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BSc (Hons) in Digital Animation Production

Course Code: LC518


Level

08

Duration

4 years

Department

Design


CAO Points

808 (Including Portfolio)

Course Type

Undergraduate - CAO

Location

Clonmel

Digital Animation Production students develop their creative voice while training in industry standard software, processes and technologies with the aim of bringing their ideas and concepts to life on screen working within the Irish and international animation industry. Students learn to create, design and animate for both 2D and 3D platforms with a focus on developing students' core skills in the traditional discipline of drawing, illustration and animation.

What are the entry requirements?

Leaving Certificate

A minimum of 2 H5 & 4 O6/H7 grades in six Leaving Certificate subjects, including Mathematics and English or Irish.

Mature Applicants

Candidates applying as mature applicants may be required to attend an interview and may be requested to take an aptitude test to prove their suitability for a place on this programme.

International Applicants

Non-EU applicants should apply directly to the International Office at LIT allowing plenty of time for completing the visa process. Applications for September start should be made by July 1st at the latest.
Contact: International@LIT.ie   

Portfolio

As well as meeting the Leaving Certificate/QQI FET/FETAC requirement, students will also need to pass a portfolio assessment. The portfolio is scored out of 600 with a minimum score of 240 required to pass.

More Portfolio Information

Who can I contact?

What modules will I study?

  • Year 1

    Title: Multimedia Technology

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module aims to give learners a firm understanding of the fundamentals of computer architecture, network architecture, web architecture and multimedia file storage formats.

     


    Title: Animation I: Basic Fundamentals

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module will introduce learners to the principles of animation and how to apply them to classical, 3D and 2D Tradigital animation processes. Using traditional animation drawing techniques, complemented by 2D Tradigital skills, learners apply the basic principles of animation and drawing through simple, object oriented assignments. Focus is on the fundamentals of the physics of motion and how they apply to simple objects in the 'real' world.

    The animation industry now relies on multiple tools in the production process. Learners explore the interfaces, controls and general techniques of multiple software programs in the creation of animated projects.


    Title: Audio Storytelling

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to introduce learners to digital audio systems and to give them the understanding of the principles and practice of audio creativity, recording and mixing which is required to create high quality audio content for digital media video, animation and applications.


    Title: Drawing Principles I

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    Introduces drawing fundamentals through visual observation, communication and expression.

    Learners will get an introduction to anatomy, proportion, gesture and form through life drawing.

     

    They will also get an introduction to drawing principles such as perspective, form, structure, composition, line and value through both observational drawing and research based design projects


    Title: Visual Communications I

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to introduce the learner to the elements within Visual Communications.


    Title: Interpersonal Development

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    Interpersonal Development is an interactive, workshop-style module that helps students develop their personal effectiveness. Core components include; learning styles, interpersonal psychology, effective communication and professional presentations.


    Title: Animation II: Body Mechanics

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module builds on the knowledge acquired in Animation I: Basic Fundamentals to focus on the technical and aesthetic factors central to the creation of convincing 2D character animation beginning with body mechanics.
    Learners further develop the principles of animation to a higher level. Studies include animation of more complex actions. Body mechanics and action analysis are emphasized to raise the learners' observation skills and understanding of complex movement.


    Title: Drawing Principles II

    Credits: 05 Credits

    read more »

    Building on the fundamentals of drawing covered in Drawing Principals 1, learners will further explore anatomy, proportion, gesture and form through life drawing.

    They will further learn to utilize drawing principals such as perspective, form, structure, composition, line and value.

    Drawings will be derived from both observational studies and research based design projects, and demonstrate a competent use of drawing principals.


    Title: Visual Communications II

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to broaden the learner's understanding of the elements within Visual Communications.


    Title: Visual Storytelling for Animation and Games

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to introduce the learner to the elements within Visual Storytelling for Animation and Games. Learners will develop a balance of creative and technical skills in producing original story content building on a basic understanding of narrative, visual design and film language. Its secondary aim is to give learners an understanding of the procedures involved in animation, gaming and film pre‑production to create storyboards.


    Title: 3D Modelling I - Introduction to Modelling for Animation

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to introduce the learner to the core techniques and terminology required for the modelling of high quality 3d scenes for use in the entertainment industries. This module will focus on developing the learner's understanding of the technical requirements to successful model a real world hard surface objects. The learner will be introduced to the technical and aesthetic considerations required for the creation of high quality 3d models for use in the entertainment industries.

    The ultimate goal of this module is to introduce methods by which modellers can create topologically efficient and aesthetically pleasing 3d models.


