Welcome to Project X
Project X is a one-of-a-kind, project-based learning capstone course that incorporates every component of animation film production for the big and small screen. Project X is unique in its quality of instruction and the high standards it sets for animation production value. Students have the opportunity to integrate their coursework skills and experiences in this industry standard, rigorous production pipeline.
All concept and character design, modeling, texturing, effects, rigging, lighting, rendering, animation, compositing and production management were created by teams of students in collaboration with faculty and professional industry advisors.
Our Silicon Valley location provides the opportunity to host visits, critiques and workshops by world class artists and technicians from the industry's leading companies. Guests visit the campus to critique and evaluate the production and offer insight into state of the art production techniques. These relationships also offer the use of industry standard technology such as rendering software from Pixar.
Project X student candidates submit a portfolio and entry into the class is by invitation only. Digital Arts students work alongside students from digital audio, engineering and entrepreneurship disciplines - a blend of talents that allows unique collaboration and mirrors the multidiscipline team structure of the industry.
The hours are long, strong technical skills are required and aesthetic standards are very high. This total immersion creates an environment conducive to quality, camaraderie and the highest production value. We believe it's the best way to learn.
Facilities and Software:
Project X works in a dedicated lab giving students extensive access to state of the art equipment and software. For hardware, Project X uses Windows based workstations, servers and render farm. For software, Project X uses Maya, Z-Brush, Mudbox, Mari, Houdini, Nuke, Photoshop, Vray, Renderman and After Effects in addition to a variety of plugins and project management tools. Projext X also uses a custom render manager, Hydra, developed as a project by engineering and computer science students specifically for the school's network.
Student experience and outcomes:
The large group project based environment of Project X gives students a number of valuable experiences and outcomes. The students develop and exercise the skills needed to work effectively with a team over an extended period of time such as: being able to communicate clearly and professionally, how to be a team leader and a team player, the ability to manage the schedule for a number of time-sensitive tasks and how to meet deadlines. Students also develop and refine assets responding to feedback from students that will be using those assets, while also providing feedback on assets that they themselves receive. They develop the ability to investigate and evaluate a number of possible production methods to accomplish the challenges set by the needs of the project. In the end the students have the work that they have created to use in their portfolios which has been refined to extremely high standards and has been proven by having been successfully used in a larger work.