3D Design & Animation – Associate in Applied Science

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’s action-packed, collaborative and exhilarating should inquire here.


Program Requirements

Minimum credits 62
Minimum cumulative GPA 2.0
Minimum grade in all courses 2.0
Minimum Jackson College credits 15

GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS (23-24 credits)

GEO 1: Write clearly, concisely and intelligibly (3 credits)

Take the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
ENG 131 Writing Experience I 3 ENG 085 and ENG 091

This is an intensive writing course. Narrative and descriptive modes are stressed. Basic research strategies are introduced. An end-of-the-semester portfolio is required.

GEO 2: Speak clearly, concisely and intelligibly (3 credits)

Take the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
COM 240 Interpersonal Communication 3 ENG 085, ENG 091

(FORMERLY SPH 240) Students will learn to improve communication in one-on-one and small group situations. In this course, students will examine basic verbal and non-verbal elements affecting communication between individuals in family, peer group and work contexts. Specific units of discussion include intrapersonal perspective, conflict resolution, self-disclosure, message generation, intercultural messages and non-verbal communication.

GEO 3: Demonstrate computational skills and mathematical reasoning (4 credits)

Take the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
MAT 130 Quantitative Reasoning 4 MAT 030

Quantitative Reasoning develops student skills in analyzing, synthesizing and communicating quantitative information. Cultivates algebraic reasoning and modeling skills through a quantitative literacy lens. Emphasizes critical thinking and the use of multiple strategies in applied contexts. Topics include proportional and statistical reasoning, probability, and evaluation of bias and validity.

GEO 4: Demonstrate scientific reasoning (4-5 credits)

Choose one of the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
BIO 110 Introductory Biology 4 ENG 085*, ENG 090* and MAT 033* or higher

Students will investigate the nature of science and critically analyze scientific data. Basic biological concepts including cancer, biostatistics, organic molecules and nutrition, biotechnology, nutrient cycles, and evolution are presented in the context of current issues. This course includes a discussion component which involves reading, critically evaluating, and discussing scientific papers: thus strong college reading and writing skills are recommended. The course is designed for non-science majors and includes a laboratory component.

BIO 132 Human Biology 4 ENG 085* and MAT 020* or higher

Students focus on the structure and function of the human body, the unity and diversity of life, the nature of scientific inquiry, and the principles and processes of evolution as well as contemporary issues that relate to biology. Course includes a laboratory component which focuses on human anatomy.

BIO 253 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4 ENG 085* and MAT 020* or higher

This is the first course of a two-semester course sequence in which students study the anatomy and physiology of the human body. The course includes introductions to basic chemistry, biology and histology and extends to the survey of the integumentary, skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. This course includes a laboratory component in which students are responsible for performing dissections and making original observations on dissected material. The laboratory experience culminates with the use of a plastinated human specimen for observation. A strong background in biology and/or chemistry is highly recommended.

GEL 109 Earth Science 4 ENG 085*, ENG 090* and MAT 033* or higher

This course serves as a foundation for the Earth sciences and Earth science majors. Emphasis is placed on laboratory experience and class discussions to reinforce scientific principles. Earth science case studies are covered in detail. In laboratory, the students will learn how to apply basic scientific principles through active learning and application. This course has a laboratory component.

GEL 160 Introduction to Geology 4 ENG 085* and ENG 090*

The course covers minerals, rocks, earthquakes and volcanoes. It also covers the landscapes and behaviors of continents and oceans. Diagrams, photographs, topographic maps, Internet resources and hands-on exercises are utilized to support the concepts. Course includes a laboratory component.

GEO 5: Understand human behavior and social systems, and the principles which govern them (3-4 credits)

Choose one of the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
HIS 120 Ancient History 3 ENG 085* and ENG 090*

This course attempts to answer the question, “Where did it all begin?” with a survey of the politics, art and religion of the ancient world from history’s beginning in Sumeria to the end of the ancient world when the Western Roman Empire faded out of sight in 476 A.D.

