About Animation

Bringing a character to life involves more than just technical ability. JMC Academy’s 3D Animation course will equip you with the knowledge, skills, and deep critical and creative thinking needed to excel in this dramatically expanding area. 

JMC Academy’s 3D Animation program has been developed in association with studio artists from major companies, including Pixar and Animal Logic.

Underpinned by principles in technology, science and artistic practice, this course will help you learn all about new tools and industry trends to ensure you are up to speed on all of the latest developments demanded by industry.

At the completion of this course your well developed portfolio and show reel will help you get your foot in the door to your dream career.

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Diploma of Creative Arts (3D Animation)

2 Trimesters
Where / Brisbane / Melbourne / Sydney
Next intake 06/06/2016 / See all intake dates
Entry requirements / Aus / International

The Diploma course will introduce you to the art and practice of animation in both its 2D and 3D glory. In trimesters 1 and 2 you will be able to get hands-on with the design and development of characters and worlds you may have previously only imagined, using drawing and visualisation techniques.

To help you create your vision, we’ll teach you different processes to help stimulate your creativity and solve imaginative problems.

Towards the end of the second trimester, you will begin to learn the core skillset and tools of 3D modelling and animation. At this point you will also get the opportunity to dive simultaneously into traditional techniques and cutting edge motion design.

Diploma of Creative Arts (3D Animation)
Curriculum
Subject
Production Art I
This unit seeks to provide some of the fundamental skills needed to help visualise ideas and to translate them into representations in 2D and 3D. The unit does not assume any level of existing skill but instead starts from the most basic elements of design and drawing with the belief that any able person can learn to draw competently. Imaginative interpretation, visual conceptualising of story and story elements, and the representation of narrative moments, form the primary thrust of the unit. Exercises will be directed toward an art direction project and the visualisation of character and story.
Traditional Animation
Traditional animation is defined as predominately “in-camera” where the computer is secondary to the process of animating. Students are introduced to conventions and common principles that have developed in animation’s rich hundred year history. Students explore traditional frame-by-frame techniques including cut-out, stop-motion, and drawn animation underpinning and developing an understanding of principles of movement and the animation process. Game characters and 3D animation are simply digital analogues of these fundamental techniques.
Introduction to 3D
This first year course teaches the practical operation of a 3D graphics program used throughout the degree. Technical skills are conveyed through set video exercises to be completed independently of the class and two creative assignments developed under the direction of your lecturer.
Creative Process
The aim of this subject is to build an awareness of a reliable and thorough creative process. It aims to instil commitment, individual and group, to that process, and to provide working tools for the origination and development of creative projects.

Students will work in small groups, through three distinct stages, towards a Prototype Proposal that deals with the challenge of approaching a creative career. This research exploration will include student backgrounds, interests, aspirations and expectations, then explore the links, similarities and differences between the group members. Creative outcomes will include both individual and group generated content as the result of a design-thinking based structure or information framework that links the research findings. The final outcome of the three stages is a Prototype Proposal that will contain evidence of the creative process applied to the development of a proposed design project. This proposal could be an animated film, a game, a digital interactive work, web site or similar.

Students will undertake three creative stages that will introduce and explore the student groups as young designers today and their pathway into a future career. Each part of this unit will be approached employing a design-thinking methodology. Each phase of the process will be explored employing the following processes and themes: 1. Discover: “What do we like to make?” (sustaining our practice, aspirations and expectations) 2. Ideate: “How do we get our work ‘out there’” (potential strategies, methods for exposure) 3. Prototype: “Strategy, Platforms, Process” (a proposal on how to make it all happen)

The three stages of this project always remains at a development stage and are never taken into actual production, allowing students to focus on the process rather than on the polish of a finished outcome. This also allows them to work with ideas that may not be practical to actually execute, encouraging them to be more ambitious, investigative and inventive.
T2 Electives (Choose 4 Units from):


Production Art II

Motion Design

3D Animation I

3D Modelling I

Design Subject:

(Descriptions Below)
Production Art II
Builds on Production Art I to take the design and concepting process to a much more detailed and exhaustive level. Students will create an in-depth art direction workbook for an animation or game concept, and learn to refine and present art and design concepts in industry standard formats. This unit is an elective choice.
Motion Design
This unit builds on the design principles and animation technique that students have been introduced to in 3DAN 201 Production Art I, 3DAN 203 Traditional Animation and VIS 204 Creative Process. Basic design principles will be re-visited in the context of motion and timeline, and further concepts, including colour, light, motion, depth and time, will be introduced and explored.

