Enrollment for all 2021 Summer Design Institutes is NOW OPEN!
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Designed and taught by UT faculty, high school students will learn about video game design, graphic design, animation, 3D design, product sketching, music branding, and augmented reality. All of our online design camps provide students the unique opportunity to create a portfolio piece as they prepare to apply for college.

***PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL 2021 SUMMER CAMP OFFERINGS WILL BE TAUGHT VIRTUALLY BY OUR UT INSTRUCTORS***

Designing the Everyday Object

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Dates: June 7 – June 11, 2021

Times: 1:00pm - 4:00pm CT

This ONLINE camp teaches students about modern-day product design and the design process. Students will explore the process and discover how to visualize their ideas through drawings and models. Using the design process, students will design and visualize a product over the course of the camp and present their new innovative products at the final review.

High-level agenda:

  • Day 1: The Fuzzy front End of Design – How to go from idea to product!
  • Day 2: Concept Development
  • Day 3: Exploring Ergonomics and Low Fidelity Models
  • Day4 Concept Refinement
  • Day 5: Final Presentation Review

Faculty: Brooke M Davis

Music Branding

Photo of Pet Shop Boys album art CD and packaging

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Dates: June 7 – June 11, 2021

Times: 10:00am – 1:00pm CT

Do you have a favorite album cover? Do you have a favorite band or musical artist? This summer camp presents a brief history of music branding, iconic examples of artwork and design that changed pop culture and the music industry, and offers students the experience of developing a series of music packaging from concept to presentation, all based on their favorite music.

High-level agenda:

Photo of Pet Shop Boys vinyl album and packaging
  • Day 1: Welcome to Music Branding!
    • Introduction to music packaging, graphic design, and art direction
    • Choose your music and begin inspiration research
  • Day 2: Inspiration Into Action  
    • Review student inspiration
    • Introduction to Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign for type and images
  • Day 3: Art vs. Logo
    • Band or artist name as logo
    • Artistic styles as identity
  • Day 4: The Complete Package
    • Discuss variations and editing
    • Refine sketches and layouts ideas
  • Day 5: The Final Presentation
    • Final presentations, critique and congratulations!

Requirements: A love of music and working knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, or another creative program for laying type over images.

Faculty: Greg Foley

Game Design

screenshot of robot character in original video game

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Dates: June 7 – June 11, 2021

Times: 10:00am – 1:00pm CT

In this camp, students will learn the basics of game design in Unity. Starting from scratch, we'll learn all about how the program works and then design and develop our own custom projects!

High-level agenda:

  • Day 1: Intro to Unity
    • What can Unity do
    • How to get started making a project
  • Day 2: Working with game objects
    • How to add components
    • How to make custom scripts
  • Day 3: Designing game mechanics
    • How to create a goal for the player
    • Making the game fun to play
  • Day 4: Customizing our games
    • Adding your own special features!
    • Tying everything together
  • Day 5: Finishing the project
    • Polishing the final project
    • Making a game build you can share with friends.

Requirements: A computer that can run Unity

Faculty: Jessie Contour

Web Game Design

screenshot of character in original web-based platform game

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Dates: June 14 – June 18, 2021

Times: 10:00am – 1:00pm CT

In this camp, students will use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create a web game! We will use popular JavaScript frameworks and implement our own custom features. 

High-level agenda:

  • Day 1: Review of web technologies
    • Review of HTML and CSS
    • Review of JavaScript and how we will use it in our game
  • Day 2: Learning our JavaScript framework
    • Introduction to the framework
    • How our projects are structured
    • Creating the game structure
  • Day 3: Creating our core game loop
    • Programming the core interaction of the game
    • Brainstorming on how to expand it into custom games
  • Day 4: Designing custom features
    • Implementing our custom features
    • Focusing on smooth interaction
  • Day 5: Finishing the project
    • Polishing the final project
    • Publishing it so everyone can play!

Requirements: Students must have a basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript coding language.

