Animation calls upon the theories and artistic practices of animation, cinema, motion graphics, games and technology. Students study animation as makers, taking a sequence of hands-on production courses through traditional media and digital tools, investigating the history of animation, and screening of contemporary animation artists. 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. In-class critiques of personal work are emphasized for the development of a framework from which students can begin their path as artists in the animation field.
Advanced level courses in animation incorporate technically intensive experiences in 2D and 3D digital, hand-crafted, interactive, and hybrid processes, as well as exploration of emerging practices within the animation field. 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.
Placement for students graduating from our program is diverse: some alumni have become successful freelance artists, others have found jobs at government agencies, game companies, and major animation studios. Additionally, many students continue their studies in graduate programs.
|Visual Arts, Animation Concentration, B.A.|
|Visual Arts, Animation Concentration, B.F.A.|
ART 341 – Introduction to Animation 
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 343 – History of Animation 
This is a survey course studying the international development of animation. The course will emphasize two major aspects in this evolution: the rise and decline of American studio production and the independent artist/animator. Prerequisite: ART 215
ART 347 – Writing for Media 
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 380 – History and Theory of Games 
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 383 – Sound Design 
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 
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: ART 341
ART 387 – Animation in the Physical World 
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 
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 447 – Motion Graphics and Compositing 
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.
ART 484 – Advanced 3D Animation Techniques 
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: ART 384 and ART 341.
ART 485 – Team-based Game Development 
In this class students will learn to apply their talents towards developing computer games. They will learn the processes, techniques, and tool sets used in game development from industry professionals. Students will also learn how to function in an interdisciplinary team on challenging and complex projects.
ART 488 – Advanced Topics in Animation 
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 
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 486 – Real Time Animation 
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
ART 487 – Pre-production for Animation Senior Projects 
This course prepares Animation students for their capstone ART 489 Senior Projects course. Students will develop individual project ideas and prepare for production using traditional and/or non-traditional pre-production practices. Emphasis will be on class presentations, discussion, critiques, and screenings.
ART 496 – Imaging Research Center Internship [3-6]
This course is designed to acquaint students with the processes of professional animation, graphics and multimedia production in a professional work environment. Students work under the guidance of the IRC directors, usually in teams, on client-based or research projects. The focus of the internship is on the development of ideas, working collaboratively in teams and utilizing evolving technologies. IRC productions vary on a semester basis and demand different skills from interns. This internship opportunity is considered a senior-level course.
This course is repeatable up to 6 credits or 2 attempts.