This course will combine 3D scanning, depth video, motion capture, and motion graphics using the software Cinema 4D. Emphasis will be on creating poetic moments that are distributable online. Prerequisites: EDPX 2000 Imaging and EDPX 2400 Time. $100 lab fee.
Associate Professor Chris Coleman
Office: Room 216A Sturm Hall
Office Hours: 10-12 T, R or by appointment
There is an online culture of 3D animation production involving accessible tools, appropriation, and very quick production. This field has opened up because computing advances, web tutorials, low cost or free 3D resources, and a demand for constant output to foster a following. In this class we will explore, criticize, and participate in this culture. While the course will focus on using Cinema 4D software for the final output, we will investigate numerous ways to create and obtain resources to bring into Cinema 4D, including photogrammetry, 3D scanning, RGB+Depth cameras, and extracting information from the internet. We will focus on a sketching methodology, requiring the constant creation of works in series in still and animation forms. This course will be extremely time intensive, requiring a lot of time on the computer, both active and waiting for renders.
By the end of this course you will:
- Understand 3D as a medium for complex expression
- Understand the process of sketching with 3D
- Understand how to generate short animations and loops
- Understand the subtleties of animating text and forms in space
- Understand how to create images and animations for the internet
- Understand how light and materials convey meaning as much as color and form
- A thumb Drive or Hard drive of at least 64GB in size. High Speed is preferable
- A three button mouse if you plan on working on a personal computer
- A sketchbook – can be for multiple uses
- Other reading materials and examples will be supplied digitally on this website
This class will combine individual work in the lab with individual and group instruction. Students must come to class prepared to work. Showing up without necessary files or equipment is the same as not attending. Although students may also use their personal computers to work on projects, this is not a valid reason to not attend. It will be necessary to work outside of class to complete all projects and assignments. A minimum of six hours per week of work outside of class is suggested to get an average grade of a C. Computer failure, equipment malfunction, and file corruption are not accepted as excuses for late or unfinished work so BACK UP YOUR WORK. The computer labs are used by many students, so the labs are in high demand. Budget time accordingly as “unavailable computer time” will also not be accepted as an excuse. Participation in all class discussions and critiques, as well as the constructive use of lab time, is considered in the final grade for each project. At any time in the creation process, students should be able to produce notes, drawings, charts etc from their sketchbooks, as well as discuss and articulate the nature of their work to their peers as well as to the instructor.
Attendance is mandatory. Attending class is the responsibility of the student. Lectures and demonstrations may be given or changed without notice and every class will start with professional examples of relevant work so punctuality is essential. An individual who is absent, late or sleeps during class will be responsible for getting the information missed. Students will be allowed two (2) absences without penalty. Any absence in excess of two will result in a 10% grade reduction of the final grade for the course per absence. All absences will be counted. A student who misses 15 minutes or more of a class (late or leave early) is considered absent. A student who sleeps will be considered absent. A student who will acquire absences due to University sponsored activities must provide necessary documentation from the appropriate office prior to the absence to make any special arrangements for missed work.
University policy grants students excused absences from class or other organized activities or observance of religious holy days, unless the accommodation would create an undue hardship. You must notify me by the end of the first week of classes if you have any conflicts that may require an absence. It is your responsibility to make arrangements with me in advance to make up any missed work or in-class material.
Any special medical or personal problems that occur, where absenteeism will exceed the allowed two, will require verification by a physician or emergency medical association (a letter from Student Affairs merely explains an absence, and will not qualify as an excuse). These situations may require course withdrawal or “Incomplete” status on the final grade. Six absences mandate an automatic grade of “F.” Three late arrivals (less than 15 min.) will equal one absence.
If you qualify for academic accommodations because of a disability or medical issue please submit a Faculty Letter to me from Disability Services Program (DSP) in a timely manner so that your needs may be addressed. DSP is located on the 4thfloor of Ruffatto Hall; 1999 E. Evans Ave.303.871. / 2372 / 2278/ 7432. Information is also available on line at http://www.du.edu/disability/dsp; see the Handbook for Students with Disabilities.
