The Game, Cinema, & AnimationSummer Academy

Program Details

Become the Solution

The Game, Cinema, & Animation Summer Academy is a week-long program held at DePaul University's Loop campus from July 9-13, 2018. The program runs from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. High school students will receive hands-on instruction using the latest equipment and technology and will be taught by full-time DePaul faculty members with real-world experience. Tracks will include film and TV production, 3D computer modeling and animation for games and cinema, computer game development, screenwriting, and hand-drawn animation.

Film and TV Production Track

Students will work in groups to write, produce, shoot, and edit short films. Students will have the opportunity to take on multiple roles within the productions. The films are shot in HD video using professional cameras and audio equipment. Students will learn basic editing techniques to complete their films using Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere. This track will be taught by Gary Novak, DePaul Film Production and Screenwriting professor and Director of the School of Cinematic Arts.

Game Development Track

Along with students in the 3D modeling and animation track, game development students will work in teams to brainstorm, design, program, and produce assets for a 3D computer game. Students will have the opportunity to explore multiple roles in the game production process. Game assets will be created using Maya 3D Modeling and Animation software. The games will be designed and programmed using the Unity 5 game development platform. This track will be taught by Allen Turner, veteran game designer and DePaul Game Design professor.

Hand-Drawn Character Animation Track

Students will be introduced to the basics of classical hand-drawn character animation. Students will get hands-on practice using Adobe Animate and TVPaint Animation software on Cintiq interactive pen displays, just like the professionals use. This track will be taught by Brian Ferguson, veteran Disney feature film character animator (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin) and DePaul Animator in Residence.

3D Modeling and Animation Track

Students will learn the basics of computer animation and modeling using Maya 3D software. Along with students in the game development track, students will work in teams to brainstorm, design, program, and produce assets for a 3D computer game. Students will design, model, and texture creatures, vehicles, and environment objects, and learn how to import them into Unity 5 for use in a working game. This track will be taught by Joshua Jones, veteran animator and DePaul Animation professor.

Stop-Motion Animation Track - NEW!

Students will learn the basics of stop-motion animation using Dragon Frame animation software and high res DSLR cameras. This track will be taught by Meghann Artes, veteran stop-motion and pixilation animator, and DePaul Animation professor.

Screenwriting Track

Students will learn the basics of script format and visual writing style, while being introduced to story structure, character development, and the business of screenwriting. A series of in-class and take-home writing assignments will push students to discover their own unique point of view in a creative workshop environment. This track will be taught by Hollywood screenwriter and DePaul professor, Brad Riddell.

Attendees will have access to up-to-date labs equipped with:

  • Final Cut Pro
  • Maya 3D Modeling and Animation software
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Unity 5 Game Development Tool
  • TVPaint Animation software
  • Cintiq Interactive Pen Displays

This intensive week-long session will provide motivated students with a valuable educational experience as well as an advantage in today's competitive world of college admission. Students interested in possible careers in the motion picture, television or computer game industry should apply to this program. To be eligible, students must have completed their freshman year of high school by July 1, 2018. The deadline to apply is June 25, 2018.

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Become the Solution

The cost of the Summer Academy is $750. This includes the cost of tuition, lunch for the 5 days and any associated field trips. Housing is not included in the cost of this program. Students wishing to attend the Academy who are not within commuting distance must acquire their own housing accommodations. The University Center, a downtown dormitory just a few blocks from the CDM Center, does offer weekly rates for housing. All arrangements should be made directly with the University Center. Students must be 18 years of age to stay at this facility.

"The most fun, educational, awesome experience was the team effort of creating a video game."

High School Senior

Once admitted to the Summer Academy, students must submit a non-refundable deposit of $100 within 2 weeks of their admission in order to reserve their spot in the program. The remaining tuition balance is due 30 days before the start of the Academy. Space is limited so it is highly encouraged that you submit your deposit and the balance of your tuition by the applicable deadline.

The Summer Academy can be paid for by check or credit card.

A limited number of scholarships are available for those demonstrating financial need. A separate scholarship application is required in order to be considered. All complete scholarship applications must be received by June 1st, 2018. You must first apply online to the Summer Academy and receive an admission decision before submitting a complete scholarship application. Download the Summer Academy scholarship application .


Become the Solution

All students admitted to the Summer Academy must have one of each of the following forms signed and returned prior to the start of the program.

Forms for Minors

If you will be under 18-years-old at the time attendance, both you and a parent need to sign Minors Forms.

Forms for Adults

These signed and completed forms can be mailed to:

DePaul University
College of Computing and Digital Media
243 S. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60604
ATTN: Summer Academy

Or they can be emailed (with signature) to or faxed to 312.362.5179.

Faculty Bios

Scott Roberts

Scott Roberts

Associate Professor // Animation
School of Cinematic Arts

Scott Roberts received his M.A. and M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His sculptures, video installations and animations have been exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions in New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago, and screenings in Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Animation Festival. He also has over ten years of professional experience in television art direction, post-production, animation and 3D game art, and was the production designer for the independent film 'Making Revolution.' He most recently was Associate Professor at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, where he taught animation and motion graphics for five years and helped establish a Time Based Media BFA program.

Scott Roberts was the Art and Story Advisor for Devil's Tuning Fork, one of ten winners of the 2010 Independent Games Festival Student Showcase.

Contact Scott


Gary Novak

Gary Novak

Assistant Professor // Screenwriting
School of Cinematic Arts

Gary has been at DePaul since 2002 and is one of the founding members of the Digital Cinema Program. He has worked as a producer, writer, and director. The projects have included commercials, documentaries, and independent feature films. Gary has a M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute.

Contact Gary


Allen Turner

Allen Turner

Instructor // Game Development, Interactive Media
School of Cinematic Arts

Allen Turner has been involved in storytelling, game and play design, and education in one way or another for most of his adult life.

In the non-profit world he has coordinated youth and adult programs focusing on literacy, storytelling, role-playing activities, and team dynamics as a mechanic for developing inference and problem solving skills.

A student of acclaimed storytellers Shanta and Marcie Telander, Allen has also been active as a storyteller himself. He was a teller for the Chicago American Indian Center and Native American Studies College in Chicago (where he also provided storytelling workshops) in the early and mid 90s. He also provided regular cultural performances and presentations for the Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Public Library in addition to performances for the Illinois Teachers Conference, the Newberry Library, the Chicago Historical Society, and myriad other organizations and institutions.

Allen's involvement with the video games industry began at Bungie Software where he started off as Tech Support and eventually grew to help out with the production polish of Myth II. He later went on to Day 1 Studios where he worked as a level designer for MechAssault on the X-Box.

Most recently Allen was employed at Wideload Games/Disney Interactive Studios where he acted as a Lead Designer and Game Director. At Wideload he has worked on Stubbs the Zombie: Rebel Without a Pulse, and Hail to the Chimp, Guilty Party, and Avengers Initiative and Marvel XP.

Allen is not only an active video game designer he also spends much of his time designing tabletop games as well. Most recently he published "Ehdrigohr: The Roleplaying Game" which is a dark fantasy horror game that draws inspiration from the folklore indigenous peoples around the world and while at the same time exploring the identity in culture and the processes of struggling against depression.

He has hopes to bring his years of interacting, entertaining, and educating people to the table in designing games that are engaging and approachable for a wide variety of users.

Contact Allen


Brian Ferguson

Brian Ferguson

Animator in Residence //
School of Cinematic Arts

Brian is a 25-year veteran Walt Disney Feature Animation animator whose filmography spans 15 feature films, several as supervising animator, including the classic animated feature films Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Mulan, Fantasia 2000, and Winnie the Pooh. Brian is especially skilled at conveying humor and appealing personality, as can be seen in his characters among these landmark films.

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Brad Riddell

Brad Riddell

Assistant Professor // Screenwriting, Cinema Production
School of Cinematic Arts

Brad Riddell has written four feature films for Hollywood studios including Paramount, MTV, and Universal. His first film, American Pie: Band Camp, remains one of the highest-grossing live-action DVD releases in history, and is now syndicated on TBS. His most recent film, Crooked Arrows, was released nationally in theaters in 2012, and is the first lacrosse movie ever produced.

Contact Brad