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Curriculum

The Animation program is a professional degree with a curriculum designed to prepare graduates through a solid understanding and mastery of the expertise required to enter professional practice. It provides students with a thorough comprehension of the design process through critical and creative thinking, theoretical and historical study, along with conceptual and experimental exploration.



Foundation

FOUN 101 Beginning Drawing
FOUN 102 Design and Color Elements 1
FOUN 103 Design and Color Elements 2
FOUN 104 Drawing & Composition
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Foundation

FOUN 101 Beginning Drawing 3 Units

A fundamental course in freehand drawing. Various media and methods are introduced to develop perceptual and technical drawing skills. Emphasis is on line, tone, spatial values and relationships, perspective, scale, and composition. Studio.

FOUN 102 Design and Color Elements 1 3 Units

A practical and theoretical study of the formal elements and principles of design. Formal and relational properties of line, shape, form, value, and texture are studied. Studio exercises using various media explore concepts of balance, harmony, repetition, rhythm, scale, proportion, time and motion in 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional organizations. Studio.

FOUN 103 Design and Color Elements 2 3 Units

An introduction to the history, perception and application of color. Properties and effects of color relationships are studied with an emphasis on color selection and use, color psychology and the effects of color in space and light conditions. Studio.

FOUN 104 Drawing & Composition 3 Units

Builds on the basic skills and knowledge gained in FOUN 101 Beginning Drawing. Two and three-dimensional representations of objects and space are explored for their spatial context and expressive form. Emphasis is on developing individual concepts, sketch techniques and compositional methods that can effectively process, and communicate visual ideas. Traditional media of pencil, ink, and charcoal are expanded to include marker pens and water-based media adaptable to sketch techniques and alternate surfaces to work on. The work of professional artists and designers is studied in order to appreciate the potential of sketch techniques and drawing skills in art and design processes. Studio.

Core Animation Studios

ANIM 100 Animation Principles
ANIM 203 Sophomore Studio I: Animation
ANIM 204 Sophomore Studio II: Layout
ANIM 211 Storyboarding
ANIM 305 Junior Studio I
ANIM 306 Junior Studio II
ANIM 485 Senior Studio I
ANIM 486 Senior Studio II
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Core Animation Studios

ANIM 100 Animation Principles 3 Units

An introductory studio course in the fundamental principles of animation. Through lecture, demonstration and in-class exercises, the students will study the basic theory and mechanics of the discipline.  Students will develop both drawing and observational skills through the creation of simple animations using principles such as squash and stretch, overlap and follow through.  Emphasis on the fundamentals of character design, storyboarding, and layout will be studied through the creation of a short animation project. Studio. Prerequisite: None.

Portfolio Project: Final class project and animation test delivered on a DVD. Supporting art and written material may be included.

ANIM 203 Sophomore Studio I: Animation 3 Units

A studio course building on ANIM 100 Animation Principles, developing skills in character animation. Emphasis on the basic principles of character development, performance and animation techniques. Student will assemble their projects into a finished pencil test animation reel. Prerequisites: ANIM 100 Animation Principles. Student pass Freshman Progress Portfolio review.

Portfolio Project: A DVD presentation of the pencil test animation reel including all major projects. Any written material for the course will be included in the portfolio.

ANIM 204 Sophomore Studio II: Layout 3 Units

A studio course in the fundamentals of animation layout and pictorial composition as staged environments for animated characters.  Topics will include perspective, lighting and tone, issues of style, architectural elements, natural elements, and props as visual storytelling devices. The artist’s statement for the sophomore year Progress Portfolio will be completed in this class. Studio. Prerequisites: FOUN 101, Beginning Drawing, ANIM 203, Sophomore Studio I, and FOUN 102, Design and Color Elements I.

Portfolio Project: A presentation in portfolio form of assignments such as background design, scene layout and workbook example. All research, preliminary work, written treatment of story and artist’s statement will be included as part of the portfolio.

ANIM 211 Storyboarding 3 Units

A studio course in storyboarding for animation. Emphasis on visual storytelling, story structure, character development, cinematic language, and drawing techniques used in storyboarding. Studio. Prerequisites: ANIM 100, Animation Principles or consent of instructor.

