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Creative Media Education

MODULES: BA/BSc (Hons) Visual Effects and Animation

MODULE 1 (TRIMESTER 1)

2d Fundamentals

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the principles of 2D, and develop the skills and techniques used for content creation. It provides an insight into drawing and digital imaging and shows standard workflow operations in a 2D pipeline. The module further aims to outline the design process from the first idea to a finished 2D scene, with an emphasis on research. You’ll also be required to apply the theoretical underpinnings of design processes via a range of practical explorations and critical analyses. This will provide you with a solid understanding of 2D workflows and methods that will form the foundation of successive modules. 

Indicative List of Topics

  • Thumbnail sketches
  • Concept design
  • Technical Drawing
  • Digital Imaging
  • Observational Drawing
  • Photo Imaging
  • Graphic File Formats
  • Drawing from Reference

Projects

  • 2D Production Portfolio
  • Environment Creation Project

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

Knowledge

  • Discuss the basic principles of 2D design fundamentals
  • Outline the design and production pipeline fundamentals
  • Define the basic principles of drawing

Skills

  • Demonstrate drawing techniques using digital applications
  • Demonstrate teamwork in the creation of artefacts
  • Demonstrate the use of the principles of design for creating 2D content

MODULE 2 (TRIMESTER 1)

Information, Communication and Professional Media Practice

In this module we introduce you to proven concepts and routines of academic research, critique and writing, and nurture these skills to ensure that you apply good study practice and management throughout your studies. We aim to familiarise you with the theories of culture and communication and develop a basic understanding of the creative media industries and your potential role as a professional creative media practitioner. Together, all of these skills will help you develop transferable career skills to aid your job search upon graduation.

Indicative List of Topics

  • Learning theories and methods
  • Introduction to basic concepts and tools of project management, including group and collaborative work
  • Tools for career development
  • Defining and developing goals and outcomes
  • Concepts of, practices in, and reasons for research
  • Writing skills (articles, essays, journals, reports, proposals) and the differences between concept development and presentation format
  • Essay structure, paragraph structure, sentence structure
  • Concept of a thesis/hypothesis
  • Ownership, intellectual copyright and plagiarism
  • Referencing, APA and Harvard
  • Introduction to culture and cultural movements
  • Overview of the creative media industries

Projects

  • Cultural and Industry Analysis
  • Career Pathway
  • Industry Sector Comparison

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

Knowledge

  • Summarise basics of learning theories and their application in learning, communication and teamwork
  • Explain academic practice, critical thinking and reasons for their importance
  • Identify key players in the creative media industries and discuss their interplay with wider cultural, economical, political and geographical phenomena
  • Articulate a thought-through plan for development of a career, project or concept

Skills

  • Derive tasks from goals, plan time and resources accordingly and manage working in group context
  • Present an objective argument succinctly in written form employing a standard referencing system
  • Apply the most appropriate method of learning in a given scenario and adapt learning methods when needed
  • Discuss culture and communication in different media disciplines (audio, picture, film, web)

MODULE 3 (TRIMESTER 2)

3D Fundamentals

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the principles of 3D, and develop the skills and techniques used for content creation. It provides an insight into modelling, texturing and shows standard workflow operations in a 3D pipeline, including interoperability. The module further aims to outline the effective use of geometry in regards of performance and workflow optimisation. At the end of module, you will have developed the skills for designing and realising an environment in 3D using various 3D modelling applications, adopting professional workflows and demonstrating a practical understanding of the production pipeline. 

Indicative List of Topics

  • Principles of 3D
  • 3D Modelling Techniques
  • UV Mapping
  • Basic texturing
  • Topology and Optimisation
  • 3D Assets File Formats
  • Pipeline overview

Projects

  • Motion Graphics Project.
  • Shot Planning Assignment
  • Character Analysis and Scripting

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to

Knowledge

  • Define the basic principles of 3D modelling
  • Define the principles of 3D modelling
  • Outline the design and production pipeline of 3D workflows
  • Identify the effective use of 3D topology

Skills

  • Operate in a production pipeline for 3D content creation              
  • Apply pipelines and creative workflows
  • Apply 3D modelling techniques and tools using appropriate workflow           
  • Apply basic texturing techniques and tools using appropriate workflow

MODULE 4 (TRIMESTER 2)

Rendering and Animation Fundamentals

This module introduces students to the principles of animation and rendering, developing the skills and techniques used for content creation and animation. It provides an insight into the rigging and animation process and shows standard workflows in 2D and 3D animation. You will apply the theoretical underpinnings of animation processes via a range of practical explorations and critical analyses. This will provide you with a solid understanding of animation principles and rendering processes leading to a presentation in different output formats. 

