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Best Online Degrees in: 3D Animation

Explore a Bachelor’s Degree in 3D Animation

Do A Bug’s Life, Wall-E, and Ratatouille rank among your favorite films of all time, not for their plot line but for their mastery of the art of computer animation? If you would like to follow in the footsteps of the creators and designers of animated movies, consider a bachelor’s degree in 3D animation. In this program, students will learn how to create sophisticated animations and create an animation reel, all while cultivating their personal style. Equipped with these skills, students may go on to work in film, television, and online and computer gaming. Standard 3D animation programs require students to complete approximately 180 credit hours, but specifications will vary by program.

Class Curriculum

A program in 3D animation will offer classes that teach students the techniques involved in storyboard