Portfolio Project: Three animation storyboards presented in a portfolio or DVD. All supporting writing and art related to the boards may be included.

ANIM 305 Junior Studio I 3 Units

An intermediate studio course in project development focusing on the execution of story into film or interactive projects. Students will form in groups of four to six to create a project proposal, which will be completed in Junior Studio II. Topics will include dramatic structure, theme, continuity, visual language, and presentation skills. Project proposals will include a treatment, storyboard, concept art, character design, short animatic, and production schedule showing how the project will be completed. Studio. Prerequisite: ANIM 206 Sophomore Studio II. Student pass Sophomore Progress Portfolio review.

Portfolio Project:  Each student will compile a portfolio or DVD of his or her contribution to the animated project. The full animatic may be included at the end of the DVD for context. All material will be clearly labeled explaining what part of a scene the student did. Supporting sketch and concept art, and written material should be included in process book or portfolio format.

ANIM 306 Junior Studio II 3 Units

This is an advanced studio course integrating all aspects of professional animated production. Students will work in their established teams in the production of the animated project developed in Junior Studio I. Emphasis on the elements of visual storytelling, animation, sound, editing and compositing. The artist’s statement and a proposal for Senior Studio will be completed in this class. Studio. Prerequisite: ANIM 305 Junior Studio I.

Portfolio Project:  Each student will assemble a properly documented clip reel of his or her contribution to the animated project on a DVD. The full project may also be included at the end of the DVD for context. Supporting sketches, art, and written material should be included in a process book or portfolio format.

ANIM 485 Senior Studio I 3 Units

An advanced studio course that consolidates all animation methodologies. Emphasis on concept design and preproduction processes for the senior thesis project. Students will develop presentation storyboards, process books, concept design and animatics. Studio. Prerequisite:  ANIM 306 Junior Studio II. Student pass Junior Progress Portfolio review.

Portfolio Project:  Student will create a production bible that will be maintained through the completion of the thesis project. Concept art, storyboards, character design and research material will be included. The final animatic will be submitted as a DVD.

ANIM 486 Senior Studio II 3 Units

An advanced studio course covering all aspects of animation production. A continuation of Senior Studio I. Emphasis on production of the senior thesis project and preparation for national or international animation festivals. Studio. Prerequisite: ANIM 485 Senior Studio I.

Portfolio Project:  A completed poster for the final project and the production bible for the project will be submitted. The final project will be submitted as a DVD in an appropriate professional case.

Stop Motion Studio

ANIM 365 Stop Motion/Experimental Animation
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Stop Motion Studio

ANIM 365 Stop Motion/Experimental Animation 4 Units

This studio course is an introduction to the fundamentals of stop-motion and experimental animation. Students will experiment animating with materials shot in front of a camera in a real three dimensional space.

Portfolio Project:  A DVD of three or more projects, including the final project, showing the range of skills the student gained during the course. Supporting written and sketch material may be included on the DVD as a slide show or presented in a portfolio format.

History/Professional Practices

ANIM 112 Portfolio Review Workshop
ANIM 210 Design Symposia
ANIM 240 History of Animation
ANIM 495 Animation Portfolio
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History/Professional Practices

ANIM 112 Portfolio Review Workshop 1 Units

A lecture course in the preparation of academic portfolios to support students in preparing for Progress Portfolio Review. Lecture. Prerequisite: None.

ANIM 210 Design Symposia 1 Units

Students will attend lectures, exhibitions or events exploring variety of topics in design. Both on and off campus events are encouraged. Lecture. Prerequisite: None.

Portfolio Project:  Student will submit a journal including collected materials, writing and sketching related to the events attended.

ANIM 240 History of Animation 3 Units

A lecture course focusing on the historical, theoretical, aesthetic and technical developments that have shaped the medium since its beginnings. Lectures include screenings of animated works, stages of production and a general overview of animation process. Lecture. Prerequisite: None.

Portfolio Project: Final paper for the course will be included in printed form.

