Master of Arts Fall 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.

Course Legend

Curriculum Requirements

Prerequisite Phase
The goal of the prerequisite phase is to give students the background necessary for starting the graduate program. These prerequisite phase requirements can be fulfilled in one of two ways:
  • The student takes the course and earns a grade of B- or higher
  • The faculty advisor waives the course because of equivalent academic background or work experience.

All students are blocked from enrolling in graduate courses prior to completing their prerequisites. Students should contact their advisor to enroll in graduate courses until their Prerequisite Phase is completed. Students must submit an online Change of Status request (through myCDM) when the Prerequisite Phase is completed to inform the Student Services offices that the block can be removed.

ANI 230
ANI 231
Core Requirements
ANI 446
ANI 452
ANI 453
ANI 444
GAM 690ANDGAM 691*
OR ANI 440
*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 5 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
    ANI 432
    ANI 433
    ANI 435
    ANI 450
  • Animation
    ANI 450
    ANI 451
    ANI 430
    ANI 431
    ANI 432
  • Modeling
    ANI 435
    ANI 436
    ANI 437
    ANI 438
    ANI 439
  • Effects
    ANI 478
    ANI 479
    VFX 478
    DC 430
  • Other Available Technical Artist Electives
    GAM 690
    GAM 691
CDM Open Electives
Students must complete any 3 graduate courses from the College of Computing and Digital Media.

Degree Requirements

Students in this degree program must meet the following requirements:
  • complete a minimum of 52 graduate credit hours (generally 13 courses) beyond the Prerequisite Phase
  • earn a grade of B- or better in each Prerequisite Phase course
  • earn a grade of C- or better in all graduate courses beyond the Prerequisite Phase
  • maintain a graduate level GPA of 2.50 or higher while pursuing their degree
  • achieve a graduate GPA of 2.50 or higher at the completion of all other requirements
  • students pursuing their second master's degree must complete 52 graduate credit hours (generally 13 courses) beyond their first master's degree.

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.