FIT2015 Foundations of 3D - Semester 2 , 2007

Unit leader :

Tom Chandler

Lecturer(s) :


  • Derrick Martin
  • Tom Chandler

Tutors(s) :


  • Tom Chandler
  • Derrick Martin
  • Ben Alexander


Welcome to FIT2015 IT Foundations of 3D - Semester 2 , 2007

Unit synopsis

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.

Learning outcomes

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.


For on campus students, workload commitments are:

  • two-hour lecture and
  • two-hour tutorial (or laboratory) (requiring advance preparation)
  • a minimum of 2-3 hours of personal study per one hour of contact time in order to satisfy the reading and assignment expectations.
  • You will need to allocate up to 5 hours per week in some weeks, for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

To be eligible for a passing grade you must attend at least 80% of your lectures and tutorials. If you are absent for more than two lectures and/or two tutorials you must supply a medical certificate or other documentation - otherwise you will be excluded from the marking.  If you encounter problems with this requirement during semester then ensure that you speak with your unit advisor as early on as possible.

The structure for this unit is based upon students working through a series of tutorial exercises to build up their knowledge and skills of Digital 3D creation.  There are three assignments which make up the final grade for the unit. Again, you should be up to date with each week's reading and exercises and be spending extra time advancing your skills.

Unit relationships


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


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

Continuous improvement

Monash is committed to ‘Excellence in education' and strives for the highest possible quality in teaching and learning. To monitor how successful we are in providing quality teaching and learning Monash regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. Two of the formal ways that you are invited to provide feedback are through Unit Evaluations and through Monquest Teaching Evaluations.

One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through Unit Evaluation Surveys. It is Monash policy for every unit offered to be evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys as they are an important avenue for students to "have their say". The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

Student Evaluations

The Faculty of IT administers the Unit Evaluation surveys online through the portal, although for some smaller classes there may be alternative evaluations conducted in class.

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

Over the past few years the Faculty of Information Technology has made a number of improvements to its courses as a result of unit evaluation feedback. Some of these include systematic analysis and planning of unit improvements, and consistent assignment return guidelines.

Monquest Teaching Evaluation surveys may be used by some of your academic staff this semester. They are administered by the Centre for Higher Education Quality (CHEQ) and may be completed in class with a facilitator or on-line through the portal. The data provided to lecturers is completely anonymous. Monquest surveys provide academic staff with evidence of the effectiveness of their teaching and identify areas for improvement. Individual Monquest reports are confidential, however, you can see the summary results of Monquest evaluations for 2006 at

Unit staff - contact details

Unit leader

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

Lecturer(s) :

Mr Derrick Martin
Assistant Lecturer
Phone +61 3 990 47131
Mr Tom Chandler
Phone +61 3 990 47109
Fax +61 3 8622 8999

Tutor(s) :

Mr Ben Alexander
Mr Derrick Martin
Assistant Lecturer
Phone +61 3 990 47131
Mr Tom Chandler
Phone +61 3 990 47109
Fax +61 3 8622 8999

Additional communication information

Tom Chandler
Berwick School of Information Technology, Faculty of Information Technology
Phone: +61 3 990 47109
Dept:  Berwick School of IT

Derrick Martin
Berwick School of Information Technology, Faculty of Information Technology
Phone: +61 3 990 47131
Dept:  Berwick School of IT

Teaching and learning method

The structure for this unit is based upon students working through a series of tutorial exercises to build up their knowledge and skills inDigital 3D creation. Three assignments make up the final grade for the unit and students should be up to date with each week's reading and exercises as well as allocating extra time to advancing their software skills.

Communication, participation and feedback

Monash aims to provide a learning environment in which students receive a range of ongoing feedback throughout their studies. You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This may take the form of group feedback, individual feedback, peer feedback, self-comparison, verbal and written feedback, discussions (on line and in class) as well as more formal feedback related to assignment marks and grades. You are encouraged to draw on a variety of feedback to enhance your learning.

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem that is affecting your study. Semesters are 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.

Unit Schedule

Week Topic 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  
Mid semester break
11 Advanced Texturing  
12 Advanced Lighting  
13 Review Assignment 3 due

Unit Resources

Prescribed text(s) and readings

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

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.

Recommended text(s) and readings

  • 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.
  • Required software and/or hardware

    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

    Equipment and consumables required or provided

    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.

    Study resources

    Study resources we will provide for your study are:

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

    Library access

    The Monash University Library site contains details about borrowing rights and catalogue searching. To learn more about the library and the various resources available, please go to  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

    Monash University Studies Online (MUSO)

    All unit and lecture materials are available through the MUSO (Monash University Studies Online) site. You can access this site by going to:

    1. a) or
    2. b) via the portal (

    Click on the Study and enrolment tab, then the MUSO hyperlink.

    In order for your MUSO unit(s) to function correctly, your computer needs to be correctly configured.