As part of the University’s Culture of Care & Support we provide campus resources to create access for you to maintain your safety, health, and well-being. We understand that as a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug concerns depression, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These stressful moments can impact academic performance or reduce your ability to engage. The University offers services to assist you with addressing these or ANY other concerns you may be experiencing. If you or someone you know are suffering from any challenges, you should reach out for support. You can seek confidential mental health services available on campus in the Health & Counseling Center (HCC). Another helpful resource is Student Outreach & Support (SOS), where staff work with you to connect to all the appropriate campus resources (there are many!), develop a plan of action, and guide you in navigating challenging situations. If you are concerned about one of your peers you can submit a report through our Pioneers Care System. More information about HCC, SOS, and Pioneers CARE can be found at:
Health & Counseling Services (http://www.du.edu/health-and-counseling-center/)
Student Outreach & Support and Pioneers Care reporting http://www.du.edu/studentlife/studentsupport/
In this class, we will work together to develop a learning community that is inclusive and respectful. Our diversity may be reflected by differences in race, culture, age, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, and myriad other social identities and life experiences. The goal of inclusiveness, in a diverse community, encourages and appreciates expressions of different ideas, opinions, and beliefs, so that conversations and interactions that could potentially be divisive turn instead into opportunities for intellectual and personal enrichment.
A dedication to inclusiveness requires respecting what others say, their right to say it, and the thoughtful consideration of others’ communication. Both speaking up and listening are valuable tools for furthering thoughtful, enlightening dialogue. Respecting one another’s individual differences is critical in transforming a collection of diverse individuals into an inclusive, collaborative and excellent learning community. Our core commitment shapes our core expectation for behavior inside and outside of the classroom.
Grades will consist of the following:
- Project 1 @ 15%
- Project 2 @ 15%
- Project 3 @ 15%
- Project 4 @ 15%
- Project 5 @ 20%
- Participation 10%
- Cultural Events 10%
Projects will be graded on the following basis, listed in order of importance.
- Development, creativity, and originality of concept or problem solution
- Technical development and demonstration of skills
- Craftsmanship and presentation of work
- Participation in classroom discussions and critiques in connection with the work
Your grade will be calculated according to the following standards:
- A = Excellent (100-90%)- work pushes far beyond the project stipulations and shows clear evidence of extreme time, dedication, care and thought about the project as evidenced in effective execution of original/thoughtful ideas.
- B = Good (80-89%)- work exceeds the basic criteria, provides creative solutions to the problems and shows technical proficiency. Student has made the project “theirs” in that they do not need to explain project stipulations before showing the work.
- C = Average (70-79%)- work fulfills all requirements, does not expand on techniques shown in class, ideas are close derivations of popular culture.
- D = Unsatisfactory (60-69%)- work might meet basic criteria but in a careless and/or thoughtless way. Technical proficiency is rudimentary and no chances were taken.
- F = Failure (0-59%)- the work does not meet the basic criteria.
Late projects will be penalized a letter grade for every class period they are late. Turning a project in after the beginning of the critique counts as one class day late.
Graduate Student Requirements
Students taking the course for graduate credit will be required to produce one additional project whose requirements are designed in conversation with the instructor. They will also write a 2 page critique and comparison of 3 artists working in this field. For all projects and assignments, they are held to a higher standard, reflecting their graduate status.
Students are required to attend at least 3 cultural events and write a 2 paragraph response (half descriptive and half reflective) for each event. The cultural event should be related to Emergent Digital Practices and could include performances, lectures, art shows etc. If you are unsure the event is qualified, please ask the instructor. Submit the response along with a photo from the event to the assignment on Canvas.
It is your responsibility to adhere to all rules regarding the use of the EDP labs and equipment. Please see the program assistant in the EDP office if you need a form to access the EDP lab in 212 Sturm (strongly recommended for this class!).
All work submitted in this course must be your own and produced exclusively for this course. The use of sources (ideas, quotations, paraphrases, code) must be properly acknowledged and documented. For the consequences of violating the Academic Misconduct policy, refer to the University of Denver website on the Honor Code (www.du.edu/honorcode). See also http://www.du.edu/studentconduct for general information about conduct expectations from the Office of Student Conduct.
While you are not required to purchase the software that we are using, not having the software is no excuse for failing to complete your projects. It is your responsibility to work out times when you can use the EDP labs or to make other arrangements for doing your work. Please do not download and/or install trial versions of this software or any other onto campus computers. Students will utilize numerous software packages over the process of this course.
