The AAS degree in 3D graphics technology introduces concepts related to three dimensional (3D) graphics, and teaches students the creative and technical skills required to produce 3D graphics, 3D prints, environmental renderings that range from artistic to photorealistic in quality, and 3D models used in multimedia and animation. A combination of traditional design skills and digital design techniques are taught, along with concepts of time, motion, and lighting principles. This program prepares students for one of two educational and career options: entering the 3D graphics industry after graduation or continuing their studies in the 3D digital design BS program offered by the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.
The 3D graphics technology program consists of 73 credits taken over five semesters with a required cooperative work experience taken after the fourth semester. There are 48 credits of technical courses, 24 credits of liberal arts and sciences courses, a one-credit Freshman Seminar course, plus wellness.
The program's curriculum prepares and trains students for entry-level employment in the 3D graphics industry. The 3D graphics technology program covers the artistic and technical sides of the industry, with a specific focus on the modeling, animation, and visualization processes in 3D graphics. Students acquire the creative and technical skills required to create 3D graphics, 3D printouts, environmental visualization graphics, and 3D models used in multimedia and animation.
The program also requires students to acquire skills in traditional media drawing and painting, as well as in animation, modeling, 3D printing, reading and understanding design plans, blueprints, and to acquire computer-based skills in 2D and 3D graphics software. In addition, students acquire skills related to project management and teamwork.
The Capstone course (N3DG-270) offered in the final semester provides students with an opportunity to utilize their skills towards an applied skill-focused project that is completed with advice and guidance of faculty from the visual communications studies department. The structure of the capstone course is that of a self-directed, semester-long project that is completed either on an individual basis or as part of a team-based project.
All students gain real work experience through one term of required cooperative education employment. They also complete a required portfolio workshop course in which they refine and complete their portfolio as needed for application to the BFA program in 3D digital design in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, or for an employment search.
STEM and the 3DGT program
Education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers is a major emphasis for students, parents, and counselors as they consider which college programs match students interests and aptitudes. Funding for STEM career preparation is often a driving factor. The NTID 3D graphics technology program is a STEM-career program. 3D graphics is listed in the technology/computer science STEM disciplines. 3D graphics and production for 3D printing print media, and digital media cannot happen without the immersion in computer technology.
Graduates from the 3DGT program create 3D graphics, 3D printouts, environmental visualization graphics, and 3D models used in multimedia and animation on the job. Graduates will also be responsible for creating traditional media drawings and paintings, as well as animating 3D graphics, modeling, 3D printing, reading and understanding design plans and blueprints to translate into 3D models, and applying computer-based skills in 2D and 3D graphics software.
Places of employment
Students in the 3D computer graphics major program be prepared and qualified for obtaining entry-level employment in the industry, finding jobs with titles such as: junior computer graphic designer, junior computer animator, technical illustrator, 3D illustrator, 3D animator, junior environment artist, junior animator, 3D generalist, modeler, animator, texture artist, 3D visualization artist, and rigger. Graduates usually find employment in a variety of commercial, corporate, government, and educational settings. Examples include computer graphics firms, advertising agencies, art studios, architectural firms, film and video studios, animation studios, government agencies, industrial training or media departments, educational media centers, and educational institutions.
Successful completion of a sampling experience offered during the Summer Vestibule Program and during the academic year is required. The sampling activities provide opportunities for students to learn about the arts and imaging field, identify career opportunities, and evaluate their interest and aptitude for a degree program.
ACT-minimum composite score=18
English-Placement into the Critical Reading and Writing (UWRT-100) course.
Mathematics-Placement into the Mathematics in Society (NMTH-140) course. Typically, students entering this major will have completed at least two years of high school mathematics.
Science-Typically, students entering this major will have completed at least two years of high school science.
3D graphics technology, AAS degree, typical course sequence
|Course||Sem. Cr. Hrs.|
|NAIS-130||Raster and Vector Graphics||3|
|N3DG-110||Basic 3D Modeling||3|
|NAIS-120||Principles of Design and Color||3|
|N3DG-115||Intermediate 3D Modeling and Techniques||3|
|N3DG-140||3D Lighting and Materials||3|
|UWRT-150||First Year Writing: Writing Seminar||3|
|First Year LAS Elective†||3|
|ACSC-010||Year One: College Experience||0|
|NGRD or NGRP Electives||6|
|N3DG-210||Advanced 3D Modeling and Techniques||3|
|N3DG-220||Principles of 4D Design||3|
|ARTH-135||LAS Perspective 2: Survey of Western Art and Architecture I||3|
|ARTH-136||LAS Perspective 3: Survey of Western Art and Architecture II||3|
|LAS Perspective 1, 4, 6‡||9|
|Total Semester Credit Hours||73|
Please see the NTID General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.
* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two Wellness courses.
† Any mathematics course numbered NMTH-250 or higher.
‡ Any science course numbers NSCI-120 or higher.