History

As assistant professor in the Animation area at NTU and since joining in 2005, my teaching responsibilities have been to conduct studio based instruction and although I can teach in other areas my area is primarily in 3D Production and Digital Sculpting. I currently have average enrollment of 15 students per class each semester. Here at NTU we usually teach two classes per semester, the average teaching load in my university. My classes run for 3 hours once per week and depending on the subject and can require 6 to 36 hours of preparation depending on the requirements of subject matter & needs of the students. I’ve been involved in the writing the original curricula at our school under the first two academic chairs and three chairs of school, including a recent revision based on the Blue Ribbon Commission’s (BRC) recommendations. I have contributed to the writing and design of curricula in the Visual Effects stream in the Animation area, and Game stream of the Interative area.

I have developed and taught the following classes:

Table 1: Courses Developed & Taught

FDN110 – Foundation Drawing (Figure Drawing) currently DN1001 – Foundation Drawing I

During the first years at ADM I developed, co-developed and taught many courses Foundation Drawing being one of them. My focus in my own undergraduate studies was drawing. I have continued to study drawing taking professional classes. In addition I use these skills both in my own research and as a professional artist. It was with much pleasure that I taught this class.

FDN140 – Foundation Design & Time currently DN1004 – Foundation 4D I

During my first years at ADM I taught a number of different subjects. As we needed to construct the curricula and design the course and did not have many instructors with sufficient experience to teach the subjects we needed to cover. Therefore I needed to teach using a broad swath of my expertise. One of the courses that I developed was the 4D Foundations course. Although the class was conceived in meeting consultations within the school I was tasked to write the original course syllabus and teach for two semesters within the area.

ANI220 – Introduction to 3D Production currently DT2001 – 3D Production

Usually I teach DT2001-3D Production. It is a class that is an introduction to methods and techniques used in 3D Computer Animation, from preproduction through final output with sound. It is an intensive study in computer graphics for animation in that the students must make an animated short film in one semester. In the past is was structured in such a way that each student must make their own short film. Currently and after the BRC I restructured it to allow for better peer mentorship in that students are encouraged to work together to make a short. For students new to computer graphics, it is a heavy and intensive course however I have managed to get excellent work from novices and experienced students alike..

ANI230 – 3D Modeling Workshop I currently DT2003 – 3D Modelling I

ANI230: 3d Modeling Workshop retitled to DT2001 is a studio elective. In this course I teach students the fundamentals of animation 3D sculpting. Students entering this class vary in skill and experience. Often this course is taught in term 1. Students that take this class generally have no or little experience with digital sculpting and yet others come in with considerable technical skills. The class is more about concepts of modeling rather than specific tools however given that they must use these tools to make animated films the software taught is primarily Autodesk Maya and ZBrush. These software packages allows students to move up into the third year with the ability to create models and materials for their animated films.

ANI255 – 3D Modelling Workshop II currently DT2008 – 3D Modelling II

This class follows on from the principles and practices covered in ANI230 3D Modelling I providing the student with more time to further develop their skills in 3D modelling. The student’s existing skill set is developed with more advanced techniques. Given the developments of digital sculpting software, e.g. how quickly it changes, an advanced course for deeper exploration was deemed prudent. Students are given the opportunity to explore digital sculpting of both organic and hard-edged objects, investigating problems associated with photorealistic modelling and cartoon modelling and issues related to final presentation. The process of virtual 3D model creation is explored from initial design to final sculpt with basic lighting and rendering with an emphasis on sculpting original forms. Intermediate and advanced computer graphics geometric modelling techniques are covered. Assignments emphasise the both technical and aesthetic components of 3D sculpting. This course is designed to develop aesthetic values that inform 3D virtual sculpting for live-action visual effects, cinema and games by developing the student’s problem solving abilities and giving them strategies to create digital models that express a personal artistic vision.

ANI260 – Introduction to Storyboarding currently DT2009 – Storyboarding

This course was intended to introduces the student to basic storyboarding and story presentation or “The Pitch”, developing the student’s ability to create a sequence of images with visual narrative, and develop the student’s awareness of theoretical storytelling formalities. Introducing the student to visual narrative using a storyboard, the student will be shown how to deal with framing, camera movement, character movement and other key visual essentials within the larger structure of a movie narrative. This course also was designed to use the storyboard as a thinking tool, through which creative ideas are developed and given detail. The place of the storyboard within the animation pipeline and its place within such things as concept development, script development, animatics and production.

DT2015 – Advanced 3D Production NEW

In 2013 I taught a new class to second year students in the Animation area. This class a follow-up to DT2001 3D Production was much needed in that we introduced a streaming element to our courses with a Visual Effects and Computer Gaming streams. This class an elective filled some of the void in digital animation and production not addressed by the introduction course. Targeted to advanced students interested in a more specialist approach to computer graphic imagery creation the class is typically small in size and focuses on advanced topics like motion capture, motion tracking, crowd simulation, simulated fractures and breaking and automated lipsync toolsets. The aim of the course is for the student to work in a team to produce an animated short film.

ANI390 – Animation Seminar I currently DT3006 – Animation Seminar

Animiation Seminar was originally intended to be a class where the student would be exposed to the wider world of animation through the lense of professionals brought into the school to personally instruct students, in a Master Class setting. It required that student have intensive two week study with the visitor exclusive to their other studies. It was quickly realized that this structure would not allow student to engage with their other classes. I was requested to step in and rewrite the class. Realizing the students had not much time thus far to dedicate their newly acquire skills and resources to actually making a film as a personal statement I shaped the course to focus the student on individual expression. The class is currently designed to expose the student to a wide view of animated styles and approaches to storytelling while tasking them to make a short film. We have had many successful and award winning animated shorts come out of this class. Though slightly changed in the BRC revision, the class has successfully continued in this vein with students learning a the huge undertaking it is to create an animated film and with the completion of a short getting wider recognition outside of the school for their efforts when submitting their work to film festivals.

ANI380 – Animation Development and Preproduction currently DD4000 – ADM Final Year Project

This course was designed to prepare the student for their Final Year Project (FYP). In that the production of an animated short is so intensive this was intended to ease the project by combining students with each other in a story proposal format. Though the first part of the course students would investigate narrative through active study and participation in narrative construction. Later in the course student are encouraged to either form collaborative arrangements to develop their own work or choose on a topic for animation design study directly.

ANI410 – Final Year Project currently DD4000 – ADM Final Year Project

Students work on their Final Year capstone Project with supervision and guidance by their choosen faculty.

ANI495 – Final Year Project currently DD4000 – ADM Final Year Project

This course was changed from an assembled class room meeting to a faculty supervised cap-stone project in which the student chooses their supervisor and topic for final presentation at the end of their four years of study. I have supervised in both settings typically works that result in animated short films although I have co-supervised game project where student focus on interactive area studies.

URECA – Undergraduate Research Experience on CAmpus

I’ve been quite active in the Undergraduate Research Experience on CAmpus (URECA) program having been faculty advisor at the School of Art, Design and Media for a number of years. The program targets students that have 4.5 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) has benifited my teaching by introducing the best students to my research. Working with talented students is quite rewarding in that they always question the validity of the course we are embarking on in research. Considered the equivalent to a Final Year Project these students these student get either a stipend of $3,000 or 4 AUs for the two semesters they dedicate themselves to work with the respective professor. The outcome of their work is usually and artwork and a paper detailing theory and processes related to the work.

 

Table 2: Graduate Dissertation

Masters of Science (MSc) in Digital Media Technology Dissertation

TAN Siew Lan, Awarded 2005/2006
Supervisor: Asst Prof Mark CHAVEZ, ADM
Artificial Agents and Real Time 3D Characters

Masters of Science (MSc) in Digital Media Technology Dissertation

Kurumbal Mohan Aishiwarya, Awarded 2008/2009
Supervisor: Asst Prof Mark CHAVEZ, ADM
Texturing in 3D animation

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Saurabh RASTOGI, Commenced 2009
Supervisor: Assoc Prof LIN Feng, SCE  –  Co-Supervisor: Asst Prof Mark CHAVEZ, ADM
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