The purpose of this Block is to give students a thorough understanding of computer animation. Students who complete this term will have a solid understanding of camera and vehicle animation, parent/child hierarchies, character rigging, character animation, facial animation, lip syncing, physical simulations, motion capture for film and gaming, and animation for motion simulation devices. This course provides 300 clock hours of live lecture and instructor moderated lab time.
DAVE 101 – Digital Modeling & Texturing
Fundamental Principles of Animation
Animation is an art that is rooted in 12 principles originally developed by Disney. In the first section of Block 02, students will learn the 12 principles of animation, along with the fundamentals of computer based animation. Concepts such as potential vs. kinetic energy will be discussed, as well as basic storytelling, virtual camera animation, and vehicle animation.
Rigging & Posing Techniques
A character’s pose lays the groundwork for good animation. In this section, students will learn the basics of posing and rigging (the process of setting up a character for animation) to create images which convey meaning and emotion to their audience. Parenting for hard body rigging will be covered, along with forward and inverse kinematics for character rigging. The importance of creating a strong silhouette will be addressed as well as the pose-to-pose animation technique.
Fundamentals of Character Animation
This section covers the core principles of character animation. Through the creation of classic animation scenarios, students will learn how to add personality and life to their creations. Advanced rigging topics are also covered in this section.
Facial Animation & Lip Sync Techniques
In this section, students will to create visemes and phonemes as morph targets to create the illusion of speech. Students will also learn to animate facial expressions and eye movements to produce dynamic character performances.
Introduction to Quadruped Rigging & Animation
Building upon the biped rigging and animation techniques taught earlier in the block, this section covers the fundamentals of quadruped rigging and animation. Topics such as IK, walk/run cycles, weight shift and dynamics are all covered.
Fundamentals of Motion Capture
Motion capture (“mocap”) is the process in which a live actor’s movements are captured in 3D space. The data from the actor’s movements can then be applied to any digital character. Motion Capture is used extensively in the gaming and feature film industries. In this section, students will gain extensive knowledge of the tools and techniques used in motion capture. Working with Autodesk’s Motion Builder and Vicon’s Blade, students will learn to rig for mocap, blend mocap actions, set up constraints, capture raw data, clean and export mocap data for animation and game engines, and create ragdoll physics simulations.
Principles of Motion Simulation
This section focuses on the principles needed to apply animation data to motion simulators such as those used in theme park rides and aviation training centers. Students will learn how motion simulators create the sense of movement, the different types of motion simulators on the market, and how to program the school’s motion simulator using AutoDesk’s Motion Builder.
Demo Reel Creation
In this section, students will gain knowledge of professional demo reel creation techniques. Lab time will be provided for them to enhance their reel and website to create a professional presentation. The delivery of a completed demo reel is required in order to complete the Block.
There are several objectives for this course. You will develop proficiencies in:
Week 01: Fundamentals of Animation, Objection Motion, Camera Motion and Vehicle Motion
Week 02: Planning, Posing, Intro to Hierarchies and Intro to Inverse Kinematics
Week 03: Intro to Rigging, Weightmaps, Reverse Foot Setup and Basic Walk/Run Cycles
Week 04: Intermediate IK Controls, Dynamic Parenting, Body Physics and Secondary Animation
Week 05: Morph Targets, Visems and Phonemes, Lip Sync Animation and Advanced Weighting
Week 06: Quadruped Rigging and Animation, Introduction to Motion Capture
Week 07: Maya to Motion Builder Pipeline, Basic Constraints, Motion Blending, MoCap Walk Cycles
Week 08: Intermediate Character Constraints, Animation Looping, the Motion Builder Story Tools
Week 09: Ragdoll Physics, Introduction to Vicon Blade, MoCap Data Export and Cleanup
Week 10: Time Warping, Basic Particle Systems, Motion Capture to Game Engine Pipeline
Week 11: Introduction to Motion Simulation, Group Project
Week 12: Demo Reel