3D Design & Animation – Certificate

Along with the film industry, the gaming production industry is one of the fastest growing markets to begin your career as a digital artist. Traditional hands-on skills and appreciation for the virtual and digital realms are highly desirable. Artists who want experience with challenging creative work that is action-packed, collaborative and exhilarating should inquire here.

Program Requirements

Minimum credits24
Minimum cumulative GPA2.0
Minimum grade in all courses2.0
Minimum Jackson College credits15


Take the following:

Course #Course NameCreditsPrerequisitesNotes
ART 103 Drawing I: Foundations 3

This course introduces basic drawing principles and techniques in a studio setting. Students explore contour and tonal drawing using various subjects and media in both observational and conceptual drawings. Projects will incorporate a variety of ability levels, as well as traditional and non-traditional media (including digital images). Students will draw from a nude model. Critical thinking skills such as problem solving, understanding the creative process (from idea to finished product), and addressing visual and conceptual themes are essential parts of the course, reflected in the studio projects. An end of semester portfolio represents students’ growth and artistic development.

Choose one of the following:

Course #Course NameCreditsPrerequisitesNotes
ART 205 Drawing II: Figure & Composition 3 ART 103

Students learn the elements and principles of drawing from life, with the emphasis on basic anatomy and advanced compositional elements. Projects incorporate advanced techniques and nontraditional media in a studio setting. Students will draw from a nude model. Critical thinking skills such as problem solving, understanding the creative process (from idea to finished product), and addressing visual and conceptual themes are essential parts of the course. These skills are reflected in studio projects.

CIS 137 Digital Photography I 3

(SAME AS ART 137) This course demonstrates how to use and handle a digital camera, capturing the image, editing and processing images for output — such as printing, or preparing images for upload to the internet for websites or social media platforms. The class will include techniques and instruction on layout, composition, rules of design, history of photography, and Photoshop® or image altering program applications.

CIS 170 Programming in C++ 3 CIS 095* and MAT 033* or higher

(SAME AS CPS 177) Students study digital computing systems and how they are used to solve problems. Students use procedural and object-oriented programming capabilities to design, develop, and test computer programs. Topics covered include program development, functions, control structures, text file operations, classes, recursion, arrays and pointers.

ENT 101 Entrepreneurship: Creating Your Own Job 3 CIS 095*, ENG 085* and ENG 090*

There will be only one constant throughout your career, and that constant is change. The preferences of consumers are constantly changing, entire industries are rising and falling, and hard-working people often are finding themselves looking for a job. This course provides you with the foundation to design your own job, whether in the context of an existing organization (i.e., as an “intrapreneur”) or as someone who starts a new enterprise (i.e., as an “entrepreneur”). In this course you will learn more about your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as the key characteristics shared by successful entrepreneurs. You’ll also gain skills for matching your strengths with a business idea that fits you well, so that both you and your customers will benefit. Finally, you will begin developing analytical tools to help make sound decisions in a rapidly-changing world.


Take the following:

Course #Course NameCreditsPrerequisitesNotes
CIS 101 Introduction to Computer Systems 3 CIS 095*, ENG 085*, ENG 090* and MAT 020* or higher

Enhance computer knowledge. Course covers computer system concepts with an emphasis on several software applications. Typing ability necessary to be successful in this class.

CIS 132 Graphic Illustration (Adobe® Illustrator®) 3 CIS 095*

Learn how to create professional looking illustrations using Adobe® Illustrator®. This course introduces student to techniques used by professional designers and illustrators.

CIS 134 Graphic Imaging (Adobe® PhotoShop®) 3

Learn the intricacies of scanning and editing images for producing practical and expressive images on a computer using Adobe® PhotoShop® software.

CIS 183 Introduction to Animation 3

This course introduces students to the techniques necessary to produce animated digital image sequences.  Using industry standard software tools, students develop graphics and initiate the movement of their 2D and 3D objects in frame animation by actions such as rotating, scaling, and tweening.

Prerequisite: CIS 134

CIS 274 3D Modeling 3

Students will begin learning the basic low polygon modeling techniques in appropriate software.  Special emphasis on character design and environmental modeling will be the key to this class along with a flow into topics of topology. This course is perfect for an artist or technically-minded individual.

Prerequisite: CIS 134

CIS 279 Methods in Lighting and Texturing 3

Students will learn how to set up 3D environments, dynamic and static lighting and be able to use mappings to manipulate that light on a 3D surface. Material and surface terminology will also be taught. Students will be introduced to 2D matte painting techniques for environmental backdrops.

Prerequisites: CIS 134 and CIS 274