HIS 131 Western Civilization to 1555 4 ENG 085* and ENG 090*

HIS 131, together with HIS 132, constitutes the basic history course, as well as an introduction to the humanities. This course examines the roots of Western culture and its development through the Reformation. The course also surveys the social, philosophical, scientific, artistic, religious and political setting evolution with emphasis on the role of ideas and their consequences in the history of the human kind from the beginning to the 16th century.

PSY 140 Introduction to Psychology 4 ENG 085* and ENG 090*

Overview of the field of psychology, including learning, development, emotion, motivation, personality, abnormal behavior and psychotherapy.

PSY 152 Social Psychology 3 PSY 140 or SOC 231

(SAME AS SOC 152) Theoretical synthesis of social influences, including attitude formation, social and cognitive development, aggression, prosocial behavior, prejudice, conformity, culture and gender differences, influences, group processes and interpersonal attraction will be studied.

SOC 231 Principles of Sociology 3 ENG 085* and ENG 090*

The discipline and its contributions to understanding the fundamental processes of social interaction. Includes development of self, socialization process, groups and social structure. Application of sociological principles to our society by examination of relevant research.

GEO 6: Understand aesthetic experience and artistic creativity (3 credits)

Choose one of the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
ART 111 Art History: Prehistoric to 1400 3 ENG 085, ENG 091

This course is a survey of art history and aesthetics covering art and architecture from prehistoric times to 1400.

ART 112 Art History: Renaissance to Present 3 ENG 085*

This course is a survey of art history and aesthetics covering art from the Renaissance through the 20th century.

ENG 210 Introduction to Film 3 ENG 085* and ENG 131

Students are introduced to film as a visual art and to basic film terms and techniques, such as composition, movement, editing and sound. Readings in film history, genre, theory and criticism. Includes JC Winter Film Series.

ENG 246 Short Story & Novel 3 ENG 085* and ENG 131

Students are introduced to traditional and contemporary fictional genres. This course emphasizes understanding, appreciation and the critical analysis of narrative art. Selections for study are chosen from English and American literature as well as world literature in translation.

ENG 247 Poetry & Drama 3 ENG 085* and ENG 131

Students are introduced to lyric and dramatic genres. This course emphasizes understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of poetry and theatre as language performances and literary forms. Selections for study are chosen from English and American literature as well as world literature in translation.

ENG 252 Shakespeare 3 ENG 085* and ENG 131

Students read representative plays and are introduced to the Elizabethan world. Course emphasizes developing understanding, appreciation and critical analysis skills.

ENG 254 Children’s Literature 3 ENG 085* and ENG 131

Students survey the various genres of children’s literature from a critical point of view. Course emphasizes developing student competency in oral reading and presentation of children’s literature.

HUM 131 Cultural Connections 3 ENG 085 and ENG 091

This interdisciplinary course examines contemporary issues, their human and technological components, and their historical precedents through art, music, literature and philosophy.

MUS 131 Understanding Music 3 ENG 085*

Lecture and directed listening on the elements, forms and historic chronology of Western music.

MUS 132 History of American Popular Music 3

Students explore the development of popular music in America and focus on the musical, social and economic influences of commercial music in an historical context.

GEO 7: Understand and respect the diversity and interdependence of the world’s peoples and cultures (3-4 credits)

Choose one of the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
ANT 131 Cultural Anthropology 3 ENG 085*

Cultural anthropology is a one semester introductory course. The course focuses on the thesis that every society is based on an integrated culture, which satisfies human needs and facilitates survival. The course also explores the ways in which our own culture fits into the broad range of human possibilities.

COM 250 Intercultural Communication 3 ENG 085* and ENG 090*

(Students cannot receive credit for both COM 250 and COM 350) This course will explore how diverse cultural orientations influence the way we perceive and interact with an increasingly culturally diverse world. We will discuss the causes of intercultural conflicts in different communication settings (interpersonal, small group, school, workplace and global) and how to manage them effectively.

ENG 249 African-American Literature 3 ENG 085* and ENG 131

Survey of the literature of African-American writers. Emphasis is on the major writers in narrative, poetry, fiction, essay and drama.

