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CU Denver DIGITAL ANIMATION CENTER CURRICULUM

Courses in the 3D Graphics and Animation Program use Alias MAYA as the primary software application for training. The sequencing of courses in the Digital 3D animation emphasis builds progressive skills, knowledge and aesthetics, that when taken together as a whole, make up the body of the BFA VA degree emphasis.

Year 1
FINE1810. Digital Animation Foundations: Producing Animation
This Course sets focuses on the foundational theory and practices behind the production and creation of digital 3D animation content and is critical for future success in all subsequent digital animation courses. It is the first of two courses required before the student may submit for advancement into the Digital Animation Center’s degree granting program. This course also lays the foundation to the sequence of courses in progressive skills and aesthetics, that when taken together as a whole, make up the body of the 3D Graphics/Animation emphasis BFA Degree core.
Note: FINE1810 is offered at a special Tier 1 DAC tuition rate of $1533 for 3 credit hours. All other DAC courses, unless otherwise noted, are at the Tier 2 DAC tuition rate of $4050 per course.

FINE1820. Digital Animation Foundations: Introduction to Digital 3D
This Course sets the process, techniques and digital 3D art-making foundations for all subsequent digital animation courses and is the second of two of a required sequence of courses in progressive skills and aesthetics, that when taken together as a whole, make up the body of the 3D Graphics/Animation emphasis BFA Degree core.
Note: FINE1810 is offered at a special Tier 1 DAC tuition rate of $1533 for 3 credit hours. All other DAC courses, unless otherwise noted, are at the Tier 2 DAC tuition rate of $4050 per course.

Year 2
FINE2810. Digital Animation Techniques: Surface Modeling
This Course focuses on the mastery of the theory, processes and techniques needed for the creation of digital 3D surface models used in a diverse range of art-making and content creation for a wide range of professional art-making pursuits.

FINE2820.  Digital Animation Techniques: Surface Properties
This Course focuses on the mastery of the theory, processes and techniques needed for the creation of textures and materials used in a diverse range of 3D art-making and content creation for a wide range of professional and studio pursuits.

FINE2830. Digital Animation Techniques: Lighting
This Course focuses on the mastery of the theory, science, processes and techniques needed for lighting the digital 3D set and environment used in a diverse range of art-making and content creation for a wide range of professional art-making pursuits. Focus will be on the use of lighting as a compositional element to create dynamic, filmic compositions and enhance storytelling and the narrative of all digital 3D content through application of practical and digital techniques and practices.

FINE2840.  Digital Animation Techniques: 3D Character Creation
This Course focuses on the mastery of the theory, processes and techniques needed for creating high-production value digital 3D characters used in a diverse range of diverse range of digital 3D art-making and content creation for a wide variety of professional art-making pursuits. Focus will be on the process of modeling complex surface objects by exploring a variety of techniques used to shape, mold, transform, articulate and deform digital 3D shapes.

Year 3
FINE3810. Digital Animation Studio: Set/Environment Production
A mid-program capstone studio course focused on developing a project from preproduction through final product using a standard production pipeline model within a collaborative work environment. Students will design and create high-production value CG set/environment utilizing current 3D technologies. This Course focuses on the mastery of the theory, processes and techniques needed for creating high-production value digital 3D sets and environments used in a diverse range of art-making and content creation for a wide variety of professional art-making pursuits. Focus will be on the process of modeling complex surface objects by exploring a variety of techniques used to shape, mold, transform, articulate and deform digital 3D shapes.

FINE3820.  Digital Animation Techniques: Rigging and Animation
A studio course focused on mastery of skills for animating digital 3D objects/characters. Students explore the processes/techniques of key frame/pose-to-pose animating considering character performance, thought, constraints and timing with an emphasis on artistic excellence through application of current 3D technologies.

FINE3830. Digital Animation Technique: Character Animation
This lecture/lab course explores the fundamentals of creating and rigging digital characters and objects for 3D content. Lessons will include an in depth look at skeletal and muscular structures, rigging objects with articulated joints for manipulating character bones, muscle deformations, clothes, and facial features.

FINE3840.  Digital Animation Techniques: Dynamic Simulation
A studio course exploring the theory/techniques of dynamic and particle simulations for 3D content. Students explore how to develop effects, (smoke, fire, steam, explosions) and dynamics materials (cloth), with an emphasis on artistic excellence through application of current 3D technologies.

FINE3845. Digital Animation Discovery & Preproduction Seminar
A seminar course focused on the development and preproduction phases for the DAC senior thesis short. The principle focus of the course will be story development, preproduction activities and organizing the production team and production pipeline for the thesis short. This Course focuses on the mastery of the discovery and preproduction process for the development of the animated short film. It is an in-depth, practical simulation of a real-world animated film project in which the student works in a collaborative environment to conceive, discover and create the preproduction package for the DAC senior thesis short which will enter production in the following semester.

Year 4
FINE4810  Digital Animation Studio: Animation Production I
The principle focus of the Digital Animation Studio: Animation Production I and II is to immerse the 4th year DAC student in a realistic, simulated production studio, working on a real-world production and thus gaining actual production experience prior to graduation. The 4th year class, working as a production team, will conceive, produce and deliver a high-production value short film, which serves as the student’s final BFA thesis. Assessment of the student’s work is based on performance/contributions working in the collaborative production pipeline, quality of artwork produced, and application of the students animation skills.

FINE4820  Digital Animation Studio: Animation Production II
The continuation of the two-course capstone production experience preparing DAC students for their animation career. Students will work in a one-on-one mentorship environment focused on completion of the BFA thesis short, and their student “Demo Reel” in preparation for graduation.

 
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