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Graduate School of Animation & Visual Effects

Storytelling is the core of animation. Whether in cartoons or visual effects for movies, an animator takes an idea and turns it into a rich and commanding reality that captivates audiences.

Students in Academy of Art University's School of Animation & Visual Effects develop their technique, cultivate their personal style and build a compelling portfolio. The Academy is a creative hub, bursting with innovation in classic animation, storyboarding, 2D and 3D animation modeling, experimental animation, special effects, and more.

Guiding students to professional futures in animation and visual effects, Academy of Art University is a top animation graduate school. Students focus on either 2D animation or 3D animation and create an animation reel that highlights their specialty and one-of-a-kind talent.


Graduate Animation Studio Courses

Academy of Art University's animation graduate school offers a hands-on, collaborative environment in its studio courses. Through these classes, graduate students polish their storytelling techniques, using the visual language of animation to enhance their work and bring their ideas to life.

School of Animation & Visual Effects graduate classes:

  • 2D Animation
  • 3D Animation
  • Stop Motion
  • Computer Animation
  • Traditional Animation
  • Visual Effects
  • Cinematography
  • Layout Design
  • Figurative Concepts
  • Visual Elements of Story
  • Principles & Pipelines
  • Texture Creation
  • And more!

Professional Animation Opportunities

Academy of Art University's graduate animation school prepares students for rewarding professional futures, providing them with the tools they need to achieve success in animation.

Professional Instructors – The School of Animation & Visual Effects' faculty boasts Academy Award, Clio, VES, BAFTA and Cannes winners. Working with professional instructors who keep their finger on the pulse of industry trends, students prepare for careers in animation.

Industry Relationships – Located in the heart of San Francisco, Academy of Art University offers students in the animation masters degree program the benefit of proximity to innovative animation studios such as Pixar, Industrial Light & Magic and others. From portfolio reviews with industry professionals to guest lectures, students gain a better appreciation of the world of professional animators.

Annual Spring Show – Academy of Art University's School of Animation & Visual Effects offers students the best opportunities possible to network with representatives from studios from across the country. Every year, the Academy's Spring Show attracts recruiters and industry leaders looking to hire top emerging talent. In addition, the animation graduate school participates in SIGGRAPH, WonderCon, Comic-Con and more.

Animation career opportunities include:

  • 2D and 3D Animator
  • 3D Modeler
  • Visual Effects Artist
  • Compositor
  • Storyboard Artist
  • Concept Artist
  • Character Designer
  • Stop Motion Animator
  • And more!

School of Animation & Visual Effects Facilities

Academy of Art University's state-of-the-art facilities far exceed those of other 2D and 3D animation graduate schools. The School of Animation & Visual Effects features the same cutting-edge technology used by leading animation studios for classic, 3D and stop motion animation, including industry-standard computer animation equipment, a Cintiq digital classroom and lab, and HD camera technology.


Graduate Classes Online and in San Francisco

With classes available online and in San Francisco, Academy of Art University's animation graduate school has flexible programs for completing an animation masters degree. The Academy's online graduate programs engage students with an interactive, hands-on experience. Online Animation School students earn their accredited degree through classes that promote creative collaboration with their instructor and fellow students.

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Academy of Art University - School of Animation & Visual Effects
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