Anim161: Digital Media

View Class Schedule on Moodle

Class 27: FINAL CLASS:
May 1st: Presentation of Final Projects
Final Projects shown with final sound, titles,
labelled correctly: yourname_Anim161_S3_2019_Final

Absent or Final not shown, student fails entire course.

Class 26: April 29:
Final Workday: All animation should be completed. Final tweaking and sound work.

Class 25: April 24:
with Sound. Rendered out as H264.

Class 24: April 22:
Work in Class

Class 23: April 17:
View: Work in Progress Wednesday!
Work in Class

Class 22: April 15:
Work in Class
4 Tardies = 1 absent, 3 absences = 1 letter grade lowered
Please be on time during Work in Class days.

Class 21: April 10:
View Final Animatic of your Final Project. 
Photoshop layers in After Effects to build 3D objects.
Helpful Tutorials
Create 3D in After Effects:

Class 20: April 8:
Animatics should be shown to see the timing of each scene and how long the final will be. Final films should be at least a minute in length.

Class 19: April 3:

Finalize Storyboards into Animatics
Lecture on Premiere Pro: From Storyboard to Animatic process

Handout: Lesson 8

Class 18: April 1:
Present Thumbnails (aka rough Storyboard) for your final Convergent Thinking Project showing how your final project will look. Be thinking about sound too.

March 27: Holiday, No Class

Class 17: March 25
Due: Final Abstract animation with Sound.

2 different themes for Final project proposals (20 research images). Present both to the class, Class picks the best one.

Create Thumbnails (aka rough Storyboard) for your final Convergent Thinking Project showing how your final project will look. Be thinking of sound too.

Class 16: March 20
Animation WIP to be viewed in class, Final Abstract animation with Sound DUE: March 25th
Final Project begins: Pick 2 themes for Divergent Thinking project due.  Start developing 2 still images based on two different themes and find a minimum of 20 research images 
Divergent Thinking Projects DUE: March 25th, each separate image is pitched to the class, the class votes and a final theme is picked to use for Convergent Thinking Project.

Rendering using Adobe Media Encoder

As I mentioned in class, there are a lot of features to Media Encoder that I'm not getting into, we're going to keep it pretty simple.

1. In After Effects, make sure the comp you want to render is active.

2. Go to Composition > Add to Adobe Media Encoder in the top menu bar.

3. Media Encoder should open by itself and you should see your comp listed in the upper right panel. This may take a few minutes. You may also need to wait while it establishes a link. Just wait till everything stops.

4. Choose the H.264 media format. You may also select a file size preset for your rendered file. For this project we are using a HD 720 size.

5. Take note of the location your file will render to, you can see the path underlined in the window. It will create a folder labeled Project Name AME (Adobe Media Encoder)

6. Click the green arrow in the upper right of the panel. Your project will render.

Thats It! We can customize those settings as our needs change. But that's the basics!

Class 15: March 18
Due: Abstract Soundtracks. (Listen to Soundtracks)
Animating Images to your Soundtrack.
Final Abstract animation with Sound DUE: March 25th

Final Project begins: Pick 2 themes for Divergent Thinking project due.  Start developing 2 still images based on two different themes and find a minimum of 20 research images 

Divergent Thinking Projects DUE: March 25th, each separate image is pitched to the class, the class votes and a final theme is picked to use for Convergent Thinking Project.

Reduce AE file by using Media Encoder:

Spring Break 3/11 to 3/15

Class 14: March 6th
Collect your sound effects, clips of music, background sounds and/or record a voice. You are making an abstract soundscape to animate to later for the class.

Ken Nordine was a well known Voiceover artist who narrated hundreds of commercials including this one for Levis.
He also created his own recordings using narration, music and sound effects called WordJazz. Here's some inspiration.

Class 13: March 4th
Animation of Surreal project is due.
Show your final project. 


1.     Next Project: Abstract Project - Develop a (roughly) 20 second sound.  You can use a piece of music, recording or sound montage.  Use non-representational imagery to respond to the music.
Adobe Audition can be used with this Sound project as well as Audicity or just drop sound clips into After Effects. 

Here's a list of things that relate to After Effects and motion graphics.

