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Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree

The School of Animation & Visual Effects BFA program provides students with the skills necessary to master today’s digital technology. Students choose one primary area of emphasis between visual effects, 3D modeling, 3D animation, traditional animation, and storyboarding.

BFA Animation & Visual Effects Unit Requirements

Core 36 units
Major 42 units
Art Electives 9 units
Liberal Arts 45 units
TOTAL 132 units

BFA Animation & Visual Effects Degree Requirements

  • 3 Written Communication courses
  • 4 Art Historical Awareness courses
  • 1 Employment Communications and Practices course
  • 1 Historical Awareness course
  • 1 Quantitative Literacy course
  • 1 Cultural Ideas and Influences course

And:

  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Minimum grade of C- in all core courses, major courses, and LA 108 Composition for the Artist

Additional Information

BFA Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Visual Communication and Problem Solving

  • Design elements for film, television, or game
  • Make effective design choices to support narrative, character, and/or mood
  • Demonstrate the ability to research for inspiration, reference, accuracy, and incorporate findings into design solutions

Technical Skills

  • Demonstrate facility and flexibility with animation and/or VFX technology and software
  • Demonstrate facility with digital media

Professional Readiness

  • Assemble a professional demo reel or portfolio demonstrating an understanding of the target market
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the production pipeline through successful participation in the collaborative / pipeline process.
  • Clearly express creative thought processes, concepts and strategies using industry-standard vocabulary

Specialty skills: Storyboarding

  • Create and pitch stories and concepts through the use of sequential imagery
  • Produce work that demonstrates an understanding of cinematic continuity
  • Demonstrate proficient drawing skills: composition, perspective, proportion, and anatomy

Specialty Skills: Traditional Animation

  • Apply the principles of animation to effectively communicate character action, emotion, and mood
  • Demonstrate facility with hand skills in drawing, painting, and sculpture

Specialty skills: Modeling

  • Model with appropriate use of form, proportion, weight, anatomy, gesture, and facial expressions
  • Create and apply textures consistent with the overall look of the project

Specialty skills: 3D Animation

  • Apply principles of animation
  • Convey motion (biped and quadruped) and interaction of moving objects
  • Demonstrate facility, flexibility with fabrication tools and materials

Specialty skills: Visual Effects

  • Design and generate digital elements and effects that meet the needs of the imagery
  • Combine digital effects and elements from different sources with live action media to a fine degree of visual believability and consistency

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.

Associate of Arts (AA) Degree

The School of Animation & Visual Effects AA program offers students a strong introduction to the core principles of animation production. Course offerings include visual effects, 3D animation, 3D modeling, traditional animation, and storyboarding.

AA Animation & Visual Effects Unit Requirements

Core 33 units
Major 15 units
Liberal Arts 18 units
TOTAL 66 units

AA Animation & Visual Effects Degree Requirements

  • 2 Written Communication courses
  • 2 Art Historical Awareness courses
  • 1 Employment Communications & Practices course

And:

  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Minimum grade of C- in all core courses, major courses, and LA 108 Composition for the Artist

Additional Information

AA Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Visual Communication and Problem Solving

  • Design elements for film, television, or game
  • Make effective design choices to support narrative, character, and/or mood
  • Demonstrate the ability to research for inspiration, reference, accuracy, and incorporate findings into designs

Technical Skills

  • Demonstrate facility with animation and/or VFX technology and software
  • Demonstrate facility with digital media

Professional Readiness

  • Clearly express concepts using industry-standard vocabulary
  • Produce basic materials required for an entry-level job search

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.

Certificate

The four year certificate program provides students with a disciplined approach to the study of Animation & Visual Effects. Student portfolios will demonstrate the variety of skills and creativity developed. Graduates enter the field prepared for professional opportunities in Animation & Visual Effects. Students take electives and art history courses to round out their experience. Unlike the BFA program, students pursuing the Certificate program do not take liberal arts coursework.

Certificate in Animation & Visual Effects Unit Requirements

Core 36 units
Major 42 units
By Advisement
24 units
Art Electives 12 units
Art History 6 units
TOTAL 120 units

Animation & Visual Effects Certificate Requirements

  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Minimum grade of C- in all major coursework

Certificate Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Visual Communication and Problem Solving

  • Design elements for film, television, or game
  • Make effective design choices to support narrative, character, and/or mood
  • Demonstrate the ability to research for inspiration, reference, accuracy, and incorporate findings into design solutions

Technical Skills

  • Demonstrate facility and flexibility with animation and/or VFX technology and software
  • Demonstrate facility with digital media

Professional Readiness

  • Assemble a professional demo reel or portfolio demonstrating an understanding of the target market
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the production pipeline through successful participation in the collaborative / pipeline process.
  • Clearly express creative thought processes, concepts and strategies using industry-standard vocabulary

Specialty skills: Storyboarding

  • Create and pitch stories and concepts through the use of sequential imagery
  • Produce work that demonstrates an understanding of cinematic continuity
  • Demonstrate proficient drawing skills: composition, perspective, proportion, and anatomy

Specialty Skills: Traditional Animation

  • Apply the principles of animation to effectively communicate character action, emotion, and mood
  • Demonstrate facility with hand skills in drawing, painting, and sculpture

Specialty skills: Modeling

  • Model with appropriate use of form, proportion, weight, anatomy, gesture, and facial expressions
  • Create and apply textures consistent with the overall look of the project

Specialty skills: 3D Animation

  • Apply principles of animation
  • Convey motion (biped and quadruped) and interaction of moving objects
  • Demonstrate facility, flexibility with fabrication tools and materials

Specialty skills: Visual Effects

  • Design and generate digital elements and effects that meet the needs of the imagery
  • Combine digital effects and elements from different sources with live action media to a fine degree of visual believability and consistency

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.

Classes

Not ready for a degree program? Explore our course catalog and take classes based around your interests and schedule online or in our world-class facilities in San Francisco.

Undergraduate Degree Breakdowns

The School of Animation and Visual Effects provides students with traditional skills and storytelling abilities that can then be applied to digital technology.

Students take classes specializing in one main area of the industry. Emphasis is placed on creating a professional demo reel and/or portfolio in tune with the latest industry trends.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
Associate of Arts (AA)

Get to Know Us

Robert Steele

Undergraduate Associate Director, Portfolio for Animation & VFX

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