Faculty: Jessie Contour

Intro to Graphic Design

a purple cyborg bear sits between large text that reads "Twinkle Toy Shop"

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Dates: June 14 – June 18, 2021

Times: 10:00am – 1:00pm CT

Have you ever wondered what makes a great logo design? In this ONLINE Introduction to Graphic Design camp, we will learn the fundamentals of graphic design through exploration into typeface and logo design. Students will learn and use Adobe Illustrator to create a logo design by the end of the week!

High-level agenda:

  • Day 1: Introduction to Graphic Design, Design Principles, & Design Process
  • Day 2: Exploring Typefaces - What are they, and how do we use them?
  • Day 3: Exploring Symbolism
  • Day 4: What makes a great logo design?
  • Day 5: Final Presentation Review

Requirements: Use of Adobe Illustrator (Free Trial)

Faculty: Brooke M Davis

3D CAD for Product Design

3D modeled flashlight sitting on a flat surface

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Dates: June 21 – June 25, 2021

Times: 10:00am – 1:00pm

This ONLINE camp teaches students the introductory principles of product design through 3D CAD modeling using Rhino 3D software. Students will explore how techniques of model building, rendering, and 3D printing can aid in the design process. Students will design a handheld communication device for kids by the end of the week.

High-level agenda:

  • Day 1: Introduction to Product Design and Rhino 3D
  • Day 2: Design Principles in Product Design and Rhino Primitive Design
  • Day 3: 3D Modeling How form and function inform our design?  And Rhino Surface Design
  • Day 4: Output: Rendering & 3D Printing Methods
  • Day 5: Final Presentation Review

Requirements: Students will be required to download a free trial evaluation to use during the class. Please go to www.rhino3d.com for computer system requirements.

Faculty: Brooke M Davis

Intro to 2D Animation and Motion

screenshot of stop-motion animated short created by a 2020 Summer Design Institute student

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Dates: June 21 – June 25, 2021

Times: 10:00am – 1:00pm CT

Animation and Motion camp is an introduction to the principles of 2D animation. Students will work with Adobe Creative Cloud and apply those technical skills to traditional and modern animation techniques. Projects include Stop Motion, Rotoscoping, and Frame Animation. Critiques and presentations will accompany the projects and prepare the student for success with a project reel.

High-level agenda:

  • Day 1: Welcome to Animation!
    • Introduction to Animation
    • The Flipbook
  • Day 2: Stop Motion 
    • Introduction to Adobe Photoshop and Premiere for processing camera stills
    • Stop Motion Animation
  • Day 3: The Animated Gif and Frame Animation
    • Introduction to the animated gif made in Adobe Photoshop for use in frame animation
    • Create animated gifs and frame animations
  • Day 4: Rotoscope
    • Introduction to digital drawing tablets in Adobe Photoshop for frame animation
    • Create a video-traced line rotoscope animation
  • Day 5: Critiques and Reels
    • Students will learn the importance and creation of individual animation reels
    • Final presentations and critiques

Requirements:

  • Google Drive and Docs access
  • Pencil & eraser
  • 3 Pack of Yellow Post-It Notes
  • Fine-tipped black Sharpie
  • Computer powerful enough to run Adobe Creative Cloud + Zoom
  • Trial version of Adobe CC installed
  • Wacom CTL4100 Intuos Graphics Drawing Tablet (Preferred)

Faculty: Neal Daugherty 

Product Design Sketching

sketch of yellow Audi R8 sports car by Jose Perez

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Dates: June 21 – June 25, 2021

Times: 1:00pm – 4:00pm CT

How do professional designers sketch vehicles, game design characters, environments, and products? Students of the Product Design Sketching class will learn the process of sketching from the real world and their imagination. They will learn the tools and techniques that help a designer communicate their ideas for collaboration, fabrication, or manufacturing. It all starts from a simple sketch to more complex renderings that communicate ideas that can become reality. Students will take the techniques from this class and will be able to apply them to an analog or digital process. Students will complete a high-level sketch and have a greater understanding of perspective drawing, rendering, and presentation layout.

