General information

Subject type: Optional

Coordinator: Rafael Suarez Gómez

Trimester: Second term

Credits: 6

Teaching staff: 

Francisco José Pinel Cabello
Maider Veliz Ramas 

Teaching languages

Animation and Special Effects.


Maider Veliz

Fran Pinel



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

  • E7_Postproduce video using the basic tools of audiovisual editing programs (titling, color and exposure retouching, speeds, masks ...) and how to insert them into the editing process by adding digital effects

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

Transversal competences
  • T2_That students have the ability to work as members of an interdisciplinary team either as one more member, or performing management tasks in order to contribute to developing projects with pragmatism and a sense of responsibility, making commitments taking into account the available resources


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 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 VFX integration. 


Learning outcomes

Results related to the subject:

  • LO1 Understand the art behind an animation, whatever the technique
  • LO2 Transfer concepts of animation to other audiovisual forms (cinema, television, photography, etc.).
  • LO3 Know the role of the art director.
  • LO4 Develop the student's creativity.

Complementary results:

At the end of the course the student must have acquired advanced knowledge and understand theoretical, practical and methodological aspects in the field of animation and post-production of special effects. You must be able to:

  • RAC5 Recognize the needs to produce a piece of animation and / or special effects and to solve problems specific to the specialized professional field.
  • RAC6 Conceptualize and produce a short piece of Motion Graphics using Adobe After Effetcs as the main tool. 
  • RAC7 Gain technical knowledge about the main tool, Adobe After Effects 
  • RAC8 Identify the needs of self-learning and training needs to continue advancing and improving in the field of animation and special effects.

Working methodology

40 hours in person in the classroom or online dedicated to:

- Theoretical class sessions based on the teacher's explanation.
- Practical content sessions based on learning and using tools and software for the production of animation and digital effects.

20 hours in person in the classroom or online dedicated to:

- Practices carried out in computer rooms or by means of the personal computer of the student to deepen in the concepts explained in the theoretical classes by means of his application in practical exercises.

81h non-contact hours dedicated to autonomous learning:
- Carrying out individual work.

9h non-contact hours in the classroom dedicated to guided learning:
- Non-contact tutorials for which the student will have telematic resources such as e-mail and the resources of the Tecnocampus intranet. 

All theoretical concepts will be presented in theory classes (large groups). In these classes and at the discretion of the teachers, scoring exercises will also be solved. 
The more practical concepts will be worked on in the laboratory (small groups). In the scheduled sessions, the necessary tools will be given to be able to solve these activities, although it is expected that the student will finish them beyond the laboratory hours in the necessary time for autonomous learning.
Within the hours of autonomous learning are considered the hours that the student dedicates to make a reading of the notes of the corresponding theoretical class the realization of exercises and of works proposed out of the classroom.
The necessary software, both in the classroom and in telematics mode is as follows: Zoom, After Effects and 3DMax.
For the case of students working on Mac platforms, the content of the 3D practices is written to be able to be done with the MAYA software.



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.

1. History of Motion Design and Contemporary Trends.
- 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.

Learning activities

Autonomous learning activities:

1. Complete creation of a character and his environment (individual). (40% of the final grade)

Putting into practice the concepts covered in the art direction, creative development, and character creation blocks, the complete process of creating a character and setting will be carried out, from the creative brief to the turn arounds, which will be used for the following activities. The weight in this delivery will be on conceptualization and creativity.

Learning outcomes: RA2, RA3, RA4, RAC5.
Competences: E13, E7, G5

2. 2D animation of the character (Rigging) (individual) (40% of the final grade).

Based on the designs and the concept of character carried out in block 1, activity 2 includes the organization, hierarchy and transfer of this design to a 2D context that can be animated in a specific cycle. The practice involves the creation of the character rig, and the use of controllers and programming scripts to achieve an animation consistent with the visual storytelling of the character.

Learning outcomes: RA1, RA2, RA3, RA4, RAC5, RAC6, RAC7
Competences: E13, E2, T2, G5

3. Final project bible (individual) (20% of the final grade).

The third practical part that can be scored follows the continuity of the two previous phases, to compose a general document or "bible" of the project, which will contain all the phases of the creative process of the character, its definition, as well as the creation of an environment in which to include it with its corresponding animation. The project bible will be accompanied by a final animation project that integrates the composition of the 2D animation of the character (previous practice), within a specific background or environment, on which environmental and contextual effects will also be applied . The biblia must bring together the entire project and establish the conclusions in a coherent manner, with a correct layout and structure of the contents.

Learning outcomes: RA2, RA3, RA4, RAC5, RAC6, RAC7.
Competences: E13, E7, E2, T2, G5

Final exam (individual).

The examination of the contents of the first call will only have to be carried out if you have a grade between 4 and 4,9 in the average of the learning activities. For such cases, the student will have to carry out the examination of the contents with both blocks of the subject.

Learning outcomes: RA1, RA2, RA3, RAC5, RAC7.
Competences: E13, E2, E7, G2, G5

Evaluation system


The subject is evaluated from 3 parts:

1. Learning activities: 3 activities defined in the corresponding section (100% of the final grade).

2. Attendance at face-to-face laboratory sessions and practice.

3. Final exam (only in cases of failure between 4 and 4,9)

General description of the exam
The correct follow-up and passing of each of the subject practices leads to the total evaluation. Exceptionally, for those students who obtain a final grade between 4 and 4,9, it is possible to carry out a content exam to pass the subject without the need to go to a second call.

For the cases that suspend the continuous evaluation of the practices with a note inferior to 4, will be necessary the recovery of the asignatura in second announcement.

Passing the content exam as APTE, entails the right to retake the suspended practices and opt for the review of the grade.

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 and 2. Attendance at face-to-face laboratory sessions.

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

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, the weighting of the activities under reevaluation will be over 80%.

In case of obtaining a No Present in any of the parties, you cannot access the recovery



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