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Animated Arts

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Animated Arts students are visual storytellers. Come join us and learn to create new worlds, give life to unique characters, and explore concepts about our current cultural experiences through animated arts, including concept art, animation production, and 3D digital modeling and rendering used in film, television, and video games.

The Animated Arts program prepares students to be visionaries by developing their voices as artists. Our program fosters risk-taking and growth through inventive exploration, with a foundation in traditional art practices. As students progress through the program, they acquire the technical skills needed for a variety of careers, from pre-production to animation to 3D digital assets and images. Students are encouraged to work individually and in teams, gaining hands-on experience with industry-standard equipment and software such as Toon Boom Harmony, Storyboard Pro, the Adobe Creative Suite, DragonframeZbrush, Autodesk Maya, and Autodesk Substance 3D Painter. The Animated Arts program was named a Center of Excellence for Toon Boom programs in 2019 due to the high quality of student work coming out of our program, which gives our students free access to this industry-leading software as well as opportunities for internships with animation studios.

The program is housed in the Department of Art and Design. Classes are taught in the Sharadin Art building, a hub of visual creative activity. The Animated Arts Program provides comprehensive artistic and technical training to help each student develop as an industry-ready animated arts professional, with both traditional and digital coursework. The first year of the Program’s four-year curriculum is devoted to traditional techniques in Drawing, 2D Design, 3D Design, and Digital Foundations.  

The second year is dedicated to introductory courses in Concept Art, Storyboarding, Character Design, 2D Animation, 3D Animation, and 3D Modeling and Rendering 

In the third year, students select a specialization and gain advanced knowledge and expertise and continue to perfect their skills from their 2nd year. There is also an opportunity for students to take coursework in fine arts, from painting, printmaking, sculpture, video art, photography, drawing, ceramics, and textiles. Computer Science, Cinema, Television, and Media, and Communication Design coursework, from scriptwriting to game design to illustration classes, are all encouraged and available to service the interests of Animated Arts students.  

In the fourth and final year, students complete a capstone project in their area of specialization: Animation, Concept Art, or 3D Modeling/Rendering. Throughout their studies, students develop a professional portfolio and graduate ready to begin their chosen career. Students work closely with award-winning faculty who apply their expertise as professional artists, animators, and scholars to the classroom. Internships, visiting speakers, film screenings, and on-campus galleries provide further opportunities for enrichment, while grants and scholarships support additional study and opportunities. 

If you love creating visual stories, a BFA in Animated Arts offers limitless possibilities in this expansive and fast-growing field. 

Animated Arts Computer Labs: 

The Art and Design Department has several Macintosh-based computer labs that give our students access to industry-standard hardware and software. We have two dedicated Animated Arts labs, one with Mac computers and the other with PC computers. Both these labs have powerful processors and run all our applications such as the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, Toon Boom Harmony, Storyboard Pro, Maya, Blender, ZBrush, and other related software.  

Sample Career Options:

  • Filmmaker/Animator 

  • Fabricator/Prop Artist 

  • Character Artist/Animator 

  • Character Modeler 

  • Background Artist 

  • Virtual reality designer 

  • Environmental Modeler 

  • Simulations FX Technical Director 

  • Lighting Technical Director 

  • Digital Compositor 

  • VFX Editor 

  • Motion Graphics Designer 

  • Technical Artist 

  • Software Engineer 

  • Animation Engineer 

  • 3D Artist 

  • Pipeline Artist 

  • Cinematic Animator 

  • Production Assistant 

  • Animation Supervisor 

  • Director 

  • Rigging Artist 

  • Producer 

  • Digital Resource Wrangler 

  • Editor 

  • Creative Director 

  • Visual Designer 

  • Scientific Visualization Designer 

  • Visual Development Artist 

  • Game Developer 

  • Game Designer 

  • Gameplay Animator 

  • Level Designer 

  • Lighting Artist 

  • CG Artist 

  • Asset Artist 

  • Shot Creator 

  • Storyboard Artist 

  • Production Coordinator 

  • Look Development Artist 

  • Matte Painter 

  • Prop Artist 

  • Narrative Designer 

  • Project Manager 

  • Layout Artist 

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Animated Arts (BFA)
    1. Engage the elements and principles of the animated arts.
      1. Demonstrate proficiency in the tools and techniques used to create artworks in the animation industry.
      2. Develop knowledge of the history and critical theory of animation and digital art.
      3. Execute the stages of the animation production process in professional-level work.

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