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MEA-106 - Introduction to Animation - Masha Vasilkovsky

Course:Introduction to Animation
Professor:Masha Vasilkovsky
  • OnlineLive
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Artwork by Amy Eagan

This class familiarizes Students with key principles of movement and design in Animation, as well as develops their understanding of composition, timing and rhythm.During the course, students practice main stages involved in the making of an animated film, namely: visual development, animation production, editing and sound design. To develop their understanding of animated movement, students use direct animation techniques (cut-out/ clay etc.) along with animation production software (Adobe Suite/Stop Motion Studio), to complete a series of animation exercises. As a final project students create a short animated sequence (about 1min long), edited with music and credits, to demonstrate their understanding of fundamental animation techniques and creative use of the medium.


Course Description

As an outcome of the course students will be able to:

  1. Acquire an understanding of how they can express themselves through the medium of animation and create a home studio to make personal work.
  2. Distinguish and apply fundamental principles of frame design, composition, timing and movement in animation.
  3. Reach an understanding of animation principles, such as: squash and stretch, anticipation, exaggeration, reaction, follow through, and character acting.
  4. Explore hands on direct animation techniques, while employing animation production guidelines studied in class.
  5. Receive in insight into creating the whole of a film out of the composite parts: editing moving image with music.
  6. Have an overview of After Effects software used for visual compositing  and Premier Pro software for the editing finished work.
  7. Produce an individually conceived and executed animated sequence, complete with sound and music.

Note: During the course of the semester students meet with the Teacher for one-on-one editing session to prepare their work for final screening.

What to Expect in this Course

Canvas serves as an online course platform. Meeting on ZOOM for weekly lessons, students need a working camera and a microphone.

To participate in the ongoing animation exercises, students set up a home shooting system, shooting into Stop Motion Studio app and using a mobile phone as their camera. For a sample animation station students put together:

  1.  Two stable stacks of book of equal height, approximately 13" high.
  2.  Book stacks are set about 16"-20" apart, to allow for a shooting area in-between.
  3.  A sturdy bridge is created between the two stacks. Example: wooden board 1x3"22"
  4. The board is marked for an exact placement of the phone, to be used as a down-shooting device in multiple shoots.
  5. The phone is taped onto the board. Ends of the board is taped to the book stacks, and the book stacks are taped to the table.
  6. Two (clip on) lamps with flexible necks are set up to light the shooting area evenly.

To process animation frames filmed in this way, students use a computer, loaded with up to date Adobe Suit software: Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere Pro and Media Encoder.

Types of Assessments

Every animation assignment takes several weeks to progress into a finished product. Every week students receive new information and participate in critique of their assigned work. For the following week they are expected to respond to feedback and complete the next stage in the production of their animation assignments. All the completed homework is uploaded to an appropriate place in Canvas. This process of developing and refining their work continues until the full completion of each animation assignment.

The class uses hands-on approach. Students work with analog methods of production, using direct animation techniques for making initial artwork. Subsequently animated frames are processed using After Effects for image compositing, and Premiere Pro software for editing picture with sound and music. Filmed animation is then uploaded onto an online platform such as Youtube/ Dropbox or Google Docs Folder, and the link is posted into a corresponding Canvas assignment.

To pass the course students are expected to complete all the assignments, as well as apply critique given in class to perfecting their animations. Students demonstrate their comprehension of concepts presented in class by their weekly progress in finalizing their animated sequences. All the production stages and the finished work, provide the teacher with evaluation criteria to determine their level of understanding of the animation process and the amount of effort invested into learning the subject.

Textbook Information

Students are not required to purchase a textbook, as all the relevant information will be delivered to them during the semester.


Other Relevant Course Information

Student attendance will be documented each class meeting.

Student attendance is crucial to their success in the class: if a student is absent, they are required to watch the recording for the class they missed.

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 06/02/2021 Sub#: 153