Students will also be introduced to some of the origins, history and current practice of motion graphics and hybrid digital 2D and 2.5D animation through screenings and analysis of recent and current work, both purely graphic, and character and narrative based.

Students will be introduced to technique and workflow in After Effects and its integration with other graphic packages including Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash. These techniques will be applied across a series of exercises addressing basic technique, communication challenges, and the creative possibilities of the medium. This unit is an elective choice.
3D Animation I
Animation I analyses and applies key principles of animation within 3D software. Technical workflow and mechanics are illustrated through lectures and ongoing practical exercises building foundation knowledge and skills. Students must take this unit and/or 3DAN 209.
3D Modelling I
All productions require worlds to inhabit. The first specialist modelling unit focusses on the creation of props, sets and environments using standard tools inside Autodesk Maya to bring students’ ideas to life.

Modelling I continues topics introduced within Trimester 1 3D unit. General topics expanding on materials, textures, lighting and rendering are undertaken in relation to the presentation of models and sets examined within the course. Students must take this unit and/or 3DAN 208.
Design Subject
Students have the option of taking one of several units offered in the Digital Design course. This may include such areas as Design Software competency or User Experience Design.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bachelor of Creative Arts (3D Animation)

6 Trimesters
Where / Brisbane / Melbourne / Sydney
Next intake 06/06/2016 / See all intake dates
Entry requirements / Aus / International

From here on, you’ll be able to focus your studies towards your preferred pathway. Whether your interest is in 3D modelling, animation or as an all-rounder/generalist, we’ll help you get there. The Bachelor will take you on a journey from story development to artistic hybrid digital animation.

You will immerse yourself in the creation of new characters, stories and exciting new worlds while expanding on some of the technical skills like rigging, compositing and motion capture - using JMC’s 18 camera Optitrack motion capture system. Working solo or on team projects with games, film, audio or other animation students, you’ll soon learn the art of collaboration for an enhanced project outcome.

Now it’s time to learn all you need to know about navigating the job market. We’ll help you prepare a dedicated showreel, give you advice on setting up your own business or help you create and seek funding for projects of your own. Through graduate exhibitions, industry arranged 'speed networking' interviews, site visits and festival exposure, you’ll soon become familiar with the ‘who's-who’ of the animation world. 

Bachelor of Creative Arts (3D Animation)
Curriculum
Subject
Production Art I
This unit seeks to provide some of the fundamental skills needed to help visualise ideas and to translate them into representations in 2D and 3D. The unit does not assume any level of existing skill but instead starts from the most basic elements of design and drawing with the belief that any able person can learn to draw competently. Imaginative interpretation, visual conceptualising of story and story elements, and the representation of narrative moments, form the primary thrust of the unit. Exercises will be directed toward an art direction project and the visualisation of character and story.
Traditional Animation
Traditional animation is defined as predominately “in-camera” where the computer is secondary to the process of animating. Students are introduced to conventions and common principles that have developed in animation’s rich hundred year history. Students explore traditional frame-by-frame techniques including cut-out, stop-motion, and drawn animation underpinning and developing an understanding of principles of movement and the animation process. Game characters and 3D animation are simply digital analogues of these fundamental techniques.
Introduction to 3D
This first year course teaches the practical operation of a 3D graphics program used throughout the degree. Technical skills are conveyed through set video exercises to be completed independently of the class and two creative assignments developed under the direction of your lecturer.
Creative Process
The aim of this subject is to build an awareness of a reliable and thorough creative process. It aims to instil commitment, individual and group, to that process, and to provide working tools for the origination and development of creative projects.

