General information

Subject type: Optional

Coordinator: Jorge Oter Gonzalez

Trimester: Second term

Credits: 6

Teaching staff: 

Francisco José Pinel Cabello
Maider Veliz Ramas 

Teaching languages

  • Catalan
  • Spanish

The subject will be taught in Catalan and Spanish. Some content and resources may be presented in English.

Animation and Special Effects.


Maider Veliz

Fran Pinel



Specific skills
  • E2_Idear, design, plan and make 2D animation short films and video games

  • E5_Design and make an audiovisual product (consisting of still or moving images), taking into account both its technical and artistic aspects, in all its components

  • E10_Apply processes, methods and techniques to develop creativity and innovation in audiovisual production, multimedia development and video game programming

  • E13_Apply the principles of visual and sound design for the creation of presentation elements used in sound, audiovisual, television and show products

  • E14_Acquire knowledge of the history, aesthetics, evolution and dynamics of cinema, television, radio, press, Internet and video games, how to recognize aesthetics through viewing and analysis


Animation and special effects are procedures present in very diverse contexts, from fictional cinema, advertising, the educational field or the world of art to video games and web and mobile environments. The aim of the subject is to learn about the different applications based on the acquisition of fundamental creative and procedural knowledge and to obtain technical training. These technical skills are focused on the subject in design and animation tools, current standards of the creative industry: After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator. These enable both the creation and digital animation, as well as the final composition of results under market production standards.

Beyond the technical and applied aspect, the subject focuses on the processes of conceptualization and production of these contents, through the artistic direction and the creation of the necessary elements for the disposition of a good design, of according to the physical and psychological construction of a character, the storytelling linked to its background, and the context and environment in which it is integrated.

That is why the subject has as a driving axis and connector of the two blocks (conceptualization and animation), the creation of a project bible that will contain the conceptualization of the character, its adaptation to a 2D imaginary, and the review of all parts of the creative process, from initial concept and moodboards, to achieving final animations, compositing and integrating VFX into a scene. 



Block 1. Conceptualization and creativity (Maider Véliz).

1. Art direction.

- Dedication:: 6h large group.

- Description: this block works on the concepts and contents necessary to understand the value of art direction and how it can reinforce the creative value of a visual proposal.

2. Creative development and conceptualization.

- Dedication:: 10h large group and 4h small group.

- Description: block in which the initial and fundamental steps for the development of a character from the point of view of creativity are worked.

3. Creation of the character.

- Dedication: 4h large group and 6h small group.

- Description: creation of the personatje and the environment for the subsequent animation of the same in block 2 of the assignment.


Block 2. 2D Animation and Digital Effects (Fran Pinel).

1. Contemporary trends in 2D character animation and VFX.
- Dedication: 2 hours in a large group.
- Description: A tour of the history of Motion Design and its contemporary trends.

2 Motion design and character animation.
- Dedication: 12 hours in a large group and 6 hours in a small group
- Description: Material preparation and workflow between illustration and animation software. Information organization and hierarchy for 2D animations. Complex notions of animation in After Effects with Duik Bassel. Character animation with rigging, plugins and ActionScript (expressions) for creating complex animations and loops.

3. Digital effects and scene composition.
- Dedication: 6 hours in a large group and 4 hours in a small group
- Description: Scene composition techniques. Use of cameras and 3D lights. Integration of digital effects in the scene. Particle systems. Composition of the animated character and rendered background.

Evaluation system


The subject is evaluated from 3 parts:

1. Learning activities: 3 activities divided with the following assessment percentages (60% of the final grade).

   - Design and artistic creativity of the character and the environment (20%).

   - 2D character animation: rigging and animation (20%).

   - Project Bible (general design document (20%)

2. Attendance at face-to-face laboratory sessions and completion of practicals (10% of the final grade).

3. Final content exam (30% of the final grade).

General description of the exam

The content examination consists of taking a test to assess the knowledge related to design and art direction reviewed in the first part of the course, and the technical concepts on animation and VFX developed in the second block.

It is mandatory to pass the content exam with a minimum of 5 to calculate the general average with the rest of the subject's activities.

Rules for carrying out the activities

For each activity, you will be informed of the regulations to be followed, and of the particular conditions that govern them. The realization of the practices is compulsory. Punctuality in the delivery of the different activities will be valued as follows:

-Products other than the required ones will not be accepted.

-Expired works will not be accepted.

-Deliveries will be made through the virtual campus, except in those cases where the weight of the files is higher than allowed by the server. In this case, the internship will be delivered via a Google Drive link within the virtual campus.

Given the content of the subject, creativity will be valued based on an understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects specified in the work methodology, the correct organization of the information, the preparatory sketches, the search for innovative solutions, and clarity. graph in the result of the activities and the different follow-up works.


Evaluation activity in recovery period

In order to be able to access the recovery, the three evaluable parts must have been completed: 1. Learning activities, 2. Attendance at the face-to-face laboratory sessions and 3. Completion of the content exam in the regular call.

The suspended learning activities will have to be repeated under the guidance of the teachers.

The weightings of the assessable parts are the same as in the ordinary assessment for the case in which the student has had attendance and progressive monitoring of the subject. In the event that this has not been the case (activities suspended below a rating of 4), the weighting of the activities in the recovery period will be over 70%.

In case of obtaining a Not Presented in any of the parts the recovery cannot be accessed.


Information regarding plagiarism:

Identification of plagiarism is considered a serious circumstance that may lead to a failing grade in the subject. In case of detection of plagiarism, the coordination of the degree will be informed so that the corresponding disciplinary measures can be taken.



SELBY, Andrew. (2013). The Animation. Blume.

CROOK, Ian and BEARE, Peter. (2017). Fundamentals of Motion Graphics. Principles and practices of graphic animation. Promopress.

WRIGHT, Steve. (2011). Compositing visual effects: essentials for the aspiring artist. Waltham. Focal Press.



VVAA. (2010). Aesthetics of animation, Maia Editores.

BETANCOURT, Michael. (2013). The History of motion graphics: from avant-garde to industry in the United Estates. Wildside Press.

WELLES, Paul. (2009) Fundamentals of animation. Parramón

BRARDA, Maria (2016). Motion Graphics Design. The creative direction in TV branding. Gustavo Gili.