Before I continue, I want to point out that I’m a Media Arts and Science: Digital Storytelling major and I’ve completed a Creative Writing minor. I’ve taken a few Liberal Arts courses, but I’ve never done any courses associated with Herron (in fact, I’ve only ever been inside Herron like, twice). Even so, I’ve taken so many New Media courses that have improved my writing and graphic design/art skills, on top of gaining an understanding of how to apply them in an increasingly online world.
I can’t stress enough how amazing these classes could be for English and Art students looking to explore other ways to hone their craft. I highly encourage you to give them a look just to see what other ways you might be able to apply your talents. There’s a handful of classes that you English majors might want to consider, but there’s also so many art-focused courses in New Media. I’ll just be listing the ones that I’ve taken, but I’ll mention some other things afterwards you might want to consider. Regardless, these are excellent classes to consider if you need additional credits, and many of them also have free or inexpensive textbooks, so they could even help you save a little money!
Courses Combining Art and Writing
NEWM-N 131 Game On! A History of Video Games (Spring only, Arts and Humanities) - While this course doesn’t really focus on writing or art, this is an easy “A” course if you need elective credits. The professor is such a goofball and it’s an entertaining course if you’re curious about how games came to be. (NEWM-N 485 Adv History of Video Games (Seminars in New Media)). No special software needed.
NEWM-N 132 Game Design Psychology: Theory and Prototyping (Fall only, Social Sciences) - This is a class focused around the history and creation of tabletop gaming. Throughout the course, you will be working with a group of three or four other students with the goal of creating a tabletop game with original lore and art. This course has no prerequisites and does not require any knowledge of any electronic games whatsoever, so give it a go if you’re a fan of tabletop RPGs, board games, card games, etc. No special software needed unless you’re in charge of drawing the assets for your game, in which any digital software is allowed. Traditional drawing will also work.
NEWM-N 262 Introduction to Comics and Sequential Art (Fall only) - If you’re interested in creating your own comics, give this course a go. This will teach you the ins and outs of making comics and graphic novels while you carefully make a 22-page comic over the course of the semester. Any digital painting software is fine, but you can also draw your comics traditionally.
NEWM-N 333 Creature and Character Design for Videogames, Comics, Film, and Animation (Spring only) - There’s a very limited number of spots for the course, so you’ll need to email the professor with a small portfolio of your written work and/or art and what you feel you’ll get out of the course. This class is more so about designing creatures and the worlds they live in and you’re allowed to be as extensive as you want. If you’re interested in building large and complex fantasy or sci-fi worlds like I am, this class is a MUST. If you’re doing it for storytelling, the most you’ll need is a sketchbook for very minor sketching. For 2D, any digital painting software is fine. For 3D, Maya or ZBrush is fine.
NEWM-N 462 Advanced Comics and Sequential Art (Summer only) - Basically what I said about NEWM-N 262 but a step up. I do not know off the top of my head if NEWM-N 262 is a prerequisite for this course. I don’t think it is, but I’d email the professor if you’re curious. Also allows digital or traditional drawings.
NEWM-N 485 Advanced Creature and Character Design (Seminars in New Media) (Summer only) - This class is special in particular because the original creature class is not a prerequisite to take this course, and it's a summer-exclusive course. You’ll still have to submit a portfolio of your work to the professor. If you can’t fit NEWM-N 333 in your spring semester schedules, this is an alternative. Again, if you’re doing it for storytelling, the most you’ll need is a sketchbook for very minor sketching. For 2D, any digital painting software is fine. For 3D, Maya or ZBrush is fine.
NEWM-N 102 Digital Media Imagery (Fall and Spring) - If you’ve read some of my blog posts, you know I like talking about this course and its professor. It teaches the principles of design and a lot of the basic knowledge required for art and design in general, not just digital media. You also don’t have to be super stellar at art to do well in this course, but be prepared to put in some more work for this one than other courses on this list. Uses Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
NEWM-N 201 Design Issues in Digital Media (Fall and Spring) (Arts and Humanities, Sustainability) - This is a pretty laid-back course that goes over what it takes to create digital graphics and includes some small motion graphic work. This is another easy “A” course. Uses Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator.
NEWM-N 203 Digital Painting (Fall and Spring) - This course goes over the basics of creating digital art, so it’s a fantastic course for beginners or those that are interested in learning how to use programs like Photoshop to paint. If you like using Clip Studio Paint or other paint softwares, you’re also allowed to use those programs in this course. It does require a graphics tablet, so be ready to spend a little bit if you want to give this course a go.
NEWM-N 261 Storyboarding for Multimedia (Spring only) - This will go over the basics of storyboarding and will also teach you the basics on how to draw more realistically. I guarantee it’s not as in-depth as Herron’s anatomy courses, but it’s still an option. This course requires you to draw traditionally, so don’t worry about buying a graphics tablet for this. Adobe Illustrator will be required for assembling some of your storyboards, but Photoshop may also be required depending on certain circumstances.
NEWM-N 385 Seeing Sideways: Experimental Approaches to New Media (Fall and Spring) - This course is sort of a part two of NEWM-N 102, but you don’t need to take that class to take this one (though it is recommended). This is a more discussion-heavy course and forces you to think more outside the box to create “more” original work. I also really enjoyed this course. Any digital painting software is fine. It also allows the use of 3D software if you so choose, which are generally Maya and ZBrush.
