2D Animation Art and Design – ART4210


2 pm – 4:45 pm


McAdams Hall 112C

2D Animation Art and Design – DPA4180

Prof. David Donar   Office: 314 McAdams, e-mail:


As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson’s vision of this institution as a “high seminary of learning.” Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of others. Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree. Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form.



This course will explore basic 2D Digital animation techniques through fine art, graphic design, and character animation. Students will develop animation with experimental and traditional animation methods into several projects that will culminate into a final project


By the end of this course the student will have a direction to focus on further development of skills for career possibilities in 2D/3D Animation.



Learning Outcomes

  1. understand and describe basic principals and important works in the medium of 2 Dimensional animation


  1. apply their knowledge of basic principals in 2D animation and their skills with digital tools to art projects/problems


  1. compare and contrast the various works of studio and independent animation.


  1. Critique work within a group of peers.


  1. Modify work based on feedback from peers and mentor.


  1. Produce and deliver work within a prescribed timeline.










Please be advised that this is an agreement between you the student and I, the professor. You are responsible for attending class and are aware of all deadlines. This agreement is proof that you understand all aspects of my class. You are responsible for attaining information about assignments, deadlines and expectations. Missing or lost agreement or assignment sheets are your responsibility; I am not obligated to provide you with a replacement.



WEEK 01          Introduction, expectations, Countdown Research

WEEK 02          Countdown Animation, Intro to techniques and tools

WEEK 03          Countdown, review and critique

WEEK 04          Countdown DUE/ Dance Introduction and Research

WEEK 05          Dance Sequence, Character Animation, Figure Poses, Spine and Hips.

WEEK 06          Dance Sequence DUE/Abstract Animation Introduction

WEEK 07          Abstract Animation: Historical origins 18c to 20c of Art, Music and Politics

WEEK 08          Abstract Animation: Birth of Jazz, Syncopation, Ragtime and Modern Art.

WEEK 09          Abstract Animation Research Color, Forms, Space, Rhythm, Music

WEEK 10          Abstract Animation DUE/Introduction to the Self Portrait. Contemporary    approaches to animation: Bill Plympton’s Your Face, William Kentridge’s, Pain and Suffering

WEEK 11          Self Portrait Animation, Research Presentation and critique, Outer and Inner Portrait.

WEEK 12          Self Portrait Animation Formal Review of Self Image.

WEEK 13          Self Portrait Animation review and critique

WEEK 14          Self Portrait Animation review and critique

WEEK 15          Self Portrait Animation Final Review




Course Materials:

Critique Folder:



Countdown, 15%

Dance 15%

Non Object 25%

Self 25%

Participation/Blog Postings 20%



Create a 5 second animated count down using basic methods within Flash.

Worth 15pts.

Refinement 6pts: daily progression of techniques and concepts demonstrated inside and outside of class.

Variation 6pts: of design and animation techniques.

Research: 3



Assign 2 DANCE

You’ll be given a song…with distinct beats You’ll animate 2 distinct dance loops with your character. 6 beats total.  One loop must have at least 3 beats, then final loop of 3 beats. Focus on the hips!  You must have a convincing and rhythmic up and down.

Read 269 to 272 of the Animator’s survival kit.

6 Beats

Points break down: total 15

  • Vimeo/Youtube Link
  • Animate/Flash File

1280 x 720, Under 20mgs H264

Rhythm/Timing: 5 Is your hips moving to the beat!

Spacing: 5

Good weight and good timing!

Character: 3 Does your character’s poses have attitude or empathy?  Are you sincere with this action or are you faking it?

DANCE research: 2


Assign 3 Non Object Animation

Take the file given and create abstract non representational animation that synchs up to the beats and notes of the music.  You can be inspired by a wide range of visuals but I will ask you to post 2 works of art by 2 Abstract Non Representational artists from the 20th century.

Parameters: 2 Distinct themes

Timing/Diversity of animation:  I would like to see 2 variety of attempts and shapes within your animation and the performance synchs up to the beats, notes or instruments within your sequence.

Design: variety (at least 2) of elements, shapes, lines, colors that you introduce and transform should be explored.

Research:  Pick from the list below three 20th Century Abstract Non Representational Artists  and upload 2 images to your box folder AND post visual links to this blog posting:

Why you chose the artists?

  • The significance these artists played in the 20th century in regards to art, society and history?
  • How the visual work will inform, guide and inspire you animation attempt?

Pick from these artists …(Go to the Architecture and Art Library in Lee Hall and ask for assistance in finding Non Representational Modern Artist Books and reference materials)

  • Rothko
  • Kadinski
  • Pollock
  • Delaunay
  • Mondrian
  • (Jean) Arp
  • Sara Hughes

25 points

Assign 4 Self Portrait

25 Points

Create a 10 second animated self portrait that is based on various animation techniques (Cell, Symbol, Motion etc) that transforms into: Alter Ego, Totem, Symbolic representation of an image or symbol, and then a final transformation into the next Self Portrait image.

Draw 1 frame self portrait image.  File provided in BOX folder.

RESEARCH: respond to this post your personal interpretation of what “Self” means within a portrait and put in at least one link/image of a totem, symbolic character or image that you believe best represents the concept of self you will transform your self image into.


Alter Ego, ID, totems

Pain and sympathy: Exploring others pain, subject matter…Gericault Guillotine study


Transformation: your portrait will transform, metaphorically, physically into key moments and ultimately match the final frame of the artist after you.

