Course #: SMD-3568-D
Room: 311
Schedule: Wednesday 9-11:50am, 1.13.16 - 4.27.16

Overview: Students are expected to make significant progress on their thesis projects in this class. A minimal amount of time should be devoted to story development and a maximum amount of time devoted to establishing and creating production elements of the individual students thesis project. This should include research and development in both aesthetic as well as technical issues. Critical issues in editing and cinematics and staging should be discussed. Production of finished artwork, characters, storyboards, previsualizations and animations or live action footage is required.

Uniform Final Requirements - Computer Animation:

  1. Complete trailer or featurette of Thesis project - suitable for professional presentation. 
  2. Complete 3d previsualization of thesis project with sound scratch track and/or working narration of story.
  3. Five-second animation (of a critical scene showing full animation skills) including breakdown positions and tweens.
  4. Character sheet/bible (hand drawn) of each character in proposed thesis.
  5. 3D model of each character in proposed thesis. (rigged with test animation cycles.)
  6. All the materials will be uploaded to Shotgun.

Uniform Final Requirements - VFX:

  1. Complete trailer or featurette of Thesis project - suitable for professional presentation. 
  2. Complete live action previsualization of thesis project with sound scratch track and/or working narration of story.
  3. Fully accomplished test shot and VFX break down of one scene from Thesis.
  4. Production schedule and final cast list with headshots and bios.
  5. All the materials will be uploaded to Shotgun.

Final notes for ALL STUDENTS

  1. All the final projects will be given to the Chair.
  2. The uniform presentation of these requirements is essential.
  3. There are no exceptions for individual students or classes.
  4. Inferior work will not be accepted.
  5. All students are required to work independently and each student is required to complete requirements of this class with their original work. Collaborations are NOT allowed in completion of these requirements.
  6. Failure to complete all requirements will result in a grade of F.

School Policies: Three absences will result in a failure grade, excused or not. Lateness will not be tolerated. Every two times late to class results in one recorded absence. Students who leave the room during class without permission will be marked absent. No food or drink in the classroom.


  1. In class projects and homework: 20%
    (this includes delivering homework to the specifications below)
  2. Attendence and participation: 30%
  3. Final Project: 50%
  • Work is due as per the syllabus. Homework is expected to be delivered to the required specifications in the dropbox before class begins. Late assignments not ready for in-class critique lose all credit, yet must still be completed to pass the section. Work must be submitted for review in the faculty folder on the eve or immediately before class begins.

Homework Delivery: All written assignments will be delivered in PDF format. All video assignments will be delivered with the following specifications:

  1. 720p resolution
  2. 24 frames per second
  3. H.264 QT (.mov) format
  4. only geometry displayed (no controls curves, joints, etc.)
  5. current frame and focal length turned on
  6. no Overscan!
  7. named as follows:
    for example:
  8. filesize should not exceed 3MB/second

Accountability: All students are responsible for being prepared for each and every class. If the class notes are unclear it is up to the students to email the instructor questions in a timely manner. "I didn't understand what was due" will not be tolerated.

Academic integrity: Academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, will not be tolerated.  Students found to have committed an act of academic dishonesty will fail the assignment for which an infraction is suspected and substantiated.  More serious violations will be handled through the process enumerated in the SVA Handbook (p.8).  Put simply, make sure your work is your own.

Required Material:

  1. sketchpad, notebook
  2. Bring everything to each class: Even items already approved, such as storyboards, character bibles, narrative, script, Maya scene files, etc. Students should have all material available for review each class. Files should also be available for working in class every week.
  3. Data Loss: Each student is responsible for their data security. Backups, preventing data corruption, and having work in class when required is each students responsibility. Using cloud services such as dropbox and google drive is highly recommended.

Students with Disabilities: In order to receive academic accommodations due to a disability, a student must first register with the Office of Disability Services (ODS).  Students approved for accommodations will be given an ODS Accommodation Letter to submit to their instructors.  If a student does not provide an ODS Accommodation Letter to their instructor, they will not be eligible to receive accommodations in that course. All instructors are required to adhere to SVA's policies regarding accommodations for students with disabilities.  Students who have a need for academic accommodations, or suspect they may have a disability, should contact the ODS via telephone: (212) 592-2282, or visit the office: 23 Lexington Avenue, Mezzanine, in the George Washington Residence, or email: