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  • Otis Fine Arts hosts a Visiting Artist lecture series featuring Matthew Brandt, a Los Angeles-based artist. Read more about him here.
  • Otis Fine Arts hosts a Visiting Artist lecture series featuring Kerry Tribe, an artist working primarily in film, video, and installation. Read more about her here.
  • You are invited to a Movies that Matter Special Screening of the powerful new film shaping the debate about rape on college campuses, The Hunting Ground, on Tuesday, September 15 at 7:15 PM in the Otis Forum.  The Hunting Ground is a startling exposé of sexual assaults on U.S. colleges, institutional cover-ups and the brutal social toll on the victims and their families from the Academy Award-nominated filmmaking team of Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering.
  • Otis Books is pleased to publish Tim Erickson’s debut collection of poetry, Egopolis, a textual journey through destruction, resistance, city, and the Ego, from ancient times to the present day. Erickson’s work has appeared in the Chicago Review, Western Humanities Review, and the Salt Anthology of New Writing. He lives in Salt Lake City.

  • The Architecture/Landscape/Interiors Department at OTIS College of Art and Design is pleased to announce a lecture by 

  • Otis Fine Arts hosts a Visiting Artist lecture series featuring Hassan Khan, an artist who lives and works in Cairo, Egypt. Read more about him here.

  • Otis Graduate Writing students will read from their works-in-progress.


Senior Studio Electives

Senior Studio Electives


Students may select 2 units in the Fall Semester and 4 units in the Spring Semester.


Students may select from a wide range of studio elective courses listed below:


Independent Study

DGMD999    1-6 credits

Independent studies provide an opportunity for students to work closely and collaboratively with faculty on assignments that extend the scope of their current interests, or expand their expertise. Applications for independent study projects are reviewed and approved by the Department Chair based on proposals submitted by interested students.


Visiting Artists Series

DGMD444    2 credits

This is an ongoing, ever-changing class created to share the expertise, experience and interests of some of the world’s foremost talents in digital art, design, and storytelling. See department for course description each semester.


Methods and Materials

DGMD437    2 credits

Students receive in-depth instruction in the use of pencils, markers, watercolor, pastels, and mixed media. Techniques are applied to landscapes, costumes, vehicles, and a variety of other subjects.


Industry Internship

DGMD425    2 credits

Students may apply for internships or equivalent work experience in one of the digital media industries. The department, along with the Office of Career Services, assists students in locating appropriate internship positions. These internships assist students in gaining the work experience and industry contacts necessary for job placement upon graduation.


Traditional Animation

DGMD428    3 credits

Learn traditional animation and help your 3D animation. Learn the history of animation from the earliest pioneers to studio and independent animated films from around the world. From there you will study in depth the principles of animation and the principles of animation as applied to computer animation.


Drawing Fantastic: The Creative Figure

DGMD 230    2 credits

Los Angeles’ top models are presented in dynamic poses. The sessions are theme oriented with an emphasis on story and action


Drawing the Fantastic for Films and Video

DGMD231    2 credits

While continuing with traditional life drawing exercises, students progress to drawing the fantastic, such as monsters, aliens, dinosaurs, and imagery from traditional Hollywood genres. Students draw under a range of dramatic lighting conditions. Reviews of animation from around the world are incorporated. This course may also be taken as an elective.


Digital Media Imaging/Painting

DGMD240    2 credits

This course extends students’ skills with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Students investigate the functions of these applications and become expert in their uses.


Perspectives in Stories, Technologies & Design

DGMD250   2 credits

Lectures explore all aspects of design, technology, and the nature of the industries utilizing digital media, as well as an introduction to the occupations involved in these fields.


Studio Visits

DGMD260    2 credits

Students research and visit various video game developers, special effects houses, post-production facilities, film and TV Studios, independent design houses, and freelancers, as an exposure to the positions available in the industry and the different cultures of these companies.


Basic 3D for Storytellers

DGMD270    2 credits

Introduces students to 3D animation. Students begin to learn about space and the principles of animation. They then proceed to 3D computer animation, with special emphasis on its use to communicate stories for film, television, and video games.


Animation Topics

DGMD310    2 credits

Topics courses are designed to take advantage of the specific areas of expertise offered by guest faculty. This is a special topics course that addresses issues in animation. See department for offerings each semester.


Concept Art for Video Games and Films

DGMD310    2 credits

Students create everything from monsters to little girls and puppies. Concept development for video games and films includes designing characters and the settings, and creating the back-story for each. Students investigate and develop character motivation, set and equipment purposes, and their histories to create an understanding of these components.


Concept Art Environments & Props & Vehicles

DGMD310    2 credits

Learn how to create the concepts for the different elements that go into building a game.


Digital Sculpting in Zbrush

DGMD310    2 credits

Learn digital sculpting and painting in Zbrush. You will learn some of the techniques used to create next generation game and movie characters. Create architectural along with organic models with millions of polygons.


Painting-Old School for the New School

DGMD310    2 credits

Working from a live model with traditional materials and techniques, this class will strengthen one’s knowledge and mode of expression with color and light. Students will learn how to balance large shapes of color against one another to define an image’s overall tone, structure and composition.


Concept Art Environmental Painting

DGMD310    2 credits

This is a digital painting class focusing on Environments.


Visual Development for Animation

DGMD310    2 credits

Introduction to visual development using the traditional animation production styles of classic  animated shorts and feature films.  Students will develop strong storytelling skills through their character designs and environments with an emphasis on lighting, composition and mood.  Both traditional technique and computer 2D painting technique will be used.


3D for Motion – Cinema 4D

DGMD310    2 credits

Learn how to use Cinema 4D to create elements and 3D animation for motion graphics, ranging from 3D  treatments and backgrounds to looping elements Includes an introduction to C4D’s procedural animation system. Modeling, materials and shader development, lighting and multi pass rendering for compositing with After Effects will be addressed.


Narrative Topics

DGMD311    2 credits

Topics courses are designed to take advantage of the specific areas of expertise offered by guest faculty. This is a special topics course that addresses issues in narration. See department for offerings each semester.


Comic Books

DGMD311    2 credits

Provides an introduction to the comics as a story telling medium. Students learn to develop and execute their own ideas using comics. The industry’s history and future are explored. Emphasis is placed on writing, drawing, and presentation. Both traditional skills and digital skills are required.


Drawing and Painting Topics

DGMD312    2 credits

Topics courses are designed to take advantage of the specific areas of expertise offered by guest faculty. This is a special topics course that addresses issues in drawing and painting. See department for offerings each semester.


Dynamic Painting Concepts

DGMD312    2 credits

What is digital painting without the PAINTING? Course covers painting basics from an advanced perspective. Learn strong value and color control within the scheme of everything else you have learned so far. You will break down the logic of light and material and learn how to communicate your concepts visually.


Drawing & Painting Vehicles

DGMD312    2 credits

Explore digital painting and sketching as well as vehicle design. Students will be using the Cintiq lab for this class.


Earth, Wind and Fire

DGMD312     2 credits

Students examine, analyze and use different art media to capture a vast array of landscapes: mountains, desert, forest, ocean, city, and the fantastic. In addition, they cover the effects of weather: rain, clouds, changing sunlight, etc. and unique natural and geologic phenomena, such as volcanoes, meteors, and tornadoes.


The Figure: Expression/Impressions and Movement

DGMD312    2 credits

A creative exploration in drawing and painting the figure in various media. The class examines quick sketch, figure invention, facial expression, manipulation of facial structure to display various emotions and speech patterns, drapery and costume, long and short poses, portraiture, light logic, mood, and narrative.


Visual Effects: The Next Step

DGMD313    2 credits

Explores visual effects (those done in the computer) and special effects (physical effects) and how to combine them. Students investigate digital mattes, models, lighting (in both the virtual and the physical worlds), and the interface between physical and visual effects through compositing.


Film and Video Topics

DGMD315    2 credits

Topics courses are designed to take advantage of the specific areas of expertise offered by guest faculty. This is a special topics course that addresses issues in film and video. See department for offerings each semester.


Film and Video Lab for Digital Artists

DGMD315    2 credits

Students learn the skills that are required for making films and videos. They create concepts, storyboard them, set up a shoot, and then, in teams, shoot a number of projects. Students learn to log, capture, and edit their footage, and then to layoff to tape for presentation.


Directing for Film and Video

DGMD315    2 credits

This course covers the skills needed to direct live- action, computer-generated, or combination films. Students gain experience in directing people and scenes.


Editing Films and Video

DGMD315    2 credits

Students learn to edit from a feature film editor. The techniques learned here may be applied to feature films, documentaries, visual effects, and computer animated films.


History and Techniques of VFX

DGMD315    2 credits

Explore the history of visual and special effects in Hollywood films. View and discuss movies that demonstrated technological innovations in effects, and their impact on the motion picture industry. Both digital and analog effects are explored. Film as art, art as communication, and effects vs. story line are discussed.


Advanced Tools Workshop

DGMD315    2 credits

These workshops are intended for students with at least 2 semesters experience with the applicable digital tools. They extend students’ technical and creative skills with the tool chosen each semester. Maya and After Effects are some of the tools offered in these workshops.


Broadcast Design Topics

DGMD316    2 credits

Topics courses are designed to take advantage of the specific areas of expertise offered by guest faculty. This is a special topics course that addresses issues in broadcast design. See department for offerings each semester.


Advanced Type Design for Motion Graphics

DGMD316    2 credits

There are many opportunities and constraints in the world of motion. Type must be designed to work well in this specific environment. Students learn how to be creative and professional with their type designs as applied to motion graphics.


Broadcast Design Lab

DGMD316    2 credits

A workshop in broadcast design taught by a professional from the field. Students apply the skills they have learned to broadcast design projects. Timing, emotions, and client relations, are among the topics presented in this lab class.


Design Concepts

DGMD316    2 credits

This vital class for motion graphics designers covers concepts of design for still and motion work.


Advanced Broadcast Design

DGMD316    2 credits

This class mimics the production environments common to this field. Students produce many quality concepts, animatics, revisions, and finished projects for a number of different types of projects. Industry leaders participate and guide the process.


Audio Topics

DGMD317    2 credits

Topics are designed to take advantage of the specific areas of expertise offered by guest faculty. This special topics course addresses issues in sound production. See department for offerings each semester.


Game Design Topics

DGMD318    2 credits

Topics courses are designed to take advantage of the specific areas of expertise offered by guest faculty. This is a special topics course that addresses issues in game design. See department for offerings each semester.


Game Design Overview

DGMD318    2 credits

Explore what you need to know about designing games. Learn about the various jobs, what skills you need, and what the different skills are that are common to all game artists and unique to each position.


Game Industry: Production and Leadership

DGMD318    2 credits

Students investigate the features of video games that make them successful in the marketplace. Students discuss these issues and explore attributes of leadership in the game industry.


Game Development: Game Level Design

DGMD318    2 credits

Using mod and emulators students create new levels for existing popular games. Students learn by doing.


Game Animation

DGMD318    2 credits

Video game animation has very strict requirements. Students learn to mix creativity with observations from life, as they meet the hardware restrictions of current game platforms, while they rig and animate their characters.


Game Animation: Advanced

DGMD318    2 credits

Students familiar with the basics of game animation and rigging apply their knowledge to advanced projects.


Game Modeling

DGMD318    2 credits

Game companies want to see what designers can do when they model people, vehicles, weapons, and other objects. Of particular importance for modelers is the ability to create a model of an easily recognizable public figure.


Environments in 3D

DGMD318    2 credits

Focuses on digital sets and environments (i.e., architecture). By the end of the semester, each student will have created images of a carefully designed, meticulously lit and textured environment. Topics include: A survey of Renaissance and Baroque to Modern Architecture, Architectural design principals, efficient modeling techniques, and lighting.


3D Modeling and Animation

DGMD320    3 credits

Having learned the basics, students now explore methods that give life to the models they create or adapt from the College’s extensive library. Animators and modelers learn about the uses and constraints applicable to 3D in films, television, and video games.


3D for Motion Graphics

DGMD323    2 credits

Students create 3D elements for motion graphics projects. “Flying logos” are one type of animation, but this course also explores other forms of 3D animation that enhance designs and contribute to students’ value in the marketplace.


Advanced 3D Animation: Character Animation

DGMD325    3 credits

Bringing a character to life implies more than simply making an object move. Expression, gesture, appearance, and reaction/response are all determined by personality and psychology. This course examines the traditional skills 2D animators have long used to create life-like characters, and reveals the computer-generated techniques that are available today.


Robots, Props and Environments

DGMD329    2 credits

Robots, landscapes, rooms, castles and other environments are explored, along with the everyday and fantastic things that make up an invented world. Students create props, environments, and robots, with the feature film, television, and video games in mind. Reviews of feature films from Hollywood and around the world are incorporated.


Storytelling in 30 Seconds

DGMD333    2 credits

Students study the elements of good narrative. Stories from 30 seconds to 120 minutes in length share the same basic structure. In this class students learn the elements that contribute to a successfully engaging story. This knowledge is applicable to a great many areas of their study.


