Digital Media and Design (DMD)

Head of Department: Professor Heather Elliott-Famularo

Department Office: Room 249, Bishop Center

1000. Digital Foundation

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio periods. Prerequisite: Interview and/or portfolio review and instructor consent required.

Introductory studio experience in designing for the digital arts; concepts, media and strategies for making creative digital work.

1030. Animation Lab

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio periods. Prerequisite: Interview and/or portfolio review and instructor consent required.

Fundamental skills required for 2D, 3D, digital and traditional animation techniques.

1060. Fundamentals of Programming for Game and Web

Three credits. Prerequisite: DMD 1000 and 1030; open only to Digital Media and Design majors, others by instructor consent.

Introduction to object-oriented computer programming through lecture and hands-on exercises. Basic computer programming principles that will set the foundation for future courses in scripting.

1070. Web Design I

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 1000.

Introduction to concepts, technologies and strategies for building contemporary websites.

2010. History of Digital Culture

Three credits.

Key episodes in the history of digital technology and digital media; values and norms that adhere to digital culture. CA 1. CA. 3.

2020. Design Thinking

Three credits. Lecture and in-class work sessions led by instructor. Prerequisite: DMD 1000 and 1030; open only to Digital Media and Design majors, others by instructor consent.

Design thinking as a process that employs immersion, empathy, ideation, definition, prototyping and testing leading to innovative discovery. The ways in which diversity of culture, experience and thought lead to innovation while examining the value of a human-based design process on the growth and direction of culture and society at large and how designers can participate in driving that process.

2095. Special Topics in Digital Media

Variable credits (1-6). Prerequisite: Open to Digital Media and Design majors and minors; others by instructor consent. May be repeated for credit with change in course topic for a maximum of 18 credits.

Seminar focusing on a special, limited topic in the digital media space.

2200. Motion Graphics I

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio sessions per week. Prerequisite: DMD 1000 and 1030; open to Digital Media and Design majors and Digital Arts minors; others by instructor consent.

Introduction to creating visual effects and animated graphics.

2210. Moving Image and Sequence

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 1000 and 1030; open only to Digital Media and Design majors and Digital Arts minors; others by instructor consent.

Introduction to digital editing, project management, working with sound and time-based storytelling.

2300. 3D Animation I

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 1000 and 1030; open only to Digital Media and Design majors and Digital Arts minors; others by instructor consent.

Introduction to 3D Animation techniques including key framing, curve editing, timing, squash and stretch, walk cycles, and the 12 principles of animation.

2310. 3D Modeling I

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 1000 and 1030; open only to Digital Media and Design majors; others by instructor consent.

Introduction to creating polygonal 3D models using industry standard modeling tools, focusing geometry construction based on reference images, edge flow, clean topology, and polygon density.

2320. 3D Lighting and Rendering I

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 1000 and 1030; open only to Digital Media and Design majors; others by instructor consent.

Introduction to dramatic lighting, 3-point lighting, shadows, materials, procedural textures, bump maps, displacement maps, ambient occlusion, ray tracing, and global illumination.

2500. Introduction to Digital Game Design

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 1000 and 1030; open only to Digital Media and Design majors and Digital Arts minors; others by instructor consent.

Introduction to the principles of game design and development. History of the industry, story and game mechanics.

2530. 3D Virtual World and Simulations

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 1000 and 1030; open only to Digital Media and Design majors and Digital Arts minors; others by instructor consent.

Fundamentals of game mechanics. Current virtual worlds, basic scripting and modeling techniques, and the principles of role-playing video games.

2542. Introduction to Game Scripting

Three credits. Prerequisite: Open only to Digital Media and Design majors; others by instructor consent.

Fundamentals of gameplay scripting utilizing a current game engine. Numbers, strings, assignment, loops, functions, arrays, and available engine commands.

2550. Game Production

Three credits. Prerequisite: DMD 2500; open only to Digital Media and Design majors; others by instructor consent.

Practical investigation into the successful management of video game projects. Budgets, asset management plans, and risk evaluation of game development options. Relationship and team management, business aspects of the video game industry, and development of a video game project.

2610. Introduction to Digital Humanities

(Also offered as ENGL 2610.) Three credits.

Application of digital technology and media to such subjects as art history, classics, cultural and area studies, history, languages, literature, music, and philosophy. A broad survey of the landscape of international and interdisciplinary digital humanities through the lens of ongoing work of faculty and staff researchers at the University of Connecticut.

2700. Digital Media Strategies for Business – I

Three credits. Prerequisite: Open only to Digital Media and Design majors and minors, others by instructor consent. This course does not fulfill requirements for any major in the School of Business.

