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Visual Arts Core Emphasis Core Electives General Education

Course Descriptions

Visual Arts Core

Introduction to the elements and principles of design, composition design, color theory, color psychology, and basic typography. Practical guidance in color mixing and the visual impact of specific color combinations to support traditional and digital design work.

Whether with Christian intent or not, artists of the Western European tradition have for centuries contended fiercely over questions of form, composition, representation, and relationship to tradition. This survey of the heritage and high-water marks of Western visual art brings students to view and analyze individual works, and larger artistic movements, with the wide-angle lens that allows for the best possible appreciation of beauty. Thus, students will build for themselves the foundation they need for artistic engagement with a culture not exactly known for its historical self-awareness.

Study of fundamental drawing techniques used to represent three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional plane and lay a strong foundation for all other drawing and design courses.

This class is designed to help students understand basic programming concepts and programming tools. The class will focus on object-oriented programming.

An introduction to digital illustration using computer tools. This course includes the study of illustration as visual interpretation of words, concepts, and ideas. Students learn basic software skills while developing drawing abilities in a digital environment.

Structured around Elizabeth Lev’s How Catholic Art Saved the Faith, this course explores how the Catholic Church turned to visual artists to draw people together and to communicate beauty, goodness, and Truth in a period of great confusion; and invites students to consider how they fit into the larger narrative of the Catholic Art tradition.

This course explores the practical realities of living as a professional artist in a variety of work settings and across a range of creative areas with significant contributions from guest speakers. Students will analyze their strengths and weaknesses, set clear goals to work toward for the remainder of their degree program, and create an online, professional presence including a portfolio.

A theoretical and practical introduction to the human phenomenon of storytelling, what stories are, their central role in culture from ancient times to the present day, and how storytellers seek and communicate meaning. Particular attention will be paid to the significance of story in the Judeo-Christian tradition and story’s role within the Christian faith. Students will generate numerous story ideas, and with the help of their classmates and the instructor will evaluate those ideas in terms of audience appeal, theme and meaning.

This course introduces students to the diverse world of radio, television, news, cinema, internet, print and advertising. Students will learn how to critically experience such media and analyze its desired results. Students will also explore how media has developed and evolved through history and examine the current influences of media on society from a cultural, artistic and economic perspective. In addition, we will explore what the role of Christians in this new media environment can and should be, and how we can best utilize the opportunities available to us to become who we want to be.

(* Must take one of these two courses)

Emphasis Core

Comprehensive introduction to the various components of 3D animation technology including modeling, animating, rendering, and lighting.

This course will provide students with the basic understanding of character and story design for Animation. Students will be exposed to the principles of good story and character design, the elements that make for both interesting and commercially successful animated films, as well as practice brainstorming animation ideas. Students will conceive an original idea for an animated short film and create a pitch to sell the concept.

This class will study some of the most important films in American cinema to understand the cultural context in which they were created, the role of the director in the filmmaking process, and the lasting legacy that the various films enjoy.

A senior-level animation capstone experience. In this course, students create portfolio content and further develop a professional visual art portfolio. Topics covered include scheduling, management, and various production techniques determined by the unique challenges of each project. Significant class time will be spent discussing and working on the needs of the projects.

A continued senior-level animation capstone experience. This course builds on the previous and provides opportunities to create portfolio content and further develop a professional visual art portfolio. Topics covered include scheduling, management, and various production techniques determined by the unique challenges of each project. Significant class time will be spent discussing and working on the needs of the projects.

Final senior-level animation capstone experience. This course builds on the previous and provides opportunities to create portfolio content with a substantial focus on the further development of a professional visual art portfolio.

Emphasis Electives

This course traces the roots and development of theater and dramatic literature from ancient times into the modern and contemporary era. Students will not only examine the historical evolution of theater and read representative plays from each era, they will perform speeches and scenes from each era in a style appropriate to the era. Among the eras to be examined are the Greeks, Medieval Liturgical drama, the Renaissance, Restoration and Georgian comedy, the melodrama, realism and naturalism, Expressionism, Absurdism, post-modernism, and contemporary social justice theater. Requires a research paper.

Using the simplicity of basic 2D animation, students will become familiar with some of the basic Disney: 12 Principles of Animation.” Through lectures and projects, students will create several short animation projects that include: Key Pose Animation; Squash and Stretch; Anticipation; Staging; Arcs; and Action Timing. Whether 2D, CG, or stop motion animation, these principles are the backbone for all character animation projects.

