ACM Course Catalog

ACM 215: 3D Scene Design

This course will cover the basics of three-dimensional computer graphics, as it relates to the modeling and texturing of objects.  Polygonal and NURBS modeling techniques will be covered, as well as texture mapping and creation. Some lighting and rendering will also be covered.  The course will be project based, with students required to complete three projects over the course of the semester.

Note: This is an introductory course. Although it is a pre-requisite for higher level courses, it does not count toward the 12 required “track” credits in animation.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: Consent

ACM 216: 3D Animation

This course will cover the basics of three-dimensional character animation.  Both the artistic/acting side and technical computer side of character animation will be covered.  Special emphasis will be given to techniques for imbuing computer-generated characters with the illusion of life.  The course will be project based, with students required to complete three projects over the course of the semester.

Note: This is an introductory course. Although it is a pre-requisite for higher level courses, it does not count toward the 12 required “track” credits in animation.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: Consent

ACM 255: Cinema & Digital Media

This course will introduce you to the study of Cinema  & Digital Media at the UH Academy for Creative Media. The course is divided into three parts: A survey of critical perspectives on cinema, computer animation and video game designs; an in-depth exploration into the production processes of a short film; and participation in a group creative media project.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

ACM 310: Cinematic and Narrative Production

Cinematic & Narrative Production is designed to introduce you to cinematic storytelling through your creation of 4 DV (digital video) productions in 15 weeks. A second focus will be narrative development and script preparation of a short screenplay.  This class is designed to encourage an organic exploration of storytelling, to strengthen trust in your own ideas and instincts, and heighten your curiosity about human nature and the world at large. It is an opportunity to develop a clearer sense of what you as a media-maker wish to communicate and the skills necessary to express those ideas effectively.

4 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F
Prerequisite: B or better in ACM 255 or consent, restricted to majors with DA consent

ACM 312: Cinematography

A comprehensive course in visual styles supporting screen narratives through a study of principles of camera elements, operations, lighting, color, and composition. The course will also explore the professional role and responsibilities of the cinematographer in a film or digital cinema production unit. This is a project-oriented course. Students must have access to a manually controlled still camera.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 310 or consent, restricted to majors

ACM 316: 3D Character Animation

To provide a solid foundation of the principles of character animation, with which the illusion of life is created. These principles can be applied to create any style of character animation, be it stylized cartoon characters, or realism, to blend seamlessly into live action films. Understanding these Foundation Principles is required in working with any other medium where the illusion of life is desired, e.g.; hand drawn animation, stop motion animation, cut-out animation, etc. By the end of this course participants will be able to: 1. Express personality through weight and timing; 2. Demonstrate the physics of follow-through; 3. Demonstrate a character thinking and anticipating; 4. Demonstrate a natural walk which is motivated by the character’s objective; 5. Demonstrate a basic understanding of performance and acting.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F
Prerequisite: ACM 215 and 216 and B or better in 255 and Art 113 or consent, restricted to majors

ACM 318: Drawing for Animation

Provides a solid foundation of the principles of design for cinema, together with observational studies essential for the student of animation. Design includes visual storytelling, idea generation, composing for the screen, and character design. Observational drawing from life includes drawing from the model or animal, to better understand gesture, poses and particularly movement. By the end of this course participants will be able to: 1. Appropriately plan out their animated scenes/films visually; 2. Demonstrate an understanding of composition and visual storytelling; 3. Demonstrate a basic understanding of character, and scene design; 4. Create a professional presentation of their work. Concurrent with ACM 316.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 216 and 255 with B or better in 255 and Art 113 or consent, restricted to majors

ACM 320: 3D Computer Animation Production I

This course is meant to introduce students to the process of creating a short animated film from concept to finish. The course will be divided into three portions. The preproduction and planning portion of the course will cover the initial conceptual design, writing, story boarding, and voice recording stages of the production. Students will plan out their animated films in some detail, and create a story reel in preparation for the second portion of the course. The production and animation portion of the course will cover the actual 3D animation production, which will include the creation of the characters, sets, and environments; the shot-by-shot animation of the film; and the shading, lighting, and texturing of the scenes. The rendering and post-production portion will cover the frame-by-frame rendering of the final images; addition of music, vocal, and sound effects tracks; and any required compositing or other port-processing.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 316 (Fall only), restricted to majors

