Whether working with paper, pixels or puppets, as an Animation major at Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD), you will become skilled at shaping compelling frame-by-frame performances that inspire viewers to accept that the characters on screen are alive with genuine thoughts and sincere emotions. LCAD’s BFA program in Animation is dedicated to ensuring that you become an exceptional storyteller who understands the entire process of filmmaking from script to screen. You will develop your abilities in traditional animation with classic artistic skills and then enhance that knowledge with fluency in the latest digital tools. Our Animation faculty is comprised of experienced industry professionals who are here to help you bring your characters to life in your own unique style.
Industrial Light & Magic
The Jim Henson Company
South Park Studios
Chair of Animation
Dan Boulos is a classically trained animator and story artist with screen credits including Beauty and the Beast (Walt Disney Feature Animation), Space Jam (Warner Brothers Feature Animation) and The Prince of Egypt (DreamWorks Feature Animation). After more than a decade in the feature film industry in Los Angeles Dan moved to Honolulu where he founded Wiki Wiki Cartoons. During his years in Hawaii he developed animation programs for the University of Hawaii Community College System as well UH Manoa, the 4-year research campus.
The Senior Capstone experience is designed to foster intellectual, conceptual, and artistic self-reflection by the graduating senior as they contemplate, articulate and expound on the meaning, value, and purpose of their Senior Portfolio Project. There are two major components to the class: the writing of a major essay (with drafts and related assignments) comprising a detailed, in-depth, analytical explication of the student’s Senior Portfolio Project or Thesis Film focusing on the student's creative intent and processes involved, followed by a formal oral defense of the same. The student must receive a passing grade on both the essay and the oral defense in order to pass the class and graduate. Senior Capstone must be taken concurrently with the student’s final Portfolio/Thesis class so that the work being done in one class simultaneously informs the work being done in the other. This class is graded pass/no pass. A passing grade in Senior Capstone is required in order to graduate with a degree. Senior Capstone may not be taken as Independent Study.
This course prepares students for the writing, reading, and analysis required in their undergraduate education by learning various methods of argumentation, logic, and inquiry. Students practice their reasoning skills in writing assignments and discussions that demand analysis via critical reasoning. Assigned readings focus on basic philosophical questions and issues facing thinkers in all academic disciplines. This course helps students discover that writing is a natural, creative, and meaningful activity that helps them learn about themselves and the world. Students also learn the importance of questioning and critiquing the words and ideas of others. Ultimately, students experience first-hand how critical reasoning enables them to become informed and educated citizens of the world, with the abilities to affect change via their own words and actions. Successful completion of this course is a prerequisite for all Liberal Arts & Art History courses.
The course examines the development of animation from its inception through present-day manifestations in television, films, and the Internet. Major animators and key works are analyzed and discussed. Required for Animation majors.
This course introduces the student to Alias's industry-leading Maya software. This course is designed for students interested in computer-generated character animation for film, TV, and the gaming industry. This introductory course covers inverse kinematics (movement of arms and legs), 3D modeling, lighting, texturing, and basic rendering. Students produce a short animation using a character developed early in the semester. Each student will provide their own external hard drive.
This course covers how to effectively portray the essence of a story by means of quick and accurate sketches. Students learn to develop and create a sequential series of staged drawings (the visual script of each scene in a film). A brief overview of script writing is included. The scripts plot, situations, and conflict are developed from rough sketches to finished presentations. This course also examines staging, cinematography, drama, action notes, dialogue, pacing, timing, and sequencing the story's action.
With instructor recommendation, students will have the option to create an animation reel from given assignments. Students will create a reel expressing their ideas in the form of 30-second animated pieces with animals or anthropomorphic characters. To further develop their pieces, students will use basic design and staging/layout principles, basic acting or pantomime performance, and character development. Students will be evaluated on their abilities to understand and demonstrate the essential 12 principles of animation and to execute their knowledge using learned animation techniques and basic story principles. Students will also be evaluated on their ability to evoke an intended response from the audience. Students are required to have their own set of industry tools (for example, an animation light table, animation disk, punched animation paper, and pencils).
Pre-req - Fundamentals of Animation
This is a figure drawing course for animators that focuses on gesture and how to capture the essentials of movement, dynamic expression, and the individual model's attitude. A variety of drawing media will be introduced.
This course emphasizes 3-dimensional form analysis: proportion, scale, foreshortening, and weight. Using an economy of line and value, students will strive to capture emotion and expression of animal forms by depicting gesture, manner, attitude, and rhythm. Comparative studies of animal and human anatomy will empower students with strong, imaginative drawing skills. A variety of domestic and zoo animals will be studied and drawn in the studio and on location.
In this course students will learn the role of layout in the filmmaking process, with an emphasis on feature films. The course will cover the basics of film cinematography, planning camera mechanics, how to plan and use creative perspective, lighting, and visual storytelling. Students will have the opportunity to plan and create a layout workbook, and to develop a series of key layouts during the semester. The emphasis will be on creative solutions for staging and designing the worlds that animated characters inhabit. The principles taught can be applied to traditional animation, 3D animation, or games. Recommended texts: The Five Cs of Cinematography by Joseph V. Mascelli and Film Directing Shot by Shot by Steven D. Katz. Bring a 9 x 12 sketchbook and a set of cool grey Prism color markers to the first day of class.
This course is an exploration in story structure and the incorporation of classic storytelling techniques/archetypes in the medium of film.
This course is the first leg of a full-year writing requirement and focuses on exploratory writing and methods of rhetoric. The goal is to provide the groundwork for the more sophisticated writing and thinking that is required later in their academic careers, as well as to help students reach a level of expository prose writing deemed appropriate for the university level. Classes are conducted in a workshop setting where students explore issues of craft as it relates to the process of writing.
This course will serve as a practical experience for students to work on an assigned project with a studio-client perspective. Students work as a group to develop deliverables according to the requirements of a client-driven project. Students will have to meet deadlines, work as a team and interact with clients as needed. The instructor fulfills the role of project lead. Students with department-approved studio-based internships may substitute their external internship for the AN 404 requirement. Prerequisite: AN419
This course is taken in the last senior semester and teaches the techniques necessary to bring a film to final color and sound in traditional (hand-drawn) or CG animation. Principles for traditional films include clean-up animation, digital ink and paint. CG principles include lighting, rendering and compositing. All students will complete soundtracks for their films with Foley, sound design and final mixing. Finished films will be encoded to theatrical DCP (Digital Cinema Package) standards and each class member will prepare the necessary publicity materials for submission to online festival platforms.
