Breathe new life into graphic design by earning an online BA in Graphic Design and Media Arts with a concentration in 3D Modeling and Animation. As the field of graphic arts leaps beyond traditional design, artists with cutting-edge skills are in high demand to create visual content for video games, animated web content, movies and other media.
In this program, you'll focus on 3D sculpting workflow, including:
In a blend of form and function, you'll be taught by award-winning creative faculty using industry-standard software, including the Adobe Creative Suite and Autodesk's Maya and Mudbox. You'll graduate with leading skills that extend your proficiency - and marketability - in industries such as game arts, digital animation, interior design and web development.
SNHU’s 3D modeling and animation degree gives you the skillset to be a player in the multidimensional design world. You’ll explore the stages of game models, including observational and conceptual drawing. You’ll master the basics of modeling using a wide range of techniques. You’ll also study the 12 principles of animation and learn to skin and rig a character. Better yet, you’ll create hands-on projects using emerging technology and be well prepared to take on jobs in game development, advertising, marketing, virtual education and other fields that use graphics to provide spectacular interactive experiences.
Demand is booming for graphic designers with leading-edge training. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment rates for designers with experience in computer systems design and related services are projected to grow 20% between now and 2026.*
Coursework for the 3D modeling and animation degree begins with the full design course of study, which blends theory and practice, and culminates in cutting-edge courses in digital sculpting and 3-D character animation. Students will learn to master Adobe Creative Suite, Autodesk, Mudbox and other software, tools and apps designed for creative professionals.
Through the 3D graphic design program, you'll have the chance to practice working with the tools used in the field by professional designers. By the end of the program, you'll have a digital portfolio you can share with potential employers or clients.
SNHU's bachelor's in 3D modeling and animation program includes:
General Education Program
Our programs are designed to equip you with the skills and insights you need to move forward. In recent years, employers have stressed the need for graduates with higher order skills - the skills that go beyond technical knowledge - such as:
All bachelor's students are required to take general education classes. Through foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.
In this course students will be introduced into Digital sculpting with zbrush. Also understand how digital sculpting fits into a pipeline in a game production environment. Techniques covered in this course will be software navigation, sculpting with multiple brushes, masking, poly painting, and materials. The course will cover some practices used to prep a model for the next stage in creating a game model. Some techniques will show how zbrush can work seamlessly with other 3D modeling software. The class will also have assignments that include observational and concept drawing.
In this course students will be introduced to 3DS max. It will give them an overview of what max does specifically for games. This course will be focused on modeling. Students will learn the basics of modeling low poly and high poly models. How they are unwrapped and used in conjunction with textures. It will also show a wide range of techniques used in the industry for modeling for mobile, PC and current generation consoles.
This course focuses on programming capabilities to enhance graphic animations and user interfaces to provide spectacular interactive results. Those benefiting from this course include students in game development, advertising, marketing, education, web development, art and other fields that can benefit from interactive animated graphics helping to convey concepts. The course is intended for those with no programming experience as well as those with some programming background. The use and creation of animations will be covered at a level of interest to both those new as well as experienced. The results can be displayed by a browser from the internet or as standalone results displayable on a range of operating systems. This is a hands on computer based course in which the students create a number of individual projects based on their interests and capabilities, focusing on creativity and programming aspects of interactive animation. The course utilizes emerging technologies in interactive animation.
This course will introduce students to character animation by learning the 12 principles of animation. We will also be going over the pipeline for skinning and rigging a character.
This is an introduction to the practice of media production and the study of visual media literacy. The course examines the fundamental components and structure of moving image texts, explores how dynamic relationships between those elements convey meaning, and then exercise that knowledge through media production. Production design, language, technology, and methods will be discussed enabling all students in the class to have a common language of image analysis and creation. Readings and discussions on topics such as cinematography, narrative meaning, image and sound design, editing, genres, and culture will be included. Creative interpretative and expression of ideas will be exercised in the production of media.
This course is an introduction to the principles and practices of graphic design. Students are introduced through lecture, demonstration and hands-on computer work to the basic elements of graphic visual communication. Adobe Illustrator is used as a primary tool in exploring visual perception through a variety of creative exercises that familiarize the student with basic visual principles such as figure/ground manipulation, shape grouping, letterform shape creation, and grid and system creation. Formal elements of graphic design such as line, shape, color, texture, pattern, balance, symmetry, rhythm, space and unity are thoroughly explored by example and hands-on computer exercises; special topics included are: designing with type, layout strategies, logo design, symbol and pictogram development and stationery systems.
This course is an introduction to the software application Adobe InDesign designed for the novice user. The Macintosh platform is used in the classroom studio lab, and the student is introduced to the creative and practical aspects of the desktop publishing program that is considered indispensable in the contemporary communications and design industries. This course is based on a series of introductory exercises and a regimen of hands-on practice that teaches software and design skills; students learn how to combine the use of InDesign with other professional graphics and work-processing software such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Word.
This course examines the basic elements and principles of design, including balance, emphasis, proportion and rhythm. Students are introduced to visual designing systems that guide the student through the application of computer graphics tools. The basic visual design elements of line, space, texture and color are creatively explored as students complete a series of projects that relate to advertising layout and design and visual merchandising.
