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Course spotlight: AR/MR/VR for Immersive Content: Experience, Game & Media

We’re thrilled to be offering coursework this spring in Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality/Mixed Reality as we ramp up our game design course offerings. Instructor Jason Yim tells us all about what students can expect in this exciting course:

Why is this course important for my design education?

AR/MR will become the next computing paradigm. Just like smart-phones and apps changed human behavior and our connection to technology in a matter of years, AR/MR will have the same global effect. Secondly, designing for AR/MR/VR is very different from print or normal design for screen space. The user experience is played out over 3D space and blends with the physical environment, resulting in its own design language and best practices. And lastly, the case studies and guest speakers in this course will offer access and visibility into some of the world’s biggest brands and clients.

Do you have a sample assignment we’ll be working on?

Students will develop and present a concept for a real-world client and brief in mind. During this process they will create a prototype for user-testing in order to validate their concept. The prototype format will depend on the skill set of the student:
• Non-design students can create a paper mock up
• Digital Designers can create a click-through prototype
• 3D artists can produce a POV video
• Coders can create a working UNITY prototype
We will have a dedicated “user-testing” day for students and guests to review each other’s work and to capture results and insights.

What will I take away from this course?

You’ll feel like you spent 11 weeks IN the industry and not just learning about it from the outside.

Day one will start by giving you hands on access to several AR/VR/MR devices. By the end of the course, you will leave with an appreciation of the real-world challenges and opportunities from case-studies and guest speakers as well as your own personal experience developing, prototyping and testing a concept.

Thanks so much, Jason!

Enroll in AR/MR/VR for Immersive Content: Experience, Game & Media today!


Course Spotlight: Graphic Design Career Launchpad

The one-and-only Pash shares more about his elective, Graphic Design Career Launchpad:

Why is this course important for my design education?
I like to say that this class picks up—or even “wraps up”—where everything else leaves off. I created this course because after so many years of watching students make their way through the DCA program I found that they were really nicely prepared in terms of learning the fundamentals of design, how to use the various tools and software that we designers employ, and how to solve problems and think like a designer. And they usually had good solid portfolios or at least the start of one. But when I asked them what their plan was from here I would get mostly blank stares. Or awkward, unfocused answers. I felt it was time to remedy this!

Do you have a sample assignment we’ll be working on?
Overall this class is definitely homework-light. We will spend a little bit of time working on the basic elements of a designer’s materials toolkit (think business cards, resume, etc). But the main class project relates to the students’ interview of one of our guests. We will have a guest in the class each week from Week 2 through Week 10—a great designer who will be joining us to talk specifically about their career path. They will be interviewed by the students (in groups of two or three). Then the students will transcribe the interviews and create a double page spread summarizing the interview. A few examples from previous years are below.

What will I take away from this course?
At the very least a much better sense of what life in this profession is really like. Answers to a LOT of questions. A better idea of what you want and can expect in your career. Hopefully a renewed sense of confidence. And finally—if we do this right—some semblance of a game plan!

Thanks, Pash!

Enroll in Graphic Design Career Launchpad today!

Course Spotlight: Eye to Eye: Capturing the Face

There are few things more powerful than a beautifully rendered portrait. Photography instructor Scott Stulberg shares with us what students can expect in his upcoming one-day course Eye to Eye: Capturing the Face:

Why is this one-day course important for my photography education?

Photographing people…. and in particular faces for so many years now, the insights that you capture through so many different kinds of shoots, locations, weather conditions and the interactions of all kinds of different people, well, it all adds up to a great deal of knowledge. For a good majority of the people out there with cameras, point-and-shoot is really what they have become used to. The reason I love teaching how to capture people in different ways is because you can become so intimate with your subject. You can see and feel how to best capture them for your final outcome. You might realize they look better with a red dress than with blue jeans. That for their particular look, a unique hat completely changes your vision. Lying on their back, looking straight up at you while you were shooting straight down on them from above, might give you the perfect look and feel on that particular day.

There is so much to think about when shooting portraits from lighting, from equipment, working with people you hardly know and trying to capture the essence of who they are and so much more. In this class, I want to share my knowledge of years and years of working with people from not just the United States but from all over the world. And not just adults but also how to capture children which is one of my favorite subjects.

