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. (Offered in the Fall and Spring)
(There are substitutions available for students in the University Honors or Fine and Performing Arts Scholars Programs)

MATH 1710 Pre-Calculus (Algebra) or any higher level Math

Prerequisites: Two years of high school algebra. Studies functions and their graphs, including polynomial, rational, exponential and logarithmic functions.

DIGM 1400 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.

DIGM 1500 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.

DIGM 1800 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.

DIGM 1900 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.

DIGM 2660 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.

DIGM 2990 Mid-Point Review

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

ENTC 3030 Technical Communications

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020. A comprehensive study of technical and professional communication in written and oral form. Covers rhetorical principles and their application in a variety of types of business correspondence, reports, and technical/scientific documents. Lecture and classroom exercises.

ARTH 2010 Art History I

A survey of architecture, painting, sculpture, and the minor arts in the Western world from prehistoric times to the end of the Middle Ages.

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.

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.)

3D Animation Pathway:

DIGM 3120 3D Lighting & Rendering

Prerequisites: DIGM 2990. Presents a practical and theoretical understanding of lighting, rendering, and cameras in a 3D environment. The course includes how to utilize a number of texturing and mapping techniques and render applications to specific outputs. Areas of emphasis include shader networks, multi-pass rendering, and techniques for creating stylized and realistic images.

DIGM 3130 3D Animation

Prerequisites: DIGM 2870. Studies 3D as it relates to the basic principles of animation. Creation of believable and natural animations using combinations of different techniques enhanced through project-based instruction.

DIGM 3450 Procedural Modeling & Effects Simulation

Prerequisite: DIGM 2990; or permission of instructor. Explores procedural systems for modeling three-dimensional digital content, effects animation, and physics-based simulation of natural phenomena.  Lecture and lab.

2D Animation Pathway:

DIGM 2730 2D Character Construction

Prerequisites: DIGM 1400, DIGM 1500, DIGM 1900, and DIGM 1800 or permission of instructor. Focuses on the fundamentals of 2D character construction including clothing and accessories using digital tools to create 2D digital concept character renderings.

DIGM 3140 2D Animation

Prerequisites: DIGM 2990 or instructor approval. Emphasizes the process and creation of digital two-dimensional animation using a variety of formats and styles including frame-by-frame, rigged, and sprite animation. Lecture and lab.
Notes: Repeatable up to 12 credits.

DIGM 3230 Storyboarding

Prerequisites: DIGM 2990 or permission of instructor. Explores the process of visual storytelling through the rendering of storyboards using a variety of two-dimensional and digital techniques while considering its application across various entertainment industries. Topics may also include history, basic processes, technical terminology, and visual language.
Notes: Repeatable up to 12 credits.

Animation Guided Electives (20 hours)
    BIOL 3220 Comparative Anatomy
    ENTC 1110 Engineering Drawing
    ENTC 2160 Architectural Drawing
    HSCI 2010 Anatomy and Physiology I
    HSCI 2011 Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory I
    HSCI 3000 Human Anatomy
    Any ADVR course
    Any ARTA course
    Any CSCI course
    Any DANC course
    Any DIGM course
    Any INTD course
    Any MCOM course
    Any RTVL course
    Any STOR course
    Any THEA course
Excluding: MCOM 1030 and CSCI 1100

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.”








Body Mechanics






Lip Sync




Game Set Animation







Olivia Lutts




Kelsey Whited




Maheen Pulak





Taylor Grant




Kathryn Ross




Mary Armitage