Mobox on YouTube

School of Motion (After Effects Tutorial Page)…

I just think this is cool

Motion design, visual effects and interface designer I really like

Class 12: Feb 27 
Project is due at the start of class for review. Based on the rendered file sizes I'll give you further instructions on how I'm going to collect them.

Render out your file
1. Make sure you adjust the work area in your comp around your animation if necessary.
2. In the top menu, go to Composition > Add to Render Queue.
3. Near the center, you will see an option for "Output to:" Click on the underlined text and select a place for your movie file to go. Click Save.
4. Select Render on the right side of the screen.

A blue bar will show the progress of the render, while that happens your project may run slowly or kind of jump in the window. That's fine. The process speeds up and slows down at points. Depending on the complexity of your file, rendering could take 10 seconds, or 10 minutes or even more. As long as something is happening, even if it's slow, you're fine.

Have final rendered movie file ready to submit at the beginning of class on Wednesday. Let me know if you have any questions or problems!

Class 11: Feb 25
Guest Lecturer: Angela Diamos

Collage in Photoshop project due. 
All assets in place. You are just adjusting and fine-tuning your project. Lesson 9 tutorial due. You do not need to turn in, I will review on your screen.

Class 10: Feb 20

Guest Lecturer: Angela Diamos

All Photoshop assets should be imported into After Effects and you should be working on animating the layers in After Effects.
To reduce layers after you have set your key frames and tested your animation, you can select those layers and create a pre-comp, which will reduce your layers to one layer.

Feb 18: Presidents Day holiday
              NO CLASS

Class 09: Feb 13

Lecture: Comps and Masks

In Class: Building Image layers in Photoshop

HOMEWORK: In addition to your project I would like you to complete the Lesson 9 tutorial on Roto Scoping. I have posted the Lesson 9 folder in Dropbox , PDF of instructions is inside that folder.

Class 08: Feb 11

In Class work day 
Work on Photoshop Images to be imported into AfterEffects
and animated. Project Due: Wednesday, Feb 27th.

In Class: Building Image layers in Photoshop and figuring out what will animate.

Class 07: Feb 6

Image result for dali cats water photo

Lecture Demo: Building layers of a character in Photoshop and importing them into After Effects.

Salvador DalĂ­ & Walt Disney - Destino

After Effects Surreal Magic

After Effects examples:

Your next project is to create an animated project in AE involving Surrealism. 
Give some thought about the project, and check out the links below. Remember, get an idea first, have something that you want to talk about through your artwork, then think about imagery that supports that!

Surrealism - Animated Art History

The Case for Surrealism | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios

The First Animated Surrealist Film | The King and the Mockingbird


Class 06: Feb 4
Render out Homework
Animating layers in After Effects
In Class Demo: The Deep Project.
download Deep folder from Dropbox
10 seconds/rendered as a Quicktime

Project 2: Surrealistic Animation
Jerry Uelsman photography

Ideas and images, create images in Photoshop on layers which can be animated in After Effects.

Homework to Watch
Surreal Bovine Choreography by Cyriak
Cows & Cows & Cows
Fever the Ghost Felix Colgrave

Cyriak | Heroes of Animation with Bing

Class 05: Jan 30
Presentations of Transition Project to the class.
Homework: Make simple shape motion from something in nature: EX: A rectangle falling like a leaf.
Class 04: Jan 28
Lecture about Exporting a GIF file
Lecture about Tone and Retouching Tools
In Class: Working on Transition Projects
Here are some examples.
Label your GIF file:  Your Name_Transition

Lauren Gregorio

 From Night to Day Transition

From Rough Sketch to Final

Olimpia Hostetler

From young to older

Class 03: Jan 23

Two images, one to scan
Using texture and blend layers in Photoshop and show some examples In Class: Haunted House

This is tutorial shows how to work in Photoshop and what you can do with the program.

Class 02: Jan. 16

Demo of resolutions/scanning.File management and formats lecture. Transition project is introduced. Two images are required for assignment due at next class (Wed, Jan 23)

Metamorphosis from Toondini on Vimeo.
The above animation was created using traditional animation techniques produced with Toon Boom Animate. Every student brought in a starting image and animating from their image to the next person's image. Each student created a 36 drawing transition, shot on twos, which resulted in 72 frames or 3 seconds of final animation. 

