Sunday, January 22, 2017


Animation Foundation Seminar 1
Instructor Information
Jack Turnbull
(508) 783 3120
This course focuses on the creation of a short animated film.  Students bring their ideas; they will cover the twelve principles of animation, as well as filmmaking, conceptual thinking, story boarding, story structures, animatics, character design, and lip-syncing.  Each week, you will work toward finishing your animated film, presenting a complete piece with sound at the end of the semester.
Outcomes and Goals:
  • Students will learn the 12 principles of animation, universal laws of animation that they will continue to use throughout their professional careers
  • Students will expand their abilities at conceptual thinking through a series of creative challenges dealing with mood, tension, humor, and drama
  • Students will learn the components of story structure, how to construct the narrative elements that make up a film
  • Students will discover how to tell a visual narrative through storyboarding, sequential images that describe the events of an animated sequence.  It is a crucial planning tool for animation production
  • Students will learn how to build an animatic, which consists of their storyboard edited in motion with sound
  • Students will explore the way individuals appearance influence an audiences perception of them by learning the principles of character design
  • Students will learn to work in group projects as well as individual creations
  • Students will present their work for regular critiques, including a mid-term and final comprehensive critique
  • Students will learn to work collaboratively as well as direct their own animation
In this class students will direct their own 20-second animation while working as a team on animations directed by other students.  Using a round robin approach students will experience every aspect of working on an animation team from being the director, animator, to tweener. 
Attendance Policy
Regular attendance in all classes required.  Students are expected to arrive on time and remain in class for the entire period scheduled.  The responsibility for work missed due to any type of absence rests with the student.  A failing grade will be assigned to any students who attends less than 80% of class meetings (3 classes of a course meeting once a week or 6 classes of a course meeting twice weekly).  Any exceptions are made at the discretion of the instructor.
Students are expected to develop a professional attitude in all aspects of this course.  This includes not only fulfilling course requirements, but also demonstrating respect for your self, instructor, classmates, and workspace at all times.  
  • Please do not use the computers during lecture or discussion time. 
  • Emailing, Facebook, IM-ing, etc. is not permitted during class time.  It is distracting and disrespectful to your instructor and other students.  
  • Cell phones should not be used during class time. Please leave phones outside of classroom
  • Food or drink should not be near the computers or digital equipment at any time.  
  • Please do not leave any trash in the room.
At the end of each class make sure you have:
  • Closed all applications
  • Saved, transported, emailed, and or trashed your own work on classroom lab computers
  • Cleaned up around your space
As a member of the class, the level of your work, commitment, and participation are valuable and essential to the development of creativity, knowledge, and skills of each individual.  Your active role enhances the overall learning experience of the class, so please be sure to contribute.  During class critiques, activities, and discussions, you are expected to participate in a respectful, constructive manner.  Any disruptive behavior would be a violation of course decorum and may be penalized. 
To pass this course the student: 
  • Must be on time and prepared at the start of every class
  • Have good attendance
  • Turn in projects on time
  • Participate in class discussions and critiques
  • Complete all course projects and exercises
  • Complete all course related readings, research, and writing assignments
  • Submit a high quality final Digital Portfolio
Grading Policy
Class Participation 28%
Homework 60%
Final presentation 6%
Sketch Book 6%
Late work will not be accepted, but all work that is handed in on time can be redone at any time during the semester for a better grade.  Work is expected at the start of class.
A Laptop and external hard drive are required for every class.  Lack of either at the start of class will result in an absence for the class period.
  • Missing Portfolio pieces will be subtracted from the appropriate category.
  • A missing portfolio at the end of the semester will result in failure of the class.
  • Students must treat one another with respect.  Any art or behavior that is deliberately offensive will be penalized.
  • One hour of outside work is the required minimum for each credit hour of class.  Expect to do at least three hours of outside work per week.  For higher marks expect to do at least twice that amount of work outside of class.
Evaluation for Projects and Assignments will be based on your: Process, Progress, Clarity of Concept, Technical Execution, Craftsmanship, and Presentation as well as participation in class critiques, discussions and activities, attention to quality of work, effort, overall progress, meeting deadlines, attendance and open-mindedness throughout the course. 
This syllabus is only a guideline for the course I may make changes to it as the course progresses.