 Conceptually: Alter Ego, Pain and suffering, Dreams, Ideal or Real…what do you want your audience to experience from your portrait? Does not have to be literal, but can be symbolic and abstract.


create a self portrait that features an animal that is closed to your heart

you can choose a totem animal, an animal companion , an animal whose atttributes you admire or a pet you are closed to.


























You are expected to have all your materials and your software and hardware in working order. Internet, software or hardware problems are not a valid excuse for delivery of materials. The professor is not responsible for hardware or software trouble shooting. I expect to see new work posted every week. I will call on students from time to time to show me their progress. Failure to have your current work available for review will result in a penalty. I want to see effort and progress; you must provide this in an updated portfolio! Portfolios that lack growth and effort will also result in a penalty.





Projects are due exactly on the day and time stated, not one minute after. Projects turned in one minute after the deadline time can be penalized 10%. After 24 hours 10% (One letter grade) per day for a maximum of 2 days. After 2 days you will receive a ZERO (F) for that project. Be sure to make a copy. I will not be responsible for misplaced or corrupt file projects. Students must contact me before a deadline to plead for an extension. No excuses will be accepted after a deadline. Medical excuses must be backed up in writing and presented no later than 3 days past the deadline. Your letter must have the doctor’s official letterhead with contact info and doctor’s signature. There must be specific dates of your physician’s consultation. A medical excuse does not guarantee that an absence or assignment will be penalty free. It will be up to my discretion to what extra penalty or conditions to implement on a late or incomplete assignment. I reserve the right to extend or change deadlines for individuals and/or particular class.


Learning Disabilities, Physical and Psychological Concerns

Learning disabilities must contact Disability Services at the beginning of the semester.


Individuals requesting accommodations must provide current documentation of their disability to the Office of Student Disability Services in Redfern Health Center (Voice/TTY 656-6848). Guidelines for licensed professionals who will be documenting the disability and making appropriate post-secondary recommendations are located at the Academic Support Center Website:


Psychological needs must be addressed with at Student Health Center.

edfern Health Center

McMillian Road

Box 344054

Clemson, SC 29634-4054

Phone: (864) 656-2233

If you are having difficulties or stress in your professional or personal life, please don’t hesitate to contact me about the best course of action. I care about your health and will direct you to the appropriate channels if you take the appropriate actions.


CU Now Walk-in Clinic


The easiest way to initiate a consultation at CAPS is to come to our CU Now Clinic, which operates weekdays from 10 am until 2:30 pm when school is in session. The clinic works on a first-come, first-serve basis, so the earlier you come the better. These initial consultations average about 20 minutes, and will allow the CU Now counselor to assess your needs and arrange for follow-up treatment as needed.



Appointments can be scheduled by phone or in person. To schedule an appointment for individual counseling, call 656-2451 between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. For cancellations, please notify us as soon as possible, preferably 24-hours in advance.






If You Are Experiencing An Emergency


Emergency services are available on a 24-hour basis. During normal office hours you can call CAPS directly 656-2451. After hours and on weekends you can call CU Public Safety 656-2222 and ask to speak with the CAPS on-call counselor. The dispatcher will take down your first name and number, and have the on-call counselor call you right back.





Class Environment

I like my class to be laid back and active in student interaction. I hope everyone will respect each other in regards to race, religion, gender and politics. I will do my best to strive for an environment that is free of intimidation and harassment. The views and statements that come from students are not necessarily the views of the professor nor promoted. If any student’s behavior is offensive to you, please bring it to my attention and I will seek the best course of action. Some ideas and beliefs may be communicated in a language that may be deemed offensives by some and I will do my best to accommodate everyone, but please be aware that this is art and it is virtually impossible to appeal to everyone. Some subject material may have content that warrants viewer discretion. If you feel your project may have offensive material, please advise me ahead of time and I will warn the class of such an event. Those who may find it questionable may use their best judgment as to whether they want to leave the class forum a certain period of time.   I will accommodate those who have this concern.



are non negotiable and will be the same for every class. This means one date and time for every class. 1-day late 10% 2 days 20% 3 days 0%. (Exceptions will be clearly spelled out in my outline). Materials must be delivered at my office. Slide work under the door if I am not present.


UPDATES! I will officially post updates online on the course blog. If I don’t officially post it you must consult with the course syllabus. Lab Tech’s are not to be consulted on course policy and handouts. If you are not sure e-mail me or check with the lab. I will have final say on deadlines and policies.





I am not obligated to give priority time to students who fail to attend class on a regular basis and/or fail to meet deadlines. The sign up sheet is not a guarantee that I will get to everyone. It is your responsibility to arrive early and sign up at the top. If you are not present when your name is called you automatically forfeit your position and will be put on the bottom. If you need priority, you may negotiate with fellow students who are on top of the sign up sheet. Failure to plan ahead on your part does not require an emergency on mine. Please plan ahead.   If a deadline is assigned, schedule your workload at the beginning, not at the end. Work must be presented in a clean organized fashion at the beginning of class. No work will be allowed in class on a deadline date. Sleep deprivation is not an excuse.






When a live class critique or pitch is scheduled, you must be present at the beginning of the critique. Tardy students will be marked absent. You are expected to participate by presenting your work. Failure to present work to your classmates during a critique forum will also be penalized.



Remember plagiarism will not be tolerated. Make sure you fully understand the school’s policy AND the international copyright laws when you decide to “borrow” imagery or ideas from outside sources.



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