Welcome to Junior Animation, a third-year class for animation students who, having made it through sophomore year and "basic training," as well as Storyboarding and Junior Collaborative Workshop, now launch into production on the first of two personal films made at UArts.

Students are asked to come up with and storyboard a viable idea during the fall of at least 90 seconds and up to 2 minutes' duration. Having gone through introductions to drawn and object animation in the previous year, and team and collaborative projects with fellow students from other disciplines and outside clients, they now embark upon a solo experience - their first larger personal piece.

Successful completion of the course entails the wearing of multiple hats, including director, lead and assistant animator, cleanup and color artist, layout artist and background painter, and sound designer. This is a challenge, especially the first time around, but it is exciting to be able to work on your own piece.

One of the main objectives is to learn how to manage time and energy so that you and your piece reach the finish line on time and intact. Production calendars and regular, weekly progress are important elements in this process, with the goal of establishing regular work habits that you can apply to future endeavors.

A sense of personal authorship and vision is also emphasized in this class. Teachers and peers will give you feedback and act variously as mentors, critics, and production managers, but it is up to you take this creative opportunity and run as far as you can with it. It is your chance to create a world and a vision in 2 minutes.

The course culminates in a public screening at the end of the semester, where not only your classmates but the larger community is invited to attend, and you get to see your work in front of a larger audience. Films play very differently in front of a crowd of strangers than they do in front of just your roommate, and this is the proof in the pudding, as they say.

Follow along with us during this semester-long process.


Christopher Magee, instructor

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