ENG 257 World Literature I 3 ENG 085* and ENG 131

Students compare major themes and writers from Africa, America, Asia and Europe.

MUS 130 Music of Non-Western Cultures 3 ENG 085*

Discovering the music of non-Western cultures through lecture and directed listening.

PLS 262 International Relations 3 ENG 085* and ENG 090*

Survey contemporary world affairs and examine the nation-state system, the struggle for power, and factors creating harmony and hostility among states.

SOC 246 Marriage and Family 3 ENG 085* and ENG 090*

The position and significance of marriage and the family in contemporary society are examined. Issues are examined within the larger political, historical and social context, including marriage and family values within diverse ethnic, minority and gender identity groups. SOC 231 recommended before enrolling in this course.

RELATED REQUIREMENTS (10 credits)

Take the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
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.

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.

ENG 232 Technical & Business Writing 3 ENG 131

A course designed to provide practice in a variety of written and oral communications to meet the requirements of the workplace. Projects may include descriptions, instructions, résumés, proposals, reports or online documents. It involves frequent writing, both in and out of class, as well as oral presentations, collaborative activities and individual conferences.

Choose one of the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
CIS 131 Methods in 3-D Prototyping 1 ENG 085*

Students propose concept development and build three-dimensional product mock-ups. Dexterity, craftsmanship and implementation using innovative logistical methods are practiced and delivered.

CIS 133 Brand Identity Design 1 ENG 085*

This course introduces students to common contemporary practices of corporate brand identity design. Review and discussion of brand-building concepts are researched and analyzed.

CIS 138 Image Editing Applications 1 ENG 085*

Students will be exposed to current applications and technical aspects of image manipulation in a variety of contexts. They will become familiar with applications through research, demonstrations, and structured exercises as well as open-ended assignments.

CORE REQUIREMENTS (29 credits)

Choose one of the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
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 201 Advanced Information Technologies 3 ENG 085*, ENG 090* and CIS 101*

(SAME AS ECM 201) This course enhances electronic communication skills and computer concepts essential to using current advanced information technologies. Topics include web collaboration, web conferencing, web 2.0 applications, social media, mobile computing, file conversions and cross-platform compatibility.

Take the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
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 147 Web Page Design I (Dreamweaver®) 1

(FORMERLY CIS 045) This course covers the fundamental concepts of web page design using Adobe® Dreamweaver®. This course will instruct students in all the basic functions of Adobe® Dreamweaver® in regards to understanding how to get a website up and running.

CIS 171 3D Modeling I 4 CIS 095*

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

CIS 172 Lighting and Texturing 4 CIS 171

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.

CIS 173 Animation I 4 CIS 171

This core class of animation introduces students to moving and animation 3D characters. Using industry standard software, students will translate muscle and bone structure. Various character rigs will be introduced so that the 3D characters will move in both forward and inverse kinematics.

CIS 247 Web Page Design II (Dreamweaver®) 3 CIS 147

(FORMERLY CIS 145) This course covers advanced concepts of web page design using Dreamweaver®. This course will teach students advanced design techniques to add efficiency, interactivity, and visual interest to their Internet web site.

CIS 271 3D Modeling II 4 CIS 171

This course builds from the previous 3D modeling course. Students will design characters with even greater detail and polygon levels that reach over a million. Topics of human anatomy, muscle structure and topology will be introduced.

CIS 272 Computer Gaming Fundamentals 3 CIS 172, CIS 173 and CIS 271

Game engine fundamental workflows will be introduced from a design perspective. Using a pre-made game engine, students will import static and animated props into an environment to create maps and levels.

Sample Course Map

The following is a sample course map for informational purposes and will not suit every student’s situation. A detailed, individualized course map will be created when a student meets with their Student Success Navigator.

SEMESTER 1

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
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 131 Methods in 3-D Prototyping 1 ENG 085*

Students propose concept development and build three-dimensional product mock-ups. Dexterity, craftsmanship and implementation using innovative logistical methods are practiced and delivered.

CIS 133 Brand Identity Design 1 ENG 085*

This course introduces students to common contemporary practices of corporate brand identity design. Review and discussion of brand-building concepts are researched and analyzed.

