Syllabus as a downloadable PDF 

TITLE OF COURSE:Introduction to 2D Animation

COURSE NUMBER & SECTION: ANI 260-1300, Spring 2021

SCHEDULE: Thursdays, 1PM-4:40PM,

This course will be taught online. There will be synchronous sessions starting at the scheduled class time, 1PM on Thursday, and there will also be asynchronous activities. I will be posting Zoom invites on Blackboard.

PROFESSOR: Jody Culkin | email: | Office hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 11AM – 12:30PM (or by appointment)



DESCRIPTION: Students will learn to design and create motion graphics for multimedia, building projects appropriate both for Internet applications and for film and video. Students will learn how to use Animate, a vector-based animation program, and After Effects, an animation and visual effects compositing program to create narratives through the use of storyboards.


Description Measurement
1. Understand and apply the 12 principles of animation Studies
2. Create frame-by-frame animation in a digital environment Studies
3. Design a character for animation Final project
4. Understand how to create and develop a narrative with storyboarding Final project
5. Create and apply effects to compositions in After Effects Final project
6. Export animation to the correct format and share it on the web Final project


Description Measurement
Communication Skills – Students will write, read, listen and speak critically and effectively. Student behaviors include being able to: Express ideas clearly in written form; Employ critical reading skills to analyze written material; Exhibit active listening skills; Give an effective oral presentation. Final project
Information & Technology Literacy – Students will collect, evaluate and interpret information and effectively use information technologies. Student behaviors include being able to: Conduct research using appropriate research strategies; Make effective use of technology. All projects

REQUIRED TEXT: There is no required textbook for this course. Slides, web resources and tutorials are available for free on this site

OTHER RESOURCES: Portable media for storing projects, such as a flash drive will be necessary. Students are advised to set up a cloud storage accounts such as Dropbox or Google Drive. Sketchbooks are recommended for taking notes and brainstorming ideas.

USE OF TECHNOLOGY: We will be working with Adobe Animate and Adobe After Effects. Other software, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, may be used to create graphical content.

Students will use Blackboard to post their assignment. Faculty will upload grades and comments there too, along with any other course material they see fit.

Students will use OpenLab to post work in progress. Each student should create an OpenLab profile at the beginning of the semester and join the course page. Please follow these instructions.

SUPPLEMENTAL INSTRUCTION: This section of MMP260 is part of BMCC’s Supplemental Instruction Program. Jneyde Williams  will be your SI leader this semester. She will attend all our sessions, provide assistance during class.

TUTORING: Take advantage of BMCC’s one-on-one tutoring services (free!). Go to the Learning Resource Center Reception Desk in S-510 (199 Chambers Street), or call (212) 220-1383 for more information

GRADING: Grading is based on successful completion of all projects, class participation and attendance. Students are expected to attend every class, to partake in the in-class tutorial, in-class workshops and crit sessions. Failure to do so will affect the “teacher evaluation and class performance” grade. Projects must be handed in on time. Points will be deducted for work that is handed in late.

  • Teacher evaluation and class performance: 10%
  • Studies: 35%
  • Final project: 55%

WEEKLY BREAKDOWN (Subject to change)

Week One (Thu 2/4)

  • Overview of course, class site, and OpenLab
  • Introductions
  • What is animation: different approaches, 12 principles, early history, 2D animation today
  • Assignment: flipbook

Week Two (Thu 2/11)

  • Flipbook assignment due
  • Introduction to Adobe Animate: interface, frame-by-frame vs. tweening, paint vs. symbols, file format, exporting.
  • Key concepts: frames, FPS, working on 1s and 2s
  • 12 principles applied: squash & stretch, slow-in & slow-out
  • Assignment: bouncing ball #1 (up and down)

Week Three (Thu 2/18)

  • Bouncing ball #1 assignment due
  • Key concept: straight ahead vs. pose to pose, in-betweens and breakdowns, timing charts
  • 12 principles applied: arcs, timing
  • Assignment: bouncing ball #2 (arc)

Week Four (Thu 2/25)

  • Bouncing ball #2 assignment due
  • Key concepts: review straight-ahead, loops
  • Assignment: looping effect

Week Five (Thu 3/4)

  • Looping effect assignment due
  • Character design for animation
  • Final project – step 1: character design

Week Six (Thu 3/11)

  • Character design assignment due (sketches, bio and turnaround)
  • Walk cycles
  • Final project – step 2: walk cycle (rough)

Week Seven (Thu 3/18)

  • Rough walk cycle due
  • Revising the walk cycle
  • 12 principles applied: follow through & overlapping action
  • Final project – step 3: walk cycle (revised)

Week Eight (Thu 3/25)

  • Revised walk cycle due
  • Storyboarding
  • 12 principles applied: staging
  • Storytelling
  • Final project – step 4: storyboard

SPRING BREAK (3/27-4/4)

Week Nine (Thu 4/8)

  • Storyboard due
  • Introduction to After Effects
  • Importing an Animate project into After Effects
  • Final project – step 5: creating a background

Week Ten (Thu 4/15)

  • Background due
  • Camera in After Effects
  • Saving, moving and submitting your After Effects project
  • Final project – step 6: adding a background and applying After Effects’ camera to the walk cycle

Week Eleven (Thu 4/22)

  • Background + camera -enhanced walk cycle due
  • Effects in After Effects
  • Final project – step 7: adding an effect to your project

Week Twelve (Thu 4/29)

  • Effects enhanced project due
  • Animating text in After Effects
  • Nesting compositions in After Effects
  • Final project – step 8: Creating animated title and credits for the final project

Week Thirteen (Thu 5/6)

  • Project with titles and credits due
  • Sound and animation
  • Adding sound in After Effects
  • Final project – step 8: Adding sound to the walk cycle

Week Fourteen (5/13)

  • Final project workshop

Week Fifteen (5/20)

  • Final project presentations