CSCI 6555 Computer Animation: Fall 2020



General Information


  • "Computer Animation: Algorithms and Techniques" by Rick Parent, 3rd edition


  • Watt and Watt, Advanced Animation and Rendering Techniques
  • Kerlow, The Art of 3-D Computer Animation and Imaging


Prof. James K. Hahn
Office: 800 22nd St. NW Suite 5830
Office phone: 202-994-5920
E-mail: [email protected]

Office Hours:  4:00PM - 5:00PM on Thursday   

TA:  [email protected]

Bulletin Course Description

Euler angles and quaternions; articulated figure motion; forward and inverse kinematics; kinematic, physics based, and behavioral motion control; rendering problems (temporal aliasing); sound synthesis and synchronization; recording and editing techniques.


CSCI 4554, introduction to linear algebra (mathematical maturity), comfortable programming.


There will be approximately five assignments, Grades are based on the algorithms used, implementation, and having a working system.

Learning Outcomes

  1. understand algorithmic principles of motion control for computer animation
  2. apply principles of motion control to write code to create animation systems (motion control)
  3. be prepared for job in production environment, games, visualization, simulation, medicine, etc.
  4. be prepared for further graduate studies in computer animation, graphics

Estimated work expected

Direct Instruction: 150 minutes per week
Independent learning: 300 minutes per week


A mid-term and a final


Based on the following weighting: Assignments 40% Midterm exam 25% Final exam 35%

    Grading is on a curve, modified to account for overall class quality.

    Missed exam

    By prior arrangement only, or due to an immediate personal emergency.  

    Academic Integrity Code

    I encourage you to discuss approaches to problem solutions with each other. It is unreasonable to collaboratively work out a detailed solution, to copy a solution, or to give away a solution for the assignments. However, I encourage you to work with each other for the final project. All examinations, papers, and other graded work products and assignments are to be completed in conformance with The George Washington University Code of Academic Integrity.



    1. Introduction (Lab 0)
    2. Coordinate systems: Euler angles and Quaternions (Lab 1)
    3. Interpolation
           Parametric Splines Arc length parameterization
    4. Deformable objects
           Bicubic surfaces Structure dependent and independent deformation Free form deformation Morphing
    5. Hierarchical objects (Lab 2)
           Forward kinematics Inverse kinematics
    6. A. Character animation
           Walking, running Aperiodic motion Facial animation
      B. Motion Capture

    7. A. Physics-based rigid motion control (Lab 3)
      B. Physics-based deformable motion control
    8. Behavioral animation, Derivation of controllers (Lab 4)
    9. Natural phenomena
    10. Rendering and production (Lab 5)
           Compositing Temporal aliasing
    11. Sound and post production


      Festival of Animation!


    1. Students should notify faculty during the first week of the semester of their intention to be absent from class on their day(s) of religious observance.
    2. Faculty should extend to these students the courtesy of absence without penalty on such occasions, including permission to make up examinations.
    3. Faculty who intend to observe a religious holiday should arrange at the beginning of the semester to reschedule missed classes or to make other provisions for their course-related activities.


    Disability Support Services office at 202-994-8250 in the Rome Hall, Suite 102.

    Mental Health Services 202-994-5300.