Students will work in small groups, through three distinct stages, towards a Prototype Proposal that deals with the challenge of approaching a creative career. This research exploration will include student backgrounds, interests, aspirations and expectations, then explore the links, similarities and differences between the group members. Creative outcomes will include both individual and group generated content as the result of a design-thinking based structure or information framework that links the research findings. The final outcome of the three stages is a Prototype Proposal that will contain evidence of the creative process applied to the development of a proposed design project. This proposal could be an animated film, a game, a digital interactive work, web site or similar.

Students will undertake three creative stages that will introduce and explore the student groups as young designers today and their pathway into a future career. Each part of this unit will be approached employing a design-thinking methodology. Each phase of the process will be explored employing the following processes and themes: 1. Discover: “What do we like to make?” (sustaining our practice, aspirations and expectations) 2. Ideate: “How do we get our work ‘out there’” (potential strategies, methods for exposure) 3. Prototype: “Strategy, Platforms, Process” (a proposal on how to make it all happen)

The three stages of this project always remains at a development stage and are never taken into actual production, allowing students to focus on the process rather than on the polish of a finished outcome. This also allows them to work with ideas that may not be practical to actually execute, encouraging them to be more ambitious, investigative and inventive.
T2 Electives (Choose 4 Units from):


Production Art II

Motion Design

3D Animation I

3D Modelling I

Design Subject:

(Descriptions Below)
Production Art II
Builds on Production Art I to take the design and concepting process to a much more detailed and exhaustive level. Students will create an in-depth art direction workbook for an animation or game concept, and learn to refine and present art and design concepts in industry standard formats. This unit is an elective choice.
Motion Design
This unit builds on the design principles and animation technique that students have been introduced to in 3DAN 201 Production Art I, 3DAN 203 Traditional Animation and VIS 204 Creative Process. Basic design principles will be re-visited in the context of motion and timeline, and further concepts, including colour, light, motion, depth and time, will be introduced and explored.

Students will also be introduced to some of the origins, history and current practice of motion graphics and hybrid digital 2D and 2.5D animation through screenings and analysis of recent and current work, both purely graphic, and character and narrative based.

Students will be introduced to technique and workflow in After Effects and its integration with other graphic packages including Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash. These techniques will be applied across a series of exercises addressing basic technique, communication challenges, and the creative possibilities of the medium. This unit is an elective choice.
3D Animation I
Animation I analyses and applies key principles of animation within 3D software. Technical workflow and mechanics are illustrated through lectures and ongoing practical exercises building foundation knowledge and skills. Students must take this unit and/or 3DAN 209.
3D Modelling I
All productions require worlds to inhabit. The first specialist modelling unit focusses on the creation of props, sets and environments using standard tools inside Autodesk Maya to bring students’ ideas to life.

Modelling I continues topics introduced within Trimester 1 3D unit. General topics expanding on materials, textures, lighting and rendering are undertaken in relation to the presentation of models and sets examined within the course. Students must take this unit and/or 3DAN 208.
Design Subject
Students have the option of taking one of several units offered in the Digital Design course. This may include such areas as Design Software competency or User Experience Design.
T3 Electives (Choose 4 Units from):


Visual Storytelling I

3D Animation II

3D Modelling II

Animation Lab

Rigging

(Descriptions Below)
Visual Storytelling I
This unit introduces students to the conception and development of screen stories, with an emphasis on short form animation. As the written story takes shape, students will also learn to design and construct visual narrative structures in the form of sequential still images for a comic and storyboard. The unit strengthens students’ writing and drawing skills, which are both fundamental to the professional practice toolkit, while introducing key principles of continuity, visual story elements, expressive composition and layout, and cinematic values. The ongoing staged project will also focus students on project planning and developing material to deadlines. It will give students an excellent opportunity to explore their own creativity and see it realised in a short story told in pictures. The project is developed further in Visual Storytelling II.
3D Animation II
Reinforces fundamental concepts from Animation I utilizing a more sophisticated full body rig. Walk, run, and jump animations for the first two assignments are generic and short, solidifying principles of posing, weight, timing and spacing, arcs, antics, overlaps and appeal. The final assignment is a lift exercise providing the creative freedom to conceive a situation for a pantomime animation involving lifting. Students must take this unit and/or 3DAN 305.
3D Modelling II
This subject aims primarily at developing and encouraging students to use digital sculpture to further their understanding of the figure, explore three dimensional ideas and be able to comfortably realise characters for future productions.

