MI7002 - Animation Research & Development

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What will I learn on this module?

The aim of this module is to undertake and document research and development that will form the basis of the Major Project MI7003, which usually takes the form of a short film, or an equivalent piece of original work. This module can be broken down into the three broad areas: project idea, research and development and project design. The project idea is usually based on the research and development carried out in module MI7004, and at this stage the ideas are further refined and developed conceptually, visually and technically. These stages can be summarised as:

Project idea
You will be supported in the development of a script or project idea for the Major Project. This will include all appropriate written and visual work to clearly demonstrate the project, such as a treatment, script and storyboards. This should be based on the necessary contextual research to support the development of the ideas and themes inherent in the project, commensurate with post-graduate level research.

Research and development
You will be introduced to advanced production techniques and methods that will support the development of Major Project. You will also be supported in the visual and technical research and development required to produce and document the art direction and technical direction for the Major Project.

Project design
You will be supported in the design and documentation of the production pipeline required for the production stage of the Major Project.
Teaching will be by a lecture series and discussion that will refer to each stage outlined above. There will also be a series of workshops to develop appropriate technical skills to deliver the Major Project. These will include, character animation, advanced rendering and production pipeline design.

How will I learn on this module?

There are two stages to your learning in this module. At both stages you can work within a team, or on an individual project.

The first stage deals with the research, development and production of a final script or production design that will form the basis of the major project in module MI7003. This will usually involve revisions and developments to project ideas originally generated and documented in module MI7004.

The second stage is the research, development, production and documentation of the methodologies and assets required to produce the proposed major project in module MI7003.
You will attend project briefings and production meetings to produce the following for the Major Project MI7003:

Develop the script or project
Develop and document the art direction
Develop and document technical direction
Develop and document assets
Design production schedule

Tutor guided independent learning and self independent learning will follow this process of design negotiation.

You will be supported and facilitated by the module tutor and teaching team.

The project must show clear evidence of appropriate research in conceptual, design and technical terms.

This research, along with the design and production process must be documented throughout the project.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Module briefs outline the indicative workload of a module with an indication of lectures, design development classes and the appropriate use of design and ICT software for both the development and communication of the projects. This will include the extensive use of the e-learning portal and the use of blogs for you to document and communicate your research and design progress.

Associated learning materials will also be available on the eLearning portal to download and support developmental skills, where appropriate. These will be discussed in class first to make sure that you understand the key concepts of the material.

Email support is available throughout the module, especially during tutor guided independent learning and student independent learning periods when you are working alone. You can also make appointments to talk through your work with a member of staff.

The programme has a subscription to ‘Digital Tutors’, the design and technical software support facility, due to the specialist nature of the software that you are required to use. You will have access to this resource, both inside and outside the university, to help with any problem solving when designing. You will be encouraged to solve your own design and technical problems by searching for solutions in Digital Tutors.

The programme has a dedicated design studio, specialist hardware including high-end computers, rendering facilities, stop-motion rigs and a colour 3D printer. Plus industry standard software such as Maya, Houdini, Renderman, and Nuke.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Clearly demonstrate research into your chosen subjects, using clear methodology.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

2. Produce a clear project idea and all the necessary conceptual and visual supporting material for the Major Project MI7003.

3. Design the production pipeline and design and deliver the production assets, with the supporting technical documentation for the Major Project MI7003, to a professional standard.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

4. Present and justify your work, in a professional manner, in the context of wider theories and practice, to your peers.

How will I be assessed?

You will present your design and technical solutions in a group presentation during the semester, and you will receive formative feedback based on MLO 4.

You will effectively communicate your project idea and supporting research and development at mid-point and final presentations, both verbally and visually, as noted in MLO 1 and in MLO 4. You will receive formative feedback from both staff and peers at these stages.

You will deliver a final piece of work, which is of a professional standard, that meets the design needs of the brief. This will be presented during the final presentation and you will receive formative feedback from both staff and peers. As noted in MLO 2.

You will also demonstrate your ability to design, organise and manage the project in a professional manner and this will be demonstrated throughout the project during tutorials and documented in the final delivery, as noted in MLO 3.

The work will be reviewed again by staff, after the formal presentation, and the work will be summatively assessed. Summative feedback will be provided on the standard Faculty assessment template, which records your achievement against the module learning outcomes and final grade.

Your work should be submitted via the eLearning Portal. On the module page in the eLearning Portal, there is a folder called ‘Assignment Submission’ you will find all the necessary links in this folder.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

Department Arts

Location Lipman Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start September 2019

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