COURSES ALL

3D for Fine Artists
This course will introduce the possibilities, techniques and strategies of incorporating 3D animation and modeling software into a contemporary fine art practice. It is intended for students who are not necessarily pursuing 3D animation as a specialization. MAYA will serve as the exploratory platform and will be introduced through a series of lectures and assignments. The course will also survey the historical and contemporary use of 3D computer graphics in fine art. Assigned projects will include both still and time-based imagery.

Everett Kane

3D Modeling and Animation
The technical concepts of creating computer-generated 3D imagery will be the focus of this course. We will also examine the application of the aesthetic concepts of traditional animation to create 3D animation. Geometric construction, surface texturing, scene illumination and cameras will be covered. Techniques such as squash-and-stretch, anticipation, follow-through, overlapping action, arcs of motion, exaggeration, staging and appeal will be explored. Assignments integrate technical and aesthetic information into short, creative 3D animation projects.

Advanced Interface Design
Strategies for interface design will be explored within a conceptual framework of content, usability and visual design. This course will investigate interactive media content structure as it applies to user-centered design and the specific ways of how to build usable, effective and meaningful interfaces. Concepts and design strategies that incorporate layout, color, graphics, symbols, grids and typography will be the foundation for producing interface designs for the web, mobile devices and kiosks. Students will create content and design interfaces for a variety of media.

Jeannie Kang

Advanced Modeling and Rigging Concepts
Creating animated characters is one of the most challenging aspects of modern cinema. In this course, students will learn how to create 3D characters from design to modeling and setup through the development of a character pipeline. Considerations in character design, how to incorporate anatomy to improve characters workability, and how to develop a flexible nonlinear work flow will be covered. Modeling issues such as geometry types, topology and efficiency will also be explored. Rigging topics will include inverse kinematics and forward kinematics, expression and binary nodes, joint placement and orientations, and binding and deforming skin geometry. Students are expected to actively participate through weekly assignments and critiques. By the end of the course, students will have created a character they can easily animate.

Everett Kane

Advanced Video Projects
After mastering the basics of creating, editing and compositing digital video image sequences, the issues of refining a directing style and content choice become relevant. Students will produce short video projects and/or webcast programs that will be presented for group critique. Lecture topics will include directing styles, editing philosophies and advanced topics.

Ed Bowes

Animation Culture
Why do we love animation? What is it doing for us—or to us? This course will explore the impact of animation on our perception and culture through screenings, discussions and written work. We will discuss how pervasive animated worlds influence people through entertainment, games, advertising, broadcast media, medicine, law and architecture. The use of animation as commentary on topics such as politics, emotional life and intimacy will be considered. The culture of animation itself—as represented by legendary companies, people and practices of this multifaceted art form—will also be addressed. Guest speakers and field trips are included.

Trilby Schreiber

App Culture: The Medium of Mobile Software
This course is an introduction to designing and programming apps for the iPhone OS. Students will learn the iPhone application development process using Cocoa Touch/Objective-C within the X-Code IDE and should be comfortable with the fundamentals of programming. Class lectures will involve writing software code and also include a larger discussion of app culture. The steps in developing an app are traced from Interface Builder to deployment in the App Store. Students will be expected to produce an app for their final project. Note: We will use code simulators, so students do not have to own an iPhone or iPad to develop and test their apps.

John Simon Jr.

Art & Technology and the New York Avant-Garde
In this course, computer technology will be examined in the context of the artistic New York avant-garde. We will delve into discussions of Dada and neo-Dada concepts, procedures and artists relevant to computer technology (e.g., interactivity, hypermedia, immersion, virtual reality and other aspects of digital art). Audio art and multimedia are examined in detail in this context as is the impact of digital technology on the practices of poetry, painting, sculpture and architecture. Weekly readings are assigned and students will complete a research assignment. Content will be divided into four major topics that heavily reference the history of the New York avant-garde and its relevance to digital culture.

Joseph Nechvatal

Character Animation I
This course is designed to deepen students’ understanding of 3D character animation through a study of model rigging, animation, camera, texture mapping and other techniques central to the practice of character animation. Emphasis will be on the conveyance of character through movement according to animation principles and their implementation with software tools standard to the industry. Short team assignments will focus on developing two contrasting animated characters.

