Immerse audiences in your stories with state-of-the-art and interactive technology.
Building on the foundation of the groundbreaking UT3D initiative, UT's Department of Radio-Television-Film offers a variety of courses in digital and emergent media to equip you with the necessary technical and critical-thinking skills to take your cinematic stories to the next level. These classes also feed into the UT Game Development and Design program.
For questions about these courses, contact Ben Bays at email@example.com.
About UT3D and the development of RTF's digital media curriculum
RTF 329C DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION-WB Web-Based • BEN BAYS
Digital Media Production is an online, completely self-paced, creative-project based course that introduces a broad foundation of software and techniques used in Animation, Visual Effects, CGI and Interactive. As students develop practical skills through hands-on experiential learning, they will construct a portfolio of creative work, discover their area of interest by selecting from a wide array of available projects, and develop fluency telling stories through live-action film, traditional animation, CGI and Interactive media. No prior knowledge or experience required, only enthusiasm and access to a computer. OPEN TO MAJORS AND NON-MAJORS. PRE-REQUISITES WILL BE WAIVED FOR ALL UPPER DIVISION STUDENTS.
RTF 331P THE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY • LESLEY WILLARD
Trade press and business experts love to hype the profitability of the global video game industry, measuring its success in units sold and revenues earned. And while it is certainly a juggernaut within the media industries, there has been much less focus on what it is like to actually work in the industry. From game designers to games journalists, QA testers to Twitch streamers, this course will explore the material realities, working conditions, and business models of the games industry and their impact on its workers: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Instead of focusing on specific games, genres, systems, or mechanics, this course will trace the impact of digitization, casualization, and globalization on the industry’s production cultures, employment models, commodity forms, profit centers, promotional logics, and more. We will explore historical and contemporary concerns shaping the industry, such as government regulations and rating systems, outsourcing and offshoring, labor casualization and unionization, precarious employment and crunch periods, loot boxes and revenue models, live streams and gambling laws, mods and skins, user-generated content and end-user license agreements, identity politics and systemic inequalities, promotional work and emotional labor, etc. In addition to a thorough consideration of what it means to work in the games industry (past, present, and future), we will also hear from guest speakers about their experiences working in a variety of games companies and positions. From crash to crunch, this course will give you a better sense of how to anticipate and navigate the changing nature of work in these increasingly digital and global media industries.
RTF 331P VIDEO GAME CULTURE & CRITICISM Web-Based • SUZANNE SCOTT
Games have always been an integral part of our culture, and studies of culture have long been fascinated by our propensity for play. Beginning with a brief historical overview of the inception of the video game industry and arcade culture, this course is centrally concerned with identifying the pleasures of play and engaging with the cultural and academic discourses and debates that surround video games and game culture. While video games have proven themselves as a dominant industrial force within over the past decade, the stigmas and social anxieties that circulate around video games persist. Consequently, one of the primary goals of this course is for students to both become conversant in these critiques and proficient in speaking back to them, acquiring the vocabulary to discuss and analyze the rules that govern our engagement with video games, and our experiences playing them. To this end, in addition to discussing video game aesthetics and mechanics, we will have themed weeks on war and gaming, gender and gaming, and game-based learning. In addition to course assignments analyzing gameplay and considering the representation of video games in film and television, students will be required to collaboratively design and theorize a game as their final project. No player or programming skill set is required, just a willingness to learn through (and about) video games.
RTF 344M CG FOR FILM AND GAMES • BEN BAYS
This course is a production-based overview of Maya, with a focus on modeling, surfacing, lighting, and particles. Topics include interactive environments and CG compositing and lighting.
RTF CG FOR FILM AND GAMES-WB Web-Based • BEN BAYS
CGI for Film and Games is an online, creative-project based course that explores 3D Modeling, Surfacing, Animation and Simulation using Autodesk Maya, Photoshop and a game engine (Unity and/or Unreal). We will model, surface and light navigable levels and interactive virtual spaces. We will design, rig, animate and render vehicles and other complex systems of animation for both interactive and pre-rendered media. We will simulate effects and composite them onto live-action (or animated) footage, utilizing CGI for previsualization, sequencing, virtual cinematography and rendering short films. No prior knowledge of CGI or the software listed is required, only enthusiasm and access to a computer.