    Title: Interactive Programming I

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    Interactive Programming I introduces programming concepts to students. This module utilises graphical objects to contextualise the application of programming in a digital media environment.


  • Year 2

    Title: Media Writing

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module will help students develop the necessary writing and technical skills to write correctly for different print media. It will also help students develop the necessary analytical skills to write critically about elements of popular print media.

    The module will provide opportunities for the students to develop their potential in creative writing and also develop an appreciation of different writing styles and associated narrative conventions. It will feature a series of exercises designed to lay the foundation for writing press releases.

    The module will also promote the development of functional and creative writing through a variety of workshop and online collaborative methodologies, culminating in the completion of a portfolio of work that can be subsequently reviewed and built on throughout the programme.


    Title: Drawing Principles III

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    Building on the fundamentals of drawing covered in Drawing Principals 1&2, learners will further explore anatomy, proportion, gesture and form through life drawing.

    Drawings will be derived from both observational studies and research based design projects, and demonstrate an advanced use of drawing principals.


    Title: Illustration For Animation: Character Design

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module will explore the basic principles of illustration for animators. Learners will explore the visual principles of conceptual illustration, character and environment design, with a focus on storytelling and interpretation of concepts.

    The learner explores digital drawing and painting techniques in the creation of concept art for animation ranging across character, environment and props. The learner will explore the process of reference gathering, thumbnailing, speed painting and iteration based on feedback as well as the final production of high quality concept art, with a focus on both the visual communication of relevant information for use by other artists i.e. the animator, and a high level of artistic ability in the rendering of marketing assets.


    Title: 3d Modelling II - Character and Creature Modelling for Animation

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to further the learners experience required for the modelling of high quality 3d scenes for use in the entertainment industries.

    This module will focus on further developing the learner's understanding of the technical requirements to successfully model real world objects including sculpting organic surfaces. The learner will be introduced to the technical and aesthetic considerations required for the creation of high quality 3d character models for use in the entertainment industries.

    The ultimate goal of this module is to introduce methods by which modellers can create, topologically efficient and aesthetically pleasing 3d character models.


    Title: Animation III: Pantomime

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module builds on the knowledge acquired in Animation II: Body Mechanics to facilitate learners in the creation of basic character animation that showcases the technical and creative factors central to the convincing pantomime performances.
    It will include 2D and Tragidigital animation techniques using original character designs and rigs.

    Pantomime acting is an integral part of animation allowing the audience to read what motivates a character's actions. Learners make a character appear to think and make decisions based on external forces or internal motivations.
    Important animation building blocks, such as timing, moving holds, posing, staging, beats/phrasing, appeal, personality, solid drawing, simplification of form and the use of straights against curves are explored.

     

     


    Title: Interactive Programming II

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    Interactive Programming II advances the programming abilities of students. The emphasis of this module is on developing complex event-driven interactive applications that can be deployed to a range of devices (e.g. PC, mobile, tablet, TV) and utilise audio and visual components.


    Title: Film Studies I

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module considers animated short form - such as television episodes, animated shorts and art-house shorts. It elaborates aspects such as historical contextualisation, authorship, aesthetics, technology, genre and interpretive critique. A range of examples are used to illustrate, ranging from popular television shows such as The Simpsons and Southpark to more art-house styles such as shorts created by Jan Svankmajer. Paul Wells broad 'theory of animation' is introduced, as a model that helps to locate animated shorts in terms of style, theme, content etc. Various interpretive critiques from sociocultural, historical, religious etc orientations are also applied. An inter-modular, context-based and design-oriented style of learning is deployed.


    Title: Animation IV: Acting and Performance

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    Character performance and dialogue scenes are the corner stone of TV and Feature animation production. How an animated character delivers a line of dialogue is as important as why. The emphasis of this animation module is on the use of dialogue audio, lip sync and dialogue acting involving advanced body and facial expressions.

    Through a series of exercises that begin with character animation syncing up with sound, learners explore body and facial acting and how to make a character talk. Focus is on strong story-telling poses, accurate mouth shapes and proper facial expressions.


    Title: Short Film I

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to develop the learner's creative and technical skills in producing a complete animated short applying best principles of digital animation production in a group setting. It's secondary aim is to give learners an applied guidance of the procedures involved in pre-production, particularly the continuing to develop life drawing skills. It also explores the production and post production pipeline for an animated short.


    Title: Effective Teamwork

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    Effective Teamwork is an interactive module designed to provide students with core theory/concepts central to understanding how to create effective teams and will challenge them to put that theory into practice. Students will gain an understanding of themselves as teamworkers, learn how teams develop via central concepts in social psychology and increase their skill in intervening to increase team effectiveness.


