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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. All registered attendees will be able to build their personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021. All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Educators Summit: Object Oriented Python Crash Course Using Houdini

Chris Roda  (Technical Art Director, University of Central Florida)

Date: Tuesday, July 20

Time: 1:20pm - 1:50pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

Topic: Educators

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: I acknowledge GDC 2021 is an all-digital event and commit to participating virtually.

Programming and scripting are unpopular with art students around the world; even with technical art students. Technical artists need only be functionally competent, not necessarily excellent programmers. Students are more willing to learn a new skillset when they understand the relevant relationships to their interests. When presented with a short schedule and a handful of programming resistant art students, try a 6-week, python crash course using a commercial DCC as the IDE. This session describes how to create such a course and advises how to structure the homework for maximum effectiveness. The session provides the measured results for such a course and explains the reason for the numbers as well as suggestions how to improve performance in the future.


Attendees will take away a list of the essential Python topics technical artists need to enter the game industry and a blueprint for a six-week Python course, focused on those specific needs, instructing technical art students using familiar objects and tasks within the context of a familiar DCC environment.

Intended Audience

This session is intended for technical art instructors teaching Object Oriented Python to art students. While not a technical talk, familiarity with Python and the Python API for a commercial DCC, such as Houdini, will be required for implementing such a course.