CS7GV5 – Real-Time Animation

Module CodeCS7GV5
Module NameReal-Time Animation
ECTS Weighting [1]5 ECTS
Semester TaughtSemester 2
Module Coordinator/s  Prof Carol O’Sullivan

Module Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a fundamental understanding of real-time animation algorithms and techniques that would be employed in a typical game;
  2. Develop and explain code that performs different methods of rotation interpolations;
  3. Develop and explain systems for character animation;
  4. Demonstrate the ability to gather, analyse, and propose a project based on relevant literature in real-time animation.

Module Content

The aim of this module is to provide students with a deep understanding of the theory and techniques behind real time animation. We will explore computer animation and advanced issues such as character animation and motion capture and also look at specific fundamental concepts such as interpolation. We will begin the programming assignments using low-level graphics library OpenGL with C++ and then move towards a gaming engine for the final assignment (student choses Unity 3D or Unreal Engine 4) in order to explore more advanced concepts.

Specific topics addressed in this module include:

  • Key-frame techniques;
  • Quaternions for rotations/orientations;
  • Blending and interpolation;
  • Kinematics;
  • Motion capture systems;
  • Motion graphs and character control;
  • Animation data representations;
  • Behavioural Animation;
  • Facial Animation.

Teaching and Learning Methods

The module will include lectures and laboratories/tutorials. The laboratories will be programming-intensive, using both OpenGL and C++ and game engines.

Assessment Details

Assessment ComponentBrief DescriptionLearning Outcomes Addressed% of TotalWeek SetWeek Due
CourseworkLab – Interpolation L01, L02, L0310%Week 2 Week 3


Lab- Kinematics
L01, L02, L0320%Week 3 Week 5
CourseworkLab – Character Animation L01, L02, L0320%Week 4 Week 5
CourseworkProjectL0450%Week 7 Week 10

Reassessment Details

Programming assignment (100%).

Contact Hours and Indicative Student Workload

Contact Hours (scheduled hours per student over full module), broken down by:22 hours
Lecture11 hours
Laboratory11 hours
Tutorial or seminar0 hours
Other0 hours
Independent Study (outside scheduled contact hours), broken down by:103 hours
Preparation for classes and review of material (including preparation for examination, if applicable)40 hours
Completion of assessments (including examination, if applicable)63 hours
Total Hours125 hours

Recommended Reading List

  • Computer Animation: Algorithms and Techniques (Third Edition), Rick Parent, Morgan Kaufman.
  • Advanced Animation and Rendering Techniques, Alan Watt and Mark Watt, Addison Wesley, 1992.
  • 3D Games: Animation and Advanced Real-Time Rendering Techniques, Alan Watt and Fabio Policarpo, Addison Wesley Longman, 2003.

Module Pre-requisites

Prerequisite modules: Computer Graphics.

Other/alternative non-module prerequisites: Good programming ability in C++, linear algebra, OpenGL or equivalent 3D graphics library.

Module Co-requisites


Module Website