Main In Class Exercises:

  1. Introduction to the Pipeline: Maya to Mudbox.
  2. Composing a Scene: Expanding beyond props
  3. Concept to Creation, Character based.

Bonus Exercises:

  1. A Tale of Topology
  2. Alternate Pipeline: Maya to Zbrush
  3. Alternate Pipeline: Zbrush to Maya
  4. InsertMultiMesh - Each student contributes 1 piece to form a class model
  5. UVS and texturing.
  6. Stamps, Stencils, and Surfacing
  7. Sculpture Flows: Dynamesh VS. traditional sculpting with Subdivision levels
  8. Displacement VS. Normal VS. Bump maps
  9. Prepping for 3d print

Course Projects:

  1. 2 smaller "Challenges"
  2. Prop Project
  3. Creating a Scene
  4. Character

Project One: (20 points) from Aug. 29th- Sept. 24th

“Prop Project”

Envision the tools you use every day. Are you thinking about the pots and pans in your kitchen? Your wallet or cell phone? A favorite jacket or hat perhaps? Or do you bike to work every day? These are the props to the character of YOU. Props are vital to believability in the digital world. They clue the viewer in to the habits, backgrounds, locations, and preferences of everything from characters to sets. They help the viewer form connections and believe in what they are seeing on the screen.  Your task is to create a set of 5 props that tell a story. The story can relate to an environment, to a character, or both. Consider the time period, as this will influence the look of your props, as will the art style. The choice is yours.

  • You will be judged based on both how well the props tell your story, as well as  the quality in which you deliver your assets.

TWO PRINTS on 11"X17" papers - Must have the white border


Research DUE: Feb 4th
Checkup DUE: Feb 13th
Critique DUE: Feb 20th
Print DUE: Feb 27th

Project Two: (25 points) from Sep. 26th - Oct. 20th

“Creating a Scene"

What are props without a background? Everything from abstraction to realism utilizes some form of a scene. Your task is to compose a scene. Note that this is different from creating a landscape. You are arranging objects to fill a camera frame from a very specific view.  We're talking cinematography here.  Your final scene will be 1 image file rendered from whichever camera angle you so choose.  Like your props, The scene must also tell a story. Indoors or outdoors both work equally well here. Something as simple as a living room or a front yard tells a vivid story. Strewn notebooks, a discarded backpack, library books, and a bike in the corner tell you what you need to know. Tall grass, overflowing mailbox, and newspapers tell you the owner is on vacation. Again, Consider the time period as well as the art style you choose to depict.

  • You will be judged based on how well your scene tells a story, as well as the quality in which you deliver your asset.



Research DUE: March 4th
Digital Files DUE: March 18th
Prints DUE: March 27th

Final Project:  (35 points) from April 1st - May 1st


We have the props and background down, but what to do with that darn foreground? You will create a foreground character from concept sketching to Animation ready mesh . As with the previous projects, your character must tell a story. Is this a working man? Gnarled and scarred hands, deep leathery wrinkles that have seen too much sun? A smooth Steve Jobs influenced robot? Creatures are fair game here as well. Just know if your alien creature has 20 spikes instead of fingers, there better be a reason for it. Anything that can be seen as a "hero" level character is acceptable. Remember what we've learned from Props here, as props are a major part of any character design. Again, Consider the time period, universe, world, or art style that you choose to depict.

Research DUE: April 3rd
Checkup: April 15th
Digital Files Due: May 1st


Requirement For Each Project


  • The of the project/assignment file name convention: project name_your user name. ext
  • Turn in Maya file (*.mb) and image file (*.tiff) file formats for in-class exercises  at the end of the section
  • For term projects and the final project, you will need to turn in
    • A minimum of 4 different camera views of your scene digital files of your final rendering in Tiff format as much as you can.
    • The Maya directory of each project on CD/DVD ROM. Conventional Name Format of Maya Directory: project name_ your user name
  • The final output in printing formats: one or more prints (TBA) If you don't print out your scenes images, 5 points will be subtracted off you total scores. (100 point is "A")
  • Update your web portfolio to include your modeling assignments.
  • The prints on each project
    • Every print must have the border at least ½ inch all sides
  • Students are required for participating during class critiques.