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Lesson Plan Industry Sector
Arts, Media & Entertainment

Lesson Plan Originally Created By: Shawn Sullivan

Jobs of Animation

Part of Unit: Careers in Animation

Lesson Plan Overview / Details

This lesson goes over each job in the animation field.  This is to help the students identify the pathway that they find interesting in following.

Lesson Time

lecture
60 Minutes

Standards

Objectives and Goals

  • Students will be able to identify each job in the animation field.
  • Students will be able to describe the job description of each area of work.
  • Students will have an understanding on the steps needed to follow if interested in working in that specialized area.

Activities in this Lesson

  • Hook Hooks / Set

    Start the lecture by asking the students a few questions:

    Who likes Cartoons?

    Who likes video games?

    Who likes animated movies?

    Could you name your favorite animated film?

    Who would like to work with in the industry?

     

    Let the students know it takes many people just to make a film.  Show the graphic "Steps of Animation".  Each person is working in many different areas and today's lecture is going to go over each of these areas.

     

    Resources and Materials

  • Have the students take notes.

    Follow the "Animation Jobs Presentation".  This is the teacher lecture notes for this lesson.

    Use the slide show marked "traditional animation presentation" as a visual aide for the lecture.

    Resources and Materials

    • Animation Jobs presentation [ Download ] Teacher Lecture notes
    • Traditional animation presentation [ Download ] slide show for lecture
  • Story Lecture

    The Story

     

    The Writer is responsible for dreaming up the initial story idea.  (Dictionary defines a story as an account of incidents or events).  The writer creates the characters, the circumstances which the characters find themselves in, devises events for the characters to go through, and finally, designs the overall theme that should be derived from the story.  The Director is responsible for bringing the story to life by either photographing the story with a camera (live action) or collaborating with artists that will draw the story (animation).  The Producer is responsible for pulling together the resources to make the story come to life.  The writer, director, and producer will collaborate together to refine the story and make it better.

     

    {A firm understanding of storytelling is needed if one chooses to become a writer, director, or producer.  The best education for someone who wants to either write or director is simply to write and direct their own projects.  They’ll get to refine their craft and get feedback.  Producers can assist up and coming directors and writers by making their projects a reality.  But film school can provide training, along with connections.} 

  • Storyboard Lecture

    The Storyboard

     

    Once an animated story has been created, concept artists and visual development artists create art that explore the way the story might look.  Often times, art that is created in this “development stage” can further influence the story.

     

    Once the beats of the story are fairly solid, the director will oversee a storyboard artist drawing the scenes and putting them together.  Storyboards are revised multiple times to make the story better.  The director oversees this process and will use the input of all of the artists as he or she sees fit to bring the story to life.

     

    {Art school can provide a well rounded background for those who are interested in pursuing art as a career.  One can find jobs as a storyboard artist at animation studios, independent production companies, or for individual projects.}

      

  • Voice Talent Lecture

    Voice Talent

     

    A casting director, who works the the director, is responsible for finding voice talent that will be appropriate for the character voices in the story.  “Talent” is another word for actors - the people that provide the voices of the characters in a story.

     

    {Casting directors will find film school helpful in meeting a wide range of people as they set about making a career.  Actors can find training at academies, colleges, or universities.  Independent classes are also helpful for refining an actor’s craft.}

     

    {People interested in the sound field can receive training at film school.  They may also find that working under someone who knows sound equipment and methods well - from folks at churches, theaters, or technical schools - to be incredibly helpful.} 

  • Sound Recording / Sound Effects

     

    “Scratch tracks” or temp tracks to show how a character could sound like, or how certain audio cues will sound. 

     

    Given the slow, methodical manner in which traditional animation is produced, it is almost always easier to synchronize animation to a pre-existing soundtrack than it is to synchronize a soundtrack to pre-existing animation.  A completed animated film will featuremusic, sound effects, and  dialogue performed byvoice talent.  However, the scratch track used during animation typically contains just the voices, any vocal songs that the characters must sing along to, and temporary musical score tracks; the final score and sound effects are added inpost production.

     

    There will be a person that is responsible for overseeing the recording of the tracks (the producer) along with a person who records the the tracks (recordists) and a person who insures the tracks are mixed properly (the mixer).  Final sound recordings are made after dialogue and sound effects are locked and confirmed.

     

    Sound effects are recorded, edited, and mixed into the final movie.  Sound effects can be recording at any point in the process once the story is locked.  

  • Animation Lecture

    Animation

     

    Character Animation

     

    A character animation brings to life a character through drawings or digital tools; details the the motion, behavior and emotion of the character.

     

    Effects Animation

     

    An effects animator is responsible for creating the movement of inanimate objects or detailing the behavior of natural phenomena, such as from rocks falling down a cliff, a fire burning, car crashes; they animate anything that is not a primary character.

