Computer Animation & Web Design (Cawd)

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Program Description (www.cawdvt.org for more info)

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Our Computer Animation component takes advantage of state-of-the-art 2D and 3D digital computer hardware and software.  Our 3D semester starts using Maya, Toonz, and other animation tools to build virtual worlds and animations.Cawd is designed for students interested in acquiring new media skills and entering the fast paced and rapidly changing area of animation, game design, and web design & development.  The program is geared toward curious students who enjoy being creative with computers, and want to learn how to get paid doing what they love. 

Moving in to Video Game Design, we use industry standard software behind such game franchises as Final Fantasy VII Remake, Street Fighter V, Bio Shock, Gears of War, and Mass Effect.  Students will be exposed to two popular game engines: Unreal 4 and Unity.

In our Web Design semester students will design web sites with creative interfaces, strong graphic images, functional site organization and logical navigation.  Starting with the design first, students will brainstorm layout ideas, create mockups by hand, tablet and in different illustration programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Students bring the completed design to interactive life through current and emerging industry technologies.  The marriage of front end technologies (HTML5 / CSS / JavaScript) is extensively pushed. Students work in small teams as Creative Directors, Junior Animators, project Managers, etc., learning and working within hierarchies that mirror industry practice.

Successful students may apply for the second year program (Cawd2) to where more in-depth content is covered in our field.  In addition, new coursework in the fields of Photography, special effects video with After Effects, and Robotics Programming, etc are taught.

Curriculum Components

  • Building interactivity on the web and in video games
  • Animation theory
  • 3D Design and Animation
  • Game Design / Level Creation
  • Graphic Design / Digital Image Manipulation
  • Portfolio creation for the next phase of students life (College / Industry)
  • Traditional art techniques

High School Credits

Cawd

  • 1 Fine Arts, 1 English credit, 4 elective credits

Cawd2

  • 1 Fine Arts, 1 English, 1 Science, 3 elective

Earn College Credit while in High School

Eligible students can earn college credits in a number of related classes in the Vermont State College system.  Cawd students will have the chance to earn college credit in the following classes:

Certification

Qualified students sit for an exam administered by an international internet technologies and standards group to earn the Web Professional’s Web Designer Certification.

Job Shadows / Career Work Experiences

Cawd students get the chance to see how industry works by doing job shadows through our Career Development office.  Students have shadows at a number of different area businesses including Dealer.com, Blue House Group, Union Street Media, and University of Vermont.

Design Competitions

Cawd students excel in the SkillsUSA National Design Competitions.  Students from the Cawd program have won numerous national medals (top 3 finishes), including National Champion for High School Web Design in 2011.  Students from the Cawd program have represented Vermont historically in:

  • Web Design and Development
  • 3D Animation and Visualization
  • Pin Design (Graphic Design)
  • Interactive Application and Video Game Design (First time in the summer of 2016!)

Life after Cawd

Students have transitioned from Cawd to a wide range of careers and colleges.  From national recognized college and university programs such as Ringling College of Art and Design, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Northeastern University, to employers such as Dealer.com and Arnold Worldwide – Cawd students have found success in life.

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Cawd News | Cawd alumni working in Japan as Game Dev for Media Vision

Chris Tall (CTall) was a Cawd student from Underhill / MMU from 2009 – 2011.  He just reached out to give us an update on his career in Japan, and I wanted to share his story with you.

For a long time CTall had an interest in Japan and Japanese culture.  While in Cawd some of his classmates made a posterized version of him with one of his quotes as so much of what he was into was Japanese.

This image you see on the right is a perfect encapsulation of what was going to happen next with CTall.

After graduating MMU, he picked up and moved to Japan.

Akamonkai Japanese Language School

He first attended the Akamonkai Japanese Language School in Tokyo.  Here he joined other “gaijin” that wanted to learn Japanese in an immersive environment…continue reading this post.

Visit the Cawd Blog to stay up to date on Cawd events.