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Course Description:

This course explores the use of real time computer graphics in applications for performance animation,
virtual reality, interactivity and game design. Students will develop skills in conceptualization, pre-
production, planning, and production of a working prototype. The course will survey current trends in
developing technologies and the use of real time graphics as a means for cinematics, visualization and
artistic expression. Students enrolling in this course are expected to have basic to intermediate
experience working with 3D modeling and animation, and will be expected to develop and practice
skills in understanding and implementing programming logic.

In addition to creation of 3D navigable and interactive spaces on a computer screen, the course will
examine experimentation with alternative input and displays. As with many virtual reality applications,
an objective of the viewing experience involves the dissolution of the image frame and physical
interaction. The course will explore methods such as “fish-tank VR”, head-mounted displays and large-
scale immersive projections.

Course Objectives and/or Student Learning Outcomes:

Students will gain hands-on experience in authoring 3D interactive environments. Applications in
visualization, interactivity, and/or narrative structure can be emphasized relative to the student’s
discipline. Opportunities will be provided for students to experiment and understand implications of
alternative interfaces for user input and displays. While programming code is not a requirement of this
course, the student can expect to gain an understanding of programming structure and logic. Upon
completion of the course, the student can have a working prototype viewable with a web player.

Topics to be covered include:

Technical topics: Low poly count modeling - UV Texture mapping - Pre-lighting – Avatar design - Non-
linear animation - Exporting content - Navigation - Transformations - Collision detection - Path finding -
Data management
Concept topics: Collaboration - Concept development - Character design - Scene design - Story
boarding - Narrative structure - Composition - Game mechanics - Programming logic

Course Methodology:
This studio production course will consist of lectures and demonstration with time given to individual
and group work during class hours. Examples of applications using virtual environments will be
presented in the form of documentation, readings, and demonstration. Students are encouraged to
share with the class examples found during research on topics of interest relative to the course.
Assignments and exercises will be given to aid in learning topics and evaluation of progress. Students
are expected to seek and apply their own unique creative voice in designing solutions for the tasks

During the course, each student is expected to keep a journal of ideas, progress on projects,
references, readings, and web bookmarks related to their research. This journal should be maintained
as an online web document. It must be presentable during any class time and should be used during

Students must demonstrate satisfactory achievement of course objectives through fulfillment of course
projects and by contributing to class discussions and critiques. Course projects will require students to
use a wide variety of software and equipment at ACCAD to produce scripts, objects, images, and/or
web pages. Collaboration between students in the course and other faculty, staff and students at
ACCAD is encouraged.

Grading Policy:
All students are required to be on time and in attendance for each and every class. Two absences will
lower a final grade by 1/2 a letter, three absences will lower a final grade by one letter and four
absences will result in failure of the course.
Adherence to deadlines is expected. It is the individual student's responsibility to keep track of
deadlines and to present the work to the class and instructor on the specified dates. Revision is part of
the process in preparing work for the final due date, not after. Make use of production time in class to
receive feedback on work in progress from the instructor and classmates. Work presented late will be
marked down one grade letter for each class meeting missed. See the calendar below for value of
each assignment or exam towards the final grade
Students choosing to use "at home" hardware and software must have their current working files on
the system and available for review at the beginning of each and every class. Problems with home
systems and/or incompatibility will not be an acceptable excuse for missed goals. Technical problems
will happen frequently during the semester and students will have trouble accessing the computer lab
during "prime time" hours. Students must make their own arrangements for overcoming these
difficulties and submitting their work on time. Unless there is a complete system failure in a computer-
related course, technical difficulties are never an acceptable excuse for not meeting a deadline.

90% of the final grade is based on completion of assigned coursework. The remaining 10% is based
on class participation in discussions and reviews.

Coursework assignments will consist of several exercises and one major project. The major project
should be relevant to the student's graduate research interests. Evaluation of the project is based
upon final outcome, intitial proposal presentation, periodic progress reviews, and web-based
documentation of the project.

Recommended Texts:
Maya ( current version) for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide

Building Interactive Worlds in 3D, Jean-Marc Gauthier, Focal Press

Maya Illuminated: Games, by Lane Daughtry, Mesmer Press

On Game Design, by Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams, New Riders

Statement of Academic Misconduct: In accordance with Faculty Rule 3335-5-487, all instances of
alleged academic misconduct will be reported to the department chairperson and the Committee on
Academic Misconduct (The University’s rules on academic misconduct can be found at Academic misconduct is grounds for failing the course and may
be grounds for further sanctions. Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, giving or
receiving information during an exam and submitting plagiarized work for academic requirements. The
University provides guidelines for research on the web at

Students with Special Needs/Disabilities: If you need an accommodation based on the impact of a
disability, you should contact us to arrange an appointment as soon as possible. At the appointment,
we can discuss the course format, anticipate your needs, and explore potential accommodations. We
rely on the Office of Disability Services for assistance in verifying the need for accommodations and
developing accommodations strategies. If you have not previously contacted the Office of Disability
Services, we encourage you to do so by calling 292-3307.