You are here

Digital Media Electives

  • Costume and Portrait DGMD/230A

    Costume Drawing Class: Learning fabric/props rendering, various proportions, History of costume, Figure composition, style/techniques of drawing.

  • Digital Painting II DGMD/240A

    Students who pursue fields like concept art, visual development, illustration, etc. need a strong understanding of composition, color, value, and lighting. This class provides the tools necessary for the lifelong study of digital painting. You will learn to break down images into digestible information, identify weaknesses in our own work, and solve problems and improve upon them. You will also explore both old-school and modern digital painting workflows.

  • Rapid Viz/Rapid Prototyping DGMD/490A

    What do the names Charles and Ray Eames, Santiago Calatrava, Michael Thonet, Dieter Rams, and Jony Ive have in common? Rapid Prototyping is an integral part of the design thinking process and user experience because it allows us to test our ideas quickly and improve on them in a timely fashion. The class will design and build a prototype for a real and useful object for everyday use. The class will have a bias towards action and iteration where building and testing are stressed and valued. We will use Autodesk’s Fusion 360 to design and model the product, create machine tool paths for the CNC process, simulate stress tests on specific materials as well as creation of scaled construction documents. We will generate a full scale prototype (within reason), scaled working drawings to be used for design development, bidding and production. The class will discuss methods of manufacturing such as Additive manufacturing (3D Print) and Subtractive (CNC), Injection Molding, etc. Finally strategies for bringing the product to market. If you have ever had an idea for a product you would like to explore and develop (or think you may someday) this class is for you.

  • 3D for Motion Cinema 4D DGMD/310B

    Learn how to use Cinema 4-D to create elements and 3-D animation for motion graphics, ranging from 3-D treatments and backgrounds to looping elements. Includes an introduction to C4D’s procedural animation system. Modeling, materials, and shader development, lighting, and multi pass rendering for compositing with After Effects will be addressed.

  • Sketching and World Building DGMD/310C

    This class will focus on traditional sketching techniques which allow students to learn how to design and create props, architectures and organic structures. Each week, students will work in class to follow the instructor’s demonstration. Also students will be asked to do historic research on various human civilizations in order to build unique fantasy worlds. There will be no digital work done in the class.

  • Digital Light and Color DGMD/310D

    The painting basics as understood through traditional mediums translated to Digital Painting. A class directed towards absolute beginners interested in Concept Art, Visual Development and Art Direction. Focused entirely on painting in Photoshop from scratch. Driven heavily by quick exercises utilizing primitive shapes to understand value, temperature, material, textures and fx ..... in that specific order.

  • VisDev DGMD/310F

    In this class, we will develop the skills necessary to work in a production pipeline as a 2D artist in the animation field. We will cover what it takes to make fun and cool designs that come from a place of imagination and wonder, reinforce the story and world established, and have our designs feel comprehensive and functional. We will also cover how to pick out key moments in a story and what it takes to showcase those moments in a compelling way.

  • Building Concept Skills DGMD/310G

    Storytelling with still and sequential images depends on strong, clear and concise composition convey the content and intention of a scene. Use contrast, value, tone, atmosphere and color to clearly delineate the focus and importance of the elements of an image. Subjects and environments must be set up to reflect and resolve specific story ideas and design issues. Developing such scenarios will enable the student to experience composition as one of the authoritative forms of storytelling.

    By the end of the semester, students will learn to . . .

    1. Develop compositional designs for visual development.
    2. Learn to assess and refine compositional ideas for their development potential.
    3. Develop narrative compositions that convey appropriate mood.
    4. Compose within an appropriate cinematic aspect ratio.
    5. Become familiar with the priorities of composition for entertainment.
    6. Explore and resolve compositional strengths and weaknesses for further development.
  • Character Concepts DGMD/310H

    This class focuses on the basics of character design, perspective & composition, and value/lighting. Also focuses on teaching thumbnails used in game and cinematic productions. Juniors and Seniors ONLY unless permission given by instructor.

  • Lighting:CG IRL DGMD/310I

    For CG and Practical applications.

