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
This unit introduces you to the course and its subject specialism as well as to effective learning and studentship at an undergraduate level. There’s a focus on theory and practical skills development that will encourage you to explore the wider college facilities such as print workshops and photography studios.
This unit introduces you to the fundamental terminology, technology and craft skills that underpin all areas of animation across all pathways. You will work in stop-motion, 2D drawn animation (both analogue and digital), rostrum camera and 3D computer animation.
The unit covers a range of key production areas including the principles of animation, design for animation, character design, storytelling and performance. This unit focuses on short projects developed through skills-based workshops.
This unit extends the Principles of Animation unit, giving you a deeper understanding of how a narrative is constructed visually. All students will follow this unit, but you will also have the option of exploring your preferred area of specialism.
You’ll attend workshops and taster sessions relating to pathway options. The workshops will give a basic introduction to the fundamentals of visual effects, 3D computer animation, game arts, 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. You will be required to select your area of specialism towards the end of this unit.
Contextual and Theoretical Studies 1
This unit introduces you to histories, theories and debates in relation to animation and visual and material culture. It focuses on the development of ideas in design and explores the common themes and relationships that occur between theory and culture. You will examine animation in a range of media and through a variety of representations.
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.
This unit builds on the learning developed in Year 1, advancing your skills in the technical and practical skills of your chosen area of specialism.
You’ll learn skills through studio projects, some of which will work across other pathways to encourage and facilitate collaborations.
- Principles of Animation Arts: students following the Animation Arts will build on the existing practice of BA (Hons) Animation, experimenting with design, technique, content and format.
Animation is no longer restricted to conventional formats and the course reflects this by encouraging you to explore a range of areas including performance, installation, interactive, projection mapping, short film or documentary.
- Principles of Visual Effects (VFX): students following the VFX pathway will be encouraged to develop concepts and articulate them 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 Game Arts: students following the Game Arts pathway will focus on developing an understanding of the fundamentals of animation for games: Game Narratives, Digital fundamentals, Game Assets, Design and Concept, CGI Foundation.
- Principles of 3D Computer Animation: students following the 3D Computer Animation pathway will focus on developing an understanding of the fundamentals of 3D digital animation: modelling, key-framing, animating and rigging.
Introduction to Professional Practice
This is also a shared unit across all pathways to open up the possibility of collaboration. The 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. Work placement and/ or live project opportunities will enable students to experience the professional world they will eventually be working in.
This experiential learning environment will support the development of skills and tools that are necessary for professional practice.
Exploratory Practice: Animation Arts/ VFX/ 3D Computer Animation/ Game Arts
Whichever pathway you take, you will explore the application of your skills through a selection of longer form projects. At this level, you’ll be encouraged to enquire about your own personal and unique approach to your subject area.
Technical skills workshops will continue on all pathways. These include:
- VFX: Rotoscoping, Tracking and match moving, Lighting and rendering, Performance Animation (motion capture), Digital paint, simulations, lens distortion, and shooting for VFX.
- Game Arts: Game flow, Digital sculpture, Character animation, Experimental games, Design for interaction, Performance animation.
- 3D Computer Animation: Cameras, Lighting, rendering, Materials texturing, UV mapping, Maya dynamics, Animation task and skinning, Digital sculpture – Mudbox.
Contextual and Theoretical Studies 2
Following on from Contextual and Theoretical Studies 1, this unit is shared unit across all pathways and will introduce you to the histories, theories and debates in relation to animation, games, VFX and visual and material culture.
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: Animation Arts/ VFX/ 3D Computer Animation/ Game Arts
The Final Major Project is a collaborative project that allows you to make a significant contribution to a major project in a specialist role within a small production team.
This is an opportunity to exploit and exhibit the skills developed over the course. You’ll work together with a carefully formed team, based on interests and specialisms.
This unit builds on the experiences gained through Year 2 Introduction to Professional Practice. There’s a focus on tailoring skills towards a specific role within the industry and on developing professional methods and tools of presentation such as CV and personal website.
The unit will contribute towards your portfolio of work. This experience will give you the opportunity to make introductions to contacts in the animation and creative industries.
Contextual and Theoretical Studies 3
This unit is a culmination of the Contextual and Theoretical Studies component of the course. the subject of the work will be based on a written proposal and research produced at the end of the second year -it can be directly linked to other Year 3 units.