3D Illustration

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ART 270

       Course Name: 3D Illustration

       Credits: 3 (0 lecture; 6 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course covers fundamentals of creating imagery with 3D software. Content includes traditional use of media and compositional skills combined with technical material necessary to produce computer-generated illustrative art. Final output involves large size printing. Autodesk 3ds Max used as the main software.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the fundamental concepts and tools of 3D image making.
  2. Produce large-scale prints.
  3. Produce imagery using 3D rendering software.
  4. Identify and incorporate fundamental concepts of composition in the production of 3D renderings.
  5. Explain the basic visual elements that make up the composition of a picture and how these elements communicate to the viewer.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Fundamentals of 3D
    1. Coordinates
    2. Moving objects in 3D space
    3. Size and scale
    4. Distance and depth
  2. 3D Modeling
    1. Primitives
    2. Hard Surface Modeling Techniques
    3. Organic Modeling Techniques
  3. Formal Organization
    1. Translation
    2. Rotation
    3. Scale
    4. Mirror
    5. Align
    6. Direct Input (Position, Rotation, Scale w/ units)
    7. Grouping/Isolating
    8. Layers, Templates
  4. Materials and Textures
    1. Material Presets
    2. Procedural Textures
    3. Bitmap Textures
    4. UV Layout
    5. Surface Properties
      1. Diffuse
      2. Specularity
      3. Reflection
      4. Refraction
      5. Bump
      6. Opacity
  5. Lighting Techniques
    1. Studio Photography Lighting in 3D Software
    2. Natural/Daylight Lighting Systems
  6. Digital Cinematography
    1. Perspective
    2. Focus
    3. Composition
    4. Directing the Camera to Tell a Story
  7.  Rendering
    1. Image formats
    2. Aspect Ratios
    3. Resolution requirements for large format printing
    4. Post-production/Finalizing imagery

VII.  Methods of Instruction

This course will be taught using a combination of lecture, demonstration, presentation and hands-on studio time in one of the College’s computer labs.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Attend and participate in classes and lab sessions
  2. Attend critiques with completed work
  3. Complete assigned artwork by due date
  4. Final exam
  5. Maintain professional attitude

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Flash drive, portable hard drive or a cloud storage service account

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

The final grade will be based upon the following elements and their weights

  1. 3 Quizzes:      25%
  2. 3 Critiques:     25%
  3. Final exam:     25%
  4. Final critique:  25%
Multiple choice quizzes will be administered at the first three critiques. Critiques offer the student the opportunity to show work in progress to the instructor and to the class and to obtain feedback on the work presented. There will be four critiques, including the final.

XI.   Other Course Information

Please note:
Some of the activities, lectures and assignments in this class may include imagery that is controversial, uncomfortable, shocking, has nudity, and personally unpopular to one's beliefs. If a student objects to this practice, he/she is encouraged to discuss with the instructor early in the semester alternative ways of completing course requirements.

Open lab hours will be posted at the beginning of each semester.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.