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Alamo Colleges District • Northwest Vista College • - • ARTV-Multimedia Digital Video

3-D Animation I ARTV-1341

  • Full Term Fall 2018
  • Section 002.31475
  • 3-2-3 Credits
  • 08/27/2018 to 12/15/2018
  • Modified 08/27/2018

Meeting Times

Mon, Wed 5:00 PM -7:00 PM

Contact Information

Isaac Herrera

Office MLH 200

[email protected]


Required Course Materials:

1 Flash USB Drive (1 Gig and up) or CDRW

1 Notebook or Binder and pen to take notes

1 Sketchbook or Print Paper (size A3 (11x17) or A4 (8.5 x11))

HB, B and 2B pencils and eraser

Ear buds for working with sound files

Students taking this class will need a membership to “Pluralsight” which provides access to over 12,000 videos for over 30 software applications including Photoshop, 3DS Max, Maya, Unity, Z Brush, Motionbuilder, and many more. The single yearly membership will cover the textbook requirement from a variety of courses in 3D Animation, Game Production, including summer and two regular semesters.

NVC Bookstore - $128.50 for a yearly membership. Please purchase your membership as soon as possible, in order to, complete related assignments on time.

NVC is not responsible for any additional online mentor fees incurred at student request.

Pluralsight 12 Month Subscription

  • Publisher:Pluralsight
  • Edition:N/A
  • ISBN:ISBN: 9780692508534
  • Price:Price $128.50

NVC is not responsible for any additional online mentor fees incurred at student request.


Intermediate level 3-D course introducing animation tools and techniques used to create movement. Emphasis on using the principles of animation



Upon the successful completion of this course, a student should be able to:

  1. Navigate comfortably through the 3ds Max User Interface
  2. Understand and apply the processes of editing an object through3 dimensional coordinates
  3. Create and edit geometry, splines, lights, cameras, helpers, hierarchies
  4. Develop and render keyframe animations and path animations with sound integration
  5. Understand and apply Modifiers and edit the Modifier Stack
  6. Apply materials onto meshes from the material library or from custom textures
  7. Adjust material coordinates through tiling and U,V,W placement.
  8. Use 3d skills and tools towards the art of Storytelling
  9. Work on projects individually and in a team environment
  10. Enhance their artistic abilities through weekly drawing practices


1 Utilize animation software and production skills.

2 Develop a sense of weight and emotion in animated shots.

3 Develop animation for multi-media productions, games or simulations.


With the potential for some minor variation in assignments and grade weights, your performance is based upon:

  • Midterm 5%
  • Lab work (includes Final Project) 55%     
  • 3-Artistic qualities and creativity
  • 2-Demonstration of technical skills
  • 1-Completion of project on time
  • Each project will be graded according to the 3 following criteria:
  • Every class consists of a lecture then, based from this lecture, a project to be executed in the lab.
  • Attendance and Participation (Professionalism) 25%Students may loose up to 25pts of their final course grade for lack of participation/professionalism
  • Homework Drawings 15%Being a 3D Artist means having an equal combination of 3D technical skills and traditional art skills. Your homework assignments will consist essentially of drawing and sketching exercises. This will train your eye to higher levels of artistic qualities.

Course Policies

Attendance and Participation Policy (Professionalism): You may be dropped from the course if you miss the first week of class. You are responsible for everything said and done in each class session. Absences will affect your participation grade. More than three absences during the semester will result in the loss of a full letter grade. If you miss five or more classes prior to the withdrawal deadline, I may decide to drop you from the class. While in class you should spend all your time on class related work or research. Participation in class is vital for success, keep good communication lines with your instructor and you peers so you can feel free to ask for help when needed as well as be helpful to others. By respect for others you also want to keep the lab in as a good working environment by keeping low levels of noises and voices.

Tardiness: Class begins and ends on the scheduled time. Because of the disruption you might cause by arriving late and leaving early, they will also affect your participation grade.