ANIM 495 Animation Portfolio 3 Units

Instruction in the preparation and presentation of the animation resume, portfolio and reel. Lecture topics include professional practice, studio structure, career strategies, and business practices relating to animation. Studio. Prerequisite: ANIM 306 Junior Studio II.
Portfolio Project: All elements of the student’s projects from all classes will be reviewed and the appropriate work will be assembled into a professional portfolio and reel for job hunting. Resumes, cover letters, artist’s statements and other written material will be included. The student will provide a copy to be maintained in the Animation archive.

Traditional Animation/Art Studios

ANIM 102 Beginning Figure Drawing
ANIM 221 Animation Drawing
ANIM 330 Animal Drawing
ANIM 340 Visual Development
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Traditional Animation/Art Studios

ANIM 102 Beginning Figure Drawing 3 Units

A beginning course in life drawing. Expressive and technical studies in various media emphasizing gesture, structure and anatomy. Studio. Prerequisite: FOUN 101 Beginning Drawing.

Portfolio Project: A selection of ten pieces from varying projects representing the student’s best work presented in portfolio form. Written material and supporting sketches may be included.

ANIM 221 Animation Drawing 3 Units

Examination and exploration using the figure, both nude and clothed, as reference for creating animation characters, sequential studies and caricature. Studio. Prerequisite: ANIM 102 Beginning Figure Drawing.

Portfolio Project: A selection of ten observational studies from in-class figure work and a selection of varying projects representing the student’s best work presented in a portfolio form. Research, supporting sketches and written statements may be included.

ANIM 330 Animal Drawing 3 Units

An intermediate studio course in sketching and drawing animals. Onsite drawing of a wide variety of animals at the Los Angeles Zoo, as well as drawing sessions on campus utilizing both domestic and wild animals. Basics include gesture, rhythm, volumes, and proportion with an emphasis on quick study, character design, movement and comparative anatomy.. Studio. Prerequisite: ANIM 221 Animation Drawing.

Portfolio Project:  A selection of ten pieces from varying projects representing the student’s best work presented in a portfolio form. Written material and supporting sketches may be included.

ANIM 340 Visual Development 3 Units

Examination and exploration of composition, lighting, color, style, character design and various painting techniques as components of animation development and visual storytelling. Emphasis placed on techniques used by professional development artists and illustrators in the animation industry. Prerequisite: ANIM 221, Animation Drawing.

Portfolio Project: A selection of six pieces from varying projects representing the student’s best work presented in a portfolio form. Research, supporting sketches and written statements may be included.

Digital Animation Studios

ANIM 111 Digital Citizenship
ANIM 161 Introduction to 2D Computer Animation
ANIM 262 Introduction to 3D Computer Animation
ANIM 361 3D Computer Animation I
ANIM 362 3D Computer Animation II
ANIM 363 2D Computer Animation I
ANIM 364 2D Computer Animation II
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Digital Animation Studios

ANIM 111 Digital Citizenship 1 Units

A lecture class in the use of shared digital resources and digital protocol. Topics include knowledge of computer and networks; basic OSX, Windows and Linux; folder management, naming conventions and recognizing file types; using the internet and school networks effectively; proper use of email; printing basics, color profiles; troubleshooting techniques; using passwords and logins; and backup protocol. Emphasis on a professional approach to cooperative use of shared digital resources. Lecture. Prerequisites: None.

A grade in this course of C or better is a prerequisite to use of the Digital Resource Center Render Farm.

ANIM 161 Introduction to 2D Computer Animation 3 Units

An introductory studio course in the fundamental computer applications and processes used for 2D animation production. Emphasis on software programs dealing with imaging, drawing and painting, editing, compositing, motion graphics, raster and vector artwork. Studio. Prerequisite or Co-requisite: ANIM 111, Digital Citizenship.

Portfolio Project: A DVD presentation of all major projects. Supporting written material, storyboards, and concept sketches should accompany the DVD either as slide shows in the DVD or in portfolio format.

ANIM 262 Introduction to 3D Computer Animation 3 Units

Instruction in the fundamental principles of animation as applied to 3D digital animation. Emphasis on the basic processes of modeling, texturing, lighting and rendering. Students will create a series of simple animations, and model and light simple props using a 3D software. Prerequisite: ANIM 111 Digital Citizenship.

Portfolio Project: A DVD presentation of all major projects.  Supporting written material, storyboards, and concept sketches may accompany the DVD either as slide shows in the DVD or in portfolio format.

