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  • Animation and Digital Media


  • What is this program all about?

    In this program, students will learn the foundations of interactive digital media, 2D, and 3D animation. Courses will explore traditional animating skills, interactive media, and digital design using image manipulation and graphic design development software along with making web animation with HTML, CSS, and Javascript languages. You will also study techniques used for 3D modeling and animation.

  • Courses & Credits

    Introduction to Digital Media

    Course Description Students in the Introduction of Digital Media course will learn the basic components of 2-D and 3D animation development from storyboarding elements to fundamental software capabilities. The course serves as an introduction to the animation history, keyboarding shortcuts, project filing, and career awareness. Instruction in this course focuses on storyboard creation, the physics and anatomy of motion, technology of animation, properties and use of color, cameras and lighting, fundamentals of modeling and animating, creating a portfolio and file management. This course provides a structure for digital literacy as well as development of technical knowledge and intellectual skills for analytical thinking; in addition, students will work productively and responsibly in individual and collaborative settings. This introductory pathway course of three sequenced courses will give students the opportunity to earn an industry credential in animation. No prerequisite for this course.

    Principles and Concepts of Animation

    Course Description In Principles and Concepts of Animation, students will continue to develop and implement aesthetics of color selection, storyboarding in 2-D digital animation, and develop animatic creations from 2-D to 3-D. Students in this course will learn interface tools, the use of drawing tools, animating the camera, importing images from web sources and files, working with sound and lip syncing, understanding paths and motion design, and frame by frame animation creation relative to sequence planning and pacing. This course will allow students to explore more advanced aspects of character animation including subtle character gesture and advanced action timing with emphasis on personal observation. The course will allow students to develop an understanding of basic sound considerations such as lip syncing, voice-overs, and the synchronization of sound with the visual product. This course will allow students to build on previously learned storyboarding skills, develop scripts, determine character motivations, consider setting and motion variables, and learn other unique traits of animation through integrated activities. Prerequisite(s): Introduction to Digital Media.

    Advanced Animation, Game, and App Design

    Course Description In this course students will continue working in 2-D and 3-D environments by importing 3- D models while working in 3-D space morphing, and inverse kinematics. While learning the basics of Game and APP design, the students will acquire knowledge of human and animal animations, apply the aesthetic and technical aspects of animation of characters, and analyze the physics and physicalization of action, weight, and timing. The course advances students’ knowledge of sound integration into animated products; by focusing on skills that include lip-syncing, voice overs, and synchronization. Portfolio development will include animation reels and other products. Students will learn the processes of post-production and will work both independently and in small production teams to manage the production pipeline for a 3-D project. In the final phases of the project completion, students will work collaboratively to meet deadlines and will be expected to produce an animated final project that reflects competency with editing, rendering, updating reel, and self-promotional support items. Students may also develop a working game or app as a final project. Through the exploration of projects, students will continue to work independently and collaboratively to develop content delivery, story and technical mastery. The prerequisite for this course is Principles and Concepts of Animation.

    Embedded Credit: AP Science

  • Instructor

    Mr. James
    Mr. Mark James

    Mr. James has taught at Maxwell High School of Technology since 2003 when he started teaching Graphic Communications. Prior to that he worked as a commercial artist working on projects for multiple clients around Atlanta and the country. He has done work for ad agencies and design studios for corporate accounts like Georgia Power, Hardees, CibaVision and The Atlanta Braves. He has also done work for various publishers including Lifeway, The United Methodists, Conde Nast and The Dow Jones Industrials.

    He has a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Tennessee, a Masters of Internet Technology from the University of Georgia and a Specialist in Instructional Technology from Valdosta State. He has also taught web design and digital media courses at Gwinnett Tech and Georgia Gwinnett College.

    He has enjoyed using a visual and interactive approach to help young people learn computer programming from the very basics and up. We're looking forward to a great year!