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    UMass Amherst Summer Pre-College: 3D Animation: Giving Life and Movement to Your 3D World

    UMass Amherst Summer Pre-College: 3D Animation: Giving Life and Movement to Your 3D World


    • Listing Type: Summer Programs
    • Program Delivery: Day, Residential
    • Provided By: College
    • Session Start: July
    • Session Length: Two Weeks
    • Entering Grade: 10th, 11th, 12th
    • Gender: Coed
    • Category: Academic
    • Sub-Categories: Arts
    • Selective: No
    • Ages: 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
    • Minimum Cost: $1,500 - $2,999
    • Credit Awarded: Yes
    • Call: (413) 577-2112
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    Learn about Summer 2022 Pre-College opportunities at UMass Amherst. Our residential and online pre-college programs are designed to give you a preview of the UMass student experience, including college-level academics and being part of a learning community of high school students from all across the U.S. and the world. Our programs feature faculty-led courses, state-of-the-art facilities, and the #1 campus dining in the U.S., as ranked by the Princeton Review.


    In this two-week introduction to 3D animation course, students who are familiar with Autodesk Maya will learn the basics of 3D Animation using this industry standard software.  Students will learn how to set key frames, edit animation curves, utilize the dope sheet, use constraints and animate using Forward Kinematics (FK).  We will go over creating in-software playblast animations and the workflow for rendering animation out as rendered frames to be compiled outside of the software.  

    The very first project, the bouncing ball, is a classic exercise in understanding the foundation of animation and focuses on several key principles of animation which include timing, squash and stretch and anticipation.  During this exercise students will learn how to set key frames, manage hierarchy of animation nodes and the basics of the timeline and animation tools in Maya.  From there we will look at constraints and how to set up a basic Rube Goldberg machine.

    At the end of this course students should feel comfortable navigating the FK animation tools of Autodesk Maya, understand how to set key frames in the timeline and directly on parameters, use the node hierarchy system, use constrains and use deformers.  Students should bring a sketchbook or notebook and a writing instrument to class for doing basic storyboards for animation.  Students who have never used Autodesk Maya before would benefit from taking the precursor course of 3D Design before taking this class.  Autodesk Maya is available for both Mac and PC and the classroom will be using PC computers.

    The skills and techniques learned in this course can be included in students' Art Portfolios for their college application process. Presenting 3D work is a great way to help a college art applicant stand out. This class will cover rendering 3D work and demo reels for Art Portfolio preparation.


    This course is offered at the UMass Amherst campus as a residential program. Local students may apply to attend as a commuter.