animation & interactive media

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Audience reaction to any program is largely determined by the conceptual and realisation skills of the writer and director. The course places particular emphasis upon program content and the development of ideas in ways that are appropriate to the chosen medium and which harness its unique strengths and attributes. In pursuit of these goals, the following topics are covered...

script writing
basic principles of animation
interactive design
animation techniques
computer animation
sound and soundtrack design
design production methods
production management
cinematic language
interactive authoring
web page authoring and publishing
teaching method


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Script writing classes and assignments aid the development conceptual skills. These classes deal with the classic linear narrative elements of character, location, plot, resolution of tension, passage of time and visual style, through to the issues involved in interactive authoring - engagement, interface design, navigation, functionality, program feedback, and other considerations that make a satisfying interactive experience.

A series of demonstrations and exercises illustrate the fundamental principles of animation and looks at ways of conveying emotion and personality through gesture and timing.

Graphical user interfaces should look good, feel responsive, be functional, permissive and consistent in use. These issues and the role of navigation, dynamic screen elements such as icons, buttons and dialogue boxes, operational metaphors, intelligent agents and helpers are studied during the course.


Including cel, cut-out, clay, object and table-top animation, experimental forms, paint and sand on glass, pixillation, metamorphosis, rotoscoping, camera-less animation and photomechanical special effects.


Lighting design can add immeasurably to a story. It can direct the focus of attention, enhance or flatten the texture of objects, underscore the emotional state of a character, set the time of day and create mood and atmosphere. A workshop illustrates the aesthetic and dramatic potential of light.


Exercises are given in both 2D and 3D computer animation. The possibilities of a virtual world are explored as well as image synthesis, digital compositing, manipulation and morphing.

Special bonds connect moving images to sound. A well designed soundtrack makes animation come alive. Interactive productions can exploit sound to reinforce the illusion that the world beyond the glass of the computer screen is a physical space. Making a drawing talk is an exercise that tests the student's ability to analyse sound and illustrates the creative possibilities of frame accurate image and sound synchronisation. The techniques of microphone placement and recording are also demonstrated. Digital recording, editing and manipulation are also studied.


A study of various modes of production from traditional practice to computer aided methods including: storyboarding, 'key' drawing and 'straight-ahead' animation techniques, timing and in-betweens, tricks and shortcuts, the use of rostrum, cine and video cameras, exposure sheets, fully automated recording, film editing, digital sound track laying and mixing, QuickTime movie grabbing, computer graphics and animation techniques, image and audio digitizing, data transfer and management, CD ROM mastering, Web authoring and the latest digital post-production methods.


Students are required to budget and manage their second semester productions within the time, finances and resources available. Students are taught how to use word processors, databases, spreadsheets and other production management tools to make the task easier. Students are also given their own 'electronic mail' accounts and are encouraged to communicate with others enrolled in similar courses overseas.


Just like grammar, the audience will misunderstand what is being shown if the basic rules of cinematic language are ignored. Workshops, storyboarding and a live action 'screen direction' and editing exercise, aid the development of strong visual storytelling.

The Internet and the World Wide Web will be regularly used for information retrieval and email communication. Students will design and progressively enhance their own homepage by incorporating, text, graphics, sound, video and animation. Emphasis will be placed on principles of design and communication.

In the main, students learn by 'doing' under the guidance of full-time teaching staff who have experience in professional production. A wide variety of teaching methods are employed. These range from structured lectures, practical production exercises, informal discussions, workshops, demonstrations, excursions to industry, specialist lectures by industry practitioners, unstructured experiential type activities to personal tuition and consultation to solve various creative and technical problems specific to individual productions. Regular viewing and critical analysis of noted published works in film, interactives, animation and video games are conducted to broaden the student's cultural and historical understanding of the medium.

animation & interactive media

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