Immersive, collaborative and designed to unlock your creativity—for over 130 years Cogswell has been helping people turn their passion into their professions. Today, it’s your turn. Explore our program offerings to help you develop the skills you need for the job you’ll love.
Pairing business, technology and creativity, our students come to the heart of Silicon Valley to deepen and grow their passions. The result? A skilled and dynamic community with a social life that is surprisingly robust.
3D Modeling Concentration
3D Animation Design Concentration
Entertainment Design Concentration
B.A. Digital Art and Animation:
Remedial classes are required when a placement test is not passed.
Second Academic Year (Fall, Spring, and Summer)
Third Academic Year (Fall, Spring, and Summer)
Students should consult with their faculty adviser or staff adviser when selecting or registering for any general education or elective course to ensure that the course meets the requirements of the program.
Intermediate Algebra including exponents and polynomials, equations and systems of equations in one and two variables, functions and graphs, and exponential and logarithmic functions.
Credit earned does not count towards a degree.
Extensive written work stressing correct spelling, accurate sentence structure, and logical paragraph development.
Credit earned does not count toward a degree.
Students are introduced to the principles of two-dimensional image making with an emphasis on visual communication. They utilize the elements and principles of design while working with traditional and digital media. Students will analyze the form and function of design, various principles of perception and Gestalt theory. The importance of presentation and craftsmanship is emphasized.
This course introduces the fundamentals of drawing. Students learn basic skills and techniques for drawing from direct observation using subjects such as still life, landscape and architecture. Perceptual skills and the use of line, shade, perspective, and composition are developed. Analysis of drawings, critiques and classroom discussions build vocabulary and enrich the students' understanding of drawing.
This course develops written communication and critical thinking skills. It explores techniques and practices of expository and argumentative writing. Students learn to generate ideas for writing based on readings, learn to organize and support their ideas, and learn to apply techniques of revision to produce polished, professional work. Content, format and correct grammatical structures are emphasized.
Prerequisite: Passing grade on English Placement Test or Grammar and Composition (ENG050)
This course provides a broad introduction to the nature, vocabulary, media, and historical development of the visual arts. Major categories are architecture, sculpture, painting, and printmaking. Exposure to major art works in Western tradition from Paleolithic times to present. Students develop criteria for answering the question "what is art?"
Principles and applications of inequalities, functions and graphs, polynomials and rational functions, systems of equations and inequalities, matrices and determinants. Analytic geometry including conic sections. Trigonometric functions, identities, equations, inverse functions, trigonometric applications including vector definition, operations, and dot product. Students are introduced to the basic concepts for computer graphics.
Prerequisite: Passing grade on Math Placement Exam or Intermediate Algebra
This course is an introduction to color theory. Color properties and color relationships are studied through formal exercises and creative thinking. Additive and subtractive color principles are addressed using a variety of media. Students build a vocabulary for analyzing and identifying color phenomena. Color use in a variety of fields are examined to understand the application of color theory.
Prerequisite: 2D Design I
This course explores advanced image processing using image editing software and graphics tablets. Coursework addresses image creation and manipulation, color and contrast adjustment, compositing, image matching, and non-destructive editing techniques. An emphasis is placed on creating photorealistic illusions.
Students will study life-drawing from unclothed models. The course addresses the structure and anatomy of the human form, proportion, volumes, light and shade. Students will develop a basic understanding of the figure in motion. Drawing skills developed in previous courses are further refined by using a variety of drawing media.
In-depth study of perspective and the application of light and dark values to geometric forms to convey a sense of form. Students learn to create core shadows and shadow projections to achieve believable grounding in space and they examine the color of shadow and light. Rapid visualization techniques are used to create the desired shape and material finish.
Explores three-dimensional form. Emphasizes concept development, expression, spatial concepts, and comprehension of 3D space. Students learn techniques and tools used to create 3D artworks. Students work in traditional clay media.
Prerequisite: Figure Drawing I
Creation of 3D organic and industrial models using one or more software modeling packages. Topics include modeling construction using polygon and/or spline-based techniques, texture mapping, lighting, shading, and rendering. Students apply these techniques to the creation of 3D models.