    This can cater to many interests both CG and practical. This comprehensive course covers the foundations of lighting both in CG and in live action settings. We will explore the nature of light and how it becomes an intrinsic part in our storytelling journey. Light is truly a character that we must not overlook. We will explore techniques, tools, and terminology used in the film, tv, and photography industry and how they translate into CG and back again.

    Using Maya as our 3D tool you will gain virtual understanding and techniques that can be applied to any other 3D application. We will create numerous situations that we will need to problem solve based on light and its expressive nature. On the practical side along with virtual we will learn tools and techniques that will help us in sculpting shape and form with lights.

    I also will run through techniques to build your own lighting tools for practical shooting

  • Sculpture DGMD/310J

    In this class, students who solely create digital imagery get their hands into clay. From this, they learn a realistic form (of how light plays on the modeled surface). Students also learn how to decipher picture reference into three dimensional clay -- direction lines, proportion, negative space, etc. The aim of the class is to help students understand forms while sculpting in clay, so they may convey that experience toward purely digital creations.

  • Dirty Pictures DGMD/310L

    Quick Sketch/Life Drawing for Animation aka “Dirty Pictures'' emphasizes observational drawing from live models to develop strong posing skills for artists in animation, storyboard, illustration and fine arts tracks. In class lectures and demos will reinforce principles of animation.

  • Story Structures DGMD/311

    The basic principles of story structure are applicable to any medium where great stories are told: film, TV, novels, comic books, theatre, video games, even works of sculpture and dance. A foundational understanding of basic storytelling structure will deepen audience engagement and help to create emotional resonance. This course will utilize multimedia presentations, group work, reading and viewing assignments, response papers, and creative writing to foster a deeper understanding of the nature of story structure, its role in various mediums, and techniques to enhance its effectiveness.

  • Figure and Gesture Drawing DGMD/312A

    Life drawing geared toward gesture and emphasis on the elements needed for conveying a story. Whether for storyboarding character design animation or key frames communicating movement, understanding crucial parts of anatomy, and determining what is important to convey is foundational. This class will focus on such subjects and students will learn to quickly lock down poses and drawings for a narrative project.

  • Into the Wild: Landscapes DGMD/312B

    Learn how to produce great 2D work and understand the “hows” and “whys” of plein air (field painting); value scales; composition, narrative; Dynamic lighting-natural and artificial; Organic shapes, size and textures; Local color, lighting planes, shadows, and reflected light and color; Structure and textures of rock, waterfalls, mountains, crags, and other natural features; Weather, clouds, skies, sunsets; Perspective and buildings; phenomena such as volcanoes, lava, smoke, explosions, rain.

  • Dynamic Urban Landscapes NEW DGMD/312C

    The focus of this class will be gaining the knowledge, methods and techniques to create a wide range of inventive, unique and stylistic urban and natural environments for cinema, games and animation. Subjects include on-the-fly perspective, quick-sketch visualization techniques, layout design, depth of space, lighting, textures, etc... The ultimate goal is to combine materials, methods and imagination to create unique compositions, designs and artworks.

  • Letterpress DGMD/316

    Letterpress is the process of pressing raised, inked surfaces onto paper. Otis Laboratory Press is a fully functioning letterpress studio with four Vandercook proof presses and over 200 fonts. This class introduces students to the origins of typography and provides a key link between traditional tools and digital media.

    Many of the typography terms and phrases we’re now familiar with originate from the combination of moveable type and the letterpress process. 'Upper case' and 'lower case', for example, refers to the storage of the different type forms in type cases. 'Leading', the space between two lines of type, refers to strips of lead placed between lines of moveable type to space them further apart.

  • Foucault’s Pendulum NEW DGMD/318A

    VFX with SideFx Houdini / Let's blow some stuff up (...with Side FX Houdini)

    For VFX and Motion Graphics Artists

    The class will explore fx particles, explosions, rigid body dynamics and liquids in Houdini. Including live action and CG integration, traditionally what Houdini is known for.

    Software: Houdini, Nuke, Adobe After Effect

  • Virtual Reality Explorations DGMD/318B

    With Virtual Reality technology artists have amazing new tools available to create fully 3 dimensional drawings while they are actually immersed within the 3D drawing space. This class explores this new art form with experimentation and projects that push the possibilities of immersive 3D drawing. Using programs such as Google’s Tilt Brush, Oculus’ Quill and others being released, students will create a portfolio of VR creations by testing and expanding the possibilities of this new medium.

