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Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA): Computer Animation Degree Overview

Computer animation combines fine arts with digital techniques to create animation for film and video, games and the Internet. Earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Computer Animation can lead to careers in the digital media industry.

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Bachelor of Fine Arts in Computer Animation

Many BFA programs in computer animation combine knowledge in computer animation history and theory with skills in framing, compositing and visual effects. Students may have opportunities to apply fine arts aesthetics and skills, such as drawing, painting and sculpting, with digital design techniques to create a portfolio of work. Most programs offer students an array of software to learn on and use, allowing students to gain hands-on experience in the field. Along with individual projects, students may have the opportunity to collaborate with other individuals, emerging as programmers and artists.

Educational Prerequisites

Individuals interested in applying to computer animation programs are usually expected to submit transcripts or the GED equivalent. Some colleges also require the submission of SAT and ACT scores. Many programs ask applicants to submit portfolios of work, as well.

Course Topics

Most computer animation programs provide curricula that offer information on principles and techniques in the field. Students may develop skills in drawing, design and technical aspects. Course topics may include the following:

  • Motion graphics
  • Tone and color
  • Character design
  • 3-D animation
  • Storyboarding
  • Digital concepts
  • Figure drawing
  • Computer graphics
  • Programming

Popular Career Options

Obtaining a BFA in Computer Animation can lead to careers in the film, game or art industries. With knowledge of design principles and with skills in drawing and technical aspects, individuals may pursue jobs as one of the following:

  • Concept artists
  • Storyboarders
  • 3-D modelers
  • Animators
  • Technical artists

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), multimedia artists and animators should expect to see a six percent increase in employment between 2012 and 2022, which is slower than average. In May of 2013, the BLS estimated that these professionals earned a median salary of $64,470 annually.

Continuing Education

Individuals interested in continuing their education may choose to pursue master's degrees in computer animation or a related field. These programs expand on knowledge learned in a bachelor's degree program and may lead to higher-level positions in the professional field.

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