Scott Duce

BFA, University of Utah. MFA, Boston University. Visual artist with multiple awards and grants, including a National Endowment for the Arts artist grant. Exhibitions include solo exhibits in New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, and internationally in Paris, Barbizon, Florence, and Lima. Notable collections include Random House, General Electric, IBM, McGraw-Hill, Petroplus Holdings (Switzerland), Seagram’s (Montreal), and US Embassy (Stockholm). Currently producing work for exhibitions, creating hand-drawn animated shorts, and developing a series of e-book artist catalogues. SLC, 2012–

Undergraduate Courses 2022-2023

Filmmaking and Moving Image Arts

2D Digital Animation: Short Narratives

Open, Seminar—Year

In this class, students will develop animation and storytelling skills by focusing on the process of creating animated short films. Participants will develop and refine their personal style through exercises in story design and assignments directed at translating ideas into moving images. Digitally-drawn images (with the option to include live action and photographs) will be assembled in sync to sound. Compositing exercises cover a wide range of motion-graphic features, including green screen, keyframing, timeline, effects, 2D space, layering, and lighting. Exercises in the fall will provide students with a working knowledge of the software Harmony by Toon Boon. The fall semester, taught by Robin Starbuck, includes instruction exercises in all of the production steps required to produce a short, animated film of one-to-three minutes. These include the basic principles of animation, color and visual design, story development, continuity, motion, timing, frame-by-frame digital drawing, and rotoscoping. The spring semester, taught by Scott Duce, will involve the hands-on production of a single, short, animated film or PSA by each student. The Toon Boom software will be used for the students’ animated film production in the spring. Harmony is a creative, efficient software used in the film and TV animation industry. No prior drawing experience is necessary.

Faculty

Advanced Independent Studio, Animation

Advanced, Small seminar—Year

Prerequisite: one animation or storyboarding class

This is an advanced independent-study class for experienced animation students who wish to invest time in producing a refined animated film or a hybrid animation/video film for their portfolio. Participants should be committed to the preplanning and production of an animated work over the course of the academic year. Students will work independently, with regular individual conferences.

Faculty

Character Design

Open, Seminar—Fall

This course focuses on the concepts of character design development as a preproduction stage to animation. Students will gain knowledge in drawing by learning formal spatial concepts in order to create fully-realized characters both visually and conceptually. Through the development of character boards, model sheets, beat boards, and character animatic projects, students will draw and conceptualize human, animal, mechanical, and hybrid figures. Students will research characters in their visual, environmental, psychological, and social aspects to establish a full understanding of characterization. Both hand-drawn materials and digital drawing will be used throughout the semester. Students may use their choice of drawing software, based on their own experience and skill level. Students new to digital drawing will work in Storyboard Pro software or Procreate software if they own an iPad. All students will have access to the animation rooms—which include a variety of software options, including Storyboard Pro, Harmony, Photoshop, Illustrator, and editing software Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premier. Assignments and projects will include character boards, model sheets, and animatics. There will be daily character drawing exercises, structural anatomy demonstrations, basic digital drawing concepts, and empirical perspective drawing discussions throughout the semester. This is a drawing course, which requires a commitment to learning to draw, and is labor-intensive. Good drawing demands time, commitment, and intelligence. The final conference project for this course is a concept-based, fully-developed character animatic. Knowledge from this course can be used to create and enhance animations; to establish a character outline for an interactive media project; or to help in developing a cast of characters for game design, graphic novels, or narrative film.

Faculty

Concept Art: The Medea Project

Intermediate/Advanced, Seminar—Spring

Prerequisite: one college-level film, animation, or visual arts (painting or drawing) class and  permission of the instructor

