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Undergraduate study
2D Animation and Stop Motion

2D Animation and Stop Motion
BA (Hons)

I156 BA/2DASM (I158 BA/2DASMFY for Year 0 entry)

 
 
 

Course overview

If you want a career in 2D and Stop Motion for film and TV, then this is the course for you. Delivered by award-winning practising animators and directors, this course develops your skills to work in the animated film and TV industry as a 2D artist, animator, stop-motion artist, model maker and compositor in animation.

Our students benefit from an amazing learning environment, taking advantage of our many specialist studios, bringing new technologies and skills together in the creation and transformation of what is traditionally known as 2D animation and stop-motion animation.

Ranked 3rd in the UK in the Animation Career Review College Rankings 2020. (192 colleges considered. Find out more at tees.ac.uk/source).

Ranked 14th in the world in the Animation Career Review International Animation School Rankings 2020. (185 colleges considered. Find out more at tees.ac.uk/source).

Take part in Animex our annual international festival of games and animation which brings together experts from world-renowned studios including Rockstar, Pixar, Aardman, Disney, ILM, Sony Interactive and Supermassive Games.

Watch this BBC video, Tees cartoons: How Middlesbrough is animating the future.

 

Course details

Course structure

Year 0 (foundation year) core modules

2D Digital Art

You are introduced to the creative possibilities of image making using digital tools. The fundamental principles of design and composition will be addressed and a range of image creation techniques will be explored using appropriate graphics software. Skills and topics introduced include: layers, transparencies, vectors, bitmaps, Outcomes & reproduction (web/print/screen) and Input devices

Case Studies

This module provides tools in your reading of cultural texts. Focusing on computer games, animation and film, you gain an introductory level of understanding in the context of your chosen fields of study.
As well as looking at the historical and contextual overview of the history of animation, film and computer games, you also look at how we interpret these types of media historically and materially. You choose a text from within your area of interest and undertake an analytical review in the form of a case study.

Creativity and Design

You develop your design and drawing styles, essential for the creative development of interesting and innovative visual solutions.

You are guided through a range of techniques and encouraged to push your ideas and designs in alternative directions, expanding your creative thinking and developing your ideas in new ways.

You produce a range of visual images and worksheets to develop your drawing and image-making styles and process. Throughout the module, you are encouraged to experiment with a variety of drawing and mark-making media and techniques.

You are also encouraged to make connections between seemingly unrelated beginnings and outcomes with briefs that allow creative freedom and broad interpretation.

Drawing Principles

You gain confidence in creating rudimentary images using traditional tools such as pencil and charcoal. The teaching enables you to develop your drawing technique and approach, and helps you produce images that effectively communicate simple ideas.

With a range of traditional materials, you are encouraged to experiment with different approaches to drawing. You learn methods and techniques to improve your observational skills in relation to still life drawing. You also look at other formal elements including tone, proportion, perspective and basic human anatomy.

Modelling Principles

You learn some of the basic principles of 3D computer modelling, lighting and texturing. You use 3D software to produce a simple 3D model that will be textured and rendered with basic lighting. Through guided tutorial tasks, you learn some of the first principles of 3D modelling with the view to creating a small collection of elementary assets for computer games and animation. You create simple textures in appropriate software, such as Photoshop, and consider basic CG lighting.

Storytelling

Here, you apply acquired knowledge and skills to a selected project according to an area of your individual interest or specialism. This module provides an overview of professional graphic practice and enables you to reflect on your own learning and personal career aspirations. You review work from modules through your portfolio presentation and set goals for the next stage.

 

Year 1 core modules

2D Animation

Through a series of animation exercises, you are provided with an opportunity to learn animation principles in a traditional animation studio setting. This takes place in the first six weeks. The application of animation principles to a short character sequence features in the remainder of the module.

Character and Set Design and Layout

You focus on production design for 2D and stop motion animation. The module will introduce the challenges associated with designing for 2D animation and the real-world context of stop motion production, and then follow a developmental process. A brief will be provided to form the basis of research that will lead to a creative solution for stop motion characters and set designs.

Compositing for Stop Motion

Compositing is an essential part of the current stop motion animation production process, and brings together elements such as dynamic action shots, camera moves, characters, crowds and extended sets to make compelling coherent imagery.

This module aims to introduce you to the tools and techniques required to successfully integrate on set stop motion animation, 3D computer generated sets and props, CG backgrounds, lighting and digital 2D matte painted backgrounds.

Drawing for Animation

You focus on 2D visualisation skills that will provide you with an appreciation of traditional and digital drawing. Making the transition from paper sketches to producing digital art is a key skill required in the modern creative industries. Whether designing characters, sketching thumbnails, environments or storyboards this module will equip you with a range of digital drawing skills to help you visualise and design original concepts using traditional drawing techniques for animation. Drawing from observation, anatomy, colour appreciation, composition, adding texture and digital image manipulation will feature using Photoshop and state-of-the-art digital drawing interfaces. Studying this module will also help you communicate visually with your peers and introduce visualisation conventions used in the animation industry.

Introduction to Stop Motion

You are introduced to some of the animation methods, materials and techniques used in stop-motion animation. You are guided through a series of exercises which explore an introductory range of stop-frame techniques for creating stop-motion animation and applying the principles of animation to the animation exercises.

You develop and animate short sequences such as 3D claymation, object animation, basic puppet animation, as well as using substitution or replacement shapes and cut-out shapes for stop-motion filming. In creating the animation sequences, you will also be introduced to using lighting and camera setups for stop-motion and capturing software.

