UC Berkeley CNM 190 : Advanced Digital Animation

UC Berkeley CNM 190 : Advanced Digital Animation

Dan Garcia and Jeremy Huddleston, with guest lecturers from industry
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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 2010, 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 2011, 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 Spirng semesters.

The course is held in 606 Soda Hall, MW 2-4


Weeks Date Instructor Lecture Topic Readings Due Assignment Due
Week 1 Mon 2010.08.30   Course Overview (Slides: ppt, pdf, 6pdf)  

Wed 2010.09.01 Dan Storytelling Designing A Pixar Film
The Art of Storytelling

Week 2 Mon 2010.09.06   NO CLASS  

Wed 2010.09.08   Critique I3DSFP: Chapters 1-2 Story Pitches (Initial 46 [1] [2])
Week 3 Mon 2010.09.13 Dan Storyboarding & Camera 1 I3DSFP: Chapter 5: Storyboard
I3DSFP: pp 236-243: Camera

Wed 2010.09.15   Critique   Storyboard (Surviving 23)
Week 4 Mon 2010.09.20   Critique   Pair Storyboard (Remaining 12)

Wed 2010.09.22 Jeremy Timing, Animatics, and Blocking I3DSFP: Chapter 10
Week 5 Mon 2010.09.27   Critique   Animatic (Finalists)

Wed 2010.09.29 Ketrina Yim
Character Design (Slides: pdf) + Guest Critique I3DSFP: Chapters 3-4  
Week 6 Mon 2010.10.04   Critique   Character Sheets and Blocking

Wed 2010.10.06 Dan Camera 2: Cinematic Techniques and Procedural Cameras (Slides: pdf) I3DSFP: Chapter 11  
Week 7 Mon 2010.10.11   Critique   Revised Character Sheets and Animatic

Wed 2010.10.13 Evan & Jeremy Infrastructure (Unison, etc) I3DSFP: Chapter 7  
Week 8 Mon 2010.10.18   Critique   Initial Model Turntables

Wed 2010.10.20 Dan Procedural Modeling (Slides: pptx, pdf) I3DSFP: Chapter 12  

Thu 2010.10.21 Gary Wu, ILM Modeling, 7pm 606 Soda + Guest Critique    
Week 9 Mon 2010.10.25   Critique   Updated Models

Wed 2010.10.27 Sandy Kao, DWA Rigging + Guest Critique I3DSFP: Chapter 14  
Week 10 Mon 2010.11.01 Robert Armstrong, DWA Set Dressing + Guest Critique   Rigged Models

Wed 2010.11.03 Jeremy Data-driven Maya (demo) (src) + Critique ---  
Week 11 Mon 2010.11.08   Critique   Layout Reel: Dressed Sets with Camera Paths

Wed 2010.11.10 Jason Schleifer, DWA Animation 1: Fundamentals of Animation + Guest Critique I3DSFP: Chapter 16  
Week 12 Mon 2010.11.15   Critique   Low Frequency Animation

Wed 2010.11.17 Dan Animation 2: Walk Cycles and Autonomous Motion ---  
Week 13 Mon 2010.11.22   Critique   Primary Hero Animation 1

Wed 2010.11.24 (No Jeremy) Critique   Primary Hero Animation 2
Week 14 Mon 2010.11.29 (No Jeremy) Critique   Secondary Hero Animation

Wed 2010.12.01   Critique   Background Animation
Week 15 Mon 2010.12.06   Critique (RRR Week)   Polish

Wed 2010.12.08   Critique (RRR Week)   Polish

Thu 2010.12.16

  Critique / Party / Screening in 306 Soda    


The final grade will be based upon weekly homework assignments, participation in critiques, and confidential peer evaluation (each contributing to 1/3 of the grade). In addition, the final group deliverable can bump everyone in the group up or down a +/- level. Feedback (including current grades) will be provided mid-semester.


First Semester:

Inspired 3D Short Film Production Required: Inspired 3D Short Film Production
MEL Scripting for Maya Animators Useful: MEL Scripting for Maya Animators
Complete Maya Programming Useful: Complete Maya Programming

Second Semester:

Advanced Renderman Required: Advanced Renderman
Digital Lighting & Rendering Required: Digital Lighting & Rendering
The Renderman Companion Useful: The Renderman Companion



Dan Garcia
- OH: Friday 3-4pm in lab. Office: Soda Hall 777

Jeremy Huddleston
- OH: Monday 12-1pm in Soda Hall 535