This course serves as an introduction to traditional photographic image making with the addition of a digital perspective. Through a combination of lectures, demonstrations, assignments and critiques students learn the technical issues of photography and learn to control the photographic medium. Students examine various photographic approaches and philosophies to explore how photographic imagery can be used for personal artistic expression.
Basic concepts of digital video editing, theory and techniques of motion picture editing, postproduction methods, media file management, sound editing, titling, and effects. Students are introduced to graphic matching, rhythmic editing, coverage, continuity, and montage editing. Uses video editing software.
Students develop entrepreneurial and managerial skills for the global dynamic business environment. Students explore functional areas in business making decisions on feasibility, finance, operations, marketing, recruitment, execution and pitching among other topics.
Students gain a basic understanding of U.S. intellectual property law as it applies to business. This course provides students with a fundamental framework for analyzing and understanding issues connected to intellectual property including copyright, patent and trademark law.
Students learn the discipline of project management. Students will become fluent in project management tools through the creation and management of timetables, schedules, project completion, progress tracking and results evaluation.
Prerequisite: English Composition
A collaborative, interdisciplinary, practical project. May be a live project with real-life client(s) and strict deadlines. Students work on one or two full-cycle audiovisual productions in an visual production team, where students will be required to fulfill various roles including, but not limited to: Storyboard Artist, Concept Designer, Texture Artist, 3D Modeler, 3D Animator, 2D Motion Graphics Artist, 2D Animator, Compositor, Video Editor, Colorist and Project Manager. Full-cycle production may include client meetings, concept development, production, postproduction and delivery of final product. The lecture part of the course will include client communications, team management, and communication principles, the EER (Effective, Efficient, Relevant) approach and file management practices. The deliverables of the course can be integrated into individual student portfolios.
Prerequisite: Faculty Approval
This class is a practical introduction to programming using the Python programming language. Topics include the concepts of declarative (“what”) versus imperative (“how”) programming, problem breakdown, and solution techniques. Basic subjects and terms in computer science will be introduced, such as data structures, efficiency of a program and object oriented programming. Emphasis is put on the syntax of the programming language, and the process of starting with a problem and writing a program to solve it. Students will implement several small programming projects during the course.
In this course, students study the principles of 3D animation using the latest 3D software applications. Topics include using the user interface and the basics of motion. Coursework introduces the principles of animation as applied to 3D computer animation. Student learn professional working practices in a production pipeline environment.
Prerequisite: Introduction to 3D Modeling
This course involves the use of layering color maps on digital surfaces to create specific material shaders. Texture map painting in 2 D is covered extensively. Analysis through physical observation on the light gathering of surfaces teaches students how to digitally reproduce any material. Students learn UV texture layout and projection techniques for shader creation. Procedural versus painted shader maps are explored along with complex layering. Emphasis is spent on specular, diffuse, color, bump, displacement and normal mapping to achieve the desired result.
This class focuses on principles of Storytelling in a visual medium and concentrates on film or editorial boards used to pre-visualize animation or live action film. Topics include scale and camera angle, camera movement, character staging, composition and basic editing processes. Students pitch their ides in class and get feedback on projects that include dialogue and action sequences from selected scripts as well as building animatics and story reels.
Prerequisite: Figure Drawing I and Perspective and Rendering
Introduction to animation software modules with emphasis on character rigging techniques: joints, surface binding, articulation, forward and inverse kinematics (FK and IK), and hierarchical node structures. Students apply these techniques to develop 3D characters. Includes a summary of the animation software module, graph editor, setting key frames, and tangents for basic animation.
Storytelling and mood are emphasized by the use of light on digital scenes. Six point lighting techniques are demonstrated in cinematic terms through their digital equivalents. Color, mood, and time of day are expressed through lighting and scene composition. Blocking is utilized to set the actors and sets to convey the desired intent. Camera knowledge, lens choice and exposure are applied to shot composition. Various rendering styles and engines will be used.
