Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Animation & Visual Effects

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

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, 2D animation and stop motion, and storyboarding.

Course Description

Semester 1

  • ANM 101: Introduction to Computer Graphics for Animation
    Core / 3 Units
  • ANM 108: Cinematics for Animation & VFX
    Major / 3 Units
  • ANM 180: Introduction to Animation Principles & Techniques
    Core / 3 Units
  • FND 113: Sketching for Communication
    Core / 3 Units

Semester 2

  • ANM 105: Computer Animation Production
    Core / 3 Units
  • ANM 203: Preproduction Principles
    Core / 3 Units
  • ANM 206: Producing for Animation & Visual Effects 1
    Major / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
  • FND 112: Figure Drawing
    Core / 3 Units
  • LA 108: Composition for the Artist
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
  • LA 132: History of Animation
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units

Semester 3

  • ANM 190: Traditional Animation 1
    Major / 3 Units
  • ANM 202: 3D Modeling and Animation 1 (Maya)
    Major / 3 Units
  • FA 213: Introduction to Anatomy
    Core / 3 Units
  • FND 122: Color Fundamentals
    Core / 3 Units
  • LA 291: Designing Careers
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units

Semester 4

  • ANM 205: Careers in Animation & VFX
    Core / 3 Units
  • ANM 221: 3D Character Animation 1
    Major / 3 Units
  • FND 116: Perspective
    Core / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
  • ILL 120: Clothed Figure Drawing 1
    Core / 3 Units
  • LA 120: Art History Through the 15th Century
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units
  • LA 121: Art History Through the 19th Century
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
  • LA 202: English Composition: Creative Persuasion & Argument
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units

Semester 5

  • ANM 222: Introduction to Rigging
    Major / 3 Units
  • ANM 303: Previs & Postvis
    Major / 3 Units
  • FA 222: Expressive Heads & Hands
    Major / 3 Units
  • LA 110: Writing the Short Story
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units
  • LA 462: Power of Myth and Symbol
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units

Semester 6

  • ANM 251: Fundamentals of Texturing & Lighting
    Major / 3 Units
  • ANM 321: 3D Character Animation 2
    Major / 3 Units
  • ANM 498: Collaborative Project
    Elective / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
  • LA 124: Physics for Artists: Light, Sound, and Motion
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units
  • LA 134: History & Technology of Visual Effects & Computer Animation
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
  • LA 359: Urban Sociology
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units

Semester 7

  • ANM 270: Storyboarding 1: Camera Language & Animatics
    Major / 3 Units
  • ANM 324: Lip Sync & Facial Performances
    Major / 3 Units
  • ANM 421: 3D Character Animation 3
    Major / 3 Units
  • LA 195: History of Comics: American Comics
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units
  • LA 285: Physical Theatre
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units

Semester 8

  • ANM 405: Senior Portfolio for Animation & VFX
    Core / 3 Units
  • ANM 462: Character Animation Studio
    Major / 3 Units
  • ANM 498: Collaborative Project
    Elective / 3 Units
  • ANM 500: Internship in Animation
    Elective / 3 Units /Recommended for summer
  • LA 131: History of Gaming
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
  • LA 157: The Genius of Appeal
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units

Unit Requirements

Degree Requirements

BFA Animation & Visual Effects Degree Requirements

  • Minimum grade of C- in all core courses, major courses, and LA 107 Writing for the Multilingual Artist or 108 Composition for the Artist
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA and the following general education requirements:
    • 1 Written Communication: Composition
    • 1 Written Communication: Critical Thinking
    • 1 Written Communication: Context & Style
    • 2 Art Historical Awareness: Western Art
    • 2 Art Historical Awareness: Surveys
    • 1 Historical Awareness
    • 1 Quantitative Literacy
    • 1 Cultural Ideas & Influences
    • 1 Employment Communications & Practices

Academy of Art University / Academy of Art University

Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Visual Communication and Problem Solving

  • 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
  • Create digital elements/effects appropriate to assignment parameters
  • Demonstrate an understanding of cinematic continuity through sequential imagery
  • Demonstrate proficient drawing and/or modeling skills: composition, perspective, proportion, and anatomy
  • Successfully convey motion and interaction of character and/or object kinesis

Technical Skills

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

Professional Readiness

  • Assemble a professional digital or portfolio demonstrating an understanding of the target market
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the production pipeline through successful participation in the collaborative / pipeline process

Specialty Skills: Storyboarding

  • Create and pitch stories and concepts through the use of sequential imagery
  • Demonstrate an understanding of cinematic continuity by creating sequential imagery that supports narrative, character, and/or mood
  • Demonstrate proficient drawing skills: composition, perspective, proportion, and anatomy

Specialty Skills: 2D Animation

  • Apply the principles of animation to effectively communicate character action, emotion, and mood
  • Convey motion (biped and quadruped) and the interaction of moving objects
  • Demonstrate proficient drawing skills: composition, perspective, proportion, and anatomy
  • Demonstrate facility and flexibility with both relevant character and asset creation tools

Specialty Skills: Modeling

  • Model with appropriate use of form, proportion, and anatomy
  • Create and apply texture and lighting consistent with the overall look of the project

Specialty Skills: 3D Animation

  • Apply the principles of animation to effectively communicate character action, emotion, and mood
  • Convey motion (biped and quadruped) and interaction of moving objects

Specialty Skills: Visual Effects Compositing

  • Design and generate digital elements and effects that meet the needs of the imagery
  • Combine digital effects and elements from diverse sources to create a fine degree of visual believability and consistency

Specialty Skills: VFX Producing

  • Exhibit an understanding of how VFX pipeline skills and tools support animation by clearly and effectively presenting project management work samples

Specialty Skills: Rigging

  • Create efficient and effective integration of rigs into original or collaborative projects

Specialty Skills: Stop Motion Animation & Fabrication

  • Apply the principles of animation to effectively communicate character action, emotion, and mood
  • Convey motion (biped and quadruped) and interaction of moving objects

Specialty Skills: Dynamics

  • Apply appropriate integration dynamics into professional-quality shots or sequences

Specialty Skills: Texture & Lighting

  • Create and apply texture and lighting consistent with the overall look of the project
  • Apply appropriate integration of lighting and texturing skills into professional-quality shots or sequences

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.
Last updated Apr 2020

About the School

For nearly 90 years, artists and designers have called Academy of Art University their home. Founded in San Francisco and family owned since 1929, it is the largest private art and design university i ... Read More

For nearly 90 years, artists and designers have called Academy of Art University their home. Founded in San Francisco and family owned since 1929, it is the largest private art and design university in the nation. Read less
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