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Henry S. Baird    Fall 2009 Course

Introduction to Engineering Practice:

'Computer Animation'

ENGINEERING 5       (CRN:  11599)

First-year practical engineering experience: introduction to concepts, methods, and principles of engineering practice.  Problem solving, design, project planning, communication, teamwork, ethics, and professionalism. Innovative solution development and implementation. Introduction to various engineering disciplines and degree programs.

Prerequisites:  None.  No prior computer or programming experience is required.

Course objective: To provide an intensive small-team software engineering project experience.  In five weeks, two- or three-person teams design and implement a short computer animation or interactive game using a 3D color graphics programming language, Alice (www.alice.org).  Alice is a rich subset of the widely used systems programming language Java, in which instructions control movement, shape, color, etc of a potentially vast assortment of objects (persons, animals, vehicles, buildings, skies, etc), including complex lighting effects and camera moves.  The goal here is not to master a programming language; rather, it is to learn enough, on-the-fly, to design and build an animation or game within a small team under serious time pressure.

Textbook:  Textbook is provided (on loan) by the Instructor.

Laboratories:  Wednesdays & Fridays 1:10-3:00 PM, in (probably) Packard Lab 112 (the "Sandbox lab").

Instructor:  Prof. Henry Baird, CSE Dept.; Email hsb2@lehigh.edu; office:  Packard Lab 514C.   Office Hour:  <not yet determined>

Lab Assistant: Edward Kim, Research Asst, CSE Dept; Email edk208@lehigh.edu.

BlackBoard site:  <to be determined>

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:  If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting accommodations, please contact both your instructor and the Office of Academic Support Services, University Center 212 (610-758-4152) as early as possible in the semester.  You must have documentation from the Academic Support Services office before accommodations can be granted.

Topics Covered:  How to brainstorm creatively within small teams. How to plan an animation/game using storyboards.  How to construct an Alice "world" of objects, ground, sky, lighting, etc.  How to control the virtual camera.  How to capture and program motions and poses of animated people, animals, etc. How to coordinate motions of multiple objects.  How to simulate physics of statics and dynamics. How to synchronize music and other sound effects. How to make animations run interactively. Development by top-down refinement. Coping with end-of-project time pressure.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask the instructor: hsb2@lehigh.edu.


© 2003 P.C. Rossin College of Engineering & Applied Science
Computer Science & Engineering, Packard Laboratory, Lehigh University, Bethlehem PA 18015