This intermediate/advanced-level preproduction film and animation course is designed to provide students with an experience developing concept-based visual material established through each participant’s interpretation of the classical myth, Medea. The class will research the story of Medea, as it is interpreted in the novel Bright Air Black by David Vann. Vann’s novel will become the intermediary through which students develop and build a digital production portfolio and animatic. Through readings, discussions, and artwork, each student will formulate an interpretation of Bright Air Black that both expresses the original narrative and is uniquely their own vision. For this, students will produce a cast of characters through model sheets and size boards, character staging and backgrounds, and a high-resolution final animatic. The course concludes with the class together producing a printed-edition portfolio made up of each student’s interpretation of the main character, Medea. Every student will receive a portfolio containing a print of each class member’s drawing of Medea. We will also distribute copies of the portfolio to selected members of the College community. Expectations for this course include the atmosphere of a professional working studio with a high degree of individual responsibility and work ethic. Students should understand that work of the highest quality will be demanded. Participation in group discussions, field trips, portfolio building and collating, and screenings will be mandatory. Information and experience gained from this course can be used to produce a professional portfolio or film reel; the invention of characters for future animations, graphic novels, and game design; or the execution of serial drawings.

Faculty

Storyboarding for Film and Animation

Open, Large seminar—Fall

This course focuses on the art of storyboard construction as the preproduction stage and previsualization for graphics, film/video, and animation. Students will be introduced to storyboard strategies, exploring visual concepts such as shot types, continuity, pacing, transitions, and sequencing into visual communication. Both classical and experimental techniques for creating storyboards will be covered. Emphasis will be placed on production of storyboard drawings, both by hand and digitally, to negotiate sequential image development and to establish shot-by-shot progression, staging, frame composition, editing, and continuity in film and other media. Instruction will concentrate primarily on drawing from thumbnail sketches through final presentation storyboards and animatics. The final project for this class will be the production by each student of a full presentation storyboard and a low-res animatic in a combined visual, audio, and text presentation format. Knowledge of storyboards and animatics from this class can be used for idea development and presentation of your project to collaborators, for pitching projects, to professional agencies, and—most importantly—for you, the maker. Storyboard Pro software will be used throughout this course.

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Previous Courses

Filmmaking and Moving Image Arts

2D Animation: Short Narratives

Open, Seminar—Year

In this class, students develop frame-by-frame animation and short-storytelling skills by focusing on the process of creating animated exercises and shorts. Instruction includes story development, visualization, character, continuity, timing, digital drawing, rotoscoping, and compositing. All of the production steps required to complete a short, animated film are demonstrated and applied, in the fall, through exercises that aim at the production of a final short, animated film by each student, or team of students, in the spring semester. Participants will develop and refine their personal style through exercises in story design and animation fundamentals directed at translating ideas into moving images. Digitally-drawn images (with the option to include live action and photographs) will be assembled in sync to sound. Compositing exercises cover a wide range of motion-graphic features, including: green screen, keyframing, timeline effects, 2D and 3D space, layering, and lighting. Working in frame-by-frame animation, students will be provided with a strong working knowledge of Harmony Premier, a creative, efficient, digital software used in the film and TV animation industry. The method of working for students includes digital drawing on a student’s own computer or digital tablet. The teaching system for this as an online course includes small (3-4 students) online group meetings, alternated with one-on-one individual conference meetings with the professor. This system allows students to form community groups while also providing each person with the opportunity to progress according to their own creative interests. If the class meets on campus, we will continue with class meetings and individual conferences. Students must have access to an internet connection and a reliable computer able to handle media software. Course requirements: 1T (min.) media external hard drive and a digital drawing tablet. Software and online meeting system TBA. No prior drawing or animation experience is necessary. 

Faculty

Advanced Collective in Animation or Experimental Media

Intermediate/Advanced, Small seminar—Fall

This collective for advanced animation and experimental media is for students seeking to work on independent-study projects or to acquire credit for fieldwork in those disciplines. The group will first meet weekly to establish guidelines and schedules for projects; then, the class will serve as a gathering place to report on project development and/or the progress of an internship. Weekly meetings provide a framework for research, development, and collaborative assistance toward an advanced project that may take the shape of a short film or professional experience in an internship. Led by a team of filmmaking and moving-image arts faculty, students will be interviewed during registration to evaluate their proposed projects or research. The week-to-week structure of the collective will be tailored to meet the needs of individual projects/groups as the semester progresses. The collective is open to experienced animation and experimental media students; both individuals and group projects are invited to apply to the class. Interested students should come to the interview prepared to present a project proposal or an internship already secured.

