Motion Study:

An Introduction to Animation, Cartoon Physics and Funny Walks

Tu, Th 1-3 PM

Gates 392 and The Underground

Instructor: Lorie Loeb lorie@graphics.stanford.EDU

Office Hours: Tu 11-12, Gates 258

TA: Wenson Chern

Fall quarter 2000


Sept 28: Course description, requirements and brief description of assignments.

Brief Introduction to animation and how it works.

Take care of business

Poem reading: "A Poet’s Advice" by ee cummings.

Assignment: Direct animation assignment–open to all student who attend first class. (Due Oct. 3)

Oct. 3: Final class list posted by this date.

Oct. 3: Screening and Critique: Class Direct Film Project

More on the class and how it will work.

Basics of timing and spacing

Explanation of 1st project (Due Oct. 12)

Timing charts

3 Methods for animating: Key Frame, Straight Ahead, Best

Field Guides

Assignment: Gravity project

Homework: Begin animation of gravity project.

Oct. 5: Tour of "The Underground"

Tech on animation pencil test systems

Explanation of 2nd Project (Due Oct. 12)

Oct. 10: Lorie out of town

Tech review with Wenson, help with assignments as needed.

Homework: Animate Projects 1 and 2

Oct. 12: Critique: Projects 1 and 2

Explanation of 3rd Project (Due Oct. 26)

Homework: Begin work on project 3 and rework Projects 1 & 2 as needed. Bring in textures, brushes, and paper to class on Thursday

Oct. 17 In class paint and texture play

Homework:. Continue work on 3rd project and revisions on 1st and 2nd.

Watch "The Witness" with Harrison Ford (by Oct. 31)

Oct 19: Assignment: Walk cycle (Due Oct. 26)

Walk cycle basics

More principles of animation

Homework: Work out your walk. Make revisions in 3 Projects that are needed and retest. Keys, breakdowns, timing and animatics on walk project.

Oct. 24: Storytelling workshop with Joel benIzzy

Homework: Work on walk cycle, finish 3rd projects and revisions of 1 and 2.

Oct. 26: Critique: 3rd Project and revisions on 1st and 2nd projects.1st walk cycle

Breaking the joints Bounce and double bounce

Assignment: Revised walk with a twist

Homework: Explanation of 2nd walk (with a twist)

Set up Meeting with Lorie

Oct. 31: Animation Screening: Nightmare Before Christmas

Storytelling and 3 act structure

Halloween Party

Homework: Work on revised walks. Meetings with Lorie

Nov. 2: Directing the eye and designing the frame

Lifting objects (curves)

4 legged walks

Assignment: Claymation Portrait (Due Nov. 16)

Homework: revised walks plus meet with your group to go over claymation portraits.

Nov. 7: Assignment: Cartoon physics project (Due Dec. 7)

Homework: ideas and storyboards for cartoon physics assignment, revised walks, shoot claymation portraits!

Nov. 9: Critique: Revised walk

Nov. 14: Pitch: Ideas and Storyboards for Cartoon physics assignment

Homework: Bring in charcoal and newsprint for drawing from model session

Nov. 16: Critique: Claymation portraits

Drawing from the model


Nov. 21: More Principles of Animation

Laughs and Double Takes Accents–what they are, how they work and why they are a key to great animation

Homework: Bring in charcoal and newsprint for drawing from model session

Nov. 23: Thanksgiving–enjoy!

Nov. 28: Drawing from the model

Mid-way critiques of Cartoon physics project

Nov. 30: More principals of animation.

Update on final projects.

Class fieldtrip (?)

All assignments except the final one, into Wenson by Dec. 1st for editing and sound!

Dec. 5: Lip synch, sound and music for animation

Homework: Cartoon physics project into Wenson by Dec. 7th for editing and sound!

Dec. 7: Various tools and overview of computer animation

Homework: relax and prepare for your final in other classes and a party in this one!

Dec. 14(?): Final Screening and celebration

"K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid!)"

Chuck Jones

The Assignments are:

  1. Direct Film: Draw or scratch directly onto 16mm film. Due Oct. 3
  2. 3 Projects:.
  1. Walk Cycle: This assignment focuses on the use of all the animation principles to create a compelling walk cycle with a simple stick figure. Due Oct. 26.
  2. Walk Cycle Revisited: Rework Walk Cycle adding personality (weight, gender, mood, age) to the walk and a surprise. Due Nov. 9
  3. Claymation Portrait: Animate someone in your team using "claymation". Due Nov. 16
  4. Cartoon Physics Project: Students will work in teams of 2 to create an interaction around a door in the middle of nowhere. Cartoon physics will be used to heighten the comedy. Due Dec. 7.


Grading will be based on the timely completion of assignments and quality of work. Students are not expected to enter the course with any drawing skills, so grading will not be based on the quality of the drawings. Instead, consideration will be given to the quality of motion, the understanding of the principles and the ability to make the assignments expressive. Students will be expected to work and rework assignments in order to improve them.

This is a beginning course that would be suitable for undergraduate and graduate students. Animation is labor intensive. Homework will be required each week.

This is a short quarter and we have a lot of information to cover. Expect to work hard. You are expected to attend each class. There will be information given at each class that cannot always be made up. Therefore, missing classes will affect the quality of your work and your grade.

Materials you will need to buy:

Each student will pay a $20. Materials fee, made out to Stanford University. This money will be used to pay for most of the supplies we will use this quarter. However, you will each need to purchase a few items. These are:

  1. 1 newsprint pad, 16" x 18" or so.
  2. 1 large watercolor brush. This doesn’t need to be expensive, just get one with a large bristle area.
  3. 1 VHS video tape (you will only use about 10 minutes of it)
  4. 1 ream of white 8 _ X 11 paper (no watermark, 20 lbs. Weight)


We have several lightboxes available for your use in The Underground. You will each also be given a lightbox to use at home during the quarter. It must be returned by the end of the quarter in order to receive a grade.