Art: Animation

Program Overview

Study the intricacies of motion, design and visual narrative to craft a visual story. A major in art with a concentration in animation prepares you for a rewarding career in animation.

Program Snapshot

Program Type: Full-Time
Location: On Campus
Program Length: 4 years
Credit Hours: 21 - 78

Why This Program & What You'll Learn

Develop the artistic vision and technical skills necessary to create engaging characters and produce powerful visual stories. Our animation program gives you a broad foundation in animation as both an industry and an internationally celebrated art form.

As an animation student, you’ll study character design, storyboarding, 3D modeling and lighting, character performance and effects animation. You’ll work in media ranging from hand-drawn animation and traditional stop-motion techniques to 3D computer animation.

You’ll also have access to state-of-the-art facilities that combine traditional animation tools with advanced digital technologies.

  • Our Animation Computer Lab features powerful double-monitor workstations with iMacs and Wacom Cintiqs for on-screen digital drawing, sculpting and animation. Each workstation is fully loaded with industry-grade software to support 2D motion graphics, 3D animation, tradigital animation and more.
  • Our traditional-media animation labs encourage playful exploration in clay, paper cut-outs and even sand. Each workstation is outfitted with a professional DSLR camera, iMac and industry-grade software for capturing and processing frame-by-frame animation.

In our close-knit community, you’ll find the support to pursue your own vision — and to create complex work in collaboration with others.

Program Highlights

As an animation student, you can:

  • Customize your education with courses such as Digital Sculpting for Animation, Alternative Strategies in Animation, and Character Performance for Animators.
  • Apply for scholarships designed specifically for art students.
  • Exhibit your work through regular gallery exhibitions and semester screenings.
  • Join student organizations like Animation Super Station, which presents film screenings, hosts speakers and supports individual projects.

Careers & Outcomes

A concentration in animation from CMU prepares you for a career in a variety of industries, including entertainment, illustration and advertising, prototyping and design for manufacturing, and medical media. If you focus on 2D animation, you’ll be ready to succeed in 2D character animation, storyboarding, concept and character design, motion graphics, or 2D animated effects for film, comics and video games. A focus on 3D animation equips you for a career in 3D production for character animation and even toy design and 3D prototyping.

Career Projected Salary
Art Director $105,180
Multimedia Designer/Animator $78,790
Artist/Illustrator $53,140
Special Effects Artists and Animators $98,950
Film and Video Editors $63,520

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