Pre-req: Thesis Film 2
This course is a continuation of Senior Project Film and is taken during the semester prior to graduation. Students are required to execute and complete their final goals reflecting an advanced level of craft and technique. The end of the semester will include a final pitch of students work to LCAD animation faculty and students and an exhibit in the senior show. Students are also required to prepare personalized promotional materials for entrance into the industry.
Pre-req: Thesis Film 1
This course requires production of a completed, short, animated film by the end of the year. Students will be guided through the film process and will develop their own short animated pieces from concept to completion. This course will see the process of choosing an idea that works and developing a story that is clear, compelling, and entertaining. During their first semester, students will be evaluated on scripts, designs, and animatics with sound. Students will learn exciting new filmmaking techniques along with industry standard production skills to keep them on schedule.
Pre-req: Advancement Review
This advanced animation course explores acting, emotion, personality, storytelling, and gags with complex characters and advanced principles and techniques such as secondary action, breaking joints, and blurs. Students are introduced to the exposure sheet in relation to dialogue and discover new methods of animating such as Straight Ahead versus Pose to Pose. Students are highly encouraged to participate in ACME on-line and on-air broadcasts.
Background Painting teaches students to take their drawn environments and background layouts to full color. The course emphasizes the skills and tools needed to emulate traditional painting techniques using Adobe Photoshop.
This course offers continued study with Maya. Areas of study include modeling tools, 3D morphing, and intermediate animation techniques. In addition, compositing, hierarchical motion and targeting, camera tracking, lighting, rendering, shading techniques, and surface textures will be covered. Students learn to import and export animation routines/cycles and apply them to 3D character models.
The purpose of this course is to finalize a short film idea that will be executed in the senior year. This course will provide experience in the process of choosing a short-film idea and developing it into a story that is clear, compelling, and entertaining. Students learn storytelling and filmmaking techniques and explore several ideas before choosing a final film. Students in this class will be evaluated on their scripts, designs and animatics with sound.
This is a figure drawing course for animators that focuses on gesture and capturing essentials of movement, dynamic expression, and the individual model's attitude. A variety of drawing media are introduced.
This advanced course is designed to push the student's ability to give vision to a concept and to visually convey emotional story beats. Emphasis is placed on visual communication with the use of value, design, color, and composition. Artistic growth is encouraged through a series of critiques and demonstrations.
This course is a continuation of Animation 1. Following similar criteria, students will continue expanding their knowledge of the 12 principles of animation: with emphasis on leading action and overlap. By employing the basics of acting and observing how to portray emotion with their characters, students will explore animating different character types and personalities in various ways. Students may take part in selected assignments or create their own 30-second short film. Students are required to have their own sets of industry tools (for example, an animation light table, animation disk, punched animation paper, and pencils).
Pre-req: Animation 1
This course offers an intense investigation of character design. The objective of this course is to design model sheets of unique and imaginative animated characters. Students begin with preliminary sketches and construction drawing, and continue to develop numerous rotation drawings (turnarounds) of facial expressions and a variety of action poses that are refined and which eventually lead to more finished drawings. A variety of styles are explored. Emphasis is on working from imagination and strengthening drawing skills.
Los Angeles, not known for being a bastion of either culture or liberalism during the early twentieth century, was—for a time—both a cradle of high-modernism and a refuge from the charnel house of European fascism. Icons such as poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht, Marxist philosopher Theodor Adorno, noir filmmakers Fritz Lang and Billy Wilder, composers Arnold Schoenberg and Igor Stravinski, novelists Thomas Mann and Aldous Huxley, and architects Richard Neutra and Rudolph Schindler, many of whom had fled the Nazis, made their homes in Los Angeles. In this course, we will examine the lives and major works of the many refugees and exiles who transformed LA’s intellectual and aesthetic culture in the 1940s, as well as look closely at three critical aspects of their enduring legacy. First, the transnational exchange of aesthetic and intellectual history between Europe and the United States; Second, the effects of fascism on aesthetics and its implications; and Third, the degree to which the creative output of European émigrés provided survival strategies in the wake of such genocidal and illiberal ideologies. What, in other words, can we glean from Brecht’s poetry, from Adorno’s “reflections from damaged life,” from Fritz Lang’s deeply expressionistic noir films, from Huxley’s Brave New World? Through the consumption of text and images representing this history students will create a project utilizing this aesthetic and intellectual history of art (and artists) as a means of strategizing survival in today’s climate. Prerequisite: One course from Ancient Civilizations category (AH100 series) and one course from either Medieval Worlds or Renaissance Worlds in Motion category (AH200/AH300 series).
Set primarily in Paris, this course traces the development and public reception of modern
art in Europe from the mid-19th century through the early years of the 20th century. The
main focus of this course is the Post-Impressionists, artists working in diverse styles
during the years 1880-1900. In order to better understand the radical approaches to art
undertaken by these artists, the course will include a brief investigation of the cultural,
political, and artistic trends which led up to the period known as Post-Impressionism. Thus,
students will gain familiarity with the major art movements of the 18th and 19th centuries:
Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, and Impressionism. This course will be framed by
the theories of “bohemian” poet Charles Baudelaire, whose close friendship with many
artists helped shaped the trajectory of modern art. Encircled by other likeminded writers,
these artists spurred the creative process and championed one another. Van Gogh,
Toulouse-Lautrec, Munch, Mucha, and Klimt are among the artists examined in this class.
