The MFA degree is the highest degree available in Animation. Our combined BA-MFA in Animation degree offers FDU students the option to complete both the Bachelor and Master degrees in Animation. This program is designed for talented, highly motivated students seeking specialized training at the terminal degree level in addition to their undergraduate education in animation. The curriculum culminates in a major Thesis work, incorporates motion capture and virtual reality technology, and also promotes career readiness. Students may apply to this program at any time from their entry into the BA in Film and Animation program up until the beginning of the senior year of their undergraduate studies.

During the first three years, students in the combined BA-MFA program take undergraduate classes that are required of students in the BA in Film and Animation program (3D Animation Concentration, 2D Animation Concentration, or Video Game Animation Concentration). In the junior year of undergraduate studies, students in this program are required to submit a portfolio of their best work for review. In the senior year of undergraduate studies, students in this program take 12 Master’s level credits (included in their undergraduate tuition) as well as complete the remainder of their undergraduate courses. To transfer graduate credits completed in the undergraduate senior year into the MFA program, a grade of B or better is required. Those credits will be applied to the undergraduate degree as well as the graduate degree.

BA: 3D Animation Concentration

(Including 12 Dual Credits)

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

Dual Courses Applied to BA and MFA Degree (12 credits)
4 ANIM 5000 or Higher Level Courses

MFA: 3D Character Animation Concentration

(Including 12 Dual Credits)

Required Courses (36 Credits)

ANIM 5300 Storytelling

ANIM 5400 Character Design

ANIM 6100 Digital Sculpting

ANIM 6150 3D Character Texturing

ANIM 6300 3D Character Animation

ANIM 7000 Advanced 3D Character Animation

ANIM 7250 Lip-Syncing

ANIM 7425 Motion Capture

ANIM 7650 Thesis I

ANIM 7750 Thesis II

ANIM 7850 Thesis III

ANIM 7900 Animation Career Preparation

Major Electives (12 Credits)

4 ANIM 5000 or Higher Level Courses

BA: 3D Animation Concentration (Including 12 Dual Credits)

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 (3 Credits)

CGD 1313 Creative Imagery with Photoshop

SOAC 4001 Professional Practice: Animation

Dual Courses Applied to BA and MFA Degree (12 credits)
4 ANIM 5000 or Higher Level Courses

MFA: Visual Effects Concentration (Including 12 Dual Credits)

Required Courses (36 Credits)

ANIM 5300 Storytelling

ANIM 5500 Digital 2D Animation

ANIM 5600 3D Layers in After Effects

ANIM 5700 Dynamic Effects and Particle Systems in After Effects

ANIM 5800 Compositing in After Effects

ANIM 6350 3D Particle Systems and Effects

ANIM 6700 Animating Fluids

ANIM 6805 Motion Tracking

ANIM 7650 Thesis I

ANIM 7750 Thesis II

ANIM 7850 Thesis III

ANIM 7900 Animation Career Preparation

Major Electives (12 Credits)

4 ANIM 5000 or Higher Level Courses

BA: Video Game Animation Concentration

(Including 12 Dual Credits)

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

Dual Courses Applied to BA and MFA Degree (12 credits)

4 ANIM 5000 or Higher Level Courses

MFA: Video Game Concentration

(Including 12 Dual Credits)

Required Courses (36 Credits)

ANIM 5400 Character Design

ANIM 5500 Digital 2D Animation

ANIM 6100 Digital Sculpting

ANIM 6400 3D Animation for Games

ANIM 6600 Game Creation

ANIM 7500 Advanced Game Creation

ANIM 7525 Virtual Reality

ANIM 7600 Video Game Team Project

ANIM 7650 Thesis I

ANIM 7750 Thesis II

ANIM 7850 Thesis III

ANIM 7900 Animation Career Preparation

Major Electives (12 Credits)

4 ANIM 5000 or Higher Level Courses

Other Animation Electives

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 3225 Vector Animation II

ANIM 3250 3D Particle Animation and Effects

ANIM 3343 Advanced Character Animation

ANIM 3345 Custom 3D Character Rigging & Animation

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

ANIM 5100 History of Animation & Special Effects

ANIM 5200 History of Video Games

ANIM 5650 3D Modeling

ANIM 5750 3D Character Modeling

ANIM 5850 Advanced Digital 2D Animation

ANIM 5900 Expressions and Scripting in After Effects

ANIM 6900 Digital 2D Game Creation

ANIM 7100 3D Character Animation – Weight, Overlap and Follow through

ANIM 7200 Character Animation – Emotion and Personality

ANIM 7300 Animation with Hair/Fur

ANIM 7400 Animation with Cloth

ANIM 7550 Internship I

ANIM 7700 Faculty/Student Research I

ANIM 7775 Internship II

ANIM 7805 Faculty/Student Research II

 

Course Descriptions

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • ANIM5100 Students investigate and analyze the history of special effects and techniques while applying the understanding to modern day visual effects and animation. Starting within-camera methods, this course covers topics that include traditional stop motion, camera motion control, matte paintings, models and miniatures. Students also explore modern computer generated visual effects, animation composting and production techniques.