Faculty

Concept Art

Open, Seminar—Spring

This course will explore the preproduction aspects of animation concept development. Students will gain knowledge in character development, background environments, object and prop design, flora and fauna, scene building, color keys, aerial mapping, and techniques for digital painting. Through the development of scene paintings, model sheets, and animatics, students will draw and conceptualize spaces, characters, and props that are visually harmonious and consistent in form and function. Students will research and produce narrative outlines that include visual and environmental components to establish a full understanding of an animated project. Both hand-drawn materials and digital drawing will be used throughout the semester. Photoshop, Storyboard Pro, and Final Cut Pro software will be utilized for character design, background paintings, and concept presentation animatics. The final project for this course will include a fully developed, multicharacter/environment animatic. Knowledge from this course can be used to create and enhance an animation portfolio, establish a concept outline for an interactive media project, and help in developing a cast of characters and environments for a graphic novel or an animated film. Software: Photoshop, Storyboard Pro, Harmony, and Final Cut Pro X.

Faculty

Concept Art: The Medea Project

Intermediate, Seminar—Spring

This preproduction film and animation course is designed to provide students with the experience of developing individual, concept-based visual material established by each student’s interpretation of the classical myth of Medea. The class will research the story of Medea, as it is interpreted in the novel Bright Air Black, by David Vann, and this will become the intermediary through which students develop and produce a digital production portfolio and animatic. Through readings, discussions, and drawings, each student will formulate an interpretation of Bright Air Black that both expresses the original narrative and is uniquely their own. For this, students will produce a cast of characters through model sheets and size boards, character staging and backgrounds, and a high-resolution animatic of their project. The course concludes with the class together producing a printed-edition portfolio made up of each student’s interpretation of the main character, Medea. Every student will receive a portfolio containing a print of each student’s drawing of Medea. We will also distribute copies of the portfolio to select members of the College community. Information and experience gained in this course can be used to produce a professional portfolio or film reel, the invention of characters for future animations and graphic novels, or the execution of serial drawings.

Faculty

Concept Art: Visual Development

Open, Seminar—Spring

This course will explore the preproduction aspects of animation concept development. Students will gain knowledge in character development, background environments, object and prop design, flora and fauna, scene building, color keys, aerial mapping, and techniques for digital painting. Through the development of scene paintings, model sheets, and animatics, students will draw and conceptualize spaces, characters, and props that are visually harmonious and consistent in form and function. Students will research and produce narrative outlines that include visual and environmental components to establish a full understanding of an animated project. Both hand-drawn materials and digital drawing will be used during the semester. Photoshop, Storyboard Pro, Procreate, and Final Cut Pro software will be utilized for character design, background paintings, and concept presentation animatics. The final project for this course will include a fully developed, multicharacter/environment animatic. Knowledge from this course can be used to create and enhance an animation portfolio, establish a concept outline for an interactive media project, and help in developing a cast of characters and environments for a graphic novel or an animated film. Software used throughout the course: Photoshop, Storyboard Pro, Harmony, Procreate, and Final Cut Pro X or Premier.

Faculty

Drawing for Animation: Character Design

Open, Seminar—Fall

This course focuses on the concepts of animated-motion and character-design development as a preproduction stage to animation. Students will gain knowledge in drawing by engaging with formal spatial concepts in order to create fully realized characters, both visually and conceptually. Through the development of character boards, model sheets, beat boards, and character walk-cycle animatics, students will draw and conceptualize human, animal, mechanical, and hybrid figures. Students will research characters in their visual, environmental, psychological, and social aspects to establish a full understanding of characterization. Both hand-drawn materials and digital drawing tablets will be used throughout the semester. Photoshop, Storyboard Pro, and Final Cut Pro software will be utilized for character boards, model sheets, and walk-cycle animatics. The final project for this course will include a concept-based, fully developed, multi-character animatic. Knowledge from this course can be used to create and enhance animations, to establish a character outline for an interactive media project, or to help in developing a cast of characters for a graphic novel or narrative film.