  • 3D-Next Steps DGMD/325

    This class is an advanced topics class focused within 3D CG, Compositing, and Live Action. Class will explore these topics individually and collaboratively. The class is designed for those who wish to take their current knowledge and push it in a fast-paced aggressive approach to learning and assignments. 3D software used in class will be Maya, along with Aftereffects, Photoshop, and Nuke. in 2D If you are wanting (and willing) to push yourself and can commit to the high level of education, homework, and time expected then you should consider

  • Intro to Immersive Design DGMD/329

    Immersive Design is multidisciplinary and encompasses all media. From still imagery to integrated 4-D environments, the moving image and any medium where conceptual, narrative, story line and messaging requirements must be met and delivered. This includes: theme parks, themed retail, targeted brand projection and deployment, multi-platform interactive delivery systems, architectural environments- virtual and practical, environmental storytelling, venue and media design integration for the very small, medium and ultra large multi-screen.

    This class will introduce you to the various types of immersive design from ideation and concept development to applications and execution across different platforms.

  • From Brief to Broadcast DGMD/380A

    This is an all-encompassing graphic design and motion design-centric illustration course meant to challenge students with the real world assignments and timelines of a freelance/full-time motion designer’s career, be it designer, concept artist or animator. This course echoes the exact real-world timelines, expectations, deliverables and workflow of the commercial and entertainment industry in that the students will receive direct briefs from the instructor, who has received them from his clients in the past. Students will become familiar with the language of business in regards to their craft, as well as become versed at receiving an agency’s brief, deciding upon a path of execution based upon the presented script and client’s expectations, and then delivering final style frames in a diverse style range that adequately and successfully shows understanding of the overall assignment. Foundational focuses: narrative storytelling through style frame creation utilizing expressive typography execution. Composition and clarity of concept is stressed over anything else. The ability to clearly stage one’s idea through strong typographic design hierarchy and clear compositional nuance will be the primary focus of this course.

  • Out of the Ordinary Motion DGMD/380B

    This class embraces the motion graphics spectrum. Using Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects and Cinema4D students will follow the syllabus with approx. 5-6 assignments over the 15 week course.

    Projects will include - Production Tag/IDs, Animating Loops, Animation to sound and lyrics, creating timelines with ‘see-n-say’ graphics for communication design aspects.

  • 3D for Live Action DGMD/380C

    The line between Motion Graphics and VFX is becoming more and more blurred. A great generalist should be able to seamlessly blend their 2D and 3D skills with live action footage. This course will teach you how to properly integrate your 2D and 3D animations across a variety of situations and styles commonly found in commercial work. From start to finish, you’ll learn the proper workflow of 2D/3D tracking, scene reconstruction, object tracking, rotoscoping efficiently, compositing and more. And the best part? You will be able to achieve all of this only using Cinema4D and After Effects.

  • Producing and Production Management NEW DGMD/490D

    An in depth exploration on how a TV series, Feature Film, Web Series are produced. Monica Mitchell is the instructor.

    Monica is the head of production for Shadow Machine, Bo Jack Horseman and many other terrific shows, commercials and other media. She was previously Director of Production at Warner Bros.

    Monica will walk you through each part of how a TV show or Feature film gets made, including a break- down of each part and talk about each job on the team. How to set up a production from the ground up. Understanding the various labor unions and rules. Insurance, legal consultants. Basic labor laws. How to hire an employee. Exempt/Nonexempt. What's the difference. Payroll. NDA's, Legal clearances, Standards and Practices, Trademark and Copyright concerns. Working with vendors. How to handle the bidding process. Ethics in every part of the job. Relationships and how they are golden and need to be protected at all costs. Negotiating talent deals, casting, music. Working for a big company vs a small company. Starting a business. Human Resources, Recruiting, Training, Firing someone. Crew morale. Networking. Industry affiliations.

    We will also go over how to create a pitch document and the pitching process. Getting your show ready to pitch and the selling process.

    You will create a schedule and budget based on assumptions I provide and then discuss the outcomes during class.