  • ANIM5200 With the earliest video game surfacing in the 1950's, when they were primarily created as experimental projects at colleges and in tangent with big company research , this course teaches how games have developed over the years. Students learn how video gaming gained conventional popularity in the 1970s and 1980s, when arcade games, gaming consoles and home computer games became available to the general public . In this course students discover how video gaming evolved to become a widespread form of entertainment and a slice of contemporary culture throughout the world.

  • ANIM5300 This course teaches how to write animated stories that vividly create and intense experience for the reader through plot, structure, conflict, crisis points and climax. Students then convey those stories, by showing rather than telling, through producing sketched storyboards and pre-visualization animatics. They brainstorm together by arranging and rearranging the sketches in order to evoke a stronger narrative based on their classmates input and feedback. Through this process, students consider modifications in their storylines as well as additional scenarios that may contribute to the enhancement of their ideas. Writing biography profiles that bring the story's characters to life is also covered in this course.

  • ANIM5400 Character Design begins during the initial stages of the development of animated films and video games and plays a critical role in the creation and success of those pieces. In order to bring their characters to life, students in this class learn the process of designing imaginative original characters by sketching and assembling model sheets. These documents are routinely used in the industry to aid in standardizing the look, postures, and personality of an animated character.

  • ANIM5500 2D animation generates movement in a two-dimensional imaginative space. Students in this course learn both the creative and technological skills necessary for animating characters and backgrounds in digital two-dimensional worlds. Creating bitmap and vector graphics using software programs are also covered in this course.

  • ANIM5600 When a 3D layer is created in After Effects, it gains additional properties such as z-depth, material options, light, shadow and cameras. Students in this class expand their 3D skills to create the types of compelling animations that people are accustomed to seeing. They learn to transform 3D layers relative to the composition and customize the space to push the visuals to a higher level. Adding effects and masks to 3D layers, compositing 3D layers with 2D layers, and creating and animating cameras and lights are also covered in this course.

  • ANIM5700 Dynamic Effects & Particle Systems in After Effects: A particle system is a technique in game physics, motion graphics, and computer animation that uses a large amount of tiny graphics to mimic certain kind of visually random events. These types of animations are very difficult to replicate with the usual rendering methods. Students in this class focus on pushing the envelope in creating realistic looking particle systems including fire, explosions, smoke, sparks, falling objects, clouds, fog, snow, rain, dust, stars and galaxies, as well as imaginary graphic effects such as glowing trails and magic spells.

  • ANIM5750 Characters are an integral part of many film and video game projects. In this course students learn to create segmented and seamless 3D characters based on concept art of their own unique characters using a variety of polygonal modeling techniques. Emphasis on creating clean optimized meshes is taught in this course.

  • ANIM5800 Compositing is the joining of visual elements from separate sources into a single image, usually to give an illusion that all those elements are parts of the same environment. This course teaches how to replace parts of an image with other graphics in a convincing, seamless way so as to appear as if they are part of the original. Students learn to combine digital backgrounds with live-action sets and objects, as well as adding elements shot in small spaces to large virtual environments in order to enhance the reality of the visuals.

  • ANIM5850 This course expands on the techniques learned in the Digital 2D Animation course. The emphasis is on a more in-depth use of the vector animation toolset and the motion editor to produce engaging animations. Students learn attention to detail and study the subtleties necessary in creating polished, high-quality animated pieces.

  • ANIM5900 Scripts automate monotonous tasks and perform complex calculations while expressions determine that a property equals something. This course teaches how to use expressions to build connections between layer properties and to dynamically animate layers. Students also learn to write scripts to assist in completing a series of commands and tell the software to perform a sequence of actions.

  • ANIM6100 This class teaches digital sculpting by learning how to create realistic 3D characters using industry standard applications. The focus is on anatomy, form and proportion while learning how to add a high level of detail to polygonal meshes utilizing the software tools. Texture painting is also taught through a variety of comprehensive demonstrations, exercises and assignments.

  • ANIM6150 Textures give the appearance of compound surfaces that reflect lighting as well as displaying the attributes and detail found in the materials, coloring and shading. In this class, students learn about the various types of textures and finishes that can be applied to their 3D characters. They create custom texture maps and also learn how to control how they are applied to the surface of their character models using various methods such as the unwrapping and composite mapping techniques.

  • ANIM6300 Study 3D character animation techniques applied to seamless 3D characters as well as skinning and facial morphing. The focus is on the details of secondary motion, follow through and asymmetrical poses to emulate realistic body motion and facial expression.

