module specification

SM5F51 - 3D Modelling and Animation (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title 3D Modelling and Animation
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 150
105 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   3D Model
Coursework 40%   3D Animation
Coursework 20%   Reflective Report (2000wds)
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module covers the concepts and practice of 3D modelling and animation.  3D animation is explored in a recent historical context, with reference to developments in the film and games industries.   Students will use industry standard 3d production software. You will be encouraged to explore how 3D techniques might integrate into other aspects of your Digital Media practice

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

This module aims to
1. develop an understanding of the principles and practical applications of 3D modelling and animation
2. enable students to visualise and design in a virtual 3 dimensional space
3. review the work of 3D computer artists


An indicative programme of study covers the following:

3D modelling
• pre-production paper design
• modelling primitives, polygons and nurbs
• surfaces, colouring, textures, maps and effects
• lighting, shadows, composition
3D animation
• key frames and animation paths
• cameras, environments, particles
• rigging, bones, character animation
• rendering, output
• Analysis of technical developments
• 3D games
• virtual realities
• movies and special effects

Learning and teaching

The teaching and learning methods will take the form of weekly theory sessions, followed by practical workshops.  In addition, tutorial support can be built in to help students over areas of difficulty with theoretical comprehension and practical application.Examples of real-world practice will be used regularly to help the students gauge the level, aesthetic appeal and functional application, expected in the industry. Guest slots by, and visits to, industry practitioners will be incorporated into the teaching, where practical.

Learning outcomes

knowledge and understanding:
1. analyze creative and technical developments in 3D animation

cognitive intellectual skills:
2. visualize, design and construct 3D models and scenes
3. apply established testing methodolgies to evaluate results

transferable skills including those of employability and professional practice:
4. Communicate ideas for 3d models and animated sequences

subject-specific practical skills:
5. develop and produce 3D animations

Assessment strategy

The main assessment is of practical project work, while historic context will be evidenced through an illustrated report

1. 3D Model 40%
2. 3D animated sequence 40%
3. Report reflecting on an aspect of 3D animation practice. 20%


Beane, A. (2012) 3D Animation Essentials (Essentials (John Wiley)) John Wiley & Sons
Kerlow, I.  (2004) The Art of 3D Computer Animation and Effects; John Wiley & Sons
Pilling, J. (2012) Animating the Unconscious; Columbia University Press
Selby, A. (2011) Animation in Process; Laurence King
Starr, R. and C. (1977) Experimental Animation: An Illustrated Anthology; Van Nostrand Reinhold Co
Vaughan, W (2011) Digital Modeling; New Riders
Walter, S.  (2007) Motion Blur 2: Multidimensional Moving Imagemakers: v. 2; Laurence King