Course Title: Design animation and digital visual effects

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2017

Course Code: VART5093C

Course Title: Design animation and digital visual effects

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6151 - Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media

Course Contact: Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Trewlea Peters

9925 8011

Nominal Hours: 80

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

In this course you will cover skills and knowledge required to design animation and digital visual effects for screen productions.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUAANM503 Design animation and digital visual effects


1. Clarify design requirements

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Assess scope of design projects with reference to production documentation

1.2 Analyse factors that may impact the design process

1.3 Participate in preliminary concept meetings to clarify the design requirements

1.4 Itemise elements to be addressed with reference to production documentation


2. Generate and assess ideas

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Generate a range of design ideas that respond to the brief and provide creative solutions to design issues

2.2 Assess ideas and collaborate, as required, with relevant personnel to maximise contribution of ideas to initial concepts

2.3 Appraise ideas for implications on cost, technical feasibility and creative requirements


3. Conduct research and experimentation

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Research content and target audience characteristics that influence production styles and techniques

3.2 Trial various techniques to test their suitability for given design projects

3.3 Organise research and provide relevant personnel access to experimentation materials

3.4 Analyse and document research and experimentation findings


4. Produce draft design specifications

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Evaluate initial concept ideas in light of research and experimentation findings in consultation with relevant personnel, and select the most appropriate approach

4.2 Discuss and agree with relevant personnel on suitable documentation to present design specifications

4.3 Create storyboards as required

4.4 Prepare or supervise development of sample material to be included in design specifications as required

4.5 Draft design specifications to advise the design and development teams

4.6 Discuss draft design specifications with relevant personnel to ensure all requirements have been addressed


5. Finalise design specifications

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Present draft design specifications to relevant personnel for review to ensure they are clearly presented

5.2 Participate in evaluation of design specifications

5.3 Negotiate and agree to additions or modifications and amend design specifications as required

5.4 Clarify designer’s role for the production phase

5.5 Review process of designing animation and digital visual effects and note areas for future improvement

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to undertake design specifications for animation and digital visual effects.

Details of Learning Activities

In-class learning activities include, but are not limited to:
• demonstration and practical application
• peer teaching and class presentations
• group discussion
• online research
• individual and group project based work
• teacher directed group activities/projects
• workshopping of students’ own projects

Out-of-class activities include, but are not limited to,
• online research
• workshopping
• group project based work


Teaching Schedule




Assessment Tools received

Assessment Tasks DUE


Week 1

Lecture - History of Animation.

Design requirements and previsualisation



Week 2

Animation techniques: stop motion, Importing animated sequences, keyframe animation, puppet pin, parenting.

Receive Assessment tool 1


Week 3

Animation in Photoshop vs animation in After Effects.

Generate a range of designs that respond to Assessment tool 1



Week 4

Animation production week

Assessment task 1



Week 5

Animation post production


Assessment task 1

Week 6

Lecture - Special effects through to Digital Visual Effects.


Selections, modes, mattes and masks in Photoshop.

Conduct research and experimentation for Assessment 2

Receive Assessment tool 2

Receive Assessment tool 3


Week 7

Creating background mattes in Photoshop.

Assessment task 2



Week 8

Developing animated mattes: Photoshop compositions and Motion particles in AE. Advanced keying and masking in After Effects. Motion tracking and stabilisation.

Assessment task 2



Week 9

Shoot in cyclorama to match background mattes.

Assessment task 2



Week 10

Compositing animated mattes with chroma key.


Present trials to class, analyse and document research findings based on experimentation.



Assessment task 2

Week 11

Advanced Digital VFX will include some of the following –

Time options: remapping, timewarp, frame blending, freeze frame, pixel motion. Rotoscoping: clone, paint, roto brush, soft focus, motion blur.



Week 12

Advanced Digital VFX will include some of the following - Particles: simulation, light reflection, animation, masks, stabilisation. 3d layers: lights, cameras, animation.



Week 13

Prepare documentation for Assessment task 3. Evaluate initial concept ideas in light of research and

experimentation findings (from Assessment Task 2) and select the most appropriate approach.

Evaluate and adjust design specifications and documentation to reflect improvements needed in the VFX task.

Present updated design specifications and documents for Assessment Task 3.


Paperwork for Assessment task 3

Week 14


Assessment task 3



Week 15

Post Production

Assessment task 3



Week 16

Finalise, export and submit Assessment task 3


Assessment task 3

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources (Log In via RMIT Library Databases A-Z)


Adobe After Effects CC Classroom in a Book (2015 release)

Fridsma, Lisa ; Gyncild, Brie

ISBN: 0134308123 ; ISBN: 9780134308128 ; E-ISBN: 013430683X ; E-ISBN: 9780134306834

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is ongoing throughout the semester. Your knowledge of course content is assessed through participation in practical exercises, knowledge assessment tasks and practical projects.

Assessment Tasks

To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete the following assessment to a satisfactory standard.
You will receive feedback on all assessment and once you have demonstrated competency, you will receive a grade for Assessment Task 3 (refer to MyRMIT for grading rubric).

Assessment Task 1

DUE Week 5 - Graded

Design and create a short animated sequence


Assessment task 2

DUE Week 10 - Graded

Develop ideas, design, conduct research and experiments for VFX scene. Present trials to class, analyse and document research findings based on experimentation.


Assessment task 3

DUE Week 16 - Graded

Analyse research findings based on trials and experimentation of Task 2 and improve the design specifications of digital visual effects for Task 3. Reshoot improvements, redevelop and composite a VFX trial to reflect the improvements and meet revised design specifications.


For further information on the grading system and criteria used, please refer to the course blackboard site.
Grades which apply to courses delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment, but which also use graded assessment:

CHD - Competent with High Distinction
CDI - Competent with Distinction
CC - Competent with Credit
CAG - Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC - Not Yet Competent
DNS - Did Not Submit for Assessment

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant unit of competency. These matrices are available through Program Administration.

Other Information

Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:

Cover Sheet for Submissions:

You must complete and sign a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions.


Your learning experience will involve class-based teaching, discussion, demonstration and practical exercises

It is strongly advised that you attend all timetabled sessions. This will allow you to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring you the maximum opportunity to complete this course successfully.

Assessment Feedback:

You will receive spoken and written feedback on all your work.  Where relevant, this feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.

Student Progress:

Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy designed to assist you in achieving your learning potential.

Adjustments to Assessment (eg. applying for an extension of time):

If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment satisfactorily by the due date, you can choose to apply for an adjustment to your assessment. RMIT University offers a range of adjustments designed to support you in your studies, including an extension of time to complete the assessment.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism:

RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy.

Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning:

Credit transfer is the recognition of previously completed formal learning (an officially accredited qualification).

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process that allows you to demonstrate competence using the skills you have gained through experience in the workplace, voluntary work, informal or formal training or other life experiences.

Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) RCC applies only if you have previously successfully demonstrated competence in a unit of competency, and now require to be reassessed to ensure that the competence is being maintained.

Please speak to your teacher if you wish to discuss applying for Credit Transfer, RPL, or RCC for the unit(s) of competency addressed in this course.


Course Overview: Access Course Overview