Module I Pre production (5wks): 
  • Storytelling
  • 3 Act story
  • The Hero’s journey
  • Script writing
  • Creating storyboards
  • Cinematic language
  • Round robin projects
  • Editing
  • Color studies
  • Character sheets
Project #1 – 3 Act story: Create a 3act story using Mad libs.
Project #2 – Storyboard someone else’s story
Project #3 – Ink a storyboard
Project #4 – create edits, montage and use Hitchcock’s rule to enhance a story
Project #5 – color studies and character development with turn around
Module II Production  (10 wks)
  • Foley
  • Lip syncing
  • Principles of animation 
  • File management 
  • File sharing
  • Lighting
  • Gesture drawing
  • Team work
  • Animatic
  • Line of action
  • Character expressions
  • Animation
  • Scratch disc
  • Sound track
  • Dialogue
  • Set dressing
  • Background scenes
  • Editing
Project #6 – create extremes for sequence
Project #7  - tweens for animation
Project #8 – scene dressing and background scenes
Project #9 – Scratch disc
Project #10  - lip syncing
Project #11 – Animatic
Project #12 – Animation
Week 1 Monday January 23
CW: Introduction
Instructor Introduction
Roger Otto:  The Animation
Roger Otto: The Comic Book (Re-aloud)
Alan Moore Story Structure & the major significance of the Introduction (or the environment and theme)
Alan Moore argues that the most significant part of any story is the idea of the story, or what the story is ABOUT beyond the plot (which is related to what the story is about but is its own thing). For example, No Country For Old Men is a horror-western about a psychotic maniac chasing after a stolen sachet of money, but what the story is ABOUT is confronting the existence of evil, a meditation on the randomness of death and an intension to de-romanticize violence.  Watchmen is a superhero whodunnit, but what the story is about is an exploration of the question “what if super heroes were real?”.  
However, when creating an animation, you don’t have to start with the idea.  Starting with an idea can seem extremely daunting; I might as well ask “what is your art about?” which is a question artists struggle with their whole careers because what our art is about is usually in flux.  So sometimes a good catalyst to flesh out an idea is to first create an environment and characters.
Before you can make an animation or write a script, the environment and characters must be established.  You can’t write the dialogue for a character you don’t know because a character will speak and act a specific way depending upon their motivations, characteristics and environment.  
You can’t even write a character until you’ve established an environment.  We can all agree that we would be very different people if we were living in Syria right now.  Our environment drastically shifts our character.   
Take Class Outside and draw on location environment shots.
Imagine your landscape drawings are now existing in an alternative reality.  This alternative reality can be as abstract or as mundane as you wish.  It can very not too different from our own world or it can be drastically different.  It can exist in a different time period or on another planet.  The only consistent is the structure of the landscape; you are using reality as a “skeleton” so to speak.  Answer the following questions before you start the second drawing:  
  What is the population of the environment?
*  Does this environment have any local sports teams?
*  How are those sports teams?  Do they win or lose?
*  If you environment is on another planet, what is the gravity like?
*  Is there any rodent or pest problems in this environment?
*  What is the employment rate?
*  What does this environment sound like?
*  What is the leading cause of death in this environment?
*  What is the birth rate?
*  How are people’s nutrition?  Are they getting enough vitamins? Is food sparse or plentiful?
*  What is the local government like, if there is a local government? 
*  Are there ethnic or communal tensions within this community?
Homework:  Come in Wednesday with a sketch of this alternative reality Porter Square with the questions answered.  
Master Requirements
Storytelling review
The 3 act story
Different genres
Script writing
Introduction Project #1 Create a 3 act story in class
Wednesday January 25
Now that we have a fleshed out environment, we will spend this class time developing 1 character.  It is important to develop the environment first because the environment influences a character.  If your environment is a dingy, dank, dark cave, it will affect the character within it as opposed to if the environment is a wide-open field in spring.  
Write 20 questions about this character.  It is extra helpful if the questions relate to the environment you just established.  Once these 20 questions are answered, you can begin to draw this character.
Draw this character in 3 different camera angles.  Observe Wally Wood’s 22 Panels that always work for reference.  Go over Long shots, Medium Shots and Full Shots.  Go over Screen Resolution and paper ratio to youtube video (which will be our final “canvas”).  Write twenty   
Master Requirements
Cinematic grammar
Aspect ratio VS. resolution
Long shots, medium shots and full shots 
HW: Make a character rotation GIF of your character within the character’s environment. 
Week 2 Monday, 30 January
Crit of character rotations.
In-House style Vs. personal aesthetic.  It is not just what your character wears, but how  the character is drawn.
Wednesday February 1

