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Undergraduate Courses in Digital Arts

Game Design

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Digital Arts and Electrical & Information Engineering are pioneering two exciting new programs in Game Design, offering you an opportunity to work with what you love.

Game design brings together the creative as well as technical aspects of game creation. Both of these perspectives can be studied at Wits through a unique collaborative Game Design courses. This offers students the opportunity to pursue their own interests in Game creation, be it technical or creative.

Creating a game requires a variety of skills, stretching from the technical development and programming side to the creative disciplines of illustration, animation, writing, and sound design. Game design is at the heart of all these, it is the point where the disciplines intersect to create something great. This is why the Game Design courses will be offered to students from both Electrical & Information Engineering and the Wits School of Arts.

The Game Design courses can be taken in two separate degrees:

  • Catering for aspirant developers is a brand new degree hosted in the School of Electrical and Information Engineering. It is a 3 year degree called aBachelor of Engineering Science in Digital Art. (BEngSc Digital Art)
  • For students interested in creative production there is the Bachelor of Arts in Performing and Visual Arts (BA PVA)which is hosted in the Wits School of Arts.

Students in both degrees will take the Game Design courses offered by Digital Arts.

This crossover is what makes the course so exciting. Games straddle the divide between the creative and technological worlds and expertise in both are needed to create something truly memorable.
Students will become familiar with both requirements, while still having the opportunity to specialise in their own fields of interest.

The screenshot above is from “Gunjitsu” a game in development by Digital Art Masters Student Michael de Jager

Click here to read more about Game Design at Wits…

Additional Undergraduate Courses available in Digital Arts

Digital Arts offers a number of undergraduate courses to introduce students studying the BFA, BDA and BMus professional degrees to key areas of practice and theory. It is strongly recommended that students considering an MA in Digital Arts take these courses as part of their undergraduate degree as preparation for their advanced degree. These courses are also popularamongst students as a way of adding Digital Arts techniques to their existing skills set.

These courses are very popular and are limited to 14 students. Please apply early, if you wish to study any of these courses in 2013. (Application details below.)

WSOA3001 INTRODUCTION TO PRINCIPLES OF ANIMATION

This course will give you an opportunity to obtain a working knowledge of the practical and technical possibilities of stop frame animation. Through the creation of short animated films, the students will get to experiment with different forms of animation and story telling. The course encompasses a large area of skills and techniques. These include technical elements such as camera, lighting and sound, as well as structural elements such as subject matter and narrative. Throughout, the students are required to construct work out of still images including drawing, cutouts, modelling, pixilation and modified base techniques. Students will also engage with theories of animation and will critically assess the work of certain key figures in the development of stop frame animation as an art form.

(Course Outline)

WSOA3000 INTRODUCTION TO THE WORLD WIDE WEB AS CREATIVE MEDIUM

Students on this course will study the history of creative practice on the world wide web and other networked communication media. Students will creatively engage in public communication technology platforms as a means to extend their creative practice. Students will also create their own digital communication platforms to document and showcase their process and creative engagements.

(Course Outline)

WSOA4015 INTRODUCTION TO 3D-BASED ANIMATION

This course will give students a hands-on introduction to the techniques of motion graphics, animation, compositing and visual effects. Students will focus on basic-level projects in the area of 3D animation and be exposed to the concepts and techniques of non-linear editing, compositing 3D layers of computer generated imagery, special effects, camera movements in space, cinematic points of view, and design and animation of titles.

Students will start off by studing the work of professional animators, directors, motion designers and studios to demonstrate many techniques in a number of examples and reference materials. This course is taught using Adobe CS5 application package, in particular Photoshop and After Effects.

A theory component dealing with the technical aspects of software will also be an integral part of the course. Places are limited to 14 students and open to students 4th year/Hons. students from all WSOA disciplines as well as Honours students from other faculties in the University.

(Course Outline)

WSOA4020 APPLIED CONCEPTS IN DIGITAL NETWORKED MEDIA

By the end of this course students will be able to develop and produce their own interactive applications for the internet and installation. Students will learn how to build advanced interactive digital applications using MAX 5. The course covers Interaction and Interface Design; Basic Programing Skills; Digital sound both as a medium and as a Sensor; Digital Video and Imaging; and the web-camera as a Sensing Device for Interactive Video. The course is largely practical and covers extensive technical theory around digital media. The course explores the medium both artistically and technically and will will additionally introduce, study and critique the practice of internationally renown contemporary artists and developers of interactive artworks and online and standalone applications.

The course is designed to introduce and teach the fundamentals of the cutting edge field of digital application development. This is a fast growing medium for artistic and design expression that is fast growing in popularity not only in the online world but on computers, hand-held devices and public installations and showcases across the globe.

(Course Outline)

If you want to study any of these courses in 2013 please apply to:

Charlotte Fraser- Wits School of Arts Student Liaison Officer
First Floor, Wits School of Arts
Telephone 27 (11) 717 4656
Fax 27 (11) 339 7601
Email. charlotte.fraser@wits.ac.za