Specialized Honours Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media

Digital Program

Students in the Digital Media program complete a common core curriculum in the first 18 months of the program. They then have the opportunity to choose one of three streams of study – Digital Media Arts, Digital Media Game Arts or Digital Media Development – according to their interests. The Digital Media Arts stream focuses strongly on digital arts creation and production, Digital Media Development is oriented more to computer science, and Digital Media Game Arts involves students in game theory and production.

While pursuing their stream of choice, Digital Media students come together for several courses in their upper years. Media Signal Processing in the second year, Collaborative Project Development/Collaborative Project Development in Games in third year and the Capstone course (Digital Media Project) in fourth year involve large and small group projects that allow students to advance their specific interests and gain valuable large-scale development skills.

Students enrolled in other programs at York may choose to pursue a minor in Computational Arts and Technology through the Department of Computational Arts in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design.

How to Apply

Admission Requirements

Academic Calendar – Degree Requirements

Sample Courses

FA/DATT 1000 6.00 Introduction to Interactive Digital Media

Introduces programming environments designed for creative use, such as Max/MSP. These will be put in practice by students in developing their own projects. Emphasis on cultural analysis about the important role that computational media have in the arts, as well as integration of key ideas and methods from computer science.

Course credit exclusion: FA/FACS 2930 6.00. Open to non-majors.

FA/DATT 2000 3.00 Introduction to Physical Computing

Explores embodied approaches to combining hardware, software and materials to create art works. Students will be introduced to the world of physical computing: combining simple computers (e.g. Arduino), sensors, LEDs, motors etc. in physical forms. Prerequisite: Second-year standing or permission of the Instructor.

Course credit exclusion: FA/FACS 3933 3.00.

FA/DATT 2050 3.00 Media Signal Processing

Introduces the concepts and techniques of digital signal processing and their application in both sound and image resulting in the development of works that are cross-modal hybrids between sound and image, such as found in the Visual Music aesthetic.

Course credit exclusion: FA/FACS 2935 3.00. Prerequisites: FA/FACS 2930 6.00 or FA/DATT 1000 6.00.

FA/DATT 2300 3.00 Game Development I

Introduces the essential workflows and requisite knowledge for game development through the design and creation of game prototypes using a game engine. Provides an introductory hands-on approach to the study and practice of games, gamification, and game play and their use in various applications, including video games, simulations, serious gaming, and art making contexts. The course will take practical and theoretical approaches to game production in a variety of gaming contexts. Emphasis will be on implementation, using software tools and engines found in professional game development and in the making of technology-based art practice. While a large part of the focus of the course will be on standard game techniques as applied in gaming contexts, this course will also focus on the applications in non-gaming contexts, known as gamification. Gamification involves the larger implications of game techniques in a variety of fields including interactive art, multi-stakeholder engagement, serious gaming, learning, and other problem solving scenarios. This course will also explore new and cutting edge trends in gaming, such as in the areas of alt gaming, Not Games, and urban gaming where the potential and boundaries of games and game play are being challenged and tested.

Open to non-majors

 FA/DATT 2500 3.0 Introduction to 3D Modelling

Provides a foundation in 3D modelling using state of the art render time 3D modelling software such as Maya, Blender, and 3DS Max. The course will provide a survey of various modelling techniques and approaches with an emphasis on modelling used in 3D art, 3D animation and games. Topics include photorealistic rendering, scene building, character modelling, and the use of 3D graphics in simulation and visualization.

FA/DATT 2501 3.00 Introduction to 3D Animation

Provides a foundation in 3D animation using state of the art render time 3D modelling and animation software such as Maya, Blender, and 3DS Max. The course will provide a survey of various animation techniques and approaches with an emphasis on render time animation as it is used in 3D art, 3D animation, data visualization and games. Topics include, scene building, character animation, timeline based animation techniques, and the use of 3D graphics in simulation and visualization. Prerequisites:

FA/DATT 2500 3.00, or by permission of the Instructor.

