Our One-Year 3D Animation Program is a comprehensive training in 3D using Alias

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1 1 YEAR 3D ANIMATION Illusion is the first of all pleasures Oscar Wilde Our One-Year 3D Animation Program is a comprehensive training in 3D using Alias Oscar Winning software, Maya, the industry standard for animation. Students in the Academy s One-Year 3D Animation Program get the opportunity to learn the technical and artistic tools they need to master 3D animation. After the program, they may choose to become independent animators or to pursue a career in the film, gaming, interactivity or commercial industries. Preparation No previous 3D or animation experience is required. However, studio art or computer experience is helpful. Basic familiarity with a computer graphic program such as Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop is recommended. The Maya Personal Learning Edition is available for free download at Autodesk.com. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with this software. AVAILABLE IN LOCATIONS NEW YORK CITY TUITION $17,000 PER SEMESTER 174

2 Semester one Overview Over the course of the first semester, students learn Maya intensively through instruction and extensive lab hours. Students are instructed in all basic and primary techniques in animation production. Each week, classic and contemporary animated films are screened and critiqued with the instructor. This informs the students own work and helps them as they write and storyboard projects for production during the semester. Animation Goals Visual Development Writing and Storyboarding 3D Modeling Texturing Rigging Animation Lighting Rendering Students complete two short animated projects in semester one. The first project takes place during the first month and is designed to familiarize the student with the animation work flow from inception to completion. The second project is completed during the remainder of the first semester and expands upon the principles, skills and, knowledge used for the first project. MAYA: With 23 million lines of code, this is extraordinarily powerful 3D animation software. Animated films such as A.I., Harry Potter, The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, The Matrix Trilogy, Shrek Trilogy, Spiderman Trilogy and Star Wars: Episode I, II & III are made using Maya. Additionally, most of the popular computer games are made with Maya, including Madden Football, SOCOM: US Navy Seals, F.E.A.R., Lineage, Gears of War, Armies of Exigo and Forza Motorsport. In our One-Year 3D Animation Program, students get the unprecedented opportunity to get the technical tools they need to do whatever they want to do in 3D. 175

3 The following topics will be covered in depth: SCRIPT WRITING Students learn how to write a story. STORYBOARD Students learn how to take their script and translate it into a visual medium MODELING Introduction to Polygonal modeling Subdivision modeling Nurbs modeling Advanced Polygonal modeling SHADERS Introduction to shaders and textures Using the hypershade Applying textures to models and characters Photoshop, Shaders, Bump mapping Making animated textures in After Effects. Intermediate shaders and textures Import movies as textures Shading networks Hypershade in-depth Tiling textures Advanced bump maps Displacement mapping Introduction to utility nodes UV MAPPING Introduction to UV s UV s Planar maps ADVANCED UV s Tools Automatic maps Spherical maps Cylindrical maps Unfold Relax Moving and sewing UV s RIGGING Introduction to rigging Building the skeleton understanding joints Forward and inverse kinematics Constraints - they make a characters eye follow an object, a hand pick up a glass Skinning - Binding a character to the rig. Local rotation axis Controllers Set driven key Blend shapes Intermediate rigging Reverse foot Spline IK FK IK switch Advanced blend shapes LIGHTING Introduction to Basic 3-point lighting Directional light Ambient light Spot light Depth map shadows ANIMATION Introduction to animation Key frames Squash and stretch Bouncing a ball Walk cycle Acting for animators Creating animation reference materials The graph editor Intermediate Animation Bouncing ball 2 Animating a flour sack (the classic Disney animation teaching technique). Posing a character. Keys, extremes and inbetweens The graph editor in depth 176

4 One-Year 3D Animation Dynamics Particles Emitters Fields Soft bodies Springs Rigid bodies Hardware rendering Expressions Introduction to MEL SCRIPTING An introduction to Maya embedded language ACTING FOR ANIMATORS Students will learn the basic acting techniques they will require in order to make their animated character come to life. FILM STUDY Students will learn a basic history of film and the techniques of specific movements and genres. LIFE DRAWING A series of life drawing classes in which the student learns classical drawing techniques and anatomy in front of a live model. CAMERAS Creating cameras Angle of view Focal length Depth of field Aperture Film aspect ratio Pixel aspect ratio Clip planes Z depth Motion Blur RENDERING Render - Creating finished images - a sequence of completed frames of your scene to be composited to make the movie for outputting to your editing program: Using the Maya software renderer Scan line renders Introduction to Render Settings EDITING AND COMPOSITING After Effects Final-Cut Final-Cut: Sound design 177

