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SCAD Attends SIGGRAPH with New Minor & Shorts

The Savannah College of Art and Design will announce the latest addition to its film and digital media curriculum a minor in technical direction and will display the award-winning student animation that dominated the annual Student Projects in Animation Competition and Exhibition (SPACE) at SIGGRAPH 2004, Aug. 8-12, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Under the Big Top: A SCAD Festival of Innovation is the theme of this years presence at booth #1529, where visitors can learn more about SCADs programs and student work. The booth will feature a large, slightly off-kilter circus tent, oversized, brightly colored furniture and reels of student work projected onto plasma screens.

The technical direction minor will focus on the creation of film, animation and game effects artwork through the integration of custom computer software and technical skill. The curriculum will consist of 40 classroom instruction hours and cover topics such as C++ programming, digital 3D visual effects, digital lighting and rendering and digital materials and textures. Students will have access to digital tools such as the Alias Maya, Discreet flame and Pixar RenderMan software programs to learn how to create digital effects such as realistic fire, water and cloth. SCAD is one of the first universities in the nation to offer technical direction as an accredited minor.

Traditionally, technical directors come from either art or technical backgrounds, explains Peter Weishar, the newly appointed dean of SCADs School of Film and Digital Media. It is a rare individual who has both creative and programming skills sets. Our students will receive specific training in programming and software tool creation that is directly applicable to industry needs.

Student animation pieces accepted to the 2004 SPACE will be on display in the booth. Eight SCAD student animation pieces were accepted for exhibition at this years conference, the most from any university. Siddharth Achrekar was named the winner of the visual effects category for the animated short DIVYA. An honorable mention went to Jason Davies, who acted as director for the graduate collaborative production THE MACHINE. Other SCAD students and their works chosen for the exhibition include: Jennifer Koscielniak, Joseph Blackburn, Daniel Velentzas and Arturo de la Guardia for MOTEL 4, Cory Edwards for THE CLOCK WORK FAERIE: IDELS REBIRTH, Benjamin Willis for PING, Arturo de la Guardia for PANUELOS, Daniel Dau for GNOMEN GAMES and Joshua Barton for MUCH ADO ABOUT BREAKFAST.

Other professors attending the conference include Lucilla Potter Hosher, who is presenting a SIGGRAPH workshop on acting and drawing for animation and is an expert on the foundations of animation. Professor Joseph Pasquale, who taught five of the colleges eight SPACE honorees, will be available to discuss the competition and how SCAD film and digital media students work in a high definition environment from start to finish.

The Savannah College of Art and Design, located in Savannah, Georgia, is a private, nonprofit accredited institution. The college offers bachelor of fine arts, master of architecture, master of fine arts and master of arts degrees. Majors are offered in advertising design, animation, architectural history, architecture, art history, broadcast design and motion graphics, fashion, fibers, film and television, furniture design, graphic design, historic preservation, illustration, industrial design, interactive design and game development, interior design, media and performing arts, metals and jewelry, painting, photography, sequential art, sound design and visual effects. For more information, visit

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Rick DeMott
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