School of Media, Culture & Design

Animation

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)

Animation is the art of telling stories using the techniques of hand-drawn animation, stop motion and computer graphics. While earning your degree, you will develop characters and worlds as you produce your own films. Our mission is to help you discover your personal creative voice as you prepare for a professional career in animation.

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Become a Visual Storyteller

Why Woodbury Animation?

Ranked in the top 20 animation schools on the West Coast (Animation Career Review) and one of the top 25 schools studios should hire from (Animation Magazine). Our animation classes are taught in a studio environment. You will learn hand-drawn, computer, and stop motion animation techniques to prepare you for today’s animation profession.

We are located in Burbank, California, within 20 minutes from more than 15 major animation studios where you may intern. Our teachers are industry professionals who work in the local animation industry. You will work one-on-one with instructors in our small studio classes.

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Internships & Careers

Internship Opportunities:

  • Cartoon Network
  • Nickelodeon
  • DreamWorks
  • Warner Bros.
  • Chiodo Bros.
  • Bix Pix Entertainment
  • Acme Filmworks
  • Walt Disney Imagineering
  • Walt Disney Animation
  • Titmouse Studios
  • Hasbro Studios
  • Stoopid Buddy Stoodios

Internships are a required component of the BFA degree in Animation.

Career Opportunities:

  • TV and cable animated series
  • Animation series for streaming providers such as Netflix and Amazon
  • Feature animated films
  • Game cinematics
  • Animated commercials
  • Web animation for websites and online channels such as Frederator
  • Merchandising products based on animated shows
  • Visual effects for live-action films and television
  • Environmental animation for parks and themed environments
  • Animated educational content for tablet and mobile platforms
  • And more—animation is everywhere

“The strength of this program comes from the people teaching the classes. They are able to connect with students and help us produce good work.”


— Animation Student

“My instructor in Storytelling helped me get a strong grasp of design and character. His encouragement gave me the confidence to work harder.”


— Animation Student

“Thank you for making my graduation day possible. Whether it was small or large, you took the time to help me become a better version of myself and that means a lot to me.”


— Angela Walker, Alumna

“Thank you for all of the opportunities you have given me, for putting so much trust in me, and for believing in me. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I hadn’t come to Woodbury. ”


— Christian Alvarez, Alumnus

“I have really enjoyed all of my classes this semester and my instructors are all awesome! Thank you for providing opportunities to expose us to events in the animation community.”


— Justin Lopez, Alumnus

Kin

Created by: Lacie Barker

Music By: Lynne Publishing

Facilities

Animation studio courses are held in computer labs and dedicated studios. Labs include Macs, PCs and Cintiq drawing tablets. Freshman and sophomores share a studio. Juniors and seniors each have a personal workspace in locked studios with traditional and digital equipment. Our stop-motion studio has two shooting stages.

Courses

The animation program is a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree designed to prepare graduates for a career in animation. Students learn the visual and cinematic language through the production of personal projects.

FOUN 101 Beginning Drawing
This is a fundamental course in freehand drawing. Various media and methods are introduced to develop perceptual and technical drawing skills. Emphasis is on line, shape, tone, spatial relationships, perspective, scale, and composition. Studio. 3 units. Prerequisite: none.

FOUN 102 Design & Composition
This course introduces students to the elements and principles of design and the creative process of identifying and solving design problems. Formal visual properties of line, shape, form, pattern, value, texture, and sequence are studied in their relationship to composition and organizational systems and unifying principles including balance, repetition, rhythm, transformation, proportion and scale. Emphasis is placed on gaining theoretical, and practical problem-solving skills, developing creative design concepts and communicating project solutions visually and verbally. Important historical movements in art and design that have influenced contemporary design practices are presented as an integral component of creative design so that students may relate their individual design efforts to a larger cultural context. Studio. 3 units. Prerequisite: none.