This class expands on the “12-Principles.” Through a combination of lecture and lab, the class will produce two (2) short 30-second animated Pencil Test movies (no color) using a soundtrack provided from the teacher. Each movie project will include creating Thumbnail Storyboards, drawing Key Poses, preparing Exposure Sheets, creating in-betweens, and compositing a final Quicktime Movie.

This class is designed to provide students with the opportunity to study principles of traditional animation, and incorporate those principles into computer animation. Students will produce several cyclical and performance based animations.

Advanced study in character animation that revolves around 3D CGI character performance.

Students will learn the basics of motion picture production using real-time rendering in Unreal Engine and will leave with a completed project that demonstrates proficiency in both the engine and its application across several stages of production. Additional topics include motion capture and tracking a real world camera.

This course continues to build students' proficiency in motion picture production using real-time rendering in Unreal Engine through several group projects. Additional topics include motion capture, facial capture, and virtual camera tracking.

This course focuses on the art and techniques of visual effects in a hands-on, multi-disciplinary setting. CG artists and filmmakers collaborate to produce a short narrative project that incorporates significant visual effects. Instructor approval is required to enroll in this course.

Creating skeletal structures for humanoid characters. Mastery of a wide range of rigging techniques such as reversed foot lock, wrist control, spline IK, facial controls, and weight painting.

This class is designed to help students develop 3D modeling skills to produce low and high-poly hard surface models for animation and games. Students will learn to model using proper topology and be introduced to methods of speeding up workflow while creating props, buildings, and other hard surface objects.

This class builds on the topics covered in Hard Surface Modeling I and introduces modeling with NURBS. Students will explore the pros and cons of working with NURBS and model several kinds of vehicles.

In this class, students will explore various techniques for modeling and sculpting organic assets using Maya and ZBrush. Students will produce low and high-poly animals and humans for animation and games. In addition, complementary techniques such as box modeling, edge loop modeling, UV layout, and texturing will be explored.

This class will build on the topics of Organic Modeling I. Students will explore further in ZBrush’s Dynamesh and other functions and sculpt several high res character models. Students will also make use of displacement and normal maps to transfer their high res details to lower res, production-ready models. Additional topics covered will include texture painting, rendering, anatomy, retopology, and texture maps.

This class will introduce students to preparing both hard surface and organic models for texturing using various methods of UV unwrapping. Students will create texture maps from scratch using cameras and Photoshop. Students will also be exposed to texture painting techniques in Mudbox.

This class revolves around creation and application of realistic and stylized textures and light schemes to produce depth and meaning in 3D computer generated scenes. Students will explore into various texturing techniques, while generating diffuse, specular, bump, and normal maps.

This class revolves around creation and application of realistic and stylized textures and light schemes to produce depth and meaning in 3D computer generated scenes. Students will explore into various texturing techniques, while generating diffuse, specular, bump, and normal maps. This class will introduce students to industry standard animation software.

This class is designed to provide students with several opportunities to explore and research into environments and complementary object designs of various art styles, to promote the development of students’ individual art style.

This class will provide students with the opportunity to develop fully interactive game environment inside a game engine. Students will use basic first-person game controller to navigate inside an interactive game environment in order to validate their designs.

This class is designed to help students develop drawing skills by translating what students observe about three-dimensional objects into lines and shapes on a two dimensional medium, while incorporating surface textures and varying line qualities into object and environment design concepts.

This class will help students to develop basic figure drawing skills. Students will study drawing a human body in various shapes and poses in order to create designs for animated characters.

This class will help students develop advanced figure-drawing skills through various exercises drawing the human body in various shapes and positions. This class is an art study into major anatomical structures of human body.

This class is designed to provide students with the opportunity to further their drawing skills. Students will draw architectural structures, landscape and people on location from direct observation.

This class focuses on applying industry-standard storyboarding and scripting techniques to Animation/Film production. Topics to be covered include the various purposes and formats of storyboards, the basic terminology and concepts used in storyboarding, and the application of storyboarding techniques to the creation of storyboards with or without a written script. Using Scripts, Sound Tracks, and Character Designs provided by the teacher, students create several Storyboards and presentation Animatics (movies of the Storyboard Panels that are timed to the Sound Tracks).

This course is an introduction to Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Students will learn techniques for photo enhancement, image compositing, and logo creation through several projects.

This course introduces students to the motion graphics industry through a study of various trends, techniques and programs, as well as hands-on design and animation projects that will guide students through industry standard workflows using Photoshop, Illustrator and the fundamentals of After Effects.

This course is a deep dive into Adobe After Effects. Students will learn various advanced animation techniques used in the motion graphics industry, including character rigging and animation. Students will ultimately learn foundational techniques that will give them the technical ability to work on any professional motion graphics project.

