FINE 2820: Surface Properties



A lecture/lab course focused on mastery of creating surface textures/materials for digital 3D content. Students will develop skills/knowledge about the processes and techniques for creating realistic 3Dtextures/materials with an emphasis on artistic excellence through application of current 3D technologies.

This course focuses on mastering the theory, processes, and techniques required to create textures and materials used in a diverse range of 3D art-making and content creation for professional and studio pursuits.


  • Recognize the properties of the physics of light
  • Identify the properties of the physical construction of objects
  • Photograph textures and understand the color properties of digital images
  • Recognize grunge and wear patterns on surfaces
  • Name conventions to support the render pipeline
  • Reference geometry to support a complex, multi-person team


  • Utilize Photoshop, Maya, BodyPaint 3D, Mudbox, ZBrush and Renderman
  • Deconstruct reality and reproduce it in 3D
  • Implement scene organization and optimization techniques
  • Determine texture resolution
  • Distinguish Texturing NURBS vs. Polys vs. subDs
  • Implement UV layout techniques
  • Work with normal, bump and displacement maps; Maya render nodes; environment, texture and camera projections
  • Utilize multi-pass rendering and compositing


  • Upon completion of this course, students will successfully be able to model, texture, light and animate in a 3D environment.