    Title: Rigging for Animation

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    To provide learners with fundamental skills and knowledge in the processes and techniques used for the creation of rigs for driving animated models for use in the entertainment industries.

    This module will focus on developing the learner's understanding of the artistic and technical requirements to successful rig a 3d object or character. The learner will be introduced to the technical and aesthetic considerations required for rigging 3d models for use in the entertainment industries.

    The ultimate goal of this module is to introduce methods by which riggers can create flexible, efficient and aesthetically pleasing rigging setups.

    It will include practical design and workflow methodologies for the creation of aesthetically pleasing and technically efficient rigs.

    This modules aims to

    Create an environment where the student can explore the role of the rigger and the working relationship and interactions with animators and modelers.

    Give students the skills to design, create, test and maintain characters, vehicle, cloth and prop set ups (according to project) and provide a service that meets the technical needs for the project at hand.

    Encourage collaboration with animators to design appropriate motion controls.

    Address the student’s ability to clearly communicate rigging systems and processes to other team members.


  • Year 3

    Title: Film Studies II

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module considers animated long form ‑ as feature film animation. It elaborates aspects such as historical contextualisation, authorship, aesthetics, technology, genre and interpretive critique. A historiography of major studios such as Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, Studio Ghibli as well as prominent Irish studios are considered. Theoretical perspectives such as Auteur theory, feminist theory, psychoanalytic theory etc. are introduced. Case studies include analyses of notable animated feature films.

     


    Title: Sound Design

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to develop the learners creative and technical skills in digital audio production and gain further knowledge in the principles and practice in the art of sound design, mixing and mastering which is required to create high quality audio content for animation and motion graphics.


    Title: Portfolio

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to introduce to the learner the concept and techniques of planning, designing, organising and preparing their work for insertion into an entry level, industry standard portfolio. The learner will use the capabilities of other modules as well as the integration properties of each to achieve this aim.


    Title: 3D Animation: Introduction to 3D Animation

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    Contemporary CG software applications and high-end computers have become the standard tools in the creation of animated features. Using an appropiate CG software apllication learners apply the fundamentals of animation through simple exercises with a focus is on the application of the 12 principles of animation. Once familar with these basic techniques, Learners begin to explore basic character locomotion.


    Title: Professional Development

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module is designed to enable students to develop personal skills that can be used and applied effectively in the professional context. There will be a particular focus on professional career skills. This module focuses on 4 key areas; Myers Briggs Type Indicator, Career Planning, a Professional CV and Effective Interview techniques.


    Title: Materials & Lighting for Animation

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to introduce the learner to the core techniques and terminology required for the lighting, shading and rendering of high quality 3d scenes for use in the entertainment industries.

    This module will focus on developing the learner's understanding of the technical requirements to successful light and render a 3d scene. The learner will be introduced to the technical and aesthetic considerations required for the lighting, shading and rendering of 3d scenes and models for use in the entertainment industries.

    The ultimate goal of this module is to introduce methods by which lighters can create flexible, efficient and aesthetically pleasing lighting setups.

    It will include practical design and workflow methodologies for the creation of aesthetically pleasing and technically efficient lighting scenarios.


    Title: Narrative

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module focusses on narrative theory as applied to: animation shorts, television episodes and feature films. Theorists such as Aristotle, Propp, Todorov and Campbell are considered, with especial emphasis on developing a project concept (script, storyboard etc) for an animated short suited for a final year (4th year) studio project. Visual storytelling, using principles such as perspective, spatial depth, colour theory, light and shading etc are also considered.

     


    Title: Short Film II

    Credits: 10 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to broaden learners creative and technical skills in producing original animated material and to engage with advanced procedures involved in pre production, production and post production.

    This module develops the practical application of the illustration and production principles discovered in Short Film I. It builds on theory by providing the opportunity for learners to apply their own creative style to conceptual illustration briefs.

    Title: Project Management for Animation

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module will introduce the student to the concepts and tools of Project Management for Digital Media Projects. Topics include the Project Lifecycle; Scoping and preparing a Project Proposal; Project planning, scheduling, and tracking of Digital Media Projects; Project Risks; Team Management; Testing and Archiving.


    Title: Employment Placement

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    To Set up and monitor workplacement for students.

    Students will engage in work placement for this element and as a result an 80% attendance is required to fulfill the requirements of the module.


    Title: Compositing

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module is an introduction to compositing.

    Compositing is where a variety of disparate elements are brought together into a visually cohesive whole. As such the composite is the destination of a range of assets and great precision is needed to enable the viewer to suspend disbelief. Even when the result is not intended to be photoreal, it is vital that the final image is cohesive and seamless so evidence of its construction does not detract

    from story or meaning.

