Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Day in Print

On December 12th, two DATA-Di groups of students visited local printing agencies in preparation for the 2012-13 SkillsUSA competition season.

In the morning, students interested in screen printing technologies had an opportunity to visit Desert Promotions in Palm Springs. Here, students had a first hand look at a production facility that handles silk screening and embroidery, as well as a peek into their new online marketing as OMG Tees.

In the afternoon, student teams focusing on large scale display printing returned to one our favorite community partners, Photo Colorgraphix in Palm Desert. New and returning competitors were introduced to back-lite and vinyl printing techniques that they could you as print media to help spread the word about SkillsUSA and the DATA program.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Now in 50 Stores!

DATA Digital Imaging is pleased to announce that The Rio Vista Collaborations are now available for free on iTunes in 50 stores globally

In each fully interactive iBook you will find student artwork, video, stories, the Challenge Based Learning project, and a 'behind the scenes' of the process - All ready to go for your iPad.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Game Designer Unity

On January 11th, 2008 DATA grad Bryan O'Neil stopped by the Di studio to share some techniques on getting started in video game design. Bryan, who just graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Game Design from the Art Institute and has developed two mobile gaming apps available on iTunes, provided an introduction to the Unity Game Engine to interested students in grades 9 - 12. He demonstrated and answered questions surrounding the addition of assets, developing terrain, and building out for iOS, Web, and desktop platforms.

Notes from Bryan on becoming a game developer
  • Discover what you are good at and make it your passion!
  • Take advantage from all the amazing resources on YouTube
  • Keep in mind - game design studios are in cities close to International airports
  • Develop a solid portfolio because employers want to see what you can do!
Unity is a free and simple to learn game development environment which easily integrates work from 3D software, and has a huge developer community that supports the sharing of techniques. 

Help support this DATA grad by checking out 
or by making a donation to 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Digital Domain Artistry

On October 4th, '08 DATA graduate Juan Nuno returned to the Di studio to visit students and share his experience of becoming a 3d environment artist. Juan after completing his Bachelor of Science in Game Art and Design at the Art Institute- Inland Empire, landed a job at James Cameron's Digital Domain working as a digital artist creating 3d elements for the video game industry. 

While in the studio, he challenged aspiring Di game designers to a project using low polygons, color theory, original textures, and 3-point lighting. Check out The Pretty Box challenge here.

Notes on becoming a 3D Artist from Juan Nuno
  • Be motivated, doing the minimum never cuts it
  • Take the time to create a good portfolio
  • Visit and learn from 3D Forums (CG Hub, Poly Count, Game Artisans)
  • Network with peers because it really is about "who you know"
  • Find your niche and research it
  • Broaden your ability
  • Drawing and Color Theory are your foundation
  • Know your tools (UDK UT3, Photoshop, Z Brush, 3D Max or Maya, After Effects)

Check out his full portfolio @

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Banana Slug Creativity

Home after their first semester at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Banana Slugs Radu Vasilie and Kevin Rodriguez stopped by the Di studio to share a little about the Computer Science major at UCSC.

What can you tell us about the CSi program?
  • Computer science requires working together with a partner towards a common goal
  • Problem solving skills tend to be more important then math knowledge
  • In the 1st Quarter we were already creating basic game concepts
What is it like going to college close to the Silicon Valley?
  • We are regularly visited by Apple, Google, Netflix, Lucas Arts, HP, and Microsoft
  • Seminars are provided where the companies discuss requirements for employment, what to expect, and what they are looking for
  • We learn what to prepare for ahead of time and are granted opportunities to ask questions
What did you learn in DATA that helps you in the program at UCSC?
  • Learning to work together in a collaborative manner
  • The challenges provided by SkillsUSA
  • Being friendly and open to different types of people
  • Having the opportunity to be creative along with the use of technology
What advice can you give current DATA students?
  • CSi opportunities are B I G
  • There are TONS of opportunities for game design, programming, and engineering
  • Housing is expensive and limited, so start looking very early
  • Go for the Cal Grant!
Learn more about 

Getty CSUN 2012

On November 15th, 60 DATA students visited the Cal State University at Northridge and The Getty Museum. While at CSUN, they were treated to a personal tour of the Visual Arts Department by DATA Alum Leah Oakes, and met with coordinating staff of both the Cinema and Television Arts and The Center for Visual Communications (VISCOM) departments.

During the visit with VISCOM Professor Dave Moon, he stressed the importance of
work ethic above all else
team work and collaboration
building a solid portfolio
and utilizing the power of peer networking