[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Monash University

FIT3001 Advanced 3D - Semester 1, 2012

This unit builds upon the skills, techniques and theory introduced in FIT1033 Foundations of 3D towards an emphasis on 3D character design and modelling for animation. Students will be introduced to advanced techniques for character detailing (modelling and texturing) and character animation (rigging, binding and animation). The theoretical and practical considerations contributing to the conceptualisation, creation and preparation of 3D characters for animation sequences will constitute a key focus of this unit.

Mode of Delivery

  • Berwick (Day)
  • Caulfield (Day)

Contact Hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs laboratories/wk


For on-campus students, workload commitments are:

  • two-hour lecture and
  • two-hour tutorial (requiring advance preparation)
  • a minimum of 2-3 hours of personal study per one hour of contact time in order to satisfy research and assignment expectations 

Unit Relationships




FIT1033 or FIT2015

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Tom Chandler


Tom Chandler



Tom Chandler


Tom Chandler

David Lewis

Academic Overview


At the completion of this unit students will have:
  • an understanding of the paradigms behind the development and application of computer generated 3D characters;
  • an understanding of the principles of 3D animation theory and implementation, including character specific studies;
  • a theoretical understanding of established and emerging procedures for 3D character modelling, detailing and preparation for animation;
  • developed attitudes that enable them to appreciate the theories and practices adopted for complex 3D topology, modelling and animation techniques, including production pipelines;
  • developed the ability to evaluate and implement suitable processes for 3D character creation and animation;
  • developed the skills to design, model and texture original and geometrically efficient 3D characters;
  • developed the skills to prepare (rig and bind) 3D characters for animation;
  • developed the skills to animate and render 3D characters and objects.

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

Assessment Summary

In-semester assessment: 100%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Tutorial Test 1: Basic Character Modelling, Component Assemblage and Texturing 10% Week 4 Tutorial
Assignment 1: Modelling and Texturing your Character 20% Week 5
Tutorial Test 2: Character Rigging and Controllers 10% Week 8 Tutorial
Assignment 2: Rigging, Binding and Preparing your Character for Animation 20% Week 9
Tutorial Test 3: Character Animation 10% Week 12 Tutorial
Assignment 3: Animating your Character and Rendering a 20 second Animation 30% Friday Week 14

Teaching Approach

Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
This teaching and learning approach provides facilitated learning, practical exploration and peer learning.


Our feedback to You

Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
  • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
  • Graded assignments with comments
  • Interviews
  • Test results and feedback

Your feedback to Us

Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:

Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

Based on previous student feedback this unit is well structured. The only change being made this semesteris the inclusion of tutorial tests (three tests of 10% each) preceding each of the major three assignments.

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

Required Resources

Please check with your lecturer before purchasing any Required Resources. Prescribed texts are available for you to borrow in the library, and prescribed software is available in student labs.

Autodesk® Maya® 2012 software will be provided on campus lab computers, and students are encouraged to register with the Autodesk Education Community for their own educational trial version of Autodesk® Maya® 2012 and related Autodesk software under the company's terms and conditions.

 Please see: http://students.autodesk.com/

Recommended text(s)

Todd Palamar, Eric Keller . (2012). Mastering Autodesk Maya 2012. () Wiley (ISBN: 978-0-470-91977-4).

Additional subject costs

Wooden articulated artist models, costing anywhere between $7 and $25 (depending on their size), are available at the Caulfield campus bookstore are at most art supply shops. These may be benefiical for students as animation and rigging references.

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Advanced Character Creation Review  
2 Character Creation, Modelling Review and Techniques  
3 Character Creation, Texturing Review and Techniques  
4 Advanced Character Texturing and Modelling Techniques Tutorial Test 1: Character Modelling (10%)
5 Introduction to Character Rigging and Binding Assignment 1 due Week 5 (20%)
6 Character Rigging: Constraints and Controllers  
7 Character Manipulation, Articulated vs Flexible Binding  
8 Advanced Character Rigging, Binding and Constraint Techniques Tutorial Test 2: Character Rigging and Controllers (10%)
9 Introduction to 3D Character Animation Process and Theory Assignment 2 due Week 9 (20%)
10 Creating 3D Character Walk Cycle and Gestures  
11 Animation Blocking, Timing and Secondary Motion  
12 Animation Finalisation and Rendering Tutorial Test 3: Character Animation (10%)
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken SWOT VAC. Assignment 3 due Week 14 (30%)
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your MUSO (Blackboard or Moodle) learning system.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

Faculty Policy - Unit Assessment Hurdles (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/staff/edgov/policies/assessment-examinations/unit-assessment-hurdles.html)

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Tutorial Test 1: Basic Character Modelling, Component Assemblage and Texturing
    This test reviews the basics of assemblng a character out of constituent parts
    Criteria for assessment:

