Todd Fechter

Senior Associate Dean - Arts Tech And Comm
Tags: Animation & Games Design & Technology Emerging Media Art Art & Science

Professional Preparation

M.S. - M.F.A., Digital Animation & Visualization
Ohio State University - 2002
B.S.D. - Industrial Design
Ohio State University - 2000

Appointments

Visiting Assistant Professor
University of Texas at Dallas [2007–2007]
Assistant Professor
University of Texas at Dallas [2007–Present]
Freelance 3D artist
Various [2006–Present]
Lead Modeler
Element X Creative, Dallas, TX [2006–2007]
Adjunct Instructor
University of Texas at Dallas [2005–2006]
Head of Environment Modeling
DNA Productions, Irving, TX [2004–2006]
Modeler/Rigger
DNA Productions, Irving, TX [2002–2004]
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Ohio State University [2000–2002]

Additional Information

Personal Statement

Todd Fechter's professional background is in the field of 3D computer animation. He has experience working on both television and film productions, which he gained while employed at DNA Production, Inc from September 2002 through June of 2006. There he held the position of Head of Environment Modeling, where he led a team of eight modelers in the planning and creation of all environments and props.

After leaving DNA Productions he worked as a freelance 3D artist providing both modeling and texturing services for various companies including Jeep, Ember Studios, Reel FX Entertainment and NASA.

In October 2006 Fechter accepted a position at Element X Creative as Head of Modeling. There he worked on various projects ranging from promotions to a direct to DVD animated series.

Fechter is currently an Assistant Professor of 3D Computer Animation at UT Dallas. During this time he has been able to integrate his production experience and expertise into his teachings with the goal of better preparing students to reach their professional aspirations. This includes the creation of the first online Arts and Technology computer animation digital class material archive where students have unlimited access to course materials and examples that allow for off campus learning and review.

Fechter's current interests are in the continued redesign and growth of the ATEC 3D animation curriculum. Two new courses will focus more on the planning and development of 3D animation rather than the actual execution. Students will then be able to fully realize production timelines and methodologies to focus skills learned in other ATEC courses and create of their own complex animations. In return these works will be submitted to festivals and other showcases.

Lastly, Fechter intends to continue the growth of the online digital class material archive by continually updating with new course information and practices.

Professional memberships
  • ACM Siggraph, 7/2009 – current
  • Tex Graph, 7/2009 – current
Achievements in original investigation
  • “Pilot: NSF CreativeIT Project: Collaborative Undergraduate Computing Studios Facilitating Decentralized Participation” August 2009 – August 2012 The goal of this project is to promote creativity in computationally intensive undergraduate design studios in which collaborators are not co-located. Systematic modifications will be made to team structure, workflow, and awareness technology employed by participants in successive undergraduate studio courses in order to understand the specific influence on technical and visual creativity. The students will be collaborating on projects with fellow participants and are neither co-located nor in a common time zone.
  • Arts and Technology Curriculum Development: August 2007 – PresentA I am developing a modular approach to curriculum construction specific to Arts and Technology programs. This development takes into account both an entire technology program’s curriculum as well as the individual courses from which it is made. Explorations include the use of curriculum module units which can be reconfigured and coupled to create any number of courses from a single set of shared, common information nodes. Long distance and online education are also targeted.
       Arts and Technology Course Development:
  • ATEC 3317 – Introduction to 3D Computer Modeling I have completed 2 complete 3317 course redesigns and am currently working on the third. These sections are taught nearly entirely by teaching assistants and adjunct instructors. The new course format and lessons are used by all instructors to ensure all of the students in all sections receive exactly the same information. This is a required course for all ATEC students and averages 4 sections per semester. The information covered builds the foundation required by nearly all subsequent ATEC courses. Areas covered include polygonal modeling, NURBS modeling, basic design skills and problem solving. Graduate and Undergraduate
  • ATEC 3327 – Digital Lighting and Texturing I have completed 2 complete 3327 course redesigns and am currently working on the third. These sections are taught nearly entirely by teaching assistants and adjunct instructors. The new course format and lessons are used by all instructors to ensure all of the students in all sections receive exactly the same information. This is a required course for all ATEC students and averages 4 sections per semester. The information covered builds the foundation required by nearly all subsequent ATEC courses. Areas covered include UV unwrapping, lighting set ups and rigs, rendering and basic compositing. Graduate and Undergraduate
  • ATEC 4348 – Advanced 3D Modeling I created this course from the ground up to introduce production modeling techniques that go well beyond those covered in the ATEC 3317 course. Graduate and Undergraduate
  • ATEC 4349 – Advanced Digital Lighting and Texturing. I created this course to introduce production lighting, texturing and rendering techniques that go well beyond those covered in the ATEC 3327 course. Graduate and Undergraduate
  • ATEC 4371 – Concept Design I created this course to allow students to develop their own animation, film and game concepts using real world production methodologies. Students develop their own production bibles including written treatments and log lines as well as conceptual artwork with an eye towards getting their idea produced. Graduate and Undergraduate

News Articles

ATEC School Draws Upon New Professors' Skills to Build Programs

The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communications
is beginning its first year with three new tenure-track faculty members who will help build new areas of study in the school.  


One of the new faculty members studies digital culture and new media art, and the two new animation professors have extensive experience in the technical industry.

ATEC Prof Designs Robots for ‘Terminator’ Sequel
An Arts and Technology (ATEC) faculty member has had a small stake in whether the next installment in the Terminator series flies or flops at the summer box office.

Todd Fechter, assistant professor of 3D computer animation with the ATEC program in the School of Arts and Humanities, spent the last two months working on components of a viral Web site which supports the upcoming Warner Bros. release, Terminator: Salvation.

Funding

UT Dallas Campus Visualization
$25,000 - Vice President of Business Affairs, University of Texas at Dallas [2009–2009]
Collaborative Undergraduate Computing Studios Facilitating Decentralized Participation
Year 1, $123,000 Year 2, $135,00 - NSF Creative IT Project [2009–2012]
The Trinity River Corridor: An Aerial Animation
$34,000.00 - The Trinity Trust [2007–2007]