ACM 325: Visual Effects

Introduction to the history, theory, design and execution of visual effects for the screen. Project-based learning in traditional photographic and digitally generated special effects.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 215 and ACM 216, or ACM 310 or consent, restricted to majors

ACM 330: Independent Producing

The objective of this course is to introduce the student to the fundamentals of producing for independent films. The focus of the class will be on the role of the producer through the various stages of production from development and pre-production through production to distribution.  Highlighting the business aspects of making a film, topics include proposal writing, script breakdown, budgeting, funding, legal issues, scheduling, rights and clearances, marketing, film festival strategies, and distribution and sales.  Class time is split between lectures, guest presentations, in-class exercises, and workshops designed to apply growing skill sets that can be utilized toward actual productions.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F
Prerequisites: ACM 255 and ACM 310 (or concurrent) or 316 (or concurrent)

ACM 350: Screenwriting

This course will introduce you to the basics of writing for the screen – whether the large screen of cinema or the small screen of computer animation and video games. It is a project-based course where students will develop a story idea that is presented as a treatment for a short film or video game plot, and then will go through several draft & rewrite stages on its way to becoming a final script. Students will learn the forms and formats of screenwriting, and also the elements of storytelling and character that propel a narrative and compel viewing.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 310 (or concurrent) or 315 (or concurrent) or 316 (or concurrent) and minimum B- in FW or ENG 200, or consent

ACM 355: From Oral Tradition to Screenplay

In this course students will come to understand the basics of storytelling, starting with the oral traditions of the Pacific and mainland USA, and develop the ability to adapt those storytelling arts to writing for the screen. Knowledge of MS-Word or Final Draft scriptwriting software is assumed.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 255 (or concurrent), or consent

ACM 360: Indigenous Aesthetics

This course fulfills the hallmarks of the Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific Issues designation through an intense study of how film illustrates and illuminates the cultural perspectives and values of Indigenous peoples of Hawaiʻi, the Pacific, and North America, and how these films, expressing original and authentic native voices, constitute an indigenous aesthetic that is unique in the study of film. Central to this study is an examination of how Aboriginal, Māori, Fijian, Chamorro, Samoan, and Native American Indigenous cultures intersect with our Native Hawaiian host culture – how they share certain aesthetics, and how they have developed aesthetics to define their own identities.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 255 (or concurrent), or consent

ACM 370: Directing the Actor

Introduce the screen-director to the craft of acting for the camera. The director has many jobs, but of all the creative collaborators on the production team, only the director is responsible for capturing the performance of the actor. Each student will act in two scenes and direct two scenes.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 310 or concurrent, restricted to majors

ACM 372: Editing for Cinema

A comprehensive course examining the theory, procedures, and practices of motion picture editing. Students edit dramatic scenes to learn the tools and techniques of the editor’s craft. The language of cinematic montage and issues of continuity, movement, sound and effects are studied as they relate to the essentials of visual story telling.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 310 (or concurrent) or ACM 316 (or concurrent), or consent, restricted to majors

ACM 374: Post Production Sound

A comprehensive hands-on study of the post-production sound workflow in the digital cinema production process, with emphasis on sound editing, sound design, and multi-track mixing. The course is project based.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 310 or 316, restricted to majors

ACM 375: Directing the Camera for the Screen

Detailed analysis of cinematic grammar, placement, movement, focus, and effects of the camera to create the mise-en-scene. Practical exercises and projects to apply theory to individual creative work.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F
Prerequisite: ACM 310 or concurrent or consent, restricted to majors

ACM 382: Authors in Creative Media

An in-depth study of specific authors in creative media (director, screenwriter, game designer or animator). Arguably, directors continue to be recognized as the principal author of cultural works, especially those films, games, or serials that have greatly influences issues and themes in creative media. This course examines the aesthetic, critical, and historical dimensions of creative media through the work of selected directors across cultures, regions, and nations.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 255 or consent

ACM 384: Study Abroad

Intensive study of selected topics, genres, filmmakers, or digital media productions in the host country in a UH -approved study abroad location.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 255 and consent

