Animation and Special Effects Compositing - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 1
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP2 , SP4
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - Pre-Production document (25%) , Assignment 2 - Animate (25%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,043.00

This unit develops student’s skills and conceptual approaches in joining various elements together into a video form. These elements might be form 3D modelling and rendering, live action video, still images, logos, drawn characters, typographic/text elements, etc: to produce special effects for movies and video clips, web site banners, TV title sequences, TV commercials, architectural walkthroughs, and training simulations. The process of joining such elements into a single composition is called “compositing”. It is the fundamental technique of Motion Graphics and Special Effects, and very important in almost all forms of Animation. Students will be introduced to techniques such as roto-scoping, image tracking, keying, “blue screening”, and colour matching. Particularly, it encourages students to explore established conventions, visual styles, animation techniques, audio design, narrative structures, and screen language in their own works. It is a project-based study unit that places equal importance on both conceptual development and skills acquisition. The unit allows students to build on their understanding of the different mediums in terms of their possibilities and limitations through exploration and experimentation.  

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At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. acquire knowledge of the processes of compositing images in industry practice
  2. create original media elements suitable for compositing use
  3. build animations that demonstrate understating of layers, filters and effects
  4. develop software skills to implement the composition of still images, video and 3D elements
  5. develop the ability to plan the resource needs for a compositing project.  
  • Assignment 1 — Pre-Production document (25%)
  • Assignment 2 — Animate (25%)
  • Assignment 3 — Final Project (50%)

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

  • Other special requirement — Adobe After Effects (Available as part of an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription)

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Compositing Introduction
3Fundamentals of Effective Storytelling
4Power of Audio
5Rendering from After Effects
6Chroma-keying and Rotoscoping
7Tracking for Compositing
8Special FX in Compositing
9Colour Grading and Stylising
10Typography in Motion
11Common Compositing Mistakes
12Compositing Breakdowns

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Blogs
  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Standard Media
  • Streaming Multimedia
  • Web links

Online materials

  • Audio/Video - Streaming
  • Online Assessment
  • Printable format materials
  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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