This course seeks to posit the role of digital media within the broader context of digital practice and to examine the generative capacities of the medium to design and communicate ideas in the virtual realm. The seminar will explore the construction of environments through the integration of graphics, motion, lighting simulation, material prototyping, and phenomena for the realistic image synthesis of both analytic and perceptual models through still and moving image. The mastery of physically based rendering algorithms using approximation approaches will provide more transparency to design thinking. Iterative working methodologies will be deployed for the serialized development and exploration of dynamic form, light, materials and motion; through the use of animation, iterative workflows and parametric materials. Investigations will vary in scale from one to one virtual simulations of materials and details, to interior and architectural scales, through to urban and landscape scales.Topics will include: physically based procedural day lighting, image based lighting, and artificial lighting design and simulation; the development of principal reflection models, compound shaders, texturing and procedural maps for complex material prototyping; compositing, editing and post production of still and dynamic content from time lapse photography through to photo compositing and camera matching; the use of proxy objects and mass population tools to design and represent large datasets; and the temporal simulation of seasonal & climatic variation and interior atmospheres.The course will be a lecture/workshop format with a series of weekly workshops and assignments with a final project review during exam week. Evaluation will be based on project content, proficiency in the media and class participation. No prerequisites. The seminar has a limited enrollment of 18 students.