Animation & Visual Effects Online

The School of Animation & Visual Effects is one of the best animation schools in the nation, combining traditional and digital skills to satisfy students' creativity and prepare them for careers in the industry. Our curriculum provides students with a foundation in art, design, technology, and concept development - all essential skills for those working in the standard phases of animation as storyboard artists, visual developers, concept artists, and visual effects animators.

Our students learn from the best in the industry; we draw our instructors, guest lecturers, and advisory board members from award winners and world-leading production facilities. Our curriculum is designed by board members and industry professionals, so that students learn the skills that are in demand today. Our graduates go on to be recruited by the best animation companies.


Online Degrees

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Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree

Bachelor of Fine Arts degree students will graduate with a professional portfolio or demonstration reel, showcasing knowledge of life drawing and an understanding of movement and acting; filmmaking theory; the principles of animation, concepts, and storytelling; the use of colors to convey feeling and mood; composition and design principles; as well as content, marketability, and presentation.

Our students develop strong traditional skills and storytelling abilities that can then be applied to digital technology. By advisement of the department directors, students will focus on one of the key areas of the animation industry, including Visual Effects, 3D Modeling, Character Animation, Storyboarding, Visual Development, and 2D Layout and Background Painting. Emphasis is placed on creating a professional quality demo reel and/or portfolio that reflects the standards of the industry.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree

Our Master of Fine Arts program is designed to provide students with expertise in directing a complete, short animated film, designing and building 3D characters, and fully integrating visual effects shots from concept to post-production. As 3D modelers, animators, compositors, texture artists, and lighting or technical directors, our graduates focus on the production of computer arts for entertainment industries such as film, television, and video games.

The MFA in Animation and Visual Effects focuses on storytelling with an emphasis on technical acuity and emotional response. Graduate students are grounded in strong traditional skills that are then translated into the depth and dimension facilitated by technology. The program educates students in all aspects of animation and visual effects film processes, from concept to post-production, while fostering skills, creativity, problem solving, and professionalism.

During Directed Study, which is the production phase of the students' Final Projects, real-world skills such as process, communication, collaboration, and time management are practiced to ensure graduates meet or surpass the needs of the industry. Each graduate student's Final Project is evaluated by a committee of professionals for consideration in film festivals and exhibition during the Spring Show.

Associate of Arts (AA) Degree

Our Associate of Arts students have the best of both worlds. Our curriculum stresses traditional skills and storytelling ability, coupled with cutting-edge software and digital technology.

Our students learn from the best in the industry. We draw our instructors, guest lecturers, and advisory board members from award winners and world leading production facilities. Our curriculum is designed by our board members and industry professionals so that students learn the skills that are in demand today.

Online Awards of Completion (OAC)

The Animation & Visual Effects Online Award of Completion is designed for personal enrichment students interested in acquiring industry specific skills and knowledge.  Acquiring fundamental skills is the first step toward an exciting career in the animation and visual effects industry.

An Online Award of Completion is offered in the following paths: Computer Generated Animation, Traditional Animation, Maya Applications, 3D Animation, 3D Modeling, and Visual Effects.

Upon completing the series, students who wish to continue their studies may apply these courses toward an Academy of Art University degree.

NOTE: Online Awards of Completion require that all courses must be taken online.

 

Fundamentals of Computer Generated Animation

Required Courses

ANM 101: Introduction to Computer Graphics for Animators

ANM 105: Computer Animation Production (prerequisite ANM 101)

ANM 202: 3D Modeling & Animation 1 (prerequisite ANM 105)

 

Fundamentals of Animation

Required Courses

ANM 101: Introduction to Computer Graphics for Animators

ANM 102: History of Animation (may be concurrent with ANM 101)

ANM 180: Introduction to Animation Principles & Techniques (may be concurrent with ANM 101)

ANM 182: Mixed Media Animation (prerequisite is ANM 180)

Students with digital imaging experience may request to test out of ANM 101. Students who successfully test out of ANM 101 may select from the following paths: Maya Applications,  3D Animation, 3D Modeling, and Visual Effects.

 

Maya Applications

Required Courses

ANM 105: Computer Animation Production

Successful test out from ANM 101

ANM 204: 3D Modeling & Animation for VFX (Maya) (prerequisite ANM 105)

ANM 254: Dynamics 1: Particles (prerequisite ANM 204)

ANM 312: Hard Surface Modeling 1 (prerequisite ANM 204)

 

3D Animation

Required Courses

ANM 105: Computer Animation Production

Successful test out from ANM 101

ANM 180: Introduction to Animation Principles & Techniques

Successful test out from ANM 101

ANM 202: 3D Modeling & Animation 1 (Maya) (prerequisite ANM 105)

ANM 221: 3D Character Animation 1 (prerequisite ANM 202)

 

3D Modeling

Required Courses

ANM 105: Computer Animation Production

Successful test out from ANM 101

ANM 202: 3D Modeling & Animation 1 (Maya) (prerequisite ANM 105)

ANM 312: Hard Surface Modeling 1 (prerequisite ANM 202)

ANM 313: Organic Modeling 1 (prerequisite ANM 202)

 

Visual Effects

Required Courses

ANM 105: Computer Animation Production

Successful test out from ANM 101

ANM 241: Visual Effects 1 - Principles of Compositing (prerequisite ANM 105)

ANM 243: Rotoscoping (prerequisite ANM 105)

ANM 341: Visual Effects 2 - Intermediate Digital Compositing (prerequisite ANM 241)

Classes

Not ready for a degree program? Explore our course catalog and take classes based around your interests and schedule. Enhance your knowledge, learn a new skill, or try out a new form of art.

Online Class Demo

Animation & Visual Effects : Animation studio overview
 

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Online Programs

Learn from professional animators in small classes, receive one-on-one mentoring, and leverage an entire network of technical and creative support—all online. Don’t let anything hold you back from realizing your dream of pursuing a career in animation.

Join us today.
 

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Get to Know Us

Charles Keagle

Online Director of Animation

Get to know our world-class staff and see why we’re one of the top arts universities in the country.
Meet Our Faculty