Online 3D Design Courses and Training Programs

Courses in 3D design teach students to develop 2D and 3D animated characters with audio and video properties. Online courses in 3D design are offered through a variety of certificate and degree programs.

Essential Information

Online 3D design courses are offered at many colleges and universities, most commonly at private, for-profit online schools. Some aspects of 3D design courses and training require hands-on learning in labs or studios, so fully online programs aren't especially common. Hybrid programs are available, however, that allow students to take some courses online, while still completing on-campus components. Online 3D design courses can lead to a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees, diplomas and certificates, including a Bachelor of Science in Game Programming, a 3D Animation Certificate or a Master of Fine Arts in Game Development. Career opportunities for graduates include 3D modeler, character animator, multimedia instructional designer, graphic programmer, game artist and designer and layout artist. The advent of digital 3D design in most television commercials has also developed new job opportunities as digital ad designers. Students may be required to purchase specific software, such as Microsoft Office Suite and the most current version of Adobe Creative Suite and other design software. Students may also need access to a printer, scanner, and digital camera.

Online 3D Design Courses

Below are descriptions of some commonly offered online 3D design courses.

  • Intro to Graphic Design Course: This course provides students with a combination of lecture and studio hours. Students learn to develop a portfolio utilizing applied concepts, including color, rhythm, composition and visual metaphor. Transmitting values and meaning into designs by combining shape, type and image is addressed. This course is generally a prerequisite for other 3D courses.
  • Graphic Design Processes Course: Students receive an introduction to the history, theory and application of the many processes of graphic design. Visual diagramming and conceptualization is emphasized in this course.
  • Digital Layout Course: This course, which combines lab work and lecture, introduces students to Adobe InDesign. Students create files for printing using typography, studio skills and computer techniques.
  • Fundamentals of Animation Course: This course provides students with an overview of the art of motion and the animation principles used in graphic and 3D design. The fundamentals of animation are introduced, including overlapping motion, squash and stretch, and follow-through.
  • Drawing & Digital Animation Course: This course teaches students to communicate ideas and plan animation scenes using drawings, with emphasis on movement, action, pose and acting. Students learn to use simple shapes to create expressive characters.
  • 3D Animation Course: In this course, students will practice animating characters in three dimensions to create lifelike movement and nuance. Students will apply fundamental animation techniques and principles to 3D design.

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