Late assignments: No late assignments will be accepted without prior discussion with the instructor.

Drop Date: If you miss more than 5 classes I may decide to drop you from the class, or not… Ultimately, it is your responsibility to officially drop from the class to avoid failing the class (F). Students may drop this class without academic penalty if they drop before the deadline.

Special Accommodations Policy: As per Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, if a special accommodation is needed, please contact Sharon Dresser in the Access Office in the Student Success Center at 486-4466

Academic expectation: Students will be expected to develop a sense of personal responsibility and work ethic and will need to commit to in order to successfully complete the class. Since this class is of technical nature as well as artistic and creative nature, the students are expected to buy a sketchbook and practice their drawing skills weekly. It is the student’s responsibility to show regular weekly progress to the instructor.

Cellular phones and beeper: I find cell phones extremely irritating when they disrupt my class. Turn off your phone and answer when the class is over. (Yes, you can wait.)

Having your phone ring during class will result in -5pts of your final course grade.

There is absolutely no eating or drinks allowed in the lab. Any student caught eating or drinking any beverage other than water will be asked to leave the lab and may be suspended from using the lab or have their lab privileges permanently revoked.

Respect the equipment. During the course of the class you may become frustrated with the computers when you cannot figure something out. This is the nature of Computer Graphics, please do not take your frustration out on the workstations!

Do not log into the machines on any account other than the Student account.Any students who log in as another user without direct permission from the instructor will be asked to leave the lab and may be suspended from using the lab or have their lab privileges permanently revoked.

Never remove anything from the lab that you did not bring in with you. Any students caught removing equipment or software from the lab will be removed permanently from the lab an appropriate action will be taken against that student. All of this equipment is provide for your education, however, it does not belong to you. Please treat it that way.


Course Outline: Weeks 1-16

  • Syllabus- Windows LOGIN and 3DS Max BASICS
  • 3DS MAX USER INTERFACE (UI)- PART II – Navigation Tools
  • 3DS MAX USER INTERFACE (UI)- PART III – Create Panel/ Geometry
  • 3DS MAX USER INTERFACE (UI)- PART IV – Modify Panel (Census Date)
  • Animation –Time controls, Sound Import
  • Rendering- Output options
  • Pivot, Autogrid
  • Align- Group- Link/ Helpers
  • Lights / Array, Merge, Import
  • Material Editor 1- Material Editor 2
  • Cameras
  • Compound Objects – Display Panel - MIDTERM REVIEW
  • Shapes, Splines - Motion Panel and Path Animation
  • Layers, Snap, Select by- Spline Modifier 1- Spline Modifier 2
  • Extrude 1- Edit Spline
  • Extrude 2- Edit Poly
  • Extrude 3- UVWmap- Mat ID
  • Introduce Final Group Project – Modifiers, Video Post
  • Work on Group Project for Presentation
  • Work on Group Project for Presentation
  • Work on Group Project for Presentation
  • Work on Group Project for Presentation (Last Day to Withdraw)
  • Work on Group Project for Presentation
  • Work on Group Project for Presentation
  • Work on Group Project for Presentation
  • Work on Group Project for Presentation
  • Work on Group Project for Presentation
  • Final Week – FinalGroup Presentation Day and Time TBA

Institutional Policies


A. Attendance:

Student absences will be recorded from the first day the class meets, and beginning Fall 2014, students who do not attend the first scheduled class meeting or contact the instructor will be dropped. Students should verify the drop is completed.

For fully online courses, an attendance verification activity is assigned and must be completed by the 3rd class day.

Effective Spring Term 2010, student absences will be recorded from the first day the class meets. Regular and punctual attendance in all classes and laboratories, day and evening, is required. Students who are absent for any reason should always consult with their instructors. Course syllabi must provide specific information regarding attendance, including, for courses involving the internet, online activity that constitutes “attendance.” Also, both tardiness and early departure from class may be considered forms of absenteeism. In all cases, students will be held responsible for completion of course requirements covered in their absence.

