Tuesday, 17 December 2019

CR5001 Anim Specialism Starts on Jan 13th

Creature animation by Amanda Costa
Module CR5001 "Animation Specialism" starts on January 13th 2020.

The second year of animation studies at Escape Studios is where our students begin to focus on individual proficiency in the craft of animation.

The Specialism Module (Module Code CR5001) is a self-study module in which students must select an area of specialism and develop their proficiency in that area. CR5001 is worth 15 credits and runs for five weeks, culminating in a portfolio presentation.

Michael Davies teaches rigging
CR5001-DF2CA Animation Specialism – 15 Credits
Animation Specialism is the third module in the 2019-20 academic year. In this module, students to explore a subject specialism of their own choice. This could be character animation or creature animation, or even a related discipline such as storyboarding or character design.

CR5001 is a very varied module, as we bring in guest tutors to deliver specialist areas of teaching, allowing students to push their creative skills and explore a wide range of creative choices.

The Specialism module is also where we get ready for the Studio Project that starts later in the year, where 2nd year students begin to collaborate in teams, contributing their own unique skillset to the group project. 

Types of Specialism
Character animation by Chan Sagoo
Most students will likely specialise in character or creature animation. Other options might include animation-related disciplines such as
  • Games animation (generally looping cycles and character actions) 
  • Character rigging
  • Performance capture animation (MoCap)
  • 3D layout and Cinematography
  • Previsualisation
  • Storyboarding
  • Character design 
  • Editing and Sound Design
  • Producing animation (including Excel and Shotgun). 
Storyboards by Anastasia Gurova
Pre-production roles
There are many jobs to do on an animated film and we need many different skills in order to make them work successfully, such as storyboarding and 3D Layout.

CR5001 is an opportunity for students to find something that they feel passionate about and interested in, and specialise in that subject.

Concept Art by Francesco Leoni
CR5001 Self-Study Module
Each student will choose their own individual specialism, in a field of their choice. As a result, the focus of CR5001 is of necessity largely on self-study, supported where possible by tutorials and appropriate classroom teaching.

Students should not expect that the classroom teaching will necessarily map directly onto their chosen area of specialism. Most likely, it will not.

CR5001 - Student Work
Below are some examples of student work.

Character Animation by Maria Robertson
Maria Robertson chose character animation as her specialism. Maria is now working as an animator at Factory 42.

Above: Character animation for Specialism Module CR5001 by Maria Robertson

Cinematography by Sebastian Kuder
Sebastian Kuder decided to specialise in cinematography and 3D layout.  Today, Sebastian is a 3D Layout artist at The 3rd Floor.

Iliana Franklin
This year, guest tutors include producer Steve Burch on producing animation, story artist Iliana Franklin on storyboarding, Ash Ellis on lighting for animators, Michael Davies on character rigging, Steve Sole on Character Design, Sarah Perry on Acting for Animators and Steve Lall on motion capture.

The module culminates in the presentation of a portfolio of work in the student's chosen field. For example, Aaron Hopwood chose character animation as his specialism.

Specialism Module CR5001 is a great opportunity to try out different ideas, learn from a variety of guest tutors from industry, and explore a wide range of creative choices. It's where the focus of the course starts to change from "top-down" (do what you're told) to "bottom up" (learn to become a creative artist).

Vimeo Tutorials
As ever, we have hundreds of tutorials at our Vimeo channel to support our students. For example, for Motion Capture, Rigging and Dynamics, we recommend the following:
Motion Capture

Teaching starts on Monday January 13th and the module lasts for five weeks. See the calendar below for week-by-week details.

Motion Capture by Steve Lall
Assignment Brief
The Module Descriptor states: “The student will present a portfolio of evidence showing development in their specialisation in the context of the team studio project and established theory and practice. They should highlight where specific learning outcomes have been met. The Portfolio Review with a tutor will support this.”

In practice, this assignment involves submitting a short piece of work based on your chosen specialism. If the final piece is fully animated, it should be around 11 seconds long. If it is a storyboard piece, it should be around 30 seconds long. If this is a character design piece, it should include designs and turnarounds for 3-4 characters, a small Art Bible. Focus on your chosen area of specialism and produce a piece of work that helps you develop your skills in this area.

Character animation by Jamie Floodgate
Assessment Criteria
Creativity - 25%
Creativity, inventiveness, Imagination, Innovation

Development and Pre-production - 25%
How well was the project developed? Planning, exploration, design, storyboards, thumbnail sketches, animatic (where appropriate)

Production - 25%
Were appropriate techniques used, and to what standard? How well is it realised, does it meet the brief? Overall quality of animation or of the project work.

Post-Production - 25%
Texturing and Rendering, Music, Audio and Sound Effects (where appropriate)

Submission Deadline
The submission is due on Wednesday 12th February at 11.59pm.  Presentations and Peer Reviews are at 9.30am on Thursday 13th February at 9.30am. Submission is via email to your tutor, along with a link to your work at your Vimeo Channel, website or blog. Note that there is no Retrospective due for this module.

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To find out more about our new BA/MArt, now recruiting for September 2020, follow this link.   To apply, visit the official page here.

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