     

  • Invisible Cities NEW GAME/490A

    Explorations in Procedural Design / 3d Motion Design with SideFx Houdini

    Using the powerful parametric nature of SideFx Houdini, we will generate unique and beautiful abstract form and animation. The students will create a 30 second spot as a final project.

    Creative abstract design, type, ui ux design, advertising

    Software: Houdini, Redshift and After Effects

    Invisible cities is a 3D Motion Graphics class using SideFx Houdini. The procedural tools are very powerful! Only take this class if you are prepared to "Level Up" and flex your 3D motion graphics muscles.

  • T Zero Prop Design for Film & Games NEW GAME/490B

    Low Poly Industrial Prop Design with Fusion 360 for Film and Games

    Hard Surface Modeling in Fusion 360

    Choosing a theme for a project each student will design a series of elements or props for a film or game.

    Software: Fusion 360, Substance Designer, Redshift Render

  • The Labyrinth of Solitude NEW GAME/490C

    Game Level Design with SideFx Houdini and Unreal 4

    Procedural Game Level Design

    The class will design a procedural game environment in SideFx Houdini using parametric tools.

    Software: Houdini, Unreal 4, Substance Designer

  • Editing and Finishing MOTN/490

    Learn how to be this guy:
    Lin is basically a 1-man post/production machine. For the last 16 years, he has handled nearly all aspects of post-production. He enjoys working with clients and directors during the early stages of editorial, forming the story before any shooting is done. Not only has he worked as a VFX supervisor for many commercial shoots, he has many years of experience as a flame artist, and understands the work involved for each shot once it goes into production. He currently prefers to edit in Premiere, though he has lot of experience cutting with FCP and Avid. Once the edit is locked, Lin is comfortable conforming and distributing plates for artists. He is comfortable jumping into Flame, After Effects, or Davinci Resolve to do color, animate or comp shots. After final renders are done he loads everything online and does any last beauty or color work and finishes before delivery.

  • Design Explorations MOTN/325

    Typography, color, shape, light, and more help make for effective motion design. Learn the fundamental principles of each of these and work on combining them to create effective motion design pieces.

  • Photoshop Basics DGMD/240A

    Drawing and painting digitally is learning to use a different type of tool to do what you already know how to do. But it is at the heart of what we do. Photoshop and similar tools need to be as natural to you as anything else. This class will help you get to that level.

  • Producing & Production Management DGMD/310A

    An in depth exploration on how an TV series, Feature Film, Web Series are produced.

    Monica is the head of production for Shadow Machine, of Bo Jack Horseman and many other terrific shows, commercials and other media. She was previously Director of Production at Warner Bros.

    Monica will walk you through each part of how a TV show or Feature film gets made, including a break- down of each part and talk about each job on the team. How to set up a production from the ground up. Understanding the various labor unions and rules. Insurance, legal consultants. Basic labor laws. How to hire an employee. Exempt/Nonexempt. What's the difference. Payroll. NDA's, Legal clearances, Standards and Practices, Trademark and Copyright concerns. Working with vendors. How to handling the bidding process. Ethics in every part of the job. Relationships and how they are golden and need to be protected at all costs. Negotiating talent deals, casting, music. Working for a big company vs a small company. Starting a business. Human Resources, Recruiting, Training, Firing someone. Crew morale. Networking. Industry affiliations.

    We will also go over how to create a pitch document and the pitching process. Getting your show ready to pitch and the selling process.

    You will create a schedule and budget based on assumptions I provide and then discuss the outcomes during class.

  • 3D Motion-Cinema 4D DGMD/310B

    Learn how to use Cinema 4-D to create elements and 3-D animation for motion graphics, ranging from 3-D treatments and backgrounds to looping elements. Includes an introduction to C4D’s procedural animation system. Modeling, materials, and shader development, lighting, and multi pass rendering for compositing with After Effects will be addressed.

  • Advanced Game Creative w/USC DGMD/310C

    Otis artists and USC Engineering and Cinema students are collaborating to develop the next greatest gaming experience. We are creating this elective to provide both credit and an Otis faculty to ensure success.

    Each USC undergrad game team provided information about their game development and students can choose. They are looking for several artists for each game including an art director, character, prop and environment artists. The exciting collaboration of creative minds culminates in the Annual Online Games Expo, where the games will be showcased and played by major industry leaders, influencers, and the community!

