Humber 4th Semester Production Art course

Introduction to the assignments and course outline

Here’s the plan for 4th semester of Production Art:

Location/Set/Prop & Character Design
The first component of the semester will be the Set/Prop & Character design stage.

Step 1
Week 1

I’ll give out a questionnaire to everyone to find out which area you would like to focus on as your “primary job”, in other words what do you want your portfolio to highlight as being your choice for a position that you want to apply for in a studio.

The three focal points we will be aiming for will be:

1) Location/Set Design Modeller
2) Prop/Asset Design Modeller
3) Character Design Modeller

Please list these in order of preference. Do not choose 2 things as your primary, make a clear choice of 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Everyone will be allowed to work in two areas over the semester and if you have enough points, you can do some of the 3rd.

Location design is the heaviest weighting as the sets will require a bit more modelling overall. Character design will have a close 2nd and props are weighted the lowest.

Set Design - 4 - 8 points
Character design - 6 - 8 points
Prop Design - 1 - 2 points

Each student must accumulate a minimum of 24 points over the 1st 10 weeks. You are not limited to just the 24 points. If you wish to do more you may. You can also choose outside of your own production or dip into the Assorted Extra Characters and Sets.

Sample Calculations
3 sets each worth 8 = 24 + 1 6 point character = 30 points
3 sets worth 6 = 18 + 2 characters worth 6 = 30
12 props worth 2 = 24 + 1 set worth 8 = 34 points (4 points over minimum)
3 characters worth 8 = 24 + 3 props worth 2 = 30 points
3 characters worth 6 = 18 + 3 props worth 2 = 24 + 1 set worth 6 = 30 points
Get it?

Step 2
Week 2

All students will be presented with 3 different productions. List your personal choices in order of preference 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Once I have all the choices I will separate everyone out into the top 2 productions that we will focus on for the semester. (In the event that there is an equal distribution of students over the three productions, we will proceed with all three.) Once the teams have been made, we will go over the individual storyboards for each production to familiarize ourselves with the sets, characters and props that will be required. All designs will be presented and each student will be able to make their own individual choices as to who or what they want to work on. As was mentioned earlier, each set, character and prop will be given a weighted number based on the complexity of the design. There will be enough designs so that each student can (should) work on a different asset. In the event that a student wishes to work on a design that has already been chosen, this will be allowed with the instructor’s consent, however, you cannot collaborate with each other.

Production Art Part 1
Production Art Part 2
Production Art Part 3
Production Art Part 4

Step 3
Week 2 - 4

The first stage will be for each student to assemble a working story reel from the given storyboard panels. Timing will be roughly worked out by each student individually and then tightened up as a group. Once the timing has been approved by the instructor the reel will be locked until the layout stage.

Step 4
Week 3 - 10

Next we will move into modelling.

Modelling will comprise 50% of your overall grade for the semester.

Grading for models will be based on the following areas:

1) Effort
2) Lighting/Camera
3) Poly Count
4) Hierarchy
5) Texturing

Detailed Grading Guideline
Grading Rubric

Step 5
Week 7 - 12

Layout Design
The second component of the course will be the layout stage, where we will take the sets, props, and characters and using a given storyboard, establish the proper camera angle, character and lighting positioning for the scene. Each student will be responsible for taking all the assets required and assembling them into a usable, animation ready scene package. Each scene will be output as a video file and later assembled into the final story reel. Any and all camera moves must be appropriate for the context of the scene according to the storyboard.

Each scene will be weighted according to it’s inherent complexity. Weighting will be on a scale of 1 - 10. Each student must accumulate a total of 30 points. No single student may use 3 scenes weighted 10 points. The scenes will be distributed by the instructor to evenly spread the points amongst everyone. An effort will be made to give each student an average of 7 scenes in total to layout. Depending on the production being worked on, in the event that all scenes are distributed and there are not enough to go around to everyone, some students may receive the same scene as another student.

Layout will comprise 40% of your overall grade for the semester.

Grading for layouts will be based on the following factors:

1) Is the camera angle selected appropriate for the storyboard being used?
2) Where necessary, were you able to improvise and problem solve appropriately to get the set, props and character to work for the scene?
3) Where necessary, were you able to modify the lighting to improve the mood of the scene?
4) Strong composition?
5) Proper lens/focal length selection?
6) Camera moves (if required) appropriate?
7) Is the video output the appropriate length to meet the needs of the final story reel?
8) Are all the required assets in place for the scene to move on to animation?

Step 6
Week 9 - 15

Final Story Reel
The final component of the course will be the Story Reel production. Each student will assemble their own individual story reel using all the accumulated video output from the layout stage. Starting with the working storyboard as the basic template, each student will import and time out each panel using either After Effects or Premier as their editing software. This process will begin early in the semester so that each student is completely familiar with the project they are contributing to.

As layouts are completed and approved by the instructor in video format (either .avi or quicktime movies), they can move into the story reel to replace the original panels. each scene must be edited to the appropriate length and assembled into their proper order. Students will then output the final film to video format (either .avi or quicktime) and burn the video to a DVD for final grading submission.

The final story reel is worth 10% of your overall grade for the semester.

Grading for the final story reel will be based on the following factors:
1) All scenes are included in the final story reel. Each scene is equally weighted to the overall grade and missing scenes will receive an appropriately accumulated penalty. i.e. if there are supposed to be 10 scenes total in the story reel, each scene is worth 10%. 3 scenes missing will receive a deduction of 30% off the top.
2) The scene is properly cut into the story reel.
3) The scene has been edited to it’s appropriate length of time as dictated by the instructor in advance. (All scenes will be given specific time frames during the initial editing process) Any deviations or modifications to this must be approved and signed off by the instructor in advance and a log must be submitted with said approvals for verification.
4) A bonus grade will be given for additional audio track effects/music and/or dialogue created by the student. Students may collaborate as a group for this bonus and individual contributions must be appropriately credited and noted in the group Production Log book.