ACCAD: Winter Quarter, 1997
Instructor: Matthew Lewis
3 Credits, TR 2:30pm - 4:30pm
Art 894Z12, 01765-4

Course Material
Requirements and Evaluation
Recommended Reading
Instructor Information


This course will introduce students to procedural methods of modeling, rendering, and animating three dimensional, computer generated objects, environments, and characters.

After learning the animation language and software, students will implement and use frequently recurring procedural building blocks such as structural/functional decomposition, iteration, stochastic functions, recursion, and high-level control. They will then, individually or in teams, implement or use an advanced application of these techniques, choosing one of the following areas: artificial evolution, rule based growth, physically based motion, and behavioral animation.

The class will meet twice a week, for two hours. Class time will be devoted to lectures, software demonstrations, animation and image reviews, group problem solving, and presentations. Outside of class, students will design programs to generate images and animations. Students may also read and present relevant papers.

Because this is an advanced course, students should already understand the basics of modeling, positioning, animating, and rendering three dimensional objects. In this class, students will explore ways of coaxing the computer to do tasks it would be tedious or impossible to do "by hand".

Assignments will be frequent and simple, but open-ended, as in a studio art class. It should be possible to fulfill the minimum requirements for each assignment in a few hours, but students interested in creating portfolio/demo-reel quality work, instead of just gaining an introduction to the main concepts, will be encouraged to do so as their time allows.

Course Material

Software Overview
Scheme Introduction
Functional Decomposition
Artificial Evolution
Basic Animation Introduction
High Level Animation Control
Perl Examples
Preserving State
Particle Systems
Behavioral Animation


Students must contribute to class discussions and complete course assignments. Grades will be calculated as follows:

A  = 94 - 100   A-  =  91 - 93
B+ = 89 - 90    B   =  83 - 88   B- = 80 - 82
C+ = 78 - 79    C   =  73 - 77   C- = 71 - 72
D+ = 69 - 70    D   =  64 - 68   E  = 0  - 64
10% per calendar day will be deducted from late assignments.


Graduate standing, ACCAD 750 and Spencer's C class, or equiv. modeling and programming experience, and permission.


Hw 1: AL Basics
Hw 2: Iteration
Hw 3: Recursion
Hw 4: Animation
Hw 5: Final Project

Recommended Readings

No texts are required, but the following might prove useful:

Programming in Scheme, Eisenberg, The Scientific Press Redwood City, CA, 1988.
The RenderMan Companion, Upstil, Addison-Wesley Reading, Mass., 1990.
The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants, Prusinkiewicz, Springer-Verlag NY, 1990.
Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life, Thomas & Johnston, Abbeville Press, NY, 1984.
Evolutionary Art and Computers, Todd & Latham, Academic Press, London, 1992.
Texturing and Modeling: A Procedural Approach, Ebert et al, Academic Press, 1994.