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completion of the thesis, the work will be documented, formally presented, and archived. Prerequisite(s): URBA 791.


Visual Effects (Undergraduate)


VSFX 101 Survey of Visual Effects This course introduces students to the history and development of visual effects through lectures, read- ings and screenings of important works. Students will examine the various ways in which artistic and tech- nological tools have been used to create convincing visual effects for film, television and games. Studies will focus on the variety of ways in which visual effects techniques have evolved to keep up with increasingly discerning audiences.


VSFX 130 Visual Effects-based Cinematography I This course explores the foundations of cinematogra- phy relating to the visual effects industry. Introductory concepts are explored, including shot definition, fram- ing, technique and technology. Students shoot short subjects with an emphasis on the technical aspects of the art. Prerequisite(s): CMPA 110.


VSFX 160 Introduction to Visual Effects Programming In this programming course, students are introduced to workstation text editing, LINUX/UNIX file manage- ment, the LINUX/UNIX environment, LINUX/UNIX shell scripting and basic object-oriented programming. Prerequisite(s): CMPA 110.


VSFX 210 Digital 3-D Visual Effects This course explores space environments, including the foundations of modeling techniques for the creation of digital sets and effects. Shading techniques and natu- ral and studio digital lighting are introduced. Motion studies specific to camera animation, special effects motion, complex parenting techniques, keyframe interpolation techniques and basic expression anima- tion techniques are covered. Prerequisite(s): VSFX 130.


VSFX 270 Compositing This course covers methods of composing computer- generated imagery and live images, along with lay- ering, keying and matting, effects creation, motion control and tracking, film and lighting effects, image manipulation, retouching, color correction, painting, stabilization and rotoscoping. Feature film-level com- posing tools are used to develop skills and presenta- tions with meaningful effects. Prerequisite(s): VSFX 130, VSFX 160.


VSFX 310 Matte Painting Digital matte painting explores the techniques of 2-D image creation for use as backgrounds and set extensions. Students are introduced to the digital tool set and techniques for matte painting, as well as the history of the art. Projects and skills may complement classes dealing with related fields such as live action, 3-D and compositing. Prerequisite(s): VSFX 130.


VSFX 319 Programming Models and Shaders I This course covers intermediate concepts in program- ming, with an emphasis on understanding the founda- tions of 3-D modeling, lighting and shading, and the use of C/C++ and Pixar’s RenderMan scene descrip- tion languages. Students also learn Pixar’s shading language for rendering special effects. Prerequisite(s): VSFX 210 or ANIM 250.


VSFX 321 Digital Fine Art This course addresses the process of generating digital imagery for purposes of display in a gallery setting. While the tools and techniques are similar, producing digital fine art is very different from producing images intended for film, games or animation. The role of the artist and his or her means of self-expression using digital tools will be explored along with the specific techniques used to produce gallery-quality work. Prerequisite(s): ANIM 250 or MOME 401 or ITGM 240 or VSFX 210.


VSFX 330 Visual Effects-based Cinematography II This course explores advanced theory of aesthetic and technical aspects of cinematography. A full production


component is included, with a focus on the technical requirements for shooting on site and enhancing post- production results. Prerequisite(s): VSFX 130.


VSFX 350 Procedural Modeling and Animation Procedural modeling and animation techniques allow animators to create environments of limitless complex- ity. Scenes are defined by relationships rather than singularities. Students are expected to utilize program- ming and text editing skills to develop dynamic digital effects. Prerequisite(s): VSFX 210 or ANIM 250.


VSFX 351 Matchmoving Students explore matchmove concepts between live action scenes and 3-D (computer application) cameras. Students will experience tracking 3-D shots by manual and automatic methods by applying the use of camera tracking software. Analysis of data used to create seamless camera and object alignments between live action shots and 3-D computer generated objects will be covered. Prerequisite(s): VSFX 270.


VSFX 360 Stereoscopic Imaging Stereoscopic imaging is being used increasingly in fields ranging from the sciences (medical imaging and scientific visualization) to entertainment (immersive rides, games and movies). Historical, current and future techniques for the presentation of stereoscopic images will be explored in this course. Integrating a combina- tion of 2-D and 3-D software tools, projects will include the creation of still and moving stereoscopic images, both from scratch and from pre-existing source materi- als. Prerequisite(s): ANIM 250 or MOME 309 or ITGM 240 or VSFX 210.


VSFX 401 Visual Effects Supervision This course teaches efficient and creative use of visual effects for narrative film and television, through projects emphasizing technical problem-solving and creative planning and execution. Specific emphasis is given to on-set supervision and collaboration with directors and producers, camera, art and editorial departments. Students gain awareness of the capabili- ties of both digital and traditional techniques (practical effects, models and miniatures, prosthetics and anima- tronics, etc.). Prerequisite(s): FILM 210 or VSFX 210.


VSFX 406 Concept Development for Visual Effects In this course, students are expected to develop meth- ods for cultivating ideas and an understanding of nar- rative storytelling as it relates to film language, screen design and concept development. Prerequisite(s): VSFX 160, VSFX 210.


VSFX 408 Visual Effects Studio I In this course, students are introduced to the prepro- duction phase including analysis and critique, organiza- tion and scheduling. The goal is to create a coherent body of work expressing students’ artistic visions through acquired skills. Prerequisite(s): VSFX 406.


VSFX 419 Programming Models and Shaders II This course explores programming concepts used to create 3-D lighting scenarios and environments with a focus on developing a personal aesthetic. Students apply these concepts to create code-based shaders, scripts and other procedures to develop aestheti- cally strong visuals for long formats. Prerequisite(s): VSFX 319.


VSFX 424 Digital Visual Effects II This course examines advanced techniques in the production of 3-D, noncharacter-based models and environments. The course also expands on and extrap- olates from additional foundations set in Digital Visual Effects I with an opportunity for individual exploration. Prerequisite(s): VSFX 210.


VSFX 425 Photorealistic Rendering This course explores concepts in 3-D digital materials, lighting and rendering and developing techniques to create the illusion of a “real” world utilizing 3-D computer graphics. Students gain understanding and skills of lighting tools including 3-D and 2-D applica- tions, as well as a variety of rendering techniques. Prerequisite(s): VSFX 210.


VSFX 428 Particles and Procedural Effects This course investigates the manufacture of atmo- spheric and surface independent effects, cultivating innovation in the study of procedural graphics and their application to scene creation and content delivery. Prerequisite(s): VSFX 350.


VSFX 430 High Dynamic Range Imaging High Dynamic Range Imaging emphasizes the integra- tion of computer-generated objects or characters into real world video or film footage. High Dynamic Range Imaging seeks to develop and integrate photography, lighting, and rendering into various 3-D and 2-D soft- ware applications by utilizing digital images containing light information more accurately than traditional digi- tal imaging means. Prerequisite(s): VSFX 210.


VSFX 448 Visual Effects Studio II Students collaborate to produce a visual effects product from start to finish that includes analysis and critique, organization and scheduling. The goal is to create a coherent body of work expressing students’ personal artistic visions through their acquired skills. Prerequisite(s): VSFX 408.


VSFX 490 Visual Effects Portfolio This course aims to prepare students for employment in the field of visual effects. Students investigate career opportunities and the requirements of the position of interest. Development of a portfolio and demo reel is enhanced by the continued study of motion graphics, compositing and sound. Prerequisite(s): VSFX 408.


VSFX 495 Special Topics in Visual Effects The topic of this course varies from quarter to quar- ter. Each seminar focuses on various problems in the field of visual effects and allows advanced students to pursue individual or collaborative projects related to the subject of the course. Prerequisite(s): Vary according to topic.


Visual Effects (Graduate)


VSFX 501 Digital 3-D Effects This course covers many of the essential aspects of 3-D modeling, texturing, lighting, and effects anima- tion for use in the Visual Effects industry. Professional work flows, techniques, and presentation skills will be emphasized throughout the class.


VSFX 502 Programming 3-D Models and Shaders Students taking this course are introduced to the RenderMan Scene Description Language (RIB) and the RenderMan Shading Language (RSL). Pixar’s RenderMan is a widely used rendering technology used for feature animated and special effects film production. The basics of python and MEL scripting are also covered.


VSFX 503 Cinematography for Visual Effects This course explores the art and technique of photog- raphy for films with visual effects. Students will learn the technical and aesthetic aspects of practical camera work. They will also study camera composition and motion specific to a 3-D digital space as part of the process to visualize scenes in a movie before filming begins. Other concepts, such as shot definition, fram- ing, and timing will be addressed.


VSFX 705 Programming Concepts for Visual Effects Students gain introductory knowledge of the LINUX/ UNIX environment and how it relates to text editing and file management. In addition, the foundations of programming languages are covered utilizing LINUX/UNIX shell scripting, PERL, MEL, C++ or similar programming.


VSFX 708 Modeling for Visual Effects This course covers many of the essential aspects of 3-D modeling, texturing, lighting, and animation for use in the Visual Effects industry. Professional workflows, techniques, and presentation skills will be stressed and encouraged throughout the class.


VSFX 709 Visual Effects Theory and Application In this course, theoretical and practical study methods are used to inform and develop students’ practices.


cour se descr ipt ions


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