Teaching Effectiveness: Integration of Research

Periodic revision of course materials and integration of current scholarly research into subject matter of courses:


By visiting studios, connecting with alum and connecting KCAD students to mentors I have been able to integrate current design practices into my courses and my own work. The advisors for the DAD program are very involved in sharing current techniques and philosophies, this industry research is integrated into my curriculum.

  • Animation Practices Integration: Guru Animation Studio Visit
  • Advertising Field Integration: Alum in Chicago Visit - Matt Geerling
  • Game Art and Design Integration : Visiting Artists - Corey McGill and Colin Chan
  • Game Industry Integration: Visiting Artist - Mark Paulik
  • Film Concept Art Integration: John Giang Concept Artist in the Classroom
  • Digital Drawing for Entertainment Integration: David VanTuyle and James Suhr
  • Entertainment Industry Research Integration: Innovation Academy + DAGD
  • Interactive App Integration: Survive Global Climate Change Educational App
  • Interactive App Integration: Battling Extinction
  • Storyboarding Process for UX Design Integration: Kevin White
  • Entertainment industry research trip: ILM, Nickelodeon, Disney
  • Entertainment Storyboarding Method Integration: Steven Heneveld
  • Darren Geers Concept Art Method Integration
  • 3D and Storyboarding Integration : Matt Geerling and Becky Beonsch - Sketching Initiative

Animation Processes Integration : Guru Studio Visit - Animation Studio in Toronto

Visited KCAD Alum, Becky Boensch, 2005, who animates Paw Patrol. Bill Fischer and I were able to visit the animation studio to see Character Design, Environment Design, 3D Modeling and texturing, Production methods and all of the roles that a large animation studio developing 3d animations for Children for PBS and Netflix.

Storyboards for Paw Patrol seen at Guru studio.

Showing professional work helps my students meet industry standards.

These production methods have been integrated into my courses and the Visual Development courses I oversee.

Advertising Field Integration: Visit to Matt Geerling KCAD Alum in Chicago

Checking in with KCAD Alum, Matt Geerling, in Chicago who works at a large Ad agency. Understanding their production methods, techniques, software and hardware helps us as a program understand how to prepare our students.

Game Art and Design Integration : Visiting Artists: Corey McGill and Colin Chan

Novamatic Game Concept and Production Artists - KCAD Alum

I worked with them on the outline of their talk to KCAD DAD students. I created the poster for the talk.

Their methods of creating portfolios to prepare for the entertainment industry is something I work on with Thesis Students that are in my courses or when I advise students. I have mentored both Corey and Colin after graduation as they did art tests giving advice and draw overs. Now they have become mentors to KCAD students.

KCAD DAD students getting portfolio reviews by Colin and Corey.

Colin Chan talking about the Graphic User Interface design. The methods that we learned in this talk are now integrated into courses like Pro Studio and Concept Art. Students now have a better understanding that Concept Artists must be involved in Character, Environments and Graphic User Interface and are proving that in their portfolios.

Game Industry Integration: Mark Paulik Game Artist talk

Mark Paulik - KCAD alum, helped create Farmville for Facebook, concept Artists for Zynga Games, a Bit Luck and Bunchball. See his work.

I set up event, organized portfolio reviews, helped students to connect for continued mentorship. I integrated Character Design methods for game into the 2D Character Design and Concept Art courses. Students who focus in concept art now routinely mix 3D with 2D for game visual development in their portfolios.

Film Concept Art Integration: John Giang Concept Artist in the Classroom

John Giang did a Classroom Visit, talk and Portfolio Reviews in 2017. John Giang worked for Industrial Light and Magic as a concept artist with credits on Avengers, Captain America, Noah, Pacific Rim, Iran Man, Rango and many more. See his work at Orbital Harvest.

John came to my 2D Character Design course to talk about the Entertainment Industry's production methods. He showed the process of creating Shredder for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He incorporates 2D and 3D into his concept art. I have incorporated these techniques into 2D Character Design and Concept Art and this process has influenced how 2D and 3D in DAD are integrated. He has since become a mentor to several upper level entertainment design students.

KCAD DAD Visiting Artist 2016

Visiting Artist John Giang concept artist at Industrial Light and Magic

John Giang presenting sources and references for his concept art for Teenage Mutant Turtles, Avengers the Age of Ultron and some other to be named movies that may or may not have happened in a galaxy far, far away. This talk was attended by students from Digital Media, Illustration and Industrial Design.

Students from the DAD and Illustration programs had portfolio reviews.

John Giang, Grand Rapids native and Concept Artist for Hollywood visual effects giant Industrial Light Magic, has worked on some of the biggest blockbuster films in recent history, including Iron Man, Star Trek, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. He paid a visit to KCAD to talk about his career journey and conduct public portfolio reviews

Digital Drawing for Entertainment Integration:

  • I worked with industry pro James Suhr to create a culture of drawing for animation and storyboarding in our program.
  • He also did a workshop at KCAD and would video conference in to share drawing times with us during open life drawing.
  • Many students not just in the DAD program were able to refine their character drawing skills ultimately allowing them to succeed in classes and create better portfolios.
David VanTuyle Skyping with students form his studio in Burbank, CA

Cintiq Action Drawing (now called Digital Character Drawing) was overhauled the second semester of teaching it with new content and sample drawings.

This course included a Skype interview with KCAD Alum and Storyboard artist at Nickelodeon, David VanTuyle, who works on King Julian the Animated TV show for Netflix based on the feature film Madagascar. Students received redraws on their project. The above image is focusing on reworking silhouettes.

We also video conferenced with James Suhr, KCAD alum and story boarder for Disney who works now on Tangled, and Animated TV series based on the feature film Tangled – a Rapunzel fairy tale. Below are some of the redraws that he did for our students in Cintiq Action Drawing

Art by Darian Papineau with redraw by James Suhr

Entertainment Industry Research Integration: Innovation Academy + DAGD

In 2017 I Went to event at Innocademy where Ferris Digtital Game and Animation (DAGD) Students were interning at Protégé Studios to create a 1st Person Shooter Game with Robots, discussed collaboration with potential thesis students at KCAD. This collaboration was brought into a student's thesis project at KCAD.

Interactive App Integration: Survive Global Climate Change Educational App

Designed by Kendall Digital Media Students

We worked as a team to user test the app in a classroom with a science teacher and a group of 6th grade science students. This information gave us the ability to change the app to make it better based on our observances.

See the Survive Global Climate Change app on your computer

Get Survive on the App Store

This app is on the Google Play stores, the iTunes Story and the Google Chrome Store. It was launched by Chris Brown’s Professional Studio course with the help of those students and Bill Fischer

Survive Global Climate Change Still

Interactive App Integration: Battling Extinction

From what we learned in Survive Global Climate Change based on User testing we made significant changes to the gamification of the quizzes for Battling Extinction. We used reward strategies for correct answers to entice the user to learn more. Every time the user got an answer correct the screen would populate with another animal that was at risk of extinction.

1st reward screen for correct answer
correct answer rewards continue through quiz

Storyboarding Process for UX Design Integration: Kevin White

Kevin White during the Career Symposium 2017, brought his storyboarding for UX approach into my Pro Studio Courses. We now bring in Alicia Lach on a consistant basis who works with Kevin on UX storyboarding and students are open to options other than entertainment storyboarding.

Entertainment Industry Research trip integration:

Bill Fischer and I visited the West Coast – Here we are at the Walt Disney Museum with original Pinocchio story boards.
  • We also visited with John Giang of Industrial Light and Magic and connected him with KCAD recent alum Colin Chan.
  • Seeing Disney's animation process exhibition has influenced my teaching methods for animation.
  • We visited Burbank, California where our KCAD alum, James Suhr, Steve Heneveld and David VanTuyle met with us to discuss the growing animation industry and how to prep our students for it.

Stephen Heneveld - Storyboarding Method Integration into the Curriculum

Stephen Heneveld - Nickelodeon and Disney Storyboard Artist- Brad wrote it with additional notes from me.

See the Industry Report

click to play

I interviewed Steve for video, we have integrated many of his methods for speed into our courses such as storyboarding actions and white fill which has prepared our students for the speed of the industry.

Concept Art Method Integration: Darren Geers - Studiovania Concept Artist, Twitch 2D Artist

I also interviewed Darren for the KCAD Video Channel

Darren did a class visit and demo which is recorded in this video which helps students to see his methods for character design.

3D and storyboard for advertising integration:

Industry Pros Becky Beonsch and Matt Geerling, when they worked for VML, came to my Imaging for Game Animation and Film Course to share their knowledge of Character Design. They were interviewed by me and recorded by KCAD Video and that industry report is now on the Kendall Weblab. The talk that they did on industry standards for character design for advertorial campaigns has been brought into our classroom in several assignments. I was pleased to see the Ad campaign for Krave they made use techniques I was already using in my classes regarding weight and balance in the figure. That assignment is on the sketch site.

click to play video interview

Alum industry project using weight and balance in designing characters.

my studio work on weight and balance
students inspired to keep sketching

Encouragement of Students for Creative and Academic Achievement:

There was an established need for continued sketching in courses as well as out of courses. Under my initiative students have started to hand in sketches as a PDF for course credit in Digital Imaging II, Imaging for Game, Animation and Film and now Digital Imaging I.