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Take the pre-test
Download the concept development document

Check your course syllabus before purchasing books since the requirements for each course vary.
Glory of Yore RPG
Toonzy! the Cartoon Role Playing Game book or in free PDF format
Getting Started in ZBrush
Developing Creative Content for Games
The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses
Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals
Universal Principles of Design

SCAD website
SCAD Academic Catalog
SCAD Course Catalog
SCAD Events Calendar

For digital artists there is simply no substitute for knowing proper anatomy, understanding scripting, and being able to polish your work. It is the difference between getting a job as a modeler or not. Ignore these classes at your own risk. You may need to take prerequisite classes or get a waiver of prerequisite to register for these classes. Make sure that you check the latest SCAD course catalog as the names and course prerequisites of classes can change.

SEQA 352 Constructive Human Anatomy for Sequential Art
VSFX 160 Introduction to Visual Effects Programming
VSFX 311 Digital Materials and Textures
VSFX 312 Advanced Application Scripting
VSFX 316 Digital Lighting and Rendering

For environment artists it is a good idea to take a few architectural history courses and get to know various architectural forms. Especially since you'll be modeling these anyways. Here's a list of some of the most relevant classes. The ARLH classes count as art history electives!

ARLH 208 Modern Architecture After 1900
ARLH 236 Renaissance and Baroque Architecture
ARLH 321 Ancient Architecture in Context
ARLH 323 Medieval Architecture in Context
ARLH 325 Islamic Art and Architecture
ARLH 344 African Art and Architecture
ARLH 355 Gothic Art and Architecture
ARLH 376 Historical Virtual Environments

For game designers and writers it pays to hone your writing skills. Look into writing classes in the following majors and minors:


Remember to email the professor teaching any class you are interested in in order to ask them about the class and whether or not it would be appropriate to your needs.

You need to have an online portfolio. You can either purchase a web domain and hosting from an online vendor such as GoDaddy or use a free portfolio host such as ArtStation. Your portfolio should be focused on the primary skill that you are excellent at and a secondary skill that you are pretty good at. It is critical to show how work looks inside the game engine. How the work looks inside Zbrush, Substance Painter, 3ds Max, or Maya simply doesn't matter. Renders are easy, but showing art in the game engine is not. You need to demonstrate your knowledge of the entire pipeline. Demo reels work best for animators and effects artists. Static images (JPG) work better than a demo reel for showing off modeling work. They load faster and are easier to browse through than a demo reel.

Put something original into your portfolio, bring something new to the table, and show unique work that highlights your creativity. Try taking two things you know and combining them in an unexpected way. Show work that highlights the research you have done into your subject matter and that demonstrates thorough attention to detail. While fan art isn't forbidden, it serves your portfolio much better to include personal projects instead.

When evaluating your work, don't compare your work to other students; compare yourself to professionals in your chosen specialty instead. That is your competition. Remember, it is quality over quantity that matters. You are only as good as your worst piece. There should be an even level of quality to the work you choose to display. Work that shows an uneven degree of refinement, detail, or design serves as a reason not to hire you. It is better to show a handful of excellent pieces over a dozen pieces of uneven quality.

While you need to develop and maintain your drawing skills through figure or vehicle work, you don't need to show this work on your portfolio site. It can sometimes help to have a development blog on Instagram, Tumblr, or elsewhere. If you do so, you need to make it very clear what each piece of work is there for. Clearly label and explain when you are learning a new process or trying something outside of your comfort zone, and explain yourself when you think something is good. Show how you self-edit your work down into your curated portfolio. If you choose to have a development blog or multiple websites hosting your portfolio, it is critical to keep the content on all of these sites up to date and relevant.

Finally, you need to be super motivated and willing to accept any position to get your foot in the door. Remember that saying yes opens new doors, saying no closes them.

