Video/ Animation techniques

Course MD 504 Winter 2011/12, Lecturer: Sebasitan Kraft / TA: Ayman Abou El Kheir

Unplug: Take off your headphones. Turn of the radio. Switch off the CD! Turn off the tape! Close the door! . [- Richard Williams- on the necessity of absolute concentration in animation]

"'Course Contents:'"

The `Principles of Animation` in theory and practice. Introduction to important stages in the history of animation. Analysis of various animation styles and techniques. Animation practice. Creativity Exercises: `The Mindshaker`. Animation exercises in group-work projects.

Content Overview:

Historical developments in the field of animation The twelve basic principles of animation Introduction to cell animation. Stop motion animation (Clay, Wire, etc.). Animation via rotoscoping. Digital solutions.

Course Goals:

Theoretical knowlegde to the historical development of animation. Base knowlegde to various animation techniques. Capability of analyzing animation styles. Understanding of workflows and common methods of animation. Experience in the practical processes of animation.


Attendance will be taken each week - ON TIME. The standard GUC rules of attendance will be applied.

Course Grading: The course grade depends on: Total of weekly assignments + + Bonus assignments: 50% and the final exam: 50%

Grading Criteria:

  • Overall quality
  • Aesthetics / design
  • Complexity / effort
  • Creativity / storyline / research depth
  • Correct labeling / "packaging"

Deadlines (Deduction 20% per day delay)

Assignments types:

  • Practical assignments.
  • Theoretical research and presentation.
  • Bonus assignments.

Assignments are to be handed in via Dropbox(digital) or in class(`analog` assignments). Assignment feedback: Assignments will be (partially) presented in class.

Keywords: ''Animation: Principles, History, Techniques'.

Group 1: Monday 2+3 Slot - C3-122

Group 2: Wednesday 3 + 4 Slot - C3-122

Bonus Sessions: `Sunny Saturdays`- Saturday 9.11.2013 10.30 - 15.50 // Saturday 7.12.2013 10.30 - 15.50


Week Description Assignment
01, 30.September 2013 Course outline and introduction. History of Animation (1)

Mind-shaker(1) Collaborative Drawing

Assignment 1: Thaumatrope. Research: Wellknown animated character. Deadline postponed to the G1: 21.10.2013 G2: 23.10.2013
02, 7. October 2013 /9.October 2013 History of animation(2) Principles of Animation: Timing and Spacing, Arcs, Easing Motion. The Mindshaker(2): "SlowMo Walk" Flipbook Assignment. "The Line". Deadline: G1: 21.10.2013 G2: 23.10.2013. Assignment Details: 80 Pages minimum. First and last frame must be a horizontal line. This a mandatory handdrawn assignment. Size/Format: Free - not defined.
03, 21.October/ 24.October History of Animation(3). Principles of Animation(2). Mindshaker(3). Assignment Feedback. Assignment: Character-Motion-Analysis: Deadline Saturday 2.11.2013
04, 28.October/ 30.October Principles of Animation (3). Mindshaker(4). Animation Planing and Practice Assignment: Reading Chapter- The Animation Survival Kit: 46 - 51 Timing and Spacing // Page 61 - 68 Strategies. "The frightened Cube". 4 Sec Clay Animation. Perfect framing and lighting - no Camera Movements. Deadline: 6.11.2013/11.11.2013 on Dropbox.
05, 6. November 2013 -- (no class on the 4.11) Principles of Animation (4). Mindshaker(5). Assignment Feedback and Character Analysis Presentation. 2d Cell Animation Intro -> Lighttables. Assignment: Reading Chapters: The Animation Survival Kit: Page 70-78 - X-sheets. No further assignment for next week.
++ Sunny Saturday Nr.1: 09.11.2013 10.30am - 15.45 Topic: "The Great Escape". Claymation. Please bring: DSLR, Tripod, Clay, Pencil and Paper.
06, 11.11.2013 / 13.11.2013 2d Cell Animation A. Mindshaker(6). History of Animation ("The Golden Age"). Assignment Review: The frightened Cube. 2d Animation Practice. Reading Chapters: The Animation Survival Kit.
07, 18.11.2013 / 20.11.2013
08, 25.11.2013 / 27.11.2013
09, 2.12.2013 / 4.12.2013 Rotoscoping Introduction - Project "Un-Stable" Asssigment for next week: Project topic definition + scribbles (12 Images) In-class hand-in.
10, 9.12.2013 / 11.12.2013 Rotoscoping Project: In-Class project work Asssigment for next week: Further project development (minimum 12 photo-images or videoresults). Final project deadline: 31.12.2013
11, 16.12.2013 / 18.12.2013 Rotoscoping Project: In-Class project work // After Effects Tutorial: rotoscoping techniques. Asssigment for next week: final videoresults + additional reference files + Rotoscoping Results. Final project deadline: 31.12.2013
12, X-MAS no Class
13, 30.12.2013 / 1.1.2014 (?)
14, FinalExam - 6.01.2013 (both groups(!))