 Additionally, it is the student’s responsibility to drop a course for nonattendance. Course instructors may drop a student for excessive absences or for online classes non-participation as defined by assigned work not being turned in during the course of a week. Absences are considered excessive when more than 12.5 percent of the total contact hours of instruction in a semester, including lecture and lab, are missed. For example, in a three-credit-hour lecture class, students may be dropped after more than six contact hours of absences. In a four-credit-hour lecture/lab class, students may be dropped after more than eight contact hours of absences. Absences are counted regardless of whether they occur consecutively.

In special programs with additional accreditation or certification standards, additional attendance requirements may be enforced but faculty must clearly explain these policies in their syllabi.  Students who stop attending class for any reason should contact the instructor as soon as possible. To officially withdraw from the class, a withdrawal request must be submitted in ACES via the “student course withdrawal” link. Contact your instructor, advisor, or the Admissions and Records office if guidance is needed.

Failure to officially withdraw may result in a failing grade for the course. It is the student’s responsibility to withdraw officially from a class by submitting a “student course withdrawal” request in ACES.

B. Early Alert and Intervention

Alamo College instructors care about students’ success in every course.  During the semester, students may receive alert emails through the ACES account regarding their progress and ultimate success in a course.  Upon receipt of the email, students are to contact the course instructor to discuss specific tasks or actions to improve success in this course.  In addition, students will also need to meet with their Certified Advisor.  Discussions with faculty and Certified Advisors allows the student to identify actions that will help to successfully complete course requirements at the colleges of the Alamo Colleges District.

C. Student Responsibility for Success (Alamo Colleges District Policy F.6.2):

As members of the Alamo Colleges District learning community, students, faculty, staff and administrators all share the responsibility to create an atmosphere where knowledge, integrity, truth, and academic honesty are valued and expected. A clear acknowledgment of the mutual obligations of all members of the academic community emphasizes this implicit partnership in fostering the conditions necessary for student success.

In this relationship, the Alamo Colleges District provides institutional policies, procedures, and opportunities to facilitate student learning that encourage interaction, involvement and responsible participation. Inherent in the academic climate is the expectation that students will assume responsibility for contributing to their own development and learning. Academic success is directly tied to the effort students put into their studies, the degree to which they interact with faculty and peers, and the extent to which students integrate into the campus life.

1. Engagement

  1. Create connections and build relationships with faculty, staff and students (visit during office hours, join clubs and organizations, participate in student activities, etc.);
  2. Stay informed of policies, procedures, deadlines and events for academic and co-curricular activities;
  3. Complete all requirements for admission, registration, and payment by deadlines;
  4. Apply for financial assistance, if needed, complying with all federal, state and local regulations and procedures;
  5. Meet all federal, state and local health care regulations.

2. Communication

  1. Seek guidance from faculty, advisors or counselors for questions and concerns in regards to degree plans, major selection, academic status, grades, and issues impacting college success;
  2. Develop a peer support system to identify student contacts for questions, group assignments, etc. regarding academic and co-curricular activities;
  3. Communicate with College personnel promptly regarding academic or co-curricular concerns and assistance requests;
  4. Carefully consider the information provided by College personnel and make decisions using that information;
  5. Check the Alamo Colleges District’s Web Services regularly for emails, holds, student records, financial aid status and announcements;
  6. Submit disability documentation if seeking services and request academic accommodations in advance of each semester.

3. Academic Success

  1. Complete courses with passing grades and maintain good academic standing (2.0 GPA) status;
  2. Read and follow all syllabi;
  3. Purchase textbooks and required supplies in a timely manner;
  4. Attend classes regularly and on time, with as few absences, late arrivals, and early exits as possible;
  5. Arrive to class with all needed materials and completed assignments for that class period;
  6. Be attentive in class and actively participate as appropriate;
  7. Devote sufficient time for studying;
  8. Ensure integrity in all aspects of academic and career development;
  9. Accurately represent one’s own work and that of others used in creating academic assignments. Use information ethically and exercise appropriate caution to avoid plagiarism on all assignments;
  10. Notify faculty in advance or as soon as possible about absences and provide documentation as appropriate;
  11. Consult faculty members in advance when unable to complete projects, assignments, or take examinations as scheduled.

