module specification

CU4009 - 3D Modelling (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title 3D Modelling
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 25%   CW1 (Pre-production: Research and Design)
Coursework 75%   CW2 (Production: Model(s) and Animation)
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Thursday Morning

Module summary

Module code:  CU4004

Module title:  3D Modelling and Animation

Module description:  This module is designed to give students a solid introduction to the underlying concepts and principles of Computer Graphics (CG) and images as well as some practical experience of applying relevant techniques and tools. Students are introduced to the 2D/3D computer graphics and images, production workflow, relevant documents (concept art, sketches, model sheets, etc), main modelling and animation concepts and techniques, use and apply appropriate techniques and tools to produce an artefact and develop a communication style in the subject topic. No prior learning is required for this module.

Teaching period:  Year

Required prior learning: 

Assessment will have 2 components: two coursework assignments all pass on aggregate.

This module aims to:

- enable students to understand the fundamentals of CG;
- develop and apply relevant practical skills to implement the production of CG output from a relevant industry standard tool;
- develop communication skills with particular reference to CG;
- equip students for employment in the CG, games, web and multimedia, design and publishing industries.


>  Concepts and Principles
- Pixel;
- Graphics;
- Rendering;
>  2D Graphics (Image Types)
- 2D bitmap (raster) images:
- bit-depth, colour, colour models, colour representation;
- output devices and the notion of “image size”, image resolution;
-compositing, image processing;
- 2D vector graphics:
- lines, polylines, polygons, vectors, 2-D geometrical shapes, Bezier curves, text, font;
- fill and line rendering.
>2D/3D Graphics
- concept art, design, sketches, model sheets;
- projections, reference images/planes;
>2D/3D Modelling techniques
- 2D/3D computer models, geometry (mesh & surfaces);
- NURBS modelling and editing;
- Polygonal modelling and editing;
- Other modelling and editing techniques;
- Shaders (materials), lights, and cameras basics
- Rendering,batch rendering, volume rendering, photorealistic rendering, presentation;
> Animation
- keyframe, path, interpolation;
- skeletal systems, IK, FK;
- deformers, tweening and morphing;
- procedural and expression based techniques;
- animation editing.
> CG Applications

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The key concepts and theoretical material will be covered in the lectures and workshop based sessions (using tutorials and relevant examples).  Time will be devoted to the discussion and evaluation of problem solutions.  The student will be expected to spend an equivalent time in private study (research connected with the subject, directed reading, and developing their own modelling and animation style/techniques).  In addition to this, a substantial coursework will be set.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

LO1: Understand the principles of CG and images, main contextual issues and production workflow with the focus on 3D modelling and animation
LO2: Be competent at solving CG production problems and suggest effective solutions;
LO3: Design a 2D/3D objects and apply theoretical CG knowledge in practical scenarios;
LO4: Implement and produce effective CG output (artefacts and relevant documentation) from a number of systems by applying appropriate techniques and relevant tools.

Assessment strategy

The assessment will consist of the two components: CW1 and CW2 assignments all pass on aggregate. The tutor will set the subject.

The first assessment (25%) will ask student to research and design a 2D/3D scene (concept art/sketches/model sheets and storyboard for various objects and their animation/interaction).

The second assessment (75%) will ask student to produce an artefact by implementing a work according to the design in the first assessment.  They will have to demonstrate various techniques used for image processing and compositting, 2D/3D modelling and animation. The implementation must be completely original and must show visual and aesthetic awareness.

All assessment assignments are designed so that student will have to demonstrate their capability and skills to use and apply various techniques they have used throughout the complete 3D scene/objects production workflow.

To reduce a student workload and ensure efficient and useful feedback to students all assignments will be spread in time throughout 30 teaching weeks. Students will have many opportunities for assessed and non-assessed feedback during the module (see next section).

Assessment criteria include demonstrating:
- understanding of some of the contextual issues raised by the production of computer models and animation;
- ability to (research) analyse, design, model and animate a 3D scene on a suggested or chosen topic;
- ability to document and present (research) findings and implementation in an entertaining and educational way using appropriate knowledge and skills taught in the module.


Suggested bibliography for the 2D content (the latest list will be provided in the module handbook):

Derakhshani, Dariush (2015) Introducing Autodesk Maya 2016 , 12th edition
Indianapolis, Indiana: John Wiley & Sons


3DTotal Publishing (2011) Beginner's guide to digitalpainting in Photoshop , Worcestershire 3DTotal Publishing

Collington, Mark (2016 ), Animation in context: a practical guide to theory and making , London
: Fairchild Books