FOUN 103 Color Theory and Interaction
This course investigates the principles, properties and interactions of color as well as the cultural and psychological implications of color across disciplines. A variety of media and sources are introduced through weekly exercises. Students will develop a working knowledge of additive and subtractive color systems, color mixing, and approaches to color harmony as well as an understanding of practical issues such as color matching, correction, and forecasting. Design thinking as it applies to visual communication is also considered in this course as an agent for mindfulness and engagement. Studio. 3 units. Prerequisite: none.

FOUN 104 Drawing Concepts & Composition
This course builds on the direct observational drawing skills gained in FOUN 101 Beginning Drawing. Color media and a variety of subjects including life models and exterior environments are explored through in-class projects and outside sketchbook practice. Emphases are placed on developing individual expressive sketch techniques, bringing a point of view to the drawing experience, and realizing the visionary opportunities for drawing in the innovative practice of art and design processes. The work of professional artists and designers is studied to provide additional context for this investigation. Studio. 3 units. Prerequisite: FOUN 101 Beginning Drawing. (FOUN 105 Introduction to Figure Drawing may be exchanged with FOUN 104 as a FOUN requirement except in the case of Animation majors who are required to take FOUN 104) units

ANIM 100 Animation Principles

This is 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. 3 units
Portfolio Project: Students’ final class project and animation test is delivered on a DVD. Supporting art and written material may be included.

ANIM 203 Sophomore Studio I: Animation
This is a studio course building on ANIM 100, Animation Principles. Students develop skills in character animation. Emphasis is on the basic principles of character development, performance and animation techniques. Student will assemble their projects into a finished pencil test animation reel. Studio. 3 units. Prerequisites: ANIM 100, Animation Principles.

ANIM 204 Sophomore Studio II: Layout
This is 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. 3 units. Prerequisites: FOUN 101, Beginning Drawing; ANIM 203, Sophomore Studio I; and FOUN 104, Drawing Concepts and Composition.
Portfolio Project: Students will create 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
This is a studio course in storyboarding for animation. Emphasis is on visual storytelling, story structure, character development, cinematic language, and drawing techniques used in storyboarding. Studio. 3 units. Prerequisites: ANIM 100, Animation Principles.

ANIM 305 Junior Studio I
This is 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. 3 units. Prerequisite: ANIM 204, Sophomore Studio II Layout; ANIM 289, Progress Portfolio. Students must have a laptop in order to enroll in this class.
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
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 is 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. 3 units. 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
This advanced studio course consolidates all animation methodologies. Emphasis is on concept design and preproduction processes for the Senior Thesis Project. Students will develop presentation storyboards, process books, concept design and animatics. Studio. 4 units. Prerequisite: ANIM 306, Junior Studio II.
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 495 Senior Studio II
This advanced studio course covers all aspects of animation production. The course is a continuation of Senior Studio I. Emphasis is on production of the Senior Thesis Project and preparation for national or international animation festivals. Studio. 4 units. Prerequisite: ANIM 485, Senior Studio I and permission of the instructor.
Portfolio Project: Students will create 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.

ANIM 112 Portfolio Review Workshop
This is a lecture course in the preparation of academic portfolios to support students in preparing for Progress Portfolio Review. Lecture. 1 unit. Prerequisite: None.

ANIM 210 Design Symposia
Students will attend lectures, exhibitions or events exploring variety of topics in design. Both on- and off-campus events are encouraged. Lecture. 1 unit. 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
This lecture course focuses 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. 3 units. Prerequisite: None.
Portfolio Project: A final paper for the course will be included in printed form.

ANIM 495 Animation Portfolio
The focus of this course is 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. 3 units. Prerequisite: ANIM 306, Junior Studio II.

ANIM 102 Beginning Figure Drawing
This is a beginning course in life drawing. Expressive and technical studies in various media emphasizing gesture, structure and anatomy. Studio. 3 units. Prerequisite: FOUN 101, Beginning Drawing.

