Course History

Intro to 3D Computer Graphics

With our 3D computer graphics class, young adults were introduced to computer graphics as a powerful tool that applies to art, architecture, engineering, scientific simulations, game development, and film special effects. In this course, the students learned the techniques of modeling and texturing 3D objects while building a virtual Egypt. Students started by making simple objects and then progressed to creating a complex temple and beyond. We used a free program called Blender which can be downloaded at home so our students could continue creating 3D masterpieces.

In the Intro to 3D Computer Graphics course, the students created objects and buildings to place in a virtual Egyptian world. Each student constructed a pyramid, designed and built a temple, as well as created a model of their own choice.

3D Computer Graphics II

In 3D Computer Graphics II, the students enhanced their skills in 3D modeling with larger scale projects. It was designed for students who have taken Intro to 3D Computer Graphics or have had previous experience with 3D modeling. Students learned advanced methods and techniques in 3D modeling including high-resolution sculpting as well as realistic rendering and texturing. In addition, the students were introduced to the fundamentals of animation as well as the basics of the Blender game engine.

Throughout the course, students contributed assets to an ocean-themed game. During the first semester, students created massive tree houses to populate an archipelago of islands. In the second semester, the students created castles as well as sports cars for a high-speed racing game.

Intro to Game Programming

Intro to Game Programming gave the student an overview of what it takes to put together a 3D video game. We took a classic favorite, PacMan, gave it a 21st Century twist and recreated it in a 3D environment. This class covered the techniques for programming the game rather than the creation of the graphics. We used a modern object-oriented programming language, Python. In the first month of class, the students learned the basics of programming including; variables, statements, conditionals, loops, subroutines, objects, and more. The remaining classes focused on programming the 3D PacMan characters, collectables, and gameplay. This course helped give the student an understanding of what makes video games work and helped them discover if this is a skill they are interested in pursuing.

In Intro to Game Programming, the students created a 3D version of the game PacMan. The game is set in ancient Egypt complete with cobras, scarab beetle treasures, and temple mazes.

Digital Image Editing

In this course, students learned to use a variety of image editing techniques utilizing the free open-source software, Gimp. The students started by learning the basics of the toolset, like modifying color, retouching, and working with layers. Then they progressed to more advanced techniques such as compositing, digital painting, as well as transforming and modifying photo images. These skills apply to the fields of photography, advertising, communications, website development, and digital art.

Throughout the class, the students completed a pantheon of projects including creating a custom collage, colorizing a sketch, compositing a household object into a miniature house, and editing a photo of themselves into a different environment.

Website Development in WordPress

Website Development in WordPress offered students the chance to create their own website from start to finish using the free, open-source software, WordPress. First, the students learned how to make a simple blog website using the features of WordPress. Next, students were introduced to web design as they learned how to create their own 2D graphics. They also gained experience with the more technical aspect of web development by using CSS (a website style sheet language). Throughout the course, the students used these skills to create a custom website with their own theme, written content, photos, and graphics.

Student's created websites covering a wide variety of subjects; projects ranged from game review sites to a blog on politics to informational sites about piano and trumpet.
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