Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Art and Animation


Program Description

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Art and Animation is a four-year program designed to prepare students to create artwork at the professional level. Rather than simply teaching students how to use current tools and software, the BFA. in Digital Art and Animation program emphasizes the development of foundational skills that remain relevant and useful regardless of the technology or medium. Students who successfully complete this program will have the skills to produce powerful, affecting imagery in a professional studio environment.

As the animation and video game industries mature, there is a noticeable shift by companies to hire employees who demonstrate more than a working knowledge of a specific commercial software package or traditional artistic skills. Industry-quality standards continue to rise, and competition for entry-level positions demands that artists possess sophisticated skill sets before they can even begin their careers. Studios seek artists with a broad and integrated foundation of theoretical, practical, and technical skills in production animation, traditional art, modern computer software, and media story flow. Insight and long-term potential have become increasingly important. The studios also demand professional accountability and consistency.

Digital art and animation remain viable career opportunities for graduates possessing these abilities. The animation is capable of solving informational, educational, and entertainment problems no other discipline can resolve. It provides a cornerstone for many industries including cinema, broadcast entertainment, cable television, software development, the Internet, education, simulation, product design, research, forensic science, architecture, telecommunications, advertising, travel and tourism, and video games. The fact that these industries depend upon qualified candidates accentuates the need for quality digital art and animation education.

The broad scope of these demands presents a series of significant academic challenges. Most art students enter collegiate training with little or no substantial background knowledge relative to this field. Many secondary schools have been forced to cut back on the level of arts training that they are able to provide. Consequently, aspiring artists must acquire this foundation while they are also trying to establish their professional focus. The complexity of the individual components of this field demands highly structured curricula and programmed sequencing simply to enable most students to be successful. Some students are capable of the rapid assimilation of the integrated knowledge the studios now require, but most are better served by a deeper and more sequential approach to the material. DigiPen’s BFA in Digital Art and Animation seeks to address these needs. Examples of student projects can be found in the DigiPen’s Digital Gallery. Students who successfully complete this curriculum will possess the following skills and appropriate samples of professional work:

  • A broad foundation of production experiences in both 2D and 3D art and animation. This base allows students to gain an overview of the profession and provides long-term adaptability.
  • An area of production emphasis and focus. This enables students to target a specific sector of the industry upon graduation. Each student will produce a portfolio to support this focus.
  • Strong foundational skills in storytelling. This includes visual storytelling, literary traditions, story through dialog, story through acting, and cinematic conventions.
  • Strong foundational skills in applied technology using industry-standard hardware and software. Students will be thoroughly familiar with modern interface and workflow conventions. They will also understand how to learn new software while maintaining a production schedule.
  • A solid foundation in professional work habits and attitude. Students will understand how to utilize and integrate professional criticism into their work. Additionally, they will be able to identify and create work that meets professional quality standards. They will also understand production flow and be able to generate and maintain appropriate schedules and production goals for their work.
  • Social perspective and civic accountability relative to the roles that animation plays in society. Students will explore the long-term ramifications of this industry and be able to intelligently discuss their responsibilities to the betterment of the animation industry and society as a whole.

This degree prepares a graduating student for a career in digital art and digital 3D animation, digital 2D animation, and a video game or animation pre-production. Some of the careers for which graduates of the BFA in Digital Art and Animation are trained to include Props and Environment Modelers, Texture Artists, Level Designers, Character Modelers, Character Riggers, Character Animators, 3D Lighting and Camera Design, Effects Animator, Conceptual Illustration and Character Design, and Storyboard Artists.

Last updated Jan 2019

About the School

As the world’s first college to offer a bachelor’s degree program dedicated to game development, DigiPen Institute of Technology has long been the top choice for students pursuing a career in the digi ... Read More

As the world’s first college to offer a bachelor’s degree program dedicated to game development, DigiPen Institute of Technology has long been the top choice for students pursuing a career in the digital interactive media industries. Read less