PreCollege Curriculum: Immersions and Core Classes

The PreCollege 2018 Curriculum 

PreCollege is immersive, rigorous, and FUN.

The Ringling College Majors
Ringling College currently offers majors in: Business of Art and Design, Computer Animation, Creative Writing, Film, Fine Arts, Game Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Motion Design, Photography & Imaging, and Visual Studies. Fall 2018, we began enrolling our first class in a new major: Virtual Reality Development. For details about all our majors and see examples of student work, please visit:

PreCollege Immersions in the Majors - PRECOLLEGE 2019 IMMERSIONS IN THE MAJORS will be announced by November 1, 2018.

PreCollege 2018 Immersion Descriptions and Course Goals
Several immersions develop required skills used in more than one major. You will be enrolled in TWO immersions based in the majors. On the online application, RANK your top preferences from this year’s list of 23 unique courses. You may delve into a specific major or explore two different majors, whether they are closely related or quite different. Placement will be offered with your acceptance to the program in accordance with (1) your ranked majors of interest and (2) your personal essay submitted on your application, as well as (3) how you rank your preferences. Look for immersions that will best meet your interests and goals, and provide the opportunity to explore different approaches and techniques.

Computer Animation
Discover the complexities of computer animation. This immersion covers subjects that are universal to most 3D software packages and to animation. Through a series of assignments you will be introduced to basic modeling, animation, texturing and lighting techniques using the 3D software Maya

Computer Illustration
Explore the fundamentals of digital illustrating using “draw" and "paint" applications. Classes will explore basic design principles (line, mass, volume, space, positive and negative space, value, repetition of form, harmony, and balance, etc.) as applied using Adobe application user interfaces, tool functions and digital image making techniques.

Creative Writing: Comics & Games
This immersion offers an introduction to the basic elements needed to create your own effective, engaging comics, video games, and tabletop games. We’ll work together to create a welcoming writing workshop environment that includes classroom discussion of both published comics and games and student work. Please note: This is a writing class, which means regular writing AND reading expectations exist for every student. Please bring a laptop or tablet with keyboard to every class meeting.

Creative Writing: Scripts and Stories
This immersion offers an introduction to the basic elements needed to create your own effective, engaging stories and movie scripts. We’ll work together to create a welcoming writing workshop environment that includes classroom discussion of both published writing and student work. Please note: This is a writing class, which means regular writing AND reading expectations exist for every student. Please bring a laptop or tablet with keyboard to every class meeting.

Digital Sculpting
Digital sculpture is easier than you think. Students learn digital sculpting techniques using form development methods combined with 3D modeling to create intensely detailed digital models and sculptures. Plan, create and develop models for the movies, games, comic books, and toys.

Drawing for Animation
This immersion explores techniques and processes involved in the design and production of artwork for animation with a focus on character development. You are introduced to the animator's process of gesture drawing and quick sketch, as well as creating volume, and depth to capture action and attitude within a single pose. The workshop stresses the importance of drawing for weight, force, thought, emotion and movement as they pertain to industry standards.  

Figure Sculpture
Working in oil clay from observation of a live model, students in this course will explore the three-dimensional human figure to develop a more complete understanding of the human form. Both the basic structural anatomy and composition of masses will be examined in conjunction with finding and understanding how the center of gravity informs the figure’s ability to stand on its own. Students will learn to observe and interpret the human figure through work with armatures, understanding proportion and, modeling mass and surface. At the same time students will be exposed to classical and contemporary figurative artists/sculptors as well as work done in the visual development and toy sculpture fields. Based on these studies, students will construct a finished figure sculpture. 

Filmmaking is a field that includes a number of disciplines that, when integrated, can result in a work that will move an audience emotionally. Students in this immersion will be introduced to the basics of filmmaking through a rigorous process of classroom and experiential learning. At the end of the course, students will produce a single project, which will be appropriate as a portfolio piece. Students should bring a digital camera (SLR) that has the capability to shoot video and headphones or ear buds for sound editing.

Fine Arts
This immersion emphasizes the importance of investigation, ideation, communication and critique in conjunction with the development of a rich and personal body of work. Students are encouraged to experiment with collaborative and individual approaches to achieve personal goals. Through diverse processes in drawing, watercolor painting, origami, paper pulp casting, laser cutting and more, students will explore the principles and elements of 2D and 3D design to push artistic boundaries.

Game Art
Students will get an introduction to the Game Art major and become familiar with the cutting edge Unreal 4 game engine, which is a leading development software solution used throughout the Game industry. In this class students will create a physics based ball bounce, an architectural fantasy, and a small interactive experience.  

Game Design
We have fun and play some games! Students will learn the Fundamentals of Game Design including: player start, decisions, interaction, rules, opposition and goals through level design utilizing the cutting edge Unreal Engine 4 program. Students will review and analyze the different types of core mechanics and the classification of games by target audience. Finally, students will create their own playable platform they can publish and share with friends and family.

