module specification

CU2033 - 3D Character Modelling and Animation 1 (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18, but may be subject to modification
Module title 3D Character Modelling and Animation 1
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   3D Character Model
Coursework 60%   Charactering and Animation *FC*
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

3D Character modelling and animation 1 introduces the basic concepts and techniques used to design, model, texture, rig and animate a character using high-end modelling and animation industry standard software tools. Students develop fundamental modelling and animation skills and principles and apply these to create various 3D models and their animations. This module is "pass on aggregate".


Prior learning requirements

CU1025N 3D Modelling and Animation Basics (CU1024N 2D Animation - corequisite)

Module aims

The aim of the module is to develop knowledge and understanding of key 3D character modelling and animation techniques and then apply these techniques in the creation of fully rendered 3D animation sequencies (video clips) and movies. The module also aims to help students to begin the development a portfolio of 3D work that demonstrates understanding of the key principles in 3D computer modelling and animation techniques.


. Preparing for a 3D character development o research and design (characater personality, model sheets) o project setup
. 3D character modelling o torso, arms, legs o hands and feet details o head and facial details o cloth and accessories . Deformation testing
o skeleton setup and binding
o deformation testing and adjustment
. Texture preparation and painting overview
. Character rigging
. Animation setup and test
. Believable animation (walk cycle or some animation sequence)

Learning and teaching

Key 3D modelling and animation issues, principles and techniques will be introduced through lectures (1 hour). Practical work will be undertaken through a series of workshops (2 hours).

In addition students are expected to spend approximately 105 hours carrying out research connected with the subject, observing real life characters as well as their behaviours and movement, visiting exhibitions and museums, reading and practising their skills.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

. understand the basic principles of 3D character development workflow (design, modelling, texturing, rigging, animation, and rendering); [A2]
. demonstrate an understanding of the techniques and equipment variety (including hardware and software) used for 3D character modelling and animation; [A2]
. demonstrate a capability to choose the appropriate tecniques and tools as well as apply in practice the knowledge and skills to create believable 3D character animation; [A2]
. demonstrate competency in the use of 3D modelling and animation software. [A2]

Assessment strategy

The skills will be assessed 100% throughout the module by means of two assessment components:

3D character model 40%
Character rig and animation 60%

Assessment criteria include:

. demonstration of knowledge and understanding of key 3D modelling and animation principles and techniques; . demonstration of competency in the use of 3D modelling and animation software tools;
. appropriate attention to production quality and use of software.


Suggested bibliography (the latest list will be provided in the module handbook):
Cheryl Cabrera, An Essential Introduction to Maya Character Rigging, Focal Press, ISBN: 978-0-240-52082-7.
Supplementary reading: Kerlow I V (2000) The Art of 3D Computer Animation and Imaging. Wiley. ISBN 0-471-36004-X. OíRourke M (1998) Principles of Three-Dimensional Computer Animation. Norton. ISBN 0-393-73024-7.