Digital Media Specialisation: 3D Assets

Another Digital Media Specialisation option, 3D Assets led students interested in 3D design through a basic development workflow in Autodesk Maya, covering the following:

  • Designing the asset through research and the development of orthographic reference images.

  • Basic and advanced 3D polygonal modelling techniques.

  • UV unwrapping and mapping techniques.

  • Producing diffuse, bump, displacement, specular, and transparency maps in Adobe Photoshop.

  • Applying these texture maps via materials with Maya’s Hypershade.

  • Creating and using virtual cameras in framing and presenting the asset.

  • Lighting types and techniques, and getting the most out of materials through rendering.

  • Basic animation and motion paths as part of a render sequence.

  • Special effects, including animated UVs, lighting effects, and particle systems.

  • Compiling the final render sequence in Adobe Premiere Pro.

As well as designing and producing all teaching materials, I led a series of technical tutorials on the appropriate software, and provided detailed feedback on the student's work as they progressed through an asset sheet, online interactive, and video render. An earlier iteration of this course also had students using Unity to deliver an interactive, digital diorama showcasing their asset.

Digital Media Specialisation: 3D Virtual Environments

Digital Media Specialisation allows Digital Media students to specialise in a creative field of their choice. Students interested in 3D digital-virtual environments were able to undertake my 3D Virtual Environments class, which I designed and delivered. It led students through the conceptual and technical process of producing a 3D digital-virtual environment within Unity, and each week focused on considering and implementing a certain formal element in the software:

  • Considering layout and producing high quality design documentation.

  • Considering form in virtual environments with basic polygon modelling in Autodesk Maya.

  • Making virtual environments interactive with C# scripting, including logic and syntax.

  • Colour in virtual environments through materials in Unity, and producing seamless textures in Photoshop.

  • Implementing sound in Unity, and considering 3D space and adaptive sound.

  • Lighting a virtual environment and considering readability.

  • Basic animation in Unity to bring life and character to a virtual space.

  • Presenting a virtual environment through a simple webpage on itch.io.

As well as designing and producing all teaching materials, I delivered a series of lectures on the weekly topic with design theories and conceptual examples, led a series of technical tutorials on Unity and Autodesk Maya, and provided detailed feedback on the student's design documentation, reflective presentations, and final environments.

 

Media Cultures

Media Cultures is the precursor to Emerging Digital Cultures, and focuses on developing critical thinking skills in four key areas: research, explanation, analysis, and argumentation. Across a weekly lecture, assigned reading, class discussions, group exercises, and a series of written assignments, my role was to ensure that students were able to critically analyse and respond to the various concepts, works, and issues they will encounter as digital media consumers and practitioners. My focus was on helping students to think through critical ideas in class, and providing detailed feedback on the resulting assignments. These consisted of a short blog post describing a media culture, a wiki post analysing the role of media within culture, and a substantial essay on a particular digital media work.

 

Emerging Digital Cultures

Visual Literacy for Digital Media was retired in 2017 and replaced by Emerging Digital Cultures. While the course structure remained roughly the same - each week was still centred around a relevant digital media issue - my role shifted from delivering lectures to building off and guiding class discussions in response to weekly group presentations from the students on the topic for the week. The assignments briefs also shifted focus, from critical-creative writing in Visual Literacy to independent, student-driven projects in a variety of forms: poster design, web and app design, video editing and production, sound design, and digital environments. 

 

Visual Literacy for Digital Media

Visual Literacy for Digital Media, part of RMIT's Digital Media program, was designed to equip students to think critically about the issues they may encounter as digital media practitioners. This was achieved by introducing students to a weekly issue through a lecture (such as technodeterminism, big data, or privacy), guiding in-class discussions in response to an assigned reading, and providing detailed feedback on assignments. As part of this course, I designed and produced three tutorials for the Unity game engine, covering the interface, positioning GameObjects, basic textures and materials, basic scripting, and cameras. 

 

Certificate IV in Printing and Graphic Arts (Multimedia)

In this SBAT, students were introduced to a wide variety of multimedia concepts and techniques, including:

  • Graphic design in Adobe Photoshop and CorelDRAW.

  • Basic 2D animation in Adobe Flash.

  • Basic 3D modelling, texturing, rigging, and animation in Autodesk 3DS Max.

  • Video editing and production in Adobe Premiere.

  • Laying out and publishing high-end PDFs in Adobe InDesign.

  • Designing and producing a basic game design document.

My responsibilities were to supervise students as they undertook computer-based training, to facilitate that learning with consistent advice and feedback, to run training sessions to teach software, and to mark student work via email. I also designed and produced a set of training materials in the use of Adobe Premiere, including importing, editing, adding effects, and exporting high quality videos.