Interactive Media & Game Development
This course will focus on making digital art functional in a video game environment. Students will learn the skills necessary to create and optimize their art assets through several creative and technical solutions that are all geared towards making high quality game art.
This course will allow students to form a greater understanding of the bridge between pure art creation and interactive art implementation into a game engine. The course explores the many problems and technical restrictions one is faced with when trying to implement anything from animated characters to textures and focuses on how one can creatively apply technology to achieve high quality results.
Topics covered include: creating complex character rigs, optimizing character meshes for rigging, shader creation, optimizing UV space and baking texture files and lighting.
Recommended background: Basic knowledge of 3D modeling, texturing and animation (IMGD 2101 and IMGD 2201 or equivalent).
Students may not receive credit for both IMGD 204X and IMGD 2048.
The objective of this course is to teach students how to create 3D environments and props for use in digital models, games and animation. The course will examine different types of architecture used in games. The students will learn how to create interiors and exteriors for both historical and fictional environments; to design, model, texture, and render in high detail; and to import their models into game engines for testing and deployment. Topics may include the proper usage of space, scaling, set design, lighting, surface texturing, and basic camera animation.
Recommended Background: Basic 3D modeling skills such as that provided by AR 1101.
3D modeling is concerned with how to render created forms in a virtual
environment. This course covers 3D modeling applications in video game
development, film production, product design and fine art. Topics may include
creating and armature, modeling organic and hard surfaces and sculpting using
traditional techniques applied to a 3D model. Students will create works suitable
for presentation in professional quality portfolio.
Recommended background: AR 1100 and AR 1101.
This course offers in-depth analysis of the human figure in action. Motion will be observed through drawing and sketching of live models, video clips, performance and pantomime, studying not only the physical exterior but also how thoughts and emotion are expressed through gesture. Students will develop skill in figure posing and staging for applications in animation, storyboards, comics and illustration.
Recommended background: Figure Drawing (AR 2202).
2D Animation I teaches students how to draw, pose, breakdown and in-between characters for 2D animation, focusing on weight, balance, timing, and movement to achieve well-structured and fluid animation. Lectures and projects are conducted to train students in the twelve classical animation principles using digital 2D media. Projects and lectures are designed to practice the fundamentals of traditional frame-by-frame and hand-drawn character animation.
Recommended background: Basic knowledge of figure drawing (AR 2202) and digital art software (AR 1101) is recommended.
3D Animation I teaches students how to use 3D animation software to apply classical animation principles into 3D work. Lectures focus on creating organic and compelling character animation through body mechanics, weight, and dynamic posing in addition to exposing students to learning how to think about character acting and staging within a 3D environment.
Recommended background: Basic knowledge digital art software (AR 1101) is recommended.
Suggested background: Basic knowledge of animation (IMGD/AR 2222).
This course will present concepts and skills necessary to create compelling characters in interactive media and games. Topics covered may include the 3 dimensions of character, growth and development of the player-character and non-player characters, dialogue, character relationships and evoking emotions through rhetorical tropes.
Recommended background: Previous experience in the fundamentals of writing for interactive media and games, such as that provided by IMGD 1002: Storytelling for Interactive Media and Games.
Students may not receive credit for both IMGD/WR 2400 and IMGD 240X.
This course covers painting techniques as applied to texturing a 3D asset or
illustration/conceptual art. Topics include are color theory, study of form,
lighting, applying traditional painting ideas to the digital format, character
design, generation of ideas and a history of digital painting. Each class features a
demonstration on the topic followed by individual critique and study. Students
work towards a final project that may be suitable for an Art portfolio.
Recommended Background: AR 1101 (Digital imaging and Computer Art); AR 2202 (Figure Drawing)
Cat. II The objective of this course is to teach students how to create 3D environments and props for use in digital models, simulations, games, or animation. The course will examine different types of architecture used in 3D spaces. The students will learn how to create historical and fictional interior and exterior environments; to design, model, texture, and render in high details; and to import their creation into an engine for testing. Topics may include space, human scale, set design, surface texturing, and basic camera animation. Students may not receive credit for IMGD/AR 2740 and IMGD/AR 205X.
Recommended Background: Basic 3D modeling skills (AR 1101)
This course provides students the opportunity to gain hands-on proficiency with the 3D art development pipeline for interactive applications, from asset creation to post-production and integration. Topics will include workflow analysis; the use of scripting for procedural content generation and the automation of rigging, animation and lighting tasks; and the development of artist-friendly production tooling.
Recommended background: Prior experience with 3D content creation software such as that provided by IMGD 2101 (3D Modeling I), IMGD 2333 (3D Animation I) or IMGD 2048 (Technical Art and Character Rigging).
