Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf has been granted approval by the New York State Education Department to establish a new degree program in 3-D graphics technology. Beginning this fall, RIT/NTID will become the first college to offer this kind of associate degree program to deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
The program introduces concepts related to three-dimensional graphics and teaches students the creative and technical skills required to produce 3-D graphics and prints, environmental renderings ranging from artistic to photorealistic in quality, and 3-D models used in multimedia and animation. A combination of traditional design skills and digital design techniques will be taught, along with concepts of time, motion and lighting principles. This program will prepare students for one of two options: entering the 3-D graphics industry after graduation or continuing their studies at the baccalaureate degree level in the 3-D digital design program in RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.
“Having the first 3-D graphics technology associate degree program focused on deaf and hard-of-hearing students will add to the mission, values and reputation of RIT and contribute to its differentiation from peer universities,” said Kurt Stoskopf, chairperson of NTID’s Visual Communications Studies Department where the program will be housed. “Qualified students who have an interest in working in the 3-D graphics field at the associate degree level, and who possess creative visual communication skills, will find this program to be a great fit.”
The program will prepare students for entry-level employment in the 3-D graphics industry and will cover the artistic and technical sides of the industry with a specific focus on the modeling, animation and visualization processes in 3-D graphics. Graduates with this degree will find jobs with titles such as junior computer graphic designer, junior computer animator, technical illustrator, 3-D illustrator, 3-D animator, junior animator, modeler, texture artist, 3-D visualization artist and more.
“The growth of this area over the past few years in the consumer market has been exponential, and the use of the technologies and products from multimedia to 3-D printing and architectural visualization has impacted the daily experiences of today’s increasingly computer-literate society,” Stoskopf added.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies 3-D graphics technology under the “Multimedia Artists and Animators” category, and its most recent data indicates a projected growth rate of 6 percent, which falls in the “moderate” growth rate category when compared to other labor areas. Marketsandmarkets.com estimates that the computer graphics market will grow from $23.33 billion in 2014 to $32.68 billion in 2019.
“With the ever-changing nature of the visual communications world, it is important that RIT/NTID technical programs keep pace with what employers are seeking in the skill levels of college graduates,” said John Macko, director of NTID’s Center on Employment. “The 3-D computer graphics technology program will enhance our students’ opportunities to attract employers for both co-op and full-time positions.”
For more information on the program, go to http://www.ntid.rit.edu/vcs/3dgraphics.