RTF 344M 3D ANIMATION AND DIGITAL PERFORMANCES • BEN BAYS
3D Animation and Digital Performances introduces students to the principles of motion, animation, simulation and performance through creative-project based learning. Using Autodesk Maya and other software, students will explore techniques and methods for generating animation including but not limited to rigging and skinning, simulation and dynamics, motion graphics and procedural animation, motion capture, virtual cinematography, sequencing and rendering. As we build fluency with the tools, we will explore the applications of 3D animation in animation, visual effects and interactive. No prior knowledge or experience using Maya or CGI required, only a passion for storytelling and animation.
RTF 344M INTERACTIVE MEDIA AND GAME DEVELOPMENT • DEEPAK CHETTY
This course provides students with the fundamentals of interactive media through digital game creation. The course focuses on two areas: (1) general principals of game design and game development, and (2) development of simple 3D games.
RTF 344M INTRO VFX & MOTION GRAPHICS • BEN BAYS
This is a production course designed to introduce and expand your knowledge of the world of motion graphics and special effects. Credits, transitions, greenscreen, filters, masks, mattes, all sorts of things. In contrast to the animation course, this class will focus on advanced compositing and techniques to enrich your video, stills, typography and to get exactly what you want to see onscreen. You will not be required to draw anything (complicated). Consider this more of a course in design than art. We will take the elements of design: line, shape, value, texture, color, direction, size, perspective and space and add one more thing to them: time.
RTF 344M INTRO VFX & MOTION GRAPHICS - WB Web-Based • BEN BAYS
This guided, non-linear, self-paced course teaches students concepts, tools and techniques in VISUAL EFFECTS--the intersection of live action video and other media formats including (but not limited to) CGI, miniatures, matte paintings and UI/UX elements. From advanced photographic and on-set visual effects techniques to compositing and tracking of plates, simulations, even traditional animation, students will create a portfolio of projects of their own choosing enhanced with titles, transitions, credits and various other MOTION GRAPHICS. It is designed for introductory, intermediate and advanced students, allowing for multiple pathways to generalization or specialization.
RTF 344M POST-PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES (COLOR GRADING) • SIMON QUIROZ
Note: Hybrid undergraduate & Graduate course.
This class will examine best practices in the finishing and mastering stages of digital post-production for a film or media piece focusing primarily on picture control and quality. The class will reinforce strong habits in media preparation when it comes to editing -- but this is not an editing class. We will depart from the moment the offline edit is done and move forward with preparing assets for online editing, sending them to sound design and mix, integration of VFX to color correction and grading (finishing) and then integration of all these elements (mastering) for deliverables creation. While we will cover color correction and grading, this course will also emphasize the technical elements that allow us to deliver the best quality images possible for different platforms. The concepts of infrastructure, pipeline and workflow should become second nature to the student upon successful completion of this course. Ideally, students should come with a pretty good understanding of nonlinear editing software.
RTF 344M DIRECTING FOR VIRTUAL REALITY • SIMON QUIROZ
While exploring the language of cinematic storytelling in Virtual Reality 360 Production, students will develop, produce and direct immersive and interactive story experiences geared for the Virtual Reality Medium in stereoscopic 3D.
While students will be exposed to best practices for shooting and editing stereoscopic 360 material, UX and UI for VR headsets, the main focus of this class will be on the development and directing of effective stories. Further, students will be encouraged to think volumetrically as an approach for cinematography and directing which will translate to their growth as filmmakers and story content creators in general.
