Welcome to Digital-Evolutions, Smoky Hill High School's digital creative center. Digital-Evolutions is a digital visualization and animation program, introducing students to design principles, new media design, basic programming, engineering/medical visualization, video production, compositing, and a heavy emphasis on 3D content creation.

AND most importantly, giving students the skills to become intrinsically motivated independent learners and creative leaders.

About Digital-Evolutions []
Digital-Evolutions, is a public high school digital arts program, introducing students to digital sculpture, design principles, traditional art mediums, programming, visual storytelling, engineering/medical visualization, video production, and a heavy focus on 3D visualization and animation. Students can participate up to four years, with two possible advanced college accredited tracks, both IB and traditional. Our core philosophy, is to move past just teaching the tool, to empowering students to become intrinsically motivated, independent learners, story tellers, and artists. It challenges them to tap into both hemispheres and further develop their logical and creative abilities as an artist and critical thinker. The program is both exciting and challenging, providing students with a learning environment without limitations and opening the the door to artistic expression and conceptual exploration. Students become artists, visual story tellers, and technical problem solvers, further preparing them for the ever-changing digital landscape and future workforce. Digital-Evolutions is hosted at Smoky Hill High School part of the Cherry Creek School District. Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008/09 predicts that digital media design and animation will show tremendous growth ‘much faster than average’ through 2016 nationally. As of 2008, China has over 30 animation industrial bases, 5,400 animation companies, 450 high schools teaching certified animation courses, and 460,000 students studying animation related subjects. This was an increase of over 36% in comparison to 2006. (Aldric Chang 2008) According to Robi Roncarelli industry expert, China’s growth is not even due to outsourcing, but huge local demands. So it can be said that, our local industry is just at its infancy and this perpetual growth is blending together multiple disciplines, blurring the line between art, science, math, and technology. But our underling goal is to develop intrinsically motivated creative learners with the skills to succeed in their chosen career path; whether it be engineering and the sciences or entertainment and the arts.
Courses Offered []



More . . . []




It is All About Abstract . . .

Composition Through Abstraction


»  I understand what visual composition is and how it relates to both photography, cinematography, fine art, graphic design and even proposals. »  I understand the responsibilities and ethics associated with publishing to the internet

»  EXPLORE: Find 20+ abstract images that you like, save them in folder and post in blog
»  EXPLORE:  Watch video on composition
»  EXPLORE:  Watch video on abstract images
»  EXPLORE:  Read article on composition
»  CREATE:  Take a minimum of 20 - 2000 abstract photos based entirely on some of the compositional rules and post in your blog.
»  CREATE:  In a second post, choose five that best exhibit the compositional rules and describe the rules used.   


Create a folder on your desktop and rename it ‘Abstracts’ then using the internet, explore and find 20+ abstract images that you like, save them in folder and post all images in a single post on blog.

Watch Videos:

Read article on composition:
Here is a  article that I would like you to READ.  It focuses on abstract photography.  This article has four parts.
Here is another article on composition.  http://www.morguefile.com/docs/Jodie_Coston:_Lesson_1


Using any digital camera, including a quality cell phone, take a minimum of 20 abstract photos based entirely on some of the compositional rules mentioned  in the articles and videos.  Subjects should be more abstract, not be recognizable,  or barely recognizable.  In your blog ,  upload the final  version of the image and write an explanation of why you think the composition makes a visually interesting image according to the compositional rules.

Note:  You can open the image in Photoshop and crop the image until you like the composition.


2D Design:
Sorry guys, but I am absent today and it will be slightly more challenging since this is only the 2nd week of class.  Do your best and I will go over it again next class.  I provided a step-by-step video tutorial that will guide you through the steps . . . it is super cool!

