New River Community College is offers a specialization of the CAD degree focused on Game Technology and Animation.
Students use the latest tools in the industry for asset creation, such as 3D Studio Max (a long-time favorite in film and television CGI effects), and Maya (an equally robust 3D surface modeling toolset with a strong animation component).
Students will first learn the basics of 3D surface modeling, both static and organic as used for game asset creation. As students progress, they will transition into animation (rigging, skinning, etc.) and application of special effects within the render environment of the toolsets. Finally, students tackle the final stage of the game content creation process, the Game Engine itself.
New River Community College offers both UNREAL and Crytek 3 game engines. It is within these engines the content creation toolsets will become useful. Using the latest and greatest tools in the modern game industry, students will be able to craft and deploy their own game levels based on these runtime environments, directing the game play from "A to Z" using the skill sets learned within the specialization.
Also, the program offers development for mobile platforms as well. Using the UNREAL 3 UDK from Epic games, students have the ability to develop directly to the IPOD touch and IPAD platforms.
For students more oriented towards animation instead of just game design, we also use Adobe After Effects to composite CG and special effects into videos. This, combined with our motion capture and green screen capabilities, allows our students to get a good look at what major studios work with on a daily basis.
Our students take immense pride not only in what they walk away with in knowledge, experience, and their portfolio, but their work ethic as well. The amount of work that studios and companies put into their finished products requires a lot of effort, and that's what graduates from this program truly walk away:Motivation, determination, and a positive outlook.
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In order to help along the process of game design an animation, New River Community College is provided with an intertia motion capture suit. We use the suit to collect animation sets that would normally take hours, days, and event weeks to create. More detail
Our lab is equiped with two renderfarms(one with 12 nodes, and another with 23) that utilizes the Backburner software for 3DS Max animation rendering. Rendering in 3D software is the main part of the process for creating 3D animations. Then render farm allows our students to use 12 computers at once to render their animations. More detail
In addition to the render farm and motion capture, we have intergrated green screen technology into our program. This allows us to take real world things and people into a psuedo-world created in our 3D software or a still image or other video dlipd, and composite them to make a realistic screen. The same techniques were used to create movies such as Transformers, Avater, Planet of the Apes, etc.