Proj 1

Proj 2

Proj 3

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Computer Animation
CS838-1, Spring 2002
Syllabus, First Weeks

The papers are references more completely on the reader page.

I am going to try to put my notes on the web in some form or another. Sometimes, this will just be scans of the hand-written stuff. Other times, I might try to type it up.

Week 1

Lecture 1 and 2: History and Principles of Animation

The reading is Lasseter, Principles of Traditional Animation Applied to 3D Computer Animation. This is a graphics paper version of the famous chapter from the book "The Illusion of Life." Unfortunately, the Illusion of Life is out of print, so I couldn't tell you to buy it. It is such an important resource for animators that copies are coveted (they are quite expensive on EBay).

An amazing resource for early animation is the page at the Library of Congress. They have Quicktime movies of many famous, early films!

For a great timeline of the history of animation, see Dan McLaughlin's web page.

Homework (do it after Lecture 2, before Lecture 3): watch some animation and think of how the principles apply. It would be best if you talked about it with other people in class.

My notes (html with lots of links and references) are here.

Lecture 3: Principles of Animation, and Early Computer Animation

Readings: Catmull, A System for Computer Generated Movies

Homework: form a reading group, and be sure to have a partner for the Art Assignments. You should meet with your reading group to discuss the 3 systems papers before Monday's lecture.

Week 2

Lecture 4: Historical Systems Overview

Readings: Catmull, A System for Computer Generated Movies. Burtnyk and Wein, Interactive Skeleton Techniques for Enhancing Motion Dynamics in Key Frame Animation and Litwinowicz, Inkwell: A 2 1/2D Animation System. The reader has a couple of other optional readings.

The readings have you look at some historically important papers. (particularly Catmull). The idea of these papers is to get you thinking about what it will take to do animation. Unfortunately, we won't be able to spend as much time on this as I like, so I will ask you to discuss these papers in your reading group.

Lectures 5 and 6: Parameterizations, Rotations, and Kinematics

Readings: Grassia, Motion Editing Fundamentals; Shoemake, Animating Rotations With Quaternion Curves; Grassia; Grassia, Practical Parameterization of Rotations Using the Exponential Map; Maciejewski, Dealing with the Ill-Conditioned Equations of Motion for Articulated Figures.

There are some extra readings on the reader page that might be helpful. I may try to write something up, since I have new ideas on how to explain this stuff. This is a lot of reading, but its one of those things that you need to see several times before it sinks in.

We'll start by considering what we need parameterizations for, and use that as a way into dealing with how to parameterize rotations. The main reason we want to do rotations is for kinematics (which we will use to represent human motion next week).

Homework: Get together with your reading group and try to get through the details of what it would take to really use this stuff, and to understand why you might prefer quaternions or euler angles or exponential maps. And do the Art Assignments.

Week 3

I am jumping ahead to Motion Capture so we can get you can be prepared for Project 1.

Lectures 7 and 8: Basics of Motion Capture

Readings: Chapter 1 of the book I want to write; Shin et. al, Computer Puppetry - and Importance-Based Approach; my notes on the simple motion capture processor. You might want to look around the web for other info on motion capture if you're interested.

Lecture 9: Per-Frame Editing Techniques

This is (in a sense) a wrap up of the previous week. But rather than tacking it on there, I want to look at the problem of posing a character in the context of altering a motion. Part of this is just timing.

Reading: Maciejewski, Dealing with the Ill-Conditioned Equations of Motion for Articulated Figures (this was actually discussed before); Tolani, et al. Real-time inverse kinematics techniques for anthropomorphic limbs (note: while this paper is long, you need not worry about the details of their solver, unless you try to implement it. Even then, you might be able to re-derive it faster than understanding the paper).

Homework: discuss the readings with your reading group. Get started on Project 1.

website (c) 2002, Michael L. Gleicher