Gaming_Technology

Gaming & Technology

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Program Areas

Game Art Design Program

Game Art & Design

Jasmine Sur

Media Arts & Animation , 2014

The Art Institute of Las Vegas

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You can learn how to take games from concept to market-ready—and turn your skills and passion for gaming as you prepare for a career as a key player and virtual storyteller.

Visual_Game_Programming_program

Visual & Game Programming

Ivy Hou

Game Art & Design , 2014

The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University

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Blend a programmer’s skills and an artist’s vision to solve creative and technical challenges and bring life to video game levels, characters, and stories.

Meet Our Faculty

  • Annin Barrett

    Fashion Design

    "Creative energy gets noticed—and attracts opportunities."

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    Annin Barrett

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    While I was working toward an art degree, I was awarded a studio space for creating art. I spent most of my time in that studio creating large paintings and drawings for a gallery show. When the show was a success, I wanted to keep pushing forward in the creative art world.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I take real-world projects and problems from advertising, interactive design, page layout, and creative typography and bring them into the classroom—along with real clients to critique student work. We also visit local design companies to look at new technologies.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I often assign a process work book for students to fill with sketches, ideas and concepts throughout the term. It demonstrates the progress of a project from early stages to completion with full graphic renderings.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    Pulling together students’ strengths and skill sets from across all design disciplines, with each student assigned a certain task, helps flesh out the whole project as a unified whole.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    My goal for all of my students is to gain a better understanding of art and design through the context of thinking and understanding design solutions. I expect them to understand general theoretical concepts, and I encourage them to explore fine art, design history and theory so they can understand current practices in modern and postmodern media.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Curiosity will take you places you never thought you’d go.

    Read More...
  • Casey Martin

    Casey Martin

    Interior Design

    "Go see the world, meet new people, see new things."

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    Casey Martin
    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I always migrated to the creative side of things, but a year into an architecture program I realized I was destined to create captivating interiors. Bringing people alive in spaces is something I strive for in every project.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I teach based on real-world scenarios and experiences. I want my students to feel as if every project, every class is grounded in reality. I reach out to many industry professionals so students can hear from a range of professionals—and start building relationships in the industry before they graduate.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I teach mostly studio classes, so I spend a lot of class time working one-on-one with students. I also think that discussions and examples of real-world projects is a fantastic way to learn. I often bring in examples of projects I’m working on so they can see the work in progress.

    In what way do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

    I’m always pushing students to go further, posing questions so they can find the answers themselves. I encourage them to talk to their peers and ask the hard questions—that’s the best way for them to learn.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    Collaboration is a huge part of the design process. We can’t solve problems alone. I teach many group-project classes as well as cross-listed classes with Industrial Design students. It’s all about blending ideas from many different disciplines and working together to create a solution.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    The world is changing, and no one does just one thing anymore. Be flexible in what you can offer, always work hard, and be prepared.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Take every vacation day you have. Go see the world, meet new people, see new things. As creatives, we need to resupply our creative minds. We need that escape and that inspiration—and travel is, in my opinion, the best way to do that.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I grew up in the Middle East, and one of the things I love most about teaching here is the diversity.

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  • FilmProd

    Blakesley Clapp

    Digital Filmmaking & Video Production

    "Have a good attitude, work hard, and don't be afraid to ask questions."

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    Blakesley Clapp
    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I knew it the first time I set foot on a film set.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I use my own professional successes—and failures—as teaching opportunities.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I use a “choose your own adventure” production problem. I establish a production problem, then depending on their solution, each student progresses towards wrap or goes backwards. It makes dealing with the realities of a shoot a little less intimidating.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    My students will eventually work in a field that’s inherently collaborative. That’s why I believe the more different peers they can bounce their ideas off, the more layered and deep the final result will be.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Have a good attitude, work hard, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

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  • Deny Ehrlich

    Deny Ehrlich, MS

    Graphic & Web Design

    "It's up to you to make things happen. Don't sit back and wait for someone else to do it."

