March 2010 Archives

A bouncing ping pong ball, deflated rubber ball, a spinning top, splatting jello. 
This will be an intro to using After Effects

Secondary Motion - After you have made your different items bounce, what things can you add to sell their materiality?

4: Cartoon Physics

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Basic kinesthetics

  • Gravity
  • Inertia
  • Axis of rotation
  • Acceleration and deceleration
  • Anatomy of movement

Stylized Worlds (aka Cartoon Physics)

  • Ease-in and Ease-out
  • Squash and stretch
  • Hyper-realities (Roadrunner, Southpark, Beast Wars, Simpsons)
  • Alternate-realities

Rotoscope Animation is Assigned

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3: Rotoscoping

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Demo: After Effects to Photoshop and back again.


  • Dancing Clip -

Experimental Animation Critique

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Create a 20 second frame by frame animation at a rate of 12 frames per second. The resolution should be 720 x 480. (Those using stop motion software, do select a resolution closest to this).

Grading criteria:
At least one of the following attributes should follow a narrative arc. A satisfactory resolution of multiple attribute arcs will result in a higher grade.

* rhythm
* pace
* flocking
* color
* line shape
* spatial relationship

This is certainly ambiguous and very open ended. Class examples and discussion will provide context. (Another way of saying, do not miss these first few classes).

Ending in death, while acceptable, is discouraged. (It's just too easy).


Stop Motion Software

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iStopmotion is grand for the mac.

For PC users, check out

And of course, sourceforge,net

AnimatorDV looks promising. We'll wait for our itinerant reviewers to weigh in.

2B: Adding sound to your animation

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Sound adds very much to the atmosphere and general tone of the animation.


DEMO Adobe Premiere and its sound editing ability

Before you load the images into photoshop, make a blank video layer and then change the document settings to the appropriate length and frames per second...THEN import your images as a video layer from a file.

What happens if you change it after the fact, it drops the frames in-between.

Links to help with Premiere:

2A: Stop Motion Animation

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  • Harryhausen: The Lost World, King Kong and Jason and the Argonauts
  • Lucky Strike
  • Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer
  • Aardman Animation: The Wrong Trousers
  • Svankmajer
  • Brothers Quay

DEMO of iStopMotion

Note:  Here's a tutorial on using Photoshop to import images for stop motion

Experimental Animation is Assigned

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Exercise: Digital Flipbook

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There are myriad ways to attack the problem. Essentially all we need is a way to string a series of individually drawn images together. We could use Flash, Fireworks, Imageready, and others. Over these 10 weeks we will attack the animation problem a variety of ways.

Today we will use Photoshop (and maybe some Flash).

Helpful links: for an introduction to the video layer.

The Exercise:

Using either flash or photoshop create the following frame by frame animation.

Exercise 1
1.a. Some thing traverses from left to right
1.b. Some thing else traverses with a different kind of locomotion and interacts with it.

Exercise 2
2.a. Rotate a head (species of your choice)
2.b. The head does at least one expression
2.c. Rotation continues

1B: One frame at a time

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Oskar Fischinger - was noted for his abstract animations paired with popular music of the day. His contribution to Disney's Fantasia was the abstract movements to J. S. Bach Toccata and Fugue in D Minor sequence for Walt Disney's Fantasia (1940). He quit without credit because all studio artists simplified and altered all his designs to be more representational.
The thing to note about his work as you embark on today's exercise that the heart of animation is the manipulation of graphics over time.

A good example of work based upon his notions can be found in The building blocks of animation:
  • Line
  • Color
  • Motion
  • Shape
  • Environment
  • Time

Beyond Mickey

Why do we see animation the way we do? How do we make it? What are the different kinds?


And so we begin...

This class blog is designed to serve as your interactive syllabus, class outline, and project timekeeper. This will be where I post readings, assignments, and information about the class.

A quick intro to its use:
Use the tabs at the top to navigate to specific sections (like the syllabus and the course outline), and the calendar on the left to find materials related to a specific class meeting.

academic honesty policy

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Please review the IT department and RIT policies academic dishonesty.


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Assignment % value due date rubric
experimental animation 20% Week 3: 3/24 ***
rotoscope 20% Week 5: 4/07 ***
walk cycle 20% Week 7: 4/21 ***
exquisite corpse 10% Week 9: 5/05 ***
final project 30% scheduled exam time ***

Grading scale:
A: 90-100
B: 80 - 89
C: 70 - 79
D: 60 - 69
F: Anything below 60

Projects submitted after the due date/time will lose half a letter grade (5%) for each day that they are late. If you know that a situation will prevent you from turning something in, contact me in advance of the deadline to make alternate arrangements.

If you wish to dispute your final course grade, you must do so before the end of the quarter following this one; otherwise documentation of your work may be discarded.


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2nd year standing in the BS in Game Design and Development or New Media

course goals and objectives

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Upon completion of the course, students will have a working definition of animation systems and techniques for digital media. Students will be able to create rudimentary animation cycles with an understanding of effective visual communication of physical attributes of inertia, momentum and transformation. Emphasis will be upon rendering movement.

course description

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This course provides a theoretical framework covering principles of animation and its use in gaming to affect user experience. Emphasis will be upon principles that support character development and animation that show cause and effect. Students will apply these principles to create animations that reflect movement and character appropriate for different uses and environments.

important rit deadlines

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Last day of add/drop is March 14, 2010.

Last day to withdraw with a grade of "W" is April 30 (the deadline for withdrawing from a course with a W grade is the end of the 6th week of the quarter). Forms may be obtained from your department office and need your instructor's signature.

NOTE: Department policy states that a student has one quarter to challenge any grade. After that, grades cannot be challenged.

textbook, readings and materials

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The following things are required for the course.

  • there will be reading assignments of web articles and online tutorials
  • 2 gig or more (4 gig is very handy) flash memory (As a last resort, you can use Dropbox)
  • vimeo account

instructor information

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Professor: Kim Heintz
Office: 70-2675
Email: knhics at rit dot edu
Office Hours: Tues 6-8pm and by appt.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2010 is the next archive.

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