Some resources on PS animation

Transitions Project – Transition one image to another. You will need 2 images, one image will need to be a scanned image (drawing, photo etc.) and the other image can be created or found online. The goal is for one image to become the other. If Scanning artwork, set resolution to 300 ppi and make sure its a large image, don't use a thumbnail size image to enlarge to 8 x 10.

Your solutions can be whatever you feel expresses your idea. It can be abstract or be more narrative. Please be able to talk about the meaning of this transition during the critique process.

Artwork materials and any images that you're going to use, jpgs, pngs, as well as your idea, are due next Wednesday. NOT, the final project.

Class 01: Jan. 14

For Wednesday: Bring in a Photo, Magazine picture, etc to scan into Photoshop and name the layer. READ the Handout I gave you in Class.

ANIM 161
3 Units
Introduction to Digital Media

1st Year
2nd Year
3rd Year
4th Year

Course Description
This course is an introductory studio in fundamental computer applications and processes used in animation production. Emphasis on software programs dealing with imaging, drawing and painting, editing, compositing, motion graphics, raster and vector artwork.

Portfolio Project
Please upload to the Woodbury server all final class assignments.
Use the proper naming and numbering conventions for proper file management, outlined in class.

Spring 2018

Jim Richardson

Required Text

Participants will show proficiency in the following student learning outcomes.

·        Use digital video production processes to prepare and present projects

·        Demonstrate capability in sound design, compositing and editing of animated projects

·        Demonstrate understanding of the characteristics and capabilities of computer software

·        Develop an art concept and design strategy through the production of a final themed project

·        Present clear, constructive respectful critiques of classmates’ projects during studio critique session

The activities and assignments designed specifically for this class are intended to give the student vital knowledge in discovering their unique creative voice and in creating time based projects using the computer as their tool.  A thoughtful sequence of assignments is laid out to guide the student progressively through a series of time-based projects to achieve confidence with digital media applications.

The following course content will be covered.

1.      Develop facility with the PC Platform

2.      Introduction to the Adobe Creative Suite

3.      Learn file management skills and protocol

4.      Learn to scan artwork and manage media in formatting a portfolio

5.      Develop your creative voice

6.      Develop skills working with time based media

7.      Explore convergent and divergent thinking in launching the imagination

8.      Develop time management skills

9.     Format media for presentation

Studio courses are a collection of project-driven classes.  At least part of every class session will be spent working on the course objectives with the exception of critiques, midterm and final reviews.  Sessions may be supplemented by video presentations, demonstrations, class critiques and discussion. Students acquire an understanding of the class objectives through the production of their projects.  One-on-one critiques are provided as time permits.  Students are expected to present their projects visually and verbally in an industry standard pitch session.  Each student is expected to be engaged and is graded on participation in the group critiques in order to develop presentation skills and methods of critical evaluation.  In addition to the 5 hours of in-class time, students are expected to work a minimum of 15 hours per week outside of the class on their individual projects.

Course Projects
Students will complete the following requirements, assignments, and projects.

1.      Transitions Project – Transition one image to another. You will need 2 images, one images will need to be a scanned image (drawing, photo etc.) and one image needs to become the other.  Please be able to talk about the meaning of this transition during the critique process.

2.      Constructed Image Surrealism and Creating Movement Project - Make a surreal collage using Photoshop and layers.  Name the layers.  This image will become the first time based project using After Effects to create movement.

3.      Abstract Project - Develop a (roughly) 20 second sound.  You can use a piece of music, recording or sound montage.  Use non-representational imagery to respond to the music.

4.      Final Convergent Project (separate assignment description will be handed out)                                 

o   Divergent Thinking - Twenty images

o   Thumbnail Sketches

o   First iteration of Project

o   Final presentation (Studio Final)

The following weekly schedule is subject to instructor revision.

Week1                                Introduction and overview of class and explanation of course outline.  Learning portfolio and reading assignments are given.  Adobe Photoshop operating system introduced                              

                                             Class discussion of reading assignment.  Demo of resolutions/scanning.  Resolutions and Transitions project introduced.  File management and formats lecture.  Two images are required for assignment due at next class meeting.

Monday January 21 Holiday for Martin Luther King

Week 2                       External Hard drive is necessary for class work.  Two images due at beginning of class. Transitions project in-class demonstration.  Open lab for Transitions project.