Indicative List of Topics

  • History of Animation
  • 2D Animation techniques
  • 3D Animation techniques
  • Rigging basics
  • Principles of lighting
  • Camera
  • Material Theory and Shader
  • Rendering techniques

Projects

  • Animation and Modelling Assignments
  • Develop a short, complete, 3D animation project

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

Knowledge

  • Examine the effective use of animation techniques to create simple animation
  • Identify the basic principles of 3D animation
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the production pipeline for 3D animation
  • Identify appropriate rendering techniques and tools

Skills

  • Create digital assets for integration into animation production
  • Apply basic rendering techniques
  • Develop a 3D animation that demonstrates the effective use of animation techniques

MODULE 5 (TRIMESTER 3)

Introduction to VFX

This module is designed to develop your understanding of VFX production pipelines, as well as core concepts of cinematography applicable to VFX production. The module will explore the technical aspects of live action shooting, and how these transfer into a digital environment. You will be provided with fundamental tools to develop realistic aesthetics for digital animated content production. Students will also develop film language skills using traditional film media, which complement the VFX production process. 

Indicative List of Topics 

  • VFX Production Pipeline
  • Compositing fundamentals
  • Photography
  • Shot Visual Properties
  • Aesthetics in Cinema
  • Colour Grading
  • Lighting setups for live action
  • Shading 

Projects

  • Animation Production

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

Knowledge

  • Explain the fundamental concepts and techniques of VFX production pipelines K2 Interpret the codes essential to vfx aesthetics
  • Explain the fundamental concepts and techniques of optics and lighting for film production
  • Identify the core aspects of production planning and workflow for VFX 

Skills

  • Demonstrate the effective use of lighting and colour
  • Demonstrate professional practice using industry techniques
  • Produce 3D content appropriate for basic integration into live action footage 

MODULE 6 (TRIMESTER 3)

ELECTIVE

MODULE 7 (TRIMESTER 4)

Advanced Character Animation and Production Rendering

You will learn how to develop strong character animation techniques by bringing together anatomy and movement knowledge, facial animation, comedic timing and general acting theories and techniques for both human and non-human characters.
See your personal style really take shape and advance, as you further enhance your knowledge in production rendering to be able to create visually stunning pieces of work for your showreel, demonstrating both technical aptitude and flair.

Indicative List of Topics

  • Facial Animation
  • Performance capture and Emotion for animation
  • Anthropomorphic Animation
  • Zoomorphic Aanimation
  • Rays, Scanline Rendering and Raytracing
  • External Render Engines within a 3D application
  • Applying Image Effects
  • Global Illumination
  • GPU Rendering

Projects

  • Advanced Character Animation

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

Knowledge

  • Interpret a brief in order to complete an animation project
  • Analyse the effective use of animation techniques to create seamless 
animation
  • Select the most efficient rendering techniques and tools for their 
project

Skills

  • Create detailed character animation, drawing on both technical and creative skills
  • Manage an animation project fulfilling, a specific brief, on time and in full
  • Apply advanced rendering techniques

MODULE 8 (TRIMESTER 4)

Marketing, Business Planning and Law

This module aims to impart the essential knowledge, concepts and analytical tools of business and marketing to function effectively in the industry. It will also open your eyes to key legal and ethical issues that underpin practices specifically related to the creative media industries. Upon completion of this module, you will have developed key communication skills, whilst being sensitive to the impact of how communication can shape how we, as a society, understand each other in social, cultural and economic contexts.

