This Computer Animation subject is focused on computer animation, which essentially means “computer algorithms and programming techniques for specifying and generating motion for graphical objects” (R. Parent, Computer Animation, Algorithms and Techniques, 3rd ed, Morgan Kaufmann, 2012, Preface). More specifically, it mainly deals with three-dimensional (3D) computer animation of virtual human characters. However, it introduces the field in general; and the animation techniques we discuss are more generally applicable, for instance to some virtual animals.

Computer Animation is used mainly in entertainment (movies, games, social media), but it also has applications in other areas, suchas biomedicine. We focus on the former applications, as part of Computer Graphics Imagery.

The subject is presented in a very practical way, with theory, seminars, and labs closely intertwined.


Skeletal animation using joint rotations
Skeleton animation using joint rotations
Emotions demo
Facial animation using blendsapes



  • Coding in C++ (Object Oriented Programming)
  • Knowledge of 3D geometry mathematics (vectors, matrices, transformations)
  • Knowledge of data containers (lists, hash tables, vectors, stacks, etc.)
  • Basic knowledge of algorithms
  • Knowledge of basic 3D rendering (shaders)
  • It is compulsory to have previously taken the Computer Graphics course


Block 1: Introduction to animations

  1. History
  2. Types of animation
  3. Animation techniques
  4. Basis of maths

Block 2: Introduction to poses

  1. Body animation
  2. Formats and GPU
  3. GPU pipeline and Shaders

Block 3: Animation system

  1. Clips
  2. Tracks and types
  3. Keyframing
  4. Interpolation types
  5. Animation Mixer
  6. Blending techniques

Block 4: Extended animation system

  1. Forward kinematics
  2. Inverse kinematics

Block 5: Extended animation system

  1. Retargeting

Block 6: Beyond skeleton body animation

  1. Face animation
  2. Hair Animation 



Bases of maths

Block 1

Introduction to computer animations

Block 2

Poses and animation file formats