UC Berkeley CNM 190 : Advanced Digital Animation

UC Berkeley CNM 190 : Advanced Digital Animation

Dan Garcia, Brian Barsky, and Jeremy Huddleston, with guest lecturers from Pixar Animation Studios
Last Updated : Thursday, 29-Mar-2012 10:28:44 PDT

Table of Contents


This year-long course is targeted at students with backgrounds in art, film, or computer science who intend to work in the visual effects, animation, and entertainment industries. It will build upon students' knowlege from related courses to guide them through the digital animation production process in an environment similar to industry production houses. We will survey many advanced topics and allow students to focus on a subset they find interesting while collaborating with their team to develop a 30-second animation piece. The course will be enhanced with industry guest lectures.

In the fall of 2008 the topics will include story and character development, manual and procedural modeling, advanced character rigging, set design, manual and procedural camera animation, and manual, procedural, AI-driven, and data-driven animation.

In the spring of 2009 the topics will include visual art design, sound and foley design, visual effects, shading, lighting, rendering, optimization, and advanced image composition.

In order to take this course, you need to have taken atleast two courses from the following list:

If you sign up for this course, you are committing to taking it in both the Fall and Sprng semesters.


Weeks Date Instructor Lecture Topic Readings Due Assignment Due
Week 1 Tue 2008.08.26 --- No Class  

Thu 2008.08.28 All Course Overview (Slides: ppt, pdf, 6pdf, 6pdfbw)  
Week 2 Tue 2008.09.02 Randy Nelson Storytelling Designing A Pixar Film
The Art of Storytelling

Thu 2008.09.04 --- Critique   Story Pitches
Week 3 Tue 2008.09.09 Brian Storyboarding & Camera 1 I3DSFP: Chapter 5: Storyboard
I3DSFP: pp 236-243: Camera

Thu 2008.09.11 --- Critique   Storyboard (download)
Week 4 Tue 2008.09.16 --- Critique    

Thu 2008.09.18 Dan Story Reels and 2D Animatics I3DSFP: Chapter 10
Week 5 Tue 2008.09.23 --- Critique   Story Reel (Final 10)

Thu 2008.09.25 Brian + Paul Aichele Character Design I3DSFP: Chapters 3-4  
Week 6 Tue 2008.09.30 --- Critique   Character Sheets

Thu 2008.10.02 Paul Aichele Clay Modeling I3DSFP: Chapter 7  
Week 7 Tue 2008.10.07 --- Critique   Clay Hero Models

Thu 2008.10.09 Paul Aichele Computer Modeling I3DSFP: Chapter 12  
Week 8 Tue 2008.10.14 --- Critique   Unrigged Models and Sets

Thu 2008.10.16 --- Skeleton & Rigging (skipped) I3DSFP: Chapter 14  
Week 9 Tue 2008.10.21 --- Critique   Updated Models and Sets

Thu 2008.10.23 Dan Procedural Modeling & Set Dressing ---  
Week 10 Tue 2008.10.28 --- Critique   Rigged Models

Thu 2008.10.30 Dan Camera 2: Cinematic Techniques and Procedural Cameras ---  
Week 11 Tue 2008.11.04 --- Critique   Dressed Sets with Camera Paths

Thu 2008.11.06 Tim Milliron Animation 1: Primary Hero Animation & Inverse Kinematics I3DSFP: Chapter 16  
Week 12 Tue 2008.11.11 --- NO CLASS  

Thu 2008.11.13 David Munier Sets: Set Dressing --- Animatic / Revised camera
Week 13 Tue 2008.11.18 --- Critique   Low Frequency Animation

Thu 2008.11.20 Dan Animation 2 : Walk Cycles and Autonomous Motion ---  
Week 14 Tue 2008.11.25 --- Critique   Detailed Hero Animation 1

Thu 2008.11.27 --- NO CLASS ---  
Week 15 Tue 2008.12.02 Jeremy Data-driven Maya (demo) (src)+ Crit   Detailed Hero Animation 2

Thu 2008.12.04 --- Critique   Background Animation
Week 16 Tue 2008.12.09 Randy Nelson Critique  

Sat 2008.12.20


  Critique / Party / Screening    


Inspired 3D Short Film Production Required - First Semester: Inspired 3D Short Film Production
Advanced Renderman Required - Second Semester: Advanced Renderman
Digital Lighting & Rendering Required - Second Semester: Digital Lighting & Rendering
MEL Scripting for Maya Animators Useful - First Semester: MEL Scripting for Maya Animators
Complete Maya Programming Useful - First Semester: Complete Maya Programming
The Renderman Companion Useful - Second Semester: The Renderman Companion



Dan Garcia
- OH: Th 3-4, Soda Hall 777

Brian Barsky
- OH: Fri 2-4, Soda Hall 785

Jeremy Huddleston
- OH: W 3-4, Soda Hall 535

Garry Wu
- OH: MW 12-2, Soda Hall 349

Jenny Franco
- OH: F 12-1, Soda Hall 349