Course Descriptions

The classes listed below are not necessarily offered every term. For current class schedules, or to register, select Register Now .

Helpful hint: When you are ready to register, write down your class number(s) before selecting Register Now .

  • ACN-390

    Character Design for Animation

    Learn the creative process of conceptualizing iconic characters for the entertainment industry, focusing on research, acting, gesture, psychology, storytelling, originality and other crucial technical aspects of character design for animation. Please note that although this course uses character design methodologies from the world of animation, students will not be animating in this class. This is an ideal course for aspiring students who are preparing admissions portfolios for the Character Animation track of ArtCenter's Entertainment Design program.

    Prerequisite: Introduction to Figure Drawing, or by permission of an ArtCenter advisor. This course will focus primarily on hand-sketching with live models provided during class.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-223W

    Costume + Fashion Design

    Explore the conceptual garment design and illustration methods of the entertainment and fashion design industries. This class will cover design foundations, concept development methods, marker and colored pencil illustration techniques, historic costume research and contemporary fashion. Students may use manual or digital methods to execute project concepts and may choose to focus on designs for costume, fashion or video game character costumes. No sewing is involved. Ideal for students interested in costume design, fashion design, and video game character design.


    Class regularly offered in Fall and Summer

  • ACN-007

    Design 360

    Are you interested in art or design, but not sure which area suits you best? Would you like to sample each major offered at Art Center? Then this class is for you! Design 360 explores the major art and design fields offered in Art Center's degree program, including: advertising, graphic design, photography, filmmaking, fine art, illustration, product design, environmental design, entertainment design, and transportation design. Through projects centered around one major theme, you will have a chance to explore the principles of each of these art and design disciplines. Drawing skills will be emphasized as an essential way to communicate your ideas. This class is the perfect first class for adult students (over age 18) who are either new to design or seeking to expand their creative horizons.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-068

    Digital Painting Entertainment

    This introductory digital painting course is designed specifically for aspiring entertainment design, entertainment arts, and illustration students. Painting can seem complicated, but by understanding the medium and combining foundation skills with more lateral approaches, you can discover the joy of digital painting. The first half of the course will focus on the fundamentals of painting in Photoshop. Working primarily from observation (master copies, plein air photographs, movie stills), you will learn to create color palettes, how to make brush strokes, understand value, and use lighting and rendering to complete a composition or character. The second half of the class will focus on imaginative principles of creating paintings from scratch using more advanced techniques. For in-class assignments, no digital tools are needed, just a pen or pencil. For homework assignments, students must have access to a computer with Adobe Photoshop CS6, a Wacom tablet and a digital camera to take reference photos for plein air, brush and texture projects. Prerequisite: Introduction to Entertainment Design, or by permission of an Art Center advisor.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-426

    Intro to Creature Design

    Learn different methods and approaches used to develop believable creatures and monsters for the entertainment industry. Working from photographic reference of animals and nature, you will learn how to combine the fundamentals of design, anatomy, form, storytelling and character development to create original sketches and renderings of beastly quadrupeds, bloodthirsty bipeds, and large-scale leviathans. With introductory level 2D drawing skills and 3D techniques using Pixelogic's ZBrush, this is an ideal class for aspiring concept designers, illustrators, animators or students considering ArtCenter's undergraduate Entertainment Design program.

    Prerequisites: Introduction to Figure Drawing, and Digital Design 1 or by permission of an ArtCenter advisor.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Summer

  • ACN-045

    Intro to Entertainment Design

    Concept designers for the entertainment industry skillfully illustrate and design unique and compelling characters, environments, vehicles and props for all kinds of stories and eras. This industry requires a unique combination of industrial design and illustration skills to understand how things are built, to communicate this through drawings and to show narrative aspects of the design. This course offers an introduction to the concept design process. Students will create original design solutions through sketches and renderings to support a story. This is an ideal class for students considering Art Center's undergraduate Entertainment Design major or for those seeking an understanding of how concepts are created for entertainment-oriented projects. Prerequisites: Intro to Figure Drawing and Perspective, or by permission of an ArtCenter advisor.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-450

    Intro to Rhino 3D

    As the most versatile 3D modeling tool, Rhinoceros 3D can do it all. This software's flexible and easy-to-adapt tool set makes the learning process fun and extremely intuitive. Unlike surface modelers, Rhino uses NURBS to create fast and accurate geometry which allows you to focus on design and not worry about surface inconsistencies. Course will provide enough information to start modeling in Rhino and utilize its Grasshopper visual programming language for extensive parametric capabilities.

    Prerequisite: Digital Design 1 or by permission of an ArtCenter advisor.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall

  • ACN-009

    Introduction to Figure Drawing

    The ability to draw the human figure is a vital skill for your academic and professional success in many areas of art and design. This class is an essential first step for those planning to study fine art, animation, illustration, costume design, character design and concept design. Working from a model, you will examine the elements of drawing the human figure and the principles of composition and develop observational drawing skills by investigating proportion, form and gesture. Charcoal, graphite pencil and various other media will be used.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-106


    Increase your understanding of 3D perception and linear perspective systems. Through a series of exercises, develop your technical skills and improve your ability to simulate 3D space on a 2D plane. Theories explored in class apply to traditional and digitally generated images. Primary applications are to illustration and to industrial and environmental design. A foundation course for many majors.

    Required textbook: The Complete Guide to Perspective Drawing. Author: Craig Attebery ISBN: 978-1-13-821562-7.

    Transferable for Illustration majors (see REGISTRATION INFO-COURSE CREDIT for details).

    3 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-165


    This course provides an introduction to the versatile field of storyboarding.Class discussions and demonstrations will cover different styles and techniques of sequential art used in live action, animation and commercial applications. Through a combination of in-class and homework assignments, this course will teach you the necessary mechanics of visual storytelling and help you develop an individual and industry-typical style. Special guest speakers will round out the classroom experience. Students may draw by hand or work in digital formats using Wacom boards and laptops. Note: access to Art Center's computer facilities is not included. Please provide your own equipment and software if you wish to work digitally. This course is designed for students and professionals who wish to expand their skills or seek to develop their portfolios for entry into Art Center's full-time degree programs.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Spring

  • ACN-432

    The Art of Ui

    The Art of UI is designed for those interested in creating user interface art for mobile apps, focusing on 2D art, illustration and graphic design. This introductory course provides a unique approach to app design, utilizing traditional design principles combined with conceptual design and illustrative techniques, allowing you to explore the creation of your ideas from rough pencil sketches to finished interactive mockups. Class involves research, coming up with an idea, wire-framing an experience, and visual development techniques. You will create a light prototype in Invision using a collection of Photoshop or Illustrator screens as proof of concept, rather than a functioning app. This course will give you greater insight into the mobile gaming and internet industries, user interface and experience design (UI/UX) and is intended to help you understand the principles and techniques necessary to approach app design under the high pressure of a production setting.

    Prerequisites: Digital Design 1, plus drawing/illustration skills. Access to an iPhone smart phone is required in order to view and present your designs for mock-ups and presentations.

    Due to a last minute commitment by the instructor, the first day of The Art of UI (ACN-432) has been postponed until Tuesday, Sept. 25. Once class starts, instructor will discuss when to schedule the 2 make-up classes with enrolled students.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-074

    Visual Communication

    Mastering visual communication skills is vital to your academic and professional success as an industrial designer. This class deals with a variety of sketching techniques designed to help you communicate your creative solutions and explore form development as it relates to product, transportation, entertainment and interaction design. Class exercises will be geared toward improving your drawing skills as well as providing a strong foundation in perspective, composition, value, craftsmanship and use of graphics in presentations. Emphasis will be placed on rapid ideation to improve the flow of your ideas on paper.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-530

    World Building ENT

    Visualize and create an imaginary world for entertainment industry in this introductory class. Cohesive world design is central to building intriguing levels and sets, as well as lands for games, movies and theme parks. Through engaging in fun drawing exercises on various "building block" subjects, students will be taken through research, observation, ideation process and designing from imagination. Class encourages originality in visual storytelling by establishing organizing principals such as genre, motif, climate, culture, etc., and will cover conceptual design from landscape and architecture, to characters and creatures that inhabit the world. Both traditional sketching and digital painting methods will be covered. Access to Photoshop, laptop, tablet and pen are highly recommended. An ideal portfolio class for aspiring entertainment design students or anyone looking to expand their horizons.

    Prerequisites: Intro to Figure Drawing and Perspective, or by permission of an ArtCenter advisor.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer