UCLA Design | Media Arts

This page is updated weekly with projects and assignments.



Work on your Vessel / Receptacle Project - Plan and Build! This is DUE WEDS. the 18th!

Continue Maya Lynda lessons (if you didn't finish last weeks tutorials, continue)
And Add the following:

4 - Create Polygonal Models
5 - Model Polygonal Meshes
6 - Refine Polygonal Meshes
If you access the 2017 Essential training you can also review the chapter called "Sculpt" (though some of this is covered in 2018)
Try it yourself in Maya as you go along!

Basic Maya notes can be found here


DUE OCT 11 - Proposal for Project 1, begin Maya Tutorials on Lynda

Access Lynda through UCLA: https://oit.ucla.edu/lynda-com
Search for "Maya 2018 Essential Training" or find it here: Maya 2018 Essential Training

Maya 2018 Essential Training by George Maestri

I recommend starting with 1.1 - Overview of the Maya Interface and Navigating in Maya

Then jump ahead to: 2 - Select and Manipulate Objects (whole chapter)

Then jump ahead to: 4 - Create Polygonal Meshes (whole chapter)

Don't worry, we will come back to the other stuff. When you have time, it is very important, but for now let's jump into the essentials of making polygonal meshes. If you can't get through ALL OF THIS, that's okay -- but try to get through these basics by next week. Download Maya and try out what you see in the tutorials.

Plans for Project I...

...should include:
sketches / measurements / properties of your THING, what's interesting about it?
multiple drawings for possibly more than one idea / outcome for a vessel / receptacle
possible measurements / costs
Descriptions / Titles
drawings from more than one perspective
use any platform - paper, photoshop, illustrator, maya / rhino
More drawings are better than good drawings!


Design an object. It can be made of anything or any combination of materials. It will be semi-functional in the following way: it will hold the weight of and/or in someway encapsulate ___________.  Fill in the blank by selecting a Thing you draw from a hat in class.

Examples: I draw “orange” so I create a very specific bowl made just for an orange. I select “human,” so I build a chair.  I draw “air” out of the hat, I make a balloon. (I don’t recommend making bowls or chairs). Your sculpture does not need to fully cover your object, but it should in some way hold / encapsulate it and should pass a weight-bearing test (or perhaps could in someway creatively avoid the weight-test). 

Take into consideration what your selected item is, what it does, what it weighs, what material it is made of, what its scale is, what its inherent properties are, and from there determine the properties of your receptacle/vessel for it. Your piece shouldn't really “work” for anything else, but be specific to your Thing. Think about weight, scale, negative space, and function. Think about your Thing. What form does it take? What does it look like? What is it used for or how to people relate to it? What is its relationship to an object that would hold it or in some way sit beneath it?

Stage your final installation with both your piece and the Thing. (If you can make alterations to the Thing in some way that is possible that enhances your installation, you can do that — as long as a person could still call the Thing that Thing). How has your Thing been newly activated, enhanced? What qualities of it have you drawn out? How does your piece change the Thing it has been made for?

DUE OCT 9 - Assignment 3

Pt. 1
Design a simple 2D test in Illustrator for the Laser Cutter using all the functionality (vector cutting, vector engraving, raster etching, see here:

Pt. 2
Design due Oct. 9, full object due Oct. 25
Create a 2D illustrator file to make a hollow cardboard shape on the laser cutter. (First try a cube, then try to make a different shape if you want. On monday we will talk about how to use Slicer's "folded panels" technique to do this. Try it! Don’t forget about kerf!)

Pt.3 - OPTIONAL - We will go over this monday
If you aren't feeling challenged by the previous two parts, try this: Download a free 3D model online (try turbosquid or thingiverse). Import it into Slicer for Fusion 360 and play with some different construction techniques. See the "Slicer notes" Link on the references / resources page. Prepare an illustrator file for the laser cutter using one of the interlocking or stacking construction methods. Just your file is due Monday. Have your object cut and build it for extra credit. Bring it in any time (cut from any material) for the credit.


DUE Oct 4 - Assignment 2 - Model Homework

Pt. 1 Make something out of the model magic / modeling clay given to you in class. After you make something, draw it from 2 or 3 perspectives. Optional if you want to have it cut. Pt. 2 Draw something (else) from 2 or 3 perspectives. After you draw it, try to make it out of model magic / modeling clay. Bring both forms and all drawings to class

DUE Oct 1 - Assignment 1 - Form Game Object

Find an object that fits in a shoe box or small cardboard box. Bring the object to class in the box (don’t take it out!)