This course focuses on math concepts and algorithms used in the Computer Graphics field. It addresses mathematical topics and application of these topics in modeling, rigging, animation, texturing, shading, lighting and compositing. It also introduces techniques used in particle and fluid simulation for visual effects. This course will establish solid mathematical foundation and ability to apply basic principles of computer graphics.
Prerequisite: Introduction to 3D Animation Principles, College Algebra and Trigonometry, and Introduction to Scripting: Python
Non-object oriented features of C++. Constructors and Destructors. Type Conversions. Friends. Overloading functions and operators. References. Polymorphisms. I/O streams. Multiple Inheritances. Templates. Memory Management. Students practice the object oriented paradigm.
Prerequisite: Introduction to Scripting: Python, C Programming, or Java Programming
This course allows the student to develop portfolio pieces in rigging, ligting, texturing and/or compositing. Students will define the scope of the portfolio and develop a timeline for completion.
Prerequisite: Senior Status
Students work in teams to create a short animated film. Focus is on working as effective team while delivering individual specialized skills, the animation pipeline, project management, and communication skills are covered in depth. Students may enter as any of the following, concept artist, modeler, rigger, animator, technical director, and compositor. Training in all of these fields is comprehensive and will prepare student for entry into the job market.
Advanced class in animation software modules with emphasis on character rigging techniques: joints, surface binding, articulation, forward and inverse kinematics (FK and IK), and hierarchical node structures. Students apply these techniques to develop 3D characters. Includes a summary of the animation software module, graph editor, setting key frames, and tangents for basic animation.
Prerequisite: Character Rigging
Advanced lighting techniques are mastered to convey storytelling through light. Students apply techniques attained in Lighting and Layout further mastering their artistic expression. Cinematography in the digital realm is used to convey dramatic storytelling through shot composition. Advanced camera usage along with lighting are combined into unified sequences of shots to tell a story that connects with audiences.
Prerequisite: Lighting and Layout I
Introduction to particle systems, sprites, soft and rigid bodies. Dynamic techniques for hair, cloth and fluids. Dynamics for games. Students will create professional grade particle simulation effects for CG production and game.
Prerequisite: Introduction to 3D Animation Principles and Introduction to Scripting: Python
This course focuses on look development using advanced techniques in texturing and shader creation with industry-standard software. Students will create high-quality texture maps and use them in complex shader networks. Surface detail sculpting will be utilized to create bump, norma, grayscale displacement, and vector displacement maps. Students analyze a large collection of reference material in order to accurately create a photorealistic look for projects.
Introduces hard and organic surface modeling pertaining to control and refinement of form. Reproduction of machine made forms and detailed organic shapes. Advanced texturing for enhancement of models. Students apply these techniques to develop 3D models.
Prerequisite: Introduction to 3D Modeling
Explores the digital motion picture production environment as 'illusion factory'. Both naturalistic/realistic and experimental modes of digital effects will be examined. The course will focus on the role played by storyboarding, scripting, and how these relate to the combination of live action with computer- generated images (CGI). Students work in teams to create video projects using special effects, match/moving lighting, blue/green screen compositing, color correction, and motion graphics. The relationship of 'pre-visualization' to a finished work will also be explored, and how these techniques are affecting the traditional working approach to movie making.
Advanced Scripting. Mel Scripting. C++ Plug-in
Prerequisite: Introduction to Scripting: Python
This course is a continuation of Portfolio 1. Students will complete portfolio pieces in rigging, lighting, texturing, and/or compositing. Students will complete a professional level portfolio and present it on a website.
Prerequisite: Technical Art Portfolio I
Academic internships are online three-credit classes that run concurrently with external work-based experiential learning. As a faculty run course, students are required to complete academic assignments specifically designed to enhance the learning experience through in-depth reflection and critical analysis of the work environment. Students are expected to log on to canvas and/or meet weekly to complete assigned activities and interact with faculty assigned to the course. Along with the faculty interaction and assignments students are required to complete 135 hours contact hours with the internship site.
Prerequisite: Junior Status