Our undergraduate Animation program offers three concentrations: 3D Animation, 2D Animation, Video Game Animation. Upon entry, animation majors select one of these concentrations to be their area of focus. As they work their way through the curriculum students have the option to switch concentrations, should they decide to do so. Anyone interested in doing double concentrations should meet with the Program Director to determine if that is possible on an individual basis.

In addition to the credits required for each concentration shown below, students must fulfill the college general education requirements.

3D Animation Concentration

Theory and Production (30 Credits)

ANIM 1500 Storyboarding

ANIM 1750 Motion Graphics with After Effects

ANIM 1850 3D Computer Modeling

ANIM 2270 ZBrush Digital Sculpting

ANIM 2500 3D Computer Animation

ANIM 3330 3D Environment Modeling

ANIM 3331 Logo and Product Animation

ANIM 3341 Character Animation using CAT

ANIM 4500 Thesis I

ANIM 4600 Thesis II

Major Electives (12-15 Credits)

4-5 ANIM 1000-4000 Level Courses

Cognates (6 Credits)

CGD 1313 Creative Imagery with Photoshop

SOAC 4001 Professional Practice: Animation

2D Animation Concentration

Required Theory and Production (27 Credits)

ANIM 1300 Writing for Animation

ANIM 1400 Character Design

ANIM 1500 Storyboarding

ANIM 1750 Motion Graphics with After Effects

ANIM 1501 Fundamentals of Animation Principles

ANIM 1800 Vector Animation with Animate CC

ANIM 2100 Tradigital Animation

ANIM 4500 Thesis I

ANIM 4600 Thesis II

Major Electives (15-18 Credits)

5-6 ANIM 1000-4000 Level Courses

Cognates (15 Credits)

ART 1201 Drawing I

CGD 1313 Creative Imagery with Photoshop

CGD 1314 Illustrator Graphics & Design

SOAC 4001 Professional Practice: Animation

Select 1

ART 1202 Drawing II

ART 3302 Life Drawing

ART 1250 Art of the Graphic Novel

Video Game Animation Concentration

Theory and Production (30 Credits)

ANIM 1650 Game Design

ANIM 2240 Low Poly 3D Modeling

ANIM 2270 ZBrush Digital Sculpting

ANIM 2500 3D Computer Animation

ANIM 3330 3D Environment Modeling

ANIM 3341 Character Animation using CAT

ANIM 3350 3D Game Creation using Unreal

ANIM 3450 3D Game Creation using Unity

ANIM 4500 Thesis I

ANIM 4600 Thesis II

Major Electives (12-15 Credits)

4-5 ANIM 1000-4000 Level Courses

Cognates (9 Credits)

ART 1201 Drawing I

CGD 1313 Creative Imagery with Photoshop

SOAC 4001 Professional Practice: Animation

Other Animation Electives

ANIM 1450 Drawing for Animation

ANIM 2243 Advanced After Effects

ANIM 2245 3D Character Modeling

ANIM 2280 3D Printing 

ANIM 2285 3D Asset Creation for Video Games

ANIM 2300 Texturing for 3D Production

ANIM 3000 Fundamentals of Animation II

ANIM 3100 2D animation with OpenToonz

ANIM 3225 Vector Animation II

ANIM 3250 3D Particle Animation and Effects

ANIM 3343 Advanced Character Animation

ANIM 3345 Custom 3D Character Rigging & Animation

ANIM 3420 2D animation with Toon Boom

ANIM 4100 Design & Development of Video Games

ANIM 4422 Internship in Animation I

ANIM 4423 Internship in Animation II

ANIM 4800 Independent Study in Animation

ANIM 4900 Faculty/Student Research

ANIM 4901 Faculty/Student Research

Undergraduate program applicants are not required to submit portfolios as part of the admissions process. At the undergraduate level, the university admits students based on the criteria set by the admissions department. However, if you have a portfolio, it is recommended that you submit it for review as it may strengthen your application.

