Undergraduate Program Information
New Mexico State University’s Creative Media Institute (CMI) prepares students to become digital storytellers using state of the art, industry-standard tools. The Creative Media Institute is dedicated to developing and nurturing the artistic endeavors of student filmmakers through industry-standard education, research and collaboration in the art, craft and production of the moving image through storytelling, resulting in a Bachelor of Creative Media degree. The program provides learning opportunities for newly admitted NMSU students, and provides some credit transfer opportunities for students with an associate degree from a NMSU community college or other two-year degree granting institution. The Bachelor of Creative Media provides a liberal arts background enabling students to pursue further education, professional training or employment in the digital media-based industry. Study in the CMI program fosters collaborative expression based on a clear understanding of media culture, history, design and practice. CMI also offers students the opportunity for internships in digital video, animation, visualization and simulation, industrial and educational video at varied production facilities on and off campus.
Theory and practice are integrated at every step as students manipulate text, sound and images using industry-standard technology. CMI houses a state of the art digital projection system screening room, post-production lab, animation lab, production space, motion capture laboratory and THX sound mixing theatre.
Due to limited capacity, new students wishing to continue in the CMI program after their freshman year are required to complete an application process. Transfer students from other institutions, including NMSU Community Colleges, must complete the application process. Transfer students should contact an Academic Advisor from the College of Arts and Sciences Advising Office for information about joining one of the two degree programs offered in CMI. Space is limited and varies each year. The quality of the student's work as demonstrated in the application and prior course work are additional criteria of the admission decision. Exact details and procedures for applying to the CMI program can be found on the CMI website at: cmi.nmsu.edu.
Degrees for the Department
Minors for the Department
Associate Professor, Amy Lanasa, Department Head
Associate Professors Fisher, Lanasa; Assistant Professors Fowler, Lapid, Lau; College Assistant Professors Bakshi, Chase, Gorell, Marks; College Instructor Nirmalakhandan
CMI 100. Introduction to the Creative Media Industry
This class is an introductory course for students interested in learning about the creative media industry and the Creative Media Institute. It offers a broad view of the entire industry including Marketing, Production, Budgets, Jobs, New Media Literacy, and Industry Standards. Students will listen to experts in the field, and become involved in open discussions about the industry and use new information to complete hands-on assignments in the laboratory. Restricted to Las Cruces campus only.
CMI 200. Sound Design 1
Focuses on the techniques for creating, recording and manipulating sounds through challenging sound design projects. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Crosslisted with: CMT 206.
Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): CMI 100. Restricted to: DFM,ANVE majors. Restricted to Las Cruces campus only.
CMI 205. Cinematography I
Theories and techniques of visual design in videography and the aesthetics of lighting. Crosslisted with: CMT 205.
Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): CMI 100. Restricted to: ANVE, DFM majors. Restricted to Las Cruces campus only.
CMI 216. Editing I
Focuses on individual editing skills including capture, interface, basic cuts, and transitions. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Crosslisted with: CMT 195.
Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): CMI 100. Restricted to: DFM,ANVE majors. Restricted to Las Cruces campus only.
CMI 220. Drawing for Animation
3 Credits (2+4P)
Introductory study of the human and animal form in relation to animation. Students learn fundamentals and exaggeration of the figure, as related to proportion, rhythm, mechanics, and motion. Areas of focus are: basic form, proportion, shape, contour, gesture, anatomy, portraiture, perspective, clothing effects and drawing from observation. Restricted to: ANVE, DFM, and CMT majors.
CMI 231. History of Animation
Explores the history of Animation as an art form and industry through readings, screenings, lecture and periodic guest speakers. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Restricted to: DFM,ANVE, G-CMI majors. Restricted to Las Cruces campus only.
CMI 232. Storyboarding
Examines effective writing principles for creating storyboards that communicate the overall picture of a project. There are timing, scene complexity, emotion and resource requirements. Crosslisted with: CMT 232 and ENGL 232. Restricted to: DFM, ANVE majors. Restricted to Las Cruces campus only.
CMI 233. Light, Shade, Render
This course will explore the theory and practice of 3D lighting and rendering methodologies. Techniques covered will implement cameras, lighting sources, textures, surface-mapping and algorithmic rendering to produce stylized and photo realistic images. Topics covered will include direct and indirect lighting, shaders that simulate physical substances and effects, rendering multiple passes and simulating physical lens effects. Restricted to: Main campus only. Restricted to DFM, ANVE majors.
CMI 235. Narrative: Principles of Story Across the Media
Examines the various strategies of written and visual storytelling: narrative structure and its principle components (plot, theme, character, imagery, symbolism, point of view), with an attempt to connect them to elements of contemporary forms of media expression, including screenwriting, playwriting, writing for documentaries and animation, etc. Crosslisted with: ENGL 235. Restricted to Las Cruces campus only.
CMI 240. Digital Illustration
Introductory course examining traditional artistic expressions and translating visual art experiences into a digital art medium to enhance visual storytelling. Students acquire basic principles of drawing and painting through hands-on experience manipulating tonal value, composition, form development, light and shadow, color theory, rendering realism, and graphic design. Restricted to: ANVE, DFM majors. Restricted to Las Cruces campus only.
CMI 245. 2-D COMPOSITING & FX
3 Credits (3+3P)
The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the powerful compositing and special effects tools of Adobe After Effects for 2D, traditional animation. Students will learn how to assemble an existing un-rendered animation into a final piece with advanced 3D lighting, spacing, and digital effects so that it can achieve a dynamic, professionally rendered look. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Restricted to Las Cruces campus only.
CMI 250. Beginning 2-D Animation
Learn the basics of digital 2D animation by creating an animated short from a storyboarded scene using professional animation, imaging, and editing software. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Restricted to: DFM,ANVE majors. Restricted to Las Cruces campus only.
CMI 260. Foundations of 3D Animation
The objective of this course is to provide a hands-on overview of the 3D animation production process. Students will be introduced to basic story development and the creation of computer generated assets and cinematic sequences. The course will survey specialty areas of digital animation and various software and techniques applied in entertainment and information media. Restricted to: Main campus only. Restricted to ANVE, DFM majors.
CMI 270. Rigging for 3D Animation
This course will introduce principles and practices of current 3D animation rigging. Students will develop fundamental methods necessary to create character rigs. Students will learn aesthetic, technical, and optimization concepts as they apply to organic and mechanical designs. Topics will include: hierarchies, constraints, deformation rigging, skeleton creation, skinning, forward and inverse kinematics, controls, body and facial rigging. Restricted to: ANVE,DFM majors.
Prerequisite(s): CMI 260.
CMI 280. Modeling
This course will introduce 3D modeling methods and current practices. Students will learn preliminary and detailed modeling techniques using industry standard software. Methods will emphasize formal and functional aspects of modeling as they apply to mechanical, organic, and sculpted topology for application in animation, games, and information media. Restricted to: Main campus only. Restricted to ANVE, DFM majors.
CMI 290. 3-D Animation
Overview of the essentials and principles of 3D animation; creative methods for using industry standard tools to produce the illusion of movement for storytelling. Topics include, keyframe and curve animation, kinematics, cycle animation, camera animation, deformers, and constraints. Restricted to: Main campus only.
CMI 300. History of Cinema
In-depth analysis of cinema's history looking at each aspect of film from inception to current development. It focuses on the historical aspects of sound production, cinematography, technological advances, music scoring, foley, animation, and narrative development. Students will see examples of movies throughout the semester and will take part in discussions. May be repeated up to 6 credits. Restricted to Las Cruces campus only.
CMI 301. Sound Design II
Mixing and balancing dialogue, sound effects and music in postproduction. Study the role of sound effects, foley, soundtrack choices, and music supervision. Prerequisite: CMI 200
CMI 303. Cinema Review and Critique
This course is for the student who wants to learn to be a more active, intelligent film viewer. It encourages critical thinking about films and educates students on how to write a film review. Students will meet in the movie theater to watch essential films that serious movie watchers should see from classic motion pictures, to current release major motion pictures, independent films and world cinema features. The course will serve as a guide to the illuminating process of evaluating, analyzing, and reviewing movies. Students' reviews will be published publicly.
CMI 305. Business of Filmmaking/Animation
Explores the roles of unions, basic contracts, legal arrangements, and the economics of the production process, distribution, and financing.
Prerequisite: CMI 235.
CMI 308. Writing for Animation
This class explores methods for, and approaches to, writing for animation. Students study and produce scripts for a range of animation outlets while engaging in writing exercises based on character and story development. May be repeated up to 3 credits.
Prerequisite(s): CMI 235 or consent of instructor.
CMI 309. Screenwriting I
Writing intensive. Students learn the craft of screenwriting, honing skills in writing dialogue and visual narrative, crafting dynamic characters and dramatic action. Original student scripts will be performed and discussed in class. Crosslisted with: ENGL 309 and THTR 306.
Prerequisite(s): ENGL/CMI 235 or consent of instructor.
CMI 310. Cinematography II
Advanced tools of the cinematographer, lighting and composition techniques. Artistic and technological elements of cinematography.
CMI 311. Editing II
Advanced techniques in digital films using professional non-linear editing systems. Restricted to: ANVE,DFM majors.
Prerequisite(s): CMI 216.
CMI 313. Animated Film Review
This course will enhance student literacy in analyzing and writing about animated films. Through screenings, readings, discussion and lectures, students will acquire conceptual tools for viewing and evaluating films. Through analysis, students will identify cinematic elements.
CMI 314. Acting for Film
Techniques for film and television acting. In-depth analysis of film performance creation among actor, director, writer, cinematographer, and editor. Restricted to: DFM, THTR majors, or Consent of Instructor.
Prerequisite(s): CMI 100, AND CMI 235.
CMI 315. Adventures in Genre
Students learn storytelling strategies for the screen by studying various structural genres and components of screenplays and films. Utilizing these strategies, students develop a number of their own original screenplay ideas. Additionally, pitch workshops are held and students learn to present their ideas in various, practical situations.
Prerequisite(s): CMI 235.Restricted to DFM, ANVE majors.
CMI 316. Border Cinema Around the World
What is the relationship between borders, identity, and vulnerability - and how is this relationship explored in cinema? How are borderlands also testing grounds - the sites of serious ethical dilemmas? By examining powerful feature films from such regions as the Middle East, the Balkans, and the US/Mexico border, we will explore ways in which personal, familial, communal, and national identities are defined through the complex process of bordering. We will investigate the role of cinema in reflecting and/or facilitating this process. May be repeated up to 3 credits.
CMI 318. Documentary Production
Survey of theory and history of documentary film making including viewings and discussions of notable films and directors. Class works with actual documentary project. May be repeated up to 6 credits. Restricted to: ANVE, DFM majors.
CMI 320. Race and Gender in Film
In this course students will analyze film as an art form as well as be exposed to Race and Gender Feminist Film Theory. We will consider the role of ilm in our understandings of sex, gender and sexuality. Through discussions and writing we will work to discern relevant social, political, ideological, and aesthetic concepts in the media we examine. Crosslisted with: ENGL 399, W S 450 and W S 550.
CMI 328. Producing
Examines the role of the Producer, essential to every film production. The course will revolve around the best practices in organizational design, the production process, the budgeting process, financial controls, scheduling, insurance and distribution.
CMI 329. Studies in Drama
Students will draw on a group of related American and European dramatic works to examine various areas of 20th century culture. Topics will vary.Restricted to DFM, ANVE, ENGL, THTR majors. Crosslisted with: ENGL 329 and THTR 329
CMI 330. Developing the Animated Project
This course will cover fundamental theories and elements of the production and development processes for animated projects. Concept, story, and story and character development will be addressed as well as storyboarding, layout, sound, voice recording and basic editing. Students will develop at least one animated project, and construct an animatic to be used for future production. Restricted to: ANVE, DFM majors.
CMI 332. 3-D Character Animation
Essentials and principles of 3D character animation. Techniques and craft of breathing life into characters through movement, including dynamic poses, blocking action, run and walk cycles, lip synching and realism. THTR 110, Acting and CMI 200, Sound Design are recommended. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Restricted to: DFM,ANVE majors.
CMI 341. Visual Effects I
Fundamentals and principles of live action footage and computer generated imagery integration, including 3D animation, matchmoving, green screen setup, keying and compositing. Restricted to: ANVE,DFM majors.
CMI 348. Acting and Directing for Voiceover
Students will explore methods for approaching voiceover and for improving acting and directing skills. Exercises will promote ease with collaboration in the studio setting, written work will focus on viewing voiceover in an analytical and discerning light. Restricted to ANVE, DFM majors.
CMI 350. Intermediate 2-D Animation
Learn the more refined aspects of motion for character animation by focusing on Disney's 12 Principles of Animation, practicing these advanced drawing techniques in exercises and incorporating them into a brief final short.
Prerequisite(s): CMI 250.
CMI 360. Previsualization
Implements 3D animation tools in preproduction shot and sequence design for motion picture and broadcast industries; including 3D storyboarding, technical planning and editing basics. LC Campus Only.
CMI 362. Motion Graphics
Students will learn the basics of Motion Graphics by working through a variety of exercises and a final project that will combine animation, text, visual effects, and sound using Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Restricted to: ANVE, DFM majors.
CMI 365. Character Design and Development
Digital character design for the entertainment industry. Provides insight into the process of creating iconic characters. Traditional and contemporary character designers are explored. Industry workflow is introduced and necessary skills are developed to design detailed 3D characters from concept through production.
CMI 395. Directing I
Study and application through short scene work of the basic tools of a director and relationships with actors, designers, playwright, and stage managers. Interpreting as well as organizing. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Restricted to: DFM,ANVE majors.
Prerequisite(s): CMI 200, AND CMI 205, AND CMI 216.
CMI 396. Directing II
Addresses pre-production concerns including script breakdown, casting ground plans and coverage. The criteria employed when selecting the creative team including a director of photography, art director, light, sound and wardrobe designers. Introduction to budgeting, scheduling, and script breakdowns. Prerequisite: CMI 395
CMI 397. Practicum
1-3 Credits (2-6P)
Practical application of the student's field of study in a project environment. May be repeated up to 9 credits. Consent of Instructor required.
CMI 398. Special Topics
This course addresses specific subjects and issues as identified by the department. Topics and credits to be announced in the Schedule of classes. May be repeated up to 12 credits.
CMI 400. Directed Studies
1-6 Credits (1-6)
Directed study course in CMI under the supervision of a CMI faculty member. May be repeated up to 9 credits.
CMI 401. Motion Capture Techniques
Implement industry standard motion capture techniques to capture and integrate performance for movie making, 3D animation and game production. Restricted to: ANVE,DFM majors.
CMI 410. Cinematography III
This class is geared towards those who want to learn more about cinematography, color grading, and digital technology as it pertains to cinematography. Shooting high-end codecs (ProRes/DNxHD) or RAW are becoming more and more popular in filmmaking as camera manufactures and computer processing get better. This class will be a mix of production and post-production as learning how to shoot these higher end codecs do not end with the camera. Focus will be on techniques of shooting raw, understanding how to operate a camera capable of high end image acquisition, properly building up the camera rig and accessories, managing data and the post-production workflow. Consent of Instructor required. Restricted to: DFM, ANVE majors.
Prerequisite(s): CMI 310.
CMI 420. Short Film Production
Students work in teams with rotating crews to write, produce, direct and edit individual and group projects-ultimately demonstrating growing confidence with production equipment and professional practices. May be taken up to 6 credits. Consent of instructor required. Pre/
Corequisite(s): CMI 328.Restricted to ANVE, DFM majors.
CMI 421. Short Film Post-Production
Students work together to complete short films shot in CMI 420. This course focuses on advanced post-production techniques, including editing and sound design, as student directors, editors and producers continue to learn to work together. In the last half of the course, students will build marketing campaigns and submit their finished film to festivals. May be repeated up to 6 credits. Restricted to: DFM, ANVE majors.
Prerequisite(s): CMI 420.
CMI 433. Sets and Environments
Digital environment design and creation for movies and games from concept to production; including illustration, modeling, matte painting, texturing, lighting, rendering, integration, and camera projection. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Restricted to: DFM,ANVE majors.
CMI 450. Advanced 2-D Animation
Advanced techniques in two dimensional animation including motion graphics and integration of live action. Restricted to: ANVE,DFM majors.
Prerequisite(s): CMI 350.
CMI 470. Short 2-D Animation Production
This is a full-scale animation production class where students will be divided into teams according to the animation skills they have demonstrated in the beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes. Each team member will specialize in one important facet of the production process: character animation, background painting, technical direction, coloring, or story development and storyboarding. 4 to 8 minute animated shorts will be produced. Restricted to: ANVE,DFM majors.
Prerequisite(s): CMI 450, CMI 361.
CMI 480. Screenwriting II
Students will write 2 short scripts, 10-15 pages each throughout the semester. Focus will be on learning how to take notes and rewrite. Script analysis will be in a workshop format. Scripts will be read and discussed, scenes performed and reactions analyzed to consider effect of dialogue, character development, etc. Crosslisted with: ENGL 480
CMI 490. Advanced Screenwriting
Students will prepare a 30-60 page screenplay. Script analysis will be in an advanced workshop format. Scripts will be read and discussed, scenes performed and reactions analyzed to consider effect of dialogue, character development, etc. This course is aimed at preparing writers for the professional market. Consent of instructor required. Restricted to ENGL, DFM, ANVE majors. Crosslisted with: ENGL 491
CMI 491. 3D Production Studio I
The course is the first semester of a year-long effort to complete a Senior Project. The project will be narrative-driven short form, 3D animation or visual effects movie. Emphasis will be on pre-production and some production depending on ongoing CMI productions. You will produce a professional quality product with the aim to assist you in gaining entry into professional employment or graduate school. The course may be adapted toward a specific concentration in animation, visual effects, or digital film making, for group and individual productions. Each project must be approved by the Instructor and work within departmental policies and procedures.
CMI 492. 2D Production Studio I
In CMI 498, Pre-Production, students will write a script, create a storyboard, record voice over and/or dialogue and time these storyboards to this dialogue/voice over creating an Animatic. For those doing demo reels, students will start to compile exercises from all of all their prior classes. Additional exercises will then be assigned to augment the skill set of the student according to the needs of each student. Restricted to: ANVE majors.
Prerequisite(s): CMI 350, CMI 361.
CMI 493. 3D Production Studio II
The course is the final semester of a year-long concentration on your Senior Project. Emphasis will be on the production, post-production, and distribution of the work created in the first semester. You will produce a professional quality product that will help you gain entry into professional employment or graduate school. The overall objective is that you will demonstrate mastery of craft through synthesis of concept and technique, resulting in an original cinematic experience. Restricted to: ANVE majors.
Prerequisite(s): CMI 491.
CMI 494. 2D Production Studio II
Students will complete an entire animated short, trailer, or demo reel for their portfolios by the end of Senior Project II. In CMI 494, Production and Post-Production, students will animate their stories according to the layout set in the animatic from Senior Project I. Lastly, they will composite and edit their shorts into a final piece that will be viewable in time for the Senior Showcase. For demo reels, students will continue to hone their reel into a finished piece that can be presented at the Senior showcase. Restricted to: ANVE majors.
Prerequisite(s): CMI 492.
CMI 495. Internship
1-12 Credits (1-12)
Placement in a production facility and supervised experience required. With CMI advisor approval only. May be repeated up to 18 credits. Consent of Instructor required. Restricted to: DFM,ANVE majors.
CMI 496. Media Law/Ethics
Overview of legal & ethical issues in creative media elements of business and commercial law. This class will focus on the fundamentals of entertainment law by exploring the business and legal relationships within film industries, and animation. Learn to anticipate and avoid legal problems prior to production. Key issues in the area of copyright law, sources of financing, distribution agreements; insurance and union consideration will be discussed.Restricted to ANVE, DFM majors.
CMI 497. Portfolio Design and Development
Advanced graphic design projects with an emphasis on conceptual development, portfolio preparation, and professional practices. Refine general marketing strategies, personal portfolio, and resumes. Define, target, and penetrate personal target markets. Students develop individual promotional/demo packages. May be repeated up to 3 credits. Restricted to: DFM,ANVE majors.
CMI 498. Final Year Senior Project I: Production and Post Production
3-6 Credits (3-6)
Senior Project I is the first half of a year long concentration on a pre-approved creative project guided by a faculty member. Projects are narrative-driven and have an end product: screen-play, short film, documentary, 2-D or 3-D animated short, or pilot with treatment for television. Consent of Instructor required. Restricted to: ANVE,DFM majors.
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor.
CMI 499. Final Year Senior Project II: Production and Post Production
3-6 Credits (3-6)
Senior Project II is the second half of a year long concentration on a pre-approved project, guided by a faculty member. Projects are narrative driven and have an end product: short film, documentary, 2-D or 3-D animated short, or pilot and treatment for television. May be repeated up to 9 credits. Restricted to: ANVE,DFM majors.
Prerequisite(s): CMI 498 and Consent of Instructor.
Name: Amy Lanasa
Office Location: Milton Hall, Room 172-A
Phone: (575) 646-5671