Through close analysis of the artists’ own words, students will explore the psyche of the
modern artist as they sought to create an expressive art imbued with feeling, originality,
and innovation. This course requires a museum visit, independent research, analysis of
primary sources (artist letters and essays), and the creation of an artwork related to course
This course will introduce students to current theoretical and real-world applications of exhibition design operating today in museums, galleries, and contemporary art spaces, both real and virtual. Through weekly in-person exploration of cultural sites in and around Orange County and Los Angeles, students will observe and critique aesthetic and practical decisions made by professional curators and exhibition designers, with particular emphases on structural layout, cultural themes, the curation and arrangement of objects, and how artworks interact with one another in outdoor and indoor spaces. In doing so, students will sharpen their perceptive skills, strengthen their discourse specific to the fields of art production, curation, collecting, and museum studies, and pursue theoretical examples of design brought to life within the rich artistic landscape of Southern California. Students produce written journal entries, participate in discussions, produce directed reading responses to museum catalogues, articles, and other didactic material, as well as participate in oral presentations and collaborative hands-on projects. Prerequisite: One course from Ancient Civilizations category (AH100 series) and one course from either Medieval Worlds or Renaissance Worlds in Motion category (AH200/AH300 series).
Los Tres Grandes explores the Mexican Muralist movement of the 1920s from its beginnings under the post-Mexican Revolution government to its present-day influence on Chicanx and Street artists. Utilizing a curricular framework centered on Los Tres Grandes (the big three), Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros, our studies will then expand to include further influential figures such as Frida Kahlo and Rufino Tamayo among others. Students will be required to demonstrate their understanding of the material through visual (art) projects, a formal writing assignment, and participation in class discussions. Prerequisite: One course from Ancient Civilizations category (AH100 series) and one course from either Medieval Worlds or Renaissance Worlds in Motion category
This course examines a diverse array of art created by different ethnic groups in West Africa from pre-colonial through the 19th century and beyond. Through the lens of both spiritual and cultural traditions, we will consider a wide range of styles and materials, and ask how meaning is derived from objects and practices, keeping in mind particular challenges that emerge when studying art that is both permanent and impermanent. The significance of oral traditions will be studied, as well as the roles of ancestor spirits, mythical creatures, divination and initiation rites, and how music, dance, and masking function in establishing power, status, political, and social conventions. Objects created exclusively for performative and ritual uses, art in service to royalty, sculpture, utilitarian objects, architecture, performance, and the body as subject and site of adornment will form the core of our studies. Materials studied will include metal, wood, textiles, mud, ivory, beads, bone, dung, and blood/bodily fluids. While important, this class does not intend to cover present-day political crises, border disputes, or changing social constructs in West Africa. This course is conducted with instructor led lecture, film, guided reading and discussions, student presentations based on independent research, and other exploratory exercises. A visit to the UCLA Fowler Museum is required for this class. Students will experience textile creation and the development of personal symbolism in a hands-on project. Prerequisite: One course from Ancient Civilizations category (AH100 series) and one course from either Medieval Worlds or Renaissance Worlds in Motion category (AH200/AH300 series).
This course will examine the relationship between visuality and technology as expressed by photographers of the 19th- and 20th-centuries. Materials and readings for the course will focus on the roles and development of photography primarily in India, Afghanistan, China, and Japan, and the alterations it engendered in the perception and depiction of the world. We will examine the use of photography in the service of journalism and news reporting, ethnographic studies and geographical awareness, science, propaganda, tourism, entertainment, and of course, art. Beginning with Western photographers’ images of a distant “Orient,” this course will conclude with the uses of photography in contemporary Asian art, looking particularly at themes of national and personal identities as well as commentary on traditions. Students are required to do class readings and engage actively in class discussion, complete two papers, submit one individual project related to the course apparatus, and make a final presentation. Projects deriving from other time periods or regions are welcome, for example, photography from Imperial Russia or the Ottoman Empire. Prerequisite: One course from Ancient Civilizations category (AH100 series) and one course from either Medieval Worlds or Renaissance Worlds in Motion category (AH200/AH300 series).
Since 1954 when the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the people of the United States have been engaged in a series of “culture wars” concerned primarily with identity—particularly race and gender—and a grappling with its morally ambiguous past. This deep and alienating sense of polarization and clashing of identities—some voluntary and others forced upon us—has only intensified over the years, coming to an explosive climax in the chaotic and tragic years of 2020-21. Everything from the anti-mask movement and “cancel culture” to the fate of Confederate Statues and defunding the police falls under the rubric of a longstanding, and increasingly tribal culture war in the United States. In this course we will look at the broad historical context of the 1960s from which these battles emerged and trace them through the present. In doing so, we will pay close attention to the ways in which the expansion of rights, freedoms, and liberties for historically marginalized groups has elicited conservative reactions seeking to roll back those gains through an often sectarian vision of American culture and history. This course will focus on flashpoints or sites of contestation—Roe v. Wade, the Oklahoma City Bombing, the rise of “Alt-Right” groups such as the Proud Boys, recent controversies about “Big Tech” censorship, the fate of civil rights, Black Lives Matter protests, and the violent denouement of the Trump Administration. Students will produce written responses to the readings and also formulate a final project determining the role of art and the artist in meeting this particular historical moment. Prerequisite: One course from Ancient Civilizations category (AH100 series) and one course from either Medieval Worlds or Renaissance Worlds in Motion category (AH200/AH300 series).
For centuries, earthly creatures, charmed animals and otherworldly beings conjured by artisans, magicians, folklorists, natural philosophers, and physicians, have inspired both wonder and delight as well as revulsion, alarm, and terror in the hearts and minds of otherwise thinking persons. Considering beasts and beings of all sorts, both earthly and divine, this course seeks to investigate the origin stories of such creatures and inquire as to what motivations compel an individual or society to conjure such creatures. From the Classical World to Medieval Scandinavia, from the Americas to Slavic Europe, this course explores how art and monstrosity intersected in the cultural imagination to both delightful and devastating effect. In consultation with a range of visual and literary primary materials, including the Great Chain of Being, the Malleus Maleficarum (the Witches Hammer), and Della Porta’s How We May Produce New and Strange Monsters, students will conduct close readings, originate research, formulate essays and create original artwork of their own in an effort to gain insight into earlier states of mind as well as open avenues into wholly new creations. All readings for the course will be in English, although international and graduate students may be asked to give additional reports on texts written in other languages.