This course will build upon the skills learned in 3D MODELING with studies in life drawing/anatomy study and application towards completed character models. Students will create high resolution sculpts for real time game environments and animation. Topics covered will be character design as it applies to 3D MODELING, creating realistic design sculpts and incorporating them into a game environment as well as the study of anatomy as it applies to organic modeling.
Recommended Background: AR 1101, IMGD/AR 2101, AR 2202.
This course introduces students to techniques and processes for the creation of real-time, interactive works of art. Students learn to use electronic sensors and other tools for audio, graphics, and video processing, as well as design customized software interfaces to create interactive artworks that respond to users and their environment. The course also introduces students to the work of significant contemporary arts practitioners as well as their historical precedents, with a special emphasis on inter-media works that bridge visual art, music composition, and the performing arts. Topics may include electronic musical instruments and performance interfaces, computer vision, VJing, electronically-augmented dance, controller hacking, wired clothing, networked collaboration and mobile media, and algorithmic and generative art.
Recommended Background: Animation (AR/IMGD 2101 or equivalent), and exposure to digital audio or music and introductory programming.
This course will build upon the techniques learned in IMGD/AR 2222. Students will learn to apply the animation principles to character animation. Students are taught how to tell a compelling, character-driven story through a focus on character acting techniques such as body language, lip syncing, facial animation, and micro expressions. Additional topics covered may include sprites for games, biped and quadruped animation, and 2D animation pipelines. Students will create animated sequences that are intended to serve a narrative structure for games and other media.
Recommended background: Knowledge of digital 2D animation techniques and classical animation principles (IMGD/AR 2222).
This course will build upon the techniques learned in IMGD/AR 2333. Students will learn to apply the animation principles with a focus on character acting and cinematic animation. Students are taught how to tell a compelling, character-driven story through a focus on acting techniques such as body language, lip syncing, facial animation, and micro expressions whilst incorporating digital cinematography techniques. Additional topics covered may include creating 3D simulations for hair and cloth, biped and quadruped animation, and 3D animation pipelines. Students will create animated sequences that are intended to serve a narrative structure for games and other media.
Recommended background: Knowledge of digital 3D animation techniques and classical animation principles (IMGD/AR 2333).
This writing-intensive course covers concepts and skills necessary to write and implement narrative in interactive media and games. Topics include themes and style, different types of games and platforms, systemic storytelling, linear vs. non-linear narratives, editing, writing with purpose and audience in mind, and collaboration with other members of a development team.
Recommended background: Previous experience in writing for interactive media and games, such as that provided by IMGD/WR 2400: Writing Characters for Interactive Media & Games.
Students may not receive credit for both IMGD/WR 3400 and IMGD 340X.
This course will present concepts and skills necessary to write and implement narrative in games. Topics covered may include theme and style, different types of games and platforms, systemic storytelling, linear vs. non-linear narratives, editing and collaboration with other members of a development team.
Recommended background: Previous experience in writing for games.
This course covers drawing as it applies to concept art and illustration. The
course begins with study of a human model and representational drawing.
Following this, students work on drawing from the mind and applying the
lessons learned from the figure drawing to creating concept art and illustration.
Topics covered are shape recognition and recalling, inventing from the mind,
creative starters, study of form and light, visual composition and developing a
personal approach, working with individual strengths to create a compelling
visual design. Students create a series of concept art exercises and apply these
skills towards a personal project of their own.
Recommended Background: AR 2202 (Figure Drawing); IMGD/AR 2700 (Digital Painting)
Cat II (offered at least every other Year). This course provides students the opportunity to gain hands-on proficiency with the complete audio development pipeline for interactive applications, from concept and asset creation to post-production and integration. Topics may include custom recording techniques; procedural audio generation; audio object states and conditions; asset management; automated effects processing; and spatial presentation of audio in stereo, surround and mixed/virtual reality formats.
Animation Studio is intended to teach students the creative processes involved in
creating an animated production (2D, 3D or stop-motion) in the context of a collaborative studio environment. Students will have the opportunity to work on a single animated project for the entire term, gaining practical experience in all stages of the production pipeline (scripting, storyboarding, animatics, production and post-production).
Recommended background: Students should possess significant prior experience in the basic techniques of animation and 3D modeling, such as that provided by IMGD/AR 2101 and IMGD/AR 3201.
Advanced software design and programming techniques from artificial intelligence are key contributors to the experience of modern computer games and virtual environments, either by directly controlling a non-player character or through more subtle manipulation of environment. This course will cover the current state of the art in the area, as well as prepare students for the next generation of AI contributions. We will study the application of AI techniques such as search, planning, machine learning, emotion modeling and natural language processing, to game problems such as navigations, strategy, believability and narrative control. Students will implement several small AI demonstration games.
Recommended background: IMGD 4000
Students may not receive credit for both IMGD 4100 and IMGD 400X.
This course will be offered in 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.
