Computer Science 39a
Introduction to Computer Animation

CS39a has been the most enjoyable class I've taken at Berkeley.
-- Westley Sarokin, 1998-04-10

Schedule | Final Projects | Pictures | Roster | email cs39a

(Class Morph MPEG)
1Mb 160x120 10fps MPEG
(Class Morph Quicktime)
6Mb 160x120 10fps Quicktime

Overview (Welcome-to-cs39a Sound)

Welcome to the Home Page for the CS39a, the centralized place for information pertaining to the seminar Introduction to Computer Animation taught the Fall of 1997. We are affiliated with the Computer Science Division at the University of California, Berkeley. Without the great support from the people at EECS Instruction, much of the technology that drives this seminar wouldn't be possible.

This seminar will be a hands-on and gentle, top-level introduction to the field of computer animation. We will discuss geometric modeling, explicit motion specification, forward and inverse kinematics, spline interpolation, morphing and dynamics, and implement a subset of these topics. Guest speakers will be provided to present their research. Students will be provided with tools to create their own animations easily, with little to no programming. No prior knowledge of programming or mathematics is assumed. The seminar is limited to 16 freshmen and sophomores.

Throughout the seminar, we will be using one of the top-end 3D animation products for the Macintosh, Infini-D by Specular, Inc.. There will be a final project beginning near November 1st which will team up 4 or 5 students to produce one large animation. The animations from last year were a great success!

* Class Lecture Schedule
* Lecture: Wed. 1-2pm in 306 Soda & Fri. 1-2pm in 405 Soda
* Lab: 111 Cory, 24/7 a kool-aid smile.
* Course Control# = 24564
* Required book: "Principles of Three-Dimensional Computer Animation" by Michael O'Rourke, W. W. Norton, NY, 1995
* Recommended book: "Making Them Move: Mechanics, Control, and Animation of Articulated Figures" by Norman I. Badler, Brian A. Barsky, and David Zeltzer, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Inc. San Francisco, California, 1991.
* Recommended reading: "Computer Animation: Algorithms and Techniques" by Rick Parent (

Teaching staff

* Instructor : Brian A. Barsky (
785 Soda, x2-9838 (Office hours Tu/Th 5:00pm - 6:00pm)
* Teaching Assistant : Dan Garcia (
535 Soda, x2-9716 (Office hours We 3:00 - 3:30pm, Fr 2:00pm - 2:30pm)

Assignment-related information

* The current motd (Message Of The Day)
* WWW Unix Tutorials #1 #2 #3 #4 #5
* Homework #2 online turnin form
* Homework #3 (Set up a homepage and run SPAM)
* Homework #4 (Morph yourselves into each other)
* Homework #5 (Create an articulated figure)
* Homework #6 (Animate your articulated figure)

General Information about cs39a Students

* Online class roster
* Pictures of yourselves

Other available information

* UCB EECS Instruction
* Ongoing UNIX help sessions
* A Beginner's Guide to HTML (Useful for writing a homepage)
* Questions and Answers regarding the Award-winning film Hunger


* ACM Siggraph (here's our local chapter)
SIGGRAPH is the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics. They sponsor the premiere Graphics conference in the world. Very worth attending if you have any interests at all in Computer Graphics, either from the user or programmer side.

* Watch Reboot on Saturday mornings 9:30am (yawn) on ABC (ch. 7)
This show contains a full half-hour of pure computer-generated 3-D animation. Wow. Does anyone know of another television show which contains that much animation?

* See Toy Story in theatres or on video.
Set in a world where toys have a life of their own when people are not present, "Toy Story" is a sophisticated and delightfully irreverent comedy-adventure that represents the first full-length feature ever to be created entirely through the use of computer animation. (from the Toy Story site)

Cool things from cs39a Fall 1996

* (Class Morph MPEG) (Class Morph Quicktime) Our Class Morph (1Mb MPEG and 5Mb Quicktime)
* Final Projects
* Class Pictures
* Schedule
* Roster

Cool things from cs39a Fall 1995

* Our Class Morph (~1Mb MPEG)
* Final Projects
* Class Pictures
* Schedule
* Roster

Cool things from cs39a Spring 1995

* Our Class Morph (~1Mb MPEG)
* Class Pictures

Animation Studios

* Pixar Animation Studios
* Pacific Data Images
* Rhythm & Hues
* Digital Domain
* Boss Film Studios
* Apple Research

Animation Software Companies

* Alias|Wavefront
* Macromedia (Extreme 3D, Director, among others)
* Softimage
* Specular Online (Infini-D, among others)
* Infini-D Models!
* Fractal Designs Corp (Poser, among others)
* Lightscape
* Vertigo

WWW Maven: Dan Garcia ( (finger me) Send me feedback

Made with a Mac | Dan Garcia | UC Berkeley | Computer Science

(CS39a Icon) This is the representative icon for this page. If you ever see it on other pages, clicking on it will bring you back here.