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    Deny Ehrlich, MS
    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    After I earned my undergraduate degree, I wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to go. I visited a graphic designer in her “native habitat” (her studio). When I saw her drawing table, I connected immediately to what she was doing—it struck an immediate chord.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I’ve worked both as a graphic designer in a studio and as a self-employed freelance designer. I bring the whole of that experience to the classroom. I approach each class as though we’re working in a studio; I treat my students as junior designers. I teach them to approach a project by first knowing what the client wants, and what challenges they face, then coming up with viable creative solutions.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?


    I teach a course that incorporates the real-life experience of working for a nonprofit client, coordinated through an actual design studio. Students must work with a professional art director as well as an actual client. They face real-world challenges like time constraints, competing priorities, personality conflicts, design requirements, and client presentations. They find that working together in pairs and groups allows them to help and inspire each other.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    In that class, students from the Graphic & Web Design, Digital Photography, and Advertising program areas come together to create a collateral campaign for the client. While each group is tasked with their own component, they also work together collaboratively. They learn that the solution depends on the sum of the parts—and that sometimes, creative compromises have to be made.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?


    You’re in the driver’s seat. It’s up to you to make things happen. Don’t sit back and wait for someone else to do it.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Embarking on a creative career can take time, so take advantage of any opportunity that seems promising. Keep your eye on where you want to go, but be realistic about how and when you can get there. And keep an open mind. Read More...
  • Elizabeth M. Lockwood

    Elizabeth M. Lockwood

    Interior Design

    "Design is messy, challenging, and very rewarding."

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    Elizabeth M. Lockwood
    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I was always getting in trouble for challenging the status quo. I realized I had a knack for solving complex design challenges—even after being told “no.”

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I try to put myself in my students’ place, asking myself what I wish I’d known about my profession before I got into it. What theory could I have used? What resource would’ve been helpful? Then I think about how I can effectively share that knowledge with students.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I love sharing my passion for design with others. I love the iterative process and the endless possibilities. I challenge students to research, investigate, collaborate, and explore every facet of a design so they feel confident that what they’re proposing is well thought out. In Hospitality Design Studio, we work on the technical and collaborative skills needed to be an innovative designer. I use metaphor and storytelling to help deepen students’ knowledge—for example, we do an organizational ball toss exercise where students discover how team members perform in a group project. The metaphor of tossing the ball translates to how team members juggle multiple tasks during a project.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    I’m a connector. I love linking people and ideas together. When I introduce collaboration to students I begin with this quote from Keith Sawyer: “When we collaborate, creativity unfolds across people; the sparks fly faster and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Collaboration drives creativity because innovation always emerges from a series of sparks—never a single flash of insight.” It’s critical for designers to learn how to work effectively in teams.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Ask questions. Network with peers, faculty, staff, and guest presenters. You never know where a great job will come from.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Design is messy, challenging, and very rewarding. You have the opportunity to influence others’ lives with your design.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I get to know my students and help them design their own story. What story do you want to tell? I’m here to listen.

    Read More...
  • AnimationEffects

    Jordan Lukrich

    Media Arts & Animation

    "If you love what you do, those 12-hour days will be worth it."

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    Jordan Lukrich
    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I was bored and not studying when I went to junior college—but still getting A’s. Reading and regurgitating facts wasn’t for me. I always loved drawing and acting, and when I came here I was finally challenged. I love the challenge of creating something from scratch.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I share things I’ve learned in the industry—like meeting deadlines and setting up files cleanly and properly. I stress that it’s important to like your work, but it’s really not for you, it’s for the client. I show them how to detach themselves from their work so they can take criticism without being offended. I also tell them that they get out of this what they put in .

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring, and how do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits.

