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CSC 187

Computer Animation 1


This is the tentative schedule for the spring 2021 class.
Week Date Topics Assignments Projects Videos
1 1/11
  1. Course Introduction, Syllabus
  2. Introduction to Computer Animation
  3. Maya Fundamentals
  4. Reference library
  1. Project 1: Assigned

  2. Project 1 references assigned- Due 1/13
  1. Visual Literacy
  2. Modeling basics
  3. Project organization
  4. Polygonal Surfaces
  1. Polygonal Shape Study-Due 1/20
  2. Project 1 references- Due
  3. Weekly Journal entry
2 1/18 No school MLK Day      
  1. Working with Scene Elements
  2. Polygonal Modeling 1: Hammer
  1. Study: Polygonal Modeling 1- Due 1/25
3 1/25
  1. Rendering and Light
  2. Lighting and Shadows
  3. Lighting design
  1. Study: Lights and Shadows - Due 1/27
  1. Unity, Emphasis, Scale
  2. Materials
  3. Critique Preparations: Guidelines
  1. Study: Material Basics- Due 1/28
  2. Weekly journal entry
4 2/1 Project 1: Critique
  1. Project 2 assigned
  2. Project 2 reference assigned- Due 2/3
  1. Polygonal Modeling 2: Gas can body
  1. Project 2 references due
  2. Study: Polygonal Modeling 2 Gas can Body- Due 2/8
  3. Weekly journal entry
5 2/8
  1. Surface Texturing: UV mapping, Digital Painting
  1. Weekly journal entry
6 2/15
  1. Polygonal Modeling 3: Organic Polygonal Forms, Curves, Deformers
  1. Study: Polygonal Modeling 3, Organic forms, gas can spout- Due 2/17
  1. Project 2 Critique
  1. Project 3 assigned
  2. project 3 texture references assigned- Due 2/22
  3. Weekly journal entry
7 2/22
  1. UV Mapping 1: Basic geometry, mac n cheese box mapping, baseball texture, cymbal texture, procedural vs image textures
  1. Project 3 references due
  2. Study: UV Mapping 1- Mac n cheese Due 2/24
  1. UV mapping 2: Cologne bottle, gas can texturing, UV planar, cylindrical, pherical mapping techniques
  1. Study: UV Mapping 2- Cologne Bottle Due 3/1
  2. Weekly journal entry
8 3/1
  1. UV mapping 3: Digital Painting, Watch texturing, Cinematic lighting
  1. Study Cinematic lighting- Due 3/2
  3/3 Project 3 Critique
  1. Project 3 due
  2. All reworks to studies and projects due
  3. Final Weekly journal entry


Description:Fundamental topics in 3D design, modeling, lighting, and rendering for 3D applications including gaming, film, visual effects, virtual and augmented reality, and related disciplines.
Prerequisite: experience using Windows catalog link here

Course Instructor: Derek Dallas
Office Number: B116C
Office Hours: Here
Office Telephone Number: (217) 353-2351

Class times: Mon, Weds 9-11:20 am

Course Text Book: No text book required.

WEB PAGE: Information regarding the class including instructor, syllabus, schedules, notes, project information and grades can be accessed from Parkland’s online content management system COBRA .

FORMAT: This class is based on a format of lecture, screenings, discussions, studio, quizzes, and critique. It is expected that additional time, on a weekly basis, will be spent on your assignments and projects. It is also expected that students read, watch, review, and practice topic material according to the class schedule for each session before coming to class. It is important that the group functions as a class, learning from each other as well as the instructor. Therefore, everyone should be working on the same assignments at the same time. Understanding that there might be technical expertise differences, it is expected that more experienced students will be willing to help beginning students with course material. Conversely, more experienced users should elicit creative evaluations from beginning students during their working process.

GRADING: Course work will consist of large-scale project assignments, small-scale studies and tutorials.
The final grade will also reflect the student's class attendance and participation.
The student can keep track of his grade progress using COBRA:
90 - 100% will receive A
80 - 89% will receive B
70 - 79% will receive C
60 - 69% will receive D
0 - 59% will receive F
The instructor reserves the right to lower these criterion, but will never raise them.