This course will familiarize students with the history of the development, deployment, commercialization, and evolution of immersive and active media. The lesson plan will cover a broad range of enabling technologies, such as geometric perspective drawing, pre-20th-century panoramic displays, photography and the stereoscope, sound recording and reproduction, motion pictures, radio and television, the planetarium, immersive and 3-dimensional cinema, and special attraction venues, with a particular focus on digital games. Current trends and future directions will also be considered. Students will attend seminars and lectures, read and discuss texts on media history and aesthetics, and write an original research paper. Midterm and final exams test students knowledge and understanding of important events and developments. A student may not receive credit for both IMGD 3200 and IMGD 4200.
This is a "studio" course in which the instructor will guide and mentor the students on individual and/or joint projects. The focus of the course will be on the design of interactive media and games, with the students designing (and optionally implementing) one or more games or interactive experiences. There will also be readings and discussion of design theory as it relates to student projects.
This is a studio course in which the instructor will guide and mentor the students on individual and/or joint projects. The focus of the course will be on the design of interactive media and games, with the students designing (and optionally implementing) one or more games or interactive experiences. There will also be readings and discussion of design theory as it relates to student projects. This course can be taken for M.S. credit twice if desired.
In this course, students learn foundational theories and gain foundational skills in interactive media, game development, and computational media targeted at the graduate level, for students with a prior undergraduate background in related fields. Students will read about contemporary challenges in application of these fundamentals to IMGD-related projects, and build disciplinary knowledge and practices necessary for the creation of interactive media and/or games. Topics covered in this course alternate each year based on instructor. Different instantiations of the course cover topics in programming and computing in media contexts (computation studio), art asset conceptualization, creation, and iteration (visual arts studio), audio remixing and composition methods (audio lab), and narrative in interactive contexts (narrative design lab). This course will be offered each year, with topic defined by the faculty member teaching it.
Tangible and embodied interaction sees humans at the center of the designed experience. A number of systems continue to emerge to immerse the body into a system, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, alternative controls in the forms of guitars or cockpits, sewing machines, mobile phones and technologies, and even more. Through a combination of traditional lecture, literature review, and hands-on work, students will learn to critically evaluate different alternatives, build prototype systems, and design comparative evaluations to test the effectiveness of various techniques. Students will be expected to implement several techniques as part of this course.
This course will introduce students to the theories of design, the purpose of which is to guide students in articulating a design vision that can then be implemented in an interactive experience such as a computer game or an art installation. The design elements addressed in this course are as follows: narrative, visual, sound, spatial, challenges and objectives, and characters. This course also emphasizes the communicative strategies needed to sell other people on a design in order to enter production, convince investors, and engage users. Students will be required to design an environment that is populated in a meaningful way that is dependant on the purpose of their visions. They will provide mock-ups of this environment that they must present to their stakeholders - the professor and peers - and finally create prototypes that help them sell their design idea. Throughout the class, students will be writing their designs in professional genres, presenting their designs to the class (often called a pitch), and discuss the theories and practices of design during in-class meetings.
This course focuses on the process of creating a set of documents encompassing the design and vision of a piece of interactive media, methods for structuring the implementation of the design, and tools for successfully managing the project. Students will analyze different types of design documents, focusing on form and purpose while also considering audience and publication medium. Students will write design documents, give peer feedback, and revise their own documents based on feedback received. In order to see their design transform from document to product, students will study different project management methods and employ them, defining in detail discrete components, timelines, milestones, players and their responsibilities, and status reports to stakeholders. Tools common to managing interactive media projects (e.g., source-code revision control, asset management, scheduling) will be used throughout the process.
This course covers methods and analysis for designing, implementing, and assessing games in serious, applied contexts. Often called serious games or applied games, these are game-based media that teach, engage with social issues, aim to increase empathy, or affect behavioral change. Students will read contemporary literature in the field of serious and applied games, design and implement their own games, and measure the effectiveness of those games in achieving educational or motivational goals.
This course covers research methods used in computational and interactive media. As an interdisciplinary field, computational media relies on multiple research methods, such as qualitative, quantitative, design-based research, iterative design methodology, player and user-testing, historical and cultural research methods, computational reasoning, data analysis, and visual analysis. Students will read broadly in research methodologies and discuss applicability and adaptability for particular processes and research questions.
(1 credit) This course introduces students to the state of the field and current research in the program. Both faculty and external visitors to IMGD will speak at the colloquia on contemporary and emergent topics in interactive media and game design. This course is taken with a pass/fail grading option.
This course introduces students to the state of the field and current research in the program. Both faculty and external visitors to IMGD will speak at the colloquia on contemporary and emergent topics in interactive media and game design. This course is taken with a pass/fail grading option.
This course meets weekly to professionalize students preparing for the academic or artistic job markets. Topics will include goal setting, application materials, practice interviews, practice teaching demonstrations, portfolio development, and other materials as needed. This course is taken with a pass/fail grading option.