Indicative List of Topics

  • Business and Management Studies
  • Business Planning
  • Legal Issues and Law
  • Enterprise, Entrepreneurship
  • Ethical Considerations
  • Marketing Concepts
  • Market Segmentation and Targeting
  • Marketing & Promotional Strategies
  • Brand Development
  • Brand Management
  • Product Development
  • Communication Models and Theories
  • Crafting the Pitch
  • Presentation Techniques

Projects

A portfolio of tasks, including business and marketing plan, draft contracts and presentation.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

Knowledge

  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic business and marketing concepts and practices in relation to the creative media industries
  • Discuss legal and ethical issues of the creative media industries
  • Discuss the basic concepts of communication studies

Skills

  • Apply business and marketing planning concepts
  • Effectively communicate business and marketing ideas and proposals
  • Summarise the needs in a given situation and then communicate their ideas succinctly, in a fashion appropriate to that context
  • Develop the contents of a basic contract and draw conclusions as to its tenability

MODULE 9 (TRIMESTER 5)

Research Practice and Society

Research is key to the successful outcome of any creative project and this module aims to develop within you an advanced critical understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and their application for both artistic and scientific research. You will advance your knowledge, planning and implementation of research based inquiry to address specific questions, whilst developing an in-depth understanding of the creative media industries and your potential role as a creative media practitioner. Together we will broaden your understanding of the ongoing interplay between science and the history of ideas, culture and creative media, to give your work the depth it requires to have a profound effect in the market-place.

Indicative List of Topics

  • Research Methodologies and their application in the creative media industries
  • Artistic and Scientific research and practice
  • Theories and Paradigms of research
  • Contemporary issues surrounding research
  • Developing a research question / hypothesis
  • Gathering, analysis, interpretation and presentation of data
  • Literature review and critical analysis of existing research
  • Research Ethics
  • Creative media industries: past, present and future
  • The role of practitioners in the creative media industries
  • History of ideas, and scientific and cultural theories
  • Types of culture
  • Scientific and cultural issues, the development of ideas over time and cultural diversity
  • Decoding science and culture: communication, meaning and semiotics

Projects

  • Cultural Analysis
  • Creative Media Practitioner Analysis
  • Major Project Proposal

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

Knowledge

  • Evaluate a range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies used in creative media
  • Critically analyse previously researched specific contemporary issues relating to different areas of the creative media industries
  • Analyse a variety of creative industry sectors and their relation to the arts
  • Discuss continuing professional development strategies
  • Compare different and changing cultural ideas
  • Critically appraise the interplay between culture and consumers of culture

Skills

  • Apply qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methods in academic and creative media contexts
  • Select the most appropriate research method(s) to address a particular research question
  • Develop a personal continuing professional development plan
  • Communicate their knowledge of cultural issues effectively, through comparative analysis of cultural ideas

MODULE 10 (TRIMESTER 5)

ELECTIVE

MODULE 11 (TRIMESTER 6)

Major Project (BA or BSc)

Your major project is intended to demonstrate a range of advanced skills in accordance with the requirements of a substantial level six project. Through successful completion, you will also exhibit your capacity to conduct independent projects and manage a large-scale venture. Central to the module is an exploration of research methodologies and their applications or their own artistic style and its presentation to the public. You will develop a project proposal and submit this for approval. You will then manage all aspects involved in the preliminary and planning phases, through to realisation. Your major project is self-generated and may take one of many different forms, there is however an expectation that the final deliverable will be of a calibre that will help progress you into employment or postgraduate work.

BA (Hons) Route

Research methods for a BA-Project could imply interviews, surveys, audience-tests (audio, video, web etc.) or observations of user behaviour. Alternatively the student can focus on a high-quality creative portfolio, presenting their own artistic works to the public and evaluating their own style and performance.

BSc (Hons) Route

Research methods for a BSc-Project could imply calculations, measurements, simulations or observations of technical/scientific correlations.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

Knowledge

  • Analyse a specialised field of interest
  • Outline creative aspects within their specialised field
  • Discuss appropriate methodologies needed to undertake reliable and valid research, or production of a creative portfolio
  • Plan the complex processes involved in the implementation of a major project

Skills

  • Successfully apply appropriate methodologies needed to undertake reliable and valid research
  • Apply academic and creative/practical skills appropriate to the level of study
  • Manage a major project independently, professionally and efficiently
  • Communicate effectively the outcomes