Contact Information
Robin Barkley
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Course Descriptions

  • ANIM1300 Any memorable animation starts with a story. This course teaches how to transform basic ideas into animated stories by learning to write for visual mediums. While nurturing their individual writing style, students learn to develop premises, outlines and final scripts for animation in proper industry standard format. How to structure plots, create tone and build themes are covered in this course.

  • ANIM1400 Character design takes place during the initial production stages of animated films and video games and plays a crucial role in the creation and success of those projects. Students in this class learn the process of designing imaginative original characters by creating character development documents, which consist of sketched and digitally enhanced poses and facial expressions assembled into model sheets along with written character biographies. These materials, which are typically utilized in the industry, aid in defining the appearance, poses, and behavior of an animated character.

  • ANIM1500 In this class students learn to produce storyboards, which are a series of sketches displayed in sequences for the purpose of pre-visualizing an animation, after which they assemble those sketchers into animatics to establish timing and pacing. Students brainstorm together, just as a creative team would do in the industry, by arranging and rearranging their sketches in order to evoke stronger reaction or interest based on their classmates' input and feedback. Through this process, students consider modifications in their storylines as well as additional scenarios which may contribute to the enhancement of their ideas.

  • ANIM1501 This course teaches the principles of animation used to produce the illusion that the characters in an animation are following the basic laws of physics. Students learn how to show weight and flexibility while also emphasizing and exaggerating abstract issues, such as emotional timing and character appeal. Portraying natural motion and anticipation in order to prepare the audience for an action, as well as how to direct the audience's attention is covered in this course. Topics include timing, speed, momentum, secondary action, anticipation, follow through, weight, balance, mood, emotion and personality.

  • ANIM1650 By studying the evolution and history of video games, students learn to plan the visual and interactive content, goals, gameplay and the rules of their own game ideas. This course also teaches how art specifications can conflict with technical constraints and how some ideas might be impractical to build. Students will write in depth game design documents where elements such as story, setting, character development, logical flow and levels are planned and unforeseen issues are dealt with through modification of the paper design based on class critiques and feedback.

  • ANIM1750 By learning how to animate virtually any aspect of each element using Adobe After Effects, students create high- impact communications combining moving imagery, graphics, video, text, and sound. This course focuses on manipulating moving images, dynamic effects and compositing techniques to produce animated content for virtually any media. The focus is on quality design and animation targeted at high-end commercial style production. Color management and enhancement tools used in the manipulation of photos and videos while preserving clarity and color integrity are also covered in this course.

  • ANIM1800 Vector Animation using Animate CC: This course teaches how to design interactive animations using Animate CC's innovative drawing tools and publish them to multiple platforms. Students learn to recognize and implement the basic principles of animation into their projects. The focus is on learning the vector animation toolset and the motion editor to create multifaceted animations targeted at mobile devices as well as today's ultra-high-resolution displays.

  • ANIM1850 This course is an introduction to the Autodesk 3DS MAX software interface and its various features. The focus is on learning how to build high detail 3D models, create and apply high quality textures, and implement lighting and cameras. Students create manmade and organic objects and learn to effectively critique their own as well as their classmate's work.

  • ANIM2100 This course teaches a mixed media approach of using the computer to seamlessly combine two-dimensional and three-dimensional animation. Students learn to merge studio art media with digital animation to produce free-flowing traditional style animation that is completely digital. Emphasis is on the emerging movement of exploring technologies that blend computer animation with cell animation techniques.

  • ANIM2240 This introduction course focuses on the design and creation of low polygon 3D models and textures as they relate to interactive-game production. Students learn to create assets that fit within the guidelines, limitations and goals of those capable of being utilized in 3D engine platform games. This course teaches how to plan ahead so when producing models for interactive use they will be as low poly as possible, yet still look as high-quality as possible in-game.

  • ANIM2243 Take your motion graphic skills to the next level by animation, editing, and compositing media in both 2D and 3D space in this course. Learn to produce impressive digital effects and composite artwork with live action footage using finely tuned keying techniques. Topics include advanced visual effects, particle systems, high-end 3D layers, lighting, depth of field, cartoon character rigging and puppeting, morphing and motion tracking.