Drawing Animals for Films, TV and Games

DGMD337    2 credits

Animal drawing exercises are practiced with the entertainment industry in mind. Students take many field trips to the zoo and other animal habitats. Open to all majors.


Type and Design Fundamentals

DGMD340    2 credits

Students learn to use typography effectively as a design element and how to control the details of its use, both hallmarks of good designers. Design principles learned in the foundation year are reviewed as knowledge and experience in this area is extended.


Digital Matte Painting

DGMD343    2 credits

Through exploring and understanding its history, starting with the mail car scene from The Great Train Robbery, through the films of the ’40s and ’50s, and winding up with contemporary filmmaking, students address the intricacies of matte painting. Exercises are done in practical and digital matte painting.


Drawing for Feature Films

DGMD345    2 credits

Traditional life drawing exercises, plus landscapes and other types of drawing, are practiced with the feature film in mind. Reviews of feature films from Hollywood and around the world are incorporated. Open to all majors.


Advanced Motion Graphics Tools and Techniques Workshop

DGMD346    2 credits

Assists students to extend their expertise in the program, After Effects. Students explore various third-party plug-ins and the capabilities of the AE Production Bundle. Students must have worked with After Effects for 2 semesters or have equivalent experience in order to take this class.


Storyboarding for Features, TV and Games

DGMD348    2 credits

Storyboarding is practiced as a tool for planning and making informed changes in digital work

for film, games, and television. Students learn the basics of storyboarding and its importance as a tool of visualization. Students create characters, settings, and sequences to communicate clearly the vision of their projects.


Basic Game Design I

DGMD349    2 credits

Students investigate concept development for game design. This course explores the development and production of video games for the industry. The course includes discussions with an industry leader. Students research currently available game titles and discuss their features to identify their successful qualities.


Digital Design Principles

DGMD352    2 credits

This course focuses on basic design principles that are useful in everything from filmmaking to motion graphics to web design. Students learn the rules of design; then they learn how to break them.


Motion Graphics for the Web

DGMD355    2 credits

The internet demands a different approach to design than print or broadcast design. Design for the web must take into account, not only the medium, but also goals, content, and intended audience. Students will learn to bring life to the web through a variety of tools, and their own creativity.


Basic Game Design II

DGMD359    2 credits

Students continue to explore concept development for game design. This course focuses on the development and production of video games for the industry. The course includes discussions with an industry leader.


Real and Computer Generated Lighting

DGMD360    2 credits

This course covers the basics of lighting in a classroom environment, and then extends that information to the computer lighting of virtual sets, props and characters.


Digital Still Photography

DGMD361    2 credits

Photography assists students with improving their videography, digital compositions, and films. This course addresses the elements of good photography as applied to digital photography. Using both “prosumer” and professional cameras, students learn to use all the manual features of these new cameras to achieve a variety of looks and effects.


Sculpture for Digital Artists

DGMD367    2 credits

Students work with clay to understand the 3D form as it applies to digital models, character design, and props. They create maquettes, hand-crafted 3D models that animators reference. Maquettes, along with model sheets, bring consistency to the production of an animated character when produced by different animators.


Advanced Sculpture for Digital Artists

DGMD368    2 credits

Students work with clay to understand the 3D form as it applies to computer-generated models, character design, and props. This is the next step for those who have completed the beginning course or who have equivalent experience.

Prerequisite: DGMD367 Sculpture for Digital Artists or equivalent experience


Acting for Storytellers

DGMD373     2 credits

Sony Imageworks, ILM, and many other large and small production houses use “Acting for Storytellers” classes to enhance their animating skills. In this course, students learn to portray movement and emotion in animated characters through the method of acting out scenes.


Broadcast Design

DGMD380    2 credits

Explores the fundamentals of theory and strategy behind broadcast design. Students learn the characteristics of award-winning pieces that are progressive in design but strategic in implementation. Aspects of branding and client communications are included.


Broadcast Design Rapid Projects

DGMD380    2 credits

This fast-paced environment will help you get out of the habit of cherishing each idea and into the habit of coming up with an idea, refining it, producing it and moving on to new projects.


Storyboarding for Motion

DGMD380    2 credits

In this class we will develop the process of storyboarding for motion. This class will address story arch, concept, composition, board flow, overall technique, and more. Also we will be developing the designer’s voice and vision.


Honors Class

DGMD399     2 or 3 credits

For outstanding students who wish to explore their own projects in greater detail. This multidisciplinary class will see a wide range of projects and gain much from class critiques of their work as it progresses.