Exploring methods to push yourself out of your comfort zone can lead to a whole new world of self discovery with your photography. This course will help you discover and develop your own personal vision and individual style and push yourself to get images you’ve always imagined but were not really sure where to start.

Capturing people is a huge part of photography and probably the number one thing that people photograph. There are so many ways to create amazing images of people and we will cover so many different methods and ideas and hopefully spark curiosity and creativity among many of us.

What will we spend the day exploring? 

Hopefully, we will have a model for some part of the class with whom I will be working to show everyone what it’s like to capture using different ideas and techniques. We will also probably have time to go outdoors, close by on the UCLA campus and try some different lighting equipment to see how easily you can control and work with the light outside to get beautiful results that can mimic studio lighting indoors.

I will be bringing different kinds of camera and lighting gear to show what might be worthwhile to purchase… to achieve different results whether indoors or out. And although we won’t be shooting as a class, with all of the demonstrations by the instructor, much will be learned. We will also look at many photographs and discuss what makes them work.

What will I take away from this course?

One of the most important aspects of this course is learning how to feel and see light differently and understand the impact of light in your photographs. My goal is for everyone to realize the importance of light in your images as the definition of photography really is “painting with light”. It is absolutely the most crucial part of anyone’s photography but especially with portrait photography. Even the new iPhone 8 and X has some new portrait lighting methods…. and when you can start to understand the importance of what light can do….. and how you can work with that light to give you what you envision, you will have hopefully opened up a whole new world for your photography. There is so much to know about shooting people and especially the face and by the end of the class, hopefully everyone will have a much better understanding of what it takes to push your portrait photography in a new direction and give your images “Stopping Power “.

There’s nothing like a great portrait, no matter who is the subject. It’s been the most photographed subject of all time and the more you play…. the more you experiment… the easier it gets. We will be playing a lot in class!

Thanks, Scott!

Enroll in Eye to Eye: Capturing the Face today!

*Photography courtesy of Scott Stulberg

Student Work Roundup: Summer 2017 Edition

Enjoy this gallery featuring selections of student work from the courses Design III: Branding and Design History and Context, both taught online this summer by instructor Shirin Raban:

Course Spotlights: Photographic Portraiture and The Business of Photography

Instructor Todd Bigelow shares insight on his fall quarter courses, Photographic Portraiture and The Business of Photography:

Why are these courses important for my photography education?

Portrait photography is, without a doubt, the type of work most commonly associated with commercial, corporate and editorial photography. To put it another way, a good photographer will shoot portraits for a wide variety of clients. Although the use may vary, the need for strong portraits is constant. For example, corporations hire photographers to shoot portraits of employees to promote on their website and printed materials, for use in marketing materials and corporate campaigns and even for annual reports. Magazines of all kinds hire photographers to shoot everyone from celebrities to the average citizen for stories and profiles while ad agencies hire portrait photographers to promote a client’s products or services. Now, when you really break this down, you have TWO critical parts: First is the need to learn how to create a variety of portraits to fit specific needs and the second is to learn how to develop those clients and create a business relationship. By combining the Portrait Photography course and The Business of Photography Workshop, students get the full picture that will enable them to pursue a career in photography.

Do you have a sample assignment for each?

The Portrait Photography course is designed with practicality in mind. I’m a working photographer who is bringing 25 years of experience into the classroom, so the assignments reflect what students will typically encounter in the profession. For example, I will assign a variety of portraits to be shot while honing in on key elements such as the use of natural light or control of the background through depth of field and composition. Great portrait work is not the result of secret techniques or super advanced knowledge, it’s really about excelling at the fundamentals of portrait photography which include light, composition and subject rapport. I also assign conceptual work where the students draw on their own interpretation of a concept (such as Love or Power) and develop a portrait that reflect the concept either literally or figuratively. For example, the image here was shot to reflect the concept of “toughness.”

