Syllabus

UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT
DEPARTMENT OF DIGITAL MEDIA AND DESIGN
DMD3200/ DMD 5200 MOTION GRAPHICS II
 

Course Number: DMD 3200-001 or DMD 5200-001
Term: Spring 2021
Class Meeting: Tuesday & Thursday, 2:00 PM – 4:30 PM Online Asynchronous/Synchronous – Microsoft Teams
Class Location: https://teams.microsoft.com/_#/school/conversations/General?threadId=19:b0b447a063a74925aa491b4bdf312f91@thread.tacv2&ctx=channel
Course Instructor: Heejoo Gwen Kim
Office Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday by appointment (please email to schedule)
Email: heejoo.kim@uconn.edu
Office Location: The Bishop Center, Room 239 (2nd Floor)
One Bishop Circle, Unit 4056, Storrs CT 06269
Course website: https://motion2.dmd.uconn.edu/

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
Motion Graphics II aims to provide students with the conceptual and practical 3D tools for understanding and creating the diverse range of time-based media that have come to be known as motion graphics. Throughout the course, students will create visual effects and animated 3D graphics for television, film, web, and other types of multimedia productions using Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects in conjunction with Illustrator, Photoshop, and Premiere Pro. The course will involve in-class demos, weekly technical exercise projects to practice applying techniques covered in class, and a self-proposed midterm project and final project. A good portion of class time will be used for in-class work, during which time I am available to help you with technical or aesthetic questions and problems. This being the case, I expect you to bring me any technical questions and problems during this work time.

In addition to projects, there will be screenings and discussions of contemporary and historical works, and critiques and discussions of student projects. I encourage the participation of everyone in discussions and critiques, not only for your class participation grade, but also because the differences of opinion will enrich the class as a whole.

COURSE OBJECTIVE:
This course is designed to provide digital filmmakers with instruction and guidance in the technique and critical understanding of 3D motion effects, animation, and compositing. The technical instruction will be focused around the use of Cinema 4D and Adobe After Effects in the handling of animated and motion imagery.

The goal of this course is for students to:

  • Gain an understanding of what constitutes motion graphic design and animation
  • Become capable of producing strong, effective motion graphics and animations
  • Develop and process graphics and audio to be integrated into animation sequences and develop

special effects for animation-video sequences using professional media development software

  • Develop motion graphics concepts that convey a defined message or story, and communicate

effectively to a project audience

  • Publish animation-video sequences onto appropriate media for audience playback
  • Analyze and critique professional and amateur animation-video sequences form various delivery formats in terms of design and content

COURSEWORK:
During this course students will:

  • Participate in class discussions and critiques
  • Apply techniques covered in class in the completion of technical exercises
  • Develop and complete a midterm and final project
  • Document creative planning, process, and completed work

COURSE MATERIALS:
Software: You will use Cinema 4D, Adobe Creative Cloud applications provided to you by the Digital Media and Design Department.
External Hard Drive: You will need an external hard drive with a minimum of 120–500GB where you can store your work. Whether you work on the lab computers or your own laptop, your own external hard drive will serve as a necessary place to hold and back-up your projects.
Data Back-up: Maintaining a back-up system is a responsible and necessary task in this digital age. Along with the benefit of owning your own hardware comes the responsibility of maintaining it so data is safe. Hardware problems are no excuse for late or missing work. Apple offers its software Time Machine. Another is an app called Super Duper. Online back-up systems like CrashPlan are also available. Whatever back-up system you select, maintain it regularly.
Sketchbook: You should maintain a physical or digital sketchbook. Throughout this course you will be developing numerous small projects, and two long-term projects, and your sketchbook will serve as a record of creative ideas and the evolution of project concepts. Being able to communicate your intentions and objectives through notes, thumbnail sketches, storyboards, and design concept sketches prior to the investment of hours in production is a central and essential skill for animators and motion graphics designers.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:
You are responsible for ensuring that original work is correctly attributed. You must give clear and complete attributions for the work of others in your own productions as well as in any written work. Plagiarism (either digital or written) will not be tolerated and may result in failure of the course or expulsion. Please refer to the Student Handbook.