  • ANIM2245 Characters are an integral part of many film and video game projects. In this course students learn to design and create segmented and seamless 3D characters using a variety of 3D Studio MAX's modeling and texturing techniques. The detailed designs and complex techniques that will be learned in this course are necessary in making your characters come to life.

  • ANIM2270 This class teaches digital sculpture by learning how to create ultra-realistic, life like 3D characters using ZBrush. The focus is on planes, anatomy, form, rhythm and proportion while learning how to add a high level of detail to polygonal meshes utilizing the application tools. Digital sculpting techniques and texture painting are discussed and taught through a variety of demonstrations, exercises and in depth assignments.

  • ANIM2285 This course teaches how to design, create and import 3D models into a game mesh renderer that mimics the setting found in today's popular game engines. Learn to create and organize asset libraries and properly assign textures and materials to those elements. Convert texture layers created in graphics programs to normal maps and other types of maps, such as ambient occlusion and cavity maps, which are necessary for producing fast and efficient high-quality game renderings.

  • ANIM2300 The course will focus on in depth analysis of texture principles, materials, color, characteristics, properties, and their application in 3D computer artwork. Students will develop fundamental understanding of material identification and texture creation. Emphasis will be placed on the ability to examine real world textures and identify each characteristic found in those materials. Learning how to properly apply and adjust alignments using various texture mapping techniques is also covered in this course.

  • ANIM2500 This course teaches the basic of 3D animation, including physics, substance, reaction and force. Topics include keyframing, function curves, motion paths, dope sheets, aesthetics and limited special effects. After first sketching and refining storyboards that communicate their ideas, students move on to the computer phases of the projects. They are expected to produce animation that emulate real world physics and as well as exhibiting mood and symbolism. Everyone in the class participates in critiques of their own, as well as their classmate's work.

  • ANIM3225 This course builds on the skills learned in the "Vector Animation with Animate CC" course. The emphasis is on a broader use of the vector animation toolset and the motion editor to generate engaging animations. Students learn to increase their attention to detail and study the intricacies of creating sophisticated animated pieces.

  • ANIM3250 This course teaches how to create, control and optimize various types of 3D particle systems within Autodesk's 3DS MAX. Students learn how to effectively implement special effects such as fire, explosion, fluids, dust, bubbles, disintegration, physics, collisions, etc. into their 3D scenes and animations.

  • ANIM3330 This course focuses on taking all aspects of 3D modeling, lighting and texturing learned in previous courses to a higher level. By creating detailed 3D environments students gain a greater understanding of the software tools and how to manipulate the complex details of each to improve the visual aesthetics of their finished renders. How to see the flaws and identify areas of improvement in their own works as well as their classmates' pieces in discussed in class critique sessions.

  • ANIM3331 Students design logos and work with a variety of types of animation and special effects to create commercial style animation.

  • ANIM3341 This course teaches how to apply and manipulate the basic character animation techniques found within the CAT toolset. Students learn how to rig, add muscles, create facial morphs, and apply and adjust the Physique and Skin modifiers, which perform the mesh deformation necessary to move the character throughout the 3D scene. How to work with and combine the various CAT layers to produce smooth, believable animation is covered in this course. The details of secondary motion, follow through and asymmetrical poses to emulate lifelike body gesture and facial expression is discussed and critiqued.

  • ANIM3343 This class builds on the character rigging and animation skills learned in the previous CAT course. Students continue to develop the artistic and technical skills necessary to become successful character animation by concentrating the critical principles of animation like motion arcs, weight, overlapping motion, subtleties using animation layering and muscle simulation. The focus is on how to increase empathy for their animated characters by better displaying feelings of happiness, desolation and distress and articulating the personality and emotion to the audience.