    > modelling technique
    > assembly of geometry
    > basic texturing

    Due date:
    Week 4 Tutorial
  • Assessment task 2
    Assignment 1: Modelling and Texturing your Character
    In Foundations of 3D, the final assignment involved the creation and basic texturing of an original game character. In the first assignment of Advanced 3D, we will be revisiting 3D character creation, though this time the emphasis is on the creation of a sophisticated, textured character model which will later be rigged (in Assignment 2) and animated (in Assignment 3). Character modelling, rigging and aniamtion in this unit will focus upon articulated characters, that is, characters that are made up of movable parts rather than soft, flexible or fluid assemblages. Examples of articulated characters include, but are not limited to, robots, armoured figures, insects and crustaceans.
    Criteria for assessment:

    > modelling technique and geometry
    > UV texturing technique and detailing
    > the finished renders of your model
    > visual and written documentation

    Due date:
    Week 5
  • Assessment task 3
    Tutorial Test 2: Character Rigging and Controllers
    Your tutor will provide you with a sample articulated character. Your task is to rig this character (add an internal skeleton) to and create animation controllers so your character can be manipulated for animation
    Criteria for assessment:

    > Rigging Procedures and Execution
    > Controller Creation

    Due date:
    Week 8 Tutorial
  • Assessment task 4
    Assignment 2: Rigging, Binding and Preparing your Character for Animation
    Using the character you have created in Assignment 1, this assignment requires you to implement a functional rig (internal skeleton) together with binding and controllers so that you can manipulate and animate your creation.
    Criteria for assessment:

    > Rigging
    > IK Chains
    > Controllers
    > Visual and Written Documentation

    Due date:
    Week 9
  • Assessment task 5
    Tutorial Test 3: Character Animation
    In this test, your tutor will provide you with a sample rigged character with controllers. You are required to manipulate this character and create keyframes to produce an animated timeline of 5-10 seconds
    Criteria for assessment:

    > Character manipulation and keyframing
    > Animation (timing, weighting, gestures, actions)

    Due date:
    Week 12 Tutorial
  • Assessment task 6
    Assignment 3: Animating your Character and Rendering a 20 second Animation
    This final assignment requires the animation of your character in a 20 second sequence.What will your character do in this 20 seconds? This is entirely up to you, but the animation you plan and assemble should attempt to express the personality of your character and demonstrate the graphic and technical detailing you have invested in it through the course of the previous assignments.
    Criteria for assessment:

    > animation technique
    > animation narrative
    > three key renders from your animation
    > visual and written documentation

    Due date:
    Friday Week 14


Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-procedures.html) for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/. Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz).

Online submission

If Electronic Submission has been approved for your unit, please submit your work via the VLE site for this unit, which you can access via links in the my.monash portal.

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Other Information


Student services

The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at www.monash.edu.au/students. For Sunway see http://www.monash.edu.my/Student-services, and for South Africa see http://www.monash.ac.za/current/

The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au or the library tab in my.monash portal for more information. At Sunway, visit the Library and Learning Commons at http://www.lib.monash.edu.my/. At South Africa visit http://www.lib.monash.ac.za/.

Academic support services may be available for students who have a disability or medical condition. Registration with the Disability Liaison Unit is required. Further information is available as follows:

  • Website: http://monash.edu/equity-diversity/disability/index.html;
  • Email: dlu@monash.edu
  • Drop In: Equity and Diversity Centre, Level 1 Gallery Building (Building 55), Monash University, Clayton Campus, or Student Community Services Department, Level 2, Building 2, Monash University, Sunway Campus
  • Telephone: 03 9905 5704, or contact the Student Advisor, Student Commuity Services at 03 55146018 at Sunway


Other Information

Tutorials will begin in Week 1 and end in Week 12.

Rearrangements will be made for the lecture and tutorials that fall on Anzac Day on Wednesday 25th April.

Reading List

Textbooks for AutoDesk Maya will be available in the library and the Caulfield Campus bookstore:

Todd Palamar, Eric Keller "Mastering Autodesk Maya 2012", Wiley Publishing Inc ISBN: 978-0-470-91977-4

See also:

Dariush Derakhshani "Introducing AutoDesk Maya 2012" Wiley Publishing Inc ISBN:978-0-470-90021-5

Although AutoDesk Maya updates its software annually, the principles of character creation, texturing, rigging and animation remain the same in earlier versions stretching back some years. As such, textbooks on Maya published for earlier versions of Maya, especially in the last 4-5 years, will still be valid
for the subjects which we are studying in this unit, and a number of earlier publications are listed here.

Maraffi, Chris, "Maya Character Creation", Pearson, 2004, ISBN: 0-7357-1344-8

Wilkins, Mark, "Mel Scripting for Maya Animators", Elsevier, 2005, ISBN: 0-12-088793-2

Petitot, Luc, "Maya Ultimate Workshop", Editions Eyrolles, 2003, ISBN: 0-07-142169-6

Ratner, Peter, "Mastering 3D Animation", 2nd edn, Allworth Press, 2004, ISBN: 1-58115-345-7

Ratner, Peter, "3D Human Modeling and Animation", Wiley, 2003, ISBN: 0-471-21548-1

[an error occurred while processing this directive]