Computer Science 39a
Introduction to Computer Animation

CS39a has been the most enjoyable class I've taken at Berkeley.
-- Westley Sarokin, 1998-04-10

Schedule | Final Projects | Class Morph | Check It Out | Final Project Info | Paper Presentations | Roster | email cs39a

Overview (Welcome-to-cs39a Sound)

Welcome to the Home Page for the CS39a, the centralized place for information pertaining to the seminar Introduction to Computer Animation taught the Fall of 1999. We are affiliated with the Computer Science Division at the University of California, Berkeley. Without the great support from the people at EECS Instruction, much of the technology that drives this seminar wouldn't be possible.

This seminar will be a hands-on and gentle, top-level introduction to the field of computer animation. We will discuss geometric modeling, explicit motion specification, forward and inverse kinematics, spline interpolation, morphing and dynamics, and implement a subset of these topics. Guest speakers will be provided to present their research. Students will be provided with tools to create their own animations easily, with little to no programming. No prior knowledge of programming or mathematics is assumed. The seminar is limited to 16 freshmen and sophomores.

Throughout the seminar, we will be using one of the top-end 3D animation products for the Macintosh and PC, Infini-D by Specular, Inc.. There will be a final project beginning near November 1st which will team up 4 or 5 students to produce one large animation. The animations from the last time this class was taught were a great success!

* Class Lecture Schedule
* Lecture: Wed. 1-2pm in 606 Soda & Fri. 1-2pm in 405 Soda
* Lab: 111 Cory, 24/7 a kool-aid smile.
* Course Control# = 24593
* Required book: "Digital Character Animation" by George Maestri, New Riders Publishing, IN, 1996
* Recommended book: "Making Them Move: Mechanics, Control, and Animation of Articulated Figures" by Norman I. Badler, Brian A. Barsky, and David Zeltzer, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Inc. San Francisco, California, 1991.
* Recommended reading: "Computer Animation: Algorithms and Techniques" by Rick Parent (

Teaching staff

* Instructor : Brian A. Barsky (
785 Soda, x2-9838 (Office hours Tu/Th 5:00pm - 6:00pm)
* Teaching Assistant : Lillian Chu (
535 Soda, x2-9716 (Office hours We/Fr 2:00pm - 2:30pm)

Assignment-related information

* Transferring Files To and From the Mac
* Rube Goldberg
* WWW Unix Tutorials #1 #2 #3 #4 #5
* Homework #2
* Homework #3 (Morph yourselves into each other)
* Homework #4 (Run SPAM and Create an Articulated Figure)
* Homework #5 (Animate your articulated figure)
* Homework #6 (Design a Rube Goldberg scene)
* Homework #7 (Model Assigned Objects in Rube Goldberg scene)

Other available information

* UCB EECS Instruction
* Ongoing UNIX help sessions
* Introduction to HTML
* A Beginner's Guide to HTML (Useful for writing a homepage in a traditional text editor.)
* Questions and Answers regarding the Award-winning film Hunger

Cool things from cs39a Fall 1997

Class Morph MPEG
(Class Morph MPEG)
1Mb 160x120 10fps
Class Morph Quicktime
(Class Morph Quicktime)
6Mb 160x120 10fps Quicktime

* Final Projects

Cool things from cs39a Fall 1996

Class Morph MPEG
(Class Morph MPEG)
1Mb 160x120 10fps
Class Morph Quicktime
(Class Morph Quicktime)
5Mb 160x120 10fps

* Final Projects

Cool things from cs39a Spring 1995

Class Morph MPEG
(Class Morph MPEG)
1Mb 160x120 10fps

Cool things from cs39a Fall 1995

Class Morph MPEG
(Class Morph MPEG)
1Mb 160x120 10fps

* Final Projects

Animation Studios

* Pixar Animation Studios
* Pacific Data Images
* Rhythm & Hues
* Digital Domain
* Boss Film Studios
* Apple Research

Animation Software Companies

* Alias|Wavefront
* Macromedia (Extreme 3D, Director, among others)
* Softimage
* Specular Online (Infini-D, among others)
* Infini-D Models!
* Fractal Designs Corp (Poser, among others)
* Lightscape
* Vertigo

Lillian Chu (

UC Berkeley | Computer Science

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