Undergraduate Degree




DT3001 3D Character Animation I

[Studio teaching: 39 hours; Pre-requisites: DT2000, DT2001; Academic Unit: 4.0]



DT2000, DT2001

Academic Unit


4 AU

Course Description

Learning Objective

To deliver to the students a practice-based introduction to the tools and techniques of 3D character animation and to introduce students to the basic principles of animation.


3D Character Animation I is designed to give students a practice-based experience to the application of the principles of animation to 3D characters. This course explores character animation design from still poses to animated sequences, using as examples models ranging from simple objects to human and animal figures. The student’s understanding of body mechanics, movement and animation acting will be developed and they will be introduced to an overview of workflow techniques and the software tools needed to animate a 3D character.

Course Outline




• Introduction to the course

2 - 6

• Software and animation tools

• Simple 3D object and character rigs

• Principles of animation

• Animation preparation and workflow concepts

• Animation principles and their importance to body mechanics

• Movement analysis and the usage of video reference


• Mid Sem review of assignments

8 - 12

• Communication via animation 

• The basics of acting


• Final review of assignments


Learning Outcome

Students will have learned the basics of 3D character animation. They will have developed a knowledge of its place within the 3D production pipeline and know the basics of human motion.

Student Assessment

  1. Final Assessment: 40%

  2. Continuous Assessment: 60% (of which at least 15% is participation)

Continuous assessment components may include:

  • Studio-based exercises and projects

  • Individual, group and team-based assignments


  1. Richard Williams, The Animator's Survival Kit--Revised Edition: A Manual of Methods, Principles and Formulas for Classical, Computer, Games, Stop Motion and Internet Animators, Faber & Faber

  2. Ollie Johnston, Frank Thomas, The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation, Disney Editions

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