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Digital Animation Production - BSc

Course Code: LC515


Level

7

Duration

3 Years

Department

Design


CAO Points

N/A

Course Type

Direct Entry

Location

Clonmel

On this programme, students learn to design, create and animate for both 2D and 3D platforms such as TV, Film and Games. There is a focus on developing students’ core skills in the traditional disciplines of drawing, illustration and animation asset design with a strong emphasis on the principles of animation.

What are the entry requirements?

Applicants must have 5 O6/H7 grades or higher at Ordinary Level in 5 Leaving Certificate subjects, including English or Irish. Mathematics is not a subject requirement for this programme. A Portfolio is required. Applicants will be accepted to this course based on a combination of Leaving Certificate/QQI FET/FETAC results and Portfolio Assessment. The Portfolio will be scored out of 600 with a minimum score of 240 required to pass.

Applicants presenting QQI FET/FETAC qualifications must hold a Full Level 5 Award totalling 120 credits.

Applicants presenting qualifications other than those mentioned above will be assessed on an individual basis. 

Mature Applicants (i.e., over 23) are exempt from the normal entry requirements but will be obliged to successfully complete the Portfolio requirement. 

 

Who can I contact?

What modules will I study?

  • Year 1

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

    Credits: 5

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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: Animation I: Basic Fundamentals

    Credits: 5

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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: Animation II: Body Mechanics

    Credits: 5

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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: Audio Storytelling

    Credits: 5

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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: 5

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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: Drawing Principles II

    Credits: 5

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    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: Interactive Programming I

    Credits: 5

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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.


    Title: Interpersonal Development

    Credits: 5

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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: Multimedia Technology

    Credits: 5

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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: Visual Communications I

    Credits: 5

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


    Title: Visual Communications II

    Credits: 5

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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: 5

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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.


  • Year 2

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

    Credits: 5

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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: 5

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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: Animation IV: Acting and Performance

    Credits: 5

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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: Drawing Principles III

    Credits: 5

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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: Effective Teamwork

    Credits: 5

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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: Film Studies I

    Credits: 5

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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: Illustration For Animation: Character Design

    Credits: 5

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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: Interactive Programming II

    Credits: 5

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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: Media Writing

    Credits: 5

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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: Rigging for Animation

    Credits: 5

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    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.


    Title: Short Film I

    Credits: 10

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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.


  • Year 3

    Title: 3D Animation: Introduction to 3D Animation

    Credits: 5

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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: Compositing

    Credits: 5

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    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.

    Title: Employment Placement

    Credits: 5

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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: Film Studies II

    Credits: 5

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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: Materials & Lighting for Animation

    Credits: 5

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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: 5

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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: Portfolio

    Credits: 5

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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: Professional Development

    Credits: 5

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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: Project Management for Animation

    Credits: 5

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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: Short Film II

    Credits: 10

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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: Sound Design

    Credits: 5

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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.


Are there opportunities for further study?

Successful graduates of this course may progress on to the level 8 course in Digital Animation Production.

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

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