Course Listings

Required Courses

DRAWING FUNDAMENTALS

Course ID: 
(FD110)
Units: 
2
This course is an introduction to drawing, covering the basic technical skills and materials necessary to create convincing representations of simple or complex still-life forms. Students are introduced to composition and the concepts of creating volume and space utilizing lines as measurement, construction drawing, and value systems.

FUNDAMENTALS OF FIGURE DRAWING

Course ID: 
(FD111)
Units: 
2
This course is an introduction to drawing the human form. Students work from the draped and undraped model. Emphasis is on accurate representation of the figure utilizing observation with the elements of gesture, measurement, construction line, volume, proportion, and surface anatomy.

PERSPECTIVE

Course ID: 
(FD120)
Units: 
2
Prerequisites: 
FD110 or taken concurrently
This course is an introduction to linear perspective systems. Students explore a variety of basic and complex laws to convey the illusion of three-dimensional forms in space on a two-dimensional surface. The course stresses volume, scale, placement, and direction of forms in a spatial field.

FUNDAMENTALS OF ANIMATION

Course ID: 
(FD125)
Units: 
2
Prerequisites: 
FD110, FD111
This introductory course covers fundamental principles of drawing animated action and movement. Students explore basic animation drawing, rudimentary movement, timing, and consistency in drawing volume and mass, as well as primary and secondary action. In prepared exercises students will learn some animation basics such as the overlap or bouncing ball and how to plan and complete an animated film. Additional topics include the importance of acting, a brief history of animation, animation styles, and an overview of the animation industry.

FUNDAMENTALS OF MAYA

Course ID: 
(FD126)
Units: 
2
Prerequisites: 
FD132
This course introduces the students to the complex interface of 3-D Studio Max, one of the leading software programs in animation and graphic design industries.  Students will learn how to navigate Maya’s interface exploring basic modeling, rigging, lighting, texture, and camera set-up.

FUNDAMENTALS OF DIGITAL PAINTING

Course ID: 
(FD132)
Units: 
2
This course introduces the student to various digital painting techniques using current digital painting software. Technical aspects including brush building, image manipulation are used in the process of image making.

FUNDAMENTALS OF STORY

Course ID: 
(FD143)
Units: 
2
This course is an exploration in story structure and the incorporation of classic storytelling techniques/archetypes in the medium of film.

ANIMATION ADVANCEMENT REVIEW

Course ID: 
(AN001)
Units: 
0
In the Advancement Review process, students are evaluated at the end of the sophomore year as determined by the total number of studio classes they have completed. All students are required to submit artwork in the above categories which are then reviewed by the Chair, Assistant Chair, full-time faculty and any part-time faculty who wish participate. In addition, an outside industry professional will assist as their schedule permits. This review process is designed to assess the skills the students have developed thus far in their education and to ensure they are prepared to produce a thesis film in their last three semesters at LCAD. Students who do not pass in all categories are given notes and suggestions compiled from the reviewers’ comments indicating areas needing further development and recommendations to improve skills through exercises, tutoring or retaking specific classes. Some students achieve passing grades in all categories in their first submission. Other students successfully pass all categories on the second or third attempts. Occasionally a student will struggle with a category or two but they are required to successfully pass all categories before they will be permitted to move into their Thesis Film classes.

CG MODELING

Course ID: 
(AN201)
Units: 
3
Prerequisites: 
FD114, FD126
This is an introductory-level course designed for students to develop or enhance their 3D modeling skills.   Instruction will focus on the artistry needed to create compelling, “feature-length-quality” characters, while showing how to design and implement geometry best suited for rigging and animation.   Students may focus on character or background geometry for their projects. Students will be introduced to new software tools and techniques based upon professional practices utilized by top studios in the industry.