Character Animation II
This course will provide thesis students with a workshop setting in which to solve advanced animation problems and deepen their practical understanding of professional techniques. It will focus on advanced animation techniques such as hierarchical modeling, inverse kinematics, model deformation (morphing), animating lights and camera movement, rotoscoping, lip sync and facial expressions. Students are encouraged to explore other advanced techniques such as particle systems, plant growth and special effects. The course will be divided into lectures, demonstrations, tutorials, in-class exercises and critiques.

Carl Edwards

Compositing
This course will survey a range of aesthetic issues, practical techniques and software applications used for digital compositing. The role of compositing in feature film and television commercial production will be examined in depth through practical examples. Students will be assigned short projects that reflect the ideas and techniques discussed in class and will present their creative work for group critique.

Thomas Smith

Computer Systems I
This course will demystify hardware and software components of computing systems in general, and will empower students with practical decision-making skills of a technical nature. We will discuss the user-interface, operating system, CPU technology and bus architecture of the platforms in the MFA Computer Art Lab. We will undertake a comparative study of programming languages. Further discussion will include mass storage, input/output devices and networking.

Todd Brous

Computer Systems II
The MFA Computer Art Lab is a sophisticated and complex network of computers, peripherals, software, servers and other high-end components. If students are to take advantage of the true potential and power of the MFA lab, indoctrination in “real-world” problem solving is necessary. This course dissects, researches and solves systems problems that prepare students to successfully execute a thesis in interactive media or networked media. In addition to lectures, field trips will be made to state-of-the-art facilities.

Todd Brous

Contemporary Voices
Guest artists will discuss their artwork in a forum designed to help students understand the work of their contemporaries. By exposing students to a spectrum of computer art-making possibilities, this course inspires creative work and provides an opportunity to meet prospective thesis advisors and professional digital artists.

Kathy Brew

Digital Art Seminars I
These seminars will address many aspects of digital art history and theory, including the evolution of digital technologies through an examination of the key theorists and practicing artists who have defined the digital media field. The primary goal is to expose students to the broad range of ideas and forms of expression that the digital arts encompass. Students will clarify and expand their personal creative niche within the context of contemporary art and culture, through research, short written assignments and creative experimentation. This series offers a historical and theoretical foundation in the digital arts, along with establishing a familiarity with contemporary art in New York City through gallery visits, artist talks and guest lectures.

Trilby Schreiber

Digital Art Seminars II
This is the second part of a two-semester course. These seminars will address many aspects of digital art history and theory, including the evolution of digital technologies through an examination of the key theorists and practicing artists who have defined the digital media field. The primary goal is to expose students to the broad range of ideas and forms of expression that the digital arts encompass. Students will clarify and expand their personal creative niche within the context of contemporary art and culture, through research, short written assignments and creative experimentation. This series offers a historical and theoretical foundation in the digital arts, along with establishing a familiarity with contemporary art in New York City through gallery visits, artist talks and guest lectures.

Trilby Schreiber

Digital Matte Painting
Matte painting has been used since the dawn of motion pictures, and continues to be an important component of making movies: spanning Georges Melies's pioneering 1902 film, A Trip to the Moon, to James Gameron's groundbreaking 3D spectacle, Avatar. While matte paintings were once created on location using large sheets of glass, the digital revolution has extended its use and versatility by combining traditional painting skills with cutting-edge technology. Beyond the technical challenges of creating potorealistic landscapes and interiors, matte paintings have an essential role in capturing the flimmaker's vision, and remain the most cost-effective way to create panoramic shots without building expensive sets.

D. Mattingly

Digital Montage
The theoretical function of montage will be investigated by examining how digital compositing tools and techniques have impacted the creation and perception of still and temporal imagery. The history of montage will also be explored through selected theoretical readings that will help students to place their personal practice within the broader context of digital art and culture. Course work will progress from the creation of still imagery to motion graphics using Adobe Photoshop, After Effects and other software. Class time will be divided between critical discussions and studio projects.

Robert Bowen

Digital Sculpture I
This course will examine several methods of virtual to digital output. It will cover the software programs needed to successfully translate creative ideas into a file format that will be used for printing, cutting or to machine-build the project. Applications include SolidWorks, Rhino, Modo, SketchUp, Sculptris, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Geomagic, MasterCam, Vcarve Pro, and Cut3D. Weekly assignments will familiarize students with 3D scanning and printing, laser and CNC miling and cutting machines, and other techniques. The work of well-known artists who use these technologies as well as the history of these types of artistic production will be discussed.