  • ANIM6350 Students learn to create and control various types of 3D particle systems to be able to implement special effects such as fire, explosions, fluids, dust, bubbles, disintegration, physics, collisions, etc. into their 3D scenes and animations.

  • ANIM6400 A video game animator's job is to portray the movements and behaviors that happen in the game. This course teaches how to animate game behaviors, sequences and cut scenes in an effective way to maximize the use of game engine's technology within the limitations of that particular platform. Students learn how it may be necessary to limit the amount of motion frames and the number of graphics displayed on the screen simultaneously. Because game animation is often a combination of a number of different kinds of motions, the students in this class learn to build and assemble libraries of reusable animations.

  • ANIM6600 Students integrate their ideas using a cutting edge powerful rendering engine. This course emphasizes bringing character and objects to life inside of a gaming environment. Students use the tools provided to create interactive graphic content while focusing reducing the time needed to create visually stunning games. Assembling scenes containing original custom visuals, audio and realistic action that performs well on any platform are also covered in this course.

  • ANIM6700 Fluid simulation is a computer animation technique used to produce lifelike animations of liquids such as water and sludge. These kinds of simulations span in difficulty from enormously time-consuming high-end animations for film to real-time particle systems used in modern games. This course covers creating various types of fluid effects in both 3D space as well as in the 2D post.

  • ANIM6805 Motion tracking is a cinematic practice of adding graphic elements to film footage with accurate size, location, and movement in relation to the photographed elements in the scene. This course teaches how to track the movement of a camera through live-action shots so that identical computer-generated camera moves can be duplicated using animation software. Students also learn how to composite animated elements into live-action shots so they appear perfectly matched in perspective in order to look natural and seamless.

  • ANIM6900 This course teaches the game creation process of combining 2D digital art and audio with gameplay, and instills how good planning plays an important role in video game production. Students learn to understand the video game production pipeline from the planning stage and level design, to creating sprites and graphic and audio assets, to assembling a prototype of a game.

  • ANIM7000 This course continues to develop the artistic and technical skills necessary to become a successful character animator by focusing the critical principles of animation like weight, overlapping motion, and subtleties through the use of animation layering, and muscle simulation. Students also learn how to better show feelings of happiness, desolation and distress by articulating the personality and emotion of their animated characters to the audience. This class builds on the character rigging and animation skills learned in the previous character animation course.

  • ANIM7100 3D Character Animation- Weight, Overlap and Follow through: Follow through and overlapping are techniques that help to produce more realistic movement that looks as if the character imitates the law of physics. The achievement of believable motion and how the action follows through is frequently more necessary than the move itself to making an animation appear more convincing. In this course students analyze the subtleties of motion and learn to understand how if one body part stops other parts may overlap and follow through the leading motion, gradually coming to rest. They also learn to add weight, mass and moving holds to add life to breathing characters.

  • ANIM7200 Emotion and personality are the most challenging parts of character animation, because it is essential that it portray subtlety and scope in what is being visually communicated to the audience. In this class, students learn the skills, procedures and thought processes for animating expressive faces coordinated with body language. Through the use of a variety of techniques, the focus is on evoking thought, enthusiasm and emotion in their characters actions.

  • ANIM7250 Lip-syncing is the art of making an animated character's mouth move in unison with a prerecorded track of dialogue. To make a character appear to speak involves determining the timings of the speech as well as the actual animating of the mouth to match the dialogue track. This course teaches how to make a character give the impression of speaking by use of manual timing as well as learning to use lip-syncing software.

  • ANIM7300 From feature films to broadcast TV, fur is now commonly seen in animation the world over. In this course students learn how to apply fur and hair to their 3D characters and experiment with the software features to give it the qualities (such as styling, flyaway, clumping, and kinking) that they envision. Applying dynamics, gravity, collision detection and external forces (such as wind) to the hair are also covered in this course.

  • ANIM7400 In computer animation, cloth simulation refers to the production of soft body that animate via flexible dynamics. As opposed to rigid body animation, the shape of soft body objects change and flex as they move. By learning specialized rendering properties that replicate real-world physics, students apply visually realistic clothing properties to their 3D characters. The focus is to enhance the realism of animated characters wearing flowing apparel.

  • ANIM7425 This course teaches the process of recording human movement, captured by an array of sensors, which are placed on the body in a variety of combinations. Students learn to use software that records the actions of live actors and then map that motion data to 3D character models so that it performs the same movements as the actor. Whether animating for film or games, the techniques learned in this class allow for increased motion testing because of the ability to quickly animate digital 3D characters.

  • ANIM7500 This course expands upon the techniques learned in the Game Creation courses. Students learn to add their own tools and to enhance performance while increasing graphic quality. This course also covers how to use the high-end customizable game engine tools to quickly export visually exciting, fully produced games.