NEWM-N 202 Digital Storytelling (Fall, Spring, and Summer) - This is sort of an introductory course on how to put your ideas to work in the context of film and audio work while also going over the basics of storytelling. This includes stuff like advertisements, podcasts, radio, and the general psychology of written storytelling in media. Think of this one as a combination of Liberal Arts and New Media. Uses Adobe Premiere and Adobe Audition.
NEWM-N 253 Introduction to Digital Video (Fall and Spring) - This one isn’t so much about writing as it is about understanding film production and the equipment behind it. If you’re a scriptwriter and want to know more about how to produce your own work, this class is a good start. You’ll create a short film (5-7 minutes if I’m remembering it right) at the end of the semester using an original script and using professional-grade camera and lighting equipment. Adobe Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve are both eligible video editing softwares for this course (DaVinci Resolve is a free video editing software for everyone on par with Adobe Premiere Pro; you can still use it after you graduate without having to pay anything).
NEWM-N 260 Scriptwriting (Fall and Summer) - This is probably the class that lines up the most with other writing-focused classes. This class goes into detail about the scriptwriting as a format and teaches how to write more effective characters and arcs in your screenplays. You’ll create multiple different scripts throughout this course and will be constantly giving and receiving feedback from other students. Any scriptwriting website or software is acceptable.
NEWM-N 460 Advanced Scriptwriting for New Media (Spring only) - This class is basically a second semester NEWM-N 260 if you enjoyed the course and want to take it farther. You’ll keep writing more scripts and giving/receiving feedback from everyone. Also uses any scriptwriting software or website.
Other Courses That Might Interest You
These next few courses are either 3D classes or classes I’m not very familiar with. All 2D animation courses will use Adobe Animate or Adobe Character Animator, all 3D courses will use Maya or ZBrush, some of the courses will use Adobe After Effects, and there is probably some software I don’t know or can’t think of. Take this list with a grain of salt as I have not taken any of these courses. If you’re interested in any of these, ask your advisor or email the professor to see if it’s a right fit for you.
NEWM-N 140 History of Animation (Fall, Spring, and Summer)
NEWM-N 238 2D Animation (Fall and Spring)
NEWM-N 243 Introduction to 3D (Fall and Spring)
NEWM-N 245 Introduction to 3D Preproduction (Spring only)
NEWM0N 337 Virtual World Design and Development (Fall only)
NEWM-N 340 Motion Graphics (Fall and Spring)
NEWM-N 341 Lighting and Materials (Spring only)
NEWM-N 342 3D Animation (Fall and Spring)
NEWM-N 343 Hard Surface 3D Modeling (Fall and Spring)
NEWM-N 345 Organic Modeling and Texturing (Fall only)
NEWM-N 357 Digital Effects (Fall and Summer)
NEWM-N 438 Advanced 2D animation (Fall and Spring)
NEWM-N 440 3D Compositing and Visual Effects (Fall only)
NEWM-N 441 3D Production (Fall only)
NEWM-N 442 Advanced 3D Character Animation (Spring only)
NEWM-N 445 3D Character Development (Spring only)
NEWM-N 446 Advanced Techniques in 3D (Spring only)
NEWM-N 448 3D Prototyping for Application Medicine (Fall only)
NEWM-N 449 3D Prototyping for Visualization and Abstraction (Summer only)
NEWM-N 450 Usability Principles for New Media Interfaces (Fall, Spring, and Summer)
The following are all seminar courses and iGPS says that they all are Fall, Spring, and Summer Term courses, which isn’t true, so I won’t be listing the terms they’re available since I don’t know. Some of these also might not have prerequisites as well. I’d email the professors and your advisor for more info if you are interested in any of these.
NEWM-N 485 History of Animation
NEWM-N 485 Spore
NEWM-N 485 Advanced Techniques in 3D
NEWM-N 485 Seminar: Drawing and Sketching
NEWM-N 485 Flash
Like I said before, I guarantee I missed a few courses that could go on this list. I’ll do my best to answer any questions you might have if you email me at email@example.com, but I also suggest emailing your advisor and the professors.
If you’re interested in taking a bunch of these courses, the School of Informatics and Computing has multiple majors and minors you might be interested in. Give them a look if they strike your fancy.
Art - MAS: 3D Graphics and Animation - https://soic.iupui.edu/undergraduate/degrees/media-arts/3d-animation/
Writing and Art - MAS: Digital Storytelling -
Art - 3D Graphics and Animation Minor -
Art - Studio Art and Technology -
Give these classes a look and consider adding them in your future schedules!
Note- For those of you interested in enrolling in digital art courses, be ready to invest in a graphics tablet if you don’t have one or something like it. I got mine for $70 and it was one of the more inexpensive ones. If you’re interested in any of the 3D courses, the software is free for student use, but I suggest having a good computer if you plan to work from home. If you don’t have one, the computer labs in the School of Informatics and Computing building will work just fine (room 255 is the lab if I remember correctly).
Note 2 - I haven’t taken all of these courses, but for the ones that I have or the ones I’m familiar with, I’ll also list any particular software you’ll be using if you want to get better at a specific one. Almost all the software you use will be free as long as you’re a student at IUPUI and most of these programs can be downloaded from the IUware website (the Adobe Creative Cloud will be your go-to for many of these; if it’s an Adobe product, it’s a part of Adobe Creative Cloud). It has downloads for PC, Mac, and Linux computers, so make sure to download the software your operating system is compatible with (https://iuware.iu.edu/).
Note 3 - Some of these courses’ numbers may have changed. If you’re searching for them on iGPS, I recommend just searching using the name of the course.