Digital Screen

100-level

PROD142
2D and 3D Art for Game and Film
Description
The goal of this course is to introduce students to concepts, techniques and tools they can use to communicate ideas and narrative through visual media in both 2D and 3D. Students will learn skills such as sketching, storyboarding, and visual framing, and examine existing practices in print (e.g. comics, graphic novels), film (e.g. storyboards) and games (e.g. concept art) to help them ideate, prototype, develop and communicate visually. A key theme of the course is an introduction to visual culture, including representation and objects as taonga. Students will learn how to create art in styles ranging from caricature to photorealistic, understanding how these different styles focus and emphasise different things depending on what must be communicated. In addition to 2D art, students will also learn how to create visual assets in 3D, including both translating existing artworks from 2D and developing new artwork in 3D from scratch. Students will learn the differences between creating 3D artworks for fixed camera mediums (e.g. film) and dynamic camera mediums (e.g. games).
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points

200-level

DISC213
Editing and postproduction
Description
Editing is a conceptual and creative process as much as it is a technical skill. What happens when two film images are brought together on the editing bench? How are they cut to advance the story, to establish or undermine point of view, to bring different spatial and temporal locations into relation or opposition, to enhance or frustrate the spectators’ expectations? This course teaches conceptual and practical aspects of editing. Students acquire hands-on experience of the techniques and aesthetics of film editing and related post-production processes. Additional emphasis is placed on workflow, file management and the latest software tools. Students will study scenes and sequences from exemplary models (Hitchcock, Renoir, Buñuel, etc) and complete a series of exercises and workshops that culminate in the production of their own short project using extant footage.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites

DISC240
Animation Project I
Description
In this project course, students will produce a creative animation output, with scaffolded support from an academic supervisor. Students will work in groups to develop a script, including characters and scenes, for a short animation. They will use techniques such as story boarding to plan out their animation, using concepts from film such as staging, framing, blocking and posing to decide what visual assets need to be created for their animation. Students will design and create any visual assets, finding and creating reference materials for all the assets in the scene. For animated objects, students will locate and create animated reference materials, and consider how structure, motion, physics and timing will bring these objects to life and give them a sense of personality. Finally, the students will bring together all these aspects into a final short animation. At each stage of the process, students will be required to discuss, critique, reflect, and iterate on their own work and the work of their group mates.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites

DISC241
Foundations of Animation
Description
In this course, students will learn about the history of animation, from the hand animated short films of the early 20th century, through to modern day 3D computer rendered films with budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Students will explore the nature and themes of animation across cultures, from Japanese Anime to Western Animation. Students will develop their own animation skills and understanding through studying reference material and drawing, exploring topics such as structure, motion, physics and timing, and how the interplay of these various aspects are used to bring to life both animate and inanimate objects as their own characters. Concepts borrowed from film making such as staging, framing, blocking, posing and composition will be explored in both animation as well as static mediums such as graphic novels. At the end of the course, students will produce their own hand animated scene, demonstrating their ability to use their understanding of the principles of animation and the skills they have developed, to realise a visual narrative.
Occurrences
Semester One 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites

PROD241
Character Design
Description
In this course, students will learn about designing and developing multi-dimensional and engaging characters and creatures, ranging from animals to humans to completely alien, for games and other forms of media. The development of character begins with history, backstories and narratives, to provide context to a character’s motives, behaviours and actions. This narrative leads to the design of the visual aesthetics of a character, from their physical forms and distinguishing characteristics, to how this impacts their dynamic movements and animation, and the clothes that they wear and the accessories that they use. Students will bring these characters to life in 2D and 3D, building on the tools and techniques they have learned in PROD142, and expanding into motion and movement through rigging, animation, and motion capture. Throughout the course, students will look at famous examples of character and creature design for Maori and other cultures in both modern media portrayals as well as history and mythology.
Occurrences
Semester One 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites

PROD243
World Building
Description
From microscopic worlds to entire universes, ancient history to the far future, earth-like to fantastical alien worlds, the setting in which a story takes place in is as important as the characters who are described. In this course, students will learn about creating real and fictional worlds for games, considering aspects as diverse as geology, geography, plant and animal life forms, history, culture and religion. Students will learn about how to design a world which ties into the game design and story, and which fits and encourages different styles of play. Students will need to understand the technical limitations of the games they are working on, and how the worlds they build can meet those restrictions, but also help hide the limitations from the players. Students will learn how lighting and set dressing can be used to great advantage in increasing the immersiveness of worlds.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites

Not Offered Courses in 2024

Digital Screen

300-level

PROD341
Cinematics and Visual Effects
Description
With the increasing influence of cinema on the design and narrative common in modern day games, and the rising use of game technology in cinema - including new technologies such as Virtual Production - the worlds of game and film are becoming increasingly intertwined. In this course, students will learn about the tools and techniques of film production as they apply to gaming. From pre-production to sound and lighting techniques, camera tracking, compositing, editing and VFX, students will learn how to turn their games into cinematic masterpieces. Students will also apply these skills to the newest technology at the intersection of film and gaming, Virtual Production, and how game engines can be used to create digital environments that replace green screens for modern day filming.
Occurrences
Not offered 2024
For further information see PROD341 course details
Points
15 points

PROD342
Digital Sculpting
Description
There has been a recent movement away from traditional 3D modelling tools, where users work with paradigms based on computer graphics such as vertices and polygons, to 3D modelling tools which mimic more traditional forms of art creation such as carving from wood or sculpting from clay, as in the popular tool ZBrush. Likewise, the increasing affordability and availability of technologies such as Virtual Reality and Haptics have brought other art forms, such as painting in the case of Google’s Tilt Brush, into 3D and allowed for new forms of digital expression. In this course, students will learn about the latest methods and technologies for creating 3D art works through digital sculpting. This course covers digital sculpting through to texture mapping, retopologising into traditional polygonal models, and rigging and integration into games. Students will also learn about cutting edge technologies in VR and Haptics for creating 3D art works, and future directions and research trends in the area.
Occurrences
Not offered 2024
For further information see PROD342 course details
Points
15 points

PROD343
Rendering and Lighting
Description
To maximise the visual quality and rendering performance of graphics in modern day game engines, it is important for artists to understand the underlying technologies they are working on. In this course, students will learn about the graphics technologies which make visuals possible in modern day game engines, what their limitations are, and what tools and techniques can be used to make the best looking graphics without causing performance issues. This course covers advanced surface and lighting techniques, including capturing lighting models from the environment and using photogrammetry to capture existing 3D objects and environments. Students will also learn the theory of illumination models and rendering pipelines, and how these things can be used to create photo realistic renders. Students will be shown what shaders are and how they work, and time will be spent looking at how these can be optimised to maximum rendering performance. Finally, students will learn how to use industry standard tools such as Substance Painter to create the most photorealistic 3D renderings possible.
Occurrences
Not offered 2024
For further information see PROD343 course details
Points
15 points