Course Overview

“Exploration of the processes of creating objects, materials, lights, and cameras to accomplish a visual graphic and theme”

This course aims to explore geometric modeling, materials, lights, cameras, and rendering.
Students will also learn both the technical and creative aspects of 3D design.
The course also incorporates idea of fine art, design, cinematography, and traditional drawing. The class will be taught using hands on exercises.

Required materials for this course

  • Storage such as USB Thumb /flash drive (at least 1GB), USB external hard/USB+Firewire drive any size, CD/DVD R/RW blank discs

Recommended Reading

  • Online document under Maya help menu (highly recommended)
  • Learning Autodesk Maya 8 Fundamentals, New Riders Publishing, 2006.
  • Demers, Owen. Digital Texturing and Painting. New Riders Publishing, 2001.
  • Birn, Jeremy. Digital Lighting and Rendering. New Riders Publishing, 2006

Note* Due to the natural complexity of 3D Computer modeling, you will need to work outside of the class to complete your products. You must be a self-motivated and please have fun with your project. In order to understand the complex aspects of Maya, there will be eight in-class exercises along with 3 assignments (Modeling with NURBS, Modeling with Polygon, texture mapping, lighting and camera) before completing the final project.

Requirement for each of the assignment and the final project

1. Turn in tiff file format for in-class exercises (Some of in-class exercises, you may need only do screen capture and don't need to render for the final output.)
2. The Final project, you will need to turn in digital files of your final rendering in Tiff format as much as you can. You must include at least 3 different camera views of your scene including your final project Maya directory On CD rom.
3. The final output in printing formats: one or more prints (minimum of 17"x11") If you don't print out your scenes images, 10 point will be subtracted off you total scores. (100 point is "A")
4. Update your web portfolio to include your modeling assignments.

Term projects

Fifteenth in-class exercises

The structures of the exercises are designed for students to understand the functionality of tools that are available in Maya. Students will follow the in-class instructions step by step as presented by the instructor. If the assignments are not completed in the class within the time allowed, they must be finished outside of class and re-submitted.

  • First in-class exercise: Modeling with primitive polygonal objects -August 21
  • Second in-class exercise: Sculpting NURBS primitive object “Toothpaste” -August 28
  • Third in-class exercise: Building NURBS Surface from Curves; "Scope bottle” -August 30
  • Fourth in-class exercise: NURBS Surface Patch Technique; “Shoes” -August 30
  • Fifth in-class exercise: Materials and Texture mapping for NURBS; “Toothpaste” and “Shoes”- September 4 and September 6
  • Sixth in-class exercise: Lighting and Camera "Simple light setup" -September 11
  • Seventh in-class exercise: NURBS to Polygon/simple polygon modeling “Tea pot" -September 13
  • Eighth in-class exercise: Polygons modeling "Airplane”-September 18
  • Ninth in-class exercise: Modeling with Polygons “Fruit -plate” -September 20
  • Tenth in-class exercise: Polygons modeling "Lion Head” -September 25 and 27
  • Eleventh in-class exercise: Materials and Texture mapping the fruit models - October 2
  • Twelfth in-class exercise: Materials and Texture mapping the Airplane model - October 9
  • Thirteenth in-class exercise: Materials and Texture mapping the Lion Head model - October 11
  • Fourteenth in-class exercise: Modeling with Sub-Division surface and Convert Sub-Division to Polygon "Air plane" - October 16
  • Fifteenth in-class exercise: Light Rig - October 18
  • Bonus In-class exercise: “Mental Ray; Global Illumination/ Caustic/ Final Gathering” between October 23 - 25

Three Assignments and one final project

  • Project One: (duration is approximately 2 weeks)
    “Optical Art “Combine primitives to construct creative models that are influenced by the work of Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley. Please consider flat colors, color composition, element of design/composition. You will create 3 different designs of Optical Art and PRINT OUT AT LEAST ONE EACH of DESIGN in 17"X11" Due September 6, 2005
  • Project Two: (duration is approximately 2 weeks)
    "My Shoes”: On this assignment, you will create realistic 3D models of your personal shoes using NURBS patch techniques (Converting NURBS patches into Polygon set model is optional) The shoes model must express your personality. PRINT OUT AT LEAST ONE in 17"X11" Due September 27, 2007 (Mono tones image)
  • Project Three: (duration is approximately 2 weeks)
    "Analogical Design” Polygonal modeling: On this assignment you will be using nature as a basis for design. You will analyze the nature basic forms, such as living life, three, animal, sea animals, insects, bacteria, and or any you can find on this planet. Then you will create 3D models base on simplification, modification, combination, transformation, elaboration of the detail on the base object or form. Due October 18, 2007 (Mono tones image)
  • Final Project: (duration is approximately 5 weeks)
    “The Architectural Remembrance” Create realism modeling, texturing, lighting, and final rendering from existing architecture. You will try to capture a moment of time such as the expression of sorrow, gratification or glory. You can use color, shape, texture, diagonals, lighting and compositional strategies to convey the emotion. Intensive research on topics related to your target subject is the important key. Due December 6, 2007

Approximate Grade Emphasis

15 in-class exercises: 30 points (2 points each exercise)
2 Assignments: 30 points (15 points each)
Final Project: 40 points

Grades are based on the quality and quantity of your work. I will also consider your participation, ambition, commitment and development of your work from one project to the next.

The following will be considered on grading:
Craft: Technical ability and craftsmanship
Concept: Visual thought process. Showing the ability to interpret course concepts inventively and the ability to search for and discover methods and ideas with insight, and the ability to organize clear visual relationships.
Ambition: The ability to study effectively during class hours, the ability to accomplish work on a weekly basis, and the ability to apply constructive discussion during the class.
Productivity: The amount of work completed and how complete the works are.
Development: How much of your work has been developed and improved since the beginning of the semester.

A = Outstanding, excellent work 100 - 90 points
B = Above average work 89 - 80 points
C = Average work 79 - 70 points
D = Below average work 69 - 60 points
F = Failing work 59 - 0 points


3d art is time extensive and the technology associated with it is always changing. Learning the fundamentals is a must. Techniques, concepts and ideas discussed in this class are essential for a 3d Artist. Because of these, attendance is essential.

Absences with no excused will result in follow list below;

2 absences = grade lowered 1 letter grade
3 absences = grade lowered 2 letter grades
4 absences = grade lowered 3 letter grades
5 absences = fail course. Dropping course recommended

Being late to class three times will be counted as one unexcused absence. Likewise, leaving class early will be counted as an absence unless approved by instructor.

Student Needs

Any student who wishes to discuss accommodations on the basis or a disability, please come and talk to me after class or during office hours.

Lab Rules

No food or drink near computer. Use of beepers and cell phones is prohibited in the classroom environment. Please turn them off during class hours.

Last modifled 8-1-07