San Rafael, Calif. - Autodesk Inc. has introduced its "Vehicle for Games" curriculum for post-secondary students. The 16-week curriculum provides hands-on training for the entire game development pipeline, from concept art to creating an engine-ready asset. This free* Web-based curriculum (terms and conditions available at http://students.autodesk.com/?nd=legal) is designed to be used with Autodesk Maya modeling, animation, rendering, and visual effects software, and Autodesk Mudbox digital sculpting and texture painting software. A six-month student trial version of Maya and a 30-day student trial version of Mudbox can be downloaded for use with the curriculum.
Autodesk developed the curriculum with professionals from leading game developers NCSoft and Double Helix, to mirror the requirements of real-world game development. Laguna College of Art & Design (LCAD) in California is piloting "Vehicle for Games". Sandy Appleoff, game art department chair at LCAD, says, "Autodesk is a company that cares about the paradigm shift in the way we educate our young people, providing us with resource tools that help embrace the future of education. With the 'Vehicle for Games' curriculum, Autodesk provides a valuable link between educators and the game industry, and helps make sure that our graduates' qualifications match industry needs. Having this masterful curriculum has allowed our students to move faster. By the end of the semester they will have produced game engine-ready assets and have them loaded and functioning in the game engine."
LCAD instructor Derek Sunshine is currently teaching the curriculum. Sunshine says, "The goals set for my class are aggressive. This curriculum complements what the students are trying to achieve at LCAD by going step-by-step through the process of creating AAA quality art for games. Both LCAD and Autodesk have a standard of quality that really helps push students into gaining the upper hand in this very competitive job market."
Intended for intermediate to advanced students, "Vehicle for Games" takes a unique approach to teaching 3D techniques by providing an art director's point of view for various steps of game development. The first lesson explores concepts based on a narrative, guiding students through the progression of an idea that starts with a simple poem and moves into a story-rich world with many visual possibilities. The lessons examine storytelling and how important it is to identify and remain aware of the world in which the vehicle asset will be placed.
Students go through the process of modeling and texturing a vehicle for a video game, learning industry techniques. "Vehicle for Games" also provides a taste of what it's like to be an asset modeler working in production. It includes video tutorials, models, textures, concept art, and orthographic drawings that students can follow or use as guides to create their own vehicles with their own concepts.
"Vehicle for Games" is available in English on the Autodesk Education Community, in the Level 4 content on the Industry Careers Framework micro site. Please note that the Autodesk Education Community is accessible only to faculty and students with a valid email address from a registered educational institution.