module specification

SM5079 - 3D Design (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title 3D Design
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 150
30 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
75 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   3D Development Folder
Coursework 50%   3D Animated Video
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

This module deals with a range of theory and practice in the demanding arena of media rich interactive applications centred around 3D images, modelling and animation, but also including digital video, interactive 3D, 3D augmented reality, 3D virtual reality, theory and techniques for interactive narrative and storytelling and games design issues. The end result of interactive 3D applications can often be difficult to label. They can be stories, games or simulations, various combinations of these familiar genres, or new emerging types of synergistic application that can perhaps best be called 'experiences'.

The module aims are broadly:

- To gain a critical understanding of the scope of current 3D design, digital modelling and animation best practice for both the web and the vfx industry.

- To provide an overview of techniques for working with modelling, animation and visual effects in 3D and the specialised methods required to prepare this medium for output to a variety of digital media.

- To support research into the relationship between narrative, animation, computer games and similar genres in arts/entertainment environments.

Prior learning requirements

SM4015 Designing and Scripting for Interactive Media


3D modelling techniques
three.js and 3d javascript libraries
3D Web
Visual Effects
3d Design
3D Animation
3D Animation Pipeline
UV Mapping
Cameras and Rendering
Polygon creation and Editing
WebVR and 3JS
3D Augmented Reality

Learning Outcomes LO 1 - 5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This module will be delivered by a variety of teaching strategies, putting emphasis on student-centred learning. Teaching will involve a combination of modes, including lectures, computer workshops, tutorials, assisted reading sessions and study of specially prepared online resources. Visits to relevant exhibitions, followed by discussions, analysis and presentations will also be included. Comprehensive, specially designed, online up-to-date support resources will be made available on VLE and updated weekly. The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) will be used as a platform to support online activities, facilitate formative assessment and related feedback, as well as a tool to integrate useful online learning materials. A blended learning strategy will be employed to enhance the learning experience, facilitate communication between students and tutors and develop collaboration among students.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Communicate effectively their innovative ideas for animated projects for arts/entertainment environments.
2. Apply knowledge of 3D design, animation and theory

3. Develop practical skills both to conceive and creative project as part of a team
4. Design and produce a prototype as a working proof-of-concept.
5. Critically evaluate 3D digital phenomena using a range of digital media technology.


Reading List

Capodagli, B. & Jackson, L. (2010) Innovate the Pixar Way: Business Lessons from the World’s Most Creative Corporate Playground. N-Y: McGraw-Hill Professional.
Derakhshani, D. (2014) Introducing Autodesk Maya 2015. Indianapolis, Indiana: Sybex, a Wiley Brand.
Dirksen, J. (2015). Learning Three. js–the JavaScript 3D Library for WebGL Packt Publishing Ltd
Dirksen, J. (2015). Three.js Cookbook, Packt Publishing Ltd., 2015
Hess. Blender Production: Creating Short Animations from Start to Finish. Elsevier
Hooks, Ed, (2001). Acting for Animators. N-Y: Heinemann Publishing.
Kerlow, I. (2009)  The Art of 3D Computer Animation and Effects, 4th Edition. N-Y: John Wiley & Sons.
Keller, E.(2010) Mastering Autodesk Maya 2011. NY: John Wiley & Sons.
King, R. (2019) 3d Animation for the Raw Beginner Using Autodesk Maya. N-Y: John Wiley & Sons.
Leslie, E. (2002) Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory, and the Avant-Garde. N-Y: Verso Books.
Murdoch, K. (2019) Autodesk Maya 2019 Basics Guide,, pp. 1.
Nijmeh, A., Hanson, E. & Ibrahim,  K. (2011). Maya 6 Killer Tips. New Riders Press.  Roland
Paik, K. and Iwerks, L. ( 2007) To Infinity and Beyond!: The Story of Pixar Animation Studios.
N-Y: Virgin Books.
Palamar, T. (2014) Mastering Autodesk Maya 2015. Indianapolis, Indiana: John Wiley & Sons.
Wells, P. (2007) Basics Animation: Scriptwriting. SA: AVA Publishing.