People often wonder exactly when, throughout history, women first started to become active in society? Of course, the answer is: Always. Even though women’s efforts have been overshadowed by that of their male contemporaries in the chronicling of official histories, women have always participated in every facet of life, from rich to poor, north to south, east to west, and from the ancient period to the present. In this course, we will examine the lives and creative pursuits of the many women who contributed to the arts, sciences, and humanities throughout history, particularly focusing on artists & craftspersons, writers & poets, healers, pharmacists, natural philosophers, and rulers, with a few warriors included for good measure. Students will conduct close readings, originate research, formulate short essays, and in an effort to gain insight into the state of mind of historical women, reconstruct a piece of history with a hands-on laboratory project and a small, original artwork placing themselves in the environment of a chosen historical female. Prerequisite: AH210, or one course from the Ancient Civilizations category. This course can be taken concurrently with one class from the Medieval Worlds in Motion category. 3 units.
“Force yourself to imitate Michelangelo in everything.” These were the words expressed by Michelangelo’s biographer to a remarkably self-aware generation of artists in 16th-century Florence, Rome, and Venice. However, whether rival artists wanted to, or even imagined they could succeed in imitating Michelangelo’s work is another question—one among many we’ll explore in The Age of Michelangelo, 1450-1550. In consultation with a range of visual, historical, and literary materials, we’ll delve into the spirit of the age, looking at drawing, painting, sculpture, furniture and garden design, food, weaponry, architecture, and urban planning, as well as people. We’ll tap into the players and personalities of the times—Leonardo, Giorgione, Raphael, Sofonisba Anguissola, Titian—as well as Isabella d’Este, the Della Rovere, and the Medici families who sought to shape their immediate world through power, imagination, and the artistry of their times. Students will conduct close readings, originate research, formulate essays, and in an effort to gain insight into the Renaissance state of mind reconstruct a piece of history with a hands-on laboratory project and a small, original artwork of their own. Prerequisite: AH210, or one course from Ancient Civilizations category (AH100 series). This course can be taken concurrently with Medieval Worlds in Motion category (AH200 series).
This is an introduction to drawing, covering the basic technical skills and materials necessary to create convincing representations of simple or complex still-life forms with an emphasis on applied perspective. Students are introduced to composition and the concepts of creating volume and space utilizing lines as measurement, construction drawing, value and linear perspective systems. Materials include graphite and charcoal.
This course studies and analyzes the means by which we communicate with other people or within groups of people. Written and oral communication involve nuance and awareness that is often implicit, but rarely articulated. Talking, listening, body language, conflict, resolution, empathy, metamessages, and social signaling are all aspects that connect with how we communicate, how we understand, and how we wish to make our intentions known. This course will involve writing, speaking, analyzing, and other forms of skill building.
This course provides an overview of the theories of human origins. Areas emphasized include human genetics, selective pressures, Darwinian gradualism, continental drift, migration patterns, mammals, comparative anatomy, and the fossil record. A quantitative approach is employed.
Human Diversity explores biological variation in modern humans, biological concepts of species and subspecies and the race concept from a social perspective. Following completion of this course you should have a greater understanding of the misuse of the term _‹_race,_‹ù an appreciation of human biological diversity, and a grasp of the adaptive nature of human variation.
Human Sexuality is a course that combines lectures, films, discussions and research regarding our sexuality from physiological, psychological and sociological perspectives. Topics include history, anatomy, reproduction, cross-cultural perspectives, gender roles, myths, safety and variations in sexual expression.
This course is an exploration of art and visual culture from the Asian continent. Focusing on art works as historical, cultural, and social documents, we will examine how art was commissioned, collected, and used by royalty, the elite, popular audiences, and religious communities in both rural and urban settings. Different themes discussed include art as an instrument of power and propaganda, as a tool for social and religious ritual, an expression of status and prestige, a medium for social protest, as well as a product for the marketplace. Beginning with Bronze Age objects for ritual purposes, subsequent artforms include scroll paintings in the Song Dynasty, women’s painting and printed books, Japanese secular emaki scrolls and ukioy-e art, the luxury of Mughal art in India, and true-view landscape painting in Korea. Students are required to do class readings and engage actively in class discussion, complete two papers, create a final project, and make a final presentation. No prerequisites.
This course is an ecological survey of the native flora and fauna of our surrounding wilderness area. Students will collaborate as a research team to participate in the ecological restoration of a coastal sage scrub community, develop research questions, document results, and propose further research. The canyon offers a unique outdoor class environment, applied research opportunity, and a rewarding experience of engaged stewardship in our ecological community.
This course explores the science of how language changes and how it is learned, focusing on speech sounds, sound patterns, how words are formed and organized into sentences, and eventually understood. Students will discover the properties that languages have in common and how they differ. By surveying the features of many languages and various subfields in linguistics, this course may be used to fulfill the non-western cultural requirement. This course also satisfies the Liberal Arts elective.
This course explores the basic psychological concepts underlying human behavior and development. Students may gain an understanding of the history of the science of psychology and how it has advised our culture over the last century.
The Science of Sight is a comprehensive overview of the visual phenomenon of eyesight incorporating information from disciplines of anatomy and health, history, psychology, sociology, natural science and computer science. Though topics outside of the discipline of art will be introduced, the primary intended audience are those who intend to focus their career in the visual arts. The class consists of lectures, mini-experiments, viewing of short films, group discussions, and student presentations. Guest lecturers for specific topics are encouraged when available.
This course provides an introduction to the human body structure and its functions. Skeletal, muscular, circulatory, nervous, and reproductive systems are studied. Projects are intended to prepare students for their studio experiences in life-drawing and life-painting. No other course may be substituted.
Nature in Art explores the rich and varied traditions of artistic expression unique to the regions of Japan, Korea, and Tibet, from prehistoric indigenous practices through the mid-19th century. Looking closely at Japan, the Korean renaissance, and the coded art of Tibetan Buddhist culture, we will uncover the distinct artistic heritage found in each, noting particularly the sharing and transmission of art practices and ideas as they cross geographical and cultural boundaries.
Working chronologically, this course will identify intersections of spirituality and nature, then examine artistic expressions of such concepts through lacquer, ceramic, ink, paper, stone, bamboo and ivory, among other media. Both two- and three-dimensional art forms are considered, from calligraphy, wood-block prints and landscape painting to festivals, garden design, poetry, and tea ceremonies. The objects and sites studied in this course will reflect how concepts of beauty and aesthetics are achieved through the practice of “harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility.” The course is conducted as a hybrid seminar-lecture style course, with instructor led lectures and video, student presentations, research, writing, culinary experiences, as well as hands-on exploration of the traditional processes of historic art production in these regions. This class requires a visit to the USC Pacific Asia Museum to see art in person from each of the regions studied in this class. No prerequisites.
