This course is an introduction to the concepts and software used in game art development. Students will learn the basics of 3D modeling, texture creation, and level design. Class time will be spent becoming familiar with the tools and user interface of the various software packages used in the game industry. This course sets the foundation for more advanced study in the individual components of game art creation and is appropriate for the casual game enthusiast as well as a major.
One cool part of this track is the discussion of career opportunities and industry dynamics for students interested in this field. St. Andrews is unique in offering a combined arts and technology course to undergraduate students; and our summer program extends this class to interested students in the pre-University age group.
The types of career opportunities, which this course offers, include:
– 3D Environment Artist
– Character Animator
– Game Tester
– Level Designer
– Texture Map Artist
Last summer, faculty members Jim Putnam and Chris McDavid used a 3-D printer in class to make a solid object of each student’s in-game model. One student in the computer game design summer camp made a life-sized replica of a conch shell, another a large crystal of their own design.
If you are thinking about exploring a career in the video game industry that combines art and technology, this course is for you!
Students in the computer game design summer camp create and texture objects of their own design, animate them in a game engine scene, and produce a 3D print of an object. At the end of the course all student materials will be placed onto an individual DVD for future reference.
Students begin the week by understanding how animation works in modern computer games and interact with examples in the Unity3D game engine. Then, they start the 3D modeling process using the Lightwave3D modeler. After a model is complete, a surface texture is applied using Adobe Photoshop. Once the model is textured it is imported into the Unity game engine, various ways of animating and lighting it are explored, and the resulting scene is made into a standalone game. The object is prepared for 3D printing and realized on our 3D printer.
Accompanying this computer game design summer camp course are a complete set of course notes and a DVD with additional resources.