(The following schedule is open to revision at any point in the quarter.)
- 9/12 – Syllabus, look at the field, discuss samples. C4D processes and intro.
- 9/14 – Height maps, deform, navigating basics, Project 1 assigned
- 9/19 – lighting, cameras, rendering
- 9/21 – Work Day
- 9/26 – Work Day, Rendering reminder
- 9/28 – (Work Day)
- 10/3 – Project 1 Due, Crit., Project 2 assigned
- 10/5 – Scanning Day
- 10/10 – Modifiers, more textures
- 10/12 – In Class Work Day
- 10/17 – Project 2 Due, Project 3 Intro
- 10/19 – Work Day
- 10/24 –
- 10/26 – Project 3 Due
- 10/31 – Crit Continued, Photogrammetry, Project 4 and 5 assigned
- 11/2 – Arrays and particles.
- 11/7 – VR drawing tools
- 11/9 – work day
- 11/14 – Project 4 Due
- 11/16 – work day
- 11/21 – Final Crit, Project 5 Due
Project 1 Description
Inspired by Rick Silva’s En plein air series, you will create a series of quick landscape sketches that capture something in the living experience of a place, beyond the shape and color of the location. 4 sketches each from 2 different sites (Minimum of 8 total). You must use real map info, color/elevation plus basic objects. focus on lighting, rendering. No non standard shaders. Evoke and expand on the nature of the place, cannot be completely abstract. Don’t use built in noise.
The Private/Public Divide.
Scan 2 different spaces you would consider personally private. Do not clean, arrange, or adjust anything. You can take more than one scan from each space. Then scan the same kind of space in a public building (home bathroom vs bathroom in Library, car vs bus, TV room vs movie theatre…). Lastly, scan 4 people in poses or situations that connect with the spaces in some non-obvious way. The pairs will be shown as a diptych so think about how you might convey differences as well as highlight similarities, also how they will connect aesthetically. Take advantage of the fact that these are fragments. Consider how lighting, basic geometry, and materials can create a setting. Due 10/17
Project 3 Description
Look at online models from scans and reconstructions and choose five cultural heritage buildings or sites, older than 300 years, destroyed or no longer functional. Only use models with at least 1000 polygons. Research the site/building to understand its history. Also, gather 3D models of contemporary cultural icons or references and spatially collage them with the site. Build a new context connecting history to the present. Render 5 different Compositions, one for each historical location at a resolution of 3840 x 2160.
Project 4 Description
Starting with 3D models of 3 sites where memories were created as “sets,” add minimal amounts of text and form arrays/particles to create 3 short looping videos. Consider how the forms, flows and words enhance and add complexity to the ideas of the site. Think about how memories are formed and how they exist for us: are they something you tell stories about? are they fragments of “mind video”? Are they tied to objects and photos? Why do we share memories that were not shared experiences? Submit 3 HD videos, 10-20 seconds long. Due 11/14
Project 5 Description
Free for all project due at the final. A total of 30 seconds of video in HD format is required, but can be made up of many small segments or one long one. We will cover additional tools that can be used for this project. but you should also apply online learning techniques. Due 11/21
Day One –
Class Inspirational Artists:
- Zollac – http://zolloc.tumblr.com/
- Blake Kathryn – https://www.instagram.com/blakekathryn/
- Rick Silva – http://silvafieldguide.com/
- Kytten Janae – http://kyttenjanae.tumblr.com/
- Andrew Benson – http://pxgifs.tumblr.com/
- hateplow – http://hateplow.tumblr.com/
- Eva Papamargariti – http://evapapamargariti.tumblr.com/
- patakk – http://patakk.tumblr.com/
- carl burton – http://carlburton.tumblr.com/
- katie torn – http://www.katietorn.com/
- Eran Hill – http://eranhill.tumblr.com/
- demafleez – http://demafleez.tumblr.com/
- Caitlin Burns – http://caitlinburns.tumblr.com/
Day Two –
Elevation Maps Generator – https://tangrams.github.io/heightmapper
Related tutorial video – http://greyscalegorilla.com/tutorials/how-to-use-sub-polygon-displacement-in-cinema-4d/
Day 11 –
- Resources for Project 3