Introduction to digital media concepts and platforms that are being used in companies’ marketing strategies and plans.

2710. Social Media Business Applications

Three credits. Prerequisite: Open only to Digital Media and Design majors and minors, others by instructor consent.

This course does not fulfill requirements for any major in the School of Business.

Introduction to social media marketing, focusing on the platforms and strategies being employed by brands.

3010W. Critical Perspectives on Digital Media

Three credits. Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

Open only to Digital Media and Design majors, others by instructor consent.

Critical thinking and writing about digital media objects, contexts, and “texts,” and how these participate in the social construction of human identities and belonging.

3020. Design Lab

Three credits. Two 1:20 classes per week composed of lecture and in-class work sessions led by instructor. Prerequisites: DMD 1000 and 1030; open only to Digital Media and Design majors. Instructor consent required.

The theory, principles and practices of digital screen-based visual communication. Through a multi-disciplinary perspective involving art, design, art history, and media studies, students will address how culture visualizes screen-based communication through both image and type.

3030. Narrative Workshop

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 1000 and 1030; open only to Digital Media and Design majors and Digital Arts minors; others by instructor consent.

An open forum where students will “workshop” their own narratives and works-in-progress, using each other as collaborators, editors, and ideators to investigate emerging forms of storytelling.

3035. Interaction Design

Three credits. Prerequisite: DMD 1000 and 1030; open only to Digital Media and Design majors and Digital Arts minors; others by instructor consent.

A critical overview of interaction design (including usability, evaluation, and cultural aspects) and a practical program of website and computer software interface creation.

3040. Student Agency

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio/lab/lecture sessions. Prerequisite: open only by instructor consent; open only to Digital Media and Design majors and Digital Arts minors; others by instructor consent. May be repeated for a total of 9 credits.

An immersive study of the role, structure, procedures, techniques and processes employed by a Brand Agency within the digital and social media spaces.

3095. Special Topics

Variable credits, 1-6 credits each semester. Prerequisite: Open only to Digital Media and Design majors and minors; others by instructor consent. May be repeated for a total of 18 credits with a change in content.

Seminar focusing in digital media. Content will vary each semester based upon instructor expertise.

3099. Independent Study

Variable credits, 1-6 credits each semester. Hours by arrangement. Prerequisite: Open only to Digital Media and Design majors and Digital Arts minors; others by instructor consent. May be repeated for a total of 15 credits with a change in content.

Independent study in a Digital Media area of concentration.

3200. Motion Graphics II

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 1000, 1030 and 2200; open only to Digital Media and Design majors and Digital Arts minors; others by instructor consent.

Designed for digital animators and filmmaker to develop advanced skills using a combination of techniques and effects; including green screen, 2D particle systems, mattes, rotoscoping, sound sync and 2D character animation.

3205. History of Animation

Three credits. Two 11/2-hour sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 1000 and 1030; open only to Digital Media and Design majors and Digital Arts minors; others by instructor consent.

A history of animation from the late 19th –century through contemporary and emerging digital technologies.

3210. Experimental and Alternative Techniques

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 1000, 1030, 2200 and 2210; open only to Digital Media and Design majors and Digital Arts minors; others by instructor consent.

An exploration of non-traditional techniques and mediums for creating motion graphics and animation.

3220. Broadcast Graphics and Title Sequence

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 1000, 1030, 2200 and 2210; open only to Digital Media and Design majors and Digital Arts minors; others by instructor consent.

A survey of broadcast design and title sequences made for film, games and television.

3230. Cinematic Storytelling

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 1000, 1030, and 2200; open only to Digital Media and Design majors; instructor consent required.

A survey of film and media, in particular, the close analysis of graphic storytelling techniques in television, animation, shorts, and movies.

3240. Animating Science

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 1000, 1030, and 2200; open only with instructor consent.  Recommended preparation: DMD 3020.

A project-based exploration of animated scientific visualizations and digital artworks inspired by science.

3300. 3D Animation II

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 1000, 1030, 2300, 2310, and 2320; open only to Digital Media and Design majors; instructor consent required.

Continuation of the core animation principles to explore advanced animation techniques including character animation, deformations, and non-linear animation.

3305. History of Computer Graphics

Three credits. Two 1½-hour sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 1000, 1030 and 2300; open only to Digital Media and Design majors and Digital Arts minors; others by instructor consent.

The history of computer-generated imagery (CG) from its beginnings to the present.

3310. 3D Modeling, Lighting and Rendering II

Three credits. Two 3-hour sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 1000, 1030, 2310 and 2320; open only to Digital Media and Design majors; instructor consent required.

Instruction and guidance in the techniques and critical understanding of modeling, including texturing the model, lighting, and rendering in animation specific to a 3D environment

3350. 3D Simulations

Three credits. Two 3-hour sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 1000, 1030, 2300, 2310 and 2320; open only to Digital Media and Design majors; instructor consent required.

Offers students an intermediate understanding of the art and science of creating physical simulations, using particle systems and collision detection. Creation of complicated rendering and compositing setups that make animations both easier to render and more flexible within the bounds of any animation or VFX sequence.

3420. Wearable Electronics and Interactive Objects

(Also offered as DRAM 3420.) Three credits. Prerequisite: Instructor consent.

Provides a basic understanding of electronics, key components, function, construction, and project design for wearable electronics and interactive objects. Concepts learned will form the core for students to continue to proactively explore and experiment with wearable electronics and interactive objects beyond the classroom.

3440. Introduction to Mobile Application Development

Three credits. Two 1½-hour classes per week. Prerequisite: DMD 1070; open only to Digital Media and Design majors, others by instructor consent.

Through lecture and hands-on exercises, students will be introduced to the processes, technologies, and environment of mobile applications.

3470. Advanced Web Design and Development

Three credits. Two 1½-hour classes per week. Prerequisite: DMD 1070; open only to Digital Media and Design majors, others by instructor consent.

Intermediate and advanced web design and development techniques, covering Cascading Style Sheets, XML, dynamic HTML with JavaScript, common frameworks, and the principles of site management. Advanced design concepts in website creation, such as efficient navigation design, designing for portability and accessibility, separating content from presentation for easy site updating and maintenance, planning interactivity, and search engine optimization.

3475. Scripting for the Web

Three credits. Two 1½-hour classes per week. Prerequisite: DMD 3470. Instructor consent required.

Introduces the principles of scripting and the application of scripting techniques to web-based projects

3522. Interactive Storytelling

Three credits. Two 90-minute meetings per week. Prerequisite: DMD 2010; open to Digital Media and Design majors, others by instructor consent.

A project-based exploration of the relationship of story, character and player in games. Students in this course will generate a short role-playing video game storyline.

3530. Game Systems Design

Three credits. Prerequisite: DMD 2500; open to Digital Media and Design majors and Digital Arts and Digital Media minors; others with consent of the instructor.

Creation of unique or refined interfaces within the context of websites or computer software. Examination of various usability aspects of interaction to give a broad overview of critical topics within cultural requirements of interfaces, interface design, and evaluation.

3540. Multiplayer Gameplay Development

Three credits. Prerequisite: DMD 2530; open to Digital Media and Design majors and Digital Arts and Digital Media minors; others with consent of the instructor.

Examination an array of gameplay interactions and how different types of interactions create a different experience for players. Students create a multiplayer map based in a relevant game engine that adheres or modifies the core mechanics to create a new game experience.

3560. Advanced Digital Game Design and Development

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 2500 and instructor consent; open to Digital Media and Design majors and minors; others by instructor consent.

Advanced study and application of digital game design and development, programming, 3D game environments, game testing, human computer interaction, quality assurance, publishing.

3720. Digital Media Analytics

Three credits. Two 1½-hour class periods. Prerequisite: DMD 2700; open to Digital Media and Design majors and minors; others by instructor consent. Recommended preparation: 1000-level statistics course.

Provides a working knowledge of the array of metrics and analytics needed to understand the digital consumer and measure the effectiveness of digital media marketing.

3730. Digital Consumer Behavior

Three credits. One 3-hour class per week. Prerequisite: DMD 2700, 2710; Open only to Digital Media and Design majors; open to non-majors by instructor consent. Recommended preparation: STAT 1000Q or higher.

Explores and analyzes the changes in consumer decision-making and behavior in today’s digital world.

3740. Digital Sports and Entertainment Studio

Three credits. One 1 hour 15 minute lecture and one 2 hour 40 minute studio session per week. Prerequisite: Open only to juniors or higher; instructor consent required. Recommended preparation: relevant digital media, design, communication, and/or business courses such as DMD 2700, 2710; COMM 1000, 1300; or PSYC 1100.

The digital marketing landscape in sports and entertainment, including changes in the production, marketing, distribution, and consumption of sports and entertainment media properties.

3993. Foreign Study

Variable credit (1-12). Prerequisite: Open only in consultation with Education Abroad program and with consent of departmental study abroad coordinator. Departmental consent required, normally before the student’s departure to study abroad. May be repeated for credit with a change in course content.

Special topics taken in a foreign study program.

3998. Variable Topics

Variable credit (1-6). Prerequisite: Instructor consent required. May be repeated for credit with a change in course content. Prerequisites and recommended preparation vary.

4015. Degree Exhibition

One credit. Prerequisite: Open to junior or higher Digital Media and Design majors with instructor consent. Students taking this course will be assigned a final grade of S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory). May be repeated once for a maximum of two credits.

Preparation of a project or portfolio for presentation in the Digital Media and Design Department’s Degree Exhibition. May be taken in conjunction with the B.F.A. internship or senior project or B.A. senior thesis

4025. Portfolio and Professional Development: Putting it All Together

Two credits. Two 1½-hour long classes per week composed of lecture and in-class work sessions led by instructor. Prerequisite: Open to seniors or graduate students in good academic standing with the DMD department; others by instructor consent.

Seeks to prepare advanced students for the transition to work by developing a professional-grade portfolio, website, social media presence and communications collateral and skills.

4045. Digital Content Design, Creation and Distribution Studio

Three Credits. Two 2-hour studio periods. Prerequisite: DMD 3020 and 3040; open only to senior and graduate Digital Media and Design majors, instructor consent required. Recommended preparation: DMD 2710, 3035, 3200 and 3300. May be repeated for up to six credits with change in content.

Develop marketing communications strategies, design, produce and distribute digital content for the Digital Media and Design Department and outside projects with corporate partners.

4075. Senior Project

Three credits. Prerequisite: Open to Digital Media and Design majors with the consent of the instructor.

Development of a project in the student’s area of concentration that demonstrates vigorous and consistent thematic engagement and articulates both technical and conceptual sophistication. To be taken twice in two consecutive semesters in the student’s senior year. To fulfill the graduation requirement for B.F.A., students must pass with a grade of C or better.

4081. Digital Media Internship

Variable credits (3-12). Prerequisite: Open only to Digital Media and Design majors and Digital Arts minors; others by instructor consent. Instructor and Department Head consent required. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Students taking this course will be assigned a final grade of S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory).

Supervised professional experience in the student’s field of study. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required.

4086. Senior Thesis

Three credits. Prerequisite: Open only to Digital Media and Design majors with the consent of the instructor.

Preparation and presentation of a thesis that demonstrates vigorous and consistent intellectual engagement and articulates technical, conceptual, and scholarly sophistication. To be taken twice in two consecutive semesters in the student’s senior year.

4310. 3D Rigging

Three credits. Two 3-hour sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 1000, 1030, 2300, 2310, and 2320; open only to Digital Media and Design majors; instructor consent required.

Concepts of rigging, with emphasis on animated props and characters. Techniques for using and creating bones, constraints, skeletons, skinning and weight painting.

4340. Compositing for Visual Effects

Three credits. Two 3-hour sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 1000, 1030 and 2300; open only to Digital Media and Design majors and Digital Arts minors; others by instructor consent.

Takes the students further into the art of visual effects.

4350. Advanced 3D Research and Production

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 3310; open only to Digital Media and Design majors, others with instructor consent. Recommended preparation: DMD 3300, 3350, 4310 and 4340. May be repeated for up to nine credits with change in content.

Explores, develops and evaluates the research and skills in 3D animation production, focusing on each student’s own path of study.

4536. Disruptive Technologies

Three credits. Two 3-hour studio sessions. Prerequisite: DMD 2500 and 2542; open only with instructor consent.

Exploration of emerging interactive technologies, creating rapid fire prototypes utilizing experimental hardware and software. These skills enable students to develop interactive installations and unique gameplay scenarios.

4470. Web 3:  Expert Topics in Web Development

Three credits. Two 1½-hour classes per week. Prerequisite: DMD 3475. Instructor consent required.

Expert topics in web design and development, including intensive instruction and hands-on development with databases and server-side programming to build web applications.

4475. Web and Interactive Design Practicum

Three credits. Lecture and in-class work sessions led by instructor. Prerequisite: DMD 4470 or instructor consent; open only to Digital Media and Design majors, others with instructor consent.

Web technology is ever-changing and so, too, are techniques and workflows required in the production of web, mobile, and other digital products. Through the completion of real-world projects, this course examines modern workflows, emerging technologies, and the client-facing process in the world of web, mobile, and interactive design and development.

4545. Advanced Game Scripting

Three credits. Two 1½ hour lectures per week. Prerequisite: DMD 2500 and 2542; open to Digital Media and Design majors, others by instructor consent.

Foundational knowledge on how to develop artificial intelligence models for games and gameplay scripting within a commercial game engine.

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