  • ANIM7525 Virtual Reality is the use of computer technology to create simulated environments where users are immersed in and able to interact with 3D worlds. In this course students learn to simulate a user's physical presence with imaginary environments in a way that allows them to interact with it through the use of state -of-the-art VR headsets. The goal is to simulate breathtaking sensory experiences by creating 3D environments and animations, as well as incorporating audio and precise motion tracking that transports users into worlds that are beyond the imagination.

  • ANIM7550 Students work at a company or organization for between 5 and 20 hours per week, filling an animation, interactive media or video game role. Internships may be paid or unpaid.

  • ANIM7600 In the industry, video games are primarily produced by a team of people. The students in this class work in groups to design and create their own video games. The type of games and the role that each person fills is determined by the group with the oversight of the professor.

  • ANIM7650 In the MFA Thesis, students write, design and produce all aspects of a comprehensive project that exhibits everything learned in the graduate program to-date. Thesis I lays the groundwork for the project by developing the story as well as the previsualization pieces that are typically produced when creating an animated film or game. These include writing project treatments and drafting story proposals., character development, writing and revising scripts, sketching story concepts, developing refining detailed storyboards, audio recording, developing sound effects, assembling and editing animatics containing sketch motions and audio, and the initial steps of creating graphic elements and 3D models. Each phase of the development undergoes a number of rigorous in-class critique sessions, after which improvements are implemented. Throughout the course, students maintain a journal of their processes, successes, problems and challenges. Before the student can continue on to Thesis II, the project must be approved by the professor and all of the requirements listed above must be completed.

  • ANIM7700 Members of the faculty engage in research projects with selected student with the goal of professional publication or presentation.

  • ANIM7750 In this course students finish building their digital 3D character models, 3D environments, and digital props for their final piece. Designing, creating and mapping textures, as well as lighting and camera placement to be used in the various 3D scenes in their thesis project are completed in this class. After these elements are prepared, the student begins animating their characters and other models within the 3D scenes. As each element are prepared, the students begin animating their characters and other models within the 3D scenes. As each element and animation is developed and refined, they go through a number of in-class critiques, after which improvements are implemented based on that feedback. As rough previews and refined motion tests are rendered, they are inserted into the animatic that was produced in "Theses I" which continues to grow and progress the digital previsualization of the piece. Throughout the course students update their journal. At the end of this course, the professor evaluates each student's project. If the status of the project is approved the student is permitted to move on to Thesis III.

  • ANIM7775 Students work at a company or organization for between 5 and 20 hours per week, filling an animation, interactive media or video game role. Internships may be paid or unpaid.

  • ANIM7805 Members of the faculty engage in research projects with selected students with the goal of professional publication or presentation.

  • ANIM7850 In this course students finish and refine all of the animated scenes for the project that they began in previous Thesis courses and the process of 3D printing will also be taught. Based on in-class critiques, a number of missing pieces may need to be created in order to complete or enhance the story of scenes may need to be revised and re-rendered. Paying close attention to the amount of time needed to complete all of the pieces, the students render the final high-res motion files for the each scene upon its completion. As they are assembling the final edit, they will generate and composite post effects with the finished renders, enhance lighting, implement color correction, polish audio (narration, voice-over, sound effects), complete the post-production,, and design and animate the movie title and credits. In addition, the students write papers discussing their research and development phases, processes, successes, problems and challenges experienced throughout producing their project based on the journal that they have been maintaining. The papers also contain a final analysis of their project. At the end of the semester students present their thesis project to the public. In preparation for this, the students design display boards and tables to creatively exhibit their original concept sketches, storyboards, high-res computer print-outs of various parts of their project, and 3D prints of their characters and environments. The final animations will be projected on a large screen at the thesis event. In order to complete the course students must submit their journal, written proposal, written script, concept sketches, storyboards, all of their pre-visualization pieces, their finished project, along with the written paper and the project analysis to the professor and program director for review.

  • ANIM7900 This is the capstone course to be taken in the final semester prior to graduating the program. Students present the animation work that they produced in all of their animation courses in the program to the class and discuss their professional interests and goals. Undergoing a series of follow-up critiques from their classmates, students learn to assemble and revise polished professional demo reels highlighting the strongest segments of each of their projects, focused on meeting their career goals. Based on additional critical feedback sessions, students design personalized logos that will be used to market themselves as professional animators. Personalized business cards, resumes, letters of introduction and follow up letters are then written and designed, emulating the persona of their final logo. In order to present their demo reel and promote their animation skills to prospective employers, students learn how to plan (content, navigation, graphic design) and develop visually and technically impressive portfolio websites, exhibiting their own individual artistic style by following through with the branding established in the final logo design. How to implement and design social media presences and utilize other online avenue to market their skills and find work is also covered in this course.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.