Assessments focus on students developing their own sculpted and textured character with staggered submission stages relating to different aspects of the workflow. Students must take this unit and/or 3DAN 304.
Animation Lab
Picks up from Motion Design and takes hybrid digital 2D, 2.5D, illustration and art-based animation into a more narrative and expressive area. The unit encourages the inventive exploration of a wide range of image-making approaches and their application to expressively communicating a story or emotional scenario, musical piece or other creative figurative sequence.
Rigging
This unit covers how to set up a skeleton and rig for a character mesh, how to skin the mesh and weight it properly, how to add controls to the rig, user interface options, blend shapes, and testing of rigs. The unit provides the technical knowledge for creating a fully controllable character for use in animation or game productions.
T4 Electives (Choose 4 Units from):


Visual Storytelling II

3D Animation III

Motion Capture

Screen Literacy I

Compositing

(Descriptions Below)
Visual Storytelling II
Continues the development begun in Visual Storytelling I. The story outlines and script begun in the previous unit will be refined and polished into a final draft screenplay. The concurrent visual development will take the storyboard students have created and bring it into the medium of the digital editing timeline using Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects to create an Animatic. This is a semi-animated time-based mockup of the finished work.

Finally the 2D process will be translated into the 3D environment with the creation of a Pre-vis story reel in Maya. Throughout this process students are encouraged to critically assess the story structure, timing and staging, and gain insight into the way in which these translations impact the visual story.
3D Animation III
This unit continues to develop core principles while also introducing acting and dialogue theory and practice. The assessments are no longer generic, encouraging students to animate their own ideas, characters and stories, adding personality and style in the process.
Motion Capture
Motion capture systems are an increasingly important tool in the creation of film and game animation, but to produce high quality work requires knowledge and skill. This unit will introduce students to the technology and techniques for designing, setting-up, capturing and working with motion capture data.

Students will examine examples of motion capture work good and bad, and analyse where and how it is most effective. They will work with actors or other performers in the studio, to direct performance and motion for capture. Students will learn how to set up and use the equipment and how to acquire and manage the data produced.

Most importantly, students will spend a substantial part of the unit developing an understanding of how the data is utilised, and the place of the animator’s skillset in refining, cleaning up and completing the action captured. Students will begin to acquire these skills through the practical work undertaken in the unit.
Screen Literacy I
Screen Literacy I provides students with an immersive study of the history of animation as an art form and media type. It involves critical examination of animations as historical trends, film analysis breakdowns of animations, and a mix of theoretical and practical knowledge around the fundamental creative and technical skills of film theory. Students are introduced to film structure, cinematography, editing, design and mise-en-scène.
Compositing
The manipulation of film integrating additional live action and fabricated elements is pervasive across all 21st century western media. Compositing is the process of combining visual elements into cohesive pieces and is an integral role or department in any post production facility. This unit introduces compositing through enjoyable hands on class exercises preparing students to create their own small visual effects projects in the latter stages of the unit. The unit employs After Effects, Fusion and a range of supplementary software and techniques.
Integration
This unit brings together students from Animation, Game Development and Digital Design (and potentially other courses) to work on creative projects that seek to look outside the mainstream production areas normally focussed on. Students will develop, plan and execute innovative projects that may involve elements such as location-based gaming, interactivity, projection mapping, web and device-based storytelling, transmedia and other forms that fl ow from the intersection of animation, game technologies and interactive digital design.
Major Project Part A
In this unit, students commence the development and pre-production of a short animation film project. Idea development, pitching and the formation of production teams leads on to the preparation of logistical planning, story development, and design and art direction work. By the end of the trimester students will have fully developed story and art, plus a detailed production schedule, and will be embarking on the creation of assets for the film. This is a double credit value unit.
Screen Literacy II
Screen Literacy II continues the immersive study of the history of animation as an art form and media type, covering later periods and styles. It further builds on the theoretical and practical skills of film as commenced in Screen Literacy I. Students apply their understanding of animation history, film theory and practice, and film analysis, to a sophisticated critical study of a major animation work.
Professional Development
This subject is aimed at giving the student the tools and skills needed to seek employment upon completion of the program. Preparation of showreels and portfolios, letter writing and interview skills, and the promotion of oneself as a unique “brand” in a creative industry all form part of the content. Students will have the opportunity to test their presentation skills in both mock and real environments. They will draw on the work completed during the course as well as charting a direction for the future, and preparing a set of materials to take with them into their job-seeking. Students may, as a part of this unit, have the opportunity to connect with industry representatives at site visits, “speed-dating’ interviews, and other events.
Major Project Part B
The production teams bring their projects from Part A into full production mode. With creative and technical support they will carry through the finalising of assets, animation, refinement, output, editing and finishing, to produce a short animated film. The unit is structured like a professional project with regular production meetings, where the logistical and personnel management aspects of the project are an important component. Finished films will have the opportunity to compete in JMC’s Martini Awards, as well as festivals and competitions further afield, and will form an important part of the participants’ showreels for future job-seeking. This is a triple credit value unit

