3 PM IN 380 SODA

Spring 2004 Semester at UC Berkeley

Instructors: Brian A. Barsky , Laurence Arcadias and Jonathan Luskin
Course Overview (Syllabus): Pdf


Read p 334 in the Williams book.

Presentation Schedule
Date Topic Presentors
March 29 Hayao Miyazaki
< pdf 1 >
David Marin
Victor Kwok
Betty Ho
April 5 Waking Life Brownyn Birk
Jennifer Tsang
Vlad Kaplun
April 12 Sound In Animation
< pdf >
Stephen Canon
Joachim De Deken
Morgan Ames
April 19 I Villians in Animation Irena Nadjakova
April 19 II Facial Expressions
< pdf >
Derek Chan
Sueng Wook Kim
April 26 Claymation <pdf> Tom Charlesworth
Catherine Harrison
May 3 Don Bluth David Wallace
Alex Kozlowski
May 3 II Satoshi Kon <pdf> Kurt Diegert
Synopsis Exercise -doc -   - pdf -
Final Project Instructions and Deadlines -doc -   - pdf -

Assignment Handouts:
You will still be receiving copies of the assignments in class (at least I haven't heard anything to the contrary)

Assignment 3 - String & Bouncing Ball
Assignment 4 - Heavy and Light Squares
Assignment 5 - Flour Sack Pantomime
Assignment 6 - Walk Cycle

If anyone is interested in subscribing to Animation Journal, the relevant information follows:

Things Due:
Digital Copies of string and bouncing ball animations. Please email the links to them to
The light and heavy square exercise should be done on paper.

For next week you should scan or take pictures of each frame of your flip book and send them to Please include your full name and your flip book number. Also please observe the following guidelines:
  • Images should be 640x480 JPEGS (use 96 DPI)
  • Images should be right aligned (any cropping should happen on the left)
  • File names should be of the form "[flipbookorder#]_[frame#].jpeg" (flipbookorder# should be 2 digits and frame# should 3 digits) ie. "01_001.jpeg"
Additionally please create a few frames with a short animation of your name.

Course Summary

This hands-on animation course is intended for students with a computer science background who would like to improve their sense of observation, timing, and motion through the real art of animation to create strong believable animation pieces. A good understanding of motion is an important foundation for using computers and technology to their full potential for the creation of animation. This class is also emphasizes artistic and aesthetic creativity, intending to push the boundaries of the imagination and to familiarize students with storytelling. Some time will be spent on screening international animated for inspiration and to learn a variety of styles and techniques.

Lectures will be accompanied by simple step-by-step exercises on paper in which students will learn how to create believable movement through the use of weight, speed, and timing.

In this class, students will learn:

  • The importance of the bouncing ball to obtain weight
  • Spacing and timing
  • Anticipation/action/reaction
  • What squash and stretch does to animation
  • The importance of exaggeration (or interpretation) of reality to communicate an idea
  • The importance of sound to convey an idea and improve animation
  • Basics for character design
  • How to build believable walk cycles with personality.

During the second half of the semester, each student will develop a small project of his or her own with a small story line. Since animation is time consuming, it is not advisable to attempt to create a piece that is too long or too complex. Instead, students should concentrate on projects that are still challenging but can be nonetheless done successfully.

Students are encouraged to keep an open mind of creative experimentation to fully appreciate this class.


The course will meet in 14 class sessions as follows:

1 January 26

2 February 2
3 February 9
February 16 No Class: Presidents' Day Holiday
4 February 23

5 March 1
6 March 8
7 March 15
March 22 No Class - Spring Recess
8 March 29

9 April 5
10 April 12
11 April 19
12 April 26

13 May 3
14 May 10

Previous websites: Fall 2002 semester