Art Course Descriptions

Art 2017-11-20T14:57:38+00:00

Semester 1

Art I Digital Asset Creation (DIG 5348C)

This course has several objectives. In the common class, students will be introduced to the entire graphics workflow within the context of game production. With the exercises related to weekly discussions, the students will develop a working familiarity with the fundamental game workflow including 2D concepts, game engines, 3D modelling, materials, lighting, animation and visual effects. Focus will be given to deliver all work within context of a particular game engine.

This course is comprised of a common core class for all artists in addition to three separate classes in areas of specializations: 2D Art/3D Art, Technical Art, and Animation. All students are required to attend all three specializations for the first eight weeks of class and then get portfolio feedback from an industry panel. Following that feedback, students will pick one specialization for the remainder of the program as well as participate in a drawing fundamentals class.

Art I Specializations

  • 2D/3D Art
    This course has several objectives, to teach the fundamentals of 3D modeling, 3D Painting and 3D sculpting and to take the results of those processes and apply them to game ready art for a game engine. This course is comprised of multiple sections, the first section will focus on the creation of a prop, then we will focus on a small organic creature, we will then move onto a complex creature that is composed of multiple material types and finally move on to the creation of a mini game environment.
  • Animation
    Animation will arm the student with a fundamental understanding of 3D animation principles and techniques and motion capture data editing for both narrative and real-time contexts. Areas of focus will include the body mechanics of locomotion, poses and timing for real-time, and multi character interaction. An introduction to the Motion Capture process will also be included with a real motion capture session.
  • Technical Art
    This course will act as an introduction for the students in the discipline of Technical Art.  Basic concepts of the game and film production workflow will be introduced with the role played by the Technical Artist/ Technical Director. This course will provide the fundamental skills required for the student to successfully handle the curriculum continuing on to semesters two and three. Math skills which will be required for successful completion of the curriculum’s later topics will be covered. Python will also be taught as a primer to programming languages needed by the technical Artist professional. Basic Tool design and creation will finish the training for this semester.

Production For Media (DIG 5529C; All Students)

To provide a fundamental understanding of the entire game development process, from pre-production to scheduling, budgeting, production, alpha, staffing, planning, and essential documentation.  This cycle will view the development process across multiple delivery platforms.  The class will focus on giving the Game Development student the knowledge and experience to operate in a professional and realistic environment.

Rapid Prototype Production I (DIG 5548C; All Students)

The course objective is to gain experience working in multidisciplinary teams.  Iteration is key as students master the life cycle of a project, collaborative brainstorming, how to learn new hardware/software platforms, and rapid prototyping through first-hand experience.  Over the course of the semester you will produce several game prototypes which demonstrate your creativity and production talents.  Most importantly, this course teaches you how to work in teams to achieve results far greater than the sum of the parts.  In order to further the team-building, trust, risk-taking, brainstorming, and creative collaboration goals of this course, improvisational acting techniques will also be explored in a separate lab.

Project work dominates as students are divided into small inter-disciplinary teams to create several short productions.  Project groups are shuffled each round, exposing students to a broad mix of teammates.

Semester 2

Art II-Advanced Digital Asset Creation (DIG 6559C)

This course has two primary objectives; Capstone project style guides and Capstone related cinematics. Style Guides set the mood and execution of your Capstone project from an artistic standpoint. These guides will define the visual rule set and principles for the Capstone projects. The students will devote the first eight weeks in the semester to the definition of their style guides. In the last portion of the semester, students will develop fundamental skills of planning and laying out a real-time game cinematic in a team based environment. Students will be immersed in advanced techniques through specialization classes in their chosen areas of concentration. The fruits of their individual work and study will be realized in both capstone game art production and the art class cinematic. The successful student will work with others in team dynamics and learn critical time and project management skills, balancing individual coursework and team commitments.

This course is comprised of a common core class for all artists in addition to 4 separate classes in areas of specializations: 2D Art, 3D Art, Technical Art, and Animation. In addition to attending the Common Class, the student must declare an area of concentration and attend that class for a grade.

