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Animation calls upon the theories and artistic practices of animation, cinema, motion graphics, games and technology. Students in this concentration study animation and interactive media through a combination of traditional media and digital tools. In-class critiques of personal work and investigation of the history of animation and interactive art are emphasized for the development of a framework from which students can begin their path as animators and interactive artists. Advanced level courses in animation incorporate technically intensive experiences in 3-D computer animation and digital compositing, as well as explorations of emerging practices including real-time applications and interactive animation.

Throughout the Animation program of study, students are encouraged and expected to develop their own artistic voice through exploration of the media and critical review of their work. Students completing the concentration have the opportunity to produce a fully developed work at the culmination of the program, either individually or as part of a team.

Frequently Asked Questions

What could I do with a major in Visual Arts – Animation?

Animation is an emphasis within a fine arts program in which students are expected to develop aesthetic skills and critical thinking as well as mastering their craft. Faculty here have a background in independent and experimental media, though at the same time have had professional training in software and industry experience.

Placement for students graduating from our program is diverse: some alumni have become successful freelance artists and many remaining locally have found jobs at government agencies, game companies, and broadcast studios. Others have been hired at west coast animation houses, or are accepted into graduate programs of their choice.

The field of Animation field is highly competitive and only the best students find the most desirable positions. Professional development and preparation is part of our program, but there is no official job placement program beyond the university internship programs and career development center.

Animation Courses

Visual Arts, Animation Concentration, B.A.
Visual Arts, Animation Concentration, B.F.A.

ART 341
Introduction to Animation [3]
This course introduces the fundamental principles of animated movement and their applications across all animation techniques. In addition to screenings and analysis of animated films, students will explore production workflow for animation. Students will work individually on projects and learn the skills of effective group collaboration.
Prerequisite: ART 213

ART 382
Interactive Media [3]
This course provides an introduction to the diverse scope and potential of screen-based interactive media. Emphasis is placed on the production and critique of projects that explore interactive navigation, non-linear narrative, interactive animation and sound in 2D environments. Online and internet based art will be covered. Basic scripting concepts and techniques are introduced to provide students with the necessary skills to begin exploring their own creative approaches to interactivity.
Prerequisite: ART 213.

ART 383
Sound Design [3]
This course treats sound as an aesthetic equal to image in works of time-based and interactive media. It explores image sound relationships and focuses on designing effective soundtracks by developing students’ skills in field, foley, and studio recording; scoring; mixing; and sound-image synchronization.
Prerequisite: ART 213.

ART 384
Introduction to 3D Animation [3]
This course will build a foundation for the creation of animation with computers. Students will explore 3-D techniques through a study of modeling, motion, transformation, lighting and texturing. Students will utilize these skills in the context of strengthening their own artistic voice.
Prerequisite: ART341.

ART 387
Animation in the Physical World [3]
This course focuses on the expressive potential of materials-based animation. Stop motion, cut-paper, and experimental techniques, as well as physical-to-digital production methods, will be explored via screenings of animated works, analysis, and hands-on workshops. Students will work individually on projects and collaboratively in groups.
Prerequisite: ART 341

ART 389
Topics in Animation and Interactive Media [3]
This course offers an investigation of current directions in animation and interactive media. Topics to be announced.
This course is repeatable up to 9 credits or 3 attempts.

ART 484
Advanced 3D Animation Techniques [3]
This course will continue a student’s exploration of 3D computer animation. Advanced techniques for modeling and procedural rendering will be introduced, as well as animation techniques that utilize scripts, expressions, deformations and inverse kinematics. Students will utilize these skills in the context of strengthening their own artistic voice.
Prerequisite: ART384 and ART341.

ART 488
Advanced Topics in Animation [3]
This course offers an investigation of current directions in Animation and Interactive Media. Topics to be announced.
This course is repeatable up to 9 credits or 3 attempts.

ART 489
Senior Projects [3]
An advanced course that focuses on the production of individual and collaborative projects, emphasizing class discussion and critique. This course constitutes the “capstone” experience and should be taken in the student’s final semester.
Prerequisite: For Animation students: ART 484 and ART 347. For Interactive Art students: ART 486 and ART 484.

ART 380
History and Theory of Games [3]
This seminar offers an in-depth treatment of historical, philosophical, and theoretical issues related to game design and play. The course traces the origins of gaming and follows its evolution into the contemporary idiom. Analysis will also cover how multi-person independent decision-making and strategic situations provide insight on political science, anthropology, economics, sociology, and biology.

ART 486
Real Time Animation [3]
This studio course explores the creation of visual media for interactive applications. Student will gain a foundational understanding of the concepts and techniques involved with art production for real time graphics and animation.
Prerequisite: ART 341

Animation Track

ART 347
Writing for Media [3]
An introduction to developing ideas and scripts for short films. Emphasis will be on traditional storytelling strategies, as well as experimental scripting techniques.
Prerequisite: ART 341.

ART 447
Motion Graphics and Compositing [3]
This course explores the creation of cinematic effects and motion graphics utilizing advanced techniques in multilayered, time-based compositions as it relates to both 2-D and 3-D applications. The conceptual process and content incorporating these techniques are studied through screenings of contemporary works and critiques of student class work.
Prerequisite: ART 305 or ART 315 or ART 331 or ART 341 or ART365.

Animation Faculty

Dan Bailey   Professor
Eric Dyer   Associate Professor
Corrie Parks   Assistant Professor
Evan Tedlock Assistant Professor