Credits: 6

Schedule: 29.01.2019 - 05.04.2019

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Arja Karhumaa

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation): 


Eliza Jäppinen

Teemu Jäppinen

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- develop basic skills for creating production design for a variety of media, both static and time-based
- recognise the importance of visual continuity
- implement perspective, composition, thumbnail sketching, lighting effects, figure and background staging and motion to communicate narrative flow in visual stories
- demonstrate basic skills of 2D animatic design and identify the principles of creating a finished animation
- use the vocabulary and understanding of developing visual narratives in their own design practice
- pitch their intellectual property to appropriate outlets

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Storyboard composition, character design, and motion design in various contexts. Script interpretation, shot planning, and pre-visualizing by using sketching, perspective and composition. The production design might be meant for full realization in static media such as graphic design, comic books, graphic novels, cartoons, Manga, or children's books. Production design is equally useful for animation, video, interactive, games, film, or other time-based arts, and this course provides teaching in how to create an animatic using moving images and sound. The course gives insight in and tools for 2D animation plus exercises in animation. Finally pitching stories and designs across media and distribution outlets is discussed and practiced. This course is split across periods 3–4. An initial three weeks to jump start everyone on individual production design for projects, with lots of time to complete work before polishing and pitching in a final three week session.

Details on the course content (applies in this implementation): 


Learn how to create a pitch for your project

The pitch is the most important part of your project, regardless of who you’re pitching to; for yourself, your family, your friends, teachers, investors, clients; the success of the pitch will determine how you'll end up crafting your project. The pitch affects resources, support from your stakeholder groups and many other aspects of your project. It also solidifies the project; "I am going to do this!"

Learn how to create a professional storyboard

The storyboard makes it possible for the project to go further; it enables you to estimate your workload and what you should emphasise on during the project. Also, it makes the project more feasible; because you can now see how your story pans out on a visual series of images, it's easier to spot possible caveats before the actual production phase. If pitching was "I am going to do this!", the end of the storyboard phase you can hear a small voice within you: "I have a plan to make this happen!"

Learn how to use After Effects and other production software

Our main tool will be After Effects, due to its versatility – but we'll be using other methods (digital and non-digital) depending on the individual needs of the attendees. After Effects gives you access to multitude of possibilities, but to achieve high-end and professional "look" for your project, sometimes we need to:
· do manual work, such as "frame by frame" -animation drawn either by hand or in another software bundle 
· use more advanced software such as 3D software needs to be used for several purposes (either for reference footage or for actual production reasons)

Due to the time limits of the course the final content will be tailored to the needs of the participants. Yet, during the course the teachers will provide live examples and breakdowns of After Effects. 

Also, latest January 2019 a video tutorial about the basic use of After Effects will be posted for the participants. It's highly recommended to go through this tutorial, even if you have prior knowledge of After Effects. So, we were at "I have a plan to make this happen!" as we move on to production and introduction of the tools you'll be filled with the feeling of "I know how to do this and what's possible with the provided tools!".

In general it is good to note that sometimes plans don't work out and you need to improvise and divert from your plan in order to get your project done. This is also something that we take into consideration during the course; the idea of the course is not to become the ultimate and best After Effects professional or master animator. The idea is to understand the tools and realities of animation – while producing something you have wanted to tell as a story.

We're also not aiming for a final animation during the course. The idea is to get one scene from your storyboard animated and create an animatic that will compliment your final pitch on presentation / critique day. (What is an animatic? See an old example here of animatic creation: 

Sometimes students are able to finish the whole animation, but this is only possible when the animation is short and simple in regards of complexity of the production and the students abilities.

Also, some former students of this class have gone on to either finish the animation as a final thesis or done a whole new animation as a final thesis.

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The course consists of lectures, storyboard exercises, illustration or visualization work. The student will be assessed in part on final pitches of their work that demonstrate mastery of the form and awareness of context. Successful completion of the course will require 80 % attendance. Students will be required to give course feedback in order to successfully complete this course.

Elaboration of the evaluation criteria and methods, and acquainting students with the evaluation (applies in this implementation): 

You and your work will be assessed based on the artistic value of your final product, attendance, your abilities to pitch the idea and also what you've learned while producing your animation – Since everyone will be working on their individual projects, the idea is also to openly share the learning process with each other so that we boost the learning experience in the whole class through each others cases.

The aim is not only to create moving image but also develop the mental capacity to handle demanding projects while keeping you safe from too much stress.

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Class work 72 h, independent work 90 h

Details on calculating the workload (applies in this implementation): 

We have 72 hours in class, 90 hours independent work. The independent hours are preferred to be done within the courses timeframe, preferrably during the 15.02.-18.03. period, when there is no teaching. Also the videos and tutorials provided before and during the course are considered independent hours.

Substitutes for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

DOM-E2211 (M01) Moving Image and Production Design

Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The order of priority is as follows:

  1. students for whom the course is compulsory for their major/programme and who have scheduled it for the current academic year in their personal study plan (HOPS);
  2. exchange students for whom the course is a part of his/her officially approved learning agreement and scheduled to be taken during the current semester;
  3. students for whom the course is compulsory for their major/programme and who have not completed it yet;
  4. students, for whom the course is part of his/her major’s or programme’s alternative studies and has been scheduled in the student's PSP (HOPS) for the current academic year
  5. students, for whom the course is part of his/her major’s or programme’s alternative studies and who have not completed the requisite number of credits for alternative studies yet;
  6. students for whom the course is compulsory for their minor;
  7. students, for whom the course is part of his/her minor subject’s alternative studies and who have not completed the requisite number of credits for alternative studies yet;
  8. students who have applied for the course through a student mobility scheme (internal mobility within Aalto University, flexible study right (JOO) studies etc.);
  9. other students.

Details on the schedule (applies in this implementation): 

Introduction (29.01.2019)

Pitching (30.01.2019 - 06.02.2019)

After Effects I & II: After Effects basics & animatic basics (independent work, video format)

Pitching and storyboard (07.02.2019 - 13.02.2019)

After Effects III: Basics & Introduction to Advanced Production with After Effects (14.02.2019 - 15.02.2019)

Individual progress checkups by Eliza and Teemu (15.02.2019)

Independent work (15.02.2019 - 18.03.2019)

Production I (19.03.2019 - 22.03.2019)

Individual progress checkups by Eliza and Teemu (22.03.2019)

Production II (26.03.2019 - 29.03.2019)

Individual progress checkups by Eliza and Teemu (29.03.2019)

Production III: Finalising (02.04.2019 - 04.04.2019)

Final presentations (05.04.2019)


Registration and further information