Free Online Course Info and Requirements
Most of the free online computer graphics courses and classes offered can be found at public and not-for-profit schools. These schools provide training through OpenCourseWare (OCW) and open learning courses. Students can complete these courses at their own pace. However, by completing these free courses, students won't be able to earn college credit for their training. Students also do not get the chance to interact with instructors.
Free Computer Graphics Course List
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Algorithms for Computer Animation covers topics like motion capture, keyframing, particle systems, rigid and flexible bodies, cloth, smoke and motion editing. Since much of this course was originally formatted to be completed in a classroom, students will miss out on lectures and projects. Most of the topics for this program come from readings that are found through online resources. Since the first week's reading assignment isn't offered online, students may not be able to access that content.
- Computer Graphics goes over topics in ray tracing, animation, modeling, image-based rendering, rasterization and radiosity. When following this course's curriculum, students can find resources including downloadable course materials, lecture notes, assignments and exams. Although this course offers all of the required readings online, students can choose to obtain recommended reading materials. Since this isn't an active course, students won't have the opportunity to participate in the team project that was originally required.
- Blender 3-D Design requires students to download free 3-D design software and meet the minimum computer requirements. Much of the training for this course is provided by units that cover topics in camera and animation tools, particle systems, object mode tools, Blender functions, 3-D model smoothing and mesh modeling. Each unit supplies students with general notes, tutorial videos and written instructions. If the student is confident about his or her training, this course also offers 5 projects that can be used to demonstrate newly developed skills.
Utah State University
- Flash aims to teach students to use related programming languages, create Flash animations and vector graphics, export files to the Web and integrate media files into Flash. Since this course focuses on training students to use Macromedia Flash, students may need to purchase a copy or download a 30-day free trial. Resources offered include class notes and PowerPoint presentations, assignments and work plan guidelines. If a student wants to put his or her training to the test, this course also provides the guidelines for a final project.
- Interactive Multimedia Production deals with topics in drawing tools, dot syntax, lighting effects, debugging, nesting control structures and embedded items. Like Utah State University's Flash course, this course requires students to purchase Macromedia Flash or utilize a 30-day free trial. Most course content can be found online through downloadable files and screencasts. Since this course doesn't provide final project guidelines, students can focus on demonstrating their skills by using the supplied assignment files.