animation & interactive media

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Jeremy Parker
9925 2994

John Power
9925 2994

Chris Barker
9925 2994

Matthew Riley
9925 2994

Kate Cawley

9925 2994


2nd Semester
Starts 10:00am Monday the 19th of July

Major Project Brief & Schedule:

The Major Project in the AIM studio is a chance to make a finished work.  As with your Minor Project, the theme, the platform and the method are all your choice. 

The Major is your chance to realize an idea to completion.  The work is managed individually, so the responsibilities of production and collaboration are all yours.  

The choice of medium is open.  In the past people have made interactive artworks or animated shorts in a variety of media. Collaboration between students on a Major Project is also an option and should be discussed and developed with staff.

Puppet animations
Visual Effects Breakdowns
Scratch on Film
Real Time  Environments
Hand drawn animations
Generative Media
Mobile Media
CGI animations
Projection Environments
Technical Project and Report

Please tackle complex problems in your solution.  Your final work will stand to exhibit much of your learning, your conceptual reach and your technical skills for an audience of your peers and prospective employers.  A cohesive and well-executed work should involve reflection on the concepts introduced in the first semester subjects, and show an ability to include high-level discipline-specific learning. 

The Major Project builds a portfolio of work that is critical to employment within the Creative Media Industries.  Make sure that you explore in a direction you feel that you would be able to passionately continue into the future.


Be sure that you build your project in a way which will stretch, but not break your ability to achieve it.  While it is possible to underestimate your production and conceptual abilities, overestimation is a more common problem.  Be aware that scale is a problem arising from lack of sufficient preproduction, and that the length of a work is no indicator of anything related to quality. 


You are strongly encouraged to access AIM’s extensive 30 year archive of past student work as a rich source of inspiration and reference for formulating approaches to a production technique, to find solutions to various production problems and as a means of gauging what sort of projects are of a scale practical within the time constraints and resources available to you. The Internet is also an invaluable tool, particularly for the most current information on the use of software. An additional learning resource can be found in the knowledge and expertise of your class peers.

Your Major Project will be evaluated largely on the strength of its concept, how successful or imaginative it was in communicating your ideas to an audience (your directorial ability) and on the level of craft skills and production values you achieved, and how well the elements available to animators and/or interactive media practitioners, underpinned and serviced the guiding premise of your work.
The Major Project course guide states that at the conclusion of this course you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an ability to apply theories that harness the attributes of your chosen medium to practical production.
  • Communicate ideas in ways appropriate to the medium both at the pre-production stage and in the final published work.
  • Apply experiential knowledge of specialised production methods pertaining to your chosen project.
  • Demonstrate the ability to plan, organise and manage a production from concept to screen in a studio environment
  • Apply ways that enhance your original concept that come from the considered and creative use of production solutions.
  • Develop your directorial ability.



Major Project Schedule: Semester 2, 2010

Pre-production Assessment
The management of the major project is up to you. There will be, however, preproduction markers that you will meet over the first six weeks of your work. In total, 20% of your Major Project marks will devoted to preproduction. There will be six pre-production assessment points. Excepted from assessment will a Review of Minor Projects, which will happen on the first of semester.

At the end of week #1 of Semester, you will be assigned a staff member as your mentor for the Major Project. Your mentor will consult with you throughout the development of production of your project and will oversee and assess your pre-production submissions (see the schedule below). You will negotiate with your mentor how and when you will meet.

Screening Committee
On the first day of semester you will elect a Screening and Exhbition Committee of around 5 members. This committee will work with the class to organize the final Graduate Screening and Exhbition and post-screening reception as well as organizing the making of the Graduate Work DVD. While the committee will organize the screening, they will not be solely responsible for undertaking all of the labour around the preparation and production of the screening and graduate DVD. The Screening and Exhbition Committee will meet regularly throughout Semester 2, keeping the organization of the screening and dvd on track.



Review of Minor Projects
10:00am Monday the 19th of July
Viewing with staff and students

On our first day back in Semester 2, we will view and review your Minor Projects as a group. The purpose of this session is to reflect on the process of developing and producing your Minor Projects ahead of entering the Major Project development and production cycle. This viewing will also allow you to situate your own work within the context of that of your peers and will expose you to the range of skills and knowledge collectively held within your cohort of students. This exposure is intended to encourage an exchange of ideas and learning between students that can be built into a significant learning resource. Your own reflections, along with those of staff and peers, should provide valuable insights and advice that can be considered and applied to your practise throughout Semester 2.



Please note, it is very important that you take comprehensive notes in each of these pre-production sessions and in meetings with your mentors.



