All students take the same units in Year 1, although the projects will vary in the Visual Narrative unit focusing their proposed pathway specialism.
Introduction to Animation (20 Credits)
This unit introduces you to both the course and its subject specialism, as well as effective learning and studentship at undergraduate level.
A focus on theory and practical skills development will encourage you to explore wider College facilities such as print workshops and photography studios.
Production principles (40 Credits)
This unit covers a range of key production areas including the principles of animation, design for animation, character design, storytelling and performance, and focuses on short projects developed through skills-based workshops.
You’ll be introduced to the fundamental terminology, technology and craft skills that underpin all areas of animation across all pathways, and you’ll work in stop-motion, 2D drawn animation (both analogue and digital), rostrum camera and 3D computer animation.
Visual Narrative (40 Credits)
This unit extends the Principles of Animation unit, giving you a deeper understanding of how a narrative is constructed visually. All students follow this unit, but you’ll also have the option of exploring your preferred area of specialism in more depth.
You’ll attend workshops and taster sessions relating to pathway options, which offer a basic introduction to the fundamentals of visual effects, 3D computer animation, stop-motion and 2D animation.
The shared delivery includes working with sound, creative writing, story development and its translation into visual formats, visual literacy, film language, and editing techniques. Towards the end of the unit, you’ll select your area of specialism.
Informed Practice 1 (20 Credits)
This unit introduces you to histories, theories and debates in relation to both animation and visual and material culture.
Focusing on the development of ideas in design, you’ll explore the common themes and relationships that occur between theory and culture, and examine animation in a range of media and through a variety of representations.
All students take the same units in Year 1, although the projects will vary in the Visual Narrative unit focusing your proposed pathway specialism.
All pathways will follow the same unit structure to enable the opportunity for collaboration across the pathways; however, the content and delivery will be differentiated to reflect the specialisms.
Pathway Units: Principles of... (40 Credits)
Building on Year 1, this unit will support you to further develop technical and practical skills in your chosen area of specialism. You’ll learn skills through studio projects, some of which will work across other pathways to encourage and facilitate collaboration.
- Principles of Animation Arts: You’ll experiment with design, technique, content and format, and have opportunities to explore a range of areas beyond conventional formats such as performance, installation, interactive, projection mapping, short film or documentary.
- Principles of Visual Effects (VFX): You’ll be encouraged to develop and articulate concepts through a variety of visual effect techniques such as tracking, rotoscoping, greenscreen, grading, matte painting, compositing, projections, CG integration, reconstruction, simulations and shooting for VFX.
- Principles of 3D Computer Animation: You’ll focus on developing your understanding of the fundamentals of 3D digital animation – modelling, key-framing, animating and rigging.
- Principles of Applied 2D Animation: You’ll focus on developing your understanding of the fundamentals of 2D animation – character design, storyboarding, storytelling and creative writing.
Professional Practices (20 Credits)
Shared across all pathways, this unit focuses on work-based learning, competitions and/or live projects that will be initiated, mentored and judged in collaboration with external industry and cultural partners.
An experiential learning environment including work placements and/or live projects will provide opportunities for you to experience the professional world that you’ll eventually be working in while supporting the development of skills and tools needed for professional practice.
Exploratory Practice: Animation Arts/ VFX/ 3D Computer Animation/Applied 2D Animation (40 Credits)
Whichever pathway you take, you’ll apply your skills through a selection of longer form projects. At this level, you’ll be encouraged to consider your own personal and unique approach to your subject area.
Technical skills workshops will continue on all pathways, including:
- Animation Arts: After Effects and other Adobe Suite software, Resolume, production design, puppet-making, and lighting and cinematography for stop-motion.
- Visual Effects (VFX): Rotoscoping, tracking and match moving, lighting and rendering, performance animation (motion capture), digital paint, simulations, lens distortion, and shooting for VFX.
- 3D Computer Animation: Cameras, lighting, rendering, materials texturing, UV mapping, Maya dynamics, animation task and skinning, digital sculpture – Mudbox.
- Applied 2D Animation: Toon Boom Harmony, Storyboard Pro, After Effects and other Adobe Suite software, and the 2D production pipeline.
Informed Practice 2 (20 Credits)
This unit is shared across all pathways and will introduce you to the histories, theories and debates in relation to animation, games, VFX, and visual and material culture.
Year 3 – (Year 4 for students returning from an additional Diploma year)
All pathways will follow the same unit structure to provide the opportunity for collaboration across the pathways; however, the content and delivery will be differentiated to reflect the specialisms.
Final Major Project (60 Credits)
This collaborative project enables you to make a significant contribution to a major project while working in a specialist role within a small production team.
This is an opportunity to demonstrate the skills you’ve developed over the course, and you’ll work together with a carefully formed team based on interests and specialisms.
Professional Futures (20 Credits)
Building on experiences gained through Professional Practices in Year 2, you’ll focus on tailoring skills towards a specific role within the industry while developing professional methods and tools of presentation such as your CV and personal website.
The unit will contribute towards your portfolio of work and will also give you the opportunity to begin making contacts in the animation and creative industries.
Informed Practice 3 (40 Credits)
Culminating the Informed Practices component of the course, this unit will be based on a written proposal and research produced in Year 2, which can be directly linked to other Year 3 units.