Erik Guzman

Digital Sculpture II
This course is a continuation of Digital Sculpture I. After having mastered the basics of digital and mechanical methods of making art, students will begin to work on advanced projects. Class time will include individual, as well as group critique and discussions on the evolving aesthetics of this type of work. Students will be expected to produce several projects during the course of the semester, or may use this class as an adjunct to fabricating their thesis project.

Erik Guzman

Dynamics and Particle Systems
Particles and dynamics will be used in this course to explore a variety of special effects families, including: explosions, chemical reactions, flocking animals, complex morphing, meteorological phenomena, glows, magical effects, dust and tornadoes. The effects will be built from scratch and then we will identify, refine and control the most essential aesthetic parameters. Topics will include: particles, fields, goals, collision detection, the instancer, springs, paint effects, hard and soft bodies, deformer interaction, shader networks, glows, software and hardware render compositing, and lighting. Students will develop a strong foundation in MEL(Maya Embedded Language).

Everett Kane

Ecstasy and Apocalypse
In this course, we will study selected science-fiction utopias and dystopias in popular culture, literature, cinema and theoretical writing from the 19th century to the present. We will begin with the question, “Why is science fiction our political theory?” in order to use the genre to analyze relations of power and control; capi- talism and the media; ethics and freedom; definitions of human, gender and race in an increasingly bioengineered world. Among the texts will be Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, George Orwell’s 1984, Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, as well as essays by Donna Haraway, Tom Moylan, H. G. Wells, Frederic Jameson, Scott Bukatman, Allucquére Rosanne Stone, Samuel Delany and Jean Baudrillard. Students will have the choice of writing a seminar paper or creating a piece of serious critical work in another medium for their final project.

Thyrza Nichols Goodeve

Game Design
The study of interactive design is at the core of what is unique to creating art on the computer. Game design is the creation of interactive, self-contained systems of rules usually containing a challenge and a victory condition. This course is geared not only toward those interested in the game industry, but also toward artists and designers interested in creating compelling and meaningful interactivity. This goal will be met through the exploration and critique of the work of interactive artists and commercial game designers. The course will include guest lectures by contemporary artists and game designers; readings, including essays and interviews; hands-on assignments to conceive and create paper prototypes for games; analysis and critique of student assignments, commercial games and fine art games. Students are expected to research and play games that lie outside the course syllabus and to share those experiences in a thoughtful and meaningful way.

Nikita Mikros

History of New Media in Contemporary Art
This course will explore developments in 20th-century art with a particular focus on artists’ practices that examine or embrace new circumstances in the media and technologies of their time. Students will also research and discuss related work of critics and theorists. The term “new media” will be treated broadly to include developments in film, photography and radio, as well as the beliefs and expectations that accompany new technologies.

Andy Deck

Independent Study
Independent study is granted to students in the second year, who wish to pursue a special project not covered by the parameters of course curriculum. Students work independently, under the tutelage of an appropriate faculty member or professional sponsor. Prior to beginning independent study, students must submit a detailed proposal that outlines their goals. At the end of the semester, a summary of the completed work is required. Independent study proposals must be approved by the departmental advisor and the department chair.

Interface Design
This course will examine advanced issues and techniques of user-centered design. In addition, a general approach to interface design will be explored through review of other interactive networked environments and kiosk-based works. Students will be challenged to achieve unique and workable design decisions, and will test their projects with prototypes. Field trips and guest lectures by leading interface designers will provide a forum for discussion.

Richard Shupe

Internship
Students can gain valuable professional exposure and experience through an internship project with a professional sponsor or an employer. The departmental advisor and department chair can assist in locating internships that suit students’ goals. To receive credit, students must get departmental approval in advance, start the internship by the third week of the semester, and receive a positive evaluation from the sponsor/employer at semester’s end.

Max/MSP/Jitter I
Students will learn how to use Max/MSP/Jitter by Cycling 74, a programming environment that allows you to create interactive environments with MIDI (Max), real-time audio processing (MSP), and real-time graphics and video processing (Jitter). Max can be used for developing interactive installations and improvisation/ performance systems. This course will cover the fundamentals of designing programs in Max, as well as how to integrate simple hardware systems and the basics of real-time sound and video processing. Students will create one or two projects. Occasional group critiques will be given.