ANIM 361 3D Computer Animation I 3 Units

An intermediate studio course in 3D computer applications. Topics include modeling, rigging, and techniques of character animation using 3D computer software. Students will create projects using both character and camera animation, and explore lighting and texturing. Studio. Prerequisite: ANIM 262 Introduction to 3D Computer Animation.

Portfolio Project:  A DVD of three or more projects, including the final project, showing the range of skills the student gained during the course. Supporting written and sketch material may be included on the DVD as a slide show or presented in a portfolio format.

ANIM 362 3D Computer Animation II 3 Units

An advanced studio course in 3D computer animation. Emphasis on advanced animation techniques, staging, lighting, texturing and rendering. Students will create an animated sequence and produce it from start to finish. Studio. Prerequisite: ANIM 361 3D Computer Animation I.

Portfolio Project:  A DVD of the completed sequence including examples from all stages of production. Supporting storyboard, sketches, research and written material may be included as a slide show or presented in portfolio format.

ANIM 363 2D Computer Animation I 3 Units

A course focusing on 2D software currently in use for production of television and short form animation.  Emphasis on applying the basic principles of animation production in a 2D CG environment.  Students will create a short project to complete in the 2D software. Studio.  Prerequisite: ANIM 161 Introduction to 2D Computer animation or consent of the instructor.

Portfolio Project:  A DVD of the final project, showing the range of skills the student gained during the course.  Supporting written and sketch material may be included on the DVD as a slide show or presented in a portfolio format.

ANIM 364 2D Computer Animation II 3 Units

An advance course in the principles of 2D compositing. Emphasis on the use of post-production techniques to enhance the visual storytelling and problem solve in production situations. Topics include principles of editing and the visual language of cinema. Studio. Prerequisite: ANIM 161 Introduction to 2D Computer Animation.

Portfolio Project: A DVD of animation showing an understanding of compositing principles. At least one example of a complete scene broken down into the various layers should be included. All supporting process art and written material may be presented in portfolio format. All DVDs should be accompanied by a detailed shot list.

Open Electives

ANIM 170,
ANIM 270,
ANIM 370,
ANIM 470
Topics in Animation
ANIM 223 The Costumed Figure
ANIM 231 Painting: Traditional and Digital Explorations
ANIM 235 Introduction to Acting and Improvisation
ANIM 245 Iconic Films: Essentials for Animators
ANIM 299,
ANIM 399,
ANIM 499
Independent Study
ANIM 316 Intermediate Animation
ANIM 335 Experimental Figure Drawing
ANIM 405 Background Painting
ANIM 410 Advanced Figure Drawing
ANIM 416 Character Animation Workshop
ANIM 420 Effects Animation
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Open Electives

ANIM 170,
ANIM 270,
ANIM 370,
ANIM 470
Topics in Animation 3 Units

An in-depth study of topics of a specialized nature in the field of animation. Lecture, three hours a week. Studio, six hours a week. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Portfolio Project: To be determined by the instructor and Chair of Animation. All projects must include an art component and a written component.

ANIM 223 The Costumed Figure 3 Units

An intermediate studio emphasizing the figure with costumes and props. Investigation of both drawn and painted form using a variety of media. Topics include composition, color and lighting. May be repeated up to two times for credit. Prerequisites: FOUN 103 Design and Color Elements 1 and ANIM 102 Beginning Figure Drawing, or FDES 210 Fashion Sketching 2, or permission of instructor.

Portfolio Project:  A selection of ten pieces from varying projects representing the student’s best work presented in a portfolio form.  Written material and supporting sketches may be included.

ANIM 231 Painting: Traditional and Digital Explorations 3 Units

A beginning studio exploring painting techniques in both traditional and digital media. Watercolor, gouache and acrylic will be explored, as well as digital painting techniques that mimic traditional and more experimental techniques. Studio. Prerequisites: FOUN 103 Design and Color Elements or permission of instructor.

Portfolio Project:  A minimum of six finished paintings, three traditional and three digital, in a portfolio format. Supporting sketches and written material may be included.

