Animation BFA

Animation BFA




2 Units

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. Students are introduced to composition and the concepts of creating volume and space utilizing lines as measurement, construction drawing, and value systems. Materials include graphite and charcoal.



2 Units

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.



2 Units

Fundamentals of Digital Painting will cover use and creation of custom brush sets, general painting techniques, good organization of layers, color theory, composition, and proper usage of layer blending modes.



2 Units

This course investigates principles of pictorial organization through the relationship of composition and color of visual elements. This includes the study of formal qualities of art; line, shape, value, texture, rhythm, space, balance, proportion, movement, unity, harmony, and tension. Studies of color address properties of hue, value, and intensity, as well as color interactions of harmony, discord, and simultaneous contrast. Special emphasis is given to concepts necessary for visual communication, regardless of media, but this course will utilize digital tools as a way to explore the concepts efficiently and to prepare students for contemporary expectations of commercial art and design professions. Primary software: Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.



2 Units

Prerequisite: FD110

This is an introduction to linear perspective systems. Students explore a variety of basic and complex laws to convey the illusion of three-dimensional forms in space on a two-dimensional surface. The course stresses volume, scale, placement, and direction of forms in a spatial field.



2 Units

Prerequisites: FD110, FD111, FD118

This introductory course covers fundamental principles of drawing animated action and movement. Students explore basic animation drawing, rudimentary movement, timing, and consistency in drawing volume and mass, as well as primary and secondary action. In prepared exercises students will learn some animation basics—such as the overlap or bouncing ball—and how to plan and complete an animated film. Additional topics include the importance of acting, a brief history of animation, animation styles, and an overview of the animation industry.



2 Units

This course introduces the student to the complex interface of Maya, one of the leading software programs in the 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 course is required for every student majoring in visual communication.



2 Units

This is an introduction to sculpture processes and figure modeling through problem solving. The student is introduced to techniques of visual research, idea development, evaluation, attention to craft, skill development, material application, and the relationship of appropriate materials to the idea.



3 Units

Prerequisites: FD114, FD126

Students gain an understanding of polygonal and subdivision-surface modeling before moving on to create a 3D representation of a character of their own creation—keeping in mind how design elements will impact the character’s movement in the future. This course is recommended for students who chose to create a 3D senior project.



3 Units

Prerequisite: FD125

This intermediate course develops skills in locomotion and acting for animation. Students continue to apply the Twelve Principles of Animation to their scenes, using their own designs and allowing personality and emotion to dictate the movements of their characters. A story reel for a 30-second film created on Adobe Premiere software is to be completed by the end of the semester.



3 Units

Prerequisites: FD110, FD111, FD120

Students learn the basic foundations of storyboarding techniques used in the animation industry both traditionally and today. Students are trained in how to prepare their assignments as they might in an actual studio environment. Students are instructed in performance, entertainment, composition, continuity, staging, clarity, timing, recording scratch dialog and more. Through this process, the instructor acts as the story supervisor for the individual and group projects, helping guide each student to achieve his or her goals through one-on-one interactions and group presentation and critique. This class also studies and discusses the work of classic traditional filmmakers from the live-action and animation industries and explores the ways in which images and ideas get from imagination to screen.



3 Units

Prerequisites: FD110, FD111, FD120

The objective of this class is to design model sheets of unique and dynamic animated characters. Students begin with preliminary sketches and construction drawings and continue to develop turnarounds, facial expressions and strong poses. A variety of styles are explored. Emphasis is on working from imagination and strengthening drawing skills.



3 Units

Prerequisite: AN209

This course is a continuation of Animation 1. Following similar criteria, students expand their knowledge of animation to recording and animating dialogue. Students also take part in selected assignments and learn the techniques necessary to take their story reel created in Animation 1 from rough animation to cleanup and color.



3 Units

Prerequisites: FD126, AN209

This class is designed to teach students how to convert their traditional character animation skills to the computer, utilizing industry-standard Maya software. Students learn the basic interface of Maya, how to navigate through the software and how to apply their knowledge of animation principles toward a CG character. Instruction focuses on a very traditionally oriented approach to 3D character animation, making use of pose-to-pose methods to achieve clear staging and acting. Starting first with simple characters, students will progress to more complex rigs, creating character animation with dialogue. By the end of the semester, students will have a clear methodology and approach to creating character animations on the computer, as well as a solid understanding of the basic Maya animation tools.



3 Units

Prerequisite: FD120

In this class, students learn the role of layout in the filmmaking process, with an emphasis on feature films. The course covers the basics of film cinematography; planning camera mechanics; and how to plan and use creative perspective, lighting and visual storytelling. Students have the opportunity to plan and create a layout workbook and to develop a series of key layouts during the semester. The emphasis is 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.



3 Units

Prerequisites: FD110, FD111, FD120

This figure drawing course is geared specifically for animators and focuses on both gesture and how to capture the essentials of movement, dynamic expression and the individual model’s attitude. A variety of drawing media are introduced.



