DMA 295: Stop Frame & Mixed Media Animation

In the summer of 2015, Bellevue College will offer a new digital media arts course called “Stop Frame & Mixed Media Animation,” DMA 295. The class is a 5-credit fine arts class and will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

To register, students will need to have had a previous enrollment in media and have gotten permission from the program chair.

Neely Goniodsky, the course instructor, is an animator with an interest in abstract narrative and visual experimentation. She received a Bachelors in film animation from Concordia University and graduated from the Royal College of Art in London with a Masters in Animation. Her collection of works include life drawings, collage and illustrations, photographs and children’s artwork and she participated in the making of “The Thing under the Tree.”

“This course does not require any prior experience in animation and filmmaking,” she said. However, “it would be very useful for students seeking a career in the industry, since it will help develop a unique individual voice which is always an advantage over mere technical skills.”

Stop-frame is an animation technique used to make objects and models appear to be moving. By arranging pictures taken with small changes to the subjects as a series of frames, the animator is able to create the illusion of movement.

Like the title of the course suggests, students will work with more than just stop-frame animation. Some other art forms that are part of the class include slow shutter photography, which makes use of long exposure times to create a unique image and drawn animation, which is the traditional form where each individual frame is a different drawing involving flat characters and props against a background of the animators liking.

The class “includes an overview of the history and current trends in experimental cinema, and the exploration of narrative structure, framing, editing, and sound,” as described by Bellevue College’s website. It’s also a special topics class, meaning the course may not be available every quarter.

As stated by Bellevue College, students who have completed the digital media arts degree “should have a strong portfolio, workplace skills and trans-media competency.” Goniodsky explains that the class “concentrates on developing creative thinking and visualization through experimentation.” Class activities “will guide students in developing concepts for their films as well as looking at ways to present a narrative.”

Students who are part of the DMA program and seeking an Associate in Arts degree, will be required to take 30 credits worth of classes in electives. “Stop Frame & Mixed Media Animation” falls under this category. However, students who only want a certificate of achievement in advanced video production do not have the special topics class in their course requirements.
Anyone considering this class should bear in mind that it will not be available for fall or winter of 2016.