Computer Animation Classes and Courses Overview

Students enrolled in computer animation classes often study storyboard animation, the tools required for creating functional characters and environments, the history of animation techniques and computer animation writing. The most common classes and courses in computer animation are discussed in this article.

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Essential Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, multimedia artists and animators are projected to see a slower than average job growth from 2012-2022. Computer animation courses are typically offered through associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in computer animation as well as some computer science programs. Students gain hands-on training with computer animation software and traditional animation techniques. Graduates of these programs may earn degrees such as an Associate of Arts (AA), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and find jobs with animation or production companies.

List of Common Courses

The following course descriptions profile the most commonly offered classes in computer animation degree programs.

Foundation of Animation Course

This course provides a broad overview of animation, chronicling the history and styles of animation and tracing technological advancements of modern digital work. Students can gain hands-on experience by completing interpretations of early hand-drawn animation techniques, which provides a foundation for advanced digital projects.

Animation Writing and Storyboarding Course

Students learn how to plan out and communicate plans for animation projects in this course, which is available at the introductory and advanced levels. This course instructs students on the methods of writing and storyboard creation to present the proper timing and spacing, scene layout and emotional effect of the animation.

Environment Design and Animation Course

This advanced course is dedicated to constructing natural landscapes and architecture for digitally animated projects, including films and video games. Shading, lighting and texture are also discussed to aid in the creation of realistic atmospheres and environments that fully engage audiences.

Character Animation Course

Students will discover how to create functional and detailed character models, beginning with basic skeletal frames and simple movements and moving to skin, clothing and hair. The course also discusses the complex character descriptions and personality traits incorporated into the animation of detailed sequences. Believability of character movement and depth to character attributes is also commonly discussed.

Animation Production and Media Editing Course

Computer animation students are given a general overview of video and game editing programs, along with production tools used in individual animations and models of a film or video game project. From game programming basics to video editing essentials, students will be able to understand the full scope of how their animations can be utilized.

Computer Animation Workshop Course

Students apply the computer animation skills and knowledge they have acquired to create their own final animation project. Work will include independent tasks and group coordination in order to simulate the typical computer animation career. The workshop is typically supervised and department approval is a general requirement; however, students also have the freedom to fully develop their own unique ideas.

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