ANIMATION 1

Course ID: 
(AN209)
Units: 
3
Prerequisites: 
FD125
With instructor recommendation, students will have the option to create an animation reel from given assignments. Students will create a reel expressing their ideas in the form of 30-second animated pieces with animals or anthropomorphic characters. To further develop their pieces, students will use basic design and staging/layout principles, basic acting or pantomime performance, and character development. Students will be evaluated on their abilities to understand and demonstrate the essential 12 principles of animation and to execute their knowledge using learned animation techniques and basic story principles. Students will also be evaluated on their ability to evoke an intended response from the audience. Students are required to have their own set of industry tools (for example, an animation light table, animation disk, punched animation paper, and pencils).

CHARACTER DESIGN 1

Course ID: 
(AN215)
Units: 
3
Prerequisites: 
FD110, FD111, FD120
This course offers an intense investigation of character design. The objective of this course is to design model sheets of unique and imaginative animated characters. Students begin with preliminary sketches and construction drawing, and continue to develop numerous rotation drawings (turnarounds) of facial expressions and a variety of action poses that are refined and which eventually lead to more finished drawings. A variety of styles are explored. Emphasis is on working from imagination and strengthening drawing skills.

FIGURE DRAWING FOR ANIMATORS 1

Course ID: 
(AN217)
Units: 
3
Prerequisites: 
FD110, FD111, FD120
This is a figure drawing course for animators that focuses on gesture and how to capture the essentials of movement, dynamic expression, and the individual model’s attitude. A variety of drawing media will be introduced.

STORYBOARDING 1

Course ID: 
(AN218)
Units: 
3
Prerequisites: 
FD110, FD111, FD120
This course covers how to effectively portray the essence of a story by means of quick and accurate sketches. Students learn to develop and create a sequential series of staged drawings (the visual script of each scene in a film). A brief overview of script writing is included. The scripts plot, situations, and conflict are developed from rough sketches to finished presentations. This course also examines staging, cinematography, drama, action notes, dialogue, pacing, timing, and sequencing the story’s action.

ANIMAL DRAWING 1

Course ID: 
(AN220)
Units: 
3
Prerequisites: 
FD110, FD111
This course emphasizes 3-dimensional form analysis: proportion, scale, foreshortening, and weight. Using an economy of line and value, students will strive to capture emotion and expression of animal forms by depicting gesture, manner, attitude, and rhythm. Comparative studies of animal and human anatomy will empower students with strong, imaginative drawing skills. A variety of domestic and zoo animals will be studied and drawn in the studio and on location.

CG ANIMATION 1

Course ID: 
(AN250)
Units: 
3
Prerequisites: 
FD126
This course introduces the student to Alias’s industry-leading Maya software. This course is designed for students interested in computer-generated character animation for film, TV, and the gaming industry. This introductory course covers inverse kinematics (movement of arms and legs), 3D modeling, lighting, texturing, and basic rendering. Students produce a short animation using a character developed early in the semester.

CG ANIMATION 2

Course ID: 
(AN301)
Units: 
3
Prerequisites: 
AN250
This course offers continued study with Maya. Areas of study include modeling tools, 3D morphing, and intermediate animation techniques. In addition, compositing, hierarchical motion and targeting, camera tracking, lighting, rendering, shading techniques, and surface textures will be covered. Students learn to import and export animation routines/cycles and apply them to 3D character models.

ANIMATION 2

Course ID: 
(AN309)
Units: 
3
Prerequisites: 
AN209
This course is a continuation of Animation 1. Following similar criteria, students will continue expanding their knowledge of the 12 principles of animation: with emphasis on leading action and overlap. By employing the basics of acting and observing how to portray emotion with their characters, students will explore animating different character types and personalities in various ways. Students may take part in selected assignments or create their own 30-second short film. Students are required to have their own sets of industry tools (for example, an animation light table, animation disk, punched animation paper, and pencils).

LAYOUT

Course ID: 
(AN310)
Units: 
3
Prerequisites: 
FD120
In this course students will learn the role of layout in the filmmaking process, with an emphasis on feature films. The course will cover the basics of film cinematography, planning camera mechanics, how to plan and use creative perspective, lighting, and visual storytelling. Students will have the opportunity to plan and create a layout workbook, and to develop a series of key layouts during the semester. The emphasis will be on creative solutions for staging and designing the worlds that animated characters inhabit. The principles taught can be applied to traditional animation, 3D animation, or games. Recommended texts: The Five Cs of Cinematography by Joseph V. Mascelli and Film Directing Shot by Shot by Steven D. Katz. Bring a 9 x 12 sketchbook and a set of cool grey Prism color markers to the first day of class.