Z-Brush Central
Polycount Forum
AutoDesk forums
Adobe Photoshop forums

LINKS, a great anatomy and reference pay site
Anatomy resource., a wonderful free resource
CIA World Fact Book
Covert Shores
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Game Developer
Hypertext d20 SRD
Internet Archive's magazine rack
ODIN Worldwide Equipment Guide
Omniglot - online encyclopedia of writing systems and languages
Phy's deep sea pages
Pop mechanics military news
Science Daily
Sci News
Shaolin Kung Fu weapon: meteor hammer video
Species New to Science
TV Tropes

Glory of Yore: Fantasy Role Playing in the World of King Arthur
Toonzy! the Cartoon Role Playing Game
Game pitch archive (archived)
Call of Cthulhu
Classic Runequest
Marvel Super Heroes
D&D 3.5 SRD
Basic Fantasy

B3 Palace of the Silver Princess
L1 Secret of Bone Hill
L2 The Assassin's Knot
N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God
Quest for the Silver Sword
T1 Village of Hommlet
U1 Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh
U2 Danger at Dunwater
UK5 Eye of the Serpent

World Builders (archived), a very organized site for step-by-step building a world.
Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions by Patricia C. Wrede.
Speculative Literature, contains creative writing resources.
Language construction kit
Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr.
The Internet Sacred Texts Archive, for developing your own fantasy religion, a very useful diagram and chart making web app

DC cartoon archive (archived)
How to critique
Design method
Design process
Keeping a sketchbook
digital drawing tutorials (archived)
human pose app
human proportions
how to draw proportions
how to draw people
figure drawing
color theory in depth
color scheme designer
copyright basics

Read an introduction to using Microsoft Word
How to use email
Download a copy of my CV

How to create a PDF
Read an introduction to Adobe Acrobat

Advice: Make sure that your web presence always reflects positively on you. Never post or tweet anything that could be considered a detraction from yourself. Your personal and professional space now overlap and will affect each other.
Set up your art portfolio here
Get a web domain from
Download the example website
View the notes for the website
Photoshop for the web
Making your own portfolio web page
Design a website with photoshop

Download the first set of Illustrator notes.
Download the business card template
Download the second set of Illustrator notes.
Download additional notes on Illustrator.
How to capture a screenshot.
Understanding spot color.
Official Adobe Support website
Some Illustrator cartooon character tutorials

Download an introduction to Adobe Photohop.
How to use photohop's palettes.
Notes on scanning a greyscale or color file.
Notes on scanning lineart.
Download the notes for photohop's brushes.
Official Adobe Photoshop tutorials
Official Adobe Creative Cloud resources

View the notes
Official AE User Guide

Download the reference grid image
Download another variant grid image
Official Autodesk learning resources.'s WIKI
Maya Learning Channel on Youtube
3D & Motion Graphics tutorials
A guide to fish.
3d Glossary and terminology
Maya Support from Autodesk.
Baking lights and creating dirt maps in 3dsMax, from 3D World.
A great tutorial for weathering a model train.
Examples of character modeling and reference pictures
Download the facial poly-regions image
The classic Joan of Arc character modeling tutorial (archive)
Video on modeling a face
Video on modeling an ear
Video on modeling a hand
Maya tutorials
Ben Mathis's 3d tutorial site
A character modeling tutorial
FBX converter
Fixing maya's texture memory errors when rendering a file
3d Glossary and terminology
Creating perfect skin
Creating a face
Anatomy for 3d artists
Light and Color for 3d

ZBrush Central - Forum for tutorials, questions, and artwork.
ZBrush tutorials forum.
ZBrush official help material.
ZClassroom - video tutorials beginning with extreme ZBrush basics and building to more advanced topics.
Concept sculpting technique
ZBrush Alpha pack.
Scuplting in ZBrush
ZBrush wire technique


Microsoft explains Windows/DOS file paths
Microsoft Guide to Ms DOS 6
Wikipedia's list of DOS commands

Cygwin, a very useful Linux emulator for learning the basics of shell programming.
Bash manual in PDF format
Bash programming - Introduction and how-to
Bash Guide for Beginners
Bash in depth
The Learn Shell interactive Shell Programming tutorial
Bash scripting cheatsheet