Graphic Design
Graphic design touches you every day through packaging, posters, logos, sports, foods, movies and more. In this immersion you will apply the foundation principals of graphic design to create meaning through image, text, and composition. Learn techniques for rapidly generating many variations of your initial idea to refine and expand your skill. Each project is designed to build your skills and to be a potential portfolio piece.

Learn how to tell stories and communicate concepts through the visual language of picture-making. In this immersion, you will practice composing images, create interesting characters and stage them in a scene, use color theory to express emotion, and explore a variety of media. The result will be artwork that stimulates the viewer to reflect and react.

Imaginative Environments
Design imaginative spaces and environments that are the intersection of story, character, and design. Brainstorm ideas for theme parks and attractions, themed restaurants, gaming environments, fantasy settings, entertainment venues, and experimental residential design. Learn how to develop a concept and present your ideas visually and verbally. Plan, draw, model, render, and illustrate your environment using the tools of design professionals.

Interface Design
This immersion presents the fundamentals, standards, tactics, tips, and tools used to design for web browsers and mobile devices. Design your own app from concept to prototype. Following an introduction to the foundation principals of graphic design as well as content organization, workflow and project management, you will apply design tools including color, typography, imagery, and composition to focus on app concept development, task scenarios and interface design. Each student will finish with an app prototype that can be demonstrated on a smart phone or tablet.

This course introduces students to a variety of kitbashing techniques and methods that are used to create effective physical concept models and props that could be utilized for movie special effects.  Students will learn to practice the brainstorming, critical analysis, craftsmanship, painting and improvisational techniques that are necessary to create and implement physically crafted conceptual work in the professional field. (See examples here.)

Leadership, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship
This immersion will focus on entrepreneurial thinking and leadership in creative environments to provide a greater understanding of the tools that every innovative organization needs to succeed. Through a series of collaborative exercises, including leadership visioning, entrepreneurial idea generation, and experimental market research, you will learn to apply a variety of design thinking skills, mindsets, and strategies for working in and managing creative businesses – and for starting new ones. Sample topics include how to frame and re-frame problems, how to challenge assumptions, how to work in creative teams, how to generate and test creative ideas, and how to tell a compelling story through a verbal and visual pitch presentation.

Motion Design
This immersion will explore the fundamental principles of motion design through exercises exploring design, composition, idea generation, digital media, creative problem solving and collaboration. Emphasis is on movement, metamorphosis, transition, sequence, time and rhythm, pace, and editing.

This immersion introduces fundamental principles and methods of acrylic painting. Projects are designed to develop perception, sensitivity to color, and handling of the paint medium. Topics covered include rendering forms using light and shadow, applied color theory, composition, and mark-making.

Photography & Imaging
From sharing images on social networking sites, to utilizing stills, video and sound in multimedia productions, photography is at the forefront of our visual culture. This course will provide a general introduction to photography and digital imaging. The course will focus on technical and aesthetic elements of photography. Students must have a digital (SLR) camera that has the capability to shoot in RAW format.

Storyboarding for Animation
Storyboards are the first visual pass at a movie script and they become the blueprint for the film. This immersive develops an understanding of the basics of storyboarding conventions and techniques, film language, continuity editing and descriptive drawing for visual storytelling. Students will work from a script and preproduction packet to develop a scene for an animated short.

Visual Development / Concept Art
This course introduces students to a variety of techniques and methods that are used to create effective characters and background designs for video games and movies.  Students will be placed in a small team setting and will learn to practice the research, brainstorming, critical analysis, and improvisational techniques that are necessary to create and implement conceptual work in the professional field.  This is a studio workshop.

Visual Development for Game Art
Introduction to visual development artwork for Game Art. Focus on visual exploration of ideas and generation of character, prop, and set designs with the potential for interactivity and visual sophistication. Introduction to basic elements of art direction. Emphasis on sound draftsmanship, and creating original designs as they are used in an entertainment industry pipeline.

Having trouble deciding? Visit to see the College’s site for helping to explore our majors find the right fit, and to see work created in a given major.

At the time of acceptance into PreCollege, a preferred immersion maybe full. In such cases, you will be offered a seat in the next ranked immersion and wait listed in higher-rank selections. Should space become available, we will hold a spot in that selection and contact you inquire if you wish to change immersion assignment.

PreCollege Core Classes
In addition to your immersions, all students are enrolled in FOUR fundamental art and design courses: 2D Design; 3D Design; 4D Design; and Figure Drawing. Here, every student is introduced to fundamental skills through classes that explore dynamic projects, which open doors to new ideas and broaden your artistic vision.

Wherever your PreCollege experience leads you, you’ll have Ringling College faculty and student teaching assistants offering valuable guidance every step of the way. Through critiques with faculty, guest artists, teaching assistants and peers, you’ll learn how to analyze and discuss your work and the work of others in a supportive setting. Focused dialogue and evaluations will help you to assess the strengths and weaknesses in your artistic practice. And those discoveries will bring you to the next challenge—applying what you learn to what you do. You’ll leave with a solid understanding of college-level artwork, a stronger portfolio for college applications and scholarships, and a number of lasting friendships.

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