     

    {Animators will find that their craft can be refined and developed at art school if they are looking to develop a portfolio to attract a studio or production company.} 

  • Layout Lecture

    Layout

     

    Layout begins after the designs are completed and approved by the director. The layout process is the same as the blocking out of shots by adirector of photography on a live-action film. Working closely with the director, layout artists determine the camera angles, camera paths, lighting, and shading of the scene. Character layout artists will determine the major poses for the characters in the scene, and will make a drawing to indicate each pose.

     

    {Artists interested in designing layouts will find that their craft can be refined and developed at art school if they are looking to develop a portfolio to attract a studio or production company.} 

  • Backgrounds Lecture

    Backgrounds

     

    Backgrounds are also known as the sets of where the action will take place in an animated film.  Background artists will work with layout artists to make sure that the backgrounds complement the color and style of character designs.

     

    {Artists interested in creating backgrounds will find that their craft can be refined and developed at art school if they are looking to develop a portfolio to attract a studio or production company.} 

  • Ink and Paint

     

    Once the drawings for a sequence are completed, they are prepared to be photographed in process known as ink-and-paint . Digital ink and paint processes are gradually making these traditional animation techniques and equipment obsolete.  Digital ink and paint uses the same process as traditional ink and paint until after the animation drawings are completed; instead of being transferred to cells, the animators' drawings are scanned into the computer, where they are colored and processed using one or more of a variety of software packages.

     

    The resulting drawings are composited in the computer over each respective background, which have also been scanned into the computer.  The computer outputs the final film by exporting a digital file or printing tofilm using a high-resolution output device.

     

    {Artists will find that their craft can be refined and developed at art school if they are looking to develop a portfolio to attract a studio or production company.} 

  • Camera Lecture

    Camera

     

    The use of the camera is different in animation than in live action.  Because an animated film is conceived on paper, and then continually refined on paper, the decision on where to “put the camera” is made very early on, not on set.  Drawings are photographed or scanned in the computer in the ink and paint process.

     

    {Digital artists can find training at art schools and online schools.  Developing a portfolio is of paramount importance}. 

  • Music Lecture

    Music

     

    Music is composed by the composer, who works with the director to create the soundtrack of the film.  The composer will often conduct their music to be recording for the final product, but not always.  A wide range of musicians can be used to record the soundtrack of the film.  Music engineers make sure that the music is recorded properly.

     

    {A degree in music is helpful but not required for someone interested in pursuing composition.  Most young composers find up and coming directors to collaborate with.} 

  • Editing Lecture

    Editing

     

    Editing involves the selection and combining of shots into sequences, and ultimately creating a finishedfilm  Film editing is often referred to as the "invisible art" because when it is well-practiced, the audience can become so involved in the story that they aren’t aware of the editor's work.  The editor is a crucial position that helps the director refine the flow of the story. 

     

    Practically, the editor is responsible for making sure all of the footage comes together in the correct order.  An assistant editor helps the editor with the actual footage, be it on film or in a digital format.

     

    {Film school would be helpful for an editor to refine their craft and meet up and coming directors to collaborate with.}

      

  • Marketing Lecture

    Marketing

     

    Studio executives oversee this portion of the movie making process.  They make sure that people see the movie that has just been made by creating an awareness for the film.  They are responsible for creating a marketing plan for the film in the follow areas.  No marketing plan is the same.  They will use vendors to create website, promotional materials, put on live events, etc.

     

    {The path to a studio executive jobs is not a clearly defined one.  Some executives obtain jobs after receiving an MBA and having contacts within the studio system.  Others are producers turned studio executives.} 

  • Publicity Lecture

    Publicity

     

    Publicists work with key talent and filmmakers to get the word out about their movie.  They will do a wide range of interviews online, on tv, and on the radio.

     

    {The path to a studio executive jobs is not a clearly defined one.  Some executives obtain jobs after receiving an MBA and having contacts within the studio system.  Others are producers turned studio executives.  Publicists can work for studios or for individual clients.  A public relations degree and internship at a studio is a good path for someone interested in a publicity.}

      

  • Distribution Lecture

    Distribution

     

    Studio executives are responsible for putting the movie out in theaters for a wide audience to see.  The most common is working with theatrical vendors for a theatrical release.  They will also plan to distribute a film on television, video on demand, Internet streaming, and rentals.

     

    {The path to a studio executive jobs is not a clearly defined one.  Some executives obtain jobs after receiving an MBA and having contacts within the studio system.  Others are producers turned studio executives.} 

Assessment

Assessment Types:
Teacher-Made Test,

Give a writen test having students write down each Job and its discription.