Computer Art Overview
(previous program name: Electronic Imaging)
The Computer Art major provides broad competencies in the various digital technologies involved with computer graphics production. This includes aspects of 3D modeling, animation (both 2D and 3D) and motion graphics, visual effects, scripting, photoillustration, and a general integration with other art and design fields. While the approach is broad, students may select an area of specialization for emphasis in the final year of study in order to facilitate portfolio preparation and pre-professional development.
Technical, conceptual, and analytical skills are developed and the process of ‘learning how to learn’ is emphasized – as artists and designers in a field that changes very rapidly, students must be able to adapt to new technologies as the technology becomes available. Emergence of self-criticism and a personal style is achieved through frequent critique in both individual and group settings. By the end of the coursework, students have the ability and experience to present themselves professionally whether it is for employment, gallery representation, or application to graduate school.
In addition to the university laptop initiative which provides each student with an Apple laptop computer, students are provided with industry-standard software applications such as Adobe Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere, Dreamweaver, Maxon Cinema4D, and Unity3D. The program is housed in a state-of-the-art facility, including Apple workstations, video production, web hosting, a sound recording studio, access to digital cameras, lighting studios, a greenscreen stage, extensive computer peripherals such as drawing tablets and scanners, and an array of printers including laser printers, large format (44 inch wide) printers, and archival inkjet printers.
There is an experimental approach to the majority of the courses and the cummulative program prepares students for a variety of professional endeavors. Potential jobs for the Computer Art program include mid-level animation (TV/web production studios, commercials, low level VFX, ad agencies, title sequences), 3D for digital illustration (storyboards, environment replacement, character creation, game level mock-up, medical imaging, product visualization, architectural visualization), and interactive systems (app creation, "app" level game design, data visualization). As the computer has become a standard tool for image creation (not just image manipulation), the workplace continues to expand to accomodate those skills. Recent graduates have been employed as web designers, broadcast designers, animators, and 3D modelers.