Bachelor of Visual Effects & Motion Graphics: Degree Overview
Research bachelor's degrees in visual effects and motion graphics. Get information on requirements, courses and career prospects to make an informed decision about your education.
Bachelor's Degree in Motion Media or Visual Effects
Students who enroll in motion media or visual effects degree programs learn the techniques to create special effects and animations with computers. Graduates of these programs typically have knowledge of advanced software, such as Maya and Adobe After Effects, and design techniques used to create the 'magic' behind animations, video games and visual effects in movies.
To enroll in an undergraduate program, students generally need a high school diploma or its equivalent. Artistic ability, demonstrated through a portfolio or the completion of high-school arts courses, may also be required. Most programs require students to complete general studies or foundational coursework prior to enrolling in degree-specific courses.
Course names may differ between educational institutions, but students learn similar skills. To earn a degree in special effects and animation expect to take the following courses:
- Color theory
- Storyboard creation
- Video production
- Digital lighting
- Motion media design
- 3-D animation
- Visual effects programming
Popular Career Options
With a BA in motion media or visual effects, graduates can pursue production-oriented careers in the motion picture, television or video game industry. Career options may include:
- Visual effects artist
- Motion media designer
- Concept artist
- Digital compositor
- 3-D modeler
Continuing Education Information
Students can continue to develop artistic and technical mastery by enrolling in Masters of Fine Arts degree programs in motion media design, animation and visual effects or related areas. These programs are generally terminal degrees and can provide the educational background required for post-secondary teaching positions in the visual arts or digital arts. Alternatively, students may seek out apprenticeships, continuing their educations under the tutelage of experienced professionals.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Multimedia artists and animators earned an annual median salary of $61,370 in 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported. From 2010-2020, slower than average growth of 8% was predicted by the BLS for this field in general, but software publishing could expect 49% growth and computer systems design industries could look forward to a 43% increase, at that same time.
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