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Digital Culture

DMD 5010 - Digital Culture

This course examines the development and use of digital media and technology in different social and cultural contexts. Digital technology is treated as a cultural construct, the characteristics and impact of which are analyzed through social science theories of the interplay between technology and society. Ethnographies of digital media used in different parts of the world and in different digital environments will be used to examine issues such as culture, identity and social networks. The course will also examine different ethnographic research methods for digital anthropology.

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DMD 5020 - Design Thinking

The course will explore the nature of design thinking examining how a process that employs immersion, empathy, ideation, definition, prototyping and testing can lead to innovative discovery. We will explore 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 can we as designers participate in driving that process.

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DMD 5021 - Design Lab

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.

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DMD 5025 - Portfolio & Professional Development – Putting It All Together

This course 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.

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DMD 5030 - Narrative Workshop

This course is designed for students to “workshop” their own narratives and works-in-progress for animation, short/long films, commercial media, interactive media, game creation, graphic novels, and short or long form pieces of writing (novels, children’s books, short stories, etc.,). It is an open forum/roundtable where students can bring pieces of writing or media into the class and share with other students, using each other as editors, collaborators, ideators. We will incorporate rotating guest artists, writers, scientists and media makers to visit, help critique and weigh in on how their work and process has evolved given the cultural shift from printed page to e-readers, apps and the invention of viral marketing or internet video shorts, for example.

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DMD 5035 - Interaction Design

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

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DMD 5040 - UConn Student Agency

The Student Agency course exposes students to and builds an understanding of the principles necessary to communicate the essence of a commercial brand through the ideation and creation of digital and social media structures and artifacts. The course is based on the principles of experiential learning promoting effective ideation, development, production, and implementation of digital and social media marketing strategies and artifacts.

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DMD 5070 - Introduction to Web Design

This course is a survey of the concepts and methodologies of Web design. The course will introduce the key concepts of Web design and development as well as the software that facilitates it. No prior experience in Web design is necessary, but students must be willing to embrace a new perspective on the design process as it pertains to the creation of functioning, interactive sites. This is a very demanding course both technically and conceptually, and will require, in addition to design time, many hours of self-initiated software exploration. Comprised of a series of exercises and projects beginning with basic HTML and increasing in complexity to include multiple pages sites using CSS and simple scripting.

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DMD 5075 - MFA Final Project

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 final year. To fulfill the graduation requirement for M.F.A., students must pass with a grade of C or better.

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DMD 5086 - MFA Thesis in Digital Humanities

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 final year.

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DMD 5095 - Special Topics

Special Topics in a Digital Media area of concentration. May be repeated for a total of 9 credits with a change in content.

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DMD 5099 - Independent Study

Independent study in a Digital Media area of concentration. May be repeated for a total of 15 credits with a change in content.

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DMD 5200 - Introduction to Motion Graphics

This course is designed to provide to digital filmmakers instruction and guidance in the technique and critical understanding of motion effects, animation, and compositing. The technical instruction will be focused around the use of Adobe After Effects CS in the handling of both animated still and motion imagery. Students will create visual effects and animated graphics for television, film, web, and other types of multimedia productions using software including Adobe After Effects, Final Cut, Photoshop. The course will involve weekly technical exercise projects, practicing techniques covered in class, as well as a self-proposed midterm and final project.

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DMD 5201 - Advanced Motion Graphics

This course is designed to allow digital animators and filmmakers to fully develop advanced skills and large scale/longer format projects, drawing from a combination of techniques including: green screen, 2D particle systems, mattes, rotoscoping, sound sync, 2D character set up and animation, hand-drawn/frame-by-frame , 3D integration, digital cut-out animation, rotoscoping, and/or live-action compositing. The course will primarily rely on After Effects, particularly exploring its 2D/3D/effects capabilities, Maya, Photoshop, Final Cut, Toon Boom and other programs may also be utilized as necessary. We will draw upon a canon of films to observe successful techniques that can be applied in our own computer work, and also to develop our sensitivity to the artistry of moving images, cinema and storytelling.

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DMD 5205 - History of Animation

This course presents a survey of animation. Our studies will take us from the early magic lantern shows of the late nineteenth century to current and emerging digital animation technologies. This will be accomplished through a series of discussions, lectures, assignments, as well as viewing and evaluating animated work. We will explore this subject from various perspectives: by chronology, from its prehistory before the invention of film to the present day; by form, including method and medium; by culture, comparing the US to Japan, Russia, Europe and others; by subject; and by personality, concentrating on the figures who have shaped the art form and continue to influence it through their example. Students are expected to bring an enthusiastic interest in the medium, and to devote serious effort to reading about, viewing, researching and discussing animation and the artists who have created it.