Pre-production idea #2:
Watch: Inherent Vice & Read Inherent Vice.  Compare and contrast the two
Watch: No Country For Old Men & Read No Country for Old Men.  Compare and Contrast the two. 
Dramatic shots and camera angles
Establishing shots and emblematic shots
Introduction Project #2A Storyboard a story that is not your own following the script: storyboard may be hand done, digital or collaged
Shots and camera angles continued
2/3rds 1/3rd rules
Shots with drama:  high angles, low angles, and canted angles
HW:  Create a storyboard of an adapted story.  This can be in the form of a news report, a fable, a historical event, etc.  It should be something recognizable to the general public (please no obscurities, doing so will give the audience little reference and ultimately be pointless for educational purposes).
Adding in and subtracting notecards is vital to this process.  When critique is over, we will start talking about how to adapt a story in one medium to another.  Using The given storyboard create active compositions for all scenes that are Long shots, emblematic shots, establishing shots, medium shots and full shots, high angles, low angles, and canted angles.  Draw with active compositions.
Week 3:
Monday, February 6
Start class by critiquing adaptation storyboards. Does the aesthetic of the storyboard fit well with the adapted script? 
CW: Synesthesia and inter sensory experiences; the internal process of transcribing music to visuals. 
Watch: Fantasia. Discuss:  Heinz Werner.
Meet with Director of story for feedback 
Cinematic grammar
Camera actions:  zoom, trucking, dolly
Line of action
Racking focus
Depth of field
Introduction Project #2B Add symbols for camera actions and shots as well as timing to story and storyboard
Wednesday, February 8
CW: Introduce:  Computer sequencers; how to score music for an animation.  Students will create 30 second songs.  Students will then draw inspiration from these songs through drawing while listening to music.  
Scenes and sequences
Storytelling through value
HW:  Write a song for class for next week using a computer sequencer.
 Week 4 Monday, February 13
CW: Students will present their songs.  As we listen to each song, each student will draw what they see in their imagination while listening to the song. We will discuss the parallels of the music to the images and see if there are potential story ideas that development from this experience.
Edits and cuts and transitions
Hitchcock’s rule
Workshop with Director and make notes and edits
Wednesday, February 15
CW: Workshop day.  Students will bring in the three storyboards they have been developing; the Alan Moore world building method, the synesthesia method and the adaptation.  From these three the students will discuss which ones are strongest.  We will focus the rest of the semester on developing this particular storyboard into a 30 second animatic. 
Lecture on COLOR.
180• rule
Cutting on action
Storytelling through color
Week 5 Monday, February 20th
President’s Day
Wednesday, February 22nd
CW: Meet with Directors to get notes on storyboards
Character Development
Character turn-arounds
Color studies
HW:  Project #5B Using a director’s color study, color in the corresponding storyboard.  Create a character turn around sheets for both the protagonist and the antagonist. 
Week 6 Monday, February 27th
CW: Directors critique storyboards and character sheets
Create animation schedule
Critique stories: ship, shelve or shred – (production teams will be made for the top third of the stories)
Extreme Poses in-betweens and tweens
Directors choose the medium of animation
Animation teams chosen 
File sharing and file format
Wednesday, March 1
CW: Creating Foley
Editing sound in Premiere
Directors - Create dialogue for a scene in your animation 
HW: Project #6A Directors create the extreme poses for your sequence, and create animation schedule for their team
Week 7 Monday, March 6
CW: lip syncing
Directors meet up with animators to workshop animation
12 Principles of animation
Creating Foley
Wednesday, March 8 
CW: workshop story 
Editing sound in Premiere
Project #9 Team creates a scratch disc 
HW: Project #7A Tween 5-7 seconds of animation on any animation 
Week 8 Monday, March 13
Wednesday, March 15
Spring Break
Week 9 Monday, March 20
CW: Project # 11 create animatic
Daily’s:  Directors give a 1 minute review of where their team is and their animation schedule
Polish sound 
12 Principles of Animation
Wednesday, March 22
CW: lay down the sound for any dialogue
Background and set dressing
HW: Director #6B:  Start organizing the animatic, draw in any break down poses 
Animator #7B: tween scenes 
Art Director: Project#8: Start creating scene dressing and back ground scenes
Week 10 Monday, March 27
CW: Daily’s:  Directors give a 1 minute review of their film 
Project #10 Create lip syncing for a scene in your animatic
Wednesday, March 29
CW: Workshop animations
HW: Team members switch roles: Director becomes Animator, Animator – Art Director, Art Director – Director
Director #6B:  Start organizing the animatic, draw in any break down poses 
Animator #7B: tween scenes 
Art Director: Project#8: Start creating scene dressing and back ground scenes
Week 11 Monday, April 3
CW: Daily’s:  Directors give a 1 minute review of their film
Build animation with new job roles
Wednesday, April 5
CW: Workshop animations
Build animation with new job roles 
HW: Team members switch roles: Director becomes Animator, Animator – Art Director, Art Director – Director
Director #6B:  Start organizing the animatic, draw in any break down poses 
Animator #7B: tween scenes 
Art Director: Project#8: Start creating scene dressing and back ground scenes