High-level agenda:

  • Day 1: Welcome to Product Design Sketching!
    • Introduction to Design Sketching
    • Understanding Perspective Drawing
  • Day 2: Simple Forms  
    • Introduction to Tools and Materials 
    • Drawing and Shading Simple Forms
  • Day 3: Ideation Sketching
    • Simplifying Complex Forms
    • Marker Technique 
  • Day 4: Product Design Sketching 
    • Vehicles, Electronics, Shoes, Soft Goods, and Furniture Sketching 
    • Presentation Sketches and Explanatory Sketches 
  • Day 5: Visual Communication
    • Presentation Boards
    • Final Marker Rendering

Faculty: Jose Perez

Augmented Reality for Social Media

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Date: June 28 – July 2, 2021

Time: 10:00am – 1:00pm CT

This summer camp focuses on the application of augmented reality for social media. Students will learn how to use Spark AR to create AR filters and masks for social media, which they can publish and publicly share! Students will design several filters while exploring 3D modeling, basic coding, and conceptual design of thematic work.

High-level agenda:

  • Day 1: Introduction to Spark AR
    • An introduction to how the program works and it's capabilities
  • Day 2: How to design for AR
    • Thinking about what it means to make something for AR
    • How can we use this technology to it's best potential?
  • Day 3: Creating an AR Mask
    • Making a custom mask that tracks to our face!
    • Building a project from scratch
  • Day 4: How to make interactive features
    • Learning how to create dynamic features, so your project is more than it appears.
  • Day 5: Creating an interactive AR filter
    • Combining what we've learned so far to make an exciting custom AR filter
    • Publishing our filter on Instagram

Requirements: A computer that can run Spark AR

Faculty: Jessie Contour

Advanced Animation and Motion

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Dates: June 28 – July 2, 2021

Times: 10:00am – 1:00pm CT

Advanced Animation and Motion builds off concepts, techniques, and tools learned in Animation and Motion. Students will explore the elements of basic motion graphics using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe After Effects. Projects include Rube Goldberg machine experiments, Kinetic Type, and Motion Tracking all designed to help the students expound on their existing project reel.

High-level agenda:

  • Day 1: Welcome!
    • Introduction to course topics, software, and the illusions of life in a digital matrix
    • Introduction to Adobe After Effects and advanced tools in Adobe Photoshop and Premiere
  • Day 2: Rocket Launch - Day 1
    • Exploring modern cut-out animation techniques and the introduction to keyframing
    • Use Adobe After Effects to animate a Rube Goldberg machine-like series of events
  • Day 3: Rocket Launch - Day 2
    • Use of the temporal graph and expressions in Adobe After Effects
    • Rocket Launch Presentations and Critiques
  • Day 4: Kinetic Type - Day 1
    • Exploration of kinetic type and the use of typographical effects in Adobe After Effects
    • Create a kinetic type animation based on musical lyrics
  • Day 5: Kinetic Type - Day 2 / Presentations
    • Studio - Finalize to work on their Kinetic Type animations
    • Final Presentations and Critiques

Requirements:

  • Google Drive and Docs access
  • Pencil & eraser
  • 3 Pack of Yellow Post-It Notes
  • Fine-tipped black Sharpie
  • Computer powerful enough to run Adobe Creative Cloud + Zoom
  • Trail-version of Adobe CC installed
  • Wacom CTL4100 Intuos Graphics Drawing Tablet (Preferred)

Faculty: Neal Daugherty

Pricing

Early Bird Price: $500 (until 5/3/2021)

Regular Price: $549

Registration Deadlines: 

  • for camps starting on 6/7, registration closes on 5/31
  • for camps starting on 6/14, registration closes on 6/7
  • for camps starting on 6/21, registration closes on 6/14
  • for camps starting on 6/28, registration closes on 6/21

Scholarships

SDCTx has a small number of partial need-based scholarships available for students to attend the virtual camps. Partial scholarships will cover 90% of the registration fee. The criteria for scholarship determination will be student's Free and Reduced Lunch or Texas Medicaid status.

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Camp Requirements

Any high school student who is between the ages of 14 and 18 or entering 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade may register. ***All 2021 summer camps will be taught virtually*** Students do NOT need to have any prior experience to attend these camps except for Advanced Animation and Motion & Web Game Design (requirements for these will be specified soon). All participants must connect through a reliable internet connection and utilize a computer capable of running the latest version of Zoom and other specified software, depending on the camp selected.

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