College of Arts and Sciences

Fine Arts Department Instructor’s information


Robert Michael Smith

Office location:

Faculty Office, Room 100, Midge Karr Art Center




[email protected]

Office hours:

Wednesday noon – 1 pm

Course information

Term and date:

Spring 2015

Course name, number and section:

ARTC-452-W01 Senior Thesis Computer Graphics II



Meeting times:

Wednesday 9:00 AM– 12:00 noon

Building and room number:

MAC Lab, Room 103, Midge Karr Art Center

Prerequisites and co-requisites:

ARTC401-Senior Thesis I

Recommended Reading:

The Animator’s Survival Kit,

Richard Willams,

Storytelling Through Animation,

Mike Wellins

Acting for Animators

, Ed Hooks, Heinemann Publishers.

The Illusion of Life

, by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson (the animators’ bible)

Action! Acting Lessons for CG Animators,

John & Kristin Kundert-Gibbs, Sybex Publishing

Maya Character Creation,

Chris Maraffi, New Riders Publishing

Writing for Emotional Impact

, Karl Iglesias

Character Animation, Vol 1, 2, 3

, George Maestri Career Services Fine Arts Career Board

Materials and supplies

Sketchbook, Computer and storing device, Blackboard account and NYIT email access Revised 11/10 1

Course description from catalog

This is a course in which the senior student presents a thesis in computer graphics on either its technical or conceptual aspects. This thesis is related to a concurrent senior project. Faculty will approve and direct the project(s).

Course goals and introduction

This course covers the essentials for the making of a professional-quality computer graphics short animation, and focuses on the conceptual aspects of computer animation and storytelling. Based on the preproduction work students created in the fall semester, students will collaborate in groups and revise their existing stories, create characters, and animatic. These steps are essential continuation of the preproduction process for the animations being created in conjunction with Senior Projects II. Students will utilize a variety of communication and work methods: presentations and critique, class exercises, group discussions, and studio. The midterm project will include character designs and models, the revised storyboard, and the group animatic. The second half of the semester will focus on professional practices essential for the seniors at the end of their college career. In addition to completing their final animations (in conjunction with Senior Projects II), which is paramount for the students’ portfolio, students will complete a portfolio package specific to their career goals. There will be field trips, visits to the career services center, and assignments where students research and apply for real internships and jobs.

BFA in Computer Graphics, Program Outcomes

1) Upon graduation our students will have created a 3D animation demo reel portfolio which they will be able to continue to upgrade in preparation for entry level positions in the animation production industry. They will have acquired skill sets in design fundamentals, art history, art theory and standard production methods necessary to function in the field of creative visualization and communication. 2) 3) Students will gain functional competence with principles of visual organization, including the ability to work with visual elements in two and three dimensions; color theory and its applications; and drawing. Students will be able to present work that demonstrates perceptual acuity, conceptual understanding and technical facility. 4) 5) 6) Students will be able to place works of art and design in historical, cultural, and stylistic contexts. Students will be able to use the language of art and design effectively to identify the necessary elements in critically analyzing the work being reviewed. Students will also be able to demonstrate ability as well as a working knowledge of technologies and equipment applicable to the animation creation pipeline including: drawing, digital character and stage modeling, animating, compositing and rendering. Revised 11/10 2

Learning outcomes and instruments of assessment

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: 1.

Pre-produce, direct, and execute a 3D animated short using a small group animation 2.

pipeline (Program Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 6) Revise existing storyboard, animatic, and character designs to better communicate the 3.


story (Program Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 5, 6) Create a group production schedule, and meet the deadlines of production (Program outcomes 1, 6) Research and implement real life characteristics such as emotions and body gestures to characters (Program Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 5, 6) 5.


Research and implement audio into the animatic and animation (Program Outcomes 1, 3, 6) Identify real life objectives in writing to better prepare one’s portfolio (Program Outcomes 3, 5) 7.

Complete and present a portfolio, including an artist statement, resume, and cover letter for potential employees (Program Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 5, 6) 8.

