Semester(s) Offered:
Credits: 4
Course Call Number: GAMES-GT 205
Prerequisite(s): Code Lab 1 (student should also have 2 Semesters of Programming and Unity experience)

Tech Art Studio builds on the innovations of modern designers and developers, which have enabled individuals and small teams to develop complex asset systems within games that, until recently, were out of the grasps of those without the benefit of a larger traditional studio. The course will explore and support those concepts. Firstly, the class has a technical component, similar to general programming courses, but focused on programming and mathematical concepts as they apply and relate to 3D game development problem solving. Secondly, it is a techniques class, intended to familiarize students with tools and concepts from which they can grow their own personal workflows and styles. Lastly, the course has a studio component, intended to give students continuous peer and instructor feedback with respect to style and execution as students explore the affordances of the tools.

Tech Art Studio is intended to prepare students to gain a generalist’s understanding of working in a 3D space. This includes tools like shader development, and 3D modeling software, but more importantly, it will attempt to contextualize what students already know as it relates to the specific challenges of working in 3D, then fill in the gaps between what they know and what they still need in order to work with these concepts. The course is inspired by a collection of talks by prominent independent developers and how they were able to overcome these seemingly expensive development challenges, and the insight that these concepts all largely leverage a concise core skillset and body of knowledge.

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
1) Understand the rendering process, and specifically the nature of each step so as to be able to create tools to maximize their nature towards aesthetic expression.
2) Design custom shaders for in-game assets and screen space effects.
3) Deconstruct the subcomponents of a model’s mesh, normals, and UVs.
4) Distinguish between platform agnostic rendering concepts, and engine-specific implementations of those concepts.
5) Identify and utilize common 3D asset construction and optimization techniques.
6) Gain fundamental mastery of common skills for further study.