Create a real world pipeline inside your classroom
Every type of learner, whether auditory, visual or kinesthetic, eventually needs real world experience to help give their learning relevance. That’s why you often hear artists say they never really understood a subject until after working at their first job for awhile. At times, the isolation of the classroom can leave students feeling like concepts are too abstract and that what they're learning has little real world context. For digital art students, such a direct connection to actual employment and the industry is often limited to internships, which can provide a vast amount of practical experience. However, some progressive digital arts schools, like the Arts and Technology (ATEC) program at the University of Texas at Dallas, succeed in creating a similar type of beneficial real world experience within the classroom. Todd Fechter and Eric Farrar are two ATEC professors who teach a course in animation called Animation Studio Production (ASP). Over the last few years, Fechter and Farrar's class has produced several high quality animated shorts entitled Sticky and FrightLight. The class is designed to expose students to a real world studio pipeline while also producing an animated short in two semesters. ASP students are taken through every phase of production from concept, layout, modeling, texturing, animation and rendering. Each of these disciplines is also an individual ATEC class, but the ASP course was designed to bring them all together in a real world pipeline setting.