  • Character Concepts DGMD/310D

    This class focuses on the basics of character design, perspective & composition, and value/lighting. Also focuses on teaching thumbnails used in game and cinematic productions. Juniors and Seniors ONLY unless permission given by instructor.

  • Character Design for Animation DGMD/310E

    This course is an introduction to developing & creating characters for animation or comic art. Course will emphasize developing characters with personality and encourage expressive personal style of the artists.

  • Composition for Film and Animation DGMD/310F

    This class will focus on the basics of composition for the design of time dependent media to support mood, story, conflict and continuity, in both traditional and digital media.

  • Composition for Production DGMD/310G

    Learn how to break down simple values into storytelling elements through lighting and color. Focus mainly on environment paintings. Class will cover fundamentals about composition, value, and color.

  • Costume Drawing DGMD/310H

    Costume Drawing Class: Learning fabric/props rendering, various proportions, History of costume, Figure composition, style/techniques of drawing.

  • Drawing Intensive DGMD/310I

    Designed to enhance a students’ drawing capabilities with a focus on space and objects in space. Emphasis is on developing a basic understanding of, and familiarity with, perspective as a means of organizing space and defining a point of view.

  • Look Development DGMD/310J

    This course provides you with a firm knowledge in visual Look Development and understanding how specific tools can be used to help you communicate your ideas. You must first have the idea, then we choose the tool that best fits your creative needs.

    You will be utilizing Photoshop and Maya, with the expectation that you will have a firm grasp of this tool to further your ideas by the end of the semester.

  • Rendering Techniques DGMD/310K

    Explore the fundamental techniques of rendering texture, surfaces, light logic and color theory of natural light using traditional media in pencils and acrylics. Fine-tune your drawing and painting skills in traditional media or computer painting.

  • The Essentials DGMD/310M

    This is a fundamental class for building key techniques and skills used in creating simple, to advanced images in concept art, visual development and animation. The basic elements, listed below, will combine to build dynamic images and enable the student to draw and paint a body of unique visual communication.

  • Viz Dev DGMD/310N

    In this class, we will develop the skills necessary to work in a production pipeline as a 2D artist in the animation field. We will cover what it takes to make fun and cool designs that come from a place of imagination and wonder, reinforce the story and world established, and have our designs feel comprehensive and functional. We will also cover how to pick out key moments in a story and what it takes to showcase those moments in a compelling way.

    Open to Juniors and Seniors only unless permission is given by the instructor.

  • Character Drawing DGMD/312A

    Developing characters using live models; translating poses from models to characters. Some character design elements were also included. Recommended you have at least one other figure drawing class, outside of foundation year required.

  • Figure Drawing for Concept Art DGMD/312B

    Learn the basics of anatomical figure drawing for the entertainment industry and how to solve problems like a Conceptual Artist from an artist who has worked as a production designer, art director and concept artist for just about every studio in town. Learn the basics of anatomical figure drawing for the entertainment industry and how to solve problems like a Conceptual Artist from an artist who has worked as a production designer, art director and concept artist for just about every studio in town. Learn the basics of anatomical figure drawing for the entertainment industry and how to solve problems like a Conceptual Artist from an artist who has worked as a production designer, art director and concept artist for just about every studio in town.

  • Figure & Gesture Drawing Story DGMD/312C

    Life drawing geared toward gesture and emphasis on the elements needed for conveying a story. Whether for storyboarding character design animation or key frames communicating movement, understanding crucial parts of anatomy, and determining what is important to convey is foundational. This class will focus on such subjects and students will learn to quickly lock down poses and drawings for a narrative project.

  • Sketching & World Building DGMD/312D

    This class will focus on traditional sketching techniques which allow students to learn how to design and create props, architectures and organic structures. Each week, students will work in class to follow the instructor’s demonstration. Also students will be asked to do historic research on various human civilizations in order to build unique fantasy worlds. There will be no digital work done in the class.

