Digital Arts


This track allows students to focus in the ways in which technology can assist in the creation and display of artistic expression.

Course options with computational/digital focus:

CDT 30405 Experiments in Narrative (ARST 30110) (Spring)
This course will explore the narrative potential of photographic media as well as the role of sequencing in the creative process. Projects will use both still photography and video as vehicles for storytelling and conceptual expression. Students will gain competency in image and video editing software and techniques while taking inspiration from cinema, video art, and photography. A combination of production, critique, and readings will advance student understandings of narrative structure and experimental approaches to time-based media.

CDT 30410 3D Digital Production for Animation and Video Games (FTT 30416) taught by Jeff Spoonhower (FALL)
Interested in pursuing a career in feature animation, special effects, or video games? This class will be your first step in learning the tools and techniques of 3D digital content creation for the entertainment industry. Students will learn the basics of modeling, texturing, animation, lighting, and rendering using the industry-standard program, Autodesk Maya. Through video tutorials and production lessons, students will get hands-on, practical experience in the major areas of digital content creation in Maya. Students will also learn foundational principles of animation and 3D design through weekly lectures, screenings of feature animated films, and interactive play-throughs of modern console video games.

CDT 30420 Sound and Music Design for Digital Media (FTT 30420) taught by Jeff Spoonhower (SPRING)
Sound and music design for digital media is an often overlooked art form that is critical to the effective telling of a story. Writer-director George Lucas famously said that “sound is 50 percent of the movie-going experience.” Director Danny Boyle mentioned in an interview that “the truth is, for me, it’s obvious that 70, 80 percent of a movie is sound. You don’t realize it because you can’t see it.” At its root, sonic design creates mood and setting - it engages the audience on a primal, emotional level, in ways that imagery alone can not achieve. A cleanly recorded and creatively edited sound effects track can immerse an audience in a fictional world. Music, whether used sparingly or in grandiose fashion, can enhance or subvert the visual component of a film or video game to create cinematic magic. Through feature film screenings, video game play-through sessions, and hands-on production assignments using Adobe Audition CC, students will learn how to direct the emotions of an audience through creative recording, mixing, and editing of sound effects and music.

CDT 30423 Applied Multimedia Technology taught by Paul Turner (SPRING)
Fully literate citizens are able to use the language of digital media as well as text. They can access, understand, analyze, and produce sound, images, and video. By the end of this course, students will be able to operate media recorders and develop media messages using Audacity, Photoshop, and Premiere. They will also be able to use media language describe and critique several kinds of messages. Projects include an edited audio recording, a set of posters, and a video. Two exams assess knowledge of media language and the ability to critique media. Students also produce an electronic portfolio to document their media literacy. CDT 30423 syllabus

CDT 30425 La Telenovela taught by Keving Barry (SPRING)
Telenovelas are a major form of entertainment in Latin America and around the world. In this course you will study the telenovela in an integrated multidisciplinary learning environment. You will learn the formulas of the classic telenovela and its archetypical characters, and explore the cultural impact of the telenovela in Latin America and the world. In addition, you will engage in the linguistic and technical aspects of screenwriting, production, acting and post-production through the creation of a class "telenovela."

CDT 30430 Internet Television Production (FTT 30407) taught by Theodore Mandell (SPRING)
Working in conjunction with Fighting Irish Digital Media and the website, students will learn the many aspects of producing content for an internet based television network. From the beginning idea to the final upload, this is a creative hands-on production course with students writing, shooting, and editing digital media pieces for an online audience. In addition, as part of a live broadcast production team during numerous Notre Dame sporting events throughout the semester, students will also learn the many techniques used in multi-camera television production.

CDT 31410 VCD 1: Fundamentals of Design taught by various faculty in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design (FALL)
MATERIALS FEE. Fundamentals of Design is a gateway course for Visual Communication Design that introduces students to basic design elements like color, form, composition and typography. This course explores and helps develop an understanding of the delicate balance between these design elements and how they have been skillfully used over time to create some of the most persuasive images and enduring messages. The course is an exercise in deconstruction and reconstruction of visual images using design elements as tools. Through assignments, students will work digitally to explore color, form, composition, texture and typography; first individually and then in conjunction with other elements. Initial assignments will be short and will focus on the understanding of a singular element. As the course progresses, students will be expected to use experiences from these short assignments and use them as building block for more complex projects. Above all, the course builds a vigorous foundation that allows students to acquire visual skillsets that serve as a firm foundation for advanced level courses in Visual Communication Design.

