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 4GB), USB external hard/USB+Firewire drive any size
  • CD/DVD R/RW blank discs
  • Money for printing and matt board

Recommended Reading

  • Online document under Maya help menu (highly recommended)
  • Learning Autodesk Maya 2008 Fundamentals, Sybex Inc, 2007. (If you will purchase a book, please wait until Maya 2009 Fundamentals comes out. It will be around Nov 2008)
  • Introducing Maya 2008, Sybex Inc, 2007. (If you will purchase a book, please wait until Maya 2009 Fundamentals comes out. It will be around Nov 2008)
  • Lee Lanier. Digital Texturing and Painting 2nd edition. Sybex Inc, 2008.
  • 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 13 in-class exercises along with 3 projects and the final project (Modeling with NURBS, Modeling with Polygon, texture mapping, lighting and camera)

Requirement for each of the assignment and the final project

  1. Turn in Maya file (*.mb) and tiff file formats for in-class exercises at the end of the section
  2. For term projects and the final project, you will need to turn in
    2.1. A minimum of 4 different camera views of your scene digital files of your final rendering in Tiff format as much as you can.
    2.2. The Maya directory of each project on CD/DVD 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

Thirteen 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 and modification polygonal objects and deformational tools
  • Second in-class exercise: NURBS Modeling with Curves and surface tools
  • Third in-class exercise: Materials and Texture mapping (NURBS) Fourth in-class exercise: NURBS modeling "Scope bottle”
  • Fifth in-class exercise: NURBS to Polygon/simple polygon modeling “Tea pot"
  • Sixth in-class exercise: Modeling with Polygons “Apple” revisiting deformational tools
  • Seventh in-class exercise: Polygons modeling "Airplane”
  • Eighth in-class exercise: Polygons modeling "Lion Head”
  • Ninth in-class exercise: Materials and Texture mapping the Airplane model
  • Tenth in-class exercise: Materials and Texture mapping the Lion Head model
  • Eleventh in-class exercise: Modeling with Sub-Division surface and Convert Sub-Division to Polygon "Air plane"
  • Twelfth in-class exercise: Lighting and Camera "Simple light setup"
  • Thirteenth in-class exercise: Light Rig
  • Bonus In-class exercise: “Mental Ray; Global Illumination/ Caustic/ Final Gathering”

Four projects

  • Project One:
    “Optical Art “Combine primitives to construct creative models that are influenced by the work of Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley. Please consider using the simple shapes, such as triangles, squares, circles, and rectangles, flat colors, color contrast/composition, and element of design/composition. You will create 3 different designs of Optical Art and PRINT OUT AT LEAST ONE EACH of DESIGN in 15"X15" Due September 9, 2008

  • Project Two:
    "The Jungle”, NURBS and Polygon modeling: On this project, you will create stylistic landscape scene. You will look at some landscape painting of Henri Rousseau (His work was considered Post-impressionism around 1880-1905) Then you will create a sense representing the mood and composition. The scene needs to be conveying with composition, contrast, and lighting. Due September 30, 2008 (minimum of 1 print in 11"X17")

  • Project Three:
    "The Fruits” NURBS and Polygon modeling: On this assignment you will look at some traditional still life painting and borrow the composition and replace with your fruit models and recreate the scene. Due October 28, 2008 (minimum of 1 print out in 11"X17")

  • Final Project:
    “The Architectural Remembrance” Create realistic 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 11, 2008 (minimum of 3 Prints, size: 11"X17")

Approximate Grade Emphasis

13 in-class exercises: 26 points (2 points each exercise)
3 projects: 30 points (10 points each)
Final Project: 40 points
4 project materials 4 points (1 each)

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. The ability to interpret course concepts inventively, 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 of a disability, please come talk to me after class or during office hours. The goal of the Disability Services for Students Office is to help provide equal access and reasonable accommodations to BGSU students with disabilities. Students wishing to discuss their eligibility for such accommodations are encouraged to contact their office at 372-8495 (413 South Hall).

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 8-29-08