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Course Description

This hands-on design course introduces students to the principles, art, and craft of animation as a means of visual storytelling and expression. Students meet online 4 days per week over a 4 week period with Parsons faculty and an international cohort of peers for real-time creative and technical design instruction, project design development guidance, and group and individual critiques. Live instruction is supplemented with digitally archived project support and reference resources. This exploratory design course incorporates structured away time from the computer in which students investigate world events, social issues, and personal experiences and interests as a springboard for design inspiration, direction, and production. Students learn the fundamentals of research, drawing and imaging basics for time-based media, and experiment with hand-drawn to digital animation studies, stop-motion animation with 3D objects, and motion graphics and animations created directly within the digital environment. In crafting an animation short, students will explore character development, storylines, narratives, motion and gesture, and staging. Digital tools, including the Adobe Creative Cloud, are introduced. The four-week experience includes guest speakers from industry and virtual field trips. From the start of the course, students keep an online journal to document their research and creative processes and participate in individual and collaborative design exercises to build their understanding of different animation design approaches and techniques. Each student creates an original animated short from concept to finish in the animation style of their preference.

Learner Outcomes

  • Show an understanding of the virtual design studio environment and practice by participating in a variety of synchronous (real-time interaction) and asynchronous (structured "away-time") activities including lectures, demos, and discussions; individual and collaborative exercises and projects; and self and peer critiques.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the practice and application of primary and secondary research and its impact on creative and technical processes, including themes derived from observing and interpreting world events, social issues, and personal experiences.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the iterative creative process by maintaining analog and/or digital process journals/sketchbooks documenting research, ideation studies, resolved designs, commentary, and self-reflection.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the principles of animation including character development, storylines, narratives, motion and gesture, and staging.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of a variety of animation types, styles, and creative processes.
  • Acquire both analog and digital skills pertinent to animation design including hand-drawing, hand-crafting, digital illustration, digital photography and video, digital input, image editing, and digital output in a variety of presentation formats.
  • Acquire the skills to create and curate a cohesive body of design work that supports a visual narrative expressive of an individual and evolving design identity.

Additional Information

This course is one offering from our Parsons Online Summer Intensive Studies program. For more information on schedule, registration, and refund policies, see program details.
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