Get the official W3C notes for HTML 4.01
W3C the official getting started with HTML guide
W3C: CSS and HTML tutorial
W3 Schools online tutorials
Read the Bare Bones Guide to HTML
A detailed HTML overview
Mozilla Developer Network: Introduction to HTML
Website Setup: HMTL beginner tutorial
Meta Tags: Meta tags code generator

Learn JS: Learn JavaScript
JavaScript Official Site: Try JavaScript
University of Idaho, JavaScript quick reference card PDF

Make sure that you are learning Python version 3.10 if you want it to work with Maya.
Using Python in Maya
Python: Tutorials
Practice Python: Beginner Python exercises -->

Further Reading
CodeConquest: Free Code Tutorials
MIT Open Courseware
Reddit's learn programming subreddit
Youtube's Learn Code:academy
Youtube's Google Developers
Youtube's Android Developers
Youtube's the Coding Train

The 1912 New Websterian Dictionary for clear word meanings.
Purdue's MLA writing style and citation guide
Grammarly can help your writing

Simon Bisley
Tony Diterlizzi
Chris Foss
Frank Frazetta
Jack Kirby
Syd Mead
Alex Ross
Michael Whelan

SCAD Course Descriptions
6x6 art show
Guild of Natural Science Illustrators
Association of Science Fiction & Fantasy Artists

Project Gutenberg - an online source of free books
Project Gutenberg Australia - with more Scifi and Fantasy

Critical non-fiction books:
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
Deadly Powers: Animal Predators and the Mythic Imagination by Paul trout
Film Directing Shot by Shot by Steve Katz
The Golden Bough by Sir James George Frazer
Writer's Guide to Character Traits - Dr. Linda Edelstein
Color and Light - James Gurney
Imaginative Realism - James Gurney
Anything by Andrew Loomis
How to Paint Citadel Miniatures - Games Workshop
1912 dictionary

Reading list of fantasy and science fiction authors:
Wikipedia Category: Hugo Award Winner for Best Novel
Nebula Award for Best Novel winners
Wikipedia list of joint winners of the Hugo and Nebula awards
Wikipedia list of science fiction authors
Wikipedia list of fantasy authors

Critical scifi reads:
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
Watership Down - Richard Adams
The Foundation Trilogy - Isaac Asimov
The Mists Of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley
Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
A Princess of Mars - E.R. Burroughs
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
Childhood's End - Arthur C. Clarke
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick
Neuromancer - William Gibson
The Forever War - Joe Haldeman
Starship Troopers - Robert A. Heinlein
The Dune Chronicles - Frank Herbert
The Conan The Barbarian Series - Robert E. Howard
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Left Hand Of Darkness - Ursula K. LeGuin
The Complete Fiction - H.P. Lovecraft
I Am Legend - R. Matheson
A Canticle For Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller Jr.
The Elric Saga - Michael Moorcock
Ringworld - Larry Niven
Animal Farm - Orwell
Small Gods - Terry Pratchett
Anthem - Ayn Rand
The Lord Of The Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea - Jules Verne
Journey To The Center Of The Earth - Jules Verne
Slan - A.E. van Vogt
Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut
The Lords of Dus series - Lawrence Watt-Evans
The Time Machine - H.G. Wells
War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells
The Once And Future King - T.H. White
The Amber Chronicles - Roger Zelazny


They Live (1988)
Re-Animator (1985)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
The Thing (1982)
The Shining (1980)
Alien (1979)
Carrie (1976)
The Exorcist (1973)
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Gojira (1956)
The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Dracula (1931)
Nosferatu (1922)
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
The Godfather (1972)
Bonnie & Clyde (1967)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
North by Northwest (1959)
Vertigo (1958)
The African Queen (1951)
Casablanca (1942)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Gone with the Wind (1939)
Potemkin (1925)