BACKGROUND PAINTING

Course ID: 
(AN311)
Units: 
3
Prerequisites: 
AN311
This course teaches students to take their drawn environments and background layouts to full color.  The course emphasizes the skills and tools needed to emulate traditional painting techniques using Adobe Photoshop.

VISUAL DEVELOPMENT FOR ANIMATORS 1

Course ID: 
(AN313)
Units: 
3
Prerequisites: 
FD132, AN215
This advanced course is designed to push the student’s ability to give vision to a concept and to visually convey emotional story beats. Emphasis is placed on visual communication with the use of value, design, color, and composition. Artistic growth is encouraged through a series of critiques and demonstrations.

FIGURE DRAWING FOR ANIMATORS 2

Course ID: 
(AN317)
Units: 
3
Prerequisites: 
AN217
This is a figure drawing course for animators that focuses on gesture and capturing essentials of movement, dynamic expression, and the individual model’s attitude. A variety of drawing media are introduced.

DIRECTING FOR ANIMATORS

Course ID: 
(AN325)
Units: 
3
Prerequisites: 
AN218
The purpose of this course is to finalize a short film idea that will be executed in the senior year. This course will provide experience in the process of choosing a short-film idea and developing it into a story that is clear, compelling, and entertaining. Students learn storytelling and filmmaking techniques and explore several ideas before choosing a final film. Students in this class will be evaluated on their scripts, designs and animatics with sound.

ANIMATION 3

Course ID: 
(AN409)
Units: 
3
This advanced animation course explores acting, emotion, personality, storytelling, and gags with complex characters and advanced principles and techniques such as secondary action, breaking joints, and blurs. Students are introduced to the exposure sheet in relation to dialogue and discover new methods of animating such as Straight Ahead versus Pose to Pose. Students are highly encouraged to participate in ACME on-line and on-air broadcasts.

PROFESSIONAL STUDIES

Course ID: 
(AN412)
Units: 
1
Prerequisites: 
Senior Status
This is a ten week course that concentrates on preparing students to enter team-based creative environments with emphasis on digital portfolio and reel development, communication skills, industry networking opportunities and success strategies for collaborative projects.

SENIOR THESIS 1

Course ID: 
(AN418)
Units: 
6
Prerequisites: 
AN001
This course requires production of a completed, short, animated film by the end of the year. Students will be guided through the film process and will develop their own short animated pieces from concept to completion. This course will see the process of choosing an idea that works and developing a story that is clear, compelling, and entertaining. During their first semester, students will be evaluated on scripts, designs, and animatics with sound. Students will learn exciting new filmmaking techniques along with industry standard production skills to keep them on schedule.

SENIOR THESIS 2

Course ID: 
(AN419)
Units: 
6
Prerequisites: 
AN418
This course is a continuation of Senior Project Film and is taken during the semester prior to graduation. Students are required to execute and complete their final goals reflecting an advanced level of craft and technique. The end of the semester will include a final pitch of students work to LCAD animation faculty and students and an exhibit in the senior show. Students are also required to prepare personalized promotional materials for entrance into the industry.

SENIOR THESIS 3

Course ID: 
(AN420)
Units: 
3
Prerequisites: 
AN419
This course is taken in the last senior semester and teaches the techniques necessary to bring a film to final color and sound in traditional (hand-drawn) or CG animation.  Principles for traditional films include clean-up animation, digital ink and paint. CG principles include lighting, rendering and compositing. All students will complete soundtracks for their films with Foley, sound design and final mixing.  Finished films will be encoded to theatrical DCP (Digital Cinema Package) standards and each class member will prepare the necessary publicity materials for submission to online festival platforms.