Teaching

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Having studied photography initally in my art practice, I come from a background in a lens-based conceptual practice. This is informed by literature around mechanical (and now digital) reproducibility. In the span of ten years, this has expanded to include synthesis, artifice, simulation, and virtuality. These are concepts which arise when it comes to the topics I tend to present in my classes and during critiques.

Along with teaching techniques, I usually incorporate readings that introduce recent debates in critical theory as it relates to digital media. These readings are geared towards introducing the beginning student to the multiplicity of concepts as it relates to digital media, its purpose in society, its im/material nature, and its use in artistic production.

Much of what I see in my introductory courses are students wanting to perpetuate material they have consumed in mainstream media. I often see ideas by students that imitate a popular video game character or a sequence coming from a popular movie.

My goal is to develop that student into creating sophisticated material based upon his own vision and own visual language. In essence, develop a unique voice amongst the plethora of material in mainstream culture. One might say that this is quite a challenge in contemporary society today.

The curricular structure at Clarkson University is developed in a manner that groups fundametal concepts together. It starts with DA 200: Introduction to Experimental 3D, which is the core class. Students learn the fundamental basics in terms of modeling, texturing, and lighting in a virtual environment. It is an extension of the teaching philosophies of my mentor, Claudia Hart, and is based upon Johannes Itten's Bauhaus Basic Course'.

From there, students take DA 300:Virtual Mechanical & Organic Movement, which delve into sophisticated methods for animation in order to create performances that will reflect dyanamic mechnical and organic movements.

My advanced classes allow for the flexibility for the student to delve into their particular interests in the field. In DA 400: Advanced Individual & Collaborative Projects, students select areas for self-study, which will then be employed in a team based collaborative project that utilizes the strengths of each particular team member.

Much of the potential of teaching 3D animation is limited by the methodology of traditional industry-oriented style of training. I often see online tutorials with titles such as 'How to Create Dyanmic Fur on your Character', or 'How to Make a Cartoon Walk Cycle'. These tutorials teach a specific technique and style rather than train on fundamental concepts. I see students who learn this way unable to adapt to the differing goals and aesthetics of each particular project. Additionally, these techniques die fairly quickly within the rapidly evolving industry of 3D animation and the use of video game engines.

The curricular track at Clarkson University allows for the teaching of fundamental concepts of 3D modeling/animation and also concepts catered to the goals of the individual student. These are students whose goals are varied: the game, animation, and fine art industries. Whether it be any of these industries, the basic concepts of aesthetics, lateral thinking, and good technique at each level of mastery, are recipes for success in any field.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DA 200: Introduction to Experimental 3D

 

Alison Montroy

 

Sarah Selby

 

 

"Metrojet Flight 9268", Randy Parisi
Oculus Rift Virtual Installation, Unity Engine

 

 

DA 300: Virtual Mechanical & Organic Movement

 

Sarah Selby

 

Mid-Term Projects

Mid-Term Projects

DA 400: Advanced Individual & Collaborative Projects

Sarah Hanehan

Alexander Leich, Sarah Hanehan, Anders Wickstrom

 

 

DA 492: Capstone Thesis Projects

 

Christian Ashley, "The Hollow Men", video, stereo sound, 2015

 

Alex Macri, Oculus Rift Virtual Installation, Unreal Engine

 

"Mendala", Luna Rogers, video, stereo sound, 2015