This course is an introduction to the creative process needed when designing and producing animation for the screen. Students will complete several projects designed to introduce them to the process necessary to take an idea from the conceptual phase, further develop and refine it, and then transform it into a tangible, animated element. Students will also further develop their understanding and use of Adobe After Effects, which is the primary tool of execution for this class.

General Education

THEOLOGY

Recent popes have emphasized the necessity of personal encounter with Jesus Christ. This exhortation raises questions, however, for individual Christian disciples. For JPCatholic students, specifically, this course considers how such an encounter can be fostered within a university community, and how it might be lived in an ongoing way. It therefore doubles as an introduction to university community and to Catholic theological study, and connects faith principles with lived experience so as to bolster faith and spur evangelization.

What is it to believe? Is it merely intellectual assent, or something more? Building out from the first section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, this course systematically unpacks the rich and challenging Catholic doctrines contained in the early creeds of the Church, presenting students with a faith that invites assent of all their heart, mind, soul, and strength.

Our redemption was accomplished by a God who entered history. As a consequence, Catholics understand communion as something that occurs in a context of tradition. Faith is handed down over centuries by the successors of the apostles; we read and interpret Sacred Scripture according to long-established understandings and principles; our prayer to the Father through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit bears a striking resemblance to that of the first Christian communities. This course examines sacramental ritual and considers the perennial necessity of personal prayer, enabling students to better understand the power of this ancient faith. In its essential elements it never changes—which is precisely what allows it to change us.

It is all too easy to see one’s own desires as what really matters, and to live accordingly. With his Theology of the Body, however, Pope St. John Paul the Great offers a fresh perspective, one that dares to lift us above the confusion and malaise wrought by this era’s remarkable selfishness. This course affords students an opportunity to explore this theological treasure given to the Church by our university’s patron, and to better see how an individual human life can be lived not selfishly, but as a gift received from God and intended for others.

PHILOSOPHY

In this course students learn about the basic structures of sound reasoning, focusing largely on classic Aristotelian logic. The course serves to help students think and argue with clarity as well as to effectively analyze arguments of others. The course includes a careful analysis of the operations of the intellect, i.e., understanding, judgment, and reasoning, focusing on their products, i.e., term, proposition, and syllogism.

This course is a detailed study in the various understandings of nature, beginning from the mythology of the Enuma Elish as a primitive attempt at grasping the world, to the classical understanding found in Aristotle’s Physics and 141 Parts of Animals and their Medieval development in Thomas Aquinas’s The Principles of Nature, to foundational texts in modern natural sciences such as those of Descartes, Galileo and Newton, to discussions of evolution found in Darwin, and finally to near contemporary physicists such as Heisenberg. The contrast between the classical stress on substantial form and formal causality and the modern method of material causality and mathematical law will be brought to the forefront, as will the emphasis on technology as a mastery of nature in modern science and the question of teleology, whether nature acts for a purpose.

After providing an overview of the basic principles of the Philosophy of Nature, this course examines the nature of the human being, beginning from the Epic of Gilgamesh, continuing through the Classical period by means of Aristotle, the Middle Ages in St. Thomas Aquinas, the Renaissance via Blaise Pascal, and concluding in the modern period in Nietzsche, Freud and T. S. Eliot.

This is a course in the various understandings of metaphysics, or the nature of being as being, beginning from Plato’s Timaeus, continuing through the Classical period by means of Aristotle, and the Middle Ages in St. Thomas Aquinas. The course continues by covering several related questions, beginning with Natural Theology (discussing the traditional proofs for the existence of God, the Divine Attributes that can be understood using reason alone, the analogy of being, and the act of creation), continuing with the “problem of evil” and the question of free will

HUMANITIES

As this course engages apparently timeless literary works from the classical tradition, it situates them within specific historical contexts. This approach enables students to better appreciate the enduring power of story even as they recognize the complex relationship art to its surrounding culture. Masterworks of pagan antiquity (Homer and/or Virgil) give way to key texts of early Christendom (Augustine, Beowulf, and others) in order to further illuminate the impact of Christian theology and anthropology on artists and thinkers in myriad disciplines.

This course tracks the development in European art and thought during the transition from the High Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Special attention is paid at the outset to the tensions arising from, surrounding, and even bringing about this epochal shift, especially as evidenced in Dante’s Divine Comedy. When the course later shifts its focus to texts produced by Shakespeare and other authors in Renaissance England, students find these tensions now located in increasingly realistic and complex human figures and dramas. Through these explorations students come to see the distinctive groundwork being laid for what will later be recognized as the modern period.

