1. Gallery (Project 01)
  2. Gallery (Project 02)
  3. Syllabus
  4. Schedule 
  5. Tutorials
  6. Lectures
  7. Assignments
  8. Software / hardware
  9. Resources
  10. Course links 

Breanna Browning 

Henry Yang 

Software / hardware

Required Hardware:
1. External hard drive (SSD) - 500GB + 

You will use this hard drive to store all of your assignments. It is important that you purchase a solid state drive (SSD) as opposed to a mechanical/ standard drive. While individual drives will vary, an SSD can read/write data up to 5 times faster than HDD’s. 


  • Samsung T9 1 TB SSD (around $120)  Best Buy or Amazon - newest version 
  • Samsung T7 “Shield” 1 TB SSD (around $100)  Amazon - “rugged” water and dust resistant option - what I’ll be using 
  • Samsung T7 500 GB SSD (around $85) Best Buy - cheapest Samsung option 

You do not need these exact drives if you already have an alternative that meets the same specs, but these would be my recommendations if you need to purchase one. 

Please format as exFAT. 

2. A mouse (for your laptop) 

If you will be working on your homework / assignments on your laptop at any time, please purchase a mouse. 


  •  Logitech M720 Triathlon Multi-Device Wireless Mouse, Bluetooth ($35) Amazon - my personal preference - uses bluetooth (doesn’t require usb/dongle) 
  • Amazon Basics Wireless Mouse Amazon ($10) Amazon - cheap option 
  • Logitech Lift ($65) Amazon - ergonomic option 

*Note* PC vs Mac 

I will be using PC/Windows for all course instruction, tutorials, notes, and troubleshooting. While Maya and Blender are both available on Mac, the industry standard (and preferred platform) for running most 3D software is Windows. Room 4320 is fitted with a powerful PC workstation for each student. Students will be able to access these computers outside of class meeting times to work on assignments. 

It is not necessary for you to purchase or upgrade a computer for this course. However, if you have any questions about selecting hardware, please reach out to me or the course TA. 

Optional Hardware: 

1. Monitor for home 

If you will be working on your laptop at home, a secondary monitor can be very helpful for modeling and rendering. 
    A 4k monitor is preferred (if your laptop output allows). 

    2. External HDD / file storage drive 

    Good to have for backing up files, storing assets, etc. Cheaper storage than SSD, but not ideal for opening/working on files from directly. 


    • LaCie Rugged Mini 2TB External HDD Amazon - my personal preference 

    Required Software: 

    1. Autodesk Maya 

    Please install Maya 2024. It’s important to ensure your home version matches the version installed in the classroom.  

    You’ll need to make an account with Autodesk Student if you do not already have one. Use your UCLA email address. 

    2. Blender 
    Please install version 3.6.4. It’s important to ensure your home version matches the version installed in the classroom.  
    Download here.

    3. Adobe CC
    Please install the latest versions of the following: 
    • Photoshop 
    • Premiere 
    • After Effects 
    • Substance Painter (wait on this until we’re ready for it - we may just use the free trial version)

    4. Mixamo 
    Sign up with your Adobe account. We’ll use this for auto-rigging towards the end of our Maya section. 

    5. Presentation design software 

    You will be submitting many of your homework assignments as pdf presentations. You are welcome to use any software of your preference (InDesign, Keynote, PowerPoint, Google Slides, etc).  

    6. Discord 
    For class communications. Sign up if you do not have an account. Download discord app here- recommended. You can also use discord in the web browser. 

    7.    DMA Server Drop Folders 

    If you have not already, please set up your connection to the class folders. Refer to the DMA FAQ page.  

    Optional Software: 
    *I’ll continue to add supplemental software here based on class needs/interests 
    1. Adobe CC

    Please install the latest versions: 
    • Illustrator 
    • InDesign 

    2. Luma AI 

    3D scanning app. 

    3. Polycam
    3D scanning app.