PARTICIPATION STATEMENT:
This course is experiential in nature, and failure to attend class means you are not fulfilling your obligation to participate in discussion and critiques and contribute to the overall learning experience of all. There is no practical way to recapture material covered in class if a class is missed. Students are expected to arrive on time and remain throughout the entire class period. Failure to participate in 15% or more of class time will result in the lowering of one or more letter grades at the discretion of the instructor. Failure to participate in 30% of class time will result in automatic failure for the course.
If you must be absent from class for any reason email me prior to the absence.
Providing adequate notice is professional etiquette and a demonstration of active participation. If you are unable to send notice prior to a lesson you must email me within 24 hours. I make a concerted effort to accommodate absences for religious observances, and absences due to extracurricular activities coordinated by a university official, such as scholarly presentation, performing arts, and intercollegiate sports. Please note, however, that being absent from class does not change a submission deadline for an assignment unless prior arrangements have been made.
If you are absent for a sustained period of time I need to know. If you have a serious, life-
threatening illness that will accrue absences, a handwritten and signed letter from your doctor, with a telephone number, is required. See me for class materials you may have missed and to discuss a plan for making up your missed class time and work. Failure to comply with this procedure will result in either an I, X, or N grade until the matter is resolved.

COMMUNICATION:
Good communication is essential to a successful class experience. Please come and talk to me if you anticipate any conflicts with any of the due dates or studio critique deadlines of the course, or if you need any special accommodation in order to successfully complete the requirements of the course. The sooner I know about any exceptional circumstances the better, and the more likely we are to come up with non-stressful alternatives.
If you encounter any questions or challenges with an assignment, please come talk to me or email me. I am here to help. However, please try to email me at least 24 hours before a deadline. Please try your best to compose emails with a salutation and closing, and using complete, grammatical sentences.

ETIQUETTE:
Please avoid digital distractions.
Your computers, tablets, and phones are essential to the digital media work that you do, but they are also a gateway to all kinds of distractions. This course depends on your full and active engagement, and as a result, I ask that you please refrain from making phone calls, texting, emailing, or checking social networks during class except as part of class participation or with agreement from me.
Please keep food and drink away from each other’s work and equipment.
Come prepared for class. Arrive with your work completed/exported/rendered and ready to present before the start of class. Make sure that you have planned your presentations and critique days so that you stay within the time restrictions. Complete any assigned readings and viewings in advance of class and be ready to discuss them.

GRADES:
Assessment for this course is comprised of participation and professional behavior, preparation for and engagement in studio critiques and an end-of-semester exhibition and demonstrated progress on self-directed creative work.
Participation: You should strive to be active, insightful, considerate, and honest during class critiques and discussions. Active participation includes arriving to class on time, professional communication in and out of class, asking questions, providing critiques or comments, paying attention, showing extra initiative, and sharing expertise with classmates.
Preparation: You should prepare in advance for all presentations, studio critiques, and discussions. Plan in advance so that all presentations stay within the time limits identified. As this class is based on discussion and critique of work, there is no practical way to recapture material covered in class if a class, deadline, or critique time is missed.
Portfolio: All the work produced in this course should be considered suitable portfolio material, if it is crafted to the standards expected. The portfolio is the single most valuable artifact you will generate during your coursework and the most important one for when you graduate and seek employment and/or clients. Collect, keep, record everything towards this purpose. All of the documentation you generate may well be viable in a portfolio.

Assessment Percentage
Participation 40%
Intro Presentation 10%
Inspiration Presentation 10%
Prototype Presentation 10%
Final Presentation 20%
Peer Evaluation 10%
  Total 100%

STANDARD GRADES:
A 94-100
A- 90-93
B+ 87-89
B 84-86
B- 80-83
C+ 77-79
C 74-76
C- 70-73
D 60-69
F less than 60 points
I Incomplete

