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Experimental Animation- Syllabus

experimental animation syllabus university of texas at dallas spring 2004 steve galgas- instructor

who is the instructor?
steve galgas e-mail:

what is experimental animation?
experimental animation exploes non-traditional techniques and mediums for creating time-based imagery. penciled disney-style, and even Pixar-style computer animation are considered "traditional”, despite the newness of the technology involved. some common forms of experimental techniques include stop-motion (photographing physical models), pixilation (stop-motion, but with people), and collage or colored pencil animations. however, EXPERIMENTAL animation, by definition, is not easy to categorize. to truly experiment is to explore the unknown, to search for something new, and to risk the unexpected.

why is this class important?
the face of animation is rapidly changing since the acceptance of computer animation as an expressive medium. computers can now replicate naturalistic movement and volumes, often better than traditional drawings can. however, even though the dominant form of commercial animation may now be 3-D computer animation, it is not a perfect medium. Many expressive, technical, and commercial possibilities and advantages exist outside its realm, and it is our job to search for them. a good analogy is the evolution of painting as a medium upon the introduction of photography. painters had to redefine the role of painting, which at the time sought to record and create the illusion of real objects and people. because photography could do this so much better and quicker, painting had to find its own strength, something the objectivity of a camera could not do so easily. therefore, the shapes, colors, and designs of the subjective, modern art movements were born. STUDENTS HOME

how will this class be taught?
we will cover three major topics during the course of this semester: animation mediums & tools time-based design conceptual development you will be exposed to common techniques and new artists, and I will give demonstrations and program tutorials. feel free to try these out, but my goal is not for you to simply mimic others, nor should you get caught up on learning any particular program or individual technique. this class is about adaptability and versatility, not about specific tools. LINKS

strive for the most appropriate technique and medium for what you are trying to express.

every decision you make should be carefully considered. this is a largely conceptual class, so discussion, participation, and process documentation will be nearly as important as your final products. you will be given three major assignments, and will be expected to document your progress.

you will have up to three major projects in this class (not nessarily in order):

assignment one - portrait
you will be asked to create a portrait of someone you care very strongly about (for or against) in order to learn how to make a relationship between inner emotional states and external visual form.

assignment two- music interpretation
you will create a synaesthetic animation, choosing a dynamic song (fast/slow, loud/soft, etc.) which you react strongly to emotionally. Again, you will be asked to make a visual equivalent of emotional content, as well as making an analogy to sound.

assignment three- simple story
you will be asked to tell a simple story using nothing but simple shapes (squares, rectangles, triangles). you are to infuse these ordinary shapes with personality, and be able to convey emotion and thought through form and movement.

please pay special attention to the policies below
late assignments will be accepted up to two weeks after the due date, but will be dropped a half a letter grade each half week, regardless of excuse. work must be completed by the beginning of the class during which it is due unless otherwise noted. the late policy goes into effect at the start of class. all major assignments must be completed to receive a passing grade. expect technical problems. computers crash and lose information, particularly when shared in a learning environment. be sure to back up your work frequently. i will not accept computer difficulties as an excuse for late work.

9/8/2005 5:23 PM

Experimental Animation- Syllabus
boost a project's grade by one letter.
You will receive at least one extra credit opportunity during the semester to

if you arrive late, it is your responsibility to inform me of your attendance. as i may be in the middle of instruction upon your arrival, it is your responsibility to make sure i write your name down in my book at the next convenient moment. do not leave early without permission please make good use of class time. you will be given as much lab time as possible. come prepared with materials to work in class. if you are working primarily at home on a project, please be prepared to work in the class rooms as well. please do not use this time to surf the internet or respond to e-mail. and do not use class time to catch up on work from other classes. please set this time aside for this this class alone and nothing else. please do not schedule your job during class hours.

9/8/2005 5:23 PM