4. Self-Responsibility and Responsibility to Others

  1. Maintain accurate and complete degree/certificate major selection and contact information including name, address, phone number and emergency contact;
  2. Balance personal obligations and educational pursuits. Work with a counselor / advisor to design a realistic schedule that dedicates adequate effort to be successful in college studies;
  3. Know and follow the regulations and guidelines outlined in the Student Code of Conduct and Student Handbook;
  4. Maintain respectful and appropriate behavior within and outside the classroom;
  5. Ask for help when needed. Use all available resources and facilities provided by the College to enhance the learning experience;
  6. Attend scheduled advising sessions, tutorials, and other appointments. Cancel or reschedule only with good reasons as early as possible;
  7. Arrive prepared for tutorial sessions, bringing all needed materials (books, syllabi, rough drafts, calculators, assignment sheets, etc.).

D.  Textbook Availability

A student of this institution is not under any obligation to purchase a textbook from a university-affiliated bookstore. The same textbook may also be available from an independent retailer, including an online retailer.

E. Licensed Concealed Campus Carry

No open carry of firearms is allowed on all property owned, controlled, or leased by the College District, including vehicles operated by the Alamo Colleges District. Concealed carry of a handgun by persons licensed to carry may not be restricted except in locations signed as prohibited areas.

  • Special testing locations requiring a complete surrender of personal effects during testing will be signed as prohibited areas. 
  • Persons may be required to place their purse, backpack or briefcase away from their person, but within their view during tests at the direction of their instructor or test administrator.
  • License holders carrying on campus intending to access prohibited areas must leave their weapons locked in their vehicles.  College lockers are not authorized for storage of handguns by license holders.

Disciplinary Sanctions

Open carry, intentional display, unlicensed carry, and carry in spite of signed prohibition are subject to employee and student discipline, as well as possible prosecution. Unintentional display of a weapon by a license holder must be avoided.  Police will exercise their enforcement discretion. 

If you see a person openly carrying or deliberately displaying a firearm:

  • Call the Alamo Colleges District Police 210-485-0911
  • Do not confront the person or ask if the person has a permit

F. Title IX policy

Information and policy regarding Title IX, Civil Rights Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation can be found in Board Policy H.1.2.



While other exams are given at the discretion of the instructor, a final assessment is given at the end of each semester for each course. The Final Exam Schedule changes with each term and differs from normal class meeting dates and times. See the Final Exam Schedule in the Catalog/Schedule of Classes in the left hand navigation bar.

A student who must be absent from a final evaluation should petition that instructor for permission to postpone the evaluation. A student absent without permission from a final evaluation is graded "0" on the exam.

Incomplete Grades.  The conditional grade of “I” may be issued to a student having a passing average on all completed coursework but for a justified reason, such as illness or death in the family or by providential hindrance, has been prevented from taking the final examination or completing other required coursework. The “I” becomes an “F” in one hundred twenty (120) calendar days from the end of the term unless the student completes the balance of the coursework with a performance grade of “D” or higher. Re-enrollment in the course will not resolve the “I.”  The student and faculty must fill out an Incomplete Contract, clearly defining the work remaining to be finished.

College Priorities

Academic Support

SACSCOC defines academic support services as those that pertain to students at all levels, as well as to faculty. The services are consistent with the institution's mission, enhance the educational experience, and contribute to the achievement of teaching and learning outcomes. Student and faculty success is affected by the learning environment. An institution provides appropriate academic support services to strengthen academic programs and ensure the success of students and faculty in meeting the goals of the educational programs. Academic support services may include, but are not limited to academic teaching and resource centers, tutoring, academic advising, counseling, disability services, resource centers, laboratories, and information technology.