First I want you to finish mastering the Liquify tool in Photoshop, by creating a completely new guy that we started last class.   Tutorial is Here: http://digital-evolutions.blogspot.com/2014/09/photoshop-liquify-tool.html

Once you are finished, I want you to start exploring the filters in Photoshop.  To start,  I want you to take any image and apply this tutorial to it.  It is a fun classic technique and we will use the same skills for a 2nd project.  It is only slightly challenging, but I know you all can do it.  I watched it and was able to follow through quit quickly.  

Once you have mastered the technique, try to experiment with other images, colors, additional filters, the liquify tool and anything else you can imagine.  And have fun.



Every class has a series of teacher directed and guided assignments.  Assignments can be found in each class page.
For every FINISHED assignemt give your post a title of "{Name of Assignment}"  and give it a label of “SD
WRITE FINISHED on the first line of yout blog.
Summary & Reflection:  (2-3 sentances) Basically, write a brief summary of what you did as well as a thorough reflection. 
General Writing: Grammar, punctuation, general writing     

Grade is based out of 100 points with an additional potential for 20 bonus points.

65 – 85
85 – 100
1 – 20

Completion & Finishing

Minimal Development

  Some Development

Fully Completed & Detailed

Above and Beyond


All student work must be documented in the student’s blog.

Minimal or No Documentation

Some Blog Documentation

Documented in Blog

*Students are required to document in their blog daily.  A grade is given based on the # of classes scheduled.  One ot two blogs posts will be dropped at the end of each month. 

Independent Skill Objective (Intro Example)

Your Post should look something like this.


PATHWAY: Game Modeler – Organic


A game modeler creates the visual elements of a game, such as characters, scenery, objects, vehicles, surface textures, clothing, props, and even user interface components. They also create concept models which help communicate the proposed visual elements during the pre-production phase.

PATHWAY SKILLS: (Game Modeler - Organic)

Proficiency in:
  • be able to draw from life
  • have knowledge of anatomy
  • be able to convey facial expressions and emotion
  • have a flair for color, composition, perspective, modelling and texturing techniques, lighting and mood
  • have skills in comic book art and/or storyboarding
  • be able to work as part of a team and independently
  • be imaginative and creative
  • pay close attention to detail and have strong powers of observation
  • have good communication skills
  • be able to work to a style guide
  • have knowledge of the requirements of the relevant Health and Safety legislation and procedures
  • Drawing & Painting
  • Figure Drawing
  • 3D modeling: use programs like Maya or 3DS Max
  • Digital Sculpture: use programs like Mudbox or Zbrush

Character Design:  I have been playing video games all my life and I want to explore how to make one.  I understand that video games are generally made by a team, not by individuals, and taking years to create.   I probably will not be able to finish an entire game myself, but that is the end goal.   I will develop my Autodesk Mudbox sculpture skills, focusing on organic modeling. 


Possible Options (5 minimum)

    Basics Mudbox For Beginers
    (Total Time 36 Minutes)

    Artist Guide to Mudbox 2012

    17 parts about (Total Time 3 hours)
    Turtle Turtle Sculpt
    Mudbox Sculpting & Painting
    (Total Time 4.5 hours)

    Creature Modeling & Sculpting Techniques with

    (Total Time 60 Minutes Long)

    Sculpting an Earthworm in Mudbox

    (Total Time 60 Minutes Long)

    Chosen Tutorial:
    I will follow the T-Rex tutorial.  I will document my progress daily.   I chose this tutorial because I felt learning Mudbox is the most import aspect related to my design.  Also, this tutorial looks like it would be a lot of fun and I want to do it whether I am graded or not.   Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arQyKu2RmVw  *8/28/16         



    Give your post a title of "Independent Skill Development Summary"  and give it a label of “ISD
    Independent Skill Development Information
    ISD Description: Write a description of the skills you learned or developed. *THIS IS ANYTHING YOU DID IN THIS CLASS THAT WAS NOT ASSIGNED AND RELEVENT TO THIS CLASS. 