RTF 344M VFX FOR STORYTELLING • DEEPAK CHETTY
In this hands-on course, students will be introduced to the new frontiers of VFX technology, including neural networks for VFX (deep learning), Style Transfer, Real-time rendering and mixed reality Stagecraft. These technologies, fast becoming industry standards, are not out of reach! Along with production elements, the class will have screenings and analysis of films that contain historical milestones in VFX, which have led us to the present state of VFX and the development of the industry. Whether you are interested in VFX as an additional skill in your filmmaker's toolkit or would like to become a visual effects artist and technician, you must understand the past to contextualize the present and the future of this art form. This class explores the production of contemporary and cutting edge VFX as well as both sides of this chronology, with the ultimate goal of creating a well-rounded understanding of where VFX started, and where it is headed.
RTF 344M WRITING FOR INTERACTIVE GAMES & MEDIA • SUSAN O'CONNOR
Interactive storytelling is a form of dramatic writing, just like theater or television. What makes the medium unique is that the author does not control the story; the audience does. Creatives have only just begun to explore the storytelling possibilities of this field. In this class, you will begin to develop the skills & knowledge necessary to write for interactive mediums such as video games, digital media, VR, and augmented reality. Your final deliverable in this course - a narrative design document - will serve as a writing sample for your portfolio.
RTF 344M / 388P XR STORYTELLING Hybrid / Blended • DEEPAK CHETTY & SVEN ORTEL
Hands-on exploration and prototyping of the mixed reality design challenges posed by the Eyes-On-The-Skies project: hybrid physical & digital sets, physical sets & virtual performers, real actors & virtual sets. A basic knowledge of Unreal Engine and Adobe Creative Suite is required.
RTF 344M CONCEPTS OF REAL-TIME RENDERING • DEEPAK CHETTY
Virtual Production and real-time rendering are here. Learn how to plan, layout, light, animate and render your ideas, concepts and art in real-time using Unreal Engine. Physically accurate cameras will simulate their real-world counterparts and give you the ability to learn and develop your real-world skills in a virtual environment or integrate your real-world skills into the virtual production environment. Final projects, which will be fully realized short-form pieces, will display an understanding of the methodology and creative potential of this game-changing workflow.
RTF 344N MOTION CAPTURE STUDIO • DEEPAK CHETTY
Utilizing a combination of hardware (motion capture suits and facial capture techniques) and software (Unreal Engine, Motion Builder), students will write, direct and virtually shoot and edit a completely computer-generated film within Unreal Engine using an actual human performance. The course will also cover the history of motion capture techniques and their utilization within the world of cinema, gaming and non-entertainment related fields.
RTF 344T GAME DEVELOPMENT CAPSTONE: 2D GAMES (Fall) • PAUL TOPRAC
The Capstone Game Development course brings together students from Computer Science, College of Fine Arts, and Radio-Television-Film to form small teams in which each student will contribute specialized knowledge to the group creation of 2D games for mobile, online, and social technology platforms. Through modeling of the environment and practices that are used in game studios and the larger industry, students will gain a thorough understanding of the 2D game development process. Local game companies and industry professionals are committed to evaluating student projects and hiring successful graduates. *OFFERED IN FALL SEMESTER. If interested, please read instructions to apply. Consent of instructor required.
RTF 344T GAME DEVELOPMENT CAPSTONE: 3D GAMES (Spring) • PAUL TOPRAC
The Capstone Game Development course brings together students from Computer Science, College of Fine Arts, and Radio-TV-Film to form small teams in which each student will contribute specialized knowledge to the group creation of 3D games for mobile, online, and social technology platforms. Students will gain a thorough understanding of the 3D game development process, through modeling of the environment and practices that are used in game studios.
*OFFERED IN SPRING SEMESTER. If interested, please read instructions to apply. Consent of instructor required.
RTF 351D ADVANCED 2D ANIMATION • LANCE MYERS
Students will use the basic 2D animation skills learned in the 351C Intro to 2D Animation class to focus on the production of longer animated projects. Additional techniques including some motion graphics, stop motion, and advanced 2D will also be covered in class.