As for The Business of Photography, we go into details on what is required if you truly wish to create a freelance photography career. This course has been taught all over the country and presented at major photography conferences in Florida, New York, Virginia and elsewhere and has been named several times as one of the best photo workshops worldwide by Photoshelter, so it’s value to photographers is real. Photographers must learn how to not only develop a portfolio, but how to leverage that portfolio to develop clients and create licensing revenue. One thing photographers learn immediately when developing an advertising, editorial or corporate client is that you will need to sign a contract. I present a number of real contracts and break the important sections down so my students will know what to expect and how to negotiate. We also discuss at length the need to copyright your work and protect against others using your work without consent or pay, a real problem in the profession. I also provide real, up to date information about creative fees as well as how to structure your business and prepare to pay taxes as a self employed person. For more detailed information as well as student testimonials, please visit www.BusinessOfPhotographyWorkshop.com.

What will I take away from these courses?

Students who enroll in the Portrait Photography course will walk away with a very strong foundation to create a variety of portraits. We incorporate a full day in a well equipped studio where students can play with various lighting set ups, but students will understand upon completion that creating portraits is more about the subject than it is about the equipment. That’s the key difference between Portrait Photography and, say, Studio Lighting. We concentrate on subject first and equipment second. Students who enroll in The Business of Photography Workshop will ingest a wealth of practical knowledge that will help them navigate the world of freelance photography as a career. This course is essential to photographers seeking to earn money using their technical and creative skills.

Thanks, Todd!

Enroll in Photographic Portraiture and/or The Business of Photography today!

Course Spotlight: Michelangelo and the Dawn of Modern Art

Michelangelo’s David

Breaking many of the rules of Renaissance art in his struggle to express his inner experience of the divine, Michelangelo gave artists a new artistic vocabulary that moved past the Renaissance and toward a profoundly relevant style that ultimately is called Modern art.

In the upcoming course, Michelangelo and the Dawn of Modern Art, the artist’s legacy will be explored through three lectures and a field trip to the Getty Villa.

Instructor Rebbeca Ginnings tells us a bit more about it:

Why is this course important for my understanding of art?

In terms of technique, Michelangelo seems to turn stone to flesh. Design-wise, he translates antiquity into a more modern statement, providing a bridge or transition to modern art. A better understanding of Michelangelo and his work leads us to understand how his work has influenced both European and American artists.

What will the course consist of?

We will meet for three lectures on Michelangelo’s work followed by a field trip to the Getty Villa to look at prototypes of Michelangelo’s designs, to see how the originals related to the designs he ended up making.

What will I take away from this course?

Students will gain a better understanding of the influence of antiquity on Western art.

Enroll in Michelangelo and the Dawn of Modern Art today!

Course Spotlight: Design Software Intensive Bootcamp

InDesign project by DCA graduate Adam Weidenbaum

For the first time this fall, we’re thrilled to offer our Adobe software courses – Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign – in an immersive bootcamp format. Instead of the usual 4 units, the bootcamp earns you 8 units of course credit and meets twice as many hours.

Instructor Hakon Engvig

Web and software instructor extraordinaire, Hawk Engvig, tells us more about this new course:

1. Why is the Design Software Intensive Bootcamp important for my design education?

Adobe is THE standard in the design field and there are no programs more prevalent, popular or important than Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign when it comes to graphic design. They lay the foundation for all major work you do on a regular basis and are pretty much a requirement to know in any modern design scenario.

2. What’s the benefit of studying Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign in the bootcamp format instead of one by one?

Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign are BEST used together, so you will save a lot of time/money learning them all in one go. Your greatest work will come from how you wield all three and not just relying solely on one. Though the programs can be quite different in what you would use them for, they are actually quite similar in how we interact and actually use them. By learning all three at the same time, you reinforce the knowledge and your comfort with not only the one we are utilizing but all three programs simultaneously.

Illustration by DCA graduate Daniel Sulzberg

3. Do you have a sample assignment we’ll be working on?
Though the classwork will revolve around reinforcing the tools, good habits, etc., the actual assignments will be based on common, fun and real-world standards like branding, image manipulation/correcting, and production in digital and print.

4. What will I take away from this course?

In this one course, you will not only learn the proper way to utilize all three programs, but you will also have no problem creating any creative content needed in the modern design world.

Thanks, Hawk!

Questions? Email dca@uclaextension.edu or call 310-206-1422 to speak with an advisor about this or any other visual arts course.

And enroll in Design Software Intensive Bootcamp today!

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