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Computer Graphics Course and Class Descriptions

Computer graphics courses enable students to create 2D and 3D designs, use animation techniques and study advances in the field. These courses are most commonly completed through a full certificate or degree program.

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Essential Information

Computer graphics courses are available through certificate programs and associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree programs in computer graphics and computer animation; however, one normally needs at least a bachelor's degree to work in the field. These programs not only teach students to work with computer graphics but may also provide instruction in website design, digital video production, photography, and application programming.

Common topics in graphics courses include the following:

  • Photo editing with Adobe Photoshop
  • Advanced desktop publishing design
  • Creating and editing images in Adobe Illustrator
  • Image effects and graphic enhancements
  • Object-oriented programming with Java
  • Algebra and advanced mathematics

Because employers in the multimedia art and animation field generally want applicants to show a portfolio of work, many schools include internships and portfolio preparation in the programs. During the course of a program, students gain hands-on experience using popular applications for graphics and animations.

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List of Computer Graphics Courses

Introduction to Computer Graphics

An introductory course such as this examines techniques for creating 2D and 3D designs using computer graphics software. Students gain experience representing designs using shading and texturing techniques. They practice using computer graphics programs in different situations and develop basic skills that can be built upon later.

Interactive Computer Graphics

This type of hands-on computer graphics course gives students the opportunity to practice many different computer graphics techniques using software such as Adobe After Effects to add texture, lighting, and shading to designs. Experimentation with different graphic design options is encouraged. Computer graphics courses like this one often introduce students to the basics of designing animations.

Computer Animation

Computer animation courses build upon previous basic computer animation principles to allow students to create characterization and movement. Students create characters and modify them to create action; they also design landscapes and create storyboards. Through this advanced computer graphics course, students learn to create short animated films, commercials, and television shows.

Research Topics in Computer Graphics

This advanced course familiarizes lets students research chosen topics. In some cases, a research paper is required and perhaps a projects as well; this course provides students the opportunity to explore trends and techniques that interest them in the computer graphics field and may help them build a portfolio they can use upon graduation.

Hands-on Practicum in Computer Graphics

Students use various programming languages and software programs, including Java and OpenGL, for code development and design purposes. They apply skills gained through previous courses to create interactive 3D representations. Practical experience is gained by creating designs using modern graphic techniques and computer graphics software.

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