ACM 385: Topics in Creative Media

A topics-designated course that will take advantage of faculty, student and visiting professionals’ interests in subjects not normally covered, or not covered in depth, in the curriculum. Such areas might include a study of various “genre” films, the works of a particular director, or works produced during a particular historic era. Topics could also include innovations in technology and production for film, digital video, or computer animation.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F
Prerequisite: ACM 255 and junior standing or consent, may be repeated one time on different topic

ACM 386: Techniques in Creative Media

A topics-designated course that will take advantage of faculty, student and visiting professionals’ interests in advanced production and creation techniques not normally covered, or not covered in depth, in the curriculum. An exploration of basic media production theories with additional emphasis on practical application in cinematic storytelling. ACM 386 will introduce students to principles and techniques of advanced creative media through a combination of lectures, guided exercises, individual and collaborative projects.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F
Prerequisite: ACM 310 or ACM 316 or consent, restricted to majors, may be repeated one time on different topic

ACM 390: Workshop in Creative Media

Short-term intensive workshops in a focused area of media production, such as cinematography, editing, sound design, etc.

1-3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 255 or consent, restricted to majors

ACM 399: Directed Group Project

Participation in a Group Production Project under the supervision of an ACM faculty member. Students must complete a prospectus for the project that includes objectives, procedures and proposal evaluation. Application forms available on the ACM website.

1-3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 310 or 316 and 350, departmental approval and instructor consent
NOTE: Only 6 credits of 399/499 can be counted toward the major

ACM 405: Documentary Production

Focus on the documentary production of a single project by a group in which each individual will take on role and responsibilities of a single crew position, such as director, producer, cinematographer or editor. By examining a range of traditional documentary forms, emphasis will be made on understanding how form can best support story content within a visual anthropological context.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 310 and ACM 350, or consent, restricted to majors

ACM 410: Advanced Cinematic Production

Advanced cinematic and digital production of a single project by a group with each individual taking on the creative and technical role and responsibilities of a principle crew position; This course is intended for those with previous production experience and who have completed ACM 310.  The number of projects to be produced in this class will be determined by the number of students enrolled.  Prior to the first class, students will be interviewed and assigned a crew position according to interest and experience.  Scripts to be produced will have been chosen by faculty committee review.  Unless otherwise determined by faculty, writers will be the directors of their own scripts.  Emphasis will be made on understanding how artistic form can best support story content within a dramatic narrative.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 310 and ACM 350 or consent, restricted to majors

ACM 420: Computer Animation Production II

In this course students will work as a team to produce a short animated film over the course of the semester.  Knowledge of 2D and 3D media authoring tools and animation techniques is assumed.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 320 and ACM 350 or consent, restricted to majors

ACM 450: Advanced Screenwriting

Develop the student’s ability to apply the narrative principles of character development, story structure and thematic spine to their work. Each student will produce a polished version of a short screenplay suitable for production, and a fully developed synopsis of a feature length screenplay.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 350 or consent, restricted to majors

ACM 455: Indigenous Filmmaking

This course will explore the inroads that have been made by Indigenous filmmakers and films that tell stories of Indigenous cultures, traditions and value systems. Just as importantly, it will provide the student an opportunity to create a short film that reflects indigenous stories, traditions and cultural values. Indigenous filmmaking is both an art form and a tool for social change. We will examine the development of Indigenous cinema with special emphasis on documentaries, and looks at new directions in Indigenous cinema including experimental works and drama.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 310 and ACM 350 or 355, or consent, restricted to majors

ACM 460: Ethics and Film

Ethical theory and dilemmas as reflected in film and filmmaking. Ethics and Film is part of the critical study of contemporary mass media, including film and digital media. Students must learn the social responsibilities of filmmakers, particularly in the portrayals of the “fault lines” that create societal separations: race and ethnicity; gender; social class; gender; and geographical differences.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 255 and junior standing, restricted to majors

ACM 480: Oceanic Media and Culture

A focus on film, television and media culture in Oceania. How myth and legend and their hidden meanings become screen stories that extend Pacific Cultures to global audiences.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 255 or consent, restricted to majors