Co-curricular Activities

Co-curricular activities refer to activities, programs, and learning experiences that complement, in some way, what students are learning in school (i.e., experiences that are connected to or mirror the academic curriculum). Examples of common educational opportunities that may be considered co-curricular include student newspapers, musical performances, art shows, mock trials, debate competitions, and mathematics, robotics, and engineering teams and contests.

These activities used to be commonly referred to as "extracurricular" and are not graded components of a course.

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning is defined as '...any learning that supports students in applying their knowledge and conceptual understanding to real-world problems or situations where the instructor directs and facilitates learning' (UT-Austin, Faculty Innovation Center, n.d.).

The experiential activity may be outside of class (ex. service learning, K-12 classroom observation, field trip, clinical ed., etc.) or inside the classroom. It may be of long duration or short. The point is to outline when students are having the opportunity to try out or experience what people do in your field/discipline in 'real world' scenarios. Examples of experiential learning include, but are not limited to, required internships, research and laboratory work, shadowing professionals in a related field, and attending academic and professional talks.

These are required "hands on" activities that need to be defined in course materials prior to the experience and related back to course content (e.g., reflection papers, journals, portfolios) as part of the course grades. Because these activities are required, one of the best practices is to attempt to offer a list or menu of activities to students that will fulfill the experiential requirement.

For experiential learning assignments, see evaluation section.

College Policies


A. All of the colleges of the Alamo Colleges District are tobacco free.

B. Alamo Colleges District DPS Emergency Phone Numbers:

Emergency Phone (210) 485-0911

General Phone (210) 485-0099

Weather Phone (210) 485-0189 (For information on college closures)

C. Students are required to silence all electronic devices (e.g., pagers, cellular phones, etc.) when in classrooms, laboratories and the library.

D. Disability Access Statement– In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, it is the responsibility of the student to self-identify with the Northwest Vista College Access Office. Only those students with appropriate documentation will receive a letter of accommodation from the Access Office. Instructors are required to follow only those accommodations and/or services outlined in the letter of accommodation. For further information, please contact the Access Office at (210) 486-4466 or visit the office located in the Cypress Campus Center, Rm. 204. If you have specific needs, please discuss them privately with your instructor.

E. The Value of Integrity: Northwest Vista College seeks to produce graduates who not only have an academic mastery of their subject, but also exhibit academic integrity and scholastic honesty. Academic integrity violations include the sale of academic product, academic enticement or influence, academic misconduct, cheating, fabrication, collusion, and plagiarism. Penalties for academic dishonesty are serious and may range from an assignment penalty to a failing course grade, at the instructor’s discretion. Multiple violations could result in suspension or expulsion from the college. Please read the complete set of policies and procedures regarding academic integrity including the appeal process found in Board Policy F.4.2.2 and in the Student Code of Conduct in the NVC eCatalog:

F. Plagiarism Policy: Plagiarism is an act of Scholastic Dishonesty which is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Plagiarism occurs when you use someone else's work and submit it as your own without giving the author credit. In your assignments, you can paraphrase the material and then cite; completely re-write and then cite; or use verbatim, use quotation marks to indicate the direct quote, and then cite. In addition, it is scholastic dishonesty to resubmit your own work from a previous course to another course. This is not permitted in this course. To prevent plagiarism and scholastic dishonesty from happening in this course, all written work is subject to submission through a plagiarism detection tool such as Turnitin. To learn more about plagiarism and other forms of academic integrity violations, review the Northwest Vista College Student Code of Conduct Handbook and the Northwest Vista College's Academic Integrity website (see E above). You are responsible for understanding and will be held accountable for the information in this policy.

G. Policy information regarding Non-Academic Misconduct can be found in Board Policy F.4.2.1 and in the Student Code of Conduct in the NVC eCatalog:

H. Information and policy regarding Title IX, Civil Rights Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation can be found in Board Policy H.1.2.