Using industry standard image editing software software, this course is an introduction to professional computer graphics creation and to the software and hardware typically used in the graphic design, video, photography and interactive Web/multimedia industries. Image editing and color management systems will be discussed and demonstrated. The important differences between vector and bitmap graphics will be defined, as will the significant differences in preparing images for print, broadcast and Web distribution. Students will be encouraged to experiment with their own and preexisting images using sophisticated digital editing techniques such as layering, channel masking, filtering, cloning and montaging. Special attention will be paid to copyright awareness in the age of the digital image.
This course focuses on digital graphic design theory and its application to web design. Students learn about the technical requirements of professionally created digital web documents. Students will be focused on designing communication and marketing applications for the World Wide Web all the while considering user experience and functionality. Differences in designing for the desktop computer and mobile internet appliances will be a topic for discussion and incorporated in hands-on exercises and projects. Each student will develop several minisites and by the end of the semester will have produced at least one deployable site. Topics include design strategies, web authoring/editing environments, color calibration and aesthetics, web typography, style sheets, template use, graphics format selecting and optimization, and HTML coding and debugging.
Typography deals with the language of type, the history of typography, typeface and character recognition, legibility, appropriate uses of measure, manuscript specifications and the individual visual dynamics of letterforms. In this class students will learn how to work with type as a stand-alone design element. Students will also learn how to incorporate type successfully with imagery. The assignments will cover a broad range of type applications. Students will primarily focus their efforts towards developing a greater understanding of typographic form through exercises based on the setting of words, phrases, sentences and short paragraphs. Students will first focus on the appropriate setting of spaces in-between the letters that make up words and projects will gradually increase in scope and complexity up to the setting of pages of text with multiple levels of hierarchical meaning.
This course engages upper-level design students in current industry standards used in designing content for multimedia and interactive communication. Emphasis is placed on designing for computers, tablets and phones. The course is divided into teaching modules emphasizing the integration of several software packages for design problem solving. Emphasis is placed on conceptualization and the mastery of professional site mapping and wire framing techniques. Exercises and projects provide challenging design problem-solving experience. Project themes involve self-promotion and client-based work. All projects rely on the student's ability to integrate previously mastered techniques in a broad range of software.
This hands-on computer graphics course combines skills from previous design courses to explore the history, process and essential skills required to develop successful brand identity systems. Topics such as logo design, selection of fonts and colors, and the development of branded marketing materials are covered in depth. In addition, the important techniques of imaging software integration and file format compatibilities are discussed and applied while preparing images for print, video and Web. At the conclusion of this course, students will have developed a complete branded identity system and assembled a portfolio presentation for public viewing.
Students create both digital and print portfolios that demonstrate competency in the graphic design and media arts program outcomes. Students showcase their professional design work, establish branded identities as working professionals, and engage in peer and professional critiques of design work in preparation for formal employment and contract interviews.
Total Credits: 120
Students enrolled in the Graphic Design and Media Arts programs (and associated concentrations) are responsible for ensuring they have the minimum system hardware, software, and photography equipment required in the courses in the program. System requirements often change, so it is important that students maintain awareness of the various minimum hardware requirements for the required software listed below.
The below computer specifications are recommended for students to meet the minimum system requirements of the software programs required for download in the program. Student discounts are available, your academic advisor will provide details.
Digital Camera (required in FAS-226, recommended for students to use throughout the program):
Please note that for students pursuing the BA in Digital Photography or the 3D Modeling and Animation concentration will need to be responsible for additional requirements.
Adobe Creative Cloud is required by all students in the Graphic Design and Media Arts program. Creative Cloud licenses are available at an educational discount directly through Adobe
Please note that Adobe’s terms and conditions require a full year contract for Creative Cloud.
The following software programs will be required for use in the 3D Modeling and Animation concentration courses (these include GRA-201, GRA-202, GRA-211, and GRA-212). Please note that system requirements may change without notice. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that they meet the minimum system requirements for these programs.
Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite (includes Maya, 3ds Max, Softimage, MotionBuilder, and Mudbox).
Students can download these products for free under an educational agreement through Autodesk.
Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® 7 (SP1) or Windows 8.1 Professional operating system
CPU: 64-bit Intel® or AMD® multi-core processor
Graphics Hardware: Refer to Autodesk's Recommended Hardware Wizard for a detailed list of recommended systems and graphics cards
RAM: 8 GB of RAM or more recommended
Disk Space: 19 GB free disk space
A full list of system requirements is available through Autodesk.
Please note that some Autodesk products included in the Entertainment Creation Suite may be available for Apple® Mac OS® X operating systems. Students may elect to run non-native software (most notably 3ds Max) on Windows® through Apple's Boot Camp® or Parallels Desktop® systems. Students who wish to purchase Windows® 8.1 may do so through Microsoft's student-only discount.
Adobe Creative Cloud (includes Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat, and more)
Students can download these products for a reduced monthly cost of $19.99 through Adobe (please note that a 12-month contract is required by Adobe).
System Requirements (requirements below are listed for Photoshop and Illustrator. For a full list of system specifications, please review Adobe's site
Operating System (PC): Microsoft® Windows® 7 (SP1), Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 Professional operating system
CPU: 64-bit Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD® Athlon processor (2 GHz or faster)
RAM: 2 GB (8 GB of RAM or more recommended)
Disk Space: 2 GB free disk space
Operating System (Mac): Mac OS® X v10.7, v10.8, v10.9, or v10.10
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
*Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
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