ACM 482: The American Documentary

In-depth study of the nautre and impact of documentary filmmaking in America, focusing on the interplay between filmmaker, subject, and audience. Will critically examine documentaries for their use of rhetoric, ethics, and narrative voice.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 255 and junior standing or higher, restricted to majors

ACM 485: Seminar in Creative Media

A seminar-designated courses that will take advantage of faculty, student and visiting professionals’ interests in subjects not normally covered, or not covered in depth, in the curriculum. Such areas might include a study of various “genre” films, the works of a particular director, or works produced during a particular historic era. Seminars could also include innovations in technology and production for film, digital video, or computer animation. The Seminar would be marked by higher degrees of active learning and student responsibility for researching and presenting specific aspects of the course.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 255 and junior standing or consent, restricted to majors

ACM 495: Internship

This course provides students the opportunity to apply classroom theory and knowledge to professional media settings.  Minimum 150 hours of substantive participation in the professional workplace under the supervision of a professional on site and a faculty member in the ACM. Guidelines and worksheets for internship qualifications available from faculty and the ACM website.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 310 or ACM 315 or ACM 316 and ACM 350 and consent, restricted to majors, repeatable one time
NOTE: No more than 6 credits of Internship can be counted toward the major

ACM 499: Directed Study

An opportunity for students to pursue scholarly and creative projects beyond the scope of standard course offerings. Each proposed directed study project must include a clear description, statement of objectives, methods/procedures, proposed means of assessment, and be approved by both an ACM faculty member and chair.  Application forms available on the ACM website.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 310 or ACM 315 or ACM 316 and ACM 350 and consent, restricted to majors, repeatable
NOTE: Only 6 credits of 399/499 can be counted toward the major

Previously Offered Courses

ACM 220: Advanced Rendering

This course will cover the essentials of 3D computer graphics lighting, rendering, and compositing.  The course will cover specification and control of shading and illumination in a three-dimensional scene, as well as the compositing of multiple rendered layers into a final image.  The course will be project based, with students required to complete three projects over the course of the semester.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 215 and 216

ACM 315: Narrative Game Design

Introduction to the process of designing interactive narrative computer games in an immersive hands-on manner. The introduction and overview portion of the course will cover the history of computer games and their relations to other art forms, as well as an analysis of storytelling techniques and what makes for a good game. It will also introduce students to basic computer programming as it applies to the design of the logic of computer games. In the game logic design portion students will form groups and begin designing and implementing the underlying logic of a game. More programming will be introduced to permit the creation of basic game design and flow. The graphical game design portion will allow project teams to create digital art and place a graphical interface on top of their game designs. Basic graphics ideas and more advanced programming constructs will be introduced in this portion.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 215, 216 and a B or better in 255 or consent, restricted to majors

ACM 317: 3D Cinematography and Dynamics

Computer animation directing and cinematography for the design and creation of visual effects. Using particles and dynamic systems to simulate natural phenomena. Compositing of visual layers.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 215 and 216 or 215 and 310 and consent, restricted to majors

ACM 352/AMST 352: Screening Asian Americans

This course is offered by the American Studies Department, and cross-listed as ACM 352 so that ACM students can take it for ACM credit.  It is an undergraduate film seminar for students who wish to gain an in-depth knowledge of the history of Asian and Asian American representations in American film and television from 1915 to 2005. They will also learn about the many achievements of early Asian American actors as well as more contemporary manifestations of corrective representations by talented Asian American filmmakers and performers, such as Wayne Wang, Margaret Cho and Justin Lin.n.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent

ACM 380: Genre and Narrative Theory

An exploration of issues concerning genre and narrative form as they pertain to creative media such as cinema, animation, and video games. Genre and narrative are the dominant mode of classification in creative media and provide instructive points of departure for learning about the history, politics, and economy of film.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 255 or consent

ACM 415: Computer Game Production

Over the course of the semester, students will work as a team to design and produce a computer game.  The entire class will work on a single game project, producing 2D and 3D elements, animation, story, music and audio, as well as software for the project.  This class is co-listed as ICS-491.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 315, ICS-313 or consent, restricted to majors

ACM 490: Global Media

Close textual analysis and strategic analysis of globalism through media.

3 Credits
Grading Options: Standard Letter A-F

Prerequisite: ACM 255 or consent (Fall only), restricted to majors