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Computer Animation MA

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 1 year January 2017
September 2017
Part time 2 years January 2017
September 2017

Choose Kingston's Computer Animation MA

This course will enable students with some experience of 3D computer graphics to develop and enhance their abilities in the skills required by the computer animation and visual effects industries. It is one of a suite of digital media courses that enable you to study professional digital media practice in a studio environment and work as part of an interdisciplinary team with students from across the full programme. Through a student-centred project-based curriculum, you work to develop specialist skills such as character animation, character rigging, effects animation, modelling, texturing and lighting.

Key features

  • This course has been developed in consultation with our industry panel, which includes representatives from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, DreamWorks and Samsung Design Europe. We are also an active member of TIGA, the games industry's representative body, and the British Interactive Media Association (BIMA).
  • The courses have a project-based curriculum where collaborative interdisciplinary teamwork is encouraged. 
  • The industry-focused learning experience enables you to hone your specialist skills in a professional context. Work placements, real projects, internships and an industry mentoring scheme will also prepare you for entry into the fast-growing and highly competitive digital media arena.

What will you study?

You will learn clean modelling techniques, principles of animation, lighting, shading, texturing, rendering and compositing. You will create computer animation assets, both alone and in teams, using industry-standard production techniques that stimulate a professional environment of collaboration to deliver a product on time. You will also work as part of a team comprising students from different media disciplines, undertaking projects that have previously included use of brain–computer interface systems, computer vision and optical stereoscopic 3D, and you will learn how to present yourself to potential employers through your professional presence and portfolio.

Assessment

Development of a portfolio of computer graphic work (including 3D assets, textures and animations), presentations, essays.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Modules

  • This module builds on prior competency in using 3D modelling and animation software to allow further development of 3D skills and to develop specialisms in areas such as animation, rigging, lighting and modelling. Observational drawing classes will provide an underpinning to the 3D modelling and animation techniques.

    On successful completion, you will be able to:

    • Demonstrate a high proficiency with modelling in 3D at a level that allows for further independent learning.
    • Create complex organic forms to technical specifications.
    • Judge the most appropriate and efficient method for producing models for a different range of purposes.
    • Create believable animation based on observation and mimicry of live moving forms.
     
  • This module builds on prior competency in using 3D modelling and animation software. It develops your 3D skills further and enables you, by guided self-study, to develop specialisms in areas that affect the look of a scene. That could be a photo realistic look, or a stylised look that aims to promote an emotional response from the viewer. Content will include rendering techniques, illumination techniques and the combination of individual elements by means of compositing.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Make assessments of the technical requirements of a shot, to achieve particular look.
    • Successfully composite 3D assets into a live action scene, and composite together elements of a 3D rendered scene.
    • Evaluate the correct techniques required to evoke a particular mood or emotion in a still or moving image.
     
  • You will work with a multidisciplinary group of students as appropriate for your course (User Experience Design MSc, Game Development (Design) MA, Game Development (Programming) MSc and Computer Animation MA); involved with the digital media production process in response to a project brief developed in consultation with the industry panel and/or research staff. Projects concern contemporary platforms, such as iPhone, Android, Windows, Playstation, Xbox and Next Generation controllers and innovative input devices. You also develop a professional profile (online CV/portfolio) fitting for your role and intended destination which you maintain throughout the course.

    • Coursework: report, prototype, and presentation (group and individual)
    • Schedule: allow one weekday per week in the first semester
    • Class size: approximately 20–30
    • Staff: course staff
     
  • This flexible module gives each you the chance to develop your unique interpretation of professional practice that captures your specific interests or niche within your course field.

    • Possible specialisms for User Experience Design include: information architecture, web prototyping (Javascript, HTML, CSS etc), mobile-user testing, remote user research, visual design, interaction design, content strategy, service design, branded Ux and information design.
    • Possible specialisms for Games Development (Programming) include: tools and plug ins; pathfinding algorithms; graphics programming; physics; game server backends; traffic/flocking/crowd AI.
    • Possible specialisms for Games Development (Design) include: concepts; mechanics; levels, narrative; gameplay; world and system design; interface and navigation; casual, serious and game studies.
    • Possible specialisms for Computer Animation include: storyboarding; character development; visual narrative; match moving; lighting; art; environments; levels and props; motion capture; rigging; particles, dynamics and fluids; tools and plug ins.
    • Coursework: design report, artefact (video, prototype, design documentation, or empirical data as appropriate), presentation
    • Schedule: allow approximately one weekday per week in the second semester
    • Class size: approximately 20–30
    • Staff: course staff
     
  • The Digital Media Final Project, as a capstone project, consolidates the knowledge gained in earlier modules and is informed and supported by prior learning.

    You will interpret the coursework into a practical solution and demonstrate skills in defining, analysing and developing a substantial solution to an individually defined design related problem. You will utilise an advanced understanding of contemporary digital media practice. The research and documentation of the project is an integral part of the submission; reflecting on the process, as well as the critical analysis and methodology of the research itself. The research will be conceptually integrated within the practical work. Individual project topics are expected to be wide ranging and provide the opportunity to fully investigate a practical situation, underpinned by a critical report on the work produced. Topics must allow the opportunity to position work with respect to business, social and cultural goals and identify and apply appropriate technology as a means of delivery.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Critically apply theoretical knowledge of design and evaluate contemporary discourse on the subject.
    • Demonstrate the application of design research methods in formulating concepts and ideas.
    • Originate design propositions through the application of appropriate design ideologies, research principles, methods, materials and technology, forms, means, actions or interventions.
    • Engage in the critical reflection of own work and in peer review related to the development and production of the major project, employing skills of evaluation, contextualisation and communication.
    • Disseminate the research process and outcomes of the final project with appropriate currency and consideration of audience.
     

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

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Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road and Knights Park

View Penrhyn Road and Knights Park on our Google Maps

Contact us

Admissions team

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road and Knights Park

View Penrhyn Road and Knights Park on our Google Maps
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