  • Motion: IDEAS DGMD/316A

    Structure and storytelling are what leads a viewer to stay connected and engaged. The entertainment industry is changing daily and the more flexibility as designers we have to acclimate to these changes the more successful we can communicate our messaging. In my class you will learn real world techniques to apply your design knowledge and skill sets to produce beautiful animation pieces to tell your clients you understand the project and can accomplish the tasks at hand whatever they may be. The skill sets I have learned and will teach you will enable you to approach a project, design and animate smarter with efficiency to make the most of your time and ultimately produce results that keep you booked and in demand. Building relationships with clients is not only about solid ideation and design but finishing a project from start to finish with the highest esthetic and polish only makes a designer an essential asset.

  • Intro to Houdini DGMD/318A

    Houdini FX combines superior performance and dramatic ease-of-use to deliver a powerful and accessible 3D experience to VFX artists creating feature films, commercials or video games. With its procedural node-based workflow, Houdini lets you create more content faster to reduce timelines and enjoy enhanced flexibility in all your creative tasks. Houdini is perfect for Visual Effects artists and technical directors with its particle and dynamics environment. Houdini FX includes a complete toolset for studios that want to use it for other tasks such as lighting, animation or procedural modeling. Basic 3D required. JUNIORS AND SENIORS ONLY.

  • Virtual Reality Explorations DGMD/318B

    With Virtual Reality technology artists have amazing new tools available to create fully 3 dimensional drawings while they are actually immersed within the 3D drawing space. This class explores this new art form with experimentation and projects that push the possibilities of immersive 3D drawing. Using programs such as Google’s Tilt Brush, Oculus’ Quill and others being released, students will create a portfolio of VR creations by testing and expanding the possibilities of this new medium.

  • Character Performance for 2D DGMD/323A

    This course is an in-depth studio arts class in the art of nuanced performance for the 2d drawn character animator. Course will emphasize the art of expressive drawn character animation. Students will work in traditional media (paper) and/or in Adobe Animate. Students will achieve demo reel ready clips of finessed character animation by semester’s end.

  • Sculpture DGMD/329A

    In this class, students who solely create digital imagery get their hands into clay. From this, they learn a realistic form (of how light plays on the modeled surface). Students also learn how to decipher picture reference into three dimensional clay -- direction lines, proportion, negative space, etc. The aim of the class is to help students understand forms while sculpting in clay, so they may convey that experience toward purely digital creations.

  • Animal Drawing DGMD/337

    Animal drawing exercises are practiced with the entertainment industry in mind. Anatomy, various species, and creature development will be explored. 5-6 field trips pm Sundays to the LA Zoo, Equestrian Center, the Aquarium, and other locations.

  • Advanced Character Design DGMD/345A

    This class will build upon the character design basics Hong covers and take human character development to a final professional quality state. Figure drawing experience would be a prerequisite and taking Hong's class will help as well. This will be an advanced character class focusing on designing a cast of characters from start to finish. I will guide students through the process of collecting reference, nailing down a solid, interesting idea for each character and show them the video game industry design techniques I use every day in order to deliver high quality game-ready characters. My students will learn how to research and use reference effectively and develop well thought out characters. They will learn how to effectively paint in Photoshop, approach portraiture for characters, integrate photo reference and achieve a high level of detail and storytelling for each character. Prerequisite: Hong Ly's Character Concept Class.

  • Storyboarding & Pitching DGMD/348A

    Creating storyboards for live action and animation for a pitch, whether to a team or a client.

  • From Brief to Broadcast DGMD/380A

    This is an all-encompassing graphic design and motion design-centric illustration course meant to challenge students with the real world assignments and timelines of a freelance/full-time motion designer’s career, be it designer, concept artist or animator. This course echoes the exact real-world timelines, expectations, deliverables and workflow of the commercial and entertainment industry in that the students will receive direct briefs from the instructor, who has received them from his clients in the past.

    Students will become familiar with the language of business in regards to their craft, as well as become versed at receiving an agency’s brief, deciding upon a path of execution based upon the presented script and client’s expectations, and then delivering final style frames in a diverse style range that adequately and successfully shows understanding of the overall assignment.

    Foundational focuses: narrative storytelling through style frame creation utilizing expressive typography execution. Composition and clarity of concept is stressed over anything else. The ability to clearly stage one’s idea through strong typographic design hierarchy and clear compositional nuance will be the primary focus of this course.