University of Southern California
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Courses of Instruction

Animation (CTAN)

330 Animation Fundamentals (2, Sp) An introduction to the fundamentals of animation, covering such topics as timing, anticipation, reaction, overlapping action, and metamorphosis.

432 Introduction to Animation (2, Sp) Introduction to the expanding field of animation, from classical character to experimental and computer animation, including virtual reality and the latest digital visual effects for Hollywood feature films.

436 Writing for Animation (2, FaSp) Workshop exploring concept and structure of long and short form animated films through practical writing exercises.

448 Introduction to Film Graphics -- Animation (4) Practical course in concepts, media, and techniques related to the graphic film; symbology, composition, kinesthesis, animation, typography, color, and materials. Survey; lecture; production.

449 Advanced Production in Film Graphics (2 or 4, max 8) Concentration on one area of graphic concept or advanced exploration of media and techniques. Prerequisite: CTAN 448.

450abc Animation Theory and Techniques (2-2-2, FaSp) Explores the aesthetics and techniques of animation, ranging from traditional character to contemporary experimental and computer animation genres, through lectures, exercises and projects.

451 History of Animation (2, Fa) In-depth survey of historical developments, styles, techniques, theory and criticism of animation as an art form.

452 Introduction to Computer Animation (2, Sp) Lecture and laboratory in computer animation: geometric modeling, motion specification, lighting, texture mapping, rendering, compositing, production techniques, systems for computer-synthesized animation. Prerequisite: departmental approval.

462 Visual Effects (2, FaSp) Survey of contemporary concepts and approaches to production in the current stage of film and video effects work. Digital and traditional methodologies will be covered, with a concentration on digital exercises illustrating modern techniques. Prerequisite: departmental approval.

482 Basic Motion Picture Techniques for Animators (2, Fa) Introduction for animation majors to the basic techniques and processes of film, video and computer systems, including cinematography, editing and sound.

495ab Experimental Animation (2-2, FaSp) This experimental animation class provides students with the opportunity to develop their own concept ideas, experiment with innovative animation techniques and produce a 30- to 60-second animated film. Open to senior animation minors and graduate students in the M.F.A. Animation program only.

499 Special Topics (2-4, max 8, FaSpSm) Detailed investigation of new or emerging aspects of cinema and/or television; special subjects offered by visiting faculty; experimental subjects.

501 Interactive Animation (2, FaSp) Introduces basic interactive and non-linear approaches to animation through a series of lectures and exercises, culminating in a group project. Prerequisite: CTAN 523; recommended preparation: Photoshop/Director (software).

502ab Virtual Reality and Stereoscopic Animation (a: 2, Fa; b: 2, Sp) a: An in-depth exploration of aesthetics and techniques involved in the conceptualization, design and production of immersive virtual environments and stereoscopic animation. Prerequisite: departmental approval. b: Review of techniques and aesthetic issues pertinent to immersive virtual reality and stereoscopic animation. Students realize an original project proposed in CTAN 502a. Prerequisite: CTAN 502a and departmental approval.

522 Animation Department Seminar (1, max 6, FaSp) A weekly seminar required of all M.F.A. Animation students. This course includes guest speakers, faculty and student presentations followed by lively and critical discussion. Graded CR/NC.

523 Principles of Computer Animation (2, Sp) Fundamental computer concepts, principles of modeling, rendering, lighting, texture mapping, animation, digital compositing, visual effects, and input/output using 3-D interactive computer graphics techniques. Recommended preparation: basic computer knowledge.

524 Contemporary Topics in Animation and Digital Arts (2, Sp) A seminar course focusing on contemporary issues affecting animation, especially digital cameras and new interactive technology. Interdisciplinary viewpoints from artists, scientists, theorists and others.

543 Intermediate Computer Animation (2, Irregular) The study of computer animation including storyboarding, geometric modeling, choreography, lighting, texture mapping, background creation and rendering. Prerequisite: CTPR 508x.

544 Introduction to Film, Video and Computer Animation (3, Fa) Fundamentals of film, video and computer animation production. Orientation to assist students in determining future emphases and specialties. Open only to M.F.A. Animation students.

547 Animation Production I (3, Sp) Practicum in film, video and computer animation emphasizing the production process through individual projects. Open only to M.F.A. Animation students. Prerequisite: CTAN 544.

548 Animation Production II (3, Fa) Two person intermediate practicum in film, video and computer animation, emphasizing content and form. Open only to M.F.A. Animation students. Prerequisite: CTAN 547.

549 Animation Production III (3, Sp) Crew constituted advanced practicum in film, video, and computer animation. Open only to M.F.A. Animation students. Prerequisite: CTAN 548.

563 Advanced Computer Animation (2, Irregular) Investigation of advanced computer techniques related to character representation and various types of algorithmically defined animation produced on either film or videotape. Prerequisite: CTAN 543.

576 Seminar in Film/Television and New Technologies (4, Sp) Focus on film's relationship to general technological developments, what it owes to technologies that preceded it, how it continues to develop in relation to emerging technologies and how it influences the shape of these newer technologies. Prerequisite: departmental approval.

577ab Fundamentals of Animation (a: 2, Fa; b: 2, Sp) The exploration of the techniques of the art of character animation with an emphasis on discipline, performance and personality observation, specializing in classical Hollywood animation. Open only to M.F.A. Animation students.

579 Expanded Animation (2, Sp) A survey of animation across media; applications to live action film, the fine arts, architecture; linkages with modern art, postmodern theory and social history. Open only to M.F.A. Animation students. Prerequisite: CTAN 451.

591 Animation Pre-Thesis Seminar (2, Sp) A pre-production seminar, where students complete the research, development, script and storyboards for their thesis project to be executed in CTAN 594abz. Open to M.F.A. Animation students only.

592 Master Class (2-6, max 12, Fa) A special projects course in which students produce a major work through weekly meetings with a master artist/animator. Topics must be approved prior to enrollment. Prerequisite: departmental approval; recommended preparation: previous advanced animation production experience.

593 Directed Studies in Animation (2, max 4, FaSp) Individual exploration in the areas of contemporary technology, animation techniques or experimental film through internships, residencies or directed studies.

594abz Master's Thesis (2-2-0) Credit on acceptance of thesis. Graded IP/CR/NC.

599 Special Topics (2-4, max 8, Irregular) Detailed investigation of new or emerging aspects of cinema; special subjects offered by visiting faculty; experimental subjects.