Kurt Ralske

Max/MSP/Jitter II
A continuation of HSG-5564, Max/MSP/Jitter I, this course will further explore utilizing Max to create interactive works. Topics such as audio and video analysis, application development, generative sound and 3D graphics will be covered. Students will be expected to create a substantial project using Max. Occasional group critiques will be given.

Kurt Ralske

Max/MSP/Jitter III
Geared for students working on thesis projects in the areas of installation art, interactive video, sound art and performance, this course will focus on advanced features and application development using Max software. Topics will also include real-time 3D graphics, improvising with algorithms, and using Max with a network. In addition to a deeper exploration of the advanced audio and video processing aspects of this graphic programming environment, students will be given assistance with Max for their thesis projects, as well as individual and group critiques.

Kurt Ralske

Motion Graphics I
Encompassing drawing, two- and three-dimensional animation, video, photography, stop motion and typographic elements, motion graphics extend beyond the commonly used methods of frame-by-frame animation and live action and create a conglomeration of multiple visual styles. Motion graphics can be used to creatively go beyond the rules of representation, thus augmenting the various ways that media artists can delve into their imaginations and express unique visual and aural works. While the primary software for this course is Adobe After Effects, students are strongly encouraged to explore the palette of creative software available to them, as well as experiment with traditional media. Project critiques will be given to develop an informed sense of refined creative expression.

Adam Meyers

Motion Graphics II
A continuation of SCG-5641, Motion Graphics l, this course is intended to develop creativity and a personal style, as well as hone professionals and artistic skills. It will focus on an innovative approach to producing motion graphics projects, including crossover (designers as artists, artists as designers), inspiration, osmosis and looking beyond the screen to the world around us. The art of title design for opening sequences will also be addressed. Self-directed short and long term projects within an artistic design framework will be supported, and group critiques will help to develop communication and visual analytic skills. Reel building will be examined to further professional development. This course is for flexible, open-minded thinkers who want to explore their creative vision and learn the art of communication through moving imagery. Prerequisites: SCG-5641, Motion Graphics l, or equivalent, and a working knowledge of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

Ada Whitney

Multimedia Programming I
Multimedia programming concepts using Flash ActionScript as a foundation will be introduced in this course. Topics will include variables, data types, scope, conditionals, loops, functions, and program flow. Similar compatible languages— such as JavaScript, PHP and Processing—will be discussed briefly, with a focus on language similarities and differences. Additional technologies, such as audio, video, XML, authoring for mobile devices and external sensors and controllers may also be explored. These comparative looks at programming approaches will help students determine which will be most useful during thesis development. The course will consist of lectures, short weekly assignments, and a final project.

Richard Shupe

Multimedia Programming II
A continuation of HSG-5202, Multimedia Programming I, this course is intended for students interested in producing highly interactive creative work, including games, installation art and rich media Web sites. We will cover advanced programming topics related to the design and creation of interactive media. Object-oriented programming and design will also be explored through a series of short assignments using Flash and ActionScript. Course time will be divided between lecture, discussion and group critique.

Richard Shupe

Multimedia Studio I
Offering a context for producing multimedia and addressing issues relating to audiovisual production and aesthetics, this course will give a solid grounding in the design and execution of multimedia, including interactive and network-based media artworks. In addition to lectures, discussion and group critique, students will work on short creative assignments as well as a personal project. Multimedia is assumed to be a time-based concentration; therefore, assignments will incorporate audio, synchronization and motion graphics elements. Emphasis will be placed on studio practice using Adobe Flash.

Joshua Davis

Multimedia Studio II
A continuation of SCG-5537, Multimedia Studio I, this course will focus on the conceptualization and production of interactive and networked media artworks. Emphasis will be placed on studio practice using Flash ActionScript as the primary exploratory platform. Topics will focus on advanced interactivity using database and rich media structures to incorporate video, audio, graphic imagery and typography for stand-alone, networked, and mobile creative solutions. The course will consist of lecture, discussion, several creative assignments, and group critique. Prerequisites: SCG-5537, Multimedia Studio I.

