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New Game Research Lab In San Francisco

by Thomas on Dec. 1, 2003 @ 11:40 a.m. PST

A new Game Research Lab is now open at The Art Institute of California - San Francisco to support students studying in its Game Art & Design and Visual & Game Programming degree programs. The lab is available for use by students to examine the latest 3-D animation, computer graphics, game level design and other elements of successful video games.

The Game Research Lab features Microsoft Xbox, SONY PlayStation2, and Nintendo GameCube gaming consoles, as well as an expanded selection of video games available through the school's library. The school also has added three new computer labs to support PC gaming and animation classes, and offers a variety of gaming magazines such as Game Developer for use by students. In addition, the Game Research Lab offers student membership materials and industry resources from the International Game Developers Association (IGDA).

The Art Institute of California - San Francisco offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Game Art & Design and Visual & Game Programming, as well as Bachelor of Science degrees in Media Arts & Animation and other design fields. The programs prepare students for entry-level positions in computer and video game development, part of a $10.3 billion industry needing people with specialized talent in computer graphics and animation.

"The Game Research Lab helps our students learn the fundamentals of game making," said Marc Sherrod, Academic Director for Game Art & Design. "The Lab isn't just for fun. We are serious about using the Lab to help students lean the methodology of making games. It complements our educational program and helps us teach students to push the envelope to come up with fascinating ideas and concepts for the world of gaming."

Students in the Game Art & Design program start out by studying color theory, drawing, sculpture and other art fundamentals, then take courses in 3-D modeling, animation, texture mapping, 3-D character rigging, storytelling, motion and lighting, game prototyping and other aspects of character design and game level design. The Visual & Game Programming degree combines traditional animation skills with technical skills. After training in the foundations of art and design, students enter into the more technical areas of programming for 3-D animation, enabling them to enter the world of shading development, motion capture management and pipeline streamlining. Students learn the essential skills to effectively solve technical problems and bridge between the technical programmer and the creative artist.

The school's location in San Francisco, a hotbed of the game industry, is a natural fit for students studying these fields. The curriculum was developed with input from industry veterans, including professionals with experience at Electronic Arts, LucasArts, Sega of America, BioWare, Double Fine, Konami of America, Stormfront Studios, Acclaim, Pixar, PDI/DreamWorks, Microsoft and other companies. The school is an Official Partner of the San Francisco-based IGDA and has hosted local IGDA meetings and guest speakers to connect with the industry. The school also works with local game industry professionals on its Program Advisory Committee to provide input on curriculum and opportunities in the field.

Game companies interested in contributing products to the Game Research Lab or guest speaking at the school are invited to contact Dan Soine, Director of Public Relations for The Art Institute of California - San Francisco at 415-268-2533 or

Potential students interested in the programs are invited to visit, call 888-493-3261 or email The school is currently accepting applications for entry into its Winter classes starting Jan. 12.


The Art Institute of California - San Francisco is located at 1170 Market Street (at 8th) in San Francisco's Civic Center neighborhood. It attracts a diverse mix of students from throughout the Bay Area and the world. The school offers career-focused degree programs in Advertising, Graphic Design, Media Arts & Animation, Game Art & Design, Visual & Game Programming, Multimedia & Web Design, Fashion Design, Fashion Marketing & Management, and Interior Design. The Art Institute of California - San Francisco is one of The Art Institutes (, with 30 education institutions located throughout North America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary professionals. The parent company of The Art Institutes, Education Management Corporation, is among the largest providers of private post-secondary education in North

America, based on student enrollment and revenue. Including the recent acquisitions of AEC and South University, student enrollment exceeded 58,000 as of fall 2003. EDMC has 66 primary campus locations in 24 states and two Canadian provinces. EDMC's education institutions offer a broad range of academic programs in the media arts, design, fashion, culinary arts, behavioral sciences, health sciences, education, information technology and business fields, culminating in the award of associate's through doctoral degrees. EDMC has provided career-oriented education for 40 years, and its education institutions have more than 150,000 alumni.

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