CDT 31420 Photography 1 (ARST 20401) taught by Martina Lopez and other staff instructors in AAHD (FALL & SPRING)
MATERIALS FEE. This course is an introduction to the tools, materials, and processes of black and white photography. Lectures and demonstrations expose students to both traditional and contemporary practices in photography. Critiques of ongoing work encourage students to begin discovering and developing their individual strengths and interests in the medium. A 35mm camera with manual shutter speed and "F" stop is needed.

CDT 31425 Photography II: Digital Workshop (ARST 30405) taught by Marina Lopez and other staff instructors in AAHD (SPRING)
MATERIALS FEE. This is a level II course in the photography sequence and builds upon the experiences gained in Photography I. Digital constructions, Photoshop software techniques, studio lighting and time-based projects are explored. Presentations, assignments and critiques promote visual and technical skill building, helping students continue defining their creative interest and technical expertise. A digital SLR with manual focus and exposure controls is required; or, students may check out departmental cameras to complete assignments A portable hard drive compatible with the Apple OS platform is required for storing personal files. Course is taught on the Apple OS platform.

CDT 31430 Extreme Photography (ARST 31402) taught by Richard Gray (FALL)
MATERIALS FEE Today’s innovative technologies offer photographers exciting new ways to capture the world we live in. Extreme Photography is a course that will explore several exciting image-making technologies that produce creative still photography and video. Photographic projects include web-based interactive panoramas, GoPro action video, and aerial drone-based photography. Additional assignments that explore high dynamic range (HDR) and time-lapse photography are planned. The course will also include presentations and discussions about the creative and commercial applications of these technologies and the impact they are having on media and culture. Students who do not meet the prerequisite will need to demonstrate equivalent knowledge with digital cameras and workflow to be allowed enrollment in the course.

CDT 31440 Moving Pictures: An Introduction to Video and Sound (ARST 31403) taught by Richard Gray (NOT OFFERED AT THIS TIME)
Video has become an essential tool of the contemporary artist and designer. This is an introductory course in creating time-based projects using digital still and video cameras and video editing software. Students will work with their own photographs, video footage and recorded sound to create works that explore the boundaries of video art and commercial media. Assignments will address a variety of technical approaches and styles including montage, non-narrative structures, and sound works. This course is essential for anyone interested in creating videos for a professional portfolio, website content, journalistic or advertising work, or to expand career options after graduation. Offered every year.

CDT 37410 Tech Dev in Digital Arts taught by Charles Crowell or one of the other CDT faculty (FALL & SPRING)
This course is intended to be used only for special projects that are approved in advance by the department. Special requirements and arrangement must be made to take this course.

CDT 40420 Advanced 3D Digital Production (FTT 40416) taught by Jeff Spoonhower (SPRING)
You have learned the basics of 3D digital production in Maya, and your insatiable thirst for digital content creation can not be quenched. Welcome to the next level - Advanced 3D Digital Production! In this class, you will move beyond the fundamentals of 3D production and tackle advanced concepts such as complex object and character creation, digital sculpting, keyframe and motion-captured character animation, and more. You will create a portfolio of high-quality 3D assets which you can use for graduate school and job applications. You will dig deeper into the Maya toolset as well as learn new programs such as Mudbox. Students will be treated as professional 3D artists, and expectations for timely, quality final deliverables will be high.

CDT 40430 Technological Concepts in Visual FX (CSE 40655) taught by Ramzi Bualuan (SPRING)
This class seeks to introduce students to some basic concepts of computer-generated imagery as it is used in the field of visual effects, and to delve into some of the technical underpinnings of the field. While some focus will rely on artistic critique and evaluation, most of the emphasis of the class will be placed on understanding fundamental concepts of 3D modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering, and compositing. Those who excel in the visual effects industry are those who have both a strong aesthetic sense coupled with a solid understanding of what the software being used is doing "under the hood." This class, therefore, will seek to stress both aspects of the industry. From a methodology standpoint, the class will consist of lectures, several projects that will be worked on both in-class and out of class, an on-site photo shoot, and extensive open discussion. The nature of the material combined with the fact that this is the first execution of the class will mean that a significant degree of flexibility will need to be incorporated into the class structure.

Colors 2 and Colors 3 images licensed under Creative Commons. Artist: Ferdi Riziyanto