Introduction to Digital Animation
You will be introduced to the traditional principles of animation and develop your skills with 2D animation software. You will create a short animation on a specified theme, which will build your understanding of the animation production process.
You will explore the principles of animation production through a series of short critical reflections and practical exercises. Mastering these principles will provide a solid foundation for your work across all forms of animation: 2D, 3D, stop-motion, and hand-drawn.
Visual Recording and Research
In this module you will develop the technical and perceptual skills necessary for visual analysis, selection and representation. You will apply increasingly sophisticated methods, including photography, 2D, 3D and digital-media, to develop an objective and informed methodology for visual recording. You will also engage in critical debate about the nature of perception and strategies for representing the physical world.
You will be introduced to the creative design process, initially by exploring case-study animations and related creative projects. Once you have gained a top-level overview sequential workshops will lead you through the design process stage by stage in including research, idea generation, concept development, prototyping, evaluation and testing, presentation and completion.
Animation: Contextual and Historical Perspectives 1
You will explore the dynamic and evolving nature of animation and evaluate the relationship of animation to other art forms and to the broader context of visual culture. You will also develop an understanding of the work of a range of ground-breaking animators and animations.
You will develop your understanding of a range of animation techniques from the most basic 2D techniques to the use of software such as Adobe After Effects. You will work individually and in groups to produce a short animation showreel.
2D Computer Animation
This module explores frame by frame rotoscoping and other computer animation techniques using a variety of software. Workshops will cover areas including lip synching and walk cycles as well as focusing on the principles of animation. The techniques that you learn will be used to create a short 2D animation on a specified theme.
3D Computer Animation
You will be introduced to the basics of 3D computer animation, modelling, texturing and rigging, which will equip you to create a short 3D animation.
Animation: Contextual and Historical Perspectives 2
This module is designed to deepen your knowledge of the context and history of animation by exploring what has made animation so central to the creative industries and to contemporary culture.
Creative Film Practice
The module develops your skills and understandings of specialist moving image production and post-production technologies, which will allow you to develop a short creative film from initial concept to post production.
Work Related Learning
The module helps to prepare you for employment in the creative sector by developing your awareness of commercial expectations and practices, presentation and pitching, CV writing, portfolio management and team-working. The module also allows you to apply skills and understandings developed on the programme in a work-related environment.
Pre-Production for Final Project
This module is the pre-production phase of your Final Project. You will follow industry-standard planning and pre-production processes to produce an appropriate project ‘pitch’ or proposal. You will develop the proposal into a pre-production portfolio comprising a collection of supporting materials specific to your production role in the Final Project.
The Final Project is a double module that gives you the opportunity to synthesise the technical expertise you have acquired throughout the programme to work as part of a team to create an ambitious professional production. The Final Project will add to your showreel and act as your ‘calling card’ when seeking professional employment.
This module gives you the opportunity to reflect critically on your practice during your programme of study. You will evaluate your creative workflow and how your practice has been effective for your chosen target audiences. You will also have the opportunity to evaluate how your work fits within the broader creative landscape.
Likely optional modules
Global Experience in Media, Art and Design
You will develop your appreciation of cultural differences and how these affect your professional practice by carrying out a media project abroad. To complete the project you will need to apply the skills that you have learned on the programme so far, and engage with the host culture.
This module aims develops your understanding of the creative sector as an industry by making you aware of key dynamics within the sector and its expectations in relation to employment. You will learn about working practices and structures, team working, inter-personal skills, freelancing and collaborative work, funding streams, developing portfolios, studio setup, taxation, regulation, law and ethics.
Editing Practice and Theory
This module develops your critical understanding of the process of editing through practical exercises and the analysis of cinematic texts. The module introduces you to the theory of editing and provides practical opportunities for you to develop your understanding of the importance of the editing process in film and television production.
Screenwriting provides you with the opportunity to study the theory and practice of the craft of scriptwriting. You will learn the techniques of scriptwriting and build your creative skills to make original and imaginative dramatic narratives while also studying a variety of theoretical approaches to scriptwriting.
Cinematography: Designing the Frame
You will gain practical hands-on experience of moving-image production technologies and learn how to light, control exposure and compose for the camera. The module is delivered through practical workshops, lectures & screenings.
Group Production: Re-Animating the Music Video
You will work collaboratively as part of a group production unit to produce a music video to a set brief in a short time span. This module replicates the professional experience of working on a serial animation production where timely collaboration is crucial. The brief will be to re-animate a popular music video, as voted for by the student group, with the aim of producing a new portmanteau video that showcases the varied animation tastes of the class as a whole.
Mixed Media Dissertation
This module develops your skills in research, analysis and the construction of an academic argument through the production of a mixed media dissertation on a chosen subject relevant to animation. A mixed media dissertation may take the form of a written dissertation or an alternate practical form, for example an animation that introduces theoretical concepts.