Course Title: Design animation and digital visual effects

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2018

Course Code: VART5093C

Course Title: Design animation and digital visual effects

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5361 - Diploma of Screen and Media (Interactive Media)

Course Contact: Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4585

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nicole McKinnon
ph: 9925 4375

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

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to design animation and digital visual effects for screen productions such as television commercials, feature films, animated films or interactive games.

It applies to individuals who have high-level skills in research and creative concept development. They work closely with people such as directors or producers to generate concepts and prepare design specifications for animation or visual effects for a range of projects.

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 experimental 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 unit, you will have developed the skills required to design animation and digital visual effects for a screen based production.


Details of Learning Activities

In class learning activities may include, but are not limited to:

• lectures and/or lab work
• teacher directed group activities and projects
• concept development of group and individual projects
• group discussions and class presentations
• peer and teacher feedback
• WIP (work in progress) reviews
• self directed online, library and industry research
• self directed project production work and reflection

Out of class activities may include, but are not limited to:

• maintaining secure daily backups of all assessment and project data to your RMIT Google Drive account
• accessing online tutorial resources
• self directed online, library and industry research
• self directed project production work and reflection
• class excursions to events and locations outside of RMIT

Teaching Schedule

Please note: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the weekly order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources. 


Class content


Wk 1

Introducing A01 - Post-it note morph

Utilise the following principles of


- timing

- squash and stretch

- pose to pose animation or straight ahead animation


Wk 2

Post it note morph continues

Continue working A01 - Post-it note morph - scanning and preparing the images


Wk 3

WIP review – Present your progress with A01

Continue working A01 - Post-it note morph - composting

Photoshop Animated GIF

A01 - Post-it note morph

Wk 4

Create characters appropriate for frame by frame animation.

Introduction to  A03 - Animation 1 Class exercises & A02 - Shop window Animation


Wk 5

Frame By Frame Animation - character movement.

Frame By Frame Animation

Character Jump (Keyposes/ Inbetweens)

Anticipation, Squash and Stretch

A02 - Shop Window Animation (preproduction document)

Wk 6

Frame By Frame Animation -

Secondary Movement

Frame By Frame Animation -

Adding Secondary Movement to the character.


Wk 7

Frame By Frame Animation -

Transport Movement (maintain proportions)

Adding movement to the character.


Wk 8

WIP review – Present your progress with A03

Frame By Frame Animation - complicated movement.

Turn/Complicated Turn /Spin (maintain proportions)

Smears/ Transitions

A03 - Animation 1 class exercises

Wk 9

Shop window Animation -

Clean Up / Polishing (Additional FX Fire, Electricity, smoke for example) - Colour / Compositing the shop
window animation.


Wk 10

Shop window Animation - Colour / Compositing the shop

window animation.


Wk 11

Shop window Animation -

Adding Sound Effects and music.


Wk 12

WIP review – Present your progress with A04

Shop window Animation

A04 -  Shop Window Animation

Wk 13

Industry Projects week 1


Wk 14

Industry Projects week 2


Wk 15

Industry Projects week 3

 A05 - Animation 1 Knowledge Quiz 

Wk 16

Course and Industry Projects review and evaluation



Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts



The University Library has extensive resources. The Library has produced a number of subject guides that includes quality online and print resources for your studies. The Library provides guides and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarians.

Other Resources

Students are encouraged to make full use of class time, open studio time and University computer lab resources. Please consult the RMIT University web site for details of access times and locations.

Other required resources include, but are not limited to: an A4 or A3 visual diary, drawing materials (pencils of various grades (1B & 2B), erasers, coloured pencils and pens, graphic markers such as Copic brand) broadband internet access, suitable digital media storage such as a portable hard drive or USB 3.0 flash drive, with at least 128Gb capacity.

You are strongly advised to maintain a daily backup schedule of all assessment and project data to your RMIT Google Drive account.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is ongoing throughout the semester. Your knowledge of course content is assessed through participation in class exercises, practical project work and through the application of learned skills.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment for this course is competency based. To show competency, you must complete all assessments to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback from the teacher at the conclusion of each assessment task. Once you have demonstrated competency, you will receive a grade for A04 and for the course.

Late submissions or submissions that do not reach the required standard, may be assessed Not Yet Satisfactory. You will receive resubmission instructions via email, myRMIT or LMS feedback. Resubmissions must occur within a week of this notification. Graded assessments which are resubmitted, are eligible for CAG (Competency Achieved Graded) only.

Please refer to the assessment brief for full assessment criteria or assessment rubric. All assessment documents are available on the course LMS page through MyRMIT.

A01 - Post-it note morph
Using a minimum of 30 post-it notes, create a morphing sequence, that is hand coloured, scanned and composited.
Due week 3 – Ungraded

A02 - Shop Window Animation (preproduction document)
Submit the A01 Design For Shop Window Animation 3D 1 (CUAANM502 Create 3D digital environments RMIT: VART6443C)
Due week 5 - Ungraded

A03- Animation 1 class exercises
Week 4 - character design - character blink and wave
Week 5 - Frame by Frame Animation - jump
Week 6 -  Frame by Frame Animation - Secondary movement
Week 7 - Frame by Frame Animation -  walk cycle Paper test
Week 8 - Frame by Frame - Turn and Spin
Due week 8 – Ungraded

A04 -  Shop Window Animation
Create an original (copyright free), 2 legged  2D character (human, animal, vegetable, mineral) that is appropriate for the shop window environment created in 3D. Animate a blink, wave jump, secondary movement, transport move, and export as an mp4.
Due week 12 – Graded

A05 - Animation 1 Knowledge Quiz
A knowledge quiz to gauge your understanding of fundamental concepts and techniques covered in this course.
Due week 15 - Ungraded



Graded assessment in this course uses the following grades:

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 for this course demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the unit of competency. It can be found on the Canvas course page through myRmit, or from your teacher.

Other Information

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

Your learning experience will involve class-based teaching, discussion, demonstration and practical exercises. You are strongly advised to 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
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