5 UV mapping In this series of classes, we look at creating the correct and appropriate UV maps for a model, which results in placing seamless and smooth textures on the model. Materials and Textures Students learn how the observation and understanding of an object s surface qualities can create photo realistic textures. Using Photoshop and paint effects, realistic and viable textures are created for models. Specularity, reflection and the diffuse qualities of surfaces are investigated to produce the correct surface properties. Procedural shaders using advanced networks are utilized to create believable and economical renders. One-Year 3D Animation SEMESTER ONE CLASS DESCRIPTIONS Rigging Creating joints and controllers is the focus of these rigging classes. Students will learn to create skeletons that will behave predictably in Maya. Forward and inverse kinematics are discussed. Other topics include joint placement and orientation, the importance of local rotation axis, and joint rotation order. Lighting The various properties of the many lights within Maya are fully explained within the context of 3 point and advanced lighting. The importance of shadows and their use to create realism is explored. Screenwriting This class is designed to help students develop their scripts for their animation. It focuses on the fundamentals of visual storytelling and provides students with constructive analysis and support as they take a story from initial idea, treatment, step outline to a rough draft, storyboard and animatic. The intersection of story structure, theme, character, tension, and conflict is examined through detailed scene analysis. Modeling These classes cover the geometry of the model and how to use various techniques to create the best topology. We look at how the workflow between nurbs, polygonal and subdivision modeling is used in the industry. Creative techniques in organic modeling is the primary focus of this class. Animation This series of lectures introduce the students to character animation. Students will learn to apply the basic principals of animation to many different objects to create characters that have both dynamic movement and weight. We use the graph editor and time line to set key frames and manipulate them in time and space, while developing an understanding of how to adjust the tangents and other tools in the graph editor to create exciting animations. 178

6 Acting for Animation In this series of classes, we take full advantage of the wonderful and richly talented skills of the acting staff here at the Academy. Students learn the fundamentals of acting essential to the animator s skills in, developing the idiosyncrasies of a character and its behavior in movement and speech. Dynamics Used extensively in movie vfx, dynamic simulations attempt to replicate real world dynamic systems such as water flow, tornadoes, rain, snow and fire. MEL SCRIPTING Through Mel scripting, students are introduced to the world of scripting. Programming concepts such as loops, global procedures and variables will be explored. Semester two Overview At the beginning of the second semester, students present proposals for both their final projects and group projects. The student is encouraged to focus on a specific area of the animation pipeline during this project for inclusion in their animated reels. Students may work individually or collaboratively with others under the supervision of the animation staff. The goal for each student is to complete a professional quality body of work by the end of the semester. Additionally, focus will be placed on ZBrush modeling, hard surface nurbs modeling, mental ray and advanced lighting and rendering. Goals Lighting techniques and rendering Advanced rendering with mental ray Visual effects with particles and dynamics Advanced rigging techniques Advanced modeling with Maya and ZBrush Compositing in Shake Creating a dynamic reel for your portfolio Nurbs hard surface modeling In the second semester, each student for the group project, concentrates on a specific 3-D discipline to attain mastery in one of the crucial elements of 3-D production. Students also have the option to complete a final animated short of their own. PRE-PRODUCTION Students present and critique ideas and storyboards for individual and team projects. Various approaches are discussed and chosen. Each project is fully scripted, critiqued, and rewritten before going into production. PRODUCTION Students spend most of the second semester working in their chosen discipline. 179

7 The following topics will be covered in depth: NURBS MODELING Nurbs curves and surfaces Nurbs components Parameterization Nurbs continuity Nurbs tools Organic nurbs modeling Hard surface nurbs modeling MENTAL RAY Mental ray integration Command line rendering The frame buffer Mental ray cameras Mental ray lights Raytrace acceleration Raytrace shadows Area lights Mental ray shaders and shader trees Indirect illumination Mental ray textures and projections Final Gather ADVANCED RIGGING Alternate reverse foot rigs Stretchy spine IK FK arm rig Advanced controllers PARTICLE DYNAMICS AND VISUAL EFFECTS Particles Emitters Fields Expressions Soft bodies Ridged bodies Constraints Apple Shake Color correction Keylight Primatte Rotoshape Tracking ZBRUSH Human anatomy Preparing Maya Models for ZBrush ZBrush interface ZSpheres Alphas ZBrush tools set Exporting and importing Bump maps Displacement Maps PUTTING TOGETHER YOUR REEL What your potential employer wants to see in your reel What your potential employer does not want to see in your reel 180

8 One-Year 3D Animation SEMESTER TWO CLASS DESCRIPTIONS Post-production After the production period, students composite and edit their films. Compositing is done in Shake and After Effects. Students can also choose to edit digitally on a Final-Cut Pro station. They screen rough-cuts of their projects for the instructor and classmates and receive feedback before presenting their finished films to an invited audience at the end of the course. Throughout the post-production period, the animation and editing staff is available for consultation. Students finish their films with a digital sound mix on the computer. Some students choose to do more elaborate sound work and take their projects to a professional sound mix. The goal for each student is to complete a professional quality animation by the end of the semester. MENTAL RAY To create photorealistic images, many commercial animation companies use Mental Ray. In this series of classes taught by industry specialist and author Boaz Livny, students accumulate the tools they need for entry into the industry. NURBS MODELING Nurbs modeling is used extensively in the film industry for organic modeling and in commercial houses for hard surface product design. Students learn the basics of this demanding subject. ADVANCED RIGGING This class is a continuation of the first semester rigging classes. PARTICLE DYNAMICS AND VISUAL EFFECTS Used for creating visual effects like smoke, fire, explosions, flowing cloth or bouncing objects, particle dynamics are an important part of an animator s tools. Students will create, explore and experiment with these advanced techniques. APPLE SHAKE In this class, this powerful compositing tool is used to integrate render passes in Maya, allowing greater control over the final image. ZBrush An introduction to the Maya and ZBrush modeling pipeline. This class teaches at the basics of the ZBrush toolset, including alpha creation, modeling with ZSpheres, and model topology in Maya for export into ZBrush for detailed modeling. 181

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