New Cutting Edge Lab Helps PTC Commercial Art Program Innovate

commercialartlab211Technology is in a constant state of change. The commercial art program at Piedmont Technical College is working to keep up with the innovations by improving the labs in the program.

“This is the exact same technology these students would see if they walked into an advertising agency today,” said Kendall Adams, program coordinator. “It’s configured to match what they would see in a real world environment.”

The lab has been updated with 25 new iMacs complete with 27” screens and eight GB of RAM. They have also added Mac-based scanners and printers. The existing PC labs will continue to be utilized because, Adams said, students will experience both platforms as they enter the workforce.

“We are going to continue using the PCs because, in the digital rendering and gaming development, that’s what they’re going to run into. If they go to an ad agency or a print shop, 90 percent of the time they’re going to have a Mac. We want to make sure there is no disconnect between working on the Mac and working on the PC,” Adams said. “There are differences and while it’s not 180 degrees different, they are different enough to be confusing.”

With the addition of the new digital rendering and gaming development technology certificate that has been added to the curriculum, the new computers are just one example of the technology being integrated into the commercial art program. The latest versions of software such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Maya and ZBrush, the software used in the creation of the CGI for “Avatar,” are among the newest tools in the program along with iPads and MacBook Pros for the instructors.

“We are always looking for new technology, new ways to provide information to our students,” said Joel Griffin, assistant vice president for instructional technology.

Enrollment in the program has continued to grow and Adams said he hopes to keep it going with the addition of the new technology.

“We live in a technology-driven world today,” Adams said. “If you don’t embrace the technology, you’ll get left behind in the dust.”

For more information on the commercial art program, contact Adams at (864) 941-8474 or

Photo Caption: Commercial art instructor Tommy Gortney, right, works with commercial art student Tammy Tallman of Hodges on one of the new iMacs in the updated commercial art lab. The lab has been updated with 25 new iMacs complete with 27” screens and eight GB of RAM.