drawing of a street

Animation / VFX (BFA)

Animation and Visual Effects are essential to all modern forms of entertainment and commercial media. The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation and Visual Effects provides an immersive experience using professional industry tools, processes, creative skills, and collaborative workflows. Students create and produce professional quality 3D characters, environments, props, animations, simulated effects, and composites for live-action and feature films, television, animation, video games, and interactive media.

The Animation & VFX BFA degree is for students eager to enter a rewarding and intensive hands-on course of study.

The program is part of The School of Communication and Media, an innovative setting for students to collaborate with other programs to challenge, inspire, and perfect the mastery of its student body.

Students follow an intensive curriculum and complete multiple learning goals, strengthening 3D animation and visual effects principles and practices in the real world and how they apply to a CG-generated world.

Courses of Study

Major Requirements

A. SCM Requirements
CMST 110 Intro to Communication & Media
CMST 210 Theorizing Communication & Media

B. Major Requirements
ANIM 101 Drawing Anatomy for Animation
ANIM 102 Digital Color & Light Concepts
ANIM 103 Intro. to Animation & VFX
ANIM 104 Figure Drawing: Animation
ANIM 201 2D Animation & VFX I
ANIM 202 3D Modeling I
ANIM 282 History of Animation & VFX
ANIM 210 Visual Effects Compositing I
ANIM 321 3D Animation & Rigging I
ANIM 325 Game Development I
ANIM 360 Lighting & Rendering
ANIM 380 VFX for Film
ANIM 401 Industry Prep
ANIM 423 Thesis I
ANIM 424 Thesis II

C. ANIM & VFX Topical Electives
(Choose two 300 level & two 400 level – total 12 credits)
ANIM 301 2D Animation & VFX II
ANIM 302 3D Modeling II
ANIM 330 Visual Effects Compositing II
ANIM 331 Experimental Animation
ANIM 335 Animated Illustration
ANIM 351 Animated Development & Pitch Bible
ANIM 370 Immersive Storytelling
ANIM 400 Visual Effects Compositing III
ANIM 421 3D Animation & Rigging II
ANIM 425 Game Development II
ANIM 455 Collaborative Production

D. SCM Electives
Choose two 3-credit courses from CMDA, CMST, FMTV, JOUR, SPTC, and STCM

IV. Free Electives
Within the Animation & VFX curriculum, students can take 20 – 23 free electives. Options include any classes offered at the university or students can choose to minor or earn a certificate during their four-year college experience. View courses here.

Portfolio Requirements

1: Cover Letter (1-page maximum)
Each student must provide a single page, professionally formatted cover letter stating their interest in studying animation and visual effects and include the applicant’s future professional aspirations.

2: Portfolio Requirements
The portfolio should include 15 – 20 images of your strongest artwork and should be submitted following the instructions described in the portfolio guidelines.

We are looking for originality, consistency, presentation, drawing skills, computer skills, composition & design, use of color, ability to communicate concepts, quality of sketchbook, student’s enthusiasm and a sense of commitment.

Students should showcase their strengths and use of formal elements and principles: line, shape, value, visual texture, implied space, color theory, balance, contrast, dominance, harmony, proportion, repetition, scale, unity, and variety.

    • Images of artwork may be arranged on the page as the user wishes but should not be pixelated. Images should be clearly labeled, oriented correctly, and professionally presented within the application.

Clearly label each submitted portfolio artwork with the following:

    • Title of artwork
    • Year the artwork was created
    • If collaborative – what your involvement was in the project
    • Medium produced in (traditional, digital, hybrid, other) Software used if applicable.

Observational Drawing – Digital or traditional artwork:

  • Observational drawing is drawing something by looking at it, not drawing from a photo. It can be anything as long as it’s from observation of a real-life subject. An example confirms that the artist can identify lines, curves, edges, perspective, proportion, hues, and values and translate them into drawings. These drawings should show a solid grasp of craftsmanship.

3: Letters of Recommendation
Two letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with the applicant’s work and interests. At least one reference should be from a teacher.

Student Work

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Contact Head of Animation/VFX: Lauren Carr
Calcia Hall
Contact Faculty: Keeley Nolan
Calcia Hall