M W F 9:05 to 9:55
Room 370 Skiles Building
Instructor: Brian Schrank
bschrank [at] gmail [dot] com

Description: This studio course combines theories of animation, video and film with practice in these fields. Students will learn through lectures, workshops, readings, their own efforts and study, and peer dialogue and in-class critiques when their work is showcased.

Course Goals: Students will learn the affordances, aesthetics and techniques of how to create moving images that are hand drawn, generated computationally in 2D or 3D, and that are layered motion graphics.

Course Topics:

  • Universal Principles of Animation
  • Computational 2D and 3D Animation
  • Storyboards and Animatics
  • Narrating Stories through Motion
  • Fundamentals of Motion Graphics
  • Production Pipeline

Course Software is installed on the computers in the Multimedia Studio in the library. The software packages used in this class:

  • Photoshop
  • Processing (based in Java)
  • Maya
  • After Effects

Learning the Software: For in-depth video tutorials of the software used for the course check out the Gnomon instructional DVDs and other available books in our library. If the library does not have the particular book you want, you can order it from another library using the GIL Universal Catalog. If you are going to purchase instructional books be sure to sample before you buy. No books are required for this course, but some Maya books you may want to look at: general, character modeling & animation, and texturing and lighting. Some After Effects books are: here and here.

Attendance is required. A record of attendance and tardiness will be used in determining your final grade. You are allowed three absences. Tardiness will count as 1/3 of an absence. Each absence beyond the third will lower your grade half a letter. Six absences will guarantee a failing grade. It’s up to the student to notify the instructor in case of illness or emergency, in which case the absence will be excused. However notification must occur before or shortly after an absence or it will not be excused. If you miss class, you are responsible for contacting another student and not the instructor to catch up on missed material.

Cell-Phones and Mobile Devices should not be audible (including audible vibration) during class. Any student who answers a cell phone during instruction class will be excused for the day.

Projects are due by the start of class on their due date. One letter grade will be deducted for each calendar day the assignment is late, including the day it was due. For example, if you would have received an A for the project, but hand it in after the class in which it is due, you will receive a B for it instead.

Classroom / Lab: All computers are re-imaged regularly and without warning by support staff. Use server space or removable media to store your files. It is your responsibility to keep your files safe. Keep in mind if your files are lost causing your assignment to be late its grade will be docked regardless. Due to program crashes (more problematic in Maya and After Effects) you should save iterations of your work every 5 minutes (e.g., Squirrel_1.mb, Squirrel_2.mb).


Grade %
Due Date

Falling Bowling Ball and Water Balloon

2 Game Mod n/a 1/23

Animating Cause and Effect


Empathetic Body Language


Walk Cycle

10% 3/2

6A: (2D) Monocontent Fetish

6B: (3D) Animal and Environment in Maya

Final Smorgasbords of Motion 25% 4/20
  In-class Participation 15% Every class, but especially in critiques
Extra Credit

Helping other students with technical issues


Disabilities: A student can request accommodations to academic courses either by contacting is/her instructor directly and/or by contacting the Disabled Student Services Coordinator (DSSC). For simpler requests (e.g., changing seat assignments because of eyesight or hearing limitations), the student may want to discuss the request directly with the instructor; however, the student can always request that the DSSC facilitate the accommodations. The DSSC will discuss the accommodation requests with the appropriate Georgia Tech personnel, who will issue a decision, in writing, to the student, to the department or instructor, and to the DSSC.

Meetings: I don't have office hours, but will schedule meetings with students at their request.

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