Week 12 Monday, April 10
CW: Critique, original Directors present their animations
Wednesday, April 12
CW: Start replacing scratch disc with sound track
Workshop stories
HW: Team members switch roles: Director becomes Animator, Animator – Art Director, Art Director – Director
Director #6B:  Start organizing the animatic, draw in any break down poses 
Animator #7B: tween scenes 
Art Director: Project#8: Start creating scene dressing and back ground scenes

Week 13 Monday, April 17
CW: Daily’s:  Directors give a 1 minute review of where their team is and their animation
Wednesday, April 19 
CW: Creating special effects
Replace animatic with animation
HW: Animate the Extreme poses of a Sequence at least 10 seconds 
Team members switch roles: Director becomes Animator, Animator – Art Director, Art Director – Director
Director #6B:  Start organizing the animatic, draw in any break down poses 
Animator #7B: tween scenes 
Art Director: Project#8: Start creating scene dressing and back ground scenes

Week 14 Monday, April 24
CW: Daily’s:  Directors give a 1 minute review of where their team is and their animation
Refine animation
Project #12 final animation
Wednesday, April 26
CW: Editing animations.  Director’s to assign last minute jobs to their teams 
HW:  Team members switch roles: Director becomes Animator, Animator – Art Director, Art Director – Director
Director #6B:  Start organizing the animatic, draw in any break down poses 
Animator #7B: tween scenes 
Art Director: Project#8: Start creating scene dressing and back ground scenes

