1 - Animation III

This course is part of the programme
Bachelor's programme in Digital Arts and Practices

Objectives and competences

The key objective of the course is to develop an ability to express oneself in the medium of animation. To master the basic elements of movement, film language, and visual expression, to form one's individual, movement-based, fine art language, which always and in the first place carries a message.
The student is placed in the centre of his own project's production process, in which he will need to use all the, up to that point, acquired knowledge and experience in leading an interdisciplinary working group (note: now matter how many colleagues the student needs in his working process, the creation of the practical diploma project will require a cooperation with a number of persons, even though this may include only the organisation of an exhibition setting, or of the camera team, and the like).
At the same time, the aim of the subject is that the student is considered as an independent creative individuality, capable of setting his own objectives, finding a way and solutions, developing his own idea and creating his own complex creative project.


The prerequisities: the acquired knowledge in the field of animation from year one and year two; student's active participation in all phases and at all levels of the study process, which, apart from the active attendance at lectures and participation in practice work, presupposes the following: individual creation and development of ideas – independently and within the active, two-way mentor-student communication (exhange of ideas takes place on the personal level and via the internet) and a continual independent (research, creative and performative) work throughout the academic year.
Student's intention to do his or her diploma work within the Animation module.


Year three * Development of the student's individual project with a complex idea; * investigation of techniques, union of different directions into a new, individual, art language; * the final product is an independent short animation film. * The peak of the pyramid is a creative assignment (each year, the assignment has its own appropriate weight and value). In the assignment, the student unites and uses the acquired knowledge and sets up and implements the whole project as an individual author as well as in terms of techniques and organisation.

Work within the module (4 ECTS): * research related to specific assignments within the student's project (if needed, the mentor may assign additional specific tasks, seminar tasks, mini projects).

Diploma work (16 ECTS): * the practical part of the diploma thesis: a student's independent creative project* (animated film, virtual animated space, interactive animated project, and the like); * the theoretical part of the diploma thesis: here a research into the theme background (theoretical, historical or technical) is connected to the practical part of the thesis; the practical project is, at the same time, incorporated in the theoretical assignment, occupying a larger or smaller part of the thesis, depending on its key postulates. * The defense of the thesis before a commission.

*sometimes it makes sense that a group project is developed here; in this case, the individual student's diploma thesis application (with all the necessary documentation) need to be clearly defined and evaluated.

Intended learning outcomes

  • A coherent mastery of fundamental knowledge;
  • ability to connect different forms of knowledge from different fields of animation and applications;
  • ability to incorporate new information and interpretations into the context of animated film;
  • development of abilities and skills in the use of knowledge in the field of animation and modelling.


Important: Literature is determined according to the selected theme thesis.

  • Pilling, Jayne: A Reader in Animation Studies, John Libbey & Company Ltd 1997. Catalogue E-version
  • Williams, Richard: The Animators Survival Kit, Faber and Faber Ltd 2001. Catalogue E-version
  • Muybridge, Eadweard: Animals in Motion, Dover Publications Inc, 1957. Catalogue E-version
  • Muybridge, Eadweard: The Human Figure in Motion, Dover Publications Inc, 1955. Catalogue
  • Gasek, Tom: Frame-by-Frame Stop Motion, Focal Press, 2011. Catalogue E-version
  • Wright, Jean Ann: Animation Writing and Development, Focal Press 2005. Catalogue E-version
  • Shaw, Susannah: Stop Motion: Craft Skills for Model Animation, Focal Press 2008. Catalogue E-version
  • OBE, John Halas, Whitaker Harold: Timing for Animation, Second Edition, Focal Press, 2009. Catalogue E-version
  • Winder, Catherine, Dowlatabadi Zahra: Producing Animation, Butterworth Heinemann, 2001. Catalogue E-version
  • Sullivan Karen, Schumer, Gary: Ideas for the Animated Short: Finding and Building Stories, Focal Press, 2008. Catalogue E-version
  • Laybourne, Kit: The Animation Book, Crown Publications, 1998. Catalogue E-version
  • Katz, Steven D.: Film Directing: Shot by Shot - 25th Anniversary Edition: Visualizing from Concept to Screen, Michael Wiese; 2019 Catalogue E-versiono
  • Ansen Dibell: Plot (Writer's Workshop), CONSTABLE AND ROBINSON, 1990 E-version
  • James Monaco: How to Read a Film: The World of Movies, Media, Multimedia:Language, History, Theory, Oxford University Press, 1st 1977, 3rd edition 2000 Catalogue E-version

