Course Title: Design animation and digital visual effects

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2014

Course Code: COSC5381C

Course Title: Design animation and digital visual effects

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6087 - Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media

Course Contact : Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Trewlea Peters

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 course covers the skills and knowledge required to design animation and digital visual effects for screen productions.

Designers who specialise in animation or visual effects apply the skills and knowledge described in this unit. They work closely with people such as directors or producers to prepare design specifications for animation or visual effects for projects, which range in scope from television commercials to aspects of feature films, an entire animated film or interactive games.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUFANM503A Design animation and digital visual effects


1 Clarify design Requirements

Performance Criteria:

1. With reference to production documentation identify the scope of design projects
2. Identify factors that may have an impact on the design process
3. Participate in preliminary concept meetings to clarify understanding of design requirements
4. With reference to production documentation, itemise elements that need to be addressed during the design phase


2 Generate and assess ideas.

Performance Criteria:

5. Generate a range of design ideas that respond sympathetically to the brief and provide creative solutions to design issues
6. Assess ideas and collaborate, as required, with relevant personnel to maximise contribution of ideas to initial concepts
7. Continuously reflect on and appraise ideas for implications on cost, technical feasibility, and creative requirements


3 Conduct research and experimentation.

Performance Criteria:

8. Research aspects of content and target audience characteristics that might influence production styles and techniques
9. Trial various techniques to test the suitability of their use in given design projects
10. Organise research and experimentation material for ease of access by relevant personnel during the design development process
11. Analyse and document research and experimentation findings for use during the design phase


4 Produce draft design specifications

Performance Criteria:

12. In consultation with relevant personnel, evaluate initial concept ideas in light of research and experimentation findings and select the most appropriate approach
13. Ensure that agreement is reached with relevant personnel on a consistent interpretation of design and visual details
14. Create storyboards as required
15. Prepare or supervise the preparation of sample material to be included in design specifications as required
16. Write draft design specifications to include relevant advice to design and development teams
17. Discuss draft design specifications with relevant personnel to ensure that all requirements have been addressed


5 Finalise design specifications.

Performance Criteria:

18. Present draft design specifications to relevant personnel for review
19. Participate in the initial and ongoing evaluation of design specifications
20. Negotiate and agree to additions or modifications and amend design specifications as required
21. Clarify the ongoing role of the designer during the production phase and in the evaluation of the final animations or digital visual effects
22. 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

Learning activities will take place in a studio, computer lab or classroom using industry standard tools and resources. You will complete exercises and industry style projects. You will also be required to undertake independent study.

In-class learning activities include, but are not limited to:
• demonstration and practical application
• lab work
• peer teaching and class presentations
• group discussion
• online research
• independent 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
• work-shopping
• group project based work

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.

WeekClass ContentAssessmentElements

Overview of After Effects. Demonstration and discussion of the interface and effects tools available in After Effects.




2Introduction to Photoshop and using Photoshop with After Effects. 2,3.
3Introduction to Premiere and using Premiere with After Effects. 2,3.
4Understanding the composite – Alpha channels, Masks, Mattes and blend modes in AE. 2,3.

In class assignment 1.

Animation and Visual Effects across Premiere, Photoshop and After Effects.

Formative task 1 due1,2,3,4.
6Keying – matching lighting, framing and colour on a green screen studio production. Creating stop motion animation. 2,3.
7Keying and Colour correction in AE. Using Keylight, Chroma keying and advanced colour correction in After Effects. 2,3.
8Motion Tracking, keying, animating masks, effects, 3D layers and parenting. 2,3.
9In class assignment 2
Composite, keying, matting, masking and colour effects.
Formative task 2 due1,2,3,4.
10Receive brief and discuss approach with your crew. Analyse the pre-Visualisation (composition, lighting, framing, mise en scene and movement), break down a script, analyse production and VFX requirements and storyboarding to match effects with camera angles. 1,2,3,4.
11Present designs and documents for animation and visual effects task. Submit an outline specifying the aims and possible outcomes of the animation and visual effects experimentation. Discuss approach to post production and visual effects experimentation with VFX supervisor and peers. Document feedback and re-evaluate approach after presentation if necessary.Summative task part 1 Due1,2,3,4.
12Production for VFX project. Acquire and create footage and images to proceed with experimentation. 1,2,3,4.
13Analyse raw materials and discuss approach to post production and visual effects experimentation with VFX supervisor. Begin experimentation. Keep records of steps taken during experimentation and analyse results for each experiment. Document feedback and re-evaluate approach after presentation if necessary.Summative task Part 2 Due1,2,3,4.
14Production for VFX project. Acquire and create footage and images to proceed with experimentation. 1,2,3,4.
15Continue experimentation. Keep records of steps taken during experimentation and analyse results for each experiment. Isolate the most successful experiments and discuss findings with peers and supervisor.Summative task Part 3 Due1,2,3,4,5.
16Focus on most successful experiment and continue VFX refining task until completion. Submit experimentation and recorded analysis of VFX at the end of the session.Submit Summative task Part 45.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Resources provided in class


You are advised to look at the course Blackboard site for ongoing updated information.

Other Resources

You will require a personal hard drive to store class materials and exercises.
• Portable Hard Drive – Firewire 800
• USB Stick or passport drive
• HDV/DV Tapes
• SDHC Cards

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems and access to specialised facilities and relevant software. You will also have access of the library resources.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is ongoing throughout the semester.

Your knowledge of course content is assessed through the application of learned skills and insights to your projects and through:
• evaluation of material created by the candidate
• direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence
• observation of the candidate compositing material for visual effects
• written or verbal questioning to test knowledge as listed in the required skills and knowledge section of this unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment tasks in this course are either formative or summative. Formative tasks provide the basis for ongoing feedback and can be considered as essential building blocks for the more substantial summative assessment tasks.

Formative and Summative assessment tasks must be completed during scheduled class time as observation of your practical skills and knowledge by the tutor is an integral part of assessment.
Summative assessment tasks in this unit are graded.
To demonstrate competency in this course, you will need to complete the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessments and a grade for the summative assessment.

Formative Assessment
1. In class assignment 1 (materials provided) - Animation and Visual Effects across Premiere, Photoshop and After Effects (individual task). Due week 5.

2. In class assignment 2 (production and post) - Composite, keying, matting, masking and colour effects (group task). Due week 9.

 Summative Assessment
Animation and Visual Effects experimentation and development pf a single VFX scene (group exercise).

Part 1 - Pre-visualization and presentation - Due week 11.
Part 2 - Draft versions of experiementation - Due week 13.
Part 3 - Presentations and paperwork - Due week 14.
Part 4 - Final project - Due week 16.

For further information on assessments and the grading system and criteria used, please refer to the course blackboard site and assessment guide.

Grades used in this unit are as follows:
The following grades are applicable to Summative assessment tasks and 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 demonstrated alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available through the course contact in Program administration

Other Information

The major learning experience involves studio based exercises, demonstration and production. It is strongly advised that students attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

You will receive verbal and written feedback from the teacher on your work. This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.
Student feedback at RMIT

Student Progress
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential.
Student progress policy

Special consideration Policy (Late Submissions)
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension.
Special consideration appeals and discipline

Cover Sheet for Submissions
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.

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 go to Academic Integrity

Course Overview: Access Course Overview