«What is most important in animation is the emotions and the ideas being portrayed.» – Ralph Bakshi.
Animation and Games are two of the fastest growing industries in the world, which will increasingly feature in our everyday lives. With technological development at the stage they are today, it proves impossible to tell truth from fiction. The film, games and VFX industries are always searching for new talent. BA (Hons) Animation and Games Art will allow you to explore the pre-production pipeline and be able to apply animation to a wide range of media. You will study and develop traditional animation techniques, plus key digital skills in 2D and 3D, while learning the core principles of character-led animation.
We place animation and game design within a broader context of principles and theories of design, and you will gain an overall knowledge of design that keeps your career options wide open. You will also have the creative freedom and flexibility to develop your specific areas of interest, gaining transferable skills crucial to employability. Teaching is almost entirely practical and studio-based, supported by lectures, seminars and tutorials. Our academic team encourage you to express ideas and push the boundaries of creativity. Assessment is mainly through coursework. In your final year you will prepare for your Degree Show which will be visited by industry experts and potential employers.
Assessment is 100% coursework and you will be continually assessed throughout the course.
Assessment will be through assignments including design briefs (project work), competitions, presentations, seminars and group activities.
On the BA(Hons) Animation & Games Art course we are aiming to produce animators capable of entering the industry in the creative department of it or working as artist animators, directors and games designers – amongst other things.
Many of our graduates have careers with major design consultancies and animation companies. Successful students may also wish to continue their studies on MA Degree to further enhance their knowledge and skills base, exploring new and innovative areas of design.
Year 1 (national level 4):
Fundamentals of Animation and Games Art (60 credits)
Learn the fundamental principles of animation using traditional studio practices in 2D drawn animation through weekly character-based exercises that will culminate in a short, animated sequence using Toon Boom Harmony software. Be introduced to the Adobe Creative Suite in a separate creative brief related to game design.
Attend weekly life drawing classes to enhance your figurative and imaginative drawing skills and engage in contextual and visual research to support and enhance your practical work.
Creative Exploration (40 credits)
Create short sequences as part of a team using a variety of traditional techniques such as Pixillation, Direct animation, Smudge ‘n Click, Cut-out and Stop Motion, building on the principles and skills learnt in semester 1 and exploring visual storytelling further.
Produce a short film for a student-led competition and public screening to showcase your first year’s work.
Continue to attend weekly life drawing classes looking at expressive and experimental drawing techniques.
Be introduced to 3D software and tools in a series of creative workshops and have the opportunity to collaborate with BSc (Hons) Game Development students and participate in local Game Jams.
Design Theory 1 (20 credits)
Gain an understanding of the wider application of design theory and principles as well as having the opportunity to study the context, development and theories behind your own chosen specialism. Debate and critically engage with the topics discussed.
Year 2 (national level 5):
Advanced 3D (40 credits)
Produce a collection of 3D animations culminating in an interactive, playable character. Produce a 3D digitally sculpted model and environment. Produce a short, animated lip-sync performance sequence working to a pre-recorded soundtrack.
Preproduction Practice (20 credits)
Follow the preproduction pipeline for creating either a pitch bible for a children’s tv series or a games document for a 7-PEGI game from visual and contextual research through concept art, story art, character design, environments, assets, linear and non-linear storytelling. Create an animatic or walkthrough to demonstrate your concept’s viability. Pitch your idea in a short presentation at the end of the module. Work individually or as part of a creative team.
Collaborate further with BSc (Hons) Game Development students.
Advanced Visual Effects and Motion Graphics (40 credits)
Create a music video for an artist of your own choosing either as part of a collaboration, or working alone. Study the application of advanced After Effects e.g. rotoscoping, tracking techniques, using green screen and keylight – and choose to apply any creative technique to your work. Explore the genre and contextual background to music and animation in film and games, to the title sequence as an art form as well as create an ident for yourself.
Help to organise a showcase of your work at a public screening at the end of the academic year.
Design Theory 2 (20 credits)
Continue to study the context, development and theories behind your own chosen specialism and support your practical work, helping you to focus on your choice of dissertation topic in Stage 3.
Continue weekly life drawing looking at environment and figurative drawing practice.
Final year (national level 6):
Professional Engagement (40 credits)
Work on a chosen live brief as well as a piece to showcase your skills and enhance your showreel/portfolio. Employability Day will enable you to meet successful alumni from this and other Design courses and hear about their experiences after graduating and tips on employability. Create a Professional Engagement Document, which will show how you have interacted over the past two years with industry professionals either through placements, social media, visits to festivals and studios or other networking events.
Focus on CV writing and interview techniques as well as the creative and technical skills required for your chosen specialism to enhance your employability.
Dissertation (20 credits)
Research an approach, concept or practice relevant to your specialism that is intended to support your practical work in your final major project. An example of this from a recent graduate was the study of Magic Realism, which directly fed into the narrative of their graduation film. Demonstrate academic research methods to formulate a written piece of 6,000 words.
Final Major Project (60 credits)
Build on the skills and knowledge, both technical and creative, that you have gained across all previous modules to create a piece of work that best reflects your specialism and will, hopefully, take you into professional employment. Choose to work individually or as part of a team.
Set up and exhibit your work in the final year Degree Show, which is open to the public and industry practitioners.