FA/DATT 3200 3.00 Performing Telepresence

Engages the internet as a medium for performance, exploring the concept of remote presence through personal and group projects. Students collaborate on multimedia performance pieces with partner universities in order to develop their own aesthetic vision of this largely-uncharted territory in a way that challenges established notions of audience participation, staging, veracity and inter-performer dialogue. Pressing technical issues related to networking, visual and spatial rendering and audio engineering for telematic performance are engaged in the context of real performance events, bringing together students of both performing arts and digital media development in collaboration. The course accommodates and leverages student backgrounds across disciplines including music, dance, computer science, visual arts, film/video, theatre, engineering and digital media. Network-based multimedia improvisation sessions are used as a resource in project development, as well as critical examination of existing pieces from the telematic performance literature.

Prerequisites: FA/DATT 1000 6.0 Introduction to Interactive Digital Media or Permission of the Instructor

FA/DATT 3700 6.00 Collaborative Project Development

The entire class collaborates on the realization of one or two ambitious projects. Students will work together as a development team by taking on roles where they focus on specific aspects of the project (such as Director, Designer, Artist, Programmer, Sound engineer, Interaction Designer, Publicity). The development team structure is modeled on teams used in large-scale project development within fields related to Digital Media, such as contemporary art practice, game development, creative software development, and interactive experience development that rely on multi-stakeholder collaboration and interdisciplinary research. Projects may incorporate partnerships with York-based Faculties, Departments, or research teams depending on the focus of the project. The nature of the project will vary from year to year, but will be a significant work in the field of Digital Media. The Instructor(s) will prepare a general description of the project(s) at the beginning of the course. The details of the project(s) will be developed as part of the class activities. As part of the project development and execution students will be expected to prepare presentations, posters, and a written paper. The culmination of this course will be a final presentation, which will be open to the public. In addition to group assignments, students are evaluated based on their individual contribution, teamwork, presentations, and other deliverables as appropriate.

Prerequisites: Only open to students the Digital Media Specialized Honours BA program, and FA/DATT 2050 3.0 or FA/DATT 2100 3.00, and LE/EECS 2030 3.00. Course credit exclusion: FA/DATT 3701 6.00.

FA/DATT 4932 3.00 Interactive Stage: Explorations in electronically mediated performance

Explores the creation of interactive stage environments for live performance. Students will investigate various strategies where-by on-stage ‘events’ (physical, vocal, physiological, etc.) manipulate audio, video and/or lighting events. Students will be introduced to dedicated interactive and show control software, and become adept at programming interactive environments. Through a contextual survey of the history of intermedial performance, students will develop a critical understanding of the use of digital media in contemporary live performance.

Prerequisite: FA/FACS 2936 3.00 or FA/DANC 3220 3.00 or FA/DANC 4220 3.00 or permission of the course director.

FA/DATT 4950 3.00 Artificial Life, Generative Art and Creative Code

Explores computation as a creative medium from a biologically-inspired standpoint to develop artworks, adaptive media and simulations approaching the fascinating complexity of nature. Artists, composers, designers and architects have always drawn inspiration from nature, but until recently only rarely have they been able to leverage nature’s creative mechanisms. From its origins computing has also found biological inspiration in pattern formation, self-construction and reproduction, intelligence, autonomy and collective behaviour. Frameworks explored in the course include complex dynamical systems, fractals, cellular automata, agent-based systems, evolutionary and developmental programming, artificial chemistries and ecosystems. The course is focused on practice in the arts, interactive media, and design: interactive audiovisual applications are implemented both in-class and through student projects, and are critically examined by interweaving the history, theory and landmark works in the literature of generative art, evolutionary music and art, and process art, as well as artificial life, systems biology, and bioinformatics research, and philosophies of process, creativity, and the aesthetics of nature.

Prerequisites: LE/EECS 1030 3.00, FA/DATT 2050 3.00.