    State All Resources Used:  (include images/screenshots and link)
    Find resources or specific tutorials of a skill that you need or want to learn that is related to your goal or design objective. You will *finish this tutorial or demonstrate skills or knowledge gained.  Even if the tutorial is too demanding or not relevant, document your efforts, make sure you document regularly to prove adequate work was done.  Post images and links to the tutorials.  

    ISD Progression Summary & Reflection:  (3-4 paragraphs) Basically, in paragraph form write a summary of what you did as well as a thorough reflection.  The degree to which the student presents information that supports the central purpose, arguments, or goals of the skills or knowledge.

    Visual ISD Progression Images or Screenshots:  Post a clear progression of your skill development. Screen shots and final renders

    General Writing: Grammar, punctuation, general writing

    Grade is based out of 100 points with an additional potential for 20 bonus points.

    ISD Information
    Some Development
    Fully Developed
    Well Written
    11 – 20
    21 – 30
    1 – 7
    ISD Progression Summary
    Minimal Summary  Development
    Some Summary  Development
    Fully Developed Summary
    Above and Beyond
    Visual ISD Progression Images
    Minimal Visual Progression
    Some Visual Progression
    Fully Documented
    Visual Progression
    Above and Beyond
    Overall ISD Progress
    Minimal Progress
    Above and Beyond
    General Writing Poor sentences, no punctuation, fragments, or none completed. Good work, several small mistakes, good effort. Excellent writing, few spelling mistakes, coherent and well-done.

    Final CD Example

    • Initial Interest Direction (Padlet)
    • Design Objective & Descriptors
    • Inspiration Board (Padlet)
    • Thumbnail Sketching (2+ Pages)
    • Development Sketches (3+ Development Sketches Annotated)
    • Project Overview – Backstory
    • Final Concept Design
    • Development Sketches (3+ Development Sketches Annotated)

    Initial Interest Direction (Padlet)

    Design Objective & Descriptors

    Character Design:  I have been playing video games all my life and I want to explore how to make one.  I understand that video games are generally made by a team, not by individuals, and taking years to create.   I probably will not be able to finish an entire game myself, but that is the end goal.   To start, I want to focus and learn the character design process, design my own character, create a 3d model of the character, and learn the basic features of importing the character into a game engine.  I will design simple robotic character driven by the following, but not limited to, descriptors:  fun, charismatic, 1950s Sci-Fi inspired , insect'ish, samurai influenced , med-evil armor, etc.

                Objective Descriptors: Fun, charismatic, 1950s Sci-Fi, insects-ish, samurai, med-evil armor, steam-punk, industrial, toys, illustrative/cartoon, hero, modern, etc.

    Inspiration Board (Padlet)
    Idea Direction
    Robot Thumbnail Sketching (2+ Pages)
    Development Sketches (3+ Development Sketches Anotated)
    Development Sketches
    Final Draft Sketch           
    Design #1

    Project Overview – Backstory (EXAMPLE)
    Coyote Tango is designed to resemble naval warships and Cobra attack helicopters in both color scheme and appearance. Coyote Tango's light armor allows it to perform various deadly maneuvers and has great speed to evade Kaiju attacks. It is also armed with twin long-range ballistic mortar cannons to damage Kaiju from afar; these were supplemented by a forearm-mounted, retractable V-PI EnergyCaster with five modes of modulation - this weapon in particular being considered highly experimental at the time of the Jaeger's launch.  Coyote Tango is also tied with Cherno Alpha for the tallest height on a Mark-1 Jaeger.

    As a Mark-1 Jaeger, Coyote Tango runs on the power of a nuclear reactor. Given the short amount of time the Pan Pacific Defense Corps had to build the first series of Jaegers in response to the Kaiju threat, none of the Mark-1 series Jaegers were reinforced with protective measures to prevent radiation poisoning. Consequently, the Rangers piloting Mark-1's were at an increased risk of contracting cancer-related illnesses from exposure. Both Tamsin Sevier and Stacker Pentecost developed cancer as a result of the Jaeger's poor radiation shielding and were retired from active duty.

    Final Concept Design