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Final Project Videos (and game)

Audience Favorites

These were the top vote winners at the final-project screenings (almost all entries gathered votes). Congratulations to all of you.

(Links to the videos will be on-line soon. Have to turn in grades first!)

1. Nicholas Kyger, “Crabby Day”
2. Scott Turner, “Humanity’s Quest”
3. Nate Dierk and Duncan Lewis, “Game”
3. Joe Thompson, “Runnin’ Dude”  (tied for 3rd)
5. Ketu Patel, “Xcellerade Sports Drink”
6. Stephanie Barlock, “Skydive in Space!”
7. Sooseob Won, “Mr. Golf Ball”
8. Gilbert King, “ Ninja Strike”
9. Duncan Hoge, “Lonely”
10.  Sean Chaney and Andrew Trumbull, “ Epic Win!”



This course presents an introduction to 3D computer modeling and animation.  The focus is on the technical aspects, not on the artistic ones.  You’ll learn to work with an animation program, such as Blender or Maya.  By the end of the semester you’ll be able to create an animated short video.

Topics include

  • Mesh (polygonal) modeling
  • Modeling with curves, surfaces, and blobbies
  • Materials, shading, and texturing
  • Lighting
  • Animation
  • Character and rigging
  • Compositing
  • Particle systems (optional) for effects such as smoke

We’ll also cover basic sound and video editing to the level necessary for you to make short videos.

The course will be project oriented, with assignments due every week or two and a final course project.


No computer programming required.  It will be a lot easier if you are comfortable using a PC, though.

You will need a PC or Mac laptop on which to install and run the software, and a three-button mouse (preferably with a scroll wheel).  Note that software for this course will require good 3D graphics performance, so you may encounter problems on low-end computers.


Hess, Roland, The Essential Blender: Guide to 3D Creation with the Open Source Suite Blender, No Starch Press, ISBN 978-1593271664.

The full text is available for download on

and you can buy a hard copy version from the typical sources, including the UNC bookstore, Amazon, (lousy pricing when I checked), and the Blender bookstore (in Euros, so not too useful for most).


My plan is to use Blender version 2.49b.  The download page is

It’s available for Windows, Linux, and Mac.  There is a new alpha version, 2.50, but we will not use it (at least initially) because it’s likely to not be stable for a while.