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Over the years I also gain experience teaching courses related to Animation and 3D production.

Starting at George Mason University while a graduate student,
After finishing my MFA at the School of Visual Arts
And more recently as a faculty member at Louisianna State University in Shreveport

One of my main goals when teaching this very creative flexible
yet very technical challenging medium has been to make sure
students continue to devellop their creative ideas and have fun
while they do so. And so in the course structure I continually
work design projects that are creatively engaging and involve
the latest, ever changing technology.

Teaching and learning never stops... .


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Introduction to Entertainment Graphics I - LSUS


Practical Film making.

I originally did not teach this course as it was beyond my
direct scope of 3D animation. But I was asked to take over
this course, changed it from a very boring lecture course,
to a very fun practical project based class to get student
to create short films.
To be successfull in ANY digital media based entertainment
field a key element is to be creative, and learn to work
together. To do so I ended up restructuring the projects to
cover both technical and creative aspects of filmaking.
Focusing mostly on the live action side of Digital Media.
Some of the topics included were

- Building animatics, anime style.
- Fun with Green Screen and background compositing.
- Music and Timing, how they work together.
- 2D animation one drawing at a time.
- Lets animate a 3D character, and why is this so different.
- Lots of drawing, character and environment concept design.
- Why story matters, basic story structure.
- Planning with Storyboards.
- Standing by your ideas and expressing it, by pitching it.

This course was offered as the first course in the program.
This turned out to a very popular class, always full.


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Introduction to Entertainment Graphics II - LSUS


Practical 2D Animation.

This class was structured similarly to creative filmaking but this
time with emphasis on 2D animation, in other words lots of drawing.

Key to being in ANY visual field is to be able to visually comunicate
very quickly your ideas, and there is no faster, cheaper, direct to this
then with pencil and paper. Before sitting down in front of any computer
and start focusing on all of the technical challenges of using 2D, 3D, video
editing software, its important to be able to just focus directly on the
creative part which is most easily done with pencil and paper.

To that extent this collaborative project based course was designed to
reprise and continue building up practical film making, but this time
using 2D hand drawn animation. With this in mind topics covered included:

- Basic 2D character walk cycle.
- Live Action and hand drawn animation, mixing it up.
- Music and timing, still so important.
- Disney 12 principles in action.
- Practical technical animation, Photoshop and layers are your best friends.
- Drawing movement, not still images.
- Acting, believability makes the difference.

Experimation, if you can draw it you can make it believable.


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Introduction to 3D - LSUS


This is a more technical project based course design to learn the 3 basic
aspects of 3D software, modeling, animation and lighting.

The courses were taught with Autodesk Maya, with an emphasis on collaborative work.
To do so meant supporting the student class by building a lot of script based support
tools to streamline parts of 3D pipeline workflow ( This was an introductory course ).

Another goal was to expose students to different industries using 3D computer graphics (CG)
including
automotive visualisation and presentation
game level design.
building and environment design.
character modeling.
character animation.

Modern 3D CG field is continuing to expand and find use in many fields (not just films and
video games ). However, the three different basic aspects are somehow involved, mutated,
expanded and used in some shape or form in many of these industries.

Film, Video Games, Mobile Apps, Medical, Architecture, Simulation related,
Finances, Intelligence related, Product design, 3D Web portals, 3D printing,
Live concerts and theater, global policy, strategic real-time management,
Oil and gas exploration...
and probably some new industries that still have not been created.

This course was meant to give a practical introductory experience to help student gage
which and how they may want to explore anyone of these fields, and others.


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Introduction to 3D Modeling - LSUS


This course was taught with a direct emphasis on 3D modeling and some texturing (uv work).
Topics covered included:

- Transfering your idea into 3D, from hand drawing volumes to 3D modeling.
- Some basic character concept overview.
- Keeping sane through logical object and file naming convention.
- Hard surface 3D modeling techniques.
- Modeling props, vehicles and buildings.
- Organic 3D modeling techniques, flowlines and why topology matters.
- Modeling creatures for live action.
- Modeling stylized character for 3D CGI films and video games.
- Digital Sculpting, the good and the bad.
- Basic UV and texturings.
- Building facial character blendshapes for animation support.

This course was very much project based, with emphasis on quality and time management.
I also tried to break down some of the project into teams to help build some collaboration
time permitting. This also helped to cover and expose students to so many times of topics.

3D modeling, similar to traditional sculpting, is a very laborious, intensive manual tasks
where pretty much the more you do it, the better you become at it. One principal experience
for student to master this skill, is to intuitevly devellop an understanding of spacial
relations to project their 2D visual concepts into 3D. Mastering this skill takes time, but
reaps many benefits that transfer into many other fields related to 3D and spacial awareness.

In the later versions of this course, I was able to incorporate 3D scanning and cleaning projects
and essential overlooked skill for anyone interested in 3D printing.

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Intermediate Animation - LSUS


This was a more advance class focusing solely on animation, so student were expected
to already have some basic 3D experience. The class was taugh using Autodesk Maya.
This was a project based course where students animated pre-rigged character assets.
Some of the topics covered where:

- Basic Animation Principles
- Key Framing techniques
- Posing/Blocking
- Timing (with the help of Music).
- Constraints.
- Camera Tracking.
- Physics Simulation.
- Vehicle Animation.
- Asset Referencing and why its so important.
- Character Animation Action vs. Acting.

This was very much a hands on course from the start, as similar to 3D modeling, the only way
to learn this medium is to work in it.

This course also required a tremendous amount of technical support which was effectively handled
by myself writing animation based scripting tools which the students could access, as well as
preparing/rigging (character setup) all of the assets to be animated.

A very fun class, with many funny animation mistakes (or bloopers).


Pipeline - LSUS

Modern High-end 3D CG production from broadcast CG, 3D game
development to feature films require tremendous amount of processing
repetitive tasks. This course will help to gain a solid understanding
of methodology and practices used in 3D CG production used from
broadcast graphics to feature films, by developing efficient techniques
to automate tasks within production used in prominent animation
production studios.

This course will students develop these techniques to help whether
managing their own independent shorts or efficiently working as
Technical Directors for animation production studios.

This course will teach practical methods to automating 3D CGI production.

- Intro to common hardware for graphics workstation.
- Operating System basics.
- General naming conventions.
- Command line tools.
- Rendering automation.
- Scripting in 3D application.
- Scripting 3rd party tools.
- Intro object based scripting.
- Procedural networks.


Production Assets I - LSUS


From film, television, gaming, toys, merchandising,
concept pitch, 3D asset creation is an essential
part of 3D cg production present in nearly all
forms of visual media today. Individuals who possess
3D skills, a good critical eye, grasp of technical
procedures and dedication to quality are highly
sought after in the industries where content
building is key as modelers, character/prop setup
and texture artists.
Topics to be covered

- A CG Overview
- Modeling Overview
- Modeling Tools and Techniques
- Modeling Resources
- Modeling Specialties
- UVs and Texture Mapping
- 3D Print Primer
- Character Rigging

Production Assets II - LSUS



Intro to 3D Lighting - LSUS


3D lighting is present in nearly
all forms of visual media today,
most notably film, television and
gaming. Individuals who possess 3D
skills in addition to a strong
computing background are sought after
in the industries in roles such as
technical directors or technical artists.

This course will explore major aspects
related to 3D CGI Lighting and Rendering.

- Lighting Fundamentals & Good Practices
- Shadows and Occlusion
- Lighting Environment & Architecture
- Lighting Characters & Animation
- Rendering Passes, Basic Compositing and Render Management
- Shaders & Rendering Algorithms

Senior Project - LSUS



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