    For example :

    • MUSO supported browser
    • Supported Java runtime environment

    For more information, please visit

    You can contact the MUSO Support by: Phone: (+61 3) 9903 1268

    For further contact information including operational hours, please visit

    Further information can be obtained from the MUSO support site:


    Unit assessment policy

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

    - attend a minimum of 80% of lectures and tutorials

    Assignment tasks

    • Assignment Task
      Title :
      Assignment 1
      Description :

      Modelling an Everyday Object

      Students are to choose a ‘real object' which they will recreate in digital 3D space. The modelling technique(s) used should be based upon those learnt during tutorials, though students are welcome to combine techniques that they may have researched in their own time.

      The final model is not to be textured but it can have basic surface properties. The final scene must be lit effectively and have unique cameras (i.e. not the perspective or orthogonal cameras) that are used to generate the final three renders.

      This assignment should be accompanied by a brief 2-3 page summary of annotated screenshots and reference images documenting the modelling process.

      Weighting :
      Criteria for assessment :

      Modelling effectiveness and clean geometry

      Choice of subject/objects

      Lighting of subject/objects

      Presentation and composition of the printed scene

      Accompanying documentation, working files and reference images

      Due date :
      End of Week 5 (Friday 3pm)
    • Assignment Task
      Title :
      Assignment 2
      Description :

      Modelling of a Real-Time Character.

      Students are to create a real-time character suitable for use in 3D game environments. Students are encouraged to create models from drawings or reference images which they have sourced independently and/or which expand upon from material provided during tutorials. Your choice of character should be negotiated with your tutor at least two weeks prior to submission.

      Weighting :
      Criteria for assessment :
      Modelling technique and quality of geometry within polygon limit

      The presentation of your character and your printed scene

      The 250 word brief that explains your character

      Documentation; working files, annotations, renders of progress and reference images
      Due date :
      End of Week 9 (Friday 3pm)
    • Assignment Task
      Title :
      Assignment 3
      Description :
      To digitally model, texture, light and render an interior or exterior architectural environment. This scene should be referenced/derived from photographs/renders/paintings of an existing environment or from a range of image references sourced from detailed research. Your scene choice should be negotiated with your tutor at least three weeks prior to submission This assignment should be accompanied by a brief 2-3 page summary of annotated screenshots and reference images documenting the modelling process.
      Weighting :
      Criteria for assessment :

      Modeling technique and quality of geometry

      Lighting and texturing techniques

      Presentation and visual impact of rendered images

      Documentation; working files, annotated renders of progress and reference images

      Due date :
      End of Week 13 (Friday 3pm)


    Assignment submission

    Assignments will be submitted by CD-ROM submission to the assignment dropboxes, or the letterbox of your tutor, in 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.

    Assignment coversheets

    University and Faculty policy on assessment

    Due dates and extensions

    The due dates for the submission of assignments are given in the previous section. Please make every effort to submit work by the due dates. 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. Students are advised to NOT assume that granting of an extension is a matter of course.

    Late assignment

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

    Return dates

    Students can expect assignments to be returned within two weeks of the submission date or after receipt, whichever is later.

    Assessment for the unit as a whole is in accordance with the provisions of the Monash University Education Policy at:

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

    Plagiarism, cheating and collusion

    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.

    Register of counselling about plagiarism

    The university requires faculties to keep a simple and confidential register to record counselling to students about plagiarism (e.g. warnings). The register is accessible to Associate Deans Teaching (or nominees) and, where requested, students concerned have access to their own details in the register. The register is to serve as a record of counselling about the nature of plagiarism, not as a record of allegations; and no provision of appeals in relation to the register is necessary or applicable.

    Non-discriminatory language

    The Faculty of Information Technology is committed to the use of non-discriminatory language in all forms of communication. Discriminatory language is that which refers in abusive terms to gender, race, age, sexual orientation, citizenship or nationality, ethnic or language background, physical or mental ability, or political or religious views, or which stereotypes groups in an adverse manner. This is not meant to preclude or inhibit legitimate academic debate on any issue; however, the language used in such debate should be non-discriminatory and sensitive to these matters. It is important to avoid the use of discriminatory language in your communications and written work. The most common form of discriminatory language in academic work tends to be in the area of gender inclusiveness. You are, therefore, requested to check for this and to ensure your work and communications are non-discriminatory in all respects.

    Students with disabilities

    Students with disabilities that may disadvantage them in assessment should seek advice from one of the following before completing assessment tasks and examinations:

    Deferred assessment and special consideration

    Deferred assessment (not to be confused with an extension for submission of an assignment) may be granted in cases of extenuating personal circumstances such as serious personal illness or bereavement. Special consideration in the awarding of grades is also possible in some circumstances. Information and forms for Special Consideration and deferred assessment applications are available at Contact the Faculty's Student Services staff at your campus for further information and advice.