Research appropriate jobs and internships and modify the portfolio package to fit the needs of the job (Program Outcomes 1, 3, 5, 6) Methods of assessment will include: A series of presentations and critiques, class exercises, writings, group discussions, studio, weekly assignments, midterm and final projects

Assessment Instruments Percentage

Attendance, Attitude, and Participation 30 Weekly Assignments 20

LO Covered

1, 2, 3, 4, 5,6, 7, 8 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,7, 8 In-Class Assignments 10 1, 2 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Midterm Project: Character, Storyboard, Animatic Presentation and Critique 20 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Final Project: Portfolio Presentation and 20 6, 7, 8 Critique

Description of assignments

Graphic Novel level Storyboard to be presented at Final Animation Festival. 3D print of Frozen Moment Scene that represents the quality of the animation story as well as interactions between the main characters to be presented at Final Animation Festival. Preparation for Senior Survey according to attached document. Revised 11/10 3

Policy for make-up exams and missed or late assignments

Late homework will drop 1 letter grade for each day (not class) that they are late. C (not B) is intended to be the average grade. If you are absent, the work is still due.

Attendance policy

Attendance in class is mandatory. The Fine Arts Department attendance policy states, "Three absences (excused or unexcused) result in a maximum grade of "D" for the class. Four absences (excused or unexcused) result in failure of the class. Twice late (excused or unexcused) will be counted as an absence." Students are expected to be prepared for each class; failure to do so will result in grade reductions. Failure to attend the final critique is grounds for automatic failure. Please note that the above policy includes absences on the first classes of the semester.

NYIT e-mail

All official announcements related to the course will be sent through NYIT e-mail. Students are expected to check their @nyit.edu e-mail regularly.

Withdrawal policy

A student may withdraw from a course without penalty through the end of the 8th week of class during a 14- or 15-week semester and through the 8th meeting during an 8week course cycle. After this, the student must be doing passing work in order to receive a W grade. Students who are not passing after the 8th week or equivalent will be assigned the grade of WF. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the instructor of his/her intention to withdraw from a course. If a student has stopped attending class without completing all assignments and/or examinations, failing grades for the missing work may be factored into the final grade calculation and the instructor for the course may assign the grade of WF. The grade of F is used for students who have completed the course but whose quality of work is below the standard for passing. Withdrawal forms are available in departmental offices and once completed must be filed with the registrar. Students should be reminded that a W notation could negatively impact their eligibility for financial aid and/or V.A. benefits, as it may change the student’s enrollment status (full-time, part-time, less than part-time). International students may also jeopardize their visa status if they fail to maintain full-time status.

Academic integrity and plagiarism policies

Each student enrolled in a course at NYIT agrees that, by taking such course, he or she consents to the submission of all required papers for textual similarity review to any commercial service engaged by NYIT to detect plagiarism. Each student also agrees that Revised 11/10 4

all papers submitted to any such service may be included as source documents in the service’s database, solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers. Plagiarism is the appropriation of all or part of someone else’s works (such as but not limited to writing, coding, programs, images, etc.) and offering it as one’s own. Cheating is using false pretenses, tricks, devices, artifices or deception to obtain credit on an examination or in a college course. If a faculty member determines that a student has committed academic dishonesty by plagiarism, cheating or in any other manner, the faculty has the academic right to 1) fail the student for the paper, assignment, project and/or exam, and/or 2) fail the student for the course and/or 3) bring the student up on disciplinary charges, pursuant to Article VI, Academic Conduct Proceedings, of the Student Code of Conduct.

Library Resources

All students can access the NYIT virtual library from both on and off campus at www.nyit.edu/library . The same login you use to access NYIT e-mail and NYITConnect will also give you access to the library’s resources from off campus. On the upper left side of the library’s home page, select links for “Find Resources”, “Research Assistance”, “Services”, “Help”, and “About”. Using “Quick Links” on the right hand side of the home page will also assist you in navigating the library’s web pages. Should you have any questions, please look under “Research Assistance” to submit a web-based “Ask-A-Librarian” form.

Support for students with disabilities

NYIT adheres to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504. The Office of Disability Services actively supports students in the pursuit of their academic and career goals. Identification of oneself as an individual with disability is voluntary and confidential. Students wishing to receive accommodations, referrals and other services are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as early in the semester as possible although requests can be made throughout the academic year.

Important Misc. Policies:

- no phones/texting/facebooking in class, unless there is an emergency-get approval first. Revised 11/10 5

Schedule of Dates

Please note the calendar is subject to change. This is a Blackboard enhanced class, and much of the handouts, weekly announcements, and additional resources will be distributed electronically using Blackboard. It is your responsibility to use Blackboard and check announcements (they will also be e-mailed to you) regularly.


