Undergraduate Degree



DT​2000 Drawn Animation I

[Studio Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites: NIL; Academic Unit: 3.0]




Academic Unit


3 AU

Course Description

Learning Objective

To deliver to the students a practice-based introduction to animation. To familiarise the students with the basic principles of animation through a study of 2D animation.


Through a practice-based study of 2D animation, this course familiarises students with the basic principles that inform all animation. Students are introduced to a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional animation styles and the ideas and formal devices that constitute them are examined. Through a series of hand drawn line-testing exercises the student gains a practice-based experience of such core animation features as motion, human articulation and timing.

Course Outline




Introduction to the course

2 - 6

Drawn animation objects 1: 

• Drawing in animation:

- Stylization, line of action, inverse curves, silhouetting etc

• Timing:

- Key frames, spacing, squash and stretch, slow in/slow out, arcs, anticipation etc

• Animation methods:

- pose to pose, straight ahead etc

• The bouncing-ball 

• Complex motion:

- Follow through, overlapping and wave action, secondary action etc

• Staging

Drawn animation figures 1: • Walk cycles


• Mid Sem review of assignments

8 - 12

Drawn animation figures 2:

• Character animation: 

- appeal, acting, dialogue, exaggeration, character, complex walk cycles etc

Drawn animation objects 2:

• Sophisticated use of wave actions

• Weight:

- The importance of weight for believable animation

• Different approaches to timing

The commonality of animation principles through all areas of animation practice:

• Case studies (VFX, CG, live action mix, non-traditional etc)


• Final review of assignments

Learning Outcome

The student will have been introduced to the principles of timing, movement, composition and style that inform all areas of animation practice.

Student Asse​ssment

  1. Final Assessment​: 30%

  2. Continuous Assessment: 70% (of which at least 15% is participation)

Continuous assessment components may include:

  • Studio-based exercises and projects

  • Individual, group and team-based assignments


Suggested Reading:

  1. Richard Williams, The Animators Survival Kit, Faber and Faber

  2. Walt Stanchfield, Drawn to Life, Volumes 1 and 2, Focal Press

  3. Preston Blair, Cartoon Animation, Walter Foster Publishing

  4. Harold Whitaker, John Halas, Tom Sito, Timing for Animation, Focal Press