Course Syllabus

Spring 2004

Digital Art & Animation

George Mason University

College of Visual & Performing Arts    Department of Art & Visual Technology


Instructor: Lara Oliveira, Adjunct Professor

Email:  Tel: 703-855.18.91

Class 382 - 004, Monday and Wednesday, 4:30pm – 7:10pm


Course Content and Description

382 Digital Art and Animation (4:2:4). Prerequisite: AVT 381. Digital imaging concepts as applied to computer animation. Lab assignments introduce the technical and aesthetic challenges of computer animation techniques. Students learn to animate hand-drawn and computer-generated images. This course focuses on the production of a short animated digital "film" with sound.  This class also requires students to participate in group assignments and getting involved with critiquing each other’s work.  This class emphasizes not just the technical aspects but also conceptual approach to animation.


This course covers:



                  - methods in planning an animation project

                  - conception and execution of a short animation project

                  - storyboards

                  - character design



                  - sound capture and music

- character movement

- backgrounds

- animation sequences

- 2D and simple 3D animation software



- fundamentals of digital video editing

- transitions

- basic effects

- titles

- sound editing

- DVD burning



- written story concept

- final storyboard presentation

- project plan and schedule

- shot list

- character design

- animatic sequence

- final animation with sound

- other assignment include: storyboard exercise and a test on computer animation terminology


  SOFTWARE- some of the software applications used in this class:

- Premiere/Final Cut pro

- After Effects

- Photoshop

- Illustrator


  PRELIMINARY COURSE SCHEDULE (Check calendar handout. Final due dates will be announced).




Classroom Procedure

The Computer Arts Lab is in the FAB. It will be opened during the week - times will be posted. Additional facilities are available at the Johnson Center (administered through a separate office). Please contact the JC facility for their lab hours and policy.


Required Text and Supplies

Students are required to purchase their own supplies:


• 5 ZIP discs (MAC format)

• a CD-ROM or DVD-RAM for data archive

20 – 30 GB firewire hardisk

• stereo headphones and extension cable (optional)

• black foam board for storyboard

• printer paper

• 4”X6” index cards, 2 packs of 50

• various art supplies: pencil, pens etc…

• text book: After Effects 5.0/5.5 H.O.T., by Linda Weinma


Required Text and Supplies

-        Students are required to attend every class and the entire class period. 3 absences will result in one grade demotion.

-        Students are required to attend class on time.

-        LATE assignments and missed deadlines will result in a one grade demotion.

-        All the assignments must be the original work of the student. No “borrowed” art/ideas will be accepted. No use of art/ideas taken from the internet, books, other people or sources will be accepted.

-        Students must plan to work in class on lab computers on their projects, any other arrangement must be approved by instructor.

-        Students are required to attend all critiques and reviews. Critiques and reviews are the equivalent of exams. Failure to attend critiques will result in a severe grade deduction or failure.

-        Final projects must be turned in on the exact date. Failure to do so will result in failure of the course.


Class Projects

-        All projects must be turned in on time.

-        All projects must have a CONCEPT. Projects without a CONCEPT will not be accepted.

-        All projects must be original (or inspired by a story).

-        All projects must include effects and techniques shown in class.


Grading Policy

Grade will be composed of evaluations from class projects, class participation, tests and attendance. Most of the grade is made up of the final project. Missed deadlines will result in a grade demotion.

A = 100% attendance; outstanding, excellent work, highly original, superb technical achievement, 100% on course requirements.

B = above average and superior work, 90% on course requirements.

C = satisfactory work with all projects handed in on time, 70% on course requirements.

D = bellow average work, 60% on course requirements.

F = for failure