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DMD 5210 - Moving Image & Sequence (Editing)

The ability to create a high-quality audiovisual experience that has the potential to reach millions of people is critical to your success and is more possible now than ever before. Video Editing with Final Cut Pro/Adobe Premiere teaches all the steps and tools necessary to create and deliver compelling music video, montages, trailers, and much more- including how to assemble, enhance, and maximize the use of video, audio, and graphic content. The course is geared towards media makers who would like to create and produce their own videos, instructional videos, or anyone wanting to create and assemble video content and share it online.

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DMD 5211 - Experimental & Alternative Techniques

This course explores non-traditional techniques/mediums for creating motion graphics and animation. Some common forms of experimental techniques include: stop motion (photographing physical models), pixilation (stop motion with people), collage, direct-to-film, filming with/out a lens, tilt-shift, mixed media compositing, the exquisite corpse, digital cell animation, among others.

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DMD 5220 - Broadcast Graphics & Title Sequence

A survey of broadcast design and title sequences made for film, games and television. Students will develop a deep understanding of the evolution of broadcast television and film graphics, as well as a command of several methods of producing graphics.

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DMD 5230 - Cinematic Storytelling

This course is a survey of film and media, in particular, the close analysis of graphic storytelling techniques in television, animation, shorts, and movies. It alternates between explanation of specific filmmaking techniques (such as continuity editing) and discussion of the ways in which media implicitly reflect and subtly influence cultural attitudes and values. The course requires a research paper to be submitted for midterm evaluation, and a project component- or demonstration of the craft- for your Final Project.

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DMD 5300 - Introduction to 3D Animation

This is an introductory course in 3D animation. It will emphasize traditional animation principles as applied to 3D animation. Topics will include: principles of animation, transformations and deformations of 3D objects, rigging, and rendering. Its purpose is to familiarize the students with working in a 3-D environment and build a working knowledge of the basic tools used in 3D animation. This course will be required for future advanced 3D related classes. Students will develop their skills using key-frame animation and the graph edi-tor. Students will also learn techniques for researching & using reference. Students can apply skills learned in this class in other areas including game art, motion graphics and 2D Animation.

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DMD 5301 - Advanced 3D Animation

In Animation 2 students bring characters to life. Students will apply core animation principles learned in Animation 1 to visually convey weight, force, self-impulse, and emotion to bipedal CG characters. Students leverage principles of human mechanics and classic animation process to analyze and interpret reference footage. Best practices are learned using industry standard 3D software, resulting in appealing character animation that is mechanically sound and communicates emotion.

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DMD 5305 - History of Computer Graphics

History of Computer Graphics is a course that teaches the history of computer generated imagery (CGI) from its beginnings to present. Students will learn how CGI started and what problems existed in its infancy. And based upon history, what the trends in computer animation and visual effects are and where they are headed in the future.

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DMD 5310 - Introduction to 3D Modeling

Modeling I is an introductory course designed to teach students how to created polygonal 3D models using industry standard modeling tools. The aesthetics of simplicity are important as it relates to edge flow and geometry construction for both software and real-time rendering application. This course will be comprised of in class labs and take home tests. These labs and tests will assess and inform both the instructor and the student of their progress and overall modeling skill level.

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DMD 5311 - Advanced Modeling, Lighting & Rendering

Modeling, Lighting & Rendering 2 is a comprehensive course designed to illuminate the connection between the audience and the image on screen. Students learn how lighting creates mood in a scene and the technical ways in which CG lighting is achieved. Students will learn what types of lights to use, how and when to use them, and techniques to achieve realistic lighting while being resource savvy. Lighting in theater as well as in traditional film will be studied to give students a solid understanding of why certain lighting choices are made and why they work, whether in live action or CG applications.

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DMD 5315 - Character Rigging

Character Rigging will teach rigging concepts to students with a specific emphasis on animated props and characters. Also covered in the course are techniques for using and creating bones, constraints, skeletons, skinning, and weight painting. Upon completion of the course, students will understand the connection between animation and rigging, and specifically, how rigging increases quality and productivity in animation production.

