• Animation and Visual Effects

Dodge College of Film & Media Arts


B.F.A. in Digital Arts - Animation and Visual Effects

» Develop your core artistic skills and technical expertise

About the Program

The B.F.A. in Digital Arts - Animation and Visual Effects offers students the opportunity to pursue studies in 2D or 3D animation or visual effects. The curriculum is carefully designed according to industry standards to help you develop your core artistic skills as well as your technical expertise. This hands-on program enables you to work with cutting-edge technology to realize your artistic visions.

The program is divided into two parts: the first two years are devoted to the fundamental artistic and technical skills that provide the foundation for your development as an animation or VFX artist. Your junior and senior years focus on your chosen area of specialization and the development and production of your senior thesis project.

The program is housed in the state-of-the-art Digital Media Arts Center (DMAC) which gives you 24/7 access to an art studio, an animation lab with both traditional animation pegged drawing discs and digital Cintique tablets, a VFX lab with dual monitors and a 4K workflow, individual digital suites with specialized 3D and sound gear. These spaces feature the latest industry standard software such as Adobe Creative Suites, Maya, 3DS Max, and an Xsens motion capture suit and software.

You’ll stay connected with the industry through field trips to, and internships with, major gaming, VFX, and animation studios including Pixar, Dreamworks, Blizzard, and Blur. Major industry players and professionals such as Joyce Cox (The Jungle Book), Chris Buck (Frozen), Don Hahn (Lion King, Beauty and the Beast), Randy Cook (Lord of the Rings), Pete Docter (Inside Out), Rob Liefeld (Deadpool), and many more frequently visit campus. 

+ - You'll Study

The curriculum is designed to help you develop your core artistic skills as well as your technical expertise.  You’ll learn timeless principles including:

Animation

  • motion
  • gesture
  • composition
  • color theory
  • character design
  • story structure
  • performance

Visual Effects

  • modeling
  • compositing
  • matte painting
  • motion capture
  • set extensions

+ - Learning Outcomes

In mastering the curriculum of the B.F.A. in Digital Arts, students will: 
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of digital arts history, including past, current, and emerging work, that will provide context for appraising and supporting new creative work.
  • Exhibit a working knowledge of fundamental design principles in both still and motion-based art.
  • Exhibit a skilled application of animation principles in the design and production of time-based media.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with the tools and technology required for a chosen skill set of animation or visual effects.
  • Demonstrate an ability to apply fundamental story principles in both still imagery and time-based media.
  • Exhibit the ability to communicate and collaborate in creative production, and demonstrate the ability to manage, schedule, and produce a skilled Senior Thesis project.

+ - Degree Requirements

The B.F.A. in Digital Arts offers students the opportunity to develop the artistic and technical skills to create or enhance a story using the tools of the digital world, particularly as the media continue to evolve with an increased use of computer–animated characters, digital effects and compositing techniques combining motion capture, live action and animation.

Digital arts majors must receive at least a "B–" in DA 202 and 249 in order to satisfy their major requirements.

core requirements (39 credits)

DA 109

Fundamental Graphics I for Digital Arts

3

DA 120

Introduction to Digital Arts

3

FTV 130

Introduction to Visual Storytelling

3

DA 202

3D Computer Graphics I

3

DA 206

Mechanics of Motion

3

DA 209

Fundamental Graphics II for Digital Arts

3

DA 247

History and Aesthetics of Digital Arts

3

DA 249

Storytelling in Digital Arts

3

DA 302

3D Computer Graphics II

3

DA 323

Color and Design: Principles and Practice

3

DA 496

Senior Thesis I: Concept Development

3

DA 497

Senior Thesis II: Pre–Production and Production I

3

DA 498

Senior Thesis III: Production II and Post–Production

3

area of study requirements (18 credits)

Students must complete all the requirements within one of the following areas of study

18

total credits

 

57

Program Learning Outcomes and Educational Effectiveness Evaluation Plans for B.F.A. in Digital Arts.

animation area of study (18 credits)

DA 256

Beginning Character Animation

3

DA 356

Intermediate Character Animation

3

DA 385

Character Design

3

DA 402

3D Computer Graphics III

3

DA 456

Advanced Character Animation

3

 

elective

3

visual effects area of study (18 credits)

DA 242

2D Computer Graphics

3

DA 369

Elements of Visual Effects I

3

DA 379

Elements of Visual Effects II

3

DA 392

Advanced Pre–visualizations for Motion Pictures

3

DA 402

3D Computer Graphics III

3

DA 469

Visual Effects Production

3

design area of study (18 credits)

DA 242

2D Computer Graphics

3

DA 339

Digital Illustration

3

DA 355

Production Design for Animation and Visual Effects

3

DA 360

Art Direction for Digital Arts

3

DA 385

Character Design

3

 

elective

3

electives

ART 132

Visualization–Perspective and Rendering

3

FP 133

Audio Techniques

3

FP 201

Actor–Director Workshop

3

CPSC 230

Computer Science I

3

FP 237

Cinematography I

3

CPSC 242

Introduction to the Game Industry

3

FP 333

Audio Design

3

ART 336

Illustration

3

FP 336

Production Design I

3

CPSC 340

Game Development

3

SW 387

Short Script Workshop

3

FP 481

Set Decoration

3

FP 486

Costume Design

3

+ - Careers in Digital Arts

Our wide range of state-of-the-art tools will help you prepare for career paths such as:

  • director
  • animator
  • modeler
  • lighter
  • compositor
  • rigger
  • editor
  • texture painter
  • visual effects supervisor
  • production designer

+ - Faculty

For a complete list of Dodge College faculty, view our faculty directory.

Leslie Bernstein

Fred Cline

Ruth Daly

Colin Koestler

Judy Kriger

Bill Kroyer, Program Director

Sue Kroyer

Adam Rote

Jim Schlenker

Joe Weatherly

+ - Program FAQs

If you know what you’re doing, your time at Chapman will be incredibly rewarding. Here are some tips on software and technology, studying abroad, graduation and more, to help things go more smoothly.

»Digital Arts Program FAQs
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Your film on the Silver Screen

Our Digital Arts projects have played prestigious film festivals like Austin Film Festival, BendFilm Festival, Cinequest Film Festival, Cleveland International Film Festival, LA Shorts Film Fest, Melbourne International Animation Festival, Nashville Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival, Rhode Island International Film Festival, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and hundreds more. 

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Have you seen where you'll be working?

The Digital Media Arts Center provides students with access to the very latest technology so that you are well-prepared to work as professionals on Hollywood’s most technically sophisticated projects.

Learn more

Did you know our animated films are award winning?

Daniel Drummond ’14 took home a Gold Medal from the 2015 Student Academy Awards, the most prestigious student film awards in the world. Read more...