Joshua Davis

Networked Media Seminar
This course will introduce students to the history and critical theory surrounding artworks that utilize computer networks and interactive telecommunications technologies. The course will outline the history of tele- and network communications and basic Internet technologies as well as the forms and concepts of interaction and participation related to them. We will examine aesthetic and technological possibilities for artworks in networked environments ranging from the Internet and networked installations to locative media projects using mobile devices such as PDAs, cell phones and GPS. Through a series of readings, discussions and written assignments, class members will learn to articulate their interests and concerns as artists working with these technologies.

Michael Connor

New Forms in Video
A half century ago, video was only available through the medium of television. Today, video is accessible through the Internet, DVD, PDA, installations, sculpture, performances, mobile phones, etc. The objective of this studio course is to investigate multiple means of creating and distributing video art. Gathering imagery using both lens-based and non-lens-based technologies will be explored, including various types of video cameras such as “pinhole” CCD cameras that are used for surveillance applications, stop motion and time-lapse techniques. Interactive forms of video will be examined. We will also explore the many ways that video can be displayed and acted upon, such as projection and LCDs. Alternative distribution technologies will be covered. Students will be assigned a semesterlong project that must be completed in at least two of the following media: Internet, installation, PDA, performance, interactive screen-based application, sculpture, DVD or hybrid.

Jarryd Lowder

New Media Theory
The history and theory of new media from aesthetic, cultural and political perspectives will be outlined in this course. Key texts from science, technology, cultural theory and philosophy will be used to illustrate how mediation in various forms has impacted perception, communication, information systems and cultural production. Prominent theories will be referenced to trace the development of the term “new media.” Other topics include the logic of the database as a new cultural form, as well as notions of software and the power of code’s structures and rules. How networks affect cultural production—from social networking to semantic filtering to intellectual properties and urbanity—will be explored. Through lectures, reading assignments and discussions, new media will be positioned in this larger cultural context.

Michael Connor

Physical Computing I
Artworks and technologies that interface computing with objects and spaces in the physical world are the central concerns of this course. Students will become familiar with basic electronics, sensing technologies, simple microcontrollers, computer-controlled motors and other actuators, as well as installation, robotics, telepresence and network-based projects that utilize them. Class members will be expected to simultaneously develop an articulate, theoretical basis for conceptualizing and discussing such works. While the course is highly technical, the development and realization of student projects will be the primary focus.

Federico Muelas

Physical Computing II
A continuation of SCG-5586, Physical Computing I, this course will go into greater depth in the examination and discussion of available technologies for creating interactive artworks and installations that involve sensors, microcontrollers, motors and other means of interfacing the physical and the virtual. Development and realization of artworks will be the primary focus of the course.

Federico Muelas

Physical Computing III
A continuation of SCG-6386, Physical Computing II, this course will go into greater depth in the examination and discussion of available technologies for creating interactive artworks that involve sensors, microcontrollers, motors and other means of interfacing the physical and the virtual. Exploring solutions for thesis projects will be the focus of the course; however, we will also explore advanced topics such as robotics, wireless sensor and data transmission solutions.

Federico Muelas

Production Issues: Animation I
This course will examine the production of animation projects and will cover such topics as animation choreography, camera and character motion, texturing, lighting, effects, rendering and compositing. Focusing on production methods as they are practiced in the professional world, assignments will address the conceptualization, design, scheduling and techniques of animation production.

In Pyo Hong

Production Issues: Animation II
A continuation of SCG-6401-A, Production Issues: Animation, this course will go into greater depth in the examination and discussion of thesis projects and professional production methods. Advanced techniques in lighting, texturing and rendering will be covered.

In Pyo Hong

Production Issues: Interactive Media I
This course will examine the production of interactive projects, including asset development and integration, programming, testing, debugging and delivery. Divided into a lecture/individual format, both new topics and student projects will be examined. Specific areas of focus include: improving programming techniques (including focused efforts in JavaScript, and ActionScript), crossplatform development issues, testing and debugging approaches and more. The main thrust of the course will be toward providing support for the creation of thesis projects, and teaching students production methods as they are practiced in the professional world.

Richard Shupe

Production Issues: Interactive Media II
A continuation of SCG-6401-B, Production Issues: Interactive Media, this course will go into greater depth in the examination and discussion of thesis projects and professional production methods. Advanced programming techniques in JavaScript and ActionScript, as well as audio and video issues, will be covered.