Careers in the Industry

Graduates may find employment with

Our graduates are currently at work in a wide range of creative positions, from being team members at major studios like Dr D and Animal Logic, through to design houses like ZSpace. They are working in television and advertising and some individuals are running their own small studios as well as freelancing.

With a finely honed balance between theoretical and practical knowledge, be prepared to make rapid progress in the workplace. 

Specific roles may include

3D or 2D Animator
Producer
Director
Concept Artist
Storyboard Artist
Modeller
Texture Artist
Rigger
Illustrator
Render Wrangler
Visual Effects Artist
Matte Painter
Effects Animator
Compositor
Digital Lighting 
Designer
Motion Designer
 

Student testimonials

  • "Having the audio and film guys to work with me on my projects taught me a lot about the whole process. I put this into action as one of the animators on the ‘Happy Feet’ films.” - Damien Schneider
    Freelance Animation Artist | Animation Alumni
  • "My favourite aspect of the degree was engaging with industry professionals. Picking the brains of the JMC lecturers who have broad and relevant experience."
    - Thomas Fisher
    ‎3D Generalist, Animator and Motion Graphics Artist at Tom Fisher 3D | Animation Alumni
  • "JMC gave me the opportunity to meet like minded people and grow as a creative. The lecturers are fantastic! Their passion for the industry was infectious making me strive for my best"-Rachael Tannous
    Artist Recruitment & Coordination, Iloura Sydney | Animation Alumni

Faqs

I'm not good at drawing - can I still apply for the Animation course?

Yes. We take your inherent abilities and creativity, whatever level they may be at, and help you develop them as thoroughly as the passion you have for working on them.

Do I need to bring in a portfolio to apply for Animation, and if so, what should I put in it?
A portfolio essentially relates to samples of your work. If you have nice finished artwork, that’s fantastic, but not essential. What we’re looking for is that you have a drive to create things and are passionate about the field, so show us that in your portfolio. Things like sketches or drawings, notes, ideas and characters you’ve invented are all great.
How can I increase my chances of finding employment upon graduation?
Building your network with like-minded people and meeting people in the industry is really important. We encourage you to attend industry talks and events (many of which are held on campus) and introduce yourself to people. Amazing opportunities often arise through those connections so be open to new experiences. Create your own opportunities as well. If there’s nothing else happening, keep working. Work on your own projects and set yourself tasks to enhance and refine your skills so you not only have great content to add to your showreel, but when an opportunity does come up, you’re ready to seize it.  
What projects will I create during the Animation course that I can show future employers?
During your course you will be advised to build your portfolio with relevant samples of your finished work. A final Degree project which you will develop and 'executive produce' will ensure you have an animated 3D film to add to your show reel.