The Middle Ages were a time of knights and ladies... or maybe brutal Viking warlords... or a clash of civilizations between Christians and Muslims... and maybe there were dragons? A lot of what we “know” about the medieval world comes from fantasy, pop culture, and from old nationalist scholarship that mostly invented origin myths. So, how can we know what the Middle Ages were really like? In this class, we’ll go back and try to get a more accurate picture by looking at things medieval people made: manuscripts, sculptures, buildings, weapons, clothing, etc., all in tandem with reading primary sources by the people who were there. Starting with the collapse of the western Roman Empire, we will uncover a different picture of how two related cultures arose out of the wreckage of the ancient world: Christendom and Dar al-Islam. Along the way we’ll learn that the “barbarians” weren’t that barbaric, that some Vikings converted to Islam, that trade and cooperation across the Mediterranean were far more common than Crusades, and that the medieval world was more diverse, cosmopolitan, and queer than you may have been led to believe. No prerequisites.
If consciousness is shaped by our history, then where are we, collectively, if we’ve lost faith that a shared historical commonality among cultures ever existed? To the people who thrived in the strange and beautiful empires of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, religious and cultural differences found in one’s neighbors weren’t unusual, confusing or frightening—they were part of everyday life. In short: normal coexistence. In the class Egypt, Greece, Rome—we’ll explore the commonalities and shared experiences found among these three remarkable civilizations, as well as follow the cultural fault lines exploited by those in power which eventually forced these empires to dissolve. Together, we’ll explore three millennia of artefacts, objects, architecture, writings, as well as cultural and religious practice to see how these civilizations evolved, ran alongside one another, then overlapped and overcame one another to lay the foundations of modern western society. Through lecture, images, discussions, essays, and close readings, students will learn to identify, decode, understand and describe artworks and objects from the past, translating them from visual to verbal and textual language. In addition, in an effort to gain insight into the ancient state of mind, students will reconstruct a piece of history with a hands-on laboratory project and a small, original artwork of their own. No prerequisites.
This course is an introduction to drawing the human form. Students work from the draped and undraped model. Emphasis is on accurate representation of the figure utilizing observation with the elements of gesture, measurement, construction line, volume, proportion, and surface anatomy. Materials include graphite and charcoal.
An introductory course exploring the art and architecture of Mesoamerica from the rise of the Olmec in 1500 BCE to the Spanish conquest of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan in 1521, Mesoamerican Empires will focus on how changes in visual culture have reflected larger religious and political transformations in Mesoamerica. Issues of cultural memory and myth will be examined to understand indigenous conceptions of art, history, cosmology, and social hierarchy. Forging links with the present day, students will learn to identify and contextualize Mesoamerican iconography in contemporary media including the creative expression of lowrider culture, tattoos, fine art, and fashion. Students will be required to demonstrate their understanding of the material through visual (art) projects, a formal writing assignment, and their participation in class discussions. No prerequisites.
Designed to introduce students to a sociological understanding of how we build and live in communities. With a strong emphasis on the psychology of power structures, social institutions, social reasoning, and social constructivism, this course helps students to understand the role of the individual within the larger society. With a broad scope into the science of groups, topics may also include urgent current events to build a vivid understanding of the social interactivity in everyday life.
This course concentrates on preparing students to enter team-based creative environments with emphasis on digital portfolio and reel development, communication skills, industry networking opportunities and success strategies for collaborative projects.
The challenge for the animator is to create the illusion of life in animated images. This course involves the animator in theoretical considerations of performance, analyses of animated films, and studio experiences aimed at realizing the animator's goal of creating the illusion of life in animated images. This course is reserved for Animation majors.
Project GREEN: Ocean is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to the coastal oceans of Orange County. As a part of the course work, students will observe, analyze physical processes and distribution of organisms in the intertidal and shallow zones, and document their findings. These findings will be translated into digital educational materials that will be made available to the public. Students will also investigate coastal processes, coastal marine ecosystems (kelp forests, the intertidal zone) and the impact of humans on the coastal ocean. Students will study the marine mammals that call the Orange County coast home, for migratory seasons, or for all of the year.
This course will examine diverse ways of optimizing students experience in college. Different aspects of the student and human experience will be covered, acclimating students to and improving the nature of the learning community. Guest experts will visit to discuss specialized aspects of the course content, and several classes will be devoted to putting the lessons into active practice via “lab” sessions.
This course introduces the students to the complex interface of Maya, one of the leading software programs in animation and graphic design industries. Students will learn how to navigate Maya's interface exploring basic modeling, rigging, lighting, texture, and camera set-up.
This introductory course covers the principles of full animation technique, dimensional constructive drawing techniques as well as the analysis of action and movement in the natural world. Students explore these concepts through exercises which isolate the core principles being taught. Additional topics include acting and characterization, a brief history of animation and an introduction to the animation industry as it exists today.
It's true what they tell you in school, that you never stop learning. While every new opportunity I've had has felt like another great milestone to have hit, I've never had the experience of saying, "Okay great, now I know everything." I'm thankful for that. I believe in confidence, not complacency. Continuing to grow and improve as an artist will keep you going.
I was ecstatic to be hired as a Cinematic Artist at Telltale Games. While it can be intimidating working alongside far more experienced artists, they are great inspiration. One of my favorite things about this industry is how humble everyone is. Anyone who is any good at what they do has adopted this "never stop growing" mentality. They've had to, to get where they are.
LCAD provided me the tools I needed to be versatile and adaptable, which has helped me in job prospects everywhere from being a Storyboard Revisionist on a Disney Television show, an Animation Director for an environmental short, a Graphic Designer for an online web gallery, to my now current position as a Cinematic Artist.
I am so fortunate to have had a fantastic four years at LCAD, to have met the teachers and fellow students, and to have formed lifelong friendships in the wonderfully unique culture of this school. I now get to look forward to the road ahead.