Art II Specializations

  • 2D/3D Art II
    Students will take the tools and techniques learned in Semester I and expand on them. The first part of the semester will mainly be focused on how to take 3D and use it as a tool for generating design ideas and concepts.The second part of the semester will be a look at higher level tools for creating realistic materials and textures, the will lead into the students first major portfolio piece during their time here at FIEA.
  • Animation II
    Building upon the “12 Basic Animation Principles” learned in Animation I, students will explore more advanced animation techniques such as quadruped runs, pantomime and lip sync.  This semester the students will begin to move beyond basic techniques by incorporating personality and emotion in their animations.The course will begin with quadruped runs, and then move on to more advanced techniques for animating human characters.  This will culminate in the final assignment of a dialogue test of no more than 10 seconds.
  • Technical Art II
    Diving quickly into content creation, the Technical Artists will be thrust into an environment where they will start supporting artists and animators. The first portion of the semester will be devoted to Modern Rigging. After an Introduction to a state-of-the-art “Auto Rigger,” the TAs will be introduced the concepts of generating character skeletons, character skinning, basic rig creation and advanced rigging. The challenging topic of facial animation is then introduced. More than just an extension of the rigging module, the Technical Artists will not only be introduced to the theory and principles of facial animation but will also go through the process of generating their own facial animation rig. Similar to the Auto-Rigger, the Facial Rig will be treated as a semester project. The other portion of the semester will be devoted to the concepts and structure of writing modern 3D shaders compatible with rendering pipelines.

Game Lab (DIG 5856; All Students)

Game Lab is the survey and development of games being used in non-traditional applications, such as medical simulation, education and research.  Each student will be required to prepare and deliver a presentation on a topic related to games being used in non-traditional applications.  Students will break into self-defined groups and create an interactive game for a non-traditional application.

Capstone Preproduction And Prototyping (DIG 6547C; All Students)

The objective of this class is to show students how to progress from the prototype and plan that were made in the previous semester, into a finished product.  Classes will be entirely status updates, where students must present their progress each week, and receive feedback from faculty and other students.

This will be a project-based experiential learning class.  While learning to polish and refine their prototype concepts, students will be required to explore multiple sources for feedback, measuring the efficacy of their games, and reacting to this feedback on the fly by incorporating it into their scheduling.

Semester 3

Digital Asset Portfolio Development-Art III Common Core (DIG 6589C)

This course is geared towards developing a professional portfolio for entry into the field of interactive entertainment and related fields. Common class topics include real time rendering, portfolio development, presentation acumen and capstone support. Specialization classes continue to refine skills within 4 disciplines of 2D, 3D, Animation and Technical Art.

Art III Specializations

  • 2D/3D Art III
    The objective of this course is to expand and execute on the fundamental principals in design, form and function through the use of 2D and 3D art that were learned in the previous semesters and build upon those principals using new tools and processes. Students will learn how to create functional game art, how to iterate on these designs, and build final professional art portfolio pieces.
  • Animation III
    The objective of this course is to arm the student with a fundamental understanding of 3D animation principles and techniques and motion capture data editing for both narrative and real-time contexts. Areas of focus will include the body mechanics of locomotion, poses and timing for real-time, and multi character interaction. Advanced rigging and Unreal Engine 4 integration will also be explored. Student work from this class may be applied to team projects.
  • Technical Art III
    Building upon on the curriculum introduced in the first two semesters, this course will introduce advanced topics the students may encounter as a Technical Artist in the game community or a Technical Director in the film environment. These topics will cover issues such as Production Management, Advanced Rendering, Facial Animation and Advanced Technical Art subjects.  This course will inspire the confidence required for the student to successfully adapt to any environment or requested task encountered in the professional community.

Capstone Production (6718C; All Students)

This is the second half of the capstone project (the first half was pre-production). The objective of this class is to show students how to progress from the prototype and plan that were made in the previous semester, into a finished product. Classes will be entirely status updates, where students must present their progress each week, and receive feedback from faculty and other students.

This will be a project-based experiential learning class. While learning to polish and refine their prototype concepts, students will be required to explore multiple sources for feedback, measuring the efficacy of their games, and reacting to this feedback on the fly by incorporating it into their scheduling.

Semester 4

Art III: Portfolio Review (All Art Students Not On Game Design Practicum-Internship)

The objective of this course is to have the art students produce and present 3 professional level portfolio pieces to set themselves up for gainful employment when they leave the FIEA program. The class will be divided into four, four week sprints. There will be a portfolio piece due at the end of each 4 week sprint. The last 4 week sprint will be a polish sprint to address all notes from the previous 3 sprints.

Digital Venture Practicum (DIG 6947C; All Students Not On Game Design Practicum-Internship)

This class will simulate a start-up venture, whether it is a small team or a sole proprietorship. Provide an environment whereby students can learn through experimentation and feedback from peers and target market sampling. The final will include an investor business plan and product presentation. Course attendance will include lectures, presentations, workshops and reviews. Individual team meetings will be assigned with faculty and advisors.
This class will enable students to understand the many moving parts of a legal entity or business; whether the market and distribution complexities, software licensing choices, fixed assets, IP, contract and financial management. Assist students in building a discipline of continuous testing and improvement.

Game Design Practicum-Internship (DIG 6944C; All Students Not In Digital Venture Practicum)

Students can do a supervised internship in interactive entertainment industry in an approved work setting. Your actual work hours will be determined by your intern employment contract. At the conclusion of your internship, you will present a self-assessment of your work to your peers.