PROJECTS: Large-scale studio projects will be regularly assigned to develop the craft of visual techniques in the course material. Such studio projects form the basis of the student's portfolio work in 2D and 3D imagery.
Given this importance, studio projects will be graded on the use of :
effective design principles,
expressive creativity,
thoughtful concept,
well-executed craftsmanship,
and adherence to project objectives and guidelines.
Large-scale project assignments also include conducting research and delivering class presentations on course topics. Projects are due on the assigned project due date and will be class critiqued on the due date. Project imagery must be complete and stored in the designated location on the due date before class critique begins. Students will not be allowed to complete projects during class critique. Projects not completed by the due date before class critique begins will receive an F for the project grade. If a student anticipates missing class during the due date and class critique, it is the student's responsibility to notify the instructor beforehand. The absent student must have their project imagery prepared for the class critique in the designated location on the assigned due date. Failure to prepare project imagery by an absent student will also result in an F project grade. Students have the option of continuing to work on and improve each project after the assigned due date and class critique for (possibly) a better grade. Grades for re-worked projects will be no more than one full letter grade higher than the original project grade at the assigned due date (re-worked project grades will never drop in grade). All re-worked projects are due at the end of the semester.

STUDIES: Weekly Small-scale studies and tutorials will be given to introduce and develop the student's understanding and proficiency of techniques and skills. Studies will be graded on a credit/no credit basis. No credit will be given on exercises or tutorials for students absent from class. Since unforeseen circumstances may arise preventing a student from attending class, one "no-credit" study will be dropped from the final grade determination. All studies are due on the assigned due date. No credit will be given for work not completed by the assigned due date.

ATTENDANCE: Students are expected to be present for all class sessions - for the entire period. Peer learning and interaction is highly encouraged. It is expected that all students participate in the learning environment. For this reason, attendance is mandatory. A student’s final grade will be lowered by one full letter grade after three unexcused absences. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each period. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the instructor when they may not be in attendance. The attendance policy in this course is in keeping with the policy stated in the Parkland College Catalog. It says: "Regular and prompt attendance is expected at all classes," expect in cases involving illness or emergency which should be brought to the attention of the instructor. "Regular attendance and consistent study habits are considered necessary for academic success in college. Faculty members have prerogative of lowering grades for excessive absence." Please be careful of the language you use in your emails and during class.

Finally, the student should remember that the person in charge of his/her academic success is the student himself/herself. You are enrolled in a higher educational institution be sure to use your time wisely and come to class prepared.

DROPS: On the seventh day after the start of class, I am required to assess your attendance. If you have not attended regularly to that point, you will be dropped with no refund of tuition or fees. After the seventh-day roster, you should not plan on an instructor to drop you. Non-attendance after the Seventh-day roster will result in an F if you don't withdraw. If 14 days or more pass with out any activity on your part, you will be considered non-participatory and will be dropped.

WITHDRAWAL PROCEDURE: It is the student’s responsibility to monitor his/her progress in this course. If after consulting with the instructor, the student feels it becomes necessary to withdraw from this course, it is the responsibility of the student to do so. Please check with the office of admission to find out the final day for withdrawal with “W” grade from courses ending at midterm. If you have questions about the withdrawal procedure, see your Parkland College catalog or student policy and procedures manual. It is your responsibility to withdraw yourself from the class. Please do not assume that by stop not attending the class you will be withdrawn from it. As the one responsible for your academic progress, it is your responsibility, not the instructors, to keep track of it. If you want to withdraw from the course, you are required to obtain the signature of your instructor, the Dept. Chair or a Dean before your withdrawal with be processed.

CORE VALUES: We believe strongly in the Core Values espoused by Parkland College: Honesty and Integrity, Fairness and Just Treatment, Responsibility, Multiculturalism, Education, and Public Trust. Essentially, these values set guidelines for how we should treat you and how you should treat each other (and us). Failure to be respectful of one another or to maintain ethical behavior will not be tolerated.