    All my classes are basically structured the same way: I demonstrate something, then we all do it together as I talk through it, then students do it as I go around and work with anyone who doesn’t understand it. I find that students are hesitant to say that they don’t understand, so that one-on-one time is really valuable. I try to push students just outside their comfort level, because that is where they grow. You learn by encountering problems and having to troubleshoot to find the answer.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    Collaboration in this industry is everything, because nobody completes a project by themselves. Our program is broken into job categories so that students have to collaborate with the people behind and ahead of them to keep up. Time is money in this business, so the more time you waste because you didn’t coordinate your efforts with others, the more money you burn.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Be a good, driven, and nice person. Even if you’re not the most talented person, if you’re easy to work with and people like being around you, you’ll go further than a talented jerk.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Make sure you love what you do. At the end of the day, it’s still a job and you can burn out. But if you love what you do, those 12-hour days will be worth it.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I teach because I love it, not because I have to.

    Read More...
  • FilmProd

    Shelly Lipkin

    Digital Filmmaking & Video Production

    "Do the hard work it takes to succeed."

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    Shelly Lipkin
    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    The moment I got on stage in college in a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I share the things I’ve experienced in the film industry over the past 40 years.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    In my Fundamentals in Screenwriting class, students work up a script idea based on a character we’ve created as a group. This helps them justify that character’s intentions, motivations, and needs. It's a lot of fun and very creative, and we usually come up with fascinating stories.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Never give up, even in the face of an extremely competitive environment. Be realistic about those obstacles, and do the hard work it takes to succeed.

    Read More...
  • Yer Za Vue

    Yer "Za" Vue

    Media Arts & Animation

    "There are no shortcuts. If you want something to move from point A to point B, it's up to you."

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    Yer "Za" Vue
    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    It was when my third grade English as a Second Language teacher was drawing ballerinas. I was mesmerized by the beauty and grace behind her work.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    After interning at Hallmark Cards and Disney Feature Animation, I moved to Orlando to work on traditional animated films and shorts for Disney, including The Little Match Girl, Brother Bear, Lilo & Stitch, John Henry, Tarzan, Mulan, Pocahontas, and Circle of Life. Much of what I teach reflects the training I received—both as an intern and as a professional. A big part of my job at Disney was taking on new trainees and prepping them for production. I'm used to running a crew of twelve or more artists, so teaching comes naturally.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I teach traditional animation only. There are no shortcuts. If you want something to move from point A to point B, it's up to you. The quality of the animation depends on your experience and your vision. A good example: the flight-animated test my advanced students perform. Each chooses a type of bird and then redesigns it so that it's easily replicated. This exercise challenges their understanding of wind resistance, how to deal with timing based on the weight of the bird, counter-action, follow-through, and more. In animation, a perfect drawing doesn't necessarily equate to a perfect animation.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    It's very important. In a course like Pre-Production Team, students work together to create an animated short on deadline. Matching the right students from the right programs to meet the demands of the production is crucial to the film’s success.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    I tell them to take themselves seriously. Skills can be learned, but not having the right mindset will hold you back years.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I emigrated to the U.S. from Laos when I was very young. I love what I do, and I couldn't imagine doing anything else. The feeling I get from sharing my good fortune every time I step in front of a class is hard to put into words. I hope that, someday, one of my students will pass this knowledge on to the next generation of artists.


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  • Salvatore Reda

    Graphic & Web Design

    "Curiosity will take you places you never thought you'd go."

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    Salvatore Reda

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    While I was working toward an art degree, I was awarded a studio space for creating art. I spent most of my time in that studio creating large paintings and drawings for a gallery show. When the show was a success, I wanted to keep pushing forward in the creative art world.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I take real-world projects and problems from advertising, interactive design, page layout, and creative typography and bring them into the classroom—along with real clients to critique student work. We also visit local design companies to look at new technologies.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I often assign a process work book for students to fill with sketches, ideas and concepts throughout the term. It demonstrates the progress of a project from early stages to completion with full graphic renderings.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    Pulling together students’ strengths and skill sets from across all design disciplines, with each student assigned a certain task, helps flesh out the whole project as a unified whole.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    My goal for all of my students is to gain a better understanding of art and design through the context of thinking and understanding design solutions. I expect them to understand general theoretical concepts, and I encourage them to explore fine art, design history and theory so they can understand current practices in modern and postmodern media.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Curiosity will take you places you never thought you’d go.

    Read More...