After graduating from LCAD, I continued my studies at Gobelins l'ecole de l'image for one year. After graduating from Gobelins in 2012, I started, and still continue to work at Warner Brothers Animation as a background designer/painter on the TV series "TeenTitansGo."
Though my roots in this professional world are still very young, my career in this industry has already started to sprout from the creative soil LCAD planted me in.
When I graduated in 2013 I was quickly scooped up by a local video game company in Irvine, CA called Obsidian Entertainment. There, I was brought on as an Art and Animation Intern for "South Park: The Stick of Truth" to help finish up the project. I was even labeled "The intern to just get stuff done." Shortly after, when South Park was wrapping up, Obsidian gave me my big break in to this industry by hiring me on full time as a 3D Junior Animator in 2014. Since then I have been queued with a couple more of the company's current projects. One of those projects being the CRPG "Pillars of Eternity. "
At Obsidian, I have the opportunity to push my ever-growing skill set by sampling different hats and learning different software in the 3D animation pipeline. By me being able to do this, my creativity and my skill set level seems endless - just like the endless amount of imaginative people that I am very fortunate to work with. These creative people push me to do my best every day, just like the talented people I worked with and learned from during my time at LCAD.
So far, my career has been short and sweet. Almost immediately after graduating from LCAD, I landed a job as a Storyboard Artist on "Family Guy." Together with a team of incredibly talented artists, I'm responsible for creating and orchestrating all of the visual components for various episodes of "Family Guy", including character designs, backgrounds, props, layouts, and acting poses. I owe as much of my professional success to good timing as I do to hard work, and I've been working hard not to get fired ever since. The 5 Most Important Things I Learned From LCAD: Outwork Everyone - The animation industry is fiercely competitive and there's no room for slackers. Develop a diehard work ethic and hone your craft. Network - Open yourself up to new people and new opportunities and always conduct yourself in a friendly and professional manner. Take The Initiative - Utilize every conceivable resource at your disposal to solve your problems and learn new things. Respect Your Body and Mind - Make the time to exercise, eat healthy, and sleep well. Be A Light To Yourself - Always listen and be grateful for advice, but trust your instincts. Only you know what's best for you. rbousaab.blogspot.com
I came to America from St. Petersburg, Russia, when I was 17. In 2005, I attended Laguna College of Art and Design, where I learned as much as I could about making animated films. In 2010, I attended Gobelins animation
school in Paris, France. After graduating in 2014, I started working at Warner Bros. Animation as a storyboard artist for the TV series, "Be Cool Scooby Doo".
"Tom and Jerry" 0:45 1998
"Happy Birthday" 0:56 2000
"Love and Bears" 1:30 2001
"Nevlyashka" 1:50 2002
"Black and White" 2:18 2003
"Lazy Song" 3:05 2003
"Alaska" 6:20 2005
"Overshoot" 1:20 2006
"My Lovely Pet" 1:50 2007
"Global Warming" 0:30 2007
"Time to Go" 2:10 2008
"Sharfik" 13:30 2010
"La Vida" 1:00 2011
"Holy Sheep" 1:00 2012
"Spotted" 3:30 2013
Since graduating from LCAD, I've animated on a banner ad for "Ren & Stimpy" creator John K., animated and storyboarded on several projects with Hero4Hire Creative near Boston, and made a few animatics to stay in the public eye and keep the gears in my head from getting rusty. I'm currently working full-time on the hit Netflix series "All Hail King Julien".
Coming from virtually no animation education, but a deep-seated passion for classic Disney and Warner Bros. cartoons, I benefited profoundly from the company of my fellow students, my professors, and other legendary animators that I met by association while at LCAD. The animation business is no different. Master one facet of filmmaking or draftsmanship and you've still got a dozen to go! Thankfully, I'm still thirsty for knowledge and practicing to get better at my craft every day, and my coworkers and supervisors are treasure troves of insight.
If you want to pursue a career in animation, especially where storytelling is concerned, here's a tip: Go to LCAD. I'll bullet-point a few tips as well, for those who are comforted by seeing numbers at the beginning of paragraphs:
1. Play to your strengths. Are you likely to tell a story whose main character is Rapunzel? Luke Skywalker? Batman? Daffy Duck? You'll definitely want to branch out and test your skills with something new or daring as you move forward, but don't lose sight of the stuff that gets you most psyched in storytelling.
2. Favor the simplest, most direct approach (to a point). Don't skimp on expressions, construction, or nuanced action - if characters behave differently, they should be drawn differently. Their actions will sure as heck be timed differently. That said, a character always makes his/her point more clearly with a few simple gestures than flapping and twirling his/her arms about.
3. Don't stop! After completing my senior film "A Little Hitch" and in between freelance assignments, I continued to make animatics and limited-animation skits to stay active and prove that I was not a one-trick pony. I have a feeling that all that work combined landed me the DreamWorks gig. After all, if you love what you do, you should be prepared to do it at least 40 hours a week!
I am currently a visual effects compositor at Industrial Light and Magic.
Graduating from LCAD in 2010, I found my first break into the industry working on the stereo conversion of several films, such as "Transformers 3" and "Titanic." Afterwards, I moved on to Sony Pictures Imageworks. For a few years there, I composited on projects like "Oz: the Great and Powerful" and the "Spider-Man" films.
It's been an extraordinary journey working with great teams on such high profile projects. My biggest takeaway so far from both from school and working is to surround yourself with people more talented than you are. Learning happens exponentially faster and you are constantly inspired to improve. And as a mentor once told me, "Work hard, be nice and good things will happen."
Jerry Beck is a writer, animation producer and author of more than 15 books on animation history. He is a former studio exec with Nickelodeon Movies and Disney, was instrumental in launching Animation Magazine, co-founded Cartoon Brew and has written for The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. He has curated cartoons for DVD and blu-ray compilations and has lent his expertise to dozens of bonus documentaries and audio commentaries on such. He is on the faculty here at LCAD teaching animation history – and is currently editing two blogs, Animation Scoop (for news) and Cartoon Research (history).