Recommended reading:

  • Bendazzi, Giannalberto: Cartoons, One hundred years of cinema animation, John Libbey & Company Ltd 1994. Catalogue E-version
  • Bendazzi, Giannalberto: Animation: A World History. Vol. I-III. Routledge, 2017. Catalogue E-version2
  • Sandy Flitterman-Lewis, Robert Stam: New Vocabularies in Film Semiotics: Structuralism, post-structuralism and beyond, Routledge, 1992 E-version


Exercises and group work 20%, Complex creative assignment 40-50%, Theoretical assignment 20-30%, Thesis defense 10% The ratio may be a bit different, depending on whether the thesis has theoretical rather than creative focus. Upon an agreement with the student, the mentor submits the thesis proposal, which is confirmed by the students' committee. The diploma thesis defence may considerably influence the student's final grade.

Lecturer's references

doc. KOLJA SAKSIDAa (Slovenian, born 1981) received his Master degree in Film Studies from the ECAL University of Art and Design, Lausanne. Kolja works in the field of filmmaking as a director, producer and teacher.

His animated series Koyaa – Wild Life was screened with success on the national Radio Television Slovenia throughout the 2005 season. Kolja also realized the short puppet animated films Kiddo – Slingshot, Koyaa the Extraordinary, Koyaa – Flower, Koyaa – Naughty Toy Car, Koyaa – Flying Workbook, Koyaa – Dancing Socks, Koyaa – Silly Stickers, Koyaa – Freezing Scarf, Koyaa – Wild Sunbed … and the animated film Azulejo or visual illusion created in mixed technique. His films were shown at more than 250 international film festivals, televisions and other venues worldwide. As a mentor and producer, Kolja leads animation workshops for children, youth and adults. Films made at his workshops received numerous accolades at home and abroad. Kolja was invited as a resident artist at CEC Arts Link (New York), Open Workshop (Denmark), Talent Campus (Berlin and Sarajevo), Nipkow program (Berlin), Prime 4 Kids & Family program (Berlin) and CEE animation workshop, Trebon, Budapest).

As a producer, he also focuses on the development and realization of ideas by other authors and ensures that the initial synopsis is used to create an author's animated film, either in the stop motion technique or in the 2D technique. He co-creates animated films and series in collaboration with many domestic and foreign artists, co-creators, partners and co-producers. In recent years, as a producer, he has taken care of the realization of the animated films Farewell (dir. Leon Vidmar), Liliana (dir. Milanka Fabjančič). He is currently producing an animated film Of Unwanted things and people: Yesterday's Newspaper (dir. Leon Vidmar). The film will be part of an international feature
omnibus realized in the technique of stop animation.

As an co-editor and co-author of texts, he participated in the creation of Animate! - Handbook for animated film in kindergartens and schools (Zavod RS za šolstvo, 2016).

As a mentor and producer, he leads animated film and training workshops for islands, youth and adults. Short animated films created in the workshops receive numerous awards at home and abroad. Kolja is an associate professor of animated film at the Academy of Arts of the University of Nova Gorica.

Kolja is a member of the European Film Academy, a vice president of the Slovenian Animated Film Association (D: SAF!), a member of the Slovenian Audiovisual Producers Association (DAVP) and the founder of the production house ZVVIKS.