Tuesday the 20th of July
Presentation to class in x2 groups

This session does take the form of a pitch but it is less formal than the Minor Project pitch. You will have ten minutes to put forward your core idea – core conflicts, core character arcs, core concepts and messages.  Why are you choosing to produce this work?  What will be its function?

We would not expect a storyboard, EPOC or highly developed visual references in this session. We will focus on concept and intention through talking about broad issues like ideas, styles, methods, techniques, media, etc – all of the ‘wide issues’ of production. Use this session as a way to become involved with your audience by being open to critique. 

Tuesday the 27th of July
Individual Review with Mentor

Here, you present your work in progress for your production art.  You might have, for example, character designs, interface designs, designs for environments or technical explorations that illustrate an idea.  You might have layout ideas, ideas for camera work, exemplars, existing work, or the illustration of a problem.  Use this session to show direction, to show production choices and use it to raise questions about technique – what are the technical gaps or limitations that need to be overcome?


Tuesday the 3rd of August
Presentation to class in x2 groups

Here, you will ‘pitch’ your storyboard or interactive development visualizations (flow chart, screen layouts, level design and illustration). You will give a real-time presentation of the action in your story, making sure that your audience can follow and interpret the story through the action. For interactive works, you’ll ‘walk’ us through your work, showing us what is happening where, illustrating the relationship between navigation, content and user experience.  This will be done using pinned drawings on foam board, such that edits can be introduced and paper can be moved.  We will split the group according to styles of project, (interactive, animated narrative, etc) and the pitch session will attempt to communicate the flow, rationale and specific production requirements of the work. 


Tuesday the 10th of August
Individual Review with Mentor

Here you show a response and a revision to the issues arising from your first pitch session. These reviews should be evidenced through significant shifts and developments in your work as well as through a brief set of notes that layout what you have changed and why.


Tuesday the 17th of August
Small Group Presentations

Here, you will use the time to discuss technical issues arising from the production of your project.  How, exactly, are you going to produce the work?  If possible, show the production pipeline for an existing shot, showing everything from the creation of assets to the layout of the final composition.  You should also use this session to discuss your management of the project, including timelines and collaborations.  This session will also be separated according to the specifics of your production. 


Tuesday the 17th of August
Presentation to Group of Animatics and EPOCS
Production Schedule and Asset List

This is a similar presentation to your minor project pitch.  In this session, you will show a timed out animatic, an EPOC, or similar that acts as a ‘blueprint’ of your Major Project. At this point, there should no major holes that might stop you from going forward into a period of intense production. You can treat this as a presentation that you might give a client or for stage 2 funding. Animatics must have at least a rough draft of sound and dialogue and EPOCS must have at least place holder sound and graphics. At this stage of pre-production, your work should stand alone, communicating its ideas clearly and requiring no explanation from you as the writer/director.
You will also submit a comprehensive production schedule and asset list.



Once you have moved out of the pre-production phase of Major Project cycle, you will continue to have weekly meetings with your mentors for most of the semester, again, this will be negotiated individually with your mentor.

Everyone will also be working with a partner who will fulfil the role of line producer.  The line producer is a peer-support role that ensures that you keep on track regarding deliverables, time management and outputs during the semester.  You will meet with your line producer for half an hour each week (on Thursdays, before Hunters and Gatherers), and they will give you their assessment against supplied criteria.  Their report on your schedule will form a component of your final grade. 




Final Submission of Major Projects
Friday the 5th of November by 5:00pm

Delivery formats for submission of projects will be detailed early in Semester 2 .

Screening and Exhibition of Major Works
Tuesday the 23rd  of November, 7pm

This evening we will present a screening of selected Major Works, present a range of student awards and return to the Studio for the exhibition and post-screening celebration.


Clean up of Studio
Thursday the 25th of November, whenever you can bear it

Once recovered from the previous evenings excitement, please undertake one final collaborative project, the clearing up of the studio post-party.



Studio Tour and Hunter and Gatherer Lunches
On Wednesday mornings throughout most of August, we will be undertaking our Studio Tour programme. Throughout this month, we’ll visit a range of companies that represent a cross section of the Animation and Interactive Media industries in Melbourne. The purpose of this tour is to provide you with an insight into the industrial application of the skills you are developing during your time in the AIM programme.

Hunter Gatherer lunches will continue throughout much of Semester 2.  A schedule of speakers will be available at the start of Semester 2. Our expectation is that you will attend the Hunter Gatherer lunches. Our guest speakers each week will have experiences and insights around the development and production of audio visual work that will be invaluable to you as you engage in the process of realizing your projects. Our guests generously give us their time each week and we expect that you
will attend these lunches as part of your professional development.