Dave Bittorf has a BA degree from the University of Wisconsin, 17 years as a CG instructor with Platt College in San Diego, and an additional 3 years teaching for the Art Institute and the Digital Media Academy. In 2010 Dave was awarded "Teacher of the Year" and in 2012 he won a world-wide competition and was named "CG-VFX Instructor of the Year". He is currently working as a 3D modeler on a children's cartoon series and several apps have been developed using his complex 3D anatomical models. He has also worked with a team that created the box cover art to PS4's "The Order 1886". Dave has worked professionally doing CG modeling and rigging for almost 20 years. He is one of the ZBrush instructors at LCAD.
John Dubiel is a graduate of The California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in Character Animation and extensive studies in the School of Theater, having previously studied Film and Animation at the Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts). He has several years of Animation Industry experience and has worked at Warner Bros. Animation, Universal Cartoon Studios, Film Roman, Hyperion, Mike Young Productions and Rich Entertainment, primarily as a Storyboard Artist. Projects worked on include: Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, The Mummy: The Animated Series, Family Guy, Toddworld, Chloe’s Closet, Care Bears, Life With Louie, HBO’s Happily Ever After, American Heroes: William Bradford, The Swan Princess and The King and I. He has done Live Action Storyboarding on a couple of projects for Generation Entertainment and Development work for The Disney Channel. He has also done Illustration Work on
Collectible Pin Designs for Disney.
John has been part of the adjunct faculty of Mt. San Antonio College for 20 years, having taught classes in Figure Gesture, Figure in Motion, Storyboarding, Character Development and Drawing Fundamentals among others. He has taught Fundamentals of Story and Storyboarding at Laguna College of Art and Design. He has lectured at California State University Northridge and Information Resource Systems. He has been a guest artist at The Haggin Museum in Stockton, CA.
John is also a Screenwriter and Playwright. He has written for Steven Spielberg / Warner Bros. Animaniacs and done script work on the animated feature, My Little World. John is a member of The Company of Angels, the oldest repertory theater company in Los Angeles where he co-facilitates the Playwrights Group and has worked as a director. He has had several theatrical plays produced.
Focusing on caricature and editorial Illustration Richard Ewing has been illustrating professionally since 1987. His black & white work is done in ink using a range of tools from various quill pens to brush; his color art is Acrylic, or Acrylic and Brush & Ink and various other media. His clients include: The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, Time Magazine, AARP, BBDO(LA)-[Blue Cross], Ogilvy & Mather-[AmEx], Wells Rich & Greene-[Ford Motor Co], Merkley, Newman, Harty-[National Thoroughbred Racing Association], The Orange County Register, and LosAngeles Lawyer magazine among others.
Richard's original artwork is kept in private collections of notables such as Kurt Vonnegut and Englebert Humperdink. Richard Ewing is a native of Southern California receiving his BFA and MFA in Illustration from C.S.U. Long Beach in 1987 and 1998 respectively, studying under Richard Oden. Richard is currently living with his family in Long Beach.
At LCAD, Richard teaches figure drawing and anatomy in both the animation and drawing & painting department.
Rick Farmiloe has been animating childhoods for over 30 years, and is best known for breathing hilarity into iconic Disney sidekicks Scuttle, Lefou, and Abu in the beloved Academy Award winning films The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin.
During his 11 years at Disney, he animated on seven features and one short, which included The Black Cauldron, Mickey Mouse Christmas Carol, The Great Mouse Detective, Oliver and Company, and The Rescuers Down Under.
Beyond his work for Disney, Rick’s feature film credits include The Swan Princess, The Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, Shrek, Rugrats Go Wild, Curious George, The Simpsons Movie, Boxtrolls, The Iron Giant: Signature Edition, and four Tom and Jerry DVD features. He also animated on numerous Snoopy commercials for Bill Melendez.
In 2011, Rick was an animator on two Annie Award productions: Adam and Dog, and Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five. He animated on yet another Annie Award winning commercial, Coca Cola’s Man and Dog in 2015. Recently Rick has been working with director, Henry Selick, on his new project, Wendell and Wild.
Peter Ferk is a 37 year veteran of the animation industry having worked with Disney, Discovery, Warner Bros. Film Roman, Universal, and Sony among others. Peter's career started with studies at the Ontario College of Fine Art in Toronto and Florence, Italy. His beginnings as a layout artist in Canada for "Teddy Ruxpin", Nightingale and "Meerkats" led to advanced responsibilities with “My Pet Monster” and "Care Bears" and setting the show style for "Babar". He also served as overseas supervisor for "Chipmunks Goes to the Movies", "Beetlejuice", "Batman The Animated Series", "Where’s Waldo" and "Hero 108". During his time overseas, he taught drawing and layout classes. Back in the U.S. Peter assumed directing responsibilities on "101 Dalmatians the TV Series", "Sabrina The Teenage Witch the Animated TV Series", and "Pigs Next Door" as well as "Camp WWE" for the WWE. Thus far he has worked on many animated series and direct to video projects including: "Superman", "Freakazoid", "Tutenstein", "Pinky and the Brain", "Animaniacs", "Dorothy of OZ", "Disenchanment", "Scooby-Doo","The Jetsons" and "Tom and Jerry", and most recently background design work for “Minnie Bow Toons”. Peter also produced the animated title sequence for the Christmas hit, Elf. Since 2019, he has been an adjunct professor for LCAD Animation sharing his knowledge and work experiences in Layout and Storyboarding. Peter has received three Emmy Nominations for his work on "Pinky and the Brain" and won his first Emmy for Discovery Networks "Growing Up Creepy".
Born in Gardena, California, James Fujii attended Santa Barbara City College majoring in Biology. During his time in college, James Fujii found his passion for Animation and decided to change majors. He attended CalArts and graduated from the Character Animation Program in 1983 with a BFA degree.
In 1984, Fujii started his first union job at Filmation and have been working in Animation ever since. James worked as an inbetweener at Filmation working on She-Ra and He-Man, and finishing his time there as an animator on Brave Star.
Fujii’s resume includes working on prop and character models for Muppet Babies at Marvel before going to Disney Feature Animation, where he started again as an inbetweener on Oliver and Company, The Little Mermaid, as well as Beauty and the Beast. He finished his story training working on Aladdin, Mickey’s Runaway Brain, Fantasia 2000, and Hunchback of Notre Dame.
