Course #: SMD-3146-A
Room: 311C
Schedule: Tuesdays 6:30-9:20pm, 9.5.17 - 12.12.17

Overview: This course is an advanced study in the principles of animation. The principles of animation will be studies and applied to character and creature animation along with a focus on camera animation and cinematography. The aim is to rapidly advance skills in animation in preparation for thesis production the following year.


  1. In class projects and homework: 30%
    (this includes delivering homework to the specifications below)
  2. Attendance and participation: 30%
  3. Final Project: 40%
  • Work is due as per the syllabus. Homework is expected to be delivered to the required specifications in the dropbox and added to this youTube playlist 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

Required Material:

  1. sketchpad/notebook and a portable hard drive
  2. The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams
  3. Bring everything to each class: Students should have all material available for review each class. Working files need to be available for production in class every week.
  4. Data Loss: Each student is responsible for their data. 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.

Accepted Animation Rigs:  The following animation rigs are accepted for assignments in class and at home.  If a student wishes to use another rig for the class they must produce a demo showing the functionality of the rig in question and be prepared to discuss that functionality.

  1. Morpheus
  2. Animation Mentor Free Rigs
  3. Anim School Free Rigs
  4. Merry Project
  5. Josh Sobel Rigs
  6. Long Winter Studios (Paid only)
  7. Squishy Ball
  8. Pendulum

Attendance: It is the school's policy that 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. As a side-note: Having exactly two unexcused absences–although not necessarily grounds for failure–does not look good and will make it very difficult to receive a higher grade. Having said that if you are sick do not come to class and pass it on. Just let the instructor know why you are out beforehand.

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.

Cell Phones: These are not permitted in class, even at break. If you are seen with a cell phone visible in class you will be asked to leave the class and marked absent. If you wish to use your phone at break please leave the classroom until you are done. If you need the phone accessible during class because you are waiting to hear about an emergency situation it is your responsibility to let the instructor know at the beginning of class.

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: