Clemson University

DPA Director Search

Clemson University invites nominations and applications for the position of Director of its inter- disciplinary M.F.A. program in Digital Production Arts. This 60-credit-hour graduate program is aimed at producing graduates who are prepared for careers in the rapidly expanding digital special effects, computer animation, and electronic games industries.

Robert Geist Brings Imagination to Reality

"Robert Geist, Ph.D., and his Digital Production Arts (DPA) graduates show us what we can only imagine. Whether in award-winning films, computer games, NASCAR racing or environmental research, Geist’s work earns honors from the Academy, industry and the arts."

Read more at Clemson Newsstand.

DPA at SIGGRAPH 2014 Vancouver, BC Canada

Faculty, staff, and students from Clemson’s Digital Production Arts MFA program had a strong presence at this year’s SIGGRAPH in Vancouver, BC Canada in August. Student movies Robo+Repair and QA-ARM-A were accepted to Digital Dailies, where QA-ARM-A won second place. DPA is looking forward to participating at SIGGRAPH 2015 in Los Angeles!

Fall 2014 New Graduate Student Orientation

New graduate student orientation dates for Fall 2014 are as follows--times are to be determined: International Students on Friday, August 15; all new graduate Students on Sunday, August 17; Digital Production Arts on Monday, August 18; and School of Computing (Masters & PhD) on Tuesday, August 19. All new graduate students must participate in all of these orientations, with the exception of International Student Orientation if it does not apply.

DPA students selected for DreamWorks Effects Challenge 2014

Three Clemson DPA students, Mandy Morland, Zhaoxin Ye, and Anuradha Pinisetty were selected for the DreamWorks Effects Challenge 2014. This is a highly competitive program, typically selecting five to six students from around the world. Additionally, Alex Beaty was offered an internship with DreamWorks this summer. Graduating senior, Kacey Coley, has been interviewed by DreamWorks and is waiting to hear from them. This has been an amazing year for DPA with DreamWorks!

DPA To Have a Strong Presence at SIGGRAPH 2014 in Vancouver, BC this August

Looking forward to DPA presence at SIGGRAPH this August: Robo+Repair and QA-ARM-A were accepted to digital dailies; Don House and Jerry Tessendorf will participate on a panel discussing education and industry; DPA alumnus Josh Tomlinson and Wil Whaley will give a talk entitled "A Framework for Global Visual Effects Production Pipelines"; DPA student, Gina Guerrero, was accepted as a student volunteer; and our Reception will take place on Wednesday, August 13, 7:00-10:00 pm at the Regis Room.

DPA Presents 2014 Screening

Join us on Wednesday, April 30 at 7:00 pm for student movie reel screening in DPA's Screening Room, inside 118 McAdams.

FREE Admission & popcorn!

DPA Students Attend ECGC 2014

DPA students attended ECGC (East Coast Game Conference) in Raleigh, NC on April 23-24, 2014. Students also got a special day-long tour of Ubisoft Red Storm Entertainment in Cary, NC.

DPA Summer 2014 Internships

Good luck to DPA students Kevin Boggs (EA Games), Jordan Gestring (Weta Digital), and Alex Beaty (DreamWorks Animation) at their summer internships.


Join us on Thursday, April 10 for programs and courses overview, demos, and refreshments.
DPA Open House: Thursday, April 10, 2014 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm at 118 McAdams Hall.

Kacey Coley Receives "Outstanding MFA Student in Digital Production Arts" Award

Congratulations to DPA MFA student Kevin "Kacey" Coley for receiving the Outstanding MFA Student in Digital Production Arts award at the School of Computing's annual Honors and Awards Ceremony on Friday, April 4th, 2014. Kacey is in his final year as a DPA student, graduating May 2014. Kacey and other Masters and PhD award recipient students in the School of Computing received plaques and monetary awards to honor their accomplishments.

PhD Graduate Dr. Jay Steele Credited in Academy Award Winning Movie "Frozen"

Congratulations to Dr. Jay Steele, a 2009 Clemson University PhD Computer Science graduate for being credited in the Oscar's Best Animated Feature Film, Disney's "Frozen" at the Academy Awards Sunday, March 2, 2014. His film credits were in the area of Animation Technology. Frozen is the same film for which Clemson DPA graduate Marc Bryant won a VES Award earlier this year. Frozen has also crossed the $1 billion mark for worldwide box office sales. This Oscar winning film is on track to be the highest grossing animated film of all time.

Photo Credit: Greenville NewsResearch Project to Spark Girls’ Interest in Computer Science

Dr. Sophie Joerg uses motion-capture system to record actual human movements, which would help create and evaluate characters with different levels of realism, suggesting that humans think not only with their brains but also with their bodies. This three-year project, funded by National Science Foundation, hopes to spark girls' interest in computer science and other technological fields. (Photo Credit: Greenville News)

Photo Credit: Rene MacuraMarc Bryant, DPA Alumnus, receives Visual Effects Society award

Congratulations to Marc Bryant, a 2003 DPA grad, for winning Visual Effects Society's (VES) "Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture" award for the Academy Award winning movie "Frozen", specifically for his work on Elsa's Blizzard. (Photo credit: Rene Macura)

Sophie Joerg, DPA Assistant Professor, Receives NSF INSPIRE Award

Congratulations to Dr. Shani Daily, Dr. Sophie Joerg, Dr. Sabarish Babu from the School of Computing, and Dr. Alison Leonard from the School of Education at Clemson University for their new NSF INSPIRE Award titled Virtual Environment Interactions: Exploring Grounded Embodied Pedagogy in Support of Computational Thinking. They will investigate using embodiment and virtual characters in an interactive virtual environment to teach middle-school students computational thinking.

DPA 8600 Students Complete the Short Film "Alien Oasis"

The Alien Oasis student team production project began in the spring of 2013 under the supervision of Dr. Davis and Mr. Donar. Under the direction of Dr. Tessendorf, the students retooled the project beginning in August in the style and workflow of the 2013 summer Dreamworks projects. The current version is visually complete but is silent, as the soundtrack is still in production.

Two New Staff Members Join DPA

DPA is excited to announce the addition of two new staff members early 2014--Dida Weeks and Josh Tomlinson. Dida Weeks joins DPA as the Administrative Coordinator, and holds a BS in Graphic Communications from Clemson University. Josh Tomlinson joins DPA as a Senior Software Engineer, and holds a MFA in Digital Production Arts from Clemson University. Welcome aboard!

Dr. Donald House and Dr. Joshua Levine Visit Four Universities in China

Dr. Donald House and Dr. Joshua Levine recently returned from a two week trip to China and Hong Kong, Nov. 16 through Nov. 30, 2013. Besides attending the SIGGRAPH Asia Conference in Hong Kong, they were able to make presentations at five universities promoting research and academic programs in the School of Computing at Clemson. Visits included Hong Kong University, and City University in Hong Kong. Traveling to Mainland China after SIGGRAPH Asia, they visited Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, Shandong University in Jilin, and Tsinghua University Beijing.

DPA Students Mentored by Supervisors from DreamWorks Animation

The summer of 2013 was a time a growth for students and for the DPA program. Ten students participated in a ten-week intensive production event in which they created two short films under the mentorship of top supervisors from DreamWorks Animation. The students worked in the studio 100+ hours per week, reviewed progress with the mentors, and created polished films that demonstrate quality and craftsmanship. The two films, Robo+Repair and QA-ARM-A, can be viewed on the showcase page.

Yujie Shu Receives "Outstanding Masters Student in Digital Production Arts" Award

The School of Computing hosted its annual Honors and Awards Ceremony Friday, April 5th, 2013. School of Computing faculty nominated graduate students for awards in masters and Ph.D. programs. The School of Computing faculty voted on final award recipients in early February. Students received plaques and monetary awards to honor their accomplishments. Yujie Shu received the award for Outstanding Masters Student in Digital Production Arts.

Best Animated Film from the Greenville International Film Festival

Congratulations to DPA students Ashley Anderson, Brooke Buckley, Tim Curtis, Mandy Morland, and Chris Thomas for winning the Glory Award and the Best Animated Film award from the Greenville International Film Festival (GVIFF) for the movie "Fire in the Water"! Students worked on the project as part of their classes toward the MFA in Digital Production Arts. Their animated short beat a competitive field of independent, animated short films from around the world.

Jerry Tessendorf’s water simulation software has major impact on film industry

Roll out the red carpet — an Academy Award winner is in town.
If you’ve seen some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbuster films, chances are that you’ve seen the work of Clemson’s own Jerry Tessendorf. The director of Clemson’s Master of Fine Arts in Digital Production Arts (DPA) program, Tessendorf has made extensive contributions to the film industry with the development of his water simulation software. He received an Academy Award for Technical Achievement in 2008, and his software was used in the 2012 film Life of Pi, winner of the 2013 Academy Award for “Best Visual Effects.”

Renovations Complete in the Digital Production Arts Studio

When a film director has a vision, he or she communicates with many production departments to create that vision. When a Clemson professor has a vision for the future of his program, he must communicate with many Clemson departments. Dr. Jerry Tessendorf, director of the Digital Production Arts (DPA) program, relied on his experience in films to steer the "production" of a newly remodeled DPA studio.

School of Computing professor Dr. Robert Geist receives R & D credit for his work on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Dr. Robert Geist, Interim Director of the School of Computing, has received R&D credit in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" by Weta Digital. Robert spent 8 weeks of his Fall, 2011 sabbatical in Wellington, New Zealand, at Weta Digital, where he worked on normal map filtering techniques. "It was a wonderful experience! The people at Weta are terrific. I had a great time, and it caused me to completely change the contents of the graphics course I teach. I would go back and do it all again, if I could."

Academy Tech Council Selects DPA Student Yujie Shu for 2012 Internship Program

The Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has selected Yujie Shu, DPA student, to participate in summer internship at Industrial Light & Magic. The Academy-sponsored program is designed to provide real-world experience to students interested in careers in motion picture graphics, technology and research.

"Wycinanki" wins the award for “The Best Animated Film” at the 2012 Greenville International Film Festival

Director Irena Rindos presented the film at the opening ceremony on Wednesday, April 25th as the first film to be screened at GVIFF in the history of the festival. Art Director Cory Buckley, accompanied by Clemson University DPA Program Director Dr. Jerry Tessendorf, accepted the award at the awards ceremony on Saturday, April 28th. Wycinanki has been featured in over eight festivals across the United States including The Philadelphia Film & Animation Festival, The Seventh Annual REDCAT International Children’s Film Festival, and the North Carolina Family Film Festival where it won the award for the “Best Narrative Short.”

Making movies: When the credits roll

"If you’ve seen an animated feature film in the last few years, chances are there’s a Clemson [DPA] alumnus in the credits or at least behind the scenes. Tangled, A Christmas Carol, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Kung Fu Panda, Hop, Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows (visual effects) … you get the idea. In fact, five Clemson digital artists were on the Rhythm & Hues team that won the 2008 Academy Award for Achievement in Visual Effects for The Golden Compass."

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