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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Undergraduate Course: Visualising Sound (DESI08073)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is a cross-disciplinary introduction to the visualization of sound using animation. A series of lectures and seminars will place the creative practice of visualizing sound within the historical and contemporary context of animation and experimental film-making. The course will provide practical creative workshops covering sound design, basic digital composition, and abstract animation techniques.
Course description This is an advanced animation course, students should have some prior experience of working with either moving image or audio media.

Academic Description

This course will provide an introduction to the design and composition skills employed in visualizing sound through
animation. Historical and contemporary examples of animation and experimental films visualizing sound will be examined and discussed in a series of lectures, placing the subject in context. The lecture series will be interspersed with a series of directed seminars in which the students will discuss the lecture subjects in greater depth, with reference to their own creative practice. There will also be a series of practical workshops, covering skills in sound production and animation techniques, where the students will work in collaborative groups to create their own sound / music designs and accompanying animations visualizing their compositions.

Course Outline

The course will consist of a series of 4 lectures and 5 directed seminars, with lectures in weeks 1, 3, 5 and 7, and seminars in weeks 2, 4, 6, 8 and 9. The lectures will look at historical and contemporary examples of the creative visualization of sound and music to give context to the practical element of the course. Subjects will include visual music, experimental film, digital music visualization, animated music video work, and animation software effects such as audio float controls. The seminars following each lecture will allow the students to discuss the lecture topics in more detail and after independent research, with reference to their own projects and creative practice.

There will also be a series of 9 workshops in weeks 1 to 9, covering the practical skills necessary for creating sound or music compositions and animation visualizing these compositions. Topics will include sound recording techniques, sound design, electroacoustic composition, digital music synthesis, synchronization and synchresis in animation, drawn animation techniques, camera-based animation techniques, 2D and 3D CGI animation software, visual effects and compositing. The students will be divided into teams and encouraged to pool their creative skills to create a sound/music composition and animation visualizing this composition. Week 10 will consist of a screening and group criticism session examining the work created.

Learning Experience

The students will gain skills in creative practice, including sound recording and production, animation and experimental film techniques, and sound and visual effects. The interdisciplinary nature of the course along with the teamwork necessary to complete the group activities will encourage collaboration between students in realising creative outputs. The students will gain basic research skills in completing their essays based on the lecture series.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is open to ALL STUDENTS and enrolments are managed on a first come first served basis until the course is full. The course will be open to enrolments from Thursday 13th September at 9.30am. Please sign up for the course through your own School (they will advise if this is done your PT, SSO or Teaching Office). We do not currently keep a waiting list.
Additional Costs No additional costs to students beyond basic animation materials.

Students will be required to provide:
Drawing and painting materials (pens, pencils, crayons, charcoal, markers, paper, sketch pads for example.)
Sculpting materials (wire, modelling clay, balsa wood for example.)
Animation supplies (Peg bar, animation paper and cels for example.)

The list above is an example, and is by no means exhaustive
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Research: Build skills to explore shared contexts in a range of subjects and their associated media
  2. Realise: Develop project proposals for sound composition and animation through to finished project
  3. Integrate: Produce work that demonstrates a synthesis between moving image and audio
Reading List
Chion, M. Audiovision. Columbia University Press (1994)
Sonnenschein, D. Sound Design. Michael Wiese Productions (2001)
Wells, P. Understanding Animation. Routledge (1998)
Moritz, W. Optical Poetry: The Life and Works of Oskar Fischinger. Indiana University Press (2003)
Sauer, T. Notations 21. Mark Batty Publisher (2009)
Plus films by Oskar Fischinger, Jordan Belson, Norman McLaren, Len Lye and other animators / experimental film-makers.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Organisation, planning, interpersonal, evaluative, problem solving, research, self reflection, critical thinking, collaborative, practical camera, lights, sound recording skills, sound editing and design, digital music composition, non linear editing, abstract and experimental film grammar, creative use of technology.
KeywordsAnimation,Experimental Film,Music,Sound,Composition,Research,Collaboration,Interdisciplinarity
Course organiserMr Jared Taylor
Tel: (0131 6)51 5964
Course secretaryMrs Gill Lowther
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