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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : Creative Arts

Undergraduate Course: Digital Animation for Artists (LLLA07116)

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5

Many contemporary artists use the animated moving image as part of their means of expression. This course will introduce students a range of techniques and approaches to digital animation as an artists' tool to develop creative ideas through the moving image. The focus will be on learning the basics of 2D digital animation through establishing a working knowledge of 'Adobe Photoshop' and 'Adobe After Effects' while studying and reflecting on a range of artists' animated films video. Through a range of hands-on exercises, such as 'stop frame', cut paper animation and green-screen, students will gain a knowledge of using a storyboard and setting up an environment or composition, working with sound, to make short animated sequences exported to DVD or to upload on the internet.
Course description The course teaching is typically delivered over weekly class sessions of around 3 hours each and totaling 30 hours. Alternatively, the course can be delivered more intensely or as a block if required.
Over the class sessions the course will cover:
- Introduction to planning and storyboarding for animation and getting to know the workspace in Adobe Photoshop
- Looking at making selections and working with layers on Photoshop and an introduction to developing an animation journal or logbook
- Preparing a composition or collage in Photoshop for animation
- Introduction to After Effects, looking at working with the timeline, importing a Photoshop composition and basic animation
- Continuing to look at After Effects, exploring video effects and working with the 3D camera
- Hands on exercise in class looking at stop frame, cut paper animation and basic green-screen
- Importing and working with footage from the previous week, as well as green-screen keying and basic compositing in After Effects
- Working with the type tool on After Effects to develop motion graphics
- Adding a soundtrack to the animation and exporting video
- Completing student project work with final 1-3 minute short film

The Learning Experience
The teaching will be based and delivered in specialist art and design studios or workshops and will typically include a range of practical exercises, introductions to techniques, processes and concepts, and set projects which lead to more focused and personal exploration. Over the course, students' progress will be monitored and supported by the tutor. Teaching will include practical demonstrations, one to one tuition, group discussions and critiques.

For work required to be undertaken after the class hours are complete, the course tutor will set students a 'directed study plan' which can be undertaken without the need for specialist workshops or access to models.

Directed study will include research into a range of suggested artists and their associated movements to engender a contextual awareness. Students are expected to demonstrate how their research has informed their work through annotated sketchbooks, a visual digital journal and practical outcomes.
The Directed Study Plan will include preparing evidence of research and practical work to form an appropriate presentation for assessment.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Unless otherwise stated, all students on this short course pay a published course fee per enrolment.

In addition to the course fee, students are expected to provide the following list of indicate tools, materials and equipment:
Estimated cost: £20-£30 depending on use
- Notebook and pen for notes, storyboards, video logging, and developing project ideas
- Additional DVDs (DVD-R) for backing up video work, and DVD authoring in iDVD.
- USB pen drive, 4 GB or more.

Additional recommended materials and equipment students can provide:
Estimated cost: £20 - £200 depending on usage.

- Digital Video Camera or Camcorder, with card, or tape, with appropriate cable, or card reader for capturing or downloading video footage as appropriate to camera type.
- Optional, lightweight tripod
- Optional: video camera manual
- Optional - External or portable drive (compatible with, or formatted for use with Apple Macs)
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Research, context and ideas: Demonstrate a contextual awareness and critical thinking to support the planning and the creative development of a project, though the production of a reflective animation and moving image journal.
  2. Practice, skills and techniques: Show a confidence in using and applying a range of Adobe Photoshop and After Effect Skills, using sound appropriately to complement the work.
  3. Selection, presentation and reflection: Evidence appropriate judgement to document, select, edit and produce an animation for viewing, presenting a finished short 1-3 minute video.
Reading List
Adobe Creative Team, 2012 Adobe After Effects CS6 Classroom in a Book Adobe
Adobe Creative Team, 2012 Adobe Photoshop CS6 Classroom in a Book Adobe
WELLS, P., 1998, Understanding Animation, Routledge.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Ability to make effective use of Photoshop and After Effects
Ability to make short digital animations
Ability to undertake research and reflective practice and apply these in the context of animation within visual culture
KeywordsAnimation,Digital,Adobe,After Effects,Moving Image,Artists
Course organiserMr Oliver Reed
Course secretaryMs Kameliya Skerleva
Tel: (0131 6)51 1855
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