Creative Computing Suite

Graphics & Animation Stream

Theme Leader: Richard Hetherington r.hetherington@napier.ac.uk

The graphics and animation stream is designed to prepare students with relevant skills for effectively utilising, planning, designing and implementing graphics, animation and interactivity for interactive applications and digital entertainment.

Students will start by developing a detailed understanding of digital imaging suitable for interactive applications and digital entertainment. This involves photographic capture as well as complex still image manipulation and digital publication with the study and practice of relevant pre-production, production and post-production methods and techniques. The stream continues by exploring and developing 2D computer animation skills through a series of character animation studies and the creation of a short cartoon based upon your own story. The cartoon will be created for specific target platforms including the worldwide web. A typical workflow for the computer-based creation of a ‘Toon’ animation will be followed and compared with methods used by traditional 2D animation.

Following-on from studies of static and animated visual media, students will focus upon the creation of interactivity and its use with animation in interactive media. In this instance, interactivity and animation will be considered in a much wider sense than previously – namely the creation, implementation and critical evaluation of interactive media used to inform, educate and/or entertain. There is an emphasis here on scripting techniques that are essential in the creation of animation and interactivity in interactive media.

Finally, students will be able to bring together, consolidate and extend the knowledge they have gained in previous modules through the study of motion graphics; which will allow them to integrate live-action, still images, sound and type by applying knowledge from the study of the historical and contemporary use of motion graphics in film, television, interactive media and the environment.

The assessment for the graphics and animation stream is predominantly project-based allowing students to develop a comprehensive portfolio as a means to seeking relevant employment upon graduation.

Key Learning Outcomes:

  • Recognise and apply the underlying principles of digital imaging in relation to: capturing analogue and digital images, and digital image editing and export
  • Use effective methods for envisioning, planning and designing animation suitable for interactive media and digital entertainment.
  • Recognise and apply the underlying principles of traditional and computer animation using computer-based methods and techniques.
  • Create interactivity and animation appropriate for different forms of interactive media.
  • Apply scripting methods to produce animated and/or interactive interface elements
  • Apply knowledge of animation and interactivity to express an idea or concept
  • Evaluate the use and effectiveness of animation and interactivity found in interactive media.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the principles, methods and techniques utilised in the development of motion graphics
  • Determine and produce in a systematic manner motion graphics appropriate for either film, television, interactive media or the environment.
  • Critically reflect upon process with reference to established theory and contemporary methods of practice.

Knowledge:

  • Digital imaging: principles, capture, editing and export.
    • Principles: bitmaps, vector graphics, colour, light, resolution, technique
    • Capture: cameras, lighting, scanners, graphics tablets, colour management
    • Editing: filters, masking, compositing, retouching
    • Export and archiving: 3G, www, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, iTV, Print Media
  • 2D Computer Animation: cartoon creation, character design, animation, output and publishing.
    • Story creation, scriptwriting, art direction and storyboards.
    • Character design and animation.
    • Tweening and frame-by-frame animation.
    • Preparing graphics and sound for animation.
    • Output and delivery for various platforms.
  • Animation for Interactive Media: implementation, contemporary use and critical evaluation.
    • Animation and interactivity in user interfaces.
    • Using animation/interactivity in the delivery of: information, entertainment and education.
    • Script-based animation.
    • Evaluating animation and interactivity.
  • Motion Graphics: Theory, practice and critical reflection.
    • Historic and contemporary use
    • Motion Literacy
    • Still images, live action and type
    • Pictorial and sequential design
    • Conceptualisation, animation, compositing and sequencing

Skills

Students will be equipped with theory-informed practical skills necessary to produce static images, motion graphics, 2D animation and interactivity that are appropriate for a variety of uses all using industry-standard creative tools. Industries in which these techniques can be used include: film, games, television, web or multimedia interfaces, interaction design and other related areas.

Modules:

Examples of student 2D work


BSc Interactive Media Design BSc Digital Media

Foundation Year

Sound Design Design for Experience Graphics & Animation 3D Design Interaction Design