CS 294-07: The Art of Animation

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CS 294-07: The Art of Animation

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Course Summary

This hands-on animation course is intended for students with a computer science background who would like to improve their sense of observation, timing, and motion through the real art of animation to create strong believable animation pieces. A good understanding of motion is an important foundation for using computers and technology to their full potential for the creation of animation. This class is also emphasizes artistic and aesthetic creativity, intending to push the boundaries of the imagination and to familiarize students with storytelling. Some time will be spent on screening international animated for inspiration and to learn a variety of styles and techniques.

Course Overview

Lectures will be accompanied by simple step-by-step exercises on paper in which students will learn how to create believable movement through the use of weight, speed, and timing.

In this class, students will learn:

  • The importance of the bouncing ball to obtain weight
  • Spacing and timing
  • Anticipation/action/reaction
  • What squash and stretch does to animation
  • The importance of exaggeration (or interpretation) of reality to communicate an idea
  • The importance of sound to convey an idea and improve animation
  • Basics for character design
  • How to build believable walk cycles with personality.

During the second half of the semester, each student will develop a small project of his or her own with a small story line. Since animation is time consuming, it is not advisable to attempt to create a piece that is too long or too complex. Instead, students should concentrate on projects that are still challenging but can be nonetheless done successfully.

Students are encouraged to keep an open mind of creative experimentation to fully appreciate this class.

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