ANIM 221 Animation Drawing
This course focuses on the examination and exploration of the figure, both nude and clothed, as a reference for creating animation characters, sequential studies and caricature. Studio. 3 units. Prerequisite: ANIM 203, Sophomore Studio I Animation; ANIM 102, Beginning Figure Drawing; or FOUN 105, Intro to 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 will be presented in portfolio form. Research, supporting sketches and written statements may be included.

ANIM 330 Animal Drawing
This is an intermediate studio course in sketching and drawing animals. Students will participate in an 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. 3 units. Prerequisite: ANIM 221, Animation Drawing; ANIM 102, Beginning Figure Drawing; FOUN 105, Intro to Figure Drawing.

ANIM 340 Visual Development
Students examine and explore composition, lighting, color, style, character design and various painting techniques as components of animation development and visual storytelling. Emphasis is placed on techniques used by professional development artists and illustrators in the animation industry. Studio. 3 units. Prerequisite: ANIM 221, Animation Drawing; ANIM 204, Sophomore Studio II Layout.

ANIM 161 Introduction to Digital Media
This studio course introduces students to the fundamental computer applications and processes used for digital media production. Emphasis on software programs dealing with imaging, drawing and painting, editing, compositing, motion graphics, raster and vector artwork. Studio. 3 units. Prerequisite: None.
Portfolio Project: Students will create 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
This course will focus on instruction in the fundamental principles of animation as applied to three-dimensional 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. Studio. 3 units. Prerequisite: ANIM 161, Intro to Digital Media.
Portfolio Project: Students will create 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
This is 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. 3 units. Prerequisite: ANIM 262, Introduction to 3D Computer Animation.
Portfolio Project: The portfolio project of this course will consist of 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.
This is an advanced studio course in three-dimensional computer animation. Emphasis is on advanced animation techniques, staging, lighting, texturing and rendering. Students will create an animated sequence and produce it from start to finish. Studio. 3 units. Prerequisite: ANIM 361, 3D Computer Animation I.
Portfolio Project: The portfolio project of this course will consist of 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
This is a course focusing on 2D software currently in use for production of television and short form animation. Emphasis is on applying the basic principles of animation production in a two-dimensional CG environment. Students will create a short project to complete in the 2D software. Studio. 3 units. Prerequisite: ANIM 161, Introduction to Digital Media or consent of the instructor.
Portfolio Project: The portfolio project of this course will consist of 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
ANIM 364 is an advance course in the principles of two-dimensional compositing. Emphasis is 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. 3 units. Prerequisite: ANIM 161, Introduction to Digital Media
Portfolio Project: The portfolio project of this course will consist of 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.

ANIM 263 Introduction to Stop Motion
This studio course is an introduction to the fundamentals of stop motion and experimental animation. Students experiment with lighting, staging and camera placement while animating three-dimensional materials shot with a digital camera in real three-dimensional space. The student will learn specialized animation software, specifically designed to shoot stop motion animation. For final review, students are required to submit four finished projects in QuickTime format on a DVD. Studio. 3 units. Prerequisite: None
Portfolio Project: Students will create a DVD presentation of all animation projects created in the course. Written material, concept sketches and other material may be included.

ANIM 366 Puppet Building for Stop Motion
This studio course is an in-depth investigation into the art and animation of stop motion and experimental animation. The student will develop, design and shoot a stop motion short animated project from their ideas. Students are allowed to take this course to develop puppets, props and stages for their capstone senior films. For final review, students are required to submit a finished project in QuickTime format on a DVD or document the development of their assets on a disc. Course enrollment is limited based on stage space and equipment. Studio. 3 units. Prerequisite: ANIM 263, Introduction to Stop Motion.

ANIM 223 The Costumed Figure
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. Studio. 3 units.
Prerequisites: FOUN 100, Beginning Drawing and ANIM 102, Beginning Figure Drawing.
Portfolio Project: A selection of ten pieces from varying projects representing the student’s best work will be presented in portfolio form. Written material and supporting sketches may be included.

