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Graduate Digital Arts

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Graduate Digital Arts

The M.F.A. degree in Digital Arts at BGSU is an intensive, 60-credit studio degree designed to prepare students to become both professional artists in industry and university-level instructors while developing their own studio practice.

The Digital Arts Division offers advanced study and the development of professional artistic expression in many areas including: Digital Imaging, Interactive Multimedia Development, Digital Video, 3D Modeling and Animation, and Hybrid Media forms including 3D printing, Architectural Projection Mapping, Web App Development and Interactive Installation Art. We have an intimate graduate program which allows for customized coursework and is complimented by a large undergraduate program. All supported graduate students are provided with studio space and computers.

Several full and partial tuition Graduate Assistantships are available. Assistantships include teaching courses (second year), technical and facility support, and the opportunity to work in our professional large-format printing studio.

Our laboratories are housed in the newly built Wolfe Center for the Arts and includes three state-of-the-art digital studio classrooms: a 20-seat Mac Pro OSX lab, a 20-seat HP (Windows 7) lab, and an editing lab with 20 Mac Pro video editing workstations. The School of Art hosts the Media Cage and Print Lab (MCaP), which has high-dynamic range wide format printers capable of printing on a wide variety of media, high-resolution scanners, and 3D printing, in addition to our inventory of high-end digital a/v equipment for student checkout.

AREAS OF FOCUS:

Computer Animation & Video

The focus of the curriculum is artistic expression using traditional and 3D animation (with a strong emphasis on 3D animation), video art, motion graphics, special effects and compositing. As a graduate student, the emphasis is on content development, narrative and non-narrative structures, timing, effective motion, storytelling, and creative expression. Beyond mastering the technical aspects of animation, graduate students are expected to push the creative envelope and produce thought-provoking work that can be shown in animation festivals, art exhibitions, and public screenings. The current curriculum includes technical instruction in inverse kinematics, particle systems and dynamics, deformations, scripting, and compositing as well as advanced modeling, rendering and animation techniques using state-of-the-art software.

Interactive Multimedia

The emphasis in interactive multimedia is on creative art development including: Net Art using HTML,CSS, Javascript, and Processing, creative production of websites and apps for mobile devices, as well as installation art and interactive physical artworks. Regardless of their area of focus, graduate students are encouraged to create thought-provoking experiences for the viewer/participant. Students are able to merge their interests in imaging, animation, sound, video, interactivity and computer programming through interactive multimedia. Graduate students are expected to work on idea development as well as mastering the technical skills necessary to develop meaningful artwork. Technical instruction is provided using state-of-the-art software and hardware.

Imaging

Graduate students focusing on digital imaging are encouraged to explore their artistic vision and realize their ideas through the print. 2D Imaging students explore digital painting, digital photography, image manipulation, compositing, and montage. 3D Imaging students have access to our MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printer and Pepakura software to realize 3D prints. There is a strong focus on print technology, including large format and experimental alternative printing techniques for both 2D imaging and 3D modeled and rendered images. Students in this area use various input devices including DSLRs, video cameras, scanners, and digital tablets to create their art. Students in imaging are encouraged to find and integrate new ideas surrounding the tools, formal composition, content, readings, and concepts and integrate them into their art. Graduate students in 2D imaging use state-of-the-art imaging software and hardware.

Cross Disciplinary Study

Although the Digital Arts MFA program has three areas of focus, graduate students also have the opportunity to merge art disciplines and investigate new directions. Students are also encouraged to explore interests in media outside of Digital Arts. For instance, a student may want to explore the integration of drawing, computer programming, sculpture, theater, or film with their Digital Arts work.

Requirements

Students must complete at least 21 of their minimum 60 semester credit hours of coursework within their specialization with 12 hours of studio electives also required. In addition, students must complete nine credit hours in graduate-student-only courses known as Studio Critiques. These courses foster intensive group dialogue about individual students' work and also serve as a forum for the discussion of relevant contemporary art issues. Students are also required to take six hours art history seminar, three hours of graduate academic elective, a course (3 hours) on effective teaching (pedagogy), three hours of exhibition research, and an additional three hours of general elective at the graduate level. 

For a list of our available resources, click here.

The student Computer Art Club is open to all undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Art. The overall goal of the club is to promote awareness of Digital Arts, to highlight advances and opportunities in the field, and to assist Digital Arts students. Club activities include demonstrations, art shows, trips to conferences (SIGGRAPH), and social events. Past activities have included guest speakers from the computer graphics industry, Digital Arts exhibitions on and off campus, and various field trips including the Ottawa Animation Festival. Digital Arts Club members share information and knowledge with each other in a cross-collaborative environment. They are also an ACM SIGGRAPH Student Chapter.

In addition, all graduate students are invited to participate in GASO, Graduate Art Student Organization.

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Heather Elliott-Famularo

Position: Associate Professor, Division Chair, Digital Arts
Phone: 419-372-9943
Email: helliot@bgsu.edu
Address: 1014 FAC

Students who graduate with a Master of Fine Arts degree are qualified to teach at institutions of higher education such as universities and community colleges and also work in production studios in the field. Major hollywood studios and other digital art and animation companies often select students with MFA degrees over those that have undergraduate degrees. The MFA program also prepares students to exhibit their work at galleries and museums.

Many of the Digital Arts graduates have taken leading roles in the digital arts and animation fields. Graduates go on to start their own businesses, to work in the film, video, and broadcast television industry as computer animators, digital artists and special effects artists, as 3d modelers for industrial design businesses, as animators and digital artists for interactive game companies, in visualization for training, medical and industrial companies, and as World Wide Web developers.