3D Character Program

Make Characters

This is where the characters are made!
students learn the crafts of modeling and rigging.
What is it?
Rigging students place bones into the body to bend it properly and control the shape of the form in the myriad of possible poses.
Each week, modelers and riggers (Character TDs) from film and game studios work with the students one-on-one, giving the students a guided opportunity for improving their own work.
Once a design has been sketched on paper, modeling students sculpt them in 3D. It not only has to look beautiful, but the arrangement of points and edges also have to facilitate the next step: articulation. That’s where rigging steps in.
How it works
Our 3D Character program is divided into 2 parts, the 3D Character track, and the 3D Character program.
The 3D Character track consists of classes 0-3. In the 3D Character track, students focus on modeling and rigging. In classes 4-7, our 3D Character Program, 3D Character students focus more specifically on their area of greater interest, selecting two of Five electives covering the technical, tools side of rigging, or the sculpting and facial expression side of modeling, Environments, Materials and Texturing, or Lighting.
Prior to acceptance in the 3D Character program students must successfully complete the 3D Character track classes or provide the Review Board with a reel demonstrating the prerequisite skills needed to be successful in the 3D Character Program. Each term in the 3D Character Track and Program is 11 weeks long.
Discover the 3D Character Track Courses
Learn the skills used to make 3D characters for feature films, tv productions, vr and video games.
0. Introduction to Maya
Duration: 11 Weeks
Learn the basics of Maya: the Maya interface, working with objects, modeling basics, how to animate objects, apply textures, and use lights and cameras to render your scene. Students with Maya experience can bypass this course. This course is offered at a lower tuition cost than all other courses.
1. Introduction to 3D Modeling
Duration: 11 Weeks
Introduction to the principles of polygon/subdivision surface and other modeling formats, applied to simple objects. This class teaches topology layouts in theory and practice, achieving desirable shaping, modeling workflows, and the best rest state for rigging. Students model organic and inorganic objects, model a designed vehicle, and a designed character bust. Students learn basic modeling concepts, working with manipulators, isolate selection, primitives, history, loft, bevel, extrusion, duplication, transformation space, soft selection, reflection editing, lattices, converting geometry types, projects, and workspace.
2. Introduction to Rigging
Duration: 11 Weeks
Introduction to the principles of rigging, applied to simple objects. Students use their modeling assignment to learn basic rigging concepts, including hierarchies, constraints, skinning, blendshapes, connections, joints, orientation, inverse kinematics, expressions, math operators, xray, curve controls, custom attributes, sets, Set Driven Keys, and hypergraph connections.
3. Intermediate Modeling
Duration: 11 Weeks
Students use the polygon/subdivision-surface modeling tools to make a character model based on a chosen character design. Areas of focus are bodies and hands. Students learn the best practices for modeling an entire character in a hero pose, searching for appeal as well as technical integrity. Through iterations and direction from the instructor, the students refine the shapes for maximum appeal and usability. Concepts such as normals, UV texture projections, and smoothing are discussed.
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