                                   Transitions project presentation (Projects must be completed at the start of class).  Critique.  Surrealism and constructing images in class demonstration.  Bring images for next class.

Week 3                       Class tutorial.  What is visual metaphor? A look at metaphor and Surrealism.   Open lab for constructed images.

                                    Tutorial.  Open lab for work on constructed image project.

Week 4                          Constructed image due at start of class.  Critique.  Tutorial on Creating      Movement.

Week 5                               Creating movement project due.  Class critique

                                             Abstraction, View experimental media, working with sound

Monday February 18 Presidents Day Holiday, Tuesday February 19 Faculty Development Day

Week 6                               Working with sound tutorial, timing, sequencing and rhythm. Open lab for    working on sound.

Week 7                               30-second sound (bit of music or sound) due. Open lab for Abstract project.

         Open lab. Open lab for Abstract project.

Week 8                               Abstract projects due at beginning of class.  Critique.  Developing             Theme,   Divergent Thinking project

  Mid Term Project Due.  View Media, Lecture, approaches to image making.  Narrative structure and dialogue, Open lab for collecting a minimum of 21 images and sound in the development of two differing themes.

Week 9                               Minimum 21 images for Divergent Thinking project due.  Start developing 2 still        images based on two different themes.

                                             Tutorial, animatics, open lab to assemble Divergent Thinking project.

March 11-15 Spring Break Holiday

Week 11                             Divergent Thinking Projects due, each separate image is pitched to the class, the       class votes and a final theme is picked to use for Convergent Thinking Project.

         Thumbnail sketches due for Convergent Thinking projects.  Finalize your                strategy for project.

Week 12                             Nested Compositions, Auto Actions, files and formats, Open Lab

March 15 Cesar Chavez Day

Week 13                             Working with mattes, Open Lab

                                             AE tutorial, Open Lab

Week 14                             Editing with Premiere as part of the CS production bundle. Open Lab

Week 15                            First iteration of final project rendered for start of class.  Critique in preparation for studio final.

                                             Open Lab to work on comments

Week 16                             Last day of class, address comments from critique
Last day of class is Monday May 6.  Studio Finals start on Wednesday May 8 and go through Friday May 10 and are held at your regular class time and classroom or lab space.

The following materials of instruction are required.
DVD disc and External Hard Drive
An external hard drive (make sure that you purchase an external drive that is readable and writable to both a Mac and PC platforms and format the drive to read and write to both) of 1TB space can be purchased for approximately $100.00.  You do not need separate drives for each class, this drive will serve you over your university career.

Notebook to organize your handouts and tutorial information.

Sketch Book given to you from the animation department

Students will be evaluated based on the following criteria.

Creativity:  The energy and originality of thought applied to the design and animation of each project.
Participation: Students will be graded according to the strength of their participation in critique.
Craft: The skill given to producing the projects with emphasis on timing and quality.

Student grades are further assessed by:
·        Development of critiques that are thoughtful, original and creative
·        Effective visual, written and verbal presentation skills
·        Active and verbal participation in class activities, discussions and critiques.
·        Attendance with necessary materials and project preparation
·        Deadline compliance
  • Personal challenge and effort in project completion.
  • Juried presentation of project.

Judging for the final review will be based on, but not limited to:
  • Creativity/originality.
  • Artwork/draftsmanship.
  • Quality of Animation.
  • Cinematography/staging of actions.
  • Use of sound and dialogue.
  • Entertainment value.
  • Completion of work.
  • Quality of presentation

Grades will be issued as a numerical percentage.  Students are expected to address all components (development, execution and presentation) as significant parts of the entire project.  Each submission is evaluated based on a percentage point system as follows:

Two images for Transitions
Constructed Image Surrealism
Creating Movement
30 Second Sound Bite
Abstract Project
Divergent Thinking Twenty Images
Thumbnail Sketches
First Iteration of Convergent Project
Final presentation of Convergent Project

Final Grade Criteria | Studio Course
Clearly stands out as EXEMPLARY performance and exhibits consummate command of learning outcomes
Grasps subject matter at a PROFICIENT level, considered to be good to very good, and exhibits command of learning outcomes
Demonstrates an ACCEPTABLE comprehension of the subject matter, and exhibits satisfactory understanding of the learning outcomes
Quality of work is below average and INADEQUATE, and exhibits only minimal understanding of the learning outcomes. Skills are not sufficient to continue in the studio sequence.
Quality and quantity of work is UNACCEPTABLE and does not exhibit understanding of the learning outcomes

Students are expected to observe the following class guidelines.