Richard Shupe

Programming for Animators
A thorough grounding in programming is essential for all animators and artists working with 3D software. The goal of this course is to incorporate scripting and coding to enhance the artistry and creativity of the Maya-based animator through using MEL(Maya Embedded Language). Topics will include syntax, data types, conditionals, loops, global and local procedures(subroutines), information management, coding the manipulation of color, time, mesh, lighting, texturing and rendering properties. We will also explore the multiplicity of code equivalents for GUI methodologies, and students will work under the hood to manipulate rigs, interactivity and their own personal creations. A secondary emphasis of the course will be using code to discover alternative methodologies in animation software that can lead to the production of the fine art. Fine-arts theory and the history of technology-based artworks are included.

Everett Kane

Programming for Artists I
Intended for students with no prior exposure to computer programming, this course is recommended for all concentrations. Beginning with a discussion about how programming has evolved to its present form, students will gain an understanding of the various applications of computer programming and the flexibility it allows for going beyond commercially available software products. Emphasis will be placed on solving creative problems. Topics will include understanding computer architecture, basic programming constructs, a survey of languages and their applications, procedural vs. object-oriented programming, graphics programming, and an introduction to the Processing programming language and environment. The course will consist of lectures and short weekly assignments.

Clement Valla

Programming for Artists II
A continuation of HSG-5111, Programming For Artists I, this course will further explore object-oriented and graphics programming through the use of the Processing programming language and environment, and will introduce the Java programming language and environment. Emphasis will be placed on solving creative problems by going beyond commercially available software products. Topics will include understanding computer architecture, 2D and 3D image processing, intermediate programming constructs, and rich media Web solutions. The course will consist of lectures and short weekly assignments.

John Simon Jr.

Seminar in Musical Choices
Guiding students toward a process for designing a sound environment that is properly connected to their visual concept is the premise of this course. The process will provide a sound accompaniment to help students better realize the story line and the motion of characters involved in their animations. Web site designers and installation artists can achieve a strong musical reference point in order to formulate a sensible sound parallel to their visuals. Students will learn how to make music choices for projects that will guide artistic vision or enhance what is already conceived.

Edgar David Grana

Social Change In The New Media Age
Rather than simply looking at a series of 'political artworks' or 'political artists', this course aims to encourage students to reflect on political and ethical judgment within the terms of our contemporary cultural condition. It is organized around a series of key political and philosophical issues, such as the public sphere, intellectual property, privacy, technology, the nation-state, genetics, and the environment. We will consider the fate of these concepts within a social space increasingly defined by new technologies of communication, circulation, and retrieval. The course will ask how art might play a particular role in charting new political and ethical frameworks to address present circumstances.

Andy Deck

Sound Design
The fundamentals of sound design will be the focus of this course. Underscoring the visual image and how the principles of music work with time-based and interactive media will be addressed. Topics will include: selection and use of prerecorded material; creation of music and audio content; music and sound production time constraints for animations, websites, DVDs, videos and other digital media projects and developing the final track. Discussions will center on the differences between working with sound in a narrative and an interactive environment. Projects will be presented for in-class critique. Note: The composition of original music is not required.

Edgar David Grana

Sound Workshop I
Intended as an introduction to the creative possibilities of the medium of sound, this course will give equal emphasis to ideas relating to sound composition—structure, form, texture—and technical considerations in gaining competency with the equipment. Concepts relating to the physics and biology of sound, as well as the history of sound recording technology, are included. The focus is on creating and refining “sound art” compositions. Students will also learn the process of “sound design” that refers to creating sound to accompany video or film imagery. Digidesign ProTools is the primary audio editing software/hardware employed.

Sound Workshop II
Building on the material covered in SCG-5462, Sound Workshop I, this course will introduce the conceptual and technical context for the composition of music. Work will include creative projects, in-class listening, critique, lecture and discussion. Primary areas in which the capabilities of Digidesign’s Pro Tools are expanded will be covered: music composition using MIDI sequencing and real- time, surround-sound mixing. Many different “virtual instrument” (software-based synthesizer) plug-ins will be explored from developers such as Digidesign, Arturia and GForce.