Faculty

Drawing for Animation: Concept Art

Open, Seminar—Spring

This course will explore the preproduction aspects of animation concept development. Students will gain knowledge in character development, background environments, object and prop design, flora and fauna, scene building, color keys, aerial mapping, and techniques for digital painting. Through the development of matte paintings, model sheets, and animatics, students will draw and conceptualize spaces, characters, and props that are visually harmonious and consistent in both form and function. Students will research and produce narrative outlines that include visual and environmental components to establish a full understanding of an animated project. Both hand-drawn materials and digital drawing will be used throughout the semester. Photoshop, Storyboard Pro, and Final Cut Pro software will be utilized for character design, background paintings, and concept presentation animatics. The final conference project for this course will include a fully developed, multicharacter/multi-environment animatic. Knowledge from this course can be used to create and enhance an animation portfolio, to establish a concept outline for an interactive media project, and to help when developing a cast of characters and environments for a graphic novel or an animated film.

Faculty

Fundamentals of 2D Character Animation

Open, Seminar—Year

This course focuses on the fundamentals of animation through the development of 2D character design. The course will introduce students to traditional hand-drawn and digital techniques of frame-by-frame animation, where movement is created through successive, sequential character drawings. Students will learn the principles of animation through character design and visual development and will gain knowledge in drawing by engaging with formal spatial concepts in order to create fully realized characters, both visually and conceptually. Through the development of character boards, model sheets, beat boards, and character animation, students will draw and animate human, animal, mechanical, and hybrid figures. Students will learn about body mechanics and motion flow in the development of animated characters through techniques that include walk cycles, rotating forms, transformations, holds, squash and stretch, weight, and resistance. Additional instruction will include techniques in pencil-test animation and lip syncing. Students will research characters in their visual, environmental, psychological, and social aspects to establish a full understanding of characterization. Examples of animations illustrating frame-by-frame character movement will be screened regularly. The course will conclude with a final project, for which students will develop, conceptualize, and produce a fully animated character study. Information and skills established in this class can be used to improve basic drawing and animation proficiency, to establish fundamentals for digital animation production, to create and enhance an animation portfolio, and to develop tangible skills for producing graphic novels or a character outline for an interactive media project. Software used in this course: Storyboard Pro, Harmony, Photoshop, Procreate, and Final Cut Pro X.

Faculty

Hand-Drawn Animation

Open, Seminar—Spring

This course focuses on the fundamentals of drawing as they pertain to two-dimensional, hand-drawn animation. Students will gain an understanding of value, motion, and light logic and learn to establish form and structure utilizing concepts in perspective. The course will introduce students to traditional techniques of hand-drawn, frame-by-frame animation, where movement is created through successive, sequential drawings. Students will learn about body mechanics and motion flow in the development of animated characters through techniques that include walk cycles, turning of forms, transformations, holds, squash and stretch, weight, and resistance. Students will design and create pencil test projects using Dragon Frame and Final Cut Pro software. Examples of animations illustrating hand-drawn techniques will be screened regularly. The course will conclude with a final project, for which students develop, conceptualize, and produce a fully animated, hand-drawn short film. Information and skills established in this class can be used to improve basic drawing proficiency, to establish fundamentals for later digital animation production, to create and enhance an animation portfolio, and/or to develop tangible skills for producing graphic novels.​

Faculty

Storyboarding for Film and Animation

Open, Seminar—Fall

This course focuses on the art of storyboard construction as the preproduction stage for film and animation. Students will be introduced to storyboard strategies, exploring visual concepts such as shot types, continuity, pacing, transitions, and sequencing. Both classical and experimental techniques for creating storyboards will be covered. Emphasis will be placed on the production of storyboard drawings, both by hand and digitally, to negotiate sequential image development and to establish shot-by-shot progression, staging, frame composition, editing, and continuity. Instruction will concentrate primarily on drawing, from thumbnail sketches through final presentation storyboards and animatics. The final project for this class will be the production by each student of a full presentation storyboard and a hi-res animatic in a combined visual, audio, and text presentation format. Knowledge of storyboards and animatics from this class can be used later for idea development and presentation of your project to collaborators, for pitching projects, for professional agencies, and—most importantly—for you, the maker.

Faculty