This third course in our Cultural Foundations series tracks the rise of modernity against the backdrop of various 18th and 19th century upheavals. In order to best appreciate the dynamism and complexity of this period, students will immerse themselves in the literary form most characteristic of the 19th century: the novel. By applying order to an increasingly dissonant world, the great novels of the European tradition illuminate daily life amidst revolutionary change in a uniquely personal way, and they capture in their progress both the subtlest movements of human consciousness and the most profound transformations of human hearts.

This course studies a wide variety of global cultures by listening to indigenous voices expressing themselves in cultural products that include novels, films, music, poetry, essays, speeches, and journalism.

This course examines how media and business shape the attitudes, practices and beliefs of individuals and groups, and develops in students a rich understanding of the subtle and powerful cultural currents swirling around them, so that they can make valuable contributions to the development of future cultures. Students will consider critically how media and business shape them, learning to recognize the attitudes, assumptions, arguments and ideas promoted by media and business enterprises and products. They will develop a full, thoughtful and practical understanding of what cultures are and how they grow, and of the university’s mission to Impact Culture for Christ. They will gain an understanding of how Christians are perceived by the cultures around them, and appreciate how one gains the privilege of participation in the shaping of cultures. Finally, students will learn to articulate what of value they have to offer the cultures around them, and how they hope to make that contribution over the course of their lives and careers.

This course will emphasize the use of correct grammar, usage, spelling, punctuation, and mechanics. Students will be required to apply these skills to writing assignments.

This course will build on the skills learned in HUMA122 College Writing I.

(* Must take one of these two courses)

SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS

This course provides students with concepts and strategies related to practical financial and personal decision-making. Taking a holistic approach, students will be given the tools to manage not just their personal finances, but their investments in time, service, etc. Topics will include budgeting, spending, hsaving, borrowing, investing, time management, tithing, and giving.

This course will familiarize students with fundamental scientific concepts and explore how the application of those concepts affects society and global economics. Topics include: the structure of the atom and its applications in biology and physics; circuits, Artificial Intelligence, and the Internet of Things; DNA, diseases, and vaccines. Each topic builds towards the question, "what does Catholic teaching tell us about how we as Christians live and participate in this rapidly changing world?"

BUSINESS

In today’s world there is a need for strategic thinking and business vision based on a different paradigm. Competition is not only between products and services, but also between business models. Students will learn about innovation-driven business strategies and methodologies to develop business designs to successfully compete in the new economy.

This course teaches the principles of project management that are commonly used to plan and measure projects in industry. It presents the project management mind-set, tools, and skills for successfully defining, planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and reporting a project. Topics covered include: the project life cycle, fundamental PM processes, development of the project plan, interpersonal management skills, and managing changes during project execution. Case studies are from technology and media applications.

This course focuses on introducing the idea of “entrepreneurial marketing” and is aimed at students who plan to start a new venture or take a job as a marketing professional pursuing an innovative marketing approach. Students will study a full spectrum of marketing strategy and tactics that are especially suitable for entrepreneurial firms aiming for high growth and innovation yet faced by limited resources and uncertain industry dynamics. Students will work in teams on marketing plans for their own venture or for other high profile entrepreneurs or executives. The focus of this course is on hands-on experiences and practical relevance of innovative marketing concepts.

In this class students get a “big picture” look at the ingredients of a start-up firm and the process of creating one. The class details those ingredients, discusses the stories (good & bad) of people who have done it, and learn the process by going through it with a self-select team. Students learn: the business planning process, which maps how to move from an idea to an actual enterprise offering an actual product/service/apostolate; How to craft a compelling and clear business story that captures the true essence of your business; and finally acquire inquisitiveness as to how the world of business really works. The class deliverable is a complete Business Plan created by student teams along with a presentation of the plan.

This course teaches students to meet and resolve objections and conflicts that result from written and oral proposals and pitches. Emphasis is on resolving customer obstacles before addressing your own. Topics covered include: Wants vs. Needs; Win-Win Strategies; Best Alternatives to Agreement; Schedule vs. Quality vs. Cost; Progress vs. Perfection. The class progresses through carefully structured, progressively more complex negotiation exercises. Students learn how external and internal negotiation has become a way of life for effective managers in a constantly changing business environment.

This course is an introductory-level course for students. Its intent is to give an in-depth understanding of the differences between – and similarities of — leadership and management. The course focuses on the major traits of leaders and managers, and augments these with examples of great historic leaders, including George Custer and Jesus Christ. The course also studies the many leadership traits of Abraham Lincoln, and looks at how these can be applied in modern business to improve management techniques. As part of the learning process, students give summaries of Lincoln’s leadership lessons, using short, Power Point presentations.

This course will teach students how to write and speak effectively in business and other communication.