Jarryd Lowder

Stereoscopic 3D
Stereoscopic 3D, which provides separate images for each eye, has been part of imaging since the dawn of photography. Working with stereo imagery has become increasingly valuable in entertainment, and the arts and sciences. It also offers a window into visual perception and the opportunity to reexamine many of the techniques and issues confronted in conventional image work. This course will cover all of the diverse methods and artistic possibilities for producing and displaying stereo imagery. Students will produce several stereoscopic projects that explore their own artwork using video, still images or animation.

Gerald Marks

Story Structures I
This course will study the structural elements underlying animated entertainment, traditional and experimental linear and nonlinear narratives. Story structures will be analyzed with the objective of discovering what kind of experience can be conveyed within 30 seconds, a few minutes or longer in art and entertainment. The course will provide an understanding of temporal composition that will enable students to engage the audience in a dynamic visual, emotional and spiritual experience. Throughout the semester, students will develop an original story concept or adaptation realized through storyboards, animatics and previsualization. Note: Students will be encouraged to attend drawing and software workshops to refine their visualization skills.

Kevin Brownie

Story Structures II
A continuation of SCG-5441, Story Structures I, this course centers on honing the craft of screenwriting, storyboarding, animatic production and previsualization. Students will focus on the further development of concepts, such as the central dramatic question, inciting incident, idiosyncratic characters and spaces, conflicts and needs, mounting tension, turning points, reversals and denouement. These ideas will be explored through the viewing and examination of key works in the field. Students will develop an original story concept or adaptation that will be realized as a film treatment, including script, storyboard, animatic and previsualization. Class assignments will form the basis of future projects and/or the thesis project.

Kevin Brownie

Technical Direction
A technical director manages the relationship between software options and computational processes in the animation production pipeline in order to achieve optimum visual results using the most economic means. This course will study script-based approaches to modeling, rigging and constraints, texture mapping and shaders, illumination algorithms, renderers and rendering, compositing and other 3D animation tools and techniques. Shell scripting, MEL and the Maya expression language will be examined in detail.

Everett Kane

Theory, Criticism and History of Time Based Media
As the first time based medium, film quickly became a primary means of cultural expression and an icon of popular culture. Early works by Thomas Edison included live action, stop motions and animation. Although digital projection, 3D and Web-based technologies have begun to supercede the film medium, its history, including video and animation, provides a wellspring of ideas and practices that demand theoretical and critical analysis. This course will address the vocabulary, grammar and syntax of experimental and mainstream film language, while examining and analyzing basic film constructs, genres and forms. Focusing on these issues from an international perspective, students will explore time-based media through the works of theorists, critics and practitioners. Reading and writing assignments will be complemented by student presentations, guest lectures and discussion.

Amresh Sinha

Thesis Continuation
This course will guide students who are in the final stages of thesis production through the completion of their thesis by providing a forum for discussion and critique of work-in-progress.

Bruce Wands

Thesis Development
Intended to assist students in the defining and production of a thesis proposal, this course will examine approaches to clearly articulate the center concept of the thesis and the implementation of idea to the creative process. Through short readings and written exercises that introduce students to the major texts and resources in their chosen field of interest, we will focus on initial research strategies for the development of a thesis project. Students will undertake a series of short projects that include documentation, proposals, book reports and prototypes. Students will also gain experience presenting and discussing their creative ides in class.

Thesis I
This course is intended to guide students through the initial stages of their thesis. A forum for discussion and critique of thesis work-in-progress with faculty, class members and visiting artists will be provided. The thesis project consists of documented research and a body of finished work for the MFA degree. Work should reflect individual direction and interests, attained through an awareness of the computer and its creative potential in the chosen area of practice. The thesis process takes a minimum of two semesters. In Thesis I, students will finalize a written thesis proposal, conduct research and begin their creative work. Throughout the year, students will work with a thesis group leader and the department chair.

Thesis II
A continuation of SCG-6050, Thesis I, this course is geared to achieving the goals outlined in their thesis proposals. Weekly group and individual critiques will be held.

Thesis Research and Writing I
Intended to help students to better articulate thesis research, concepts and context, this course will focus on preliminary research, finalizing the thesis proposal, and the thesis research paper. Students will meet with the instructor in groups and individually several times during the semester. The critique and review portion will be open to all thesis students every week. A schedule of meetings will be distributed to students at the beginning of the semester.