LETTER GRADE EXPLANATION:
[A] Excellent. Student exhibits mastery of the material; demonstrates the ability to express and apply the material in a creative way, i.e., not simply what has been covered in the class or texts. Student demonstrates a strong articulation of personal voice, both in the work completed and in the presentation of material to the class.
[B] Good. Student exhibits an advanced understanding of material covered in class; has some consistency in performance on tests and assignments; presents the material in a clear, organized fashion, but needs further work on clear expression of ideas.
[C] Fair. Basic understanding of material covered in class. Concepts and facts are correct and covered in adequate depth; exhibits inconsistency (some areas covered well, others poorly, indicating some confusion over the material) or inability to clearly express understanding of the material.
[D] Poor. Student demonstrates perfunctory comprehension of the material; inconsistency of performance on tests and assignments; misunderstanding of the material; incomprehensive mastery of skills; excessive absences or lateness.
[F] Failure. Failure to complete the assignments as stated; failure to hand in an assignment; complete or near complete misunderstanding of the material; plagiarism; illiteracy; excessive absences or lateness.
[I] Incomplete. Incompletes are given at the discretion of the course instructor.

UNIVERSITY POLICIES
ACADEMIC ACCOMODATIONS:
The University of Connecticut is committed to protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities and assuring that the learning environment is accessible. If you anticipate or experience physical or academic barriers based on disability or pregnancy, please let me know immediately so that we can discuss options. Students who require accommodations should contact the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD), Wilbur Cross Room 204, (860) 486-2020, or csd@uconn.edu. More information at http://www.csd.uconn.edu.
 
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:

Scholarly activity at the graduate and postdoctoral level takes many forms, including, but not limited to, classroom activity, laboratory or field experience, writing for publication, presentation, and forms of artistic expression. Integrity in all of these activities is of paramount importance, and The Graduate School of the University of Connecticut requires that the highest ethical standards in teaching, learning, research, and service be maintained.Scholarly integrity encompasses “both research integrity and the ethical understanding and skill required of researchers/scholars in domestic, international, and multicultural contexts.” It also addresses “ethical aspects of scholarship that influence the next generation of researchers as teachers, mentors, supervisors, and successful stewards of grant funds” (Council of Graduate Schools, Research and Scholarly Integrity in Graduate Education: A Comprehensive Approach, 2012).

The Graduate Faculty Council, in accordance with the provisions of its By-Laws, has adopted this policy concerning scholarly integrity in graduate education and research and has approved the procedures set forth herein for addressing alleged violations. The Dean of The Graduate School shall coordinate the reporting, investigation, and determination of alleged breaches of scholarly integrity by graduate students in accordance with this policy.

Members of the Graduate Faculty have primary responsibility to foster an environment in which the highest ethical standards prevail. All members of the University community have a responsibility to uphold the highest standards of scholarship, which encompasses activities of teaching, research, and service, and to report any violation of scholarly integrity of which they have knowledge. Instructors have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to prevent scholarly misconduct in their courses and to inform students of course-specific requirements.

University definitions of scholarly misconduct can be found here: https://policy.uconn.edu/2014/04/11/policy-on-scholarly-integrity-in-graduate-education-and-research 

You are responsible for ensuring that original work is correctly attributed. You must give clear and complete attributions for the work of others in your own productions as well as in any written work. Plagiarism (either digital or written) will not be tolerated and may result in failure of the course or expulsion. Please refer to The Student Code: community.uconn.edu/the-student-code-preamble. 

Note: Student misconduct other than scholarly misconduct, as defined herein, is governed by the University’ s Student Code, which is administered under the direction of the Office of the Provost. Enforcement of its provisions is the responsibility of the Director of Community Standards. At the Health Center, student misconduct other than scholarly misconduct is governed by the Health Center Rules of Conduct.

POLICY AGAINST DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT AND INTERPERSONAL VIOLENCE:
The University of Connecticut is committed to maintaining an environment free of discrimination or discriminatory harassment directed toward any person or group within its community- students, employees, or visitors. Academic and professional excellence can flourish only when each member of our community is assured an atmosphere of mutual respect. All members of UConn community are responsible for the maintenance of an academic and work environment in which people are free to learn and work without fear of discrimination or discriminatory harassment. In addition, inappropriate amorous relationships can undermine UConn’s mission when those in positions of authority abuse or appear to abuse their authority. To that end, and in accordance with federal and state law, Uconn prohibits discrimination and discriminatory harassment, as well as inappropriate amorous relationships, and such behavior will be met with appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the university. Additionally, to protect the campus community, all non-confidential university employees (including faculty) are required to report sexual assaults, intimate partner violence, and/or stalking involving a student that they witness or are told about to the Office of Institutional Equity.
UConn takes all reports with the utmost seriousness. Please be aware that while the information you provide will remain private, it will not be confidential and will be shared with University officials who can help. More information is available at eguity.uconn.edu and titleix.uconn.edu
 
