Master of Arts Winter & Spring 2012-2013


Technical Artist Concentration

The MA in Animation - Technical Artist Concentration prepares students for a range of roles, from the complex jobs of riggers, next generation modelers and motion capture artists to the hybrid specialization of the Technical Artist.

A game industry Technical Artist is an art department member who serves as a bridge between art and engineering. The art pipeline is the workflow of creating the art assets of the game: from concept to model to texturing to rigging to input into the game engine. The TA’s objective is to make the pipeline streamlined, efficient and documented. The TA diagnoses and debugs the technology used by artists. The TA specs tools that will help make the art department more productive, sometimes scripting the tools in the software and sometimes working with programmers to tackle more complex operations. The TA needs to understand the language of both art and engineering and act as a translator between the areas.

In the film and television CGI animation and VFX industries the Technical Artist is more commonly referred to as a Technical Director or Technical Animator. The TA in these fields shares many of the core responsibilities (pipeline, troubleshooting) and animation technical skills as the game TA.

The Technical Artist concentration is not solely for the person who wants to be a TA, since these disciplines are constantly evolving. It also prepares the student interested in technically demanding areas such as rigging, modeling and motion capture.

Technical Artists come from both art and programming backgrounds. It is recommended that someone entering the TA concentration have an undergraduate degree in one of the following areas: art, animation, game art, graphic design, illustration, game design, game programming, computer graphics, computer science, or interactive media.

Learn more about admission to this program.

Degree Requirements
Students in this degree program must meet the following requirements:
  • Complete a minimum of 52 graduate credit hours in the designated program.
  • Complete all graduate courses and requirements listed in the designated degree program.
  • Earn a grade of C- or better in all graduate courses of the designated degree program.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Students pursuing a second master's degree must complete a minimum of *52 graduate credit hours beyond their first designated degree program in addition to any required introductory courses in their second designated degree program.
    *53 graduate credit hours required for MS Information Systems.

Students with a GPA of 3.9 or higher will graduate with distinction.

For DePaul's policy on repeat graduate courses and a complete list of academic policies see the DePaul Graduate Handbook in the Course Catalog.

Course Requirements
Core Requirements
ANI 405 3D Animation Survey
ANI 446 Game Art Pipeline
ANI 452 3D Scripting
ANI 453 Advanced 3D Scripting
ANI 444 Visual Design for Games
GAM 690 Game Development Studio I ANDGAM 691 Game Development Studio II *
OR ANI 440 Collaborative Short Animated Film
*Students who take GAM 690 to fulfill their Core Requirements Phase requirements must take GAM 691 as one of their Technical Artist Electives Requirements.
Technical Artist Electives
Students must take at least 4 courses out of the following choices. Students may take these courses before completing their Core Requirements courses. It is recommended that students choose their Technical Artist Elective courses in one of the following areas of focus: Rigging, Animation, Modeling, or Effects.
  • Rigging
    ANI 430 3D Character Animation
    ANI 432 3D Rigging
    ANI 433 Advanced 3D Rigging
    ANI 435 3D Character Modeling
    ANI 450 Motion Capture
  • Animation
    ANI 450 Motion Capture
    ANI 451 Advanced Motion Capture Studio
    ANI 430 3D Character Animation
    ANI 431 Advanced 3D Character Animatio
    ANI 432 3D Rigging
  • Modeling
    ANI 435 3D Character Modeling
    ANI 436 3D Modeling Studio
    ANI 437 Environment Modeling
    ANI 438 3D Organic Modeling
    ANI 439 3D Texturing and Lighting
  • Effects
    ANI 478 3D Dynamics
    ANI 479 3D Compositing
    VFX 478 Digital Compositing II
    DC 430 Visual Effects
  • Other Available Technical Artist Electives
    GAM 690 Game Development Studio I
    GAM 691 Game Development Studio II
CDM Open Electives
Students must complete any 3 graduate courses from the College of Computing and Digital Media.