AR-413 / 3 credits

Teacher: Schaerer Philipp Christian

Language: English


This course explores visual strategies and techniques for creating apparent reality. The course concentrates on the field of 3D computer graphics and the production of still lifes as computer-generated images (CGI).


In the first theoretical part of the course, various concepts and methods involving analogue and digital image-generation techniques are introduced and compared. The focus is on the seemingly realistic image. Historical references and examples of artworks from the fields of painting, photography and computer graphics aid further investigation and are examined with regard to various aspects of visual aesthetics. The second part of the course addresses 3D computer graphics. The students are given an introduction to the 3D graphics program Cinema 4D, on which basis they develop a series of computer-generated still lifes as a final project. The aim is to examine the extent to which atmospheric visual aesthetics can be created using computer-generated images - visual aesthetics which, although based on a photographic language, have an expressiveness capable of overcoming the often lifeless and cool visual language seen in examples of calculated images. The course encourages the use of digital instruments at the extreme limit of the interplay between reality and fiction.



Image-based representation, photography, photorealism, digital image technology, 3D computer graphics, rendering (CGI), Cinema 4D, still life, the real and the imaginary

Learning Prerequisites

Important concepts to start the course

  • basic knowledge of English
  • basic knowledge of image-processing and 3D modelling techniques
  • (laptop to work with during course days)
  • (Cinema 4D software installed on computer)


Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the student must be able to:

  • Investigate and interpret the visual environment
  • Test visual faculties of perception and expression
  • Prove analytical and critical thinking skills in examining image-based representations
  • Describe the visual laws of photorealistic images
  • Identify the concept, potential and limits of 3D computer graphics and propose analogue alternatives
  • Perform 3D modelling, texturing and rendering with the program Cinema 4D
  • Take into consideration the basic principles and elements of image design
  • Create professional computer-generated images

Transversal skills

  • Demonstrate the capacity for critical thinking
  • Assess one's own level of skill acquisition, and plan their on-going learning goals.
  • Plan and carry out activities in a way which makes optimal use of available time and other resources.
  • Use a work methodology appropriate to the task.
  • Demonstrate a capacity for creativity.

Teaching methods

  • lectures and workshops
  • practical work (individual): exercises and reviews of selected work

Expected student activities

  • interest in (digital) image technologies
  • personal commitment and active participation


Assessment methods

  • based on practical work (intermediate exercises and final work)


Office hours No
Assistants No
Forum No



  • Bibliography provided during the course




In the programs

  • Semester: Fall
  • Exam form: During the semester (winter session)
  • Subject examined: Constructing the view: still life
  • Lecture: 2 Hour(s) per week x 12 weeks
  • Type: optional
  • Semester: Fall
  • Exam form: During the semester (winter session)
  • Subject examined: Constructing the view: still life
  • Lecture: 2 Hour(s) per week x 12 weeks
  • Type: optional

Reference week

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