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ARTV2005     Minor 1: Computer Animation

Six hours per week for one semester, involving:

  • supervised practical studio work.
  • a seminar involving animation screening, prepared talks, group discussions and guest lecturers.



  • To gain practical experience in 2D computer animation, sound for animation and video presentation.
  • To learn about the history of animation in the context of both the arts and the sciences.
  • To develop a detailed understanding of the fundamentals of 2D computer animation, its language and techniques.
  • To gain an understanding of the structure and organisation of a computer.
  • To be introduced to computer programming techniques.

Animation Seminar
Early cinema, traditional animation (Disney, etc.), early experimental animators McLaren, Whitney), animation mediums and techniques (Cels, Clay, Sand), Kinetic Art and Interactive Art, contemporary animation films. Sonic aspects of animation. Applications of computer animation in areas beside film (visual arts, performance and communication).

2D Computer Animation

  • An introduction to using personal computers for animation.
  • An in-depth look at a 2D paint and animation program.
  • Practical exercises in story-boarding, key-framing, cycles, ease-in and ease-out, squash and stretch, transitions, dynamics, staging, anticipation, exaggeration and expression.
  • Animation production techniques, including digital recording and playback of animation by computer, sound synchronisation and video fundamentals.
  • Introduction to sound studio techniques, including microphone techniques, multi-track recording and basic equalisation and mixing.
  • Practical exercises in musique concrète techniques.

Computer Animation Theory

  • Computer graphics hardware for input, output and processing.
  • An introduction to 2D raster graphics techniques, including pixels and colour spaces, screen coordinates, point, line and curve drawing, clipping, area filling, anti-aliasing and colour interpolation.
  • An introduction to 2D geometry, including Cartesian coordinates, points and vectors, polygons, curves, transformations and matrices.
  • Animation fundamentals, including story-boarding, key-framing, cycles, ease-in and ease-out, squash and trtch, transitions and dynamics.

Computer Programming

  • Introduction to mainframe and micro computers.
  • Basic terminology and architecture.
  • Operating systems.
  • Computer languages and compilers.
  • An overview of the use pf computers for musical composition, computer graphics and animation and analysis.
  • Fundamental FORTH concepts.
  • Stacks management.
  • The dictionary.
  • Conditional logic.
  • Integer arithmetic.
  • Loops and branching.
  • Variables, constants and arrays.
  • Vectored execution.

Students are required to prepare and submit one discussion paper on an aspect of animation (an animator, a work or a technique), and present a 30-minute talk on the topic. They are also required to keep a journal of seminar notes. The first half of the semester will be spent doing short exercises to be presented together in a folio. Students are required to prepare a major work for performance during the last half of the semester. There will be periodic exercises and assignments.


Brodie, L., Starting FORTH, 2nd edn, Prentice-Hall, 1987.
Tanenbaum, A.S., Structured Computer Organization, 2nd edn, Prentice-Hall,1984.


Chandor, A., The Penguin Dictionary of Microprocessors, Penguin, 1988.
Durrett, R., Color and the Computer, Academic Press, 1987.
Foley,. J., van Dam, A., Feiner, S., and Hughes, J., Computer Graphics: Principle and Practice, Addison-Wesley, 1989.
Layboume, K., The Animation Book, Crown Publishers, 1979.
Lewell, J., Computer Graphics: A Survey of Current Techniques and Applications, Orbis, 1985.
Newman, WM., and Sproull, R.E, Principles of Interactive Computer Graphics, McGraw-Hill, 1981.
Rogers, D.E, and Adams, J.A., Mathematical Elements for Computer Graphics, McGraw-Hill, 1976.
Rogers, D.E, Procedural Elements for Computer Graphics, McGraw-Hill, 1985.
Malina, FJ. (ed.), Kinetic Art: Theory and Practice: Selections from the Journal Leonardo. Dover, 1974.
Speed, A.H., Desktop Video: A Guide to Personal and Small Business Video Production, Harcourt, Brace, Jovanavich, 1988.


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