FIT2015 Foundations of 3D - Semester 2 , 2006 unit guide

Semester 2, 2006

Chief Examiner

Tom Chandler


Berwick : Tom Chandler, Derrick Martin


This unit is an introduction to the techniques, frameworks and conceptual processes comprising 3D design and production. 3D design is an area requiring significant expertise in the Multimedia Industry and there is currently an increasing demand for 3D artists and animators in advertising, film, television, information visualization, education and the burgeoning games industry. Students will progress through the essential development processes required to produce 3D projects resulting in a professional end product and develop skills in conceptual development, storyboards, modeling, texturing, lighting and simple animation techniques for 3D projects.


At the completion of this unit you will have a theoretical and conceptual understanding of:

  • the hardware environment in which 3D design programs operate;
  • the specific issues and requirements related to the field of 3D development;
  • the different uses of 3D design over a variety of media;
  • the commercial imperatives of the 3D working environment;
  • the 3D spatial environment and the taxonomy of 3D.

You will have developed attitudes that enable you to:

  • demonstrate an acceptance of the time requirements for the 3D development process and the different 3D techniques;
  • demonstrate an appreciation of 3D as a unique medium in the context of Multimedia;
  • demonstrate an appreciation of the relationship of 3D aesthetics to traditional art composition;
  • demonstrate flexibility and a willingness to integrate new techniques into their skill set.

The skills to:

  • design and create 3D objects, models, scenes and simple animations for specific output media;
  • evaluate and assess techniques used in the creation of 3D products;
  • manage workloads for efficient production of 3D products;
  • map the physical 2D to the virtual 3D environment.

and the teamwork skills needed to:

  • improve their skills in communicating with other members of a development team;
  • recognise the social and cultural mores of 3D.


Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed 12 points of first year FIT study , or equivalent.

Unit relationships

FIT2015 is a core unit in the Multimedia Application Major of the Bachelor of Information Technology. The unit is also offered to Bachelor of Multimedia Systems students as a second year elective. It is a prerequisite for FIT3001 Animation and Effects

Texts and software

Required text(s)

Derakhshani, D, Introducing Maya 7: 3D for Beginners, Sybex, 2005,
ISBN: 0782144349

Textbook availability

Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Software requirements

Maya 7, Autodesk

 Software will be available for student use in assigned tutorial rooms. 

Software may be:

  • purchased at academic price at good software retailers

Hardware requirements

Students may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate up to 8 hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Recommended reading

  • Alias. (2004). Learning Maya 6. Character rigging and animation. Toronto, Ont. : Alias/Learning Tools.
  • Alias. (2004). Learning Maya 6. Dynamics. Toronto, Ont. : Alias/Learning Tools.
  • Alias. (2004). Learning Maya 6. Foundation. Toronto, Ont. : Alias/Learning Tools.
  • Alias. (2004). Learning Maya 6. Maya unlimited features. Toronto, Ont. : Alias/Learning Tools.
  • Alias. (2004). Learning Maya 6. Modeling. Toronto, Ont. : Alias/Learning Tools.
  • Alias. (2004). Learning Maya 6. Rendering. Toronto, Ont. : Alias/Learning Tools.
  • Beckmann, Patricia. (2004). Exploring 3D modeling with Maya 6. New York : Thomson Delmar Learning.
  • Choi, Jae-jin. (2003) Maya character animation. San Francisco, Calif. ; London : SYBEX.
  • Derakhshani, Dariush. (2004) Introducing Maya 6 : 3D for beginners. San Francisco, Calif. ; London : SYBEX.
  • Gould, David A. D. (2004) Complete Maya programming : an extensive guide to MEL and the C++ API . San Francisco, CA : Morgan Kaufmann.
  • Lavender, Dan. (2003). Maya manual. London ; New York : Springer. Maraffi, Chris. (2004) Maya character creation : modeling and animation controls. Indianapolis, Ind. London : New Riders.
  • Meade, Tom. and Arima, Shinsaku. (2004) Maya 6 : the complete reference. Emerville, Calif. : McGraw-Hill/Osborne.
  • Murdock, Kelly. (2004) Maya 6 Revealed. Boston, Mass. ; London : Thomson/Course Technology.
  • Park, J. E. (2005) Understanding 3-D animation using Maya. New York : Springer.
  • Petitot, Luc. (2003) Maya ultimate workshop : with 18 workshops on CD-ROM. New York : McGraw-Hill.
  • Ratner, P. (2003) 3-D human modeling and animation / illustrations and text. 2nd Edition. New York : John Wiley.
  • Riddell, D. (2004). Maya 6 for Windows and Macintosh : visual quickstart guide. Pearson
  • Stripinis, David. (2003). The MEL companion : Maya scripting for 3D artists. Hingham, Mass. : Charles River Media.
  • Watkins, A. and Neuhahn. Chris, (2004) Maya 6 handbook. Charles River Media.
  • Library access