  • ANIM3345 Study rigging, skinning and animating characters using 3D Studio MAX's bones and skinning techniques. Learn how to adjust envelopes and weight tolerances, and to animate using traditional inverse-kinematics. Add basic emotion through facial expression using morph targets, sub-level polygon animation and animated textures. You will sketch your character designs and storyboard the animation before moving on to producing a short 3D character animation that will focus on both primary and secondary motion.

  • ANIM3350 This course teaches how to use the Unreal game engine, which is a unified suite of tools for constructing every aspect of video games. Students will design and produce original 3D gameplay by integrating their ideas into interactive prototypes and simulated 3D environments. Other topics include rendering, UI, level building, animation, visual effects, physics, and asset management.

  • ANIM3450 Students learn to integrate their game ideas using Unity's powerful rendering engine. This course teaches how to use Unity's animation system to bring characters and objects to life inside of a gaming environment. Students also utilize the tools provided to create interactive 3D and 2D graphic content while learning how to reduce the time needed to create visually stunning games. The focus of this course is on how to assemble scenes used in creating games containing high quality visuals, audio and realistic action that performs well on any platform.

  • ANIM4100 This class is project based, where Game Development students and the Video Game Animation students work in groups to design and develop their own video games. In order to gain interdisciplinary work experience, the teams will design and develop 2D and 3D games in order to understand the production cycle found in real world game creation projects.

  • ANIM4422 Intern at a company or organization, in an animation, interactive multimedia, web design or graphic design facility, for between five and 20 hours per week.

  • ANIM4423 Intern at a company or organization, in an animation, interactive multimedia, web design or graphic design facility, for between five and 20 hours per week.

  • ANIM4500 This course is designed to prepare animation majors for exit from the program. Thesis I for Animation majors requires the student to write propose, script, sketch, storyboard and begin creating original 3D models for their Thesis projects. Permission of the Animation Program Director required.

  • ANIM4600 Students will design and complete an original production in an animated format. Students will also complete an exit reel.

  • ANIM4800 Students will work independently on a special animation project or topic which will be approved by the supervising professor.

  • ANIM4900 Members of the faculty engage in research projects with selected students with the goal of professional publication or presentation.

  • ANIM4901 Members of the faculty engage in continued research projects with selected students with the goal of professional publication or presentation.

  • ART1201 An introduction to, and an exploration of, a selected variety of drawing materials and tech- niques. Emphasis will be placed on the comprehen- sion of the creative possibilities of pencils, charcoal and conte crayon. The course will explore the drawn line as the description of contour, light, darkness and space,as well as the tech- niques of gesture drawing, shading, texture and heightened drawing on stained paper and other drawing surfaces.

  • ART1202 Pencil, conte and ink rendering while developing concepts of composition and personal modes of expression in the given media. Emphasis on the development of a personal aesthetic by each student.

  • ART1250 Students will learn to draw Graphic Novel pages. Instruction includes all stages of Fine art production ? from concept sketch to finished page (including lettering.) Students are encouraged to take Drawing I before enrolling, though it is not required.

  • ART3302 A course designed to develop the capacity of visual observation of the human figure and a second base for visual development in many areas. Expression of approach: gesture drawing, movement expressed by few lines, expressive ways of trans- lating the figure.

  • CGD1313 This course is an introductory exploration of computer graphics as a technology and a creative medium. Through the use of industry-standard software, Adobe Photoshop, students learn the fundamentals of working with raster editing techniques. The focus is on manipulating images and learning about the production workflow as it pertains to digital imagery.

  • CGD1314 This course is an exploration of computer generated vector graphics as a creative medium. Through the use of industry-standard software, Adobe Illustrator, students study the fundamentals of graphic design and learn to conceptualize and present ideas in visual form. Topics in this course also include production workflow and output standards of vector graphics as they apply to print and web delivery.

  • SOAC4001 In the Professional Practice course, students increase their knowledge of the various career opportunities that exist in the animation industry and they analyze their level of readiness to compete for employment in the profession. Exploration of options to elevate their skills to the professional level, including transitioning to the next stage of career preparation, are also covered. This course helps students bridge the gap between their undergraduate studies and laying the groundwork for the future.