Thesis Research and Writing II
This course will focus on contextualizing thesis ideas and research into an expanded artist’s statement. Students will meet with the instructor in groups and individually several times during the semester. The critique and review portion will be open to all thesis students every week. A schedule of meetings will be distributed to students at the beginning of the semester.

Video Art and Beyond
This course begins by examining the emergence of video art of the 1960s, through structuralist films and the freewheeling days of “feedback” and “real-time” manipulation of the analog electronic signal. Students will examine how the barriers between artistic disciplines broke down as artists took up portable video cameras, experimented with installation, staged actions, and went outdoors to build land art. Works of contemporary video artists who move freely between painting, sculpture, photography, film, performance and other media will be discussed, as well as the contributions by musicians toward developing new working methods. The course will consist of weekly screenings, analysis of installations, readings and written assignments.

Barbara London

Video for Computer Artists I
In the analog and early digital eras of video technology, working with video as an artistic medium was expensive and complicated. Now, however, video literacy is becoming a fundamental skill set that millions of people are becoming adept at every year. This entry-level studio class covers video production and postproduction from a self-reliant standpoint; being able to acquire and edit video imagery without the need for a huge budget, cast and crew. Students will learn to use various types of SD and HD camcorders, microphones, lighting, Final Cut Pro and various other hardware and software resources.

Jarryd Lowder

Video for Computer Artists II
A continuation of SCG-5529, Video for Computer Artists I, this course centers on further exploration of the conceptual and technical possibilities inherent in creating video art works. Students will have more creative latitude to pursue ideas/subjects that interest them, culminating in a final project of their choosing. In addition to learning more about production and postproduction, students will learn about the various modes of distribution; for example, preparing video for Net-based, optical media-based or installation art projects. Prerequisite: SCG-5529, Video for Computer Artists I, or permission of the instructor.

Jarryd Lowder

Virtual Reality Seminar
This course is designed to investigate the theoretical and historical bases of immersive virtual reality (VR) art. It will primarily do so by investigating immersion, the experience considered as the indispensable characteristic of VR. Lectures, readings and discussion will demonstrate that immersion into virtual electronic space is the cornerstone to understanding contemporary VR culture, as well as certain key aspects of previous cultures. This investigation will lead the student to the formulation of an aesthetic theory of immersive consciousness, indicative of immersive culture, by joining choice examples of simulacra technology into mental connections, with relevant examples from art and architecture, as well as technology, myth, space, gender studies and philosophy.

Joseph Nechvatal

Visual Effects for Video and Motion Graphics I
Video is increasingly being employed to create a montage of animation through visual effects: Live action, 2D, 3D, and stop motion. It has spawned a new creative discipline called motion graphics. In this course, students will learn live action camera techniques, lighting, motion capture, editing and compositing, in order to incorporate live video into synthetic virtual environments, and vice-versa. From the basics of how to prepare and design a scene for a chroma key shot, to creating the digital elements that blend with the live action, students will become adept at seamlessly integrating live and digital elements. The class will work as a team, as well as be assigned individual projects

Eric Eiser

Visual Effects for Video and Motion Graphics II
The field of motion graphics and special effects continues to evolve as an important creative cornerstone of film and video production. Students will experiment with advanced techniques and collaborate on strengthening design, work flow, scheduling and software skills. Methodologies and software will be demonstrated in concert with in-progress thesis projects and class assignments. Industry experts will guest lecture, show their work, answer questions and lead discussions on the current trends and commercial aspects of film/video production, animation and motion graphics, as well as critique student work. Prerequisite: SCG-6432, Visual Effects for Video and Motion Graphics l or instructor’s permission.

Eric Eiser

Web Programming I
Serving as an introduction to the basic concepts, techniques and technologies of Web programming, this course will address how to design and build dynamic and database-driven sites for the Web. Conceptual and practical programming ideas will be examined through the creation of flowcharts, as well as working through examples of code and scripts, including HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The exploration of design principles and building dynamic templates will be achieved by working on assigned projects.

Michael Lascarides

Web Programming II
Students will be introduced to programming concepts used to create dynamic content for the Web. Assuming basic HTML skills, students will learn to add JavaScript to pages to effect client-side dynamic pages. CSS, XML, JSP and introductory database techniques will be explored to add functionality to a Web application. Several short assignments will be given, enabling students to produce creative and innovative Web sites.

Michael Lascarides