The curriculum of the Master’s program 3D Animation for Film & Games is divided into project and theory modules, while the module “Experience Assessment,” which covers the application process, precedes the program. In the semesters one to three, the strong project orientation of the program is apparent, as 14 out of a total of 22 ECTS per semester are accounted for by the project modules I – III.
In addition, students receive in-depth media theoretical and practical instruction in the modules “Animation in Film & Games: History & Theory I – III,” which include the respective seminar series on Media & Games Studies, Animation History, Methods & Tools, and Professionalization. The fourth semester is dedicated to the Master’s project as well as thesis, which culminate in a public presentation and a defense.
A special focus of the course is on design-oriented processes. Through the flexible semester structure, students are given creative freedom so that they can experimentally test, discard, and realize different ideas, approaches, and procedures.
Modules: Project I – III
The project modules “Project I: Virtual Character Creation,” “Project II: Story & Performance,” and “Project III: Immersive Animation” build on each other. The first project module focuses on the creation of a virtual character. The emphasis is on the creative-technical aspects of animation.
The second project module foregrounds storytelling and performance. For this purpose, students concentrate on acting, storytelling, rigging, and, of course, animation. They also deal with lighting and staging to support the performance of characters.
The project in the third semester, in turn, offers opportunity for experimentation: the students conceptualize a linear or non-linear animation project and realize it independently or in a team. They are free to choose their own form and technique. Projects in the fields of VR and AR, but also installations and performances are conceivable.
Lecturers intensively mentor all project phases. Regular pitching sessions guarantee students feedback from the lecturers as well as their peers and also establish an artistic-critical discourse culture.
Modules: Animation in Film & Games: History & Theory I – III
Media & Game Studies
The Media & Game Studies aim to impart not only the necessary theoretical and historical knowledge but also its application in media practice. While the first semester serves as an introduction to the social, cultural, and technological history of modern audiovisuality, the seminars of the following semesters correspond thematically to the respective project modules.
Storytelling, with its different principles and procedures in analog and digital audiovisual media, is the focus of the second semester. The subjects of authenticity and authorship will also be examined. In the third semester the emphasis shifts to the history and theory of academic and artistic research.
The ongoing seminar series “Animation History” deals with the whole range of animation from its analogue origins to contemporary computer-based animation. It includes the pre-forms of animation as well as specific periods (e.g., German Avantgarde), studios (e.g., Disney) or regional phenomena (e.g., East Asia). In the later course of studies, the application of animation is expanded to include advertising, visual effects, and television design.
Methods & Tools
The courses offered within the series of “Methods & Tools” include the topics coding and game engines. Central aspects are the key elements of imperative programming as well as the basics of object-oriented programming using contemporary programming languages. Furthermore, these courses will also cover the practical application of established game engines from an artistic and technical point of view.
In the third semester, the students further their overall professional competencies. They concern themselves with such topics as self-marketing, pitching, and freelancing.
Module: Master’s Project
In the concluding Master’s module, students complete their final thesis, which can have either an artistic-practical or academic focus. Students are free to choose the medium (e.g., animated film, digital game, installation) after consultation with their professors.
The module handbook can be downloaded here.