SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3W225660
Module Leader Roland Walker
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Applied Computer Games
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Introduction to 3D Animation or equivalent

Summary of Content

This module allows students to further develop their animation capabilities, focusing on character animation and performance, analysing anatomy and how bodies move, utilising reference such as video, acting and motion capture, while using tools widely used in games, film and visualisation industries. Animation skills are improved through practice and students will have the opportunity to create different types of animation using established workflows. In this module students will also concept, develop and model a character designed for animation. They will study rigging and skinning organic characters and defining accurate weight maps.


The syllabus will cover the following areas:- Character rigging and skinning. Managing weight maps for skinned characters Volume preservation Apply Motion capture data for character animation. Lip syncing techniques. Key Frame animation techniques.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:1. Demonstrate an understanding of relevant current industry practice with regard to animation production workflow. 2. Evaluate the important principles of weight and motion with respect to character animation and apply them effectively.3. Demonstrate the ability to apply knowledge of anatomy to accurately convey physical weight and believable motion.4. Demonstrate an understanding of the skills and techniques required when creating a deformable 3D character based animated sequence.5. Research and develop an appropriate solution to a design brief including, design of a character asset for use within a typical CGI pipeline.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The University 'Strategy for Learning' documentation has informed the learning and teaching strategy for this module. The course will be presented as a programme of lectures supported by tutorials and associated practical lab work. Students are directed to planning skills throughout the course, further enhance their creative and technical skills through practise and improve communication skills through oral presentations, group based discussions and critique sessions. Tutorials and laboratory exercises will help students develop their technical skills using industry standard tools and improve techniques through practise. Will further explain, elaborate and put in to practise certain concepts covered in the lecture material. Lectures, lab exercises and video tutorials will be made available for the students on GCU Learn. Additional online digital video material will enhance support via GCU Learn and encourage flexible student learning and encourage students to engage with alternative digital resources. Student will receive formative feedback throughout the programme, further feedback and grades will be provided for the coursework assignment undertaken as part of the module.

Indicative Reading

Williams, Richard (2009) The animator's survival kit, London, Faber and Faber. ISBN 0571238343 Thomas, Frank (1995) The illusion of life: Disney animation, New York: Hyperion. ISBN 0786860707 Harold Whitaker, John Halas (2009) Timing for Animation, Elsevier/Focal Press. ISBN 0240521609 Les Pardew (2008) Character emotion in 2d and 3d animation, Boston, MA: Thomson Course Technology. ISBN 1598633813 Kelly L. Murdock (2008) Body Language: Advanced 3D Character Rigging, : Sybex. ISBN 0470173874 Jason Osipa (2010) Stop Staring: Facial Modeling and Animation Done Right, : Wiley. ISBN 0470609907 Brad Clark, John Hood, Joe Harkins (2005) Inspired 3D Advanced Rigging and Deformations, : Thomson Course Technology PTR. ISBN 1592001165

Transferrable Skills

b7 Specialist knowledge and application b7 Critical thinking and problem solving b7 Critical analysis b7 Communication skills, written, oral and listening b7 Numeracy b7 Effective information retrieval and research skills b7 Computer literacy b7 Self confidence, self discipline & self reliance (independent working) b7 Awareness of strengths and weaknesses b7 Creativity, innovation & independent thinking b7 Ability to prioritise tasks and time management b7 Interpersonal skills, team working and leadership b7 Presentation skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 122.00
Lectures (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00
Practicals (FT) 48.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 40% Final Coursework Submission