This concentration gives students the background necessary to animate in any media/software with strong skills in one of several specialty areas of animation, such as character animation and special effects animation. Students in the animation concentration would typically be aiming for careers in 3D animation, 2D animation, motion graphics, character animation, and technical direction.



What Classes Will I Take in Animation?

The Digital Media Core is required by all digital media majors, regardless of concentration. These classes develop skills required of professionals across all areas of digital media. The last class in this series, Portfolio Development (DIGM4930) prepares students to transition from college life to professional life by working on resumes, cover letters, presentation skills, and most importantly: developing a professional digital media portfolio.

ENTC 1510 Student in University

This course is meant to provide guidance to first-year university students as they begin their search for directions to take in self-definition, intellectual growth, career choices, and life skills. (fall, spring) (There are substitutions available for students in the University Honors or Fine and Performing Arts Scholars Programs)

DIGM1400 Principles of Visual Effects and Motion Graphics

Introduction to practical techniques and awareness in video production, motion design and visual effects as related to motion picture and commercial production.

DIGM1500 Principles of Digital Game Design

Provides students with an awareness of the gaming, interaction and other 3D industries as well as preliminary hands-on experience in the interactive and gaming fields.

DIGM1800 Principles of Digital Animation

Provides students with an awareness of animation and other 3D industries, as well as preliminary hands-on experience in animation production.

DIGM1900 Principles of Visualization

An introduction to practical and theoretical knowledge in visualization. Through lectures and studio application of the underlying principles, students will gain an understanding of visualization through 2D, 3D and moving imagery.

DIGM2990 Mid-Point Review

Students produce a digital media portfolio for presentation and evaluation in preparation for upper level coursework and careers in digital media.

DIGM2660 Topics in Digital Media History

Special topics of interest concerning digital media discipline history. Students learn to apply digital media historical concepts to their specialized disciplines.

ARTH4077 Contemporary Art

A survey of art from Surrealism to the present day. Offered every spring semester.

MATH 1720 Pre-Calculus (Trigonometry)

Prerequisites: Two years of high school algebra, MATH 1710, or the equivalent. A study of functions and their graphs, including polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and trigonometric functions.

DIGM 4930 Portfolio Development for Digital Media

Prerequisites: Senior status and within two (2) semesters of completing all requirements for graduation. Permission of instructor is required. This course provides the opportunity to review and refine selected examples of work for the creation of a digital media portfolio. Topics include industry research, job searching techniques, interview preparation, group projects, presentation skills, and portfolio development and refinement. Lecture and lab. (fall, spring)

Digital Animation Concentration:

DIGM2824 Technical Direction

Project-based advanced digital character, mechanical, and simulation techniques. Course topics might include character setup, inverse kinematics, bones systems, deformers, scripting and set driven key set-up. There is an emphasis on effective set-up procedures and scripting workflow.

DIGM2870 Animation Fundamentals

Study of the fundamental principles and mechanics of motion. Students explore timing, spacing, and staging an image for clarity, gravity, emotion and storytelling, and learn to apply and manipulate the fundamental concepts to creatively animate an idea. The coursework will serve as a foundation for comprehending the underlying principles and mechanics for any form of animation.

DIGM3130 3D Animation

Study of 3-D as it relates to the basic principles of animation. Students will learn to create believable and natural animations using combinations of different techniques through project-based instruction. (May be repeated for credit.)

DIGM4844 Effects Animation

Project-based dynamic simulation and animation strategies to digitally recreate natural phenomena. Students explore rigid dynamics, particle simulation, effects compositing, and rendering. Additional topics might include techniques involving instancing, fluid dynamics, cloth simulation, and dynamic constraints. (May be repeated for credit.)

DIGM4854 Character Animation

Project-based study emphasizing the practical and theoretical principles of character animation. Students explore how to put personality into characters and develop skills to create characters that act. (May be repeated for credit.)

Choose 1 of the following:

DIGM2720 Raster-Based Imaging

Study of digital imaging and processing as related to contemporary practices in digital media. Areas of study include methods for manipulating images, and the use of digital formats. Image design, color usage, and computer-based production for both traditional and digital publication are studied.

DIGM3410 Visual Effects Compositing

Techniques and theory of motion graphics and compositing for video. Instruction is designed to bridge the gaps between 3D production rendering and final output, live action, and computer generated imagery. Work is project based and provides students with short, demo-reel quality pieces. Though not required, skills in vector-based imaging and advanced 3D are helpful. (May be repeated for credit.)

Choose 1 of the following:

DIGM2530 High Fidelity Modeling for Entertainment

Project-based introduction to practical techniques and theoretical knowledge of 3D modeling for entertainment. Course topics might include high-fidelity modeling, digital sculpture, corresponding textures and dynamic materials. This class emphasizes principles governing critical analysis of 3D modeling.

DIGM3120 3D Lighting and Rendering

A practical and theoretical understanding of lighting, rendering, and cameras in a 3-D environment. Students will learn how to utilize a number of texturing and mapping techniques, rendering applications, and gain an advanced understanding of rendering techniques and specific outputs. Areas of emphasis include shader networks, multi-pass rendering, and techniques for creating stylized and realistic images. (May be repeated for credit.)

The Digital Animation concentration also has 16 credit hours of guided electives.


Meet an Animation Alumn

Compositor, Blue Sky Studios

“I’m a compositor at Blue Sky Studios, currently working on the movie Rio 2. I love what I do – putting the final rendered layers together, making sure everything blends together seamlessly, and even creating some effects. I’ve also learned a lot about how the work gets passed through the pipeline of a large studio.”





Olivia Lutts

Kelsey Whited

Maheen Pulak

Taylor Grant

Kathryn Ross

Mary Armitage