ANIM 235 Introduction to Acting and Improvisation 3 Units

A course for anyone interested in exploring human behavior, and their own creativity, “through the lens of the actor.” Working both individually and in groups, students will explore the actor’s tools of observation, listening, physical expression and imagination, as well as the basics of improvisation and creating a character. Emphasis on acting for the screen and television: class sessions will be videotaped. Studio. Prerequisite: None.

Portfolio Project (for Animation students): A DVD presentation of the student’s best work recorded during the class sessions.

ANIM 245 Iconic Films: Essentials for Animators 3 Units

Iconic Films: Essentials for Animators

ANIM 299,
ANIM 399,
ANIM 499
Independent Study 1-4 Units

Individual studio investigation of special interest chosen by the student. Regular, periodic meetings with assigned faculty member are required. Consent and approval of the Department Chair. Thirty hours required for each unit of credit. No more than ten units of credit may be given for Independent Study courses toward the BFA degree. Prerequisite: Independent Study contract.

Portfolio Project: To be determined by the instructor and Chair of animation. All projects must include an art component and a written component.

ANIM 316 Intermediate Animation 3 Units

An intermediate class focused on traditional animation building on the skills introduced in Sophomore Studio II.  Emphasis on character construction and drawing, expressions and posing, sequential storytelling, scene planning, secondary animation and dialogue.  Studio. Prerequisite: ANIM 203 Sophomore Studio I: Animation.

Portfolio Project: A DVD presentation of all animation tests presented as a pencil test reel. Written material, supporting sketches, designs and research may be included.

ANIM 335 Experimental Figure Drawing 3 Units

Advanced studio course in figure drawing in various dry media.  Emphasis on non-traditional visual sense of figure through the use of interpretive distortion and discovery through juxtaposition of materials.  Drawing from the model with full figure, drapery, costume and props.  Further development of a personal style through experimentation with materials and compositional ideas.  Studio. Prerequisite: ANIM 102 Beginning Figure Drawing.

Portfolio Project: A selection of ten pieces from varying projects representing the student’s best work presented in a portfolio form. Written material and supporting sketches may be included.

ANIM 405 Background Painting 3 Units

An advanced studio course in background painting techniques, both traditional and digital. Emphasis is placed on staging and supporting the theme and narrative of the animated story through color, composition, perspective, tone and mood. Studio. Prerequisite: ANIM 204 Sophomore Studio 2 and ANIM 340 Visual Development or consent of instructor.

Portfolio Project: A selection of six pieces from varying projects representing the student’s best work presented in a portfolio form. Research, supporting sketches and written statements may be included.

ANIM 410 Advanced Figure Drawing 3 Units

An advanced course in life drawing and the study of the human figure using a variety of traditional and experimental media. Emphasis on the development of figure art for use in professional portfolios. Studio. Prerequisite: ANIM 102 Beginning Figure Drawing.

Portfolio Project:  A selection of ten pieces from varying projects representing the student’s best work presented in a portfolio form. Written material and supporting sketches may be included.

ANIM 416 Character Animation Workshop 3 Units

An advanced studio workshop focusing on character animation within the production environments of Junior and Senior Studios.  Emphasis on setting up a scene, including character layout, posing, timing, dialogue, performance, and placing the scene within the continuity of the story. Studio. Prerequisite: ANIM 206 Junior Studio II.

Portfolio Project: A DVD presentation of all animation tests presented as a pencil test reel. Written material, supporting sketches, designs and research may be included.

ANIM 420 Effects Animation 3 Units

An introduction to the principles of effects animation in both 2D and 3D projects, hand drawn and CG. Topics will include water, fire, smoke, shadows and other natural phenomena. Emphasis will be on the appropriate use of effects to support the story and art direction in an animated project. Studio. Prerequisite: ANIM 261 Introduction to 2D Computer Animation and ANIM 262 Introduction to 3D Computer Animation or consent of instructor.

Portfolio Project:  A DVD including six projects, three in 2D animation and three in 3D animation. Supporting sketches and written material will be assembled in a project book to be presented with the DVD.

Required for Graduation

120 hours of internship/work experience, paid or unpaid, in the animation field is required.


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Required for Graduation

Required

120 hours of internship/work experience, paid or unpaid, in the animation field is required.