Pre-vis and Cinematography

Pre-vis (short for pre-visualisation) including storyboarding and cinematography is essential when planning and visualising sequences for animation, live action or a combination of both.
In recent years pre-vis has become increasingly used for both animated and live action films. Some larger post-production companies now have dedicated pre-vis departments and a number of companies now exclusively specialise in pre-visualisation.

You are introduced to the context and art of cinematography and learn about basic film language. You learn the techniques for creating a static and moving storyboard (animatic) with sound, developing your drawing and visualisation skills and applying your knowledge of cinematography to your own work. You are also given an introduction to the 3D pre-vis process.

 

Year 2 core modules

2D Character Animation

You develop further the drawing and animation skills developed in year one with particular reference to character animation in a 2D environment.

You further develop your 2D character animation skills and learn how to animate creatures and non-character based objects. You also create special effects animation such as fire and water. All of this work reference real world observation, but you are also encouraged to develop your own visual style.
The assessment requires you to complete a portfolio of polished 2D animated exercises plus a final short animated piece.

Moviola

You work in teams to produce an animated short film to a given brief using either 2D animation or stop motion techniques. You gain experience of working within a production environment and provides you with an opportunity to target specific production skills within your chosen field of study.

Within the team you take on a specific role relevant to your subject speciality and in keeping with the production process usually found within industry .Each team will be allocated a member of staff as a project manager and will be scheduled to have regular compulsory team meetings.

Stop Motion

This module develops the animation methods, materials, techniques and principles used in stop-motion animation productions. Working to a creative brief and using suitable materials, objects, animate-able puppets or models and sets, you create a short animation sequence using a stop-motion technique of your choice.

You develop a stop-motion method such as 3D claymation, object animation, puppet animation, model animation, substitution or replacement shapes, cut-outs, pixilation and so on. In creating the animation sequence, the objects or characters used for the sequence may be animated within a physical set or green screen for combining with a 2D or 3D virtual set.

Storytelling, Acting and Performance

You gain a deep understanding of the role of acting, storytelling and performance in the creation of believable characters in animation. You also research storytelling, acting theory and principles; and develop confidence in performance through team based acting and improvisation sessions.

Toward Experimentation

You experiment in a chosen specialist area within the context of animation. These could include; lighting effects for stop-motion, VFX compositing for 2D and/or stop motion, animation theory, technical aspects of prop/puppet making or any other area of animation as agreed with the module tutors.

 

Final-year core modules

Final Year Project

The Final Year Project is a large-scale piece of work, undertaken under the supervision of a member of academic staff. The project involves the production of a substantial artefact related to your subject area.

You develop an appropriate sense of work-discipline coupled with a professional outlook and are expected to take responsibility for the planning and execution of an extended piece of work including the consideration of associated legal, social, ethical and professional issues. You explore a chosen subject area in depth and are required to demonstrate the ability to analyse, synthesise, and creatively apply what has already been studied on the programme whilst demonstrating critical and evaluative skills and professional awareness.

Professional Industry Practice

You work with students from a range of courses and build on your learning from years one and two and develop your chosen specialist skills through individual work as part of the production of the short film team project.
You engage with a range of advanced topics specific to areas covered on the course.

Short Film Production

You build on your learning and team work to produce a short film as group work and expand your professional development through individual research.
You produce a short film in the media of your choice, such as 3D animation, live action and visual effects, or 2D animation and stop motion. You work in individual production roles within small teams to create an original short film.

 

Modules offered may vary.

 

How you learn

The course begins with fundamental skills common to all animation roles, in drawing and pre-visualisation, cinematography, asset design and modelling, hand drawn 2D animation and stop-motion techniques.

Team working will feature strongly throughout the course and will prepare you for the formal group assessment in years 2 and 3.

You will have the opportunity to gain experience of the wider animation pre-production and production pipeline in team modules shared with other animation and visual effects disciplines where you can work as specialist 2D animators, stop motion animators, stop motion compositors, prop makers, set builders or character designers.

You use industry-standard software including Toon Boom Harmony to design and animate characters and backgrounds for 2D and using Dragonframe to make complex puppets for stop motion. You leave our course with an excellent and unique showreel of animated work.


Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs

 
 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Call us on 0800 952 0226 about our entry requirements

For additional information please see our entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL

 

Employability

Career opportunities

You are encouraged to think about your future career from the outset. We have a number of events that develop your employability: our ExpoSeries is integral to your course and is an opportunity for you to interact with employers via ExpoTential at the end of the first year, ExpoTalent at the end of the second year and ExpoTees at the end of the third year. Each event is open to the public and has invited industry guests, ensuring that you have the opportunity to showcase your work to peers, the public and potential future placements or employers at regular intervals throughout each level of your studies. The ExpoSeries underlines the School's commitment to employability by making this integral to your learning journey.

 

Information for international applicants

Qualifications

International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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Full-time

Entry to 2020/21 academic year

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants


What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years (or 4 with a work placement) or 4 years including foundation year (or 5 with a work placement)
  • UCAS code: I156 BA/2DASM
    I158 BA/2DASMFY for Year 0 entry
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Call us on 0800 952 0226 about our entry requirements

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UK applicants
EU and International applicants

 

Part-time

2020/21 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£4,500 (120 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: Up to 6 years
  • Attendance: Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September or January
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)

 
 
 
 

Facilities

ExpoTalent is a unique opportunity to meet businesses to secure placements, internships and future employment opportunities.

 

Choose Teesside

iPad

Are you eligible for an iPad, keyboard and £300 credit for learning resources?

 

Accommodation

Live in affordable accommodation right on-campus

 

Campus

Study in our town-centre campus with over £270m of recent investment

 

Industry ready

Benefit from work placements, live projects, accredited courses

 

Get in touch

 

Open days

 
 
 

Foundation year

Part-time

Part-time DiscoverUni data