Department of Business Administration
CMPT 295 - Introduction to Digital Animation
- Course Syllabus -
Dr. Anthony Betrus: Professor
Summer 2014

Credit: Three semester hours

Time/Dates: Mon-Fri 8:00-11:15; July 24 - August 8

Location: Performing Arts Building Room XXX

Course Description: This course, offered in combination with DRAM 295, offers training in basic digital animation techniques alongside instruction in the use of the voice for acting in a variety of settings. Using facial and obdy motion capture software, as well as 3d animation software, students will create a number of animated shorts ranging from comic or dramatic storytelling, videogame sequences, and instructional animation. After creating their own animation, students will add voiceover to their projects. Learning the artistic animation skills will provide the students with a deep understanding of the animation and voiceover production processs. Because of the group-based project nature of the course, students will ultimately learn to work with other actors as their add voice to their work. The philosophy behind a combined class like this comes from recent developments in educational thought. The artrs are seen as important to innovation in STEM areas (science, technology, engineering and math). Combining these four disciplines into one class will provide students with a deep and immersive experience in animation and voice acting.

Learning Objectives
Students will:
- Appreciate and understand the history of animation techniques
Learn and use an critical vocabulary for understanding and analyzing animation
- Identify the issues that challenge that face the animators as they design their own animation
using commercial and OpenSource software
- Appreciate the relationship between the animator and the voice actor

Required Textbooks: None

Digital Storage: USB 3.0 Device with at least 1TB of free space.


Instructional Animation Project #1 - Students will create na animation project using a digital avatar, such as VOKI.

Animated Storybook Project #2 - Students will create an animation project using stop motion video, edited in commercial editing software such as iMovie and Audacity.

Variable Topic Animation Project #3- Students will creat an animation project using motion capture software, such as FaceShift.

Final Project - Students will create an animation project of their choosing.

Storyboards and scripts - Required for all projects.

In Class Activities and Participation
- In class activities will consist of seminar discussion, demonstration of seminal works, and in-class exercises. Students are expected to attend and participate in each class session.

Optional Lectures/Activities
. The may include guest lectures, gaming sessions, or other activities that will occur outside of regular class time. Students may submit their own ideas for optional activities.


Thu, July 24

Animation Origins. Overview of Digital Animation Techniques
Rotoscope (frame-by-frame drawn animation using captured video as a guide)
2D Puppets (an image is separated into pieces that move separately in an animation software tool, such as Flash),
Digitally Modified Video (as it sounds, using tools like After Effects),
3D Animations using software tools such as Blender.
Motion Capture
Stop Motion Animation
Animating with Avatars

Fri, July 25 Project #1 Storyboards and scripts due (Voki Instructional Avatars). The Digital Divide and creating engaging avatars.
Mon, July 28 Instructional Animation (Voki) Project #1 due.View and critique projects. Stop Motion Animation techniques.
Tue, July 29 Project #2 Storyboards and scripts due. In class time used to capture video. Begin editing instructional stop motion video.
Wed, July 30 Continued editing instructional animation video (stop motion).
Thu, July 31 Animated Storybook Project #2 due. View and critique projects. Motion Capture animation techinques.
Fri, Aug 1 Project #3 Storyboards and scripts due (motion capture)
Mon, Aug 4 Variable Topic Animation Project #3 due. View and critique projects. Brainstorm final project topics.
Tue, Aug 5 Project #1 Storyboards and scripts due. Class time used to work on final projects.
Wed, Aug 6 Class time used to work on final projects.
Thu, Aug 7 Class time used to work on final projects.
Fri, Aug 8 Final Animation Project due. View and critique projects.

Attendance: Tardiness and absences will reduce the students grade at the instructor's disretion. More than 2 absences will result in a grade of 0.0 for the course. Alert me in advance of all absences.

Academic Honesty: This course adheres to the College's policy on academic honesty as stated in the Undergraduate Catalog. Plagiarism may lead to grade reduction, course failure, or expulsion from school.

Students with Disabilities: Any students with a disability needing academic adjustments or accommodations should speak with the professor as early as possible. Students with disabilities should contact: Sharon House, Coordinator of Accommodative Services at 267-3267, Sisson 112, or e-mail her at for further assistance. All disclosures will remain confidential.

Digital Courtesy: Cell phone and other mobile device use in class should be limited to functions that support course activities. Any other uses, including, but not limited to "The Facebook," announcing your YOLOs to the world, or Tweet-meessenging will result in severe shame upon your name and family, not to mention a reduced grade in the course.

40 points - Instructional Animation Project #1
40 points - Interactive Storybook Animation Project #2
40 points - Variable Topic Animation Project #3
80 points - Final Animation Project

All projects will be graded on the following criteria:
Pre-Production - Documentation of planning (storyboards, scripts). Storyboards and scripts submitted. (25%)
Production - Documentation of animation creation process (software used, techniques employed). Delivered in a production report. (25%)
Post-Production - Documentation of editing and finalizing the project. Delivered in the production report. Exporting video for viewing. (stand-alone animation submitted).(25%)
Overall Quality of the final project (25%)

FaceShift with the Kinect Video

Animation Origins

VOKI Speaking Avatars