Over the course of this semester we will be conducting two research assignments investigating a variety experimental media and the artists that use them. The first Research Assignment, early in the semester, will focus exclusively on what our textbook refers to as "Fluid Frames" media. The second Research Assignment will serve as the final project for the class and will be open to the wide variety of media and artists that you will be exposed to over the course of this semester.


Research Assignments Steps

Research Presentation Guidelines

Individual Research Assessment Guidlines

Keeping a Research Journal

Submitting Final Research Files




Both Research Assignments will follow these basic steps:

1. Broad Exposure to Animators & Films: This will be done in as a group through assigned readings and dedicated class screenings. When available, I will do my best to provide links to the films we show in class. That said, it is advised that you write down the artists and films you are most interested in into your Research Journals for future access.


2. Exploration of Materials: Before you choose the subject of your Research Project, you will be given a chance, in class, for a hands-on exploration of a variety of experimental media. These in-class explorations are meant to be a sampling and should not serve to limit methods or media. At this point you will be given a questionairre to fill out to help me understand possible materials you would like to explore in your research and which students might make suitable research partners.


3. Submit Research Proposals: Based on the questionairre you submitted, you will be assigned a material for your research and a research partner with compatable interests. You will also be given assigned reading and videos to watch along with questions to investigate. Each team member is responsible for reading and watching all of the material. Then, as a team you can address the questions together and even formulate a few of your own. Out of this you should formulate an individual reasearch plan based on your own skills and interests. Consider what questions about your chosen technique are unanswered? How can you discover those answers through experiments?  Compile these questions into the form of a research plan and submit your plan to Basecamp.


4. Experimentation & Documentation: Each team member in the group will pursue thier own research goals by completing weekly experiments and documenting them in their Research Journals. Expect to dedicate at least 4-6 hours of camera time on these experiments, and even more if you're onto something. Once completed, post all your experiments and findings to Basecamp. From there you can discuss, give feedback, share ideas and exchange research plans with the rest of your team. If your experiments take you into uncharted terratory. . . even better.


5. Research Presentation: At the end of the research section each team will consolodate their findings and present them to the class. Choose you most important experiments (failures included) and combine them into a 15 minute presentation.


6. Individual Research Assessment: Finally, each member of the team must submit their own Reseach Assesment as a one page personal “narrative” of your experimental process and how it will effect your future approach to animation.


Research Presentation Guidelines: Group presentations should be 15 minutes with 5-10 minutes for Q & A. Each team member is responsible to present their own work.

Outline your initial goals and the significant questions you had at the onset. Feel free to show excerpts or stills of the artist's work that inspired your investigation? Consider presenting you research in chronological order as a narrative, starting with the questions you had at the beginning of your research. Show us your discovery process and ultimately reveal how your questions were answered. Did your investigation take you down any unexpected paths? If so, what did you discover along the way? What conclusions did you come to and how will they inform your work in the future?


Use visuals as starting points for what you want to communicate and to help maintain the flow of your presentation. Start documenting your process as well as your experiments. Take pictures of each other in the studio and use those in your presentations.


Be sure to show your own experiments (failures included) with plenty of insight into your process, as well as examples to reinforce your final conclusions.


End by showing what you consider to be the "most successful" animated experiments.


Individual Research Assessment Guidlines: A one page (single-spaced, 12pt) personal “narrative” of your experimental process while addressing the following questions:

1. Which artists were influential to you particularly?

2. What specifically about their work or technique did you find inspiring and helpful?

3. What have you learned about yourself as a researcher? Do you work best with a specific step-by-step plan or a blank slate and no rules?

4. How will you approach the next research session differently?


Keeping a Research Journal: Every student will need to keep a research journal in a sketchbook exclusively dedicated to this class.

You will be using your journal to keep notes on the films that we screen in class, create sketches that inspire your animation and even technical settings like frame-rates, paint formulas and camera settings. You can also use your journal to document process notes. Feel free to use scans from your journal in your research presentation.



Submitting Final Research Files: While your weekly experimentation files will be submitted to Basecamp for basic review and team interaction, Each team member must submit the following to the class folders Dropbox










































Stephan Leeper/Central Michigan University 2020