School of Arts

1 - Animation I

This course is part of the programme:
Bachelor's programme in Digital Arts and Practices

Objectives and competences

The key objective of the course is to develop an ability to express oneself in the medium of animation. To master the basic elements of movement, film language, and visual expression, to form one’s individual, movement-based, fine art language, which always and in the first place carries a message.

Within the module, the student will acquire the following general competences:

  • ability to make analyses and syntheses, and predict solutions;
  • ability to use knowledge in practice;
  • ability to communicate and work in a team;
  • autonomy in professional work.

Prerequisites

Basic knowledge of fine arts fundamentals.

Basic computer literacy.

The prerequisities: student’s active participation in all phases and at all levels of the study process, which, apart from the active attendance at lectures and participation in practice work, presupposes the following: individual creation and development of ideas – independently and within the active, two-way mentor-student communication (exhange of ideas takes place on the personal level and via the internet) and a continual independent (research, creative and performative) work throughout the academic year.

Content (Syllabus outline)

Animation is a complex medium connecting painting, sculpture, photography, and film, into newly created wholes. Due to a wide range of expressive means and new technological possibilities, new individualised languages can be further developed. The space for the use of these languages becomes virtually infinite with the development of digital technologies.

The module is presented pyramidally, while at the same time it is linked, horizontally and vertically, with other programme and content units. In the process of studying, the student moves from acquiring knowledge of the basic fine art techniques and skills (different forms of drawing, painting and plastic expression in materials), different techniques of digital media use (photograph design, vector graphics, 2D and 3D drawing and modelling, internet tools, etc) to techniques needed for the quality foundation of a project (be it a screenplay, film book, or a structure and architecture of interactive animation), animation techniques (from traditional to computer generated) and postproduction (editing, formation and use of sound as a fully valid element).

The peak of the pyramid is a creative assignment (each year, the assignment has its own appropriate weight and value). In the assignment, the student unites and uses the acquired knowledge and sets up and implements the whole project as an individual author as well as in terms of techniques and organisation.

Year one:

  • studying of the basic animation tools and analysing a sample of animated films;
  • studying of a variety of animation techniques, both analogue and digital, so that the student may develop a sense for the richness of the medium;
  • seminar exercies: studying the regularities inherent in time, space and movement within the art of animation.

Intended learning outcomes

  • A coherent mastery of fundamental knowledge;
  • ability to connect different forms of knowledge from different fields of animation and applications;
  • ability to incorporate new information and interpretations into the context of animated film;
  • development of abilities and skills in the use of knowledge in the field of animation and modelling.

Readings

- Bendazzi, Giannalberto: Cartoons, One hundred years of cinema animation, John Libbey & Company Ltd 1994.

- Pilling, Jayne: A Reader in Animation Studies, John Libbey & Company Ltd 1997.

- Robinson, Chris: Unsung Heroes of Animation, John Libbey & Company Ltd 2006.

- Williams, Richard: The Animators Survival Kit, Faber and Faber Ltd 2001.

- Muybridge, Eadweard: Animals in Motion, Dover Publications Inc, 1957.

- Muybridge, Eadweard: The Human Figure in Motion, Dover Publications Inc, 1955.

- Gasek, Tom: Frame-by-Frame Stop Motion, Focal Press, 2011.

- OBE, John Halas, Whitaker Harold: Timing for Animation, Second Edition, Focal Press, 2009.

- Laybourne, Kit: The Animation Book, Crown Publications, 1998.

- Animation World Network: http://www.awn.com/

Assessment

Creative project 30%, Theoretical assignment 10%, Coursework 50%, Oral examination 10%

Lecturer's references

KOLJA SAKSIDA (Slovenian, born 1981) received his Master degree in Film Studies from the ECAL University of Art and Design, Lausanne. Kolja works in the field of filmmaking as a director, producer and teacher.

His animated series Koyaa – Wild Life was screened with success on the national Radio Television Slovenia throughout the 2005 season. Kolja also realized the short puppet animated films Kiddo – Slingshot, Koyaa the Extraordinary, Koyaa – Flower, Koyaa – Naughty Toy Car, Koyaa – Flying Workbook, Koyaa – Dancing Socks, Koyaa – Silly Stickers, Koyaa – Freezing Scarf, Koyaa – Wild Sunbed … and the animated film Azulejo or visual illusion created in mixed technique. His films were shown at more than 250 international film festivals, televisions and other venues worldwide. As a mentor and producer, Kolja leads animation workshops for children, youth and adults. Films made at

his workshops received numerous accolades at home and abroad. Kolja was invited as a resident artist at CEC Arts Link (New York), Open Workshop (Denmark), Talent Campus (Berlin and Sarajevo), Nipkow program (Berlin), Prime 4 Kids & Family program (Berlin) and CEE animation workshop , Trebon, Budapest).

As a producer, he also focuses on the development and realization of ideas by other authors and ensures that the initial synopsis is used to create an author's animated film, either in the stop motion technique or in the 2D technique. He co-creates animated films and series in collaboration with many domestic and foreign artists, co-creators, partners and co-producers. In recent years, as a producer, he has taken care of the realization of the animated films Farewell (dir. Leon Vidmar), Liliana (dir. Milanka Fabjančič). He is currently producing an animated film Of Unwanted things and

people: Yesterday’s Newspaper (dir. Leon Vidmar). The film will be part of an international feature omnibus realized in the technique of stop animation.

As an co-editor and co-author of texts, he participated in the creation of Animate! – Handbook for animated film in kindergartens and schools (Zavod RS za šolstvo, 2016).

As a mentor and producer, he leads animated film and training workshops for islands, youth and adults. Short animated films created in the workshops receive numerous awards at home and abroad. Kolja is an assistant professor of animated film at the Academy of Arts of the University of Nova Gorica.

Kolja is a member of the European Film Academy, a member of the Slovenian Animated Film Association (D: SAF!), a member of the Slovenian Audiovisual Producers Association (DAVP) and the founder of the production house ZVVIKS.

University course code: 1DU001

Year of study: 1

Course principal:

Lecturer:

ECTS: 6

Workload:

  • Lectures: 40 hours
  • Seminar: 20 hours

Course type: obligatory key module

Languages: slovene, english, serbian

Learning and teaching methods:
- lectures (theoretical foundations of the subject) - seminar and practical exercises - case studies from history and contemporary art - presentation of concepts, assignments and products in discussions (under a mentor's supervision) - group work is based upon theoretical sources, case studies and practical assignments - group analysis of ideas and projects. student's independent work: - idea formation and development; - research and independent work at seminar and practical assignments; - preparation, creation and presentation of the creative assignment; - preparation for the examination.