     

    We do this by introducing concepts such as 2D image basics, including layering, masking, simple keying, notions of colour space and 2.5D space etc. The students progress through the module accumulating techniques, being introduced to the efficient design of project set-ups and flexible reusable templates, building flow graphs to anticipate changes as they might be guided by a compositing supervisor or sequence lead.

     

    Module Aims

    This module aims to:

    Instill in students a practical understanding of the building blocks of Compositing.

    Encourage students to dissect what makes a shot look right and visually coherent.

    Explain different approaches to manipulating colour and light.

    Explain different approaches to creating masks and isolating groups of pixels.

    Teach students about optimum processes and the importance of efficient ordering of image elements.

    Give students a grounding in 2D pixel math operations, allowing under the bonnet manipulation of images.


  • Year 4

    Title: Studio Project I: Development and Pre-Production

    Credits: 15 Credits

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    This module is the culmination of the learner's four years of study, and requires the cross‑module involvement of Stage 4 subjects.

    Working as part of a designated team, the learner will produce a substantial and original animation based project in response to a self-initiated team brief. This project will require the development of an artistically ambitious and technically polished short form animated project focusing on all aspects of production from concept, development, management through to execution.

    Learners will formulate and develop their own individual project proposals and plans as part of the Narrative module in Stage 3 (Semester 6) with the results pitched to both academic staff and peers for feedback and guidance. On completion of this pitching process, academic staff will choose the strongest projects to move forward to production as part of the Stage4 - Studio Project I & II modules.

    Once successful project pitches have been selected, learners will form teams of at least 3 members, identifying clear team roles and specialisms. Teams will further develop the pitch along with a story animatic for presentation to the programme board at the beginning of Stage 4. All project proposals must be formally approved by the Programme Board before commencing production.

    Studio Project I will focus on development and pre-production -

    Development – The development phase will focus on further story development, formulation of the final story animatic, concept design (visual development, animation testing & technical process dev) along with project management & production scheduling.

    Pre‑Production – The pre-production phase will focus on production asset generation. Refinement of the production pipeline and methodologies are required to complete the project with team members identifying their specific roles and specialist areas in the execution of all pre-production components.

    Teams will demonstrate proof of concept at the end of this phase in the form of a key shot sequence. This is supported by a team presentation with both individual and team documentation outlining roles and project development.


    Title: Dissertation I

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module requires independent research that draws from previous modules (or equivalent) in areas such as narrative theory and film studies. It also requires independent research into the specified area of interest. It is required to scope a project in the area of animation studies. After this, aims and objectives should be set; a research question and method devised; and a conceptual framework formulated. The research plan should culminate in a document in the region of 5 000 words, as a context for developing it into a fully fledged dissertaation as a follow on (Dissertation 2).


    Title: Animation VI: Animals and Creatures Animation

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    In Animals and Creatures, learners will delve into the world of quadruped animal locomotion and creature animation. Learners will develop the skills to realistically animate four-legged walks, animate animal behaviours and incorporate exaggeration into animation to bring creatures to life. Later in the module, learners will apply these skills and approach to animating fantasy creatures.

    This module builds on the learners understanding of human body mechanics to teach the basics of animal and creature locomotion - studying how an animal or creature runs, walks, senses, stops and turns. Through observation, research and study the learner will animate believable creatures.


    Title: Scripting & FX for Technical Directors

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    Scripting for Technical Directors will introduce the learner to production scripting within the context of a content creation tool and provide the learner with the scripting skills require to customise a tools graphical user interface to harness custom script functionality, advance the content creation process and automate creation and pipeline tasks.

    In the FX component we introduce the fundamental skills and knowledge in the processes and techniques used for the creation of effects setup for recreating natural phenomena for use in the entertainment industries.
    We develop the learner's understanding of the artistic and technical requirements to create flexible and efficient effects setups. The learner will be introduced to the technical and aesthetic considerations required for effects creation.

    The ultimate goal of this module is to introduce methods by which effects artist can create plan design and develop flexible, efficient tools. It will include practical design and workflow methodologies for the creation of aesthetically pleasing technically efficient, art direct able effects scenes.

    This module aims to:


    Instil a work practice based around goal oriented iteration rather than random experimentation and adherence to efficient workflows.

    Use scripting and tool automation to help build systems that can be flexible and user friendly.


    Give students a clear understanding of how to combine scientific, logical thinking and observational skills to create effective simulation and effects solutions.

    Make the student aware of the appropriate use of simulations and effects, taking into account complexity, rendering, time, and memory and resource overheads.