3 Units

Prerequisite: AN309

Students develop an animation reel with assignments intended to build on the class assignments that were introduced in earlier classes. These advanced exercises are also specifically designed to simulate animation challenges that are regularly encountered in a professional studio. Budding animators learn to work with musical beats, more complex dialog situations and even to co-animate scenes with other students in the class. These classes are taken concurrently with Senior Film 1 and Senior Film 2.



3 Units

Prerequisites: AN217

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.

CG Animation 2


3 Units

Prerequisite: CA310

This course offers continued work with Maya. Areas of study include modeling tools, 3D morphing and intermediate animation techniques. Also covered in the class are compositing, hierarchical motion and targeting, camera tracking, lighting, rendering, shading techniques and surface textures. Students learn to import and export animation routines/cycles and to apply them to 3D character models.



3 Units

The purpose of this class is to finalize a three-minute-maximum film idea that is completed during the senior year in traditional or 3D animation. This course provides experience in the process of choosing a short film idea, pitching it and developing it into a story reel that is clear, compelling and entertaining. While analyzing a variety of classic and contemporary films, students learn filmmaking techniques and disciplines such as screenwriting, directing actors, editing and sound design.



6 Units

Prerequiste: AN325

In this course, students complete a short animated film by the end of the year. They are guided through the film process and continue to develop their stories begun in Directing for Animators. This course covers the process of creating animation that is clear, compelling and entertaining. During their first semester, students will be evaluated on their visual development, character designs, background layouts, models and environments. Students learn exciting new filmmaking techniques along with
industry-standard production skills to keep them on schedule.



3 Units

Prerequisites: FD110, FD111

In the studio and on location, students study and draw a variety of domestic and zoo animals. Emphasis is on 3D form analysis: proportion, scale, foreshortening and weight. Using an economy of line and value, students strive to capture emotion and expression of animal forms by depicting gesture, manner, attitude and rhythm. Comparative studies of animal and human anatomy empower students with strong, imaginative drawing skills.



3 Units

Prerequisites: FD127 OR FD132, AN215

An advanced class designed to push the student’s ability to give vision to a concept and to 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.



1 Units

Prerequisite: Senior status

This lecture course introduces the student to small business practices that help bridge the gap between the educational experience and the professional world. Topics include self-promotion; processes and intricacies of finding work; printing promotional collateral; setting up a working studio; legal and pricing guidelines and billing clients, contracts and professional organizations. Includes guest artists and field trips to art studios, agencies and art directors.



6 Units

Prerequisite: AN418

A continuation of Senior Project 1: Film, this course is taken during the semester prior to graduation. Students are required to complete the animation of their film projects as well as to prepare a professional portfolio.



3 Units

Prerequisites: FD132

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.




3 Units

This course concentrates on the evolving need of a layout artist in our developing computer animation industry. The layout artist is known as the cinematographer in the computer animation community. Students begin to transfer their layout skills to the computer medium using Maya, the industry-leading software. Students focus on learning and developing skills in composition, camera, lighting, texturing and compositing.



3 Units

Prerequisite: FD125

This course explores the use of Adobe Flash for creating short animated films. Emphasis is on applying the Twelve Principles of Animation to a more limited medium, creating appealing characters and economy of design.



3 Units

This course emphasizes basic principles of drawing with an emphasis on the human figure—both draped and nude. It begins by stressing the importance of shape while also focusing on maintaining structural integrity as far as anatomy, pushing direction and angles to attain dynamics, conveying form and designing the figure on the page for compositional purposes. All drawings are done digitally with a tablet on a laptop computer.


(AN417 & AN457)

3 Units

Prerequisite: AN357

These courses emphasize basic principles of drawing with an emphasis on the human figure—both draped and nude. They begin by stressing the importance of shape while also focusing on maintaining structural integrity as far as anatomy, pushing direction and angles to attain dynamics, conveying form and designing the figure on the page for compositional purposes. All drawings are done on a laptop computer.



3 Units

Prerequisite: AN215

A continuation of Character Design 1. Students create and construct model sheets of unique and imaginative animated characters. The focus is on design uniformity, composition and effective use of color. Personal style and interpretation are developed. Craft and rendering techniques are perfected while students strive to execute quality portfolio pieces.



3 Units

Prerequisite: AN218

A comprehensive exploration of digital storyboarding using previous and current storyboards and key frames. The student is introduced to camera moves, timing, sound and titles to create their own story reel. The programs utilized for the course are Adobe After Effects and Final Cut Pro.



1-3 Units

Prerequisites: Senior status with permission of the student’s advisor, department chair and department dean. Juniors who exhibit superior skills may apply.

Through arrangements with animation studios or practicing artists, students are given the opportunity to work in the professional environment of their choice. This experience allows for hands-on use of theories learned in the classroom, skills practiced in the studio and the student’s creative energy in a professional setting. Students are encouraged to research and apply for internships from preferred animation studios.