V for Vendetta (2006)
Minority Report (2002)
The Matrix (1999)
The Fifth Element (1997)
City of Lost Children (1995)
Total Recall (1990)
Predator (1987)
RoboCop (1987)
Aliens (1986)
Back to the Future (1985)
Brazil (1985)
The Terminator (1984)
Repo Man (1984)
Blade Runner (1982)
Star Wars - A New Hope (1977)
Logan's Run (1976)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Star Trek (TV show, 1966–69)
The Time Machine (1960)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Forbidden Planet (1956)
The War of the Worlds (1953)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
When Worlds Collide (1951)
The Shape of Things to Come (1936)
Metropolis (1927)

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
300 (2006)
Kung Fu Hustle (2005)
Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)
Black Hawk Down (2001)
Gladiator (2000)
Léon: The Professional (1994)
Die Hard (1988)
Predator (1987)
Lethal Weapon (1987)
Robocop (1987)
Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
Commando (1985)
Ran (1985)
Escape from New York (1981)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
Mad Max (1979)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Death Wish (1974)
The Four Musketeers (1974)
The Three Musketeers (1973)
Dirty Harry (1971)
Kelly's Heroes (1970)
Bullitt (1968)
Where Eagles Dare (1968)
The Dirty Dozen (1967)
Goldfinger (1964)
From Russia With Love (1964)
Dr. No (1962)
Spartacus (1960)
Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai) (1954)

Unforgiven (1992)
The Wild Bunch (1969)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
The War Wagon (1967)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
For a Few Dollars More (1965)
A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
The Searchers (1956)
Shane (1953)
High Noon (1952)
Red River (1948)
Stagecoach (1939)
Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
Hellboy (2004)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)
The Princess Bride (1987)
Highlander (1986)
Ghostbusters (1984)
Conan the Barbarian (1982)
Time Bandits (1981)
Superman (1978)
Wizards (1977)
The Land That Time Forgot (1975)
Fantastic Planet (1973)
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
The Seventh Seal (1957)
The Thief of Bagdad (1940)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
King Kong (1933)
Tarzan the Ape Man (1932)
The Lost World (1925)

Army of Darkness (1992)
Evil Dead II (1987)
The Blues Brothers (1980)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Young Frankenstein (1974)
Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
The Great Dictator (1940)
Bringing up Baby (1938)
Duck Soup (1933)
The Three Stooges (shorts, 1930-1950)
The General (1926)

The Venture Bros. (2003-)
SpongeBob SquarePants (1999-)
The Tick (1994-1996)
Batman: The Animated Series (1992-95)
Ren & Stimpy (1991-1995)
The Simpsons (1989-)
Thundarr the Barbarian (1980–81)
Scooby-Doo (1969-1970)
Jonny Quest (1964-1965)
The Flintstones (1960-66)
Rocky and His Friends/The Bullwinkle Show (1959-64)
Fleischer Superman (1941-1943)
Tom and Jerry (1940-1958)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Looney Tunes (1933-1960)
Steamboat Willie (1928)
Gertie the Dinosaur (1914)

Hell comes to Frog Town (1988)
Man on Fire (1987) the Italian version
Pulgasari (1985)
Zardoz (1974)
Hercules Unchained (1959)
Les visiteurs (1993)
MST3K Episode 422 "Kalevala"
Bubba Hotep (2002)
Master of the World (1961)
My Name is Bruce (2007)
The Day of the Triffids (1963)
Five Million Years to Earth (1967)
The Adventures of Brisco County Junior (1993)
Jack of All Trades (2000)
Any "Hammer" films

Plus anything from these Directors
Kathryn Ann Bigelow
Cecil B. DeMille
John Ford
Terry Gilliam
Alfred Hitchcock
John Huston
Stanley Kubrick
Akira Kurosawa
Sergio Leone
Hayao Miyazaki
Leni Riefenstahl
Martin Scorsese
Steven Spielberg
Quentin Tarantino
Billy Wilder

Cheers and good luck in your classes!