In 1995, James moved to Dreamworks to work on Prince of Egypt, Antz, and Shrek. Since 2000, Fujii has worked at studios like Warner Bros TV Animation, Universal, Stars, Imagi, Paramount, and Netflix Animation Studios. As a result, James Fujii has contributed to over 40 theatrical features and over a dozen shots, direct-to-video animated features, and numerous TV series. James is currently working for Netflix Animation Studios on one of their feature productions.
Rick Hoppe is a 40 year professional artist and Disney character animator. Since starting in 1980 on the film "The Fox and the Hound", he has contributed his talents to most of the traditional Disney features up through "The Princess and the Frog" in 2009.
He majored in illustration at Art Center College of Design and later studied drawing and painting privately with Glen Vilppu. In his early years at Disney he trained with Disney veterans Eric Larson and Glen Keane. He has been known for his superb draftsmanship and acting ability, and has been much in demand by Directors.
During Rick's tenure at Disney, he had the opportunity to develop a training curriculum and lecture and mentor new artists. Much to my delight, I discovered that I am a natural teacher. Some of my fondest memories at Disney are mentoring assistants, fueling their enthusiasm and watching their talent flower. Many artists who Rick trained are now leaders in the industry.
Rick Hoppe is an excellent communicator. He is fully present to the needs of the student and is able to impart a clear understanding of the key skills of expressive drawing, fluid animation and eloquent acting. He inspires and empowers his students, "I'm committed to my students becoming top notch animators and leaving LCAD prepared to excel in the animation industry."
Pixote Hunt is a director, art director, animator and designer in the film industry with more than 40 yearss of experience in animation. A BFA graduate of the School of Visual Arts in media communications. His experience in combining 2D and 3D animation with live action began in 1977. In 1979 he started his career at the Walt Disney studio in Burbank CA. In 1994 he directed, and art directed THE PAGEMASTER and designed the 3D opening and interstitials for FANTASIA 2000.
Eyvind Earle, Walt Peregoy, and Eric Larson were a few of the mentors in his animation Career.
Pixote is now working as an instructor, visual development artist and background painter. His unique achievements in film and music have garnered him the honor of being a voting member of both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Grammys/Recording Academy.
Rachel Bibb has 30 years of experience in the animation industry, primarily working for Walt Disney Animation studios in Florida and Burbank. Her first credit was the original Lion King as a cleanup inbetweener. She worked up the ranks on Pocahontas, Tarzan, Mulan, Lilo and Stitch and Brother Bear, culminating with supervising her first princess, Tiana, on Princess and the Frog and finally, Pooh and Christopher Robin for Winnie the Pooh. Since the end of traditional features being produced at Disney, she's worked on dozens of shorts and smaller projects for the studio. She's also worked in storyboards for Nickelodeon and storyboard revision for Cartoon Network.
Tim is an art director, visual development artist, and background designer with over 25 years of experience in the animation industry. He received a BA in Studio Art from St. Olaf College and also attended the Kansas City Art Institute. Tim started out as a traditional animator in Minneapolis before moving to Los Angeles in 2000. In 2010 he transitioned from animation to design and visual development. Notable projects include Cosmos, Mortal Kombat, Injustice, Bojack Horseman, Elena of Avalor and Teen Titans Go to the Movies. In 2015 he was hired to art direct Bunnicula and two Lego DC Superhero Girls films at Warner Brothers. Freelance clients list includes Disney, DreamWorks, Fox, Cartoon Network, Bento Box, Renegade, Oddbot, Six Point Harness, Titmouse, Nickelodeon and The Mayo Clinic. Currently he is doing visual development and design on a new series for Disney Junior and teaching background painting at LCAD.
Mark Zoeller is a veteran entertainment industry artist who has a long affiliation with film and television, being awarded two Emmy Awards in Outstanding Achievement in Animation, Storyboarding. He’s worked for all the major studios, Warner Bros., Disney, DreamWorks SKG, Fox, Marvel, and Technicolor to name a few. During his time at LCAD, Mark has taught a spectrum of classes including storyboarding, visual storytelling, background layout design, character design, Photoshop and advanced Photoshop and figure drawing. Other classes he has taught at other universities include animation pre-production, storyboarding, illustration, and drawing. When not teaching, Mark lives and works in the heart of Hollywood.
Industry Veteran 3D Animator - https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0719799
Caroline Hu has been in the animation and consumer products industry for over 20 years and is happy to be working at LCAD. She has worked at WB studios, Disney, and is a freelance animator and designer.
Brad Kuha has worked professionally as a Character Animator for the past thirty years. Originally trained in the classical Disney Character Animation technique, Brad began his career with Disney, animating on such films as “Rescuers Down Under”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Aladdin”, “Lion King”, “Pocahontas”, and “Hunchback of Notre Dame”, as well as the Dreamworks features “Prince of Egypt”, and “Road to El Dorado”. Brad has also worked as Supervising Animator for over a decade at Wiki Wiki Cartoons, animating in various techniques, including full animation and digital puppetry. Brad has also animated in CG, working on the original “Scooby Doo” live-action/ animation feature as well as five years at Electronic Arts, creating animation assets for video games.
Eric Walls has had a career in animation for over 30 years, with an extensive and versatile background in both traditional hand-drawn and CG animation for animated & live-action film and theme park attractions. His animation has been featured in many projects for Disney, DreamWorks, and Warner Brothers, including The Lion King, The Prince of Egypt, Meet the Robinsons, Bolt, The Princess and the Frog, and the Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi theme park. His scope of work includes character animation, effects, illustration, digital cut-out animation, and a considerable list of previsualization projects.
Through his career, Eric has had the opportunity to teach and mentor new artists, including serving in Disney Animation’s prestigious Apprenticeship Program, training several artists now in prominent roles in the field.
Eric’s goal is to help students become clear communicators with their art, while building on their skills to reach their career goals.
Dan Boulos is a classically trained animator and story artist with screen credits including Beauty and the Beast (Walt Disney Feature Animation), Space Jam (Warner Brothers Feature Animation) and The Prince of Egypt (DreamWorks Feature Animation). After more than a decade in the feature film industry in Los Angeles Dan moved to Honolulu where he founded Wiki Wiki Cartoons. During his years in Hawaii he developed animation programs for the University of Hawaii Community College System as well UH Manoa, the 4-year research campus.