CIS 138 Image Editing Applications 1 ENG 085*

Students will be exposed to current applications and technical aspects of image manipulation in a variety of contexts. They will become familiar with applications through research, demonstrations, and structured exercises as well as open-ended assignments.

ENG 131 Writing Experience I 3 ENG 085 and ENG 091

This is an intensive writing course. Narrative and descriptive modes are stressed. Basic research strategies are introduced. An end-of-the-semester portfolio is required.

MAT 130 Quantitative Reasoning 4 MAT 030

Quantitative Reasoning develops student skills in analyzing, synthesizing and communicating quantitative information. Cultivates algebraic reasoning and modeling skills through a quantitative literacy lens. Emphasizes critical thinking and the use of multiple strategies in applied contexts. Topics include proportional and statistical reasoning, probability, and evaluation of bias and validity.

SEM 140 Seminar in Life Pathways 3

Seminar in Life Pathways is a gateway course to Jackson College. This course is designed to help all students develop the skills, inner qualities and external behaviors needed to take charge of their academic and career success. Students will be guided through an extensive process in making career choices and selecting an academic program of study at Jackson College and beyond. With the exception of second-admit programs, SEM 140 is required of all students.

SEMESTER 2

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
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.

BIO 132 Human Biology 4 ENG 085* and MAT 020* or higher

Students focus on the structure and function of the human body, the unity and diversity of life, the nature of scientific inquiry, and the principles and processes of evolution as well as contemporary issues that relate to biology. Course includes a laboratory component which focuses on human anatomy.

COM 240 Interpersonal Communication 3 ENG 085, ENG 091

(FORMERLY SPH 240) Students will learn to improve communication in one-on-one and small group situations. In this course, students will examine basic verbal and non-verbal elements affecting communication between individuals in family, peer group and work contexts. Specific units of discussion include intrapersonal perspective, conflict resolution, self-disclosure, message generation, intercultural messages and non-verbal communication.

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 147 Web Page Design I (Dreamweaver®) 1

(FORMERLY CIS 045) This course covers the fundamental concepts of web page design using Adobe® Dreamweaver®. This course will instruct students in all the basic functions of Adobe® Dreamweaver® in regards to understanding how to get a website up and running.

ENG 210 Introduction to Film 3 ENG 085* and ENG 131

Students are introduced to film as a visual art and to basic film terms and techniques, such as composition, movement, editing and sound. Readings in film history, genre, theory and criticism. Includes JC Winter Film Series.

SEMESTER 3

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
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 171 3D Modeling I 4 CIS 095*

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

CIS 247 Web Page Design II (Dreamweaver®) 3 CIS 147

(FORMERLY CIS 145) This course covers advanced concepts of web page design using Dreamweaver®. This course will teach students advanced design techniques to add efficiency, interactivity, and visual interest to their Internet web site.

PSY 140 Introduction to Psychology 4 ENG 085* and ENG 090*

Overview of the field of psychology, including learning, development, emotion, motivation, personality, abnormal behavior and psychotherapy.

HIS 211 Minority Groups in America 3 ENG 085* and ENG 090*

Sociology of dominant-minority relations in contemporary American society. Attention to specific ethnic, religious, and racial minorities in terms of prejudice and discrimination.

SEMESTER 4

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
CIS 172 Lighting and Texturing 4 CIS 171

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.

CIS 173 Animation I 4 CIS 171

This core class of animation introduces students to moving and animation 3D characters. Using industry standard software, students will translate muscle and bone structure. Various character rigs will be introduced so that the 3D characters will move in both forward and inverse kinematics.

CIS 271 3D Modeling II 4 CIS 171

This course builds from the previous 3D modeling course. Students will design characters with even greater detail and polygon levels that reach over a million. Topics of human anatomy, muscle structure and topology will be introduced.

CIS 272 Computer Gaming Fundamentals 3 CIS 172, CIS 173 and CIS 271

Game engine fundamental workflows will be introduced from a design perspective. Using a pre-made game engine, students will import static and animated props into an environment to create maps and levels.