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DMD 5320 - Introduction to Lighting and Rendering

Lighting & Rendering I is a comprehensive course designed to illuminate the connection between the audience and the image on screen. Students learn how lighting creates mood in a scene and the technical ways in which CG lighting is achieved. Students will learn what types of lights to use, how and when to use them, and techniques to achieve realistic lighting while being resource savvy. Lighting in theater as well as in traditional film will be studied to give students a solid understanding of why certain lighting choices are made and why they work, whether in live action or CG applications.

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DMD 5340 - Compositing for Visual Effects

Compositing for Visual Effects takes the students further into the art of visual effects. Working with Film Students, they go out and shoot plates on HD that fulfill the desire and needs of someone else (the film student). They then must work with their “client” to achieve the desired effect on time, and on-budget.The students will hone their effects skills, as they learn to track the motion of on-set cameras, objects and elements. They will learn that the best way to do an effect isn’t always to pick up a computer mouse, but might be to go out and shoot elements to be manipulated in 2D after the fact.

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DMD 5350 - Simulation & Technical Directing

Simulation & Technical Directing gives students an intermediate understanding of the art and science of creating physical simulations using particle systems and collision detection. It also teaches the students how to create complicated rendering and compositing setups that make their animations both easier to render, and more flexible within the bounds of any animation or VFX sequence.

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DMD 5440 - Mobile Application Development 1

Provide an introductory experience into mobile application development. Through lecture and hands on exercises, students will be introduced to the progresses, technologies, an environment or mobile applications. Emphasis will be on building simple android applications with the MIT App inventor to gain introductory knowledge of programming concepts and design.

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DMD 5470 - Advanced Web Design and Development

Explores 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. Through projects, the course will also cover more advanced design concepts in Website creation, such as efficient navigation design, designing or portability and accessibility, separating content from presentation for easy site updating and maintenance, planning interactivity, and search engine optimization.

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DMD 5500 - Introduction to Digital Game Design

This course provides an introduction to the principals of video game design and development. Students will explore the history of the industry, investigate the theory of story, game mechanics and level progression, develop creativity skills that can be applied through an ideation process, and design and develop a 2D video game. Participation for this course will be conducted in a game-based environment.

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DMD 5522 - The Story in Video Games

With a focus toward story and character development, students in this course will be challenged to generate an idea for a Role-Playing Video Game. Participants will examine the relationship of story, character and player, investigate a selection of popular RPGs, and explore ways to visualize and com-municate their story and game idea to a group of would be investors.

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DMD 5530 - 3D Virtual World and Simulations

Students in this course will be challenged to design and develop a virtual simulation that will train, educate or replicate a historical, military or scientific event. Participants will investigate a selection of different virtual environments, simulations and serious games, explore some of the basic principles of 3D modeling, and examine how game engines can be used to generate a three-dimensional computer-based environment.

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DMD 5531 - Game System Design

Students in this course will be challenged to create a new game system within an existing game engine. This system will expand and change existing gameplay based on an in-class prompt. They will utilize their knowledge of player psychology and their analysis of other gameplay systems to develop a deeper understanding of the internal mechanics of games

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DMD 5536 - Disruptive Technologies in Games

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.

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DMD 5540 - Multiplayer Game Development

Students in this course examine 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.

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DMD 5542 - Introduction to Scripting for Games

Introduction to the fundamentals of gameplay scripting utilizing a current game engine. At the end of this course students will have a basic understanding of scripting concepts, constructs like numbers, strings, assignment, loops, functions, arrays and available engine commands.

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DMD 5550 - Game Production

A practical examination into the successful management of video game products. Students in the class will be required to develop budgets, asset management plans and evaluate risk of game development options. As part of the design process, participants will explore relationship management, team management, investigate the business aspect of the video game industry, and deliver a series of documents as part of the development of video game project..

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DMD 5560 - Advanced Digital Game Design and Development

This course provides a practical examination into the development of three-dimensional video games. Students in the class will be required to design and develop a video game and extensive game design document. As part of the design process participants will explore a selection of advanced game engines, share and critique ideas, investigate the business aspect of the video game industry, and deliver a series of progress reports as part of the development of a video game project.

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DMD 5710 - Social Media Business Applications

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

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DMD 5720 - Digital Media Analytics

This 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.

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DMD 5730 - Digital Consumer Behavior

Digital Consumer Behavior is designed to explore and analyze the changes in consumer decision-making and behavior in today’s digital world.

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DMD 5998 - Variable Topics

Prerequisites and recommended preparation vary. May be repeated for credit with a change in course content

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