Undergraduate Degree




D​T3009 Cinematic Concepts and Motion Capture Applications

[Studio Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites: DT2001​; Academic Unit: 3.0]




Academic Unit


3 AU

Course Description


In this advanced course, students will develop creative concepts and production strategies applied to the realization of a cinematic experience, similar to the one of an AAA console game or a high-end live action movie. This course will expose students to ideas and problem solving, pertaining to a pipeline that is used to produce highly resolved realistic movement. Students will create inspirational sketches, sets and environments, and rough storyboards. They will be required to design and model characters and objects. Later they will apply and edit animation derived from motion captured data. They will learn to enhance the data with key-framed animation. An integral part to the course will be to develop an understanding of the use of camera and how this applies to a virtual environment.

Learning Objective

The course aims to expose students through practice based teaching of the importance of systematic preparation in the consideration of animation projects. To learn about the technology based approach to the task that is by its very own nature different from the traditional methods of creating 3D animation.


In this advanced course, we are aiming to encourage the students to be creative within a given framework. The course is interdisciplinary in nature and students will have to collaborate. They will be asked to organize themselves in small groups, where each individual will use skills from different disciplines to achieve the common goal: modeling, texturing, rigging and lighting skills will be necessary. The course will be open to students from other areas as well and aims to be interdisciplinary in nature. In the first part of the course, the students will learn new tools and prepare the assets for the second, more practically oriented part. In this second half of the course, they will practically integrate all those elements in one cohesive short sequence.

Course Outline




• Intro to course

2 - 6

• Character definition, backgrounds and props, colour design 

• Introduction to various softwares to be used 

• Practical application of the various tools 

• Short Story development through storyboard Previz, animatic 

• Building asset

• Planning mocap 

• Creation of a first pass world 

• Prototype the Cinematic and Layout in Motion Builder


• Mid Sem review of assignments

8 - 12

• Shooting Mocap

• Refining animation (hands, facials, cameras etc)

• Lighting and optimization

• Lighting

• The role of sound

• Integration of the elements in the software of choice



• Final review of assignments

Learning Outcome

The student will learn how to conceive, develop and realize the production of an animation project that is dealing with technologies and methodologies unique to the use of motion capture derived animation.

Student Assessment

Continuous Assessment: 100%

Students will be assessed through continuous assessment as follows:

15%     Class Participation – students will be assessed on their participation in class discussions and showing of initiative in class activities;

45%     Class Assignments – students will be assessed on studio-based exercises and projects, including individual, group and team-based assignments;

40%:    Final Assessment – students will have a final assessment based on a major project undertaken individually or as a group.


  1. Jennifer Van Sijll,Cinematic Storytelling: The 100 Most Powerful Film Conventions Every Filmmaker Must Know, Michael Wiese Productions

  2. Rick Newman,Cinematic Game Secrets for Creative Producers: Inspired Techniques From Industry Legends, Focal Press

  3. Brian Hawkins, Real-Time Cinematography for Games, Charles River Media