SEXUAL ASSAULT REPORTING POLICY:
To protect the campus community, all non-confidential University employees (including faculty) are required to report assaults they witness or are told about to the Office of Diversity & Equity under the Sexual Assault Response Policy. The University takes all reports with the utmost seriousness. Please be aware that while the information you provide will remain private, it will not be confidential and will be shared with University officials who can help. More information is available at sexualviolence.uconn.edu.
 
Statement on Absences from Class Due to Religious Observances and Extra-Curricular Activities:
Faculty and instructors are expected to reasonably accommodate individual religious practices unless doing so would result in fundamental alteration of class objectives or undue hardship to the University’s legitimate business purposes. Such accommodations may include rescheduling an exam or giving a make-up exam, allowing a presentation to be made on a different date or assigning the student appropriate make-up work that is intrinsically no more difficult than the original assignment. Faculty and instructors are strongly encouraged to allow students to complete work missed due to participation in extracurricular activities that enrich their experience, support their scholarly development, and benefit the university community. Examples include participation in scholarly presentations, performing arts, and intercollegiate sports, when the participation is at the request of, or coordinated by, a University official. Students should be encouraged to review the course syllabus at the beginning of the semester for potential conflicts and promptly notify their instructor of any anticipated accommodation needs. Students are responsible for making arrangements in advance to make up missed work. For conflicts with final examinations, students should contact the Dean of Students Office. Faculty and instructors are also encouraged to respond when the Counseling Program for Intercollegiate Athletes (CPIA) requests student progress reports. This will enable the counselors to give our students appropriate advice.

Center for Students with Disabilities:
The University of Connecticut is committed to protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities and assuring that the learning environment is accessible. If you anticipate or experience physical or academic barriers based on disability or pregnancy, please let me know immediately so that we can discuss options. Students who require accommodations should contact the Center for Students with Disabilities, Wilbur Cross Building Room 204, (860) 486-2020 or http:/csd.uconn.edu/.

The University of Connecticut is required to verify the identity of students who participate in distance learning or online courses and to establish that students who register in these courses are the same students who participate in and complete the course activities and assessments and receive academic credit. Verification and authentication of student identity in this course will include [Method 1 and Method 2].”

What if you suspect academic misconduct?  Follow the University’s respective procedures:

ASSIGNMENTS: https://motion2.dmd.uconn.edu/assignment/

  1. Technical Exercises

Students will be expected to demonstrate that they understand the techniques discussed in the previous week’s class. How you do this is up to you. You can design a very short and specific piece that focuses on demonstrating technique. Or, you can show a part of your final project in progress that incorporates the technique. All pieces should closely adhere to the principles of animation that we discuss in class, as well as display the assigned technique. You will submit your work by rendering to Quicktime/mp4 format, uploading to Microsoft Teams. I want to make sure that you understand how to render a piece and prepare it for easy display.

  1. Midterm Project: Prototype Presentation

The midterm project is the first self-initiated project that you will propose and develop in this course. You will present a brief project proposal along with sketches, storyboards, style frames, and in the initial stages of project development.

  1. Final Project

The final project for this class must demonstrate an understanding of the concepts discussed in the course. The guidelines are extremely flexible: you should show that you understand the techniques and software discussed, that you can incorporate principles of good filmmaking, and that you have the creativity and dedication to produce a sophisticated piece. You will have ample class time both to work on the project itself, as well as to use me and your fellow students as resources. You needn’t produce a catalog of every single concept we discussed in class. I am most concerned that you produce a thought-provoking and personal piece, one that you can really be proud of as an artist. The final result should be a piece that you would be proud to show at a film festival!

    COURSE CALENDAR:
    https://motion2.dmd.uconn.edu/classschedule/
    Course calendar is subject to change with notification