Construction of the Moving Image Header

LCC 2730
MWF: 10:05 - 10:55 / 11:05 - 11:55
Room 318

Instructor: Brian Schrank

Georgia Institute of Technology
School of Literature, Communication, and Culture

In this course students will learn the art and craft of constructing 3D moving images, concentrating on the subject of animating. Students will learn through lectures, workshops, readings, and in class critiques when their work is showcased and judged by their peers. The student's primary effort will be in the production of media consisting of moving images.

The main software used in this class is Maya, produced by Autodesk. The versions installed in room 318 are Maya 2011 and Maya 2010. The version installed in the Multimedia Studio in the main library is Maya 2009. If working on complex projects, to avoid potential problems, it is wise to stick to one version of Maya for the duration of that project. Free, educational Maya licenses are available as well as 30-day trial licenses for the full version.

For in-depth video tutorials check out the Gnomon instructional DVDs (all of them are in a stand in front of the Multimedia Studio in the main library) and other DVDs and books in our library. If the library does not have the particular book you want, remember that you can order it from any another Georgia library using the GIL Universal Catalog. For tutorials:

Two Required Books:

The Animator's Survival Kit, Expanded Edition (published in 2009)
by Richard Williams
ISBN-10: 0571238343

Introducing Maya 2011
by Dariush Derakhshani
ISBN-10: 0470502169

You must purchase both books for this class. They will greatly help you in producing high quality work. They can be purchased from Engineer's Bookstore at 748 Marietta Street next to campus. The phone number for Engineer's is: 404-221-1669 and they are open M-F 9-5:30.

Attendance is required
A record of attendance and tardiness will be used in determining your final grade. You are allowed three absences. Tardiness will count as 1/3 of an absence. Each absence beyond the third will lower your grade half a letter. Six absences will guarantee a failing grade. It’s up to the student to notify the instructor in case of illness or emergency, in which case the absence will be excused. However notification must occur before or shortly after an absence or it will not be excused. If you miss class, you are responsible for contacting another student and not the instructor to catch up on missed material.

Cell Phones and Mobile Devices should not be audible (including audible vibration) during class. Any student who answers a cell phone during instruction will be excused for the day.

Assignments are due by the start of class on their due date. For most projects you will upload a video to Vimeo (you must get a Vimeo account if you do not have one already). One letter grade will be deducted for each calendar day the assignment is late, including the day it was due. I cannot stress emphatically enough that you should START EARLY and work CONTINUOUSLY on your projects. You cannot "get lucky" producing moving images, as you can sometimes with static design work.

Room 318 is YOUR lab for this class. It is available for use 24 hours per day, except during periods where the university is officially closed or there is another class using it. The building, hence also the lab, may be closed during official holidays. You will need to have your Buzzcard activated for it to be readable so the card reader at the door. No food is allowed in the lab. All lab computers are re-imaged regularly and without warning by support staff. Use server space or removable media to store your files. It is your responsibility to keep your files safe. Keep in mind if your files are lost causing your assignment to be late its grade will be docked regardless. If you accidentally set off the alarm, please telephone Kenya in the LCC office during office hours at 404.894.1052 or Georgia Tech Security at 404-894-2500 if after office hours. If you have any technical problems with a LCC lab computer, server or server account, please send an email to LCC Computing Support at: Please copy me on the email so that I am aware of the problem.

Project #
Grade Percentage
Due Date

Solar System


Bouncing Ball


Anticipation and Contrasting Motion


Emotional Object

2/11 and 2/14

Fighting Gravity

2/25 and 3/2

Walk Cycle Loop / Mini-Freestyle


Freestyle Pitch and Plan


Freestyle Final

4/15, 4/22, and 4/25

Participation in the Class

Every Class


Total 100%

Helping Other Students
(Extra Credit)

See Below*


Vocal Participation During Class is Mandatory
I expect every single student to say something at least every other class. When I am presenting a lecture feel free to interrupt and ask questions or ask me to clarify a point. The most opportune time to participate is in class critiques upon the work of other students. How could they improve their moving imagery? If you are shy, consider this a great opportunity to challenge yourself to become extroverted when it is necessary, strategic, or beneficial to you.
*Extra Credit
The Student who has been helped by you must notify me and relate to me roughly how long they helped you and the nature of the assistance. It will usually be technical, e.g. how to do "'X" in Maya. The assistance has to have lasted more than a few minutes to be eligible. I reserve the right to deem what will count as Extra Credit and will allocate and award it at the end of the semester.
Converting Project Letter Grades to the Point System:
A+ = 100
A = 95
A- = 92
B+ = 88
B = 85
B- = 82
C+ = 78
C = 75
C- = 72
D+ = 68
D = 65
D- = 62
F+ = 58
F = 55

Final grades are calculated: A (90-100), B (80-89.9), C (70-79.9), D (60-69.9), F (below 60).

A student can request accommodations to academic courses either by contacting is/her instructor directly and/or by contacting the Disabled Student Services Coordinator (DSSC). For simpler requests (e.g., changing seat assignments because of eyesight or hearing limitations), the student may want to discuss the request directly with the instructor; however, the student can always request that the DSSC facilitate the accommodations. The DSSC will discuss the accommodation requests with the appropriate Georgia Tech personnel, who will issue a decision, in writing, to the student, to the department or instructor, and to the DSSC.

Meeting with Students
I don't have office hours, but will gladly schedule meetings with students at their request.

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