“Exploration processes of creating objects, materials, lights, and cameras to accomplish the visual arts and themes”

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


  • Storage such as USB Thumb /flash drive (at least 32GB)(Recommend a least 500GB USB/USB+Firewire external hard drive
  • CD/DVD R/RW blank discs.
  • Sketch/drawing materials
  • Money for prints
  • Digital Camera (option but important)

Throughout the course, you will be expected to document your work by outputting completed animations on CD/DVD. You may be focusing on the enhancement of your portfolio throughout the course.



  1. Online document under Maya help menu (highly recommended)
  2. Dariush Derakhshani. Introducing Autodesk Maya 2015: Autodesk Official Press, Publication Date: June 16, 2014 | ISBN-10: 1118862848 | ISBN-13: 978-1118862841 | Edition: 1
  3. Jeremy Birn, Digital Lighting and Rendering (3rd Edition) (Voices That Matter), Publication Date: November 21, 2013 | ISBN-10: 0321928989  | ISBN-13: 978-0321928986 | Edition: 3
  4. McKinley, Michael. Maya Studio Projects: Game Environments and Props, Sybex Publication, March 1, 2010 | ISBN-10: 0470524030 | ISBN-13: 978-0470524039 | Edition: 1
  5. Excell, Laurie; Batdorff, John; Brommer, David; Sammon, Rick & Simon, Steve , "Composition: From Snapshots to Great Shots”, Peachpit Press; 1 edition (November 27, 2010)
  6. Angela Farris Belt, , "The Elements of Photography: Understanding and Creating Sophisticated Images", Focal Press (February 1, 2008)

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 14 in-class exercises along with 3 projects and the final project (Modeling with NURBS / Polygon / Sub-Division, texture mapping, lighting and cameras)





(20 points)

First in-class exercise: (4 points)

Learning Goals: To understand virtual three-dimensional space, object manipulation efficiency, and object surface properties.

  1. Modeling with primitive and modification polygonal objects and deformational tools
  2. Coloring with Surface Shader Materials
  3. Lighting and Camera "Simple light setup with Mental Ray: Sun and Sky"

Second in-class exercise: (4 points)

Learning Goals: To understand anatomy of polygonal surface/NURBS curve-surface, to learn beginning level of virtual molding techniques, and to understand basic UVs surface property.

  1. Modeling with Polygons “Thai Apple and Durian” revisiting deformational tools
  2. Simple UV layout
  3. NURBS Modeling with Curves and surface tools: Fruit Buckets
  4. Surface Texturing

Third in-class exercise:  Intermediate Modeling Techniques: Fruit Scales (5 points)

Learning Goals:To understand anatomy of Sub-Division surface, to be sufficient in the intermediate level of virtual sculpting techniques, to understand the real world principles of lighting to digital virtual lighting techniques

  1. Sub-Division Surface modeling: Fruit Scales Body
  2. Modeling with Sub-Division surface and Convert Polygon to Sub-Division
  3. UV Projections
  4. Materials and Texture mapping: Fruit Scales
  5. Studio Light Setting with Mental Ray

Fourth in-class exercise:  Advance Modeling Tech: "Samlorkruang: Motor-Tricycle” (สามล้อเครื่อง) (7 points)

Learning Goals: To be able to evaluate and to visualize surface properties, to be creatively overturn and solve the problems with topology limitation, to be able to analyze the choices of molding techniques, and to implement the post production.

  1. Tricycle Model: Hard-Surface parts
  2. Tricycle Model: Soft-Surface parts
  3. Tricycle Model: UV layout
  4. Tricycle Model: Materials and Texture mapping
  5. Mental Ray
  6. Rendering for Composite Layers

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

“Geometric Form: The Segmental Structure”

Students will use the polygonal primitives to create the segmentally structures. The segmental structures should be dependent on each other, which allow students to form the final models. Then the models will be comprised into a partial of their final sense.

The structures must be influenced by natural organic forms.

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


Research DUE: Sept. 3rd
Digital Files DUE: Sep. 24th
3 prints DUE: Oct. 1st

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

“Anthropomorphic Modeling"

Influenced by the paintings of Giuseppe Arcimboldo, students will create a full rendered Anthropomorphic Modeling. The segmental models must visually resemble your concept portrait. The portrait should be only just only head shot and should be view both normal and upside down. Please look at the provided reference images of master paintings.

You make one print of your two renders side by side (a normal and a flip upside down of your Anthropomorphic Modeling) on 17"X22" Must have the white border.


Research DUE: Oct. 1st
Digital Files DUE: Oct. 24th
Prints DUE: Oct. 31st

Final Project:  (35 points) from Oct. 29th - Dec. 12th

“Transcandere”: Create a full rendering of surreal realistic image that has influence from the animated movie “the Howl's Moving Castle”. The concept of moving castle must be influenced by animal or insect. The form of your model must have the visual analogy according to your reference. The imaginative castle must contain the characteristic of being adventurer or being an explorer. Every single ornament that present on the castle must underline it concept of its own personality.  Every living house has a spirit within, is the East Asian philosophy. You will try to capture a moment of time such as the expression the gratification and 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.
You make at least one print of your final render at 17" x 22"

Research DUE: Nov. 5
Digital Files DUE: Dec. 12th
Prints DUE: Dec. 18th

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.




4 in-class exercises: 20 points
First project: 20 points
Second project: 25 points
Final Project: 35 points

NOTE* If you don’t turn in your print out, there will be subtraction; 2 points subtraction for missing each print and 1 point subtraction for in-correct print size.

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:

Craftsmanship – Ability to develop the skill, techniques, style, details, and quality of all the projects during the class.

  • Visual thought process.
  • 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.

1 absences = excused
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.



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.


  • No food or drink near computers in the lab.
  • ALWAYS remember to turn off your cell phone before class.
  • No sleeping during class. • No using head/ear phones, chatting online, emailing, my space/facebook/ or other online surfing during class(accept research of requesting period)
  • No playing video games during the class time
  • Hardware: No student is permitted to disconnect, reconnect, or reconfigure any workstation without the permission of a digital arts instructor. Any problems with hardware or software must be reported to a digital arts professor, preferably by email. Report should include name of workstation and exact nature of problem.

If you do not obey the rules, you will receive a first warning. If it happens again, you will be asked to leave the classroom plus receive one half a letter grade drop and a third time you will receive a full letter grade drop on your final grade.


Projects created in any Digital Arts course may be used by the ART department for the purpose of promoting the student, the department and/or the university in general. These materials may also be used by the ART department for instructional purposes in future courses. Please inform the instructor if you do not want your projects used.