KCAI Digital Media

New work and thoughts from the department of Digital Media


First Month Overview

nodonnell @ September 20, 2011

Moving Image Design with Richard Welnowski

Understanding concepts of single frame creation with different media and technologies.


Students began the semester with an introduction to the static image, elements in a frame, foreground, background, and composition. An emphasis on the image in motion formed the structure of the second week. The class went on to discuss narrative-based topics including concept, storytelling, and viewer feeling.

The third week of Moving Image allowed students to explore background/foreground and character design through scanned, photographed, and 3D design techniques. Lighting basics such as dark light and blue-green screen light were demoed in the fourth week of class.

Idea and Concept Visualization with Robert Grace

Covers the complete process of developing an idea, taking if from original concept through finalized animatics.


The semester kicked off with a  lecture on “getting an idea from a pencil”. Students were later given an introduction to Photoshop fundamentals and traditional methods & techniques. The next meeting stressed After Effects fundamentals including tools essential for Storyboard creation. Most recently the class covered foreground elements, techniques for pre-visualization, and animatics.

Computer Modeling I with James Weatherman

Focusing on fundamental 3D modeling and texturing techniques inherent to digital content creation.


Students were given an introduction to 3D modeling by beginning to deconstruct complex forms into a collection of simple primitives. An introduction to the Maya interface complimented these exercises. The class explored Maya’s built-in primitives while customizing with the attribute editor to build more complex collections. Poly editing techniques of cutting, slicing, welding, and extruding were taught and complimented by in-class student exercises during the third week of the semester. Most recently the lesson explored procedural surface modeling as well as an examination of Nurbs operations to create Architectural trim, wine bottles, and chess pieces.

Visual Effects Project I with Richard Welnowski

Creation of a Visual Effects Project starting from concept of the single frame up to advanced sequences created with diverse media.

The class began by incorporating the history of VFX, excerpts from films, and techniques of landmark artists. Students soon got up close and personal with camera setup and basic rigs. The third week lecture explained elements of the motion in frame including the lens, prime, anamorphic perspective, pan, focus, and rotation. Students recently participated in a demonstration of special Visual Effects lighting for green/blue screen.


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