    Title: Matte Painting & Environments

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module examines the art of matte painting and the role of the environment TD. With the advent of 3D CGI the matte painter’s job has increasingly moved away from creating 2D backdrops of landscape and cityscape to include working with geometry in a 2.5D space and creating set enhancements and extensions.

     

    In this module the student explores painting techniques and their role in creating environments.

    The technological and economic imperative for 2.5D often needs to be accompanied by photoreal paint artistry, informed by an understanding of camera projection and the awareness of how the virtual camera might be placed.

     

    Module Aims

    This module aims to:

    Impart practical techniques broadly defined under the matte painting and environments headings.

    Enable the student to have active engagement with 2D, 2.5D and 3D environments from a photographic, “trompe l’oeil” perspective.

    Support artistically talented students towards paint and environment roles within VFX practice.


    Title: Animation V: Production

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module provides support for the development of animation styles and production workflows as part of the final year Studio Project. Through individual guidance and technical tutorials the module will assist learners in shaping the animated elements of their short form animated productions. The module will also assist learners in the production of animation components for a portfolio showcase in the form of a showreel to the best possible level.


    Title: Studio Project II: Production and Post

    Credits: 15 Credits

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    This module continues from Studio Project I with the learners progressing from the pre-production phase to animation production and post-production.

    During Studio Project I, learners worked as part of a designated team to develop an artistically ambitious and technically polished short form animated project focusing on story development (animatic), visual development, animation pipeline and workflow methodologies, technical processes and production management.

    On completion of the pre-production phase, a proof of concept in the form of a key shot sequence was presented and assessed before commencing with Production.

    Studio Project II will focus on Production and Post – Production -

    Production ‑ On approval of proof of concept from Studio Project I, execution of the main production phase of the animation project begins. The learners continue to document their individual contribution via weekly blog entries or online journal.

    Post ‑ Production ‑ On completion of animation production, the team focus on post areas such as compositing, audio design, music and final output. This is supported by a team presentation with both individual and team documentation outlining personal development, contributions and reflection on the final project deliverable.

    The ultimate goal of this module is to allow learners to focus on developing their skillset within specific specialist areas while gaining valuable experience working as part of a team to create a professional animated product.


    Title: Dissertation II

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module is a follow on from Dissertation 1, and requires a greater emphasis on independent research that draws from previous modules (or equivalent) in areas such as narrative theory and film studies. Likewise, it strengthen on independent research into the specified area of interest. It is required to carry out the plan and sample writings devised in Dissertation 1 and should add to it, such that a final written document in the region of 10 000 words is achieved.


    Title: Advanced Digital Literacies

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module gives students a theoretical understanding of developing trends in digital literacies and media and how to use efficient workflows to analyse these trends. Students will learn to analyse, assess and leverage influence in online writing and to critically assess both their own online writing and that of others in key media contexts. The module will examine contemporary communication issues such as the changing relationship between society and technology. The module will also develop students’ understanding of ethics and truth in a digitally connected society.

     


    Title: Media Psychology

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module introduces the learner to the relatively new field of media psychology, with emphasis on animation and digital media such as advertisements. Various psychological perspectives are explored (psychoanalysis, flow theory, neuropsychology etc.) and illustrative case studies explored. Emphasis is also placed on using media psychology to critique and better understand media creation, with a context-based aspect linked to other modules such as studio practice and dissertation.


    Title: Emerging Technologies and Trends in Digital Media

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    Deriving inspiration from futurists and deep thinkers, this module challenges learners to consider their future in a world increasingly dependent on digital technologies.


    Title: Venture Management

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    To introduce students to the nature of enterprise development and the entrepreneurial process.

    To understand the start-up strategies and process for commencing a business.

    To examine the management processes involved in setting up, developing and controlling a new business.

    To examine the planning process and compilation of a detailed business plan.

     


Are there opportunities for further study?

Successful graduates of this course are eligible for a wide range of taught and research, Level 9, Masters programmes in Ireland and abroad.

What are the career prospects?

Graduates of this course have worked in the following positions:                      

• Animator (2D & 3D)
• 3D Modeller
• Rigger (2D & 3D)
• Texture & Lighting Artist
• Compositor
• Technical Artist
• Storyboard Artist
• Background Painter
• Layout Artist
• Art Direction
• Animation Director

More Information

This programme is a unique Bachelor of Science Honours Degree offering, blending traditional art practices with creative technologies to produce the future of animation talent in Ireland and abroad.

Digital Animation Production is focused on the many roles required to produce professional digital animation content with graduates seeking employment in a variety of roles from designers to animators to more technical roles such as riggers and technical artists.