1.      Instructor Attendance Policy | In the event of excessive absence….
2.      Students are responsible for information missed due to tardy or absence.
3.      Instructor Late Policy | Late or incomplete assignments and projects are discouraged and will adversely affect the students overall grade. Late projects will receive a one number grade reduction for each class meeting past the deadline.  Projects more than 3 class meetings late will not be accepted. Projects will not be accepted after the last regular class session.
4.      Final Review | Students are required to participate in the juried final review. Failure to attend a final critique will result in an automatic failure of the course.
5.      Class Behavior | Students are expected to engage with the class, ask questions when in doubt and be attentive during class. 

Please review the following policies.

Regular and prompt attendance at all university classes is required. The instructor is not obligated to assign extra work or to prepare additional examinations for classes missed. It is understood that when 15% of the class time has been missed, the student’s absence rate is excessive. 
Accommodations for Disabilities
Woodbury University is committed to making reasonable accommodations to assist individuals with disabilities in reaching their academic potential. Students desiring accommodations due to a physical, learning or psychological disability must first complete an Accommodations Request Form, which can be downloaded from, and found under “Academic Resources.” Accommodations cannot be granted prior to the instructor’s receipt of a Notification of Special Needs Release Form from the Disabilities Coordinator. Accommodations are never provided retroactively. (For more information, contact the Disabilities Coordinator in the Whitten Center (818) 394-3345.)

Archive Policy
Students are required to include a Woodbury ID label containing the following information on the back of all projects submitted to the instructor:
·        class number
·        class name
·        semester
·        instructor's name
·        student's name
·        student's contact information
Media should be labeled on the package, and name, class and year should be included on the media/ disc.  A printable pdf of the Woodbury ID label is available on the portal in the MCD: Animation link on the Student page.  Blank Avery labels may be purchased at the bookstore. Projects will not be accepted without this information.  The university reserves the right to retain student work for archival purposes.  See the Woodbury Catalog for the official policy on archiving of student work.
Outsourcing is defined as obtaining created work or acquiring outside services to produce created works in any aspect of course-assigned project development and/or production. This includes work or services that are paid for and work or services that are not. It includes work or services from any individual including fellow students and outside professionals. Outsourcing of project production elements is prohibited unless specifically stated in your course syllabus and/or guidelines. Outsourced elements must be acknowledged through complete, accurate, and specific references. The intellectual authorship of the project must belong to the submitting students. Outsourcing will not be permitted under following circumstances:

1.      If a program or course learning outcome is designed to assess the production of physical or digital components and outsourcing involves these components.
2.      If the effect of outsourcing changes or impacts the students’ original design, or creative vision, or process at any stage of the project from development to final production or installation.

Academic Honesty Policy
Because the integrity of the academic enterprise of any institution of higher education requires                honesty in scholarship and research, academic honesty is required at Woodbury University. The                  University views academic dishonesty as one of the most serious offenses that a member of our                   community can commit. Adherence to the Academic Honesty Policy reflects the commitment of our    community to the ideals of learning, research, and scholarship. The full policy and examples of academic              dishonesty can be found on the Student Portal.

            Definitions of Academic Dishonesty
Cheating: Cheating is the act or attempted act of deception by which an individual seeks to misrepresent that he/she has mastered information on an exercise that he/she has not mastered.
Fabrication: Fabrication is the use of invented information or the falsification of research or other findings in an academic exercise.
Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: Facilitating academic dishonesty is intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another commit an act of academic dishonesty.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the submission of another's work as one's own, without adequate attribution. When an individual submits work that includes the words, images, music, ideas, or data of others, the source of the information must be acknowledged through complete, accurate, and specific references, and, if verbatim statements are included, through quotation marks or indentation as appropriate. By placing his/her name on work submitted, the author certifies the originality of all work not otherwise identified by appropriate acknowledgements. Plagiarism covers unpublished    as well as published sources.

Learning Photoshop and After Effects, using the tools to create your artwork., making it move and adding sound to it.

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