I've started my first semester at USC. The animation department is situated in the B building of the School of Cinema Arts complex. Cubicle spaces are assigned to graduate students on the third floor. They're designed similar to the office style cubicles, divided into three partions: first year, second year, and third year.
The graduate animation curriculum is designed around five core classes: animation technologies, animation history, character animation, animation workshop, and an industry seminar.
Art of Animation: The class is a series of lectures and workshops where we are asked to create short animated sequences within an hour time limit. Our first assignment was to create two flip books and an animated sequence for Zoetrope.
Zeotrope: The Zeotrope was first popularized as type of parlor trick to be used as entertainment in the home. The images' rapid rotation creates an illusion of motion as the brain cannot perceive the changing images. The persistence of vision is created when the perception of an object overlaps another in the brain.
The process of creating a homemade zeotropic animation is to create a 12 framed cycle on a circular disk. The disk can be spun on a record player with a permeated Baskin Robins bucket and a lamp.