Week 15 Monday, May 1 Final class presentation
CW: Critique:  Original Director’s present films
Wednesday, May 3 Final class presentation
CW: Make edits to films and hand them in
HW: Finalize your film and have animatic ready for final presentation

Required Texts and Materials
External Hard Drive with at least a terabyte of space
Computer with the Adobe CC
Drawing paper
10” x 12” sketchbook
Drawing utensils

Suggested Texts and Materials
The Animators Survival Kit, Richard Williams
Timing For Animation, Harold Whitaker, John Halas
Story, Robert McKee
Animation Unleashed, Ellen Besen
The Animation Bible, Maureen Furniss
The Animation Book, Kit Laybourne

Research & Critical Inquiry
The College of Art and Design Library & Sherrill Library (main Lesley University library): Students are encouraged to use library collections and services for both academic research and studio art inspiration.

For General Refernece help:

For research and Instructional needs:
Micki Harrington, MLS
Art Research and Instruction Librarian, Moriarty Library
Lesley University Library

Tamar Gonen Brown, PHD
Assitant Director of Research and Instruction
Lesley University Library
For Circulation, Reserves, and Interlibrary Loans:
Access Services Supervisor, Moriarty Library
Assits with circulation, reserves, and interlibrary loan
Circulation Desk

Art & Design Research Guides
  • Books, exhibition catalogs and videos are listed in the FLO library catalog.
  • Articles from journals, magazines, and entire e-books are online in the library databases (MyLesley login required).
  • High quality museum images, including contemporary art, are online in the library databases and books.
  • Interlibrary Loan service delivers items not available from Lesley or FLO.   
Research strategies, MLA citation help, library tutorials and personalized research help by email, IM or phone. 

Academic Dishonesty
Academic dishonesty comes in many forms. The following list is not meant to be exhaustive and a student may be charged and found guilty of violating the University’s Academic Integrity Policy for an offense not enumerated below. Academic dishonesty includes: cheating, plagiarism, fabrication and falsification, multiple submissions, abuse of academic materials, complicity/unauthorized assistance, lying/tampering/theft. Please review the student handbook for details:

Disability Statement 
Lesley University is committed to ensuring that all qualified students with disabilities are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in and to benefit from its programs and services. To receive accommodations, a student must have a documented disability as defined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, and must provide documentation of the disability.  Eligibility for reasonable accommodations will be based on the documentation provided.
If you are a student with a documented disability, or feel that you may have a disability, please contact the appropriate disability administrator:

Learning Disabilities and Attention Disorders for On-Campus Students 
Kimberly J. Johnson, Director LD/ADD Academic Support Program 
Doble Hall, 2nd floor
Phone: 617.349.8462 • Fax: 617.349.8324

Physical, Sensory, and Psychiatric Disorders for On-Campus Students
G. Ruth Kukiela Bork, Director of Access Services for Students with Disabilities
11 Mellen Street
Phone: 617.349.8194 • Fax: 617.349. 8558 • TTY: 617.349.8544

For All Off-Campus Students
Daniel Newman, Lesley University ADA/504 Coordinator
Doble Hall, 2nd Floor 
Phone: 617.349.8572 • Fax: 617.349.8324

The contact persons play the role of facilitator between
the student's needs, faculty requirements, and administrative guidelines of the University. Disability-related information is not shared without the permission of the student.

Equal Opportunity and Inclusion Policy 
Lesley University remains committed to a policy of equal opportunity, affirmative action, and inclusion for all 
current and prospective faculty, students, and staff and 
to eliminating discrimination when it occurs. Lesley University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, or sexual orientation in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in its programs and activities. Lesley will not ignore any form of discrimination, harassment, or sexual harassment by any member of the Lesley community. Moreover, Lesley does not condone any form of retaliation against any person who brings a complaint of discrimination, harassment or sexual harassment or against anyone who cooperates in a complaint investigation.

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