FAMU International (FI)


Course objectives

The course is based on the principal aesthetic notion that animated film is a specific genre of dramatic art. Students also learn about animation as a specific kinetic form of decorative art. They learn about all techniques and technologies of animated film – both hand-made and digital (computerized). They are instructed about the structure of puppets and animation principles, which they master as part of simple hands-on exercises. Students’ artistic sensibilities are refined throughout the course. They learn to create storyboards. They get a basic overview of the history of animated film, both in the Czech and global perspective. They also learn about the theoretical principles of animated film. The course is scheduled for two semesters.


Graduate profile

Animated Film course graduates have mastered the techniques and technologies of animation, both hand-made and computerized (2D and 3D). They improve their artistic expression. They can create a storyboard. They have mastered the principles of animation, which they get to test in simple animation exercises. They can navigate animated film theory. They get an overview of the history of animated film, both Czech and global. They are conversant with the current animated film and can navigate it. Having graduated, they can work as creative profession assistants in professional animated film studios.

Core courses:


Body Animation and Masks – Acting for Animators

Requirements for credit: a dramatic performance with a mask

Note: maximum of five students in the course

Results and components of learning:

Students learn the basics of actor expression for the purposes of animating objects and the human body. They will create their own masks and learn to interpret them.

Practical acting and art tuition.


Goals of the study:

An actor’s work with a mask is much like an animator’s work with puppets, inanimate objects and, in a sense, cartoon characters. The seminar covers the principles of this acting method. The characters’ inner feelings portrayed in a theatrical way will allow students to better understand the psychological methods of actors in playing characters and use them in their own work with puppets or other inanimate objects in animated films.

Initially, each student gets to try working with the various types of expressive masks – from larval to character masks. Then, each will model their original mask directly to a casting of their own face. They will learn the entire procedure of making a mask and the principles of the human face and mimic expressions.

Fixing one expression in the mask and animating it with one’s own body will lead students to understanding the principles of animating puppets and inanimate objects in theater and film.


Planned activities related with learning and teaching methods:

Studying mask types depending on the acting technique:

Neutral, character, expressive and dynamic.

Classified by manufacturing technology and functionality:

Character masks:

Full face masks

Half-masks – they cover just a part of the face

Expressive masks covering the entire body.

Static and dynamic masks (e.g. make-up and/or projected).

Art work – Mask modeling and laminating:

Larval masks

Expressive half-masks

Expressive full face masks

Finishing – patina, coloring

Interpretation of masks:

Perceiving the mask’s content and form, respecting the material and derive the acting method based on these properties


Stop-Motion Animation

Requirements for credit: creating the animation assignments using the required technologies and attending at least 75% of lessons in the subject


Goals of the study:

This subject will instruct students, both theoretically and practically, the wide range of techniques and technologies of stop-motion animation except for puppet animation, which is taught separately.

Semester 1:

Students are instructed about the groundbreaking films made using the cut-out stop-motion method and the specificities of their making in the form of a seminar. They then attempt to create their own brief animation assignments using the specified technology: a piece of paper, a flat, a silhouette. The tuition in this semester includes working using a multi-plane animation stand.


Semester 2:

The second semester follows with animation techniques involving powdery materials, scraped techniques, oil on canvas, pin screen animation, soft material relief technique, semi-plastic puppets, pixilation...


Visual Expression and Figure Drawing

Learning results for the learning component:

Through figure drawing, students will learn about anatomy and improve their drawing skills in particular in drawing figures and moving figures for use in cartoon animation. Individual consultations with teachers when making their own animated film will help them to form their own opinions on the scale and use of art styling in relation to animation technique.

Forma of study:

Hands-on drawing sessions and individual consultations regarding the artistic style of animation assignments. Some drawing assignments will be in the form of homework.

Expected skills and other requirements:

Mastered basics of drawing, solid practical experience in figure drawing and experience in working with art styling.

Course content:

1) Keeping a drawing diary throughout the studies at KAT.

2) Figure drawing using models and anatomy.

3) Moving figure sketches using models and various environments (ballet, dancing, etc.)

4) Consultations regarding the artistic style, styling and the visual aspects of the animated assignment.


Evaluation methods and criteria:

Attending 70% of drawing lessons, active approach and involvement in one’s artistic development and knowledge in the field, good and open communication


History and Theory of Animation

Tutor: M. A. Eliška Děcká, Ph. D.

Learning results for the learning component:

At the end of this course, students will have a general knowledge of history and theory of animation with a special focus on Czech and East European independent auteur animation.  They will be able to understand better the vast potential of the contemporary animation medium (with its historical predecessors) and to identify animation’s possible overlaps into many other creative areas these days.

Form of study:

Lecture with screening and follow up discussion based on the screened films and assigned readings.

Expected skills and other requirements:

This course is suited for both animation practitioners (with personal experience in animation-making) and animation outsiders with a general interest in understanding the specificity and history of the animated medium.

Course content:

This course will focus on historical and theoretical aspects of animation. Based on the motto of one of the most significant animation theoretician and historian these days, Paul Wells: “There’s no theory without practice; no practice without theoryno progress without history,” students will be motivated in this class to not just absorb the knowledge passively but rather to come with their own interpretations, meanings and potential relevance of historical animation for the contemporary one, animation theory for practice (and vice-versa) and the medium of animation in general for our society today.

A special focus will be made on Czech (Czechoslovak) and East European independent auteur animation placed within the international context.


Please see the elective courses and modules prepared for the one year course students.