Week 1


 Course syllabus- Overview of Course  Team meetings -Presentation of last semester’s work and discussion Week 2 Week 3 -Creating a 15-week Preliminary Production Schedule for the semester -Create a preliminary modeling sheet -Character Deconstruction and Designs, references  Character Design Examples-for Rig-Ready Posing 

Assignment Team:

Finish creating your production schedule and model sheet Reading: TBA


Character Deconstruction, Rig-Ready Pose Character drawings  Discussion and Critique: character deconstruction, drawings,  Team meetings-Story and storyboard revision -Story and sequence -Find references for the environment, props, furniture -Think about time of day, color -Revise model list  Demonstration: Starting character modeling using images 

Assignment Team:

Work in revision of story and implement changes into the storyboard. Start on production. Reading: TBA


Revise drawings and start modeling character  Team meetings -Revised story and storyboard -Discussion and Critique: Character models Stage 1 Revised 11/10 6

Week 4 Week 5 Revised 11/10 Week 6 -Model Sheet  How to create an Animatic -Examples -Cameras -Timing -Audio 

Assignment Team:

The Animatic




Character Modeling-stage 2-the face  Team meetings - Discussion and Critique: Animatic  Look and feel-the Mood and Ambiance of Your World -References 

Homework Assignment Team:

Research references for look and feel of what your group animation is looking for. Bring in 10 examples of images, animation, movies- that reflect the color/look and feel of your project. Revise the animatic




Finish modeling your character  Team meetings Discussion and Critique-character models Production  Characters-Emotions How do you want us to feel about each character?  Midterm Project List 

Homework Assignment Team:

Identify what emotions the character(s) in your story take. Research and find references in movies, animation, drawings, and illustrations, where you see this expression.  Reading: Illusion of Life Animating Expressions and Dialogue Chapter 16, P441-507 


Start texturing your model (and move on to set up)  Team meetings 7

Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Revised 11/10 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Discussion and Production 

Assignment: Midterm Project Complete the following for presentation and critique

1. Animatic, 2. Revised story and storyboard, 3. Character model fully modeled and textured 4. Emotion list, emotion and environment references

Midterm project presentation and critique

SOURCE Group Meetings SOURCE Discussion: Life Goals and Objectives, The portfolio Writing exercise How to create the best resume Internship, job, graduate school Research and findings Writing a kick ass cover letter Individual Meetings How to create a demo reel Group meeting and production *Field Trip: TBD The artist statement Group meeting and production Putting it all together Group meeting and production

Final Presentation of portfolio, critique, and discussion Presentation at the Fine Arts Animation Festival


Computer Graphics-Survey Guidelines for Seniors

GOAL: The goal of survey is to achieve the following 2 program-level outcomes through a mandatory presentation of demo reel/portfolio with critical feedback component. Ultimately, the senior cg thesis will showcase the student's reel once the portfolio class is established with triage roll out. In the short-term, the survey will use the capstone projects of Senior Project/Thesis (CG) and Portfolio (GD) as the student's presentation material. Computer Graphics Learning Outcome 1) Upon graduation our students will have created a 3D animation demo reel portfolio which they will be able to continue to upgrade in preparation for entry level positions in the animation production industry. They will have acquired skill sets in design fundamentals, art history, art theory and standard production methods necessary to function in the field of creative visualization and communication. Using the above learning outcome as a benchmark, the student should prepare work that is portfolio-ready in order to prepare for entry level positions in the animation production industry. Work should be presented in one of the following formats. 1. Demo Reel-A short time-based piece that included a collection of your best animated/time-based artworks, emphasizing your technical and artistic abilities. * under 1 minute * made up of best short clips from 2D/3D animations and animatics, motion graphics, special effects, video, etc., compiled in a single quicktime format (.mov/.mp4) at HD720. * can include the following items (but is not limited to) -360 degrees rotations of models and characters -walk cycles, other animation tests -best clips from final group animations (include credit information for what you did, and credit -others at the end of reel) -succession of still images such as character design sketches and concept drawings -storyboards * The content should be edited to non-copyrighted music (credit at end of reel) * Include title, contact info, and any necessary descriptions of what you did 2. A Portfolio Book: A portfolio book is a physical or digital book that is a collection of artworks demonstrating the artist's technical and artistic abilities. Creating a digital version in addition to a physical one is highly recommended. Revised 11/10 9