    You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

    Study resources

    Study resources for FIT2015 are:

    The FIT2015 web stie on MUSO, where lecture slides, weekly tutorials, assignment specifications and supplementary material will be available.

    Unit website

    Structure and organisation

    Week Topics Key Dates
    1 Basic 3D theory
    2 Polygon modelling
    3 Deformations
    4 Basic Lighting theory
    5 Character Design Assignment 1 due
    6 Modelling for animation
    7 Basic texturing
    8 UV unwrapping
    9 Composition in 3D Assignment 2 due
    10 Basic NURBS
    Non teaching week
    11 Advanced Texturing
    12 Advanced Lighting
    13 Application of 3D Assignment 3 due


    The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


    Assessment weighting

    Assessment for the unit consists of 3 assignments with a weighting of 100%. Read this section VERY carefully.

    Assignment 1: Choose a real world object that you have access to and model it in the 3D environment.  The final result will be rendered without textures and with basic lighting.

    Assignment 2: Design a character and model it in 3D.  The final result will be rendered with basic textures mapped on the surface and basic lighting.

    Assignment 3: Choose a real world environment and model it from reference photographs.  The final result will be rendered with mapped advanced texturing and advanced lighting.

    A full description of assignments and marking criteria may be found on the FIT2015 MUSO webpage.

    Assessment Policy

    To pass this unit you must:

    - obtain a total result for the assignments of at least 50%

    - attend a minimum of 80% of lectures and tutorials

    Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

    adding individual scores for all component assessment items which may be scaled.

    Total result = Assignment 1 + Assignment 2 + Assignment 3

    Assessment FeedbackRaw Scores In assessment feedback you will be allocated a raw score that will indicate your general level of performance aginst the criteria supplied and will be used to determine the rank order of students. You will also be given a short comment that may assist you in the completion of future assignments by discussing the aspects of the assessment response that were completed to a high standard and areas that may be improved.

    Scaling of Raw Scores When raw scores for all assessment tasks are combined the total raw score may be scaled. The scaling of raw scores will not effect your rank order in relation to other students. Scaling of raw scores is intended to provide consistency of assessment outcomes across units within the degree and across courses within the university.

    Assessment Requirements

    Assessment Due Date Weighting
    Object Model Friday 3pm Week 5 30%
    Character Model Friday 3pm Week 9 35 %
    Environment Model Friday 3pm Week 13 35 %
    No Exam Exam period (S2/06) starts on 23/10/06 0 %

    Assignment specifications will be made available on the FIT2015 MUSO web site assignment page..

    Assignment Submission

    Assignments will be submitted by CD-ROM submission to the assignment dropboxes, building 903, level 1, with the appropriate cover sheet correctly filled out and attached.  Do not email submissions. The due date is the date by which the submission must be received.

    Extensions and late submissions

    Late submission of assignments

    Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of 10% per day late.

    This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


    It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

    Requests for extensions must be made by email to the unit lecturer at least two days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

    Grading of assessment

    Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

    Grade Percentage/description
    HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
    In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
    D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
    In the 70-79% range.
    C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
    In the 60-69% range.
    P Pass acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
    In the 50-59% range.
    N Not satisfactory failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
    Below 50%.

    Assignment return

    We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.


    Feedback to you

    You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

    Feedback from you

    You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

    And if you are having problems

    It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

    Plagiarism and cheating

    Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

    In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

    When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

    Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

    Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

    Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


    Communication methods

    Contact your lecturer in person after lectures, during consulatation time, email or by phone.


    Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the Notices Newsgroup in the Unit Website. Check this regularly. Failure to read the Notices newsgroup is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

    Consultation Times

    Lecturer consultation times can be found posted on the door of the lecturer's office.

    If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

    Mr Tom Chandler
    Phone +61 3 990 47109
    Fax +61 3 8622 8999

    Mr Derrick Martin
    Assistant Lecturer
    Phone +61 3 990 47131

    All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

    Last updated: Jul 25, 2006