Cursus Animation - Bachelor

2nd year animation course

After the acquisition of basic knowledge through the preparatory workshop, ECV students in Animation get to learn the fundamentals of animation and of digital creation. They study illustration, the creation of universes and characters in either two or three dimensions. They will also be familiarising themselves with 3D techniques, from video, to image processing and motion capture in order to make their first animations.

Among the tools they will be able to use, drawing is the necessary element to communication and design, then comes computer processing, declined in different software allowing the apprehending of the still and animated 2D picture, as well as 3D animation, special effects, compositing and video editing.

This year will allow you to acquire a real methodology of work. Training is structured around practical projects allowing the appropriation of knowledge, the concrete acquisition of abilities as well as the development of a particular artistic identity. Throughout the 2nd year, students will produce, as a team, a 2D animation and motion design short-film, carried out as a semester project.

3rd year animation course

During the 3rd year, each student individually produces a 2D animation short film, allowing him to comprehend the full chain of production which is can be broken down to three phases: pre-production, production, and post-production.

  • Pre-production
    Pre-production allows the assessment of the creative project, the development of the script, the visual content, the storyboard, and the 2D or 3D animation.
  • Production
    Production will materialise the project, through modelling, setup, animation, lighting, etc.
  • Post-production
    Last part of the project, post-production leads to the final outcome of the piece, through special effects, compositing, editing, sound design and sound mix

The creative dimension of the students work is supported by the elaboration of an animation project or of a demo reel.
At the end of this year, students confront themselves with professional reality with an internship. An necessary experience at this stage of the course.

Course

  • Year
  • Sketching of live models is a basic exercise that develops a sense of the proportions and movements of the human body. Mastery of these skills is an essential step to creating and animating characters. During this course, students will also have the opportunity to sketch directly with a digital tablet.

  • Character design is a highly valued position in video game and animation studios. Charisma, proportions and style are all key factors in the creation of a good character. Beyond the actual drawing, students need to capture the character’s typology by defining its psychological and sociological attributes to create a better design. These are also determining factors for the animation in production.

  • Students practice sketching in an environment outside of the school such as museum exhibits, public gardens, train stations and streets. The drawing of architectural spaces and statuary develops respect for proportions, volume and perspective, in the foreground and background. Students learn how to make choices, capture the essence, and draw quickly.

  • Illustration is a discipline in which students can fully express themselves. Unlike drawing classes, illustration is always based on an idea, narration or even music. It is one of the major forms of expression in graphic arts. A wide variety of techniques are used, enabling each student to develop his or her personal writing and style.

  • Probably the most important course and also the most extensive. Students have to design a self-consistent environment that can then be used in a work of animation. Perspective, volume, morphology and analysis of movement will define the specifics of the characters populating this imaginary environment.

  • The main assistant to the director, the storyboarder divides a story into images and makes framing and editing decisions. After scripting their stories, students will learn how to illustrate short sequences in precise images, an essential step in film production.

  • Photography is a vital form of expression in visual communication. This art of focusing on light forces students to adopt a new perspective and provides them with basic shooting and lighting techniques. An approach through the history and practice of photography lays the foundations of framing, light placement and scenography, fundamental skills for future projects in 3D.

  • The objective of this course is to learn how to manage the design, ergonomics and artistic direction of a web site. Students are then asked to design and produce their own web sites based on business situations.

  • Students learn the fundamentals of conventional 2D software. This course teaches students how to adjust and touch up images, as well as paint, vectorize and add colour. Softwares: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign.

  • Traditional 2D animation is essential for mastering the complexity of animation, for that is what brings drawn characters to life. The many technical constraints involved are difficult to grasp and provide students with a rich learning experience. Softwares: Flash, After Effects.

  • Rigging is a 3D animation technique for constructing a character’s skeleton. The armature needs to be built to match the animation, based on the character’s morphology and specific features. The stage after rigging, skinning is the process of binding a character’s mesh to the skeleton, adjusting joint bends and verifying the accuracy of the model’s deformation.

  • Students discover the basics of visual communication. They are confronted with the difficulty of expressing an idea through drawing or graphics and engage it in a process of research and reflection that appeals to their imagination, intuition and personal culture. Without any model to study, students will have to transmit an idea, sentence or concept into images.

  • Modeling is used to create backgrounds, vehicles, characters, etc. Once this technique has been acquired, students can transform their creations into 2D and 3D. Softwares: 3DS Max, Maya, ZBrush.

  • Scenography is the art of staging in which lighting plays a key role. The effect of light on textures and backgrounds will set the scene’s realism, tone and style. Softwares: 3DS Max, Maya.

  • The objective of this course is to acquire the skills necessary for setting a character or object in motion. Based on the modeling of shapes, students bring their creation to life. Softwares: 3DS Max, Maya, Motion Builder.

  • The animation of realistic human characters remains difficult to process manually. Motion capture uses sensors to track an actor’s movements to generate lifelike images of motion. This sophisticated equipment, made available to students, facilitates the integration of motion into their productions and trains them in the use of an essential tool for professional studios.

  • Compositing involves mixing a variety of media to create a finished product. Along with editing, compositing is the final stage in the production chain for films, advertisements and title sequences. Softwares: After Effects, 3DS Max, Photoshop, Illustrator.

  • A broad knowledge of film is vital for a good introduction to all aspects of film production. Deciphering and analyzing the greatest movies promotes a better understanding of the language of film.

  • English is an inescapable necessity for the world ofapplied art and ensure today the successful transition into an international working environment. Students learn bases and specific vocabulary relative to the profession of artistic creation.

  • Every production begins with an idea, a story. Script development is a course that teaches students to express their initial idea as a pitch and then gradually develop it into a script. They become familiar with the pace and relevance of narration and gain a greater understanding of what it entails.