ACADEMIC HONESTY: Unethical conduct during examinations of in preparation of assignments designated by the instructor will not be tolerated and may result in disciplinary action. All material handed in with your name on it is to be your work. If it is not you will fail that assignment and will be faced with disciplinary action.

COMPUTER SCIENCE AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY WEBSITE: You can find information about the Computer Science and Information Technology Department courses and programs by visiting our website:

STUDENT E-MAIL: Students should access their Parkland e-mail accounts at at least weekly to obtain information about courses or college announcements. Students can go to the Tech Service Desk or call 217-353-3333 for help with their student e-mail accounts. There is someone available at this number to answer questions Mon-Thurs 7:30am - 6:30pm. Please use the Parkland email to contact the instructor. Gmail, hotmail, and any other email domains might be filtered by the anti-spam program used by Parkland. Contact the instructor using your account and also read emails from there. Cobra is used by the instructor to communicate with the students and you can set up Cobra to forward emails to any other account you want to.

Accessibility Services: Accessibility Services facilitates equal access for students with disabilities by coordinating accommodations and support services, and cultivating a campus culture that is sensitive and responsive to the needs of students. Students seeking reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, are required to register with the Office of Disability Services.

Registration with the AS office must be initiated by the student in a timely manner, whenever possible, to ensure that accommodations coincide with the start of the semester. Services received in high school or at other colleges/universities, or identified through a recent diagnosis do not automatically transfer to Parkland College. You must provide documentation of disability. This can include: a letter from a physician, an IEP, 504 plan, psychological evaluation or similar documents. NOTE: ACCOMMODATION LETTERS FROM OTHER COLLEGES OR UNIVERSITIES ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE FORMS OF DOCUMENTATION.

CENTER FOR ACADEMIC SUCCESS: The Center for Academic Success provides a wide range of academic support services to enable you learn well, grow as a student, succeed in your classes, and excel at what you do. These services include the following: 1. Tutoring and Learning Assistance: Make use of walk-in tutoring services provided by faculty, staff and trained peer tutors, Monday through Friday. Many students come to get help in study skills, reading, writing, math (all levels), and many other subjects. 2. For-credit Modules and Tutorials: Enroll in one-credit hour Tutorials to supplement classroom instruction in reading, writing, ESL, math, chemistry, and study skills. Modules are available for eligible students to complete certain developmental coursework requirements. 3. Advising and Advocacy: Work with our team of advocates and academic advisor to plan a semester schedule, understand transfer requirements, or manage issues that stand in the way of school.
For more information, please contact Anita Taylor Room: D120 Phone: 353-2005, Sue Schreiber Room: D120 Phone: 351-2441 You may also email the CAS at

TRIO: The TRIO program assists qualified students in building the academic skills necessary to transfer to a 4-year university.
The services for program participants are FREE! In addition they sponsor cultural activities, and have a multipurpose studying and tutoring area with computers, and free printing (quantities limited). If you have any questions please stop by U252 or call 217/353-2267.
Who is Eligible to be a Participant? Link here

EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM: Parkland College uses an emergency alert system designed to send out a message in the case of an on-campus emergency. This will be triggered in the case of a natural disaster or public safety emergency. When you register for classes or begin employment you are automatically signed up for this service so please be sure that the contact information you provide is up-to-date. 

COMPUTER RELATED TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANCE FOR STUDENTS: Parkland College offers aTech Service Desk help with technical questions and issues regarding Email, Cobra, My.Parkland and Wi-Fi access. Visit Room A184 for technical assistance.

D.M. COMPUTER LAB. INFO: Digital Media has two dedicated computer labs in D207 & D-227.
During regularly scheduled class time the computers are reserved for the student. However, if empty computers near the back of the room are open you may use them.
Please note, any behavior that disrupts the class or that offends instructors, classmates, and other students that also use the lab will not be tolerated.

General College Syllabus: General College Syllabus More information can be found in the general college Syllabus.

Student Policies and Procedures Manual: Student Policies and Procedures Links More information can be found in the Student Policies and Procedures manual.

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