ANIM 231 Painting: Traditional and Digital Explorations
This course is 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. 3 units. Prerequisites: FOUN 103, Design and Color Elements or permission of instructor.
Portfolio Project: Students will create a minimum of six finished paintings, three traditional and three digital, in portfolio format. Supporting sketches and written material may be included.

ANIM 245 Iconic Films: Essentials for Animators
Even though animation is created one image at a time, it is still considered cinema, and as such the audience expects future animated films to be ever more cinematic in content. This course is intended to be an overview of the great films and filmmakers of the last century and how they influenced the art of cinema as we know it. Material will be through lectures and screenings of films, supplemented by suggested reading. Lecture. 3 units. Prerequisites: WRIT 111, Academic Writing I.

ANIM 316 Intermediate Animation
This is an intermediate class focused on traditional animation building on the skills introduced in Sophomore Studio II. Emphasis is on character construction and drawing, expressions and posing, sequential storytelling, scene planning, secondary animation and dialogue. Studio. 3 units. Prerequisite: ANIM 203, Sophomore Studio I: Animation.
Portfolio Project: A DVD presentation of all animation tests will be presented as a pencil test reel. Written material, supporting sketches, designs and research may be included.

ANIM 335 Experimental Figure Drawing
This course is an advanced studio course in figure drawing in various dry media. Emphasis is on non-traditional visual sense of figure through the use of interpretive distortion and discovery through juxtaposition of materials. Students will draw from the model with full figure, drapery, costume and props. Students will also further develop a personal style through experimentation with materials and compositional ideas. Studio. 3 units. Prerequisite: ANIM 102, Beginning Figure Drawing.
Portfolio Project: A selection of ten pieces from varying projects representing the student’s best work will be presented in portfolio form. Written material and supporting sketches may be included.

ANIM 405 Background Painting
This 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. 3 units. Prerequisite: ANIM 204, Sophomore Studio 2 and ANIM 340, Visual Development or consent of instructor.
Portfolio Project: The portfolio project consists of 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
This is a course an advanced course in life drawing and the study of the human figure using a variety of traditional and experimental media. Emphasis is on the development of figure art for use in professional portfolios. Studio. 3 units. Prerequisite: ANIM 102 Beginning Figure Drawing.
Portfolio Project: A selection of ten pieces from varying projects representing the student’s best work will be presented in portfolio form. Written material and supporting sketches may be included.

ANIM 416 Character Animation Workshop
This is an advanced studio workshop focusing on character animation within the production environments of junior and senior studios. Emphasis is on setting up a scene, including character layout, posing, timing, dialogue, performance, and placing the scene within the continuity of the story. Studio. 3 units. Prerequisite: ANIM 203, Sophomore Studio II Animation.
Portfolio Project: A DVD presentation of all animation tests will be presented as a pencil test reel. Written material, supporting sketches, designs and research may be included.

ANIM 420 Effects Animation
This course is an introduction to the principles of effects animation in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional 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. 3 units. Prerequisite: ANIM 261, Introduction to 2D Computer Animation and ANIM 262, Introduction to 3D Computer Animation or consent of instructor.

ANIM 170, 270, 370, 470 Topics in Animation
These courses provide 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 299, 399, 499 Independent Studies
This course is an individual studio investigation of special interest chosen by the student. Regular, periodic meetings with assigned faculty member are required. Students must have 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. 1- 4 units. 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.

Requirements

Open link below and follow instructions.

Animation Portfolio Requirements

Hardware: You are required to have a MacBook Pro or comparable PC computer at the beginning of the junior year. If you purchase a computer for your freshman year, it should meet the department standards. Please email (dori.littell-herrick@woodbury.edu) the chair for the latest specifications.

Software: Minimum requirement is Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite. Additional software requirements will depend on the student’s choice of projects.

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University accredited by:

NASAD: National Association of Schools of Arts & Design
WSCUC: Senior College and University Commission (formerly WASC)