecture you'll hear about it. If you know that you're going to be late for whatever reason you can always email me, but this does not excuse you from being late.
Please note that I always take attendance, even when it looks like I haven't.

3 tardies = one absence
3 absences = an F for the course
In order to assure you are keeping up with the reading and screening assignments I will occasionally give pop-quizzes.
The Grading Breakdown in percentages:
1. Quizzes on screening and or reading material (2 @ 5 points each) 10
2. Drawn Morph Animation in Flash 5
3. Rotating object/ cycle (Flash) 10
4. 2D Stop-motion (self-portrait) 10
5. Observed Behavior "keys" (must be in PPT) 5
6. Observed Behavior animation (shot and exported) 10
7. Bouncing ball (After Effects) 5
8. Collaged Photoshop Character 5
9. After Effects Animation (show of force/walk) 10
10. Storyboards for final 5
11. Final Project - "Loop de Loop" 15
12. Class participation (discussions, critiques, general preparedness) 5
13. Sketchbook (Filled. You must hand in documentation of this) 5
Total: 100

School policies:

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary during the quarter. If a change occurs, it will be thoroughly addressed during class, posted under Announcements in D2L and sent via email.

Online Course Evaluations

Evaluations are a way for students to provide valuable feedback regarding their instructor and the course. Detailed feedback will enable the instructor to continuously tailor teaching methods and course content to meet the learning goals of the course and the academic needs of the students. They are a requirement of the course and are key to continue to provide you with the highest quality of teaching. The evaluations are anonymous; the instructor and administration do not track who entered what responses. A program is used to check if the student completed the evaluations, but the evaluation is completely separate from the student’s identity. Since 100% participation is our goal, students are sent periodic reminders over three weeks. Students do not receive reminders once they complete the evaluation. Students complete the evaluation online in CampusConnect.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

This course will be subject to the university's academic integrity policy. More information can be found at If you have any questions be sure to consult with your professor.

Academic Policies

All students are required to manage their class schedules each term in accordance with the deadlines for enrolling and withdrawing as indicated in the University Academic Calendar. Information on enrollment, withdrawal, grading and incompletes can be found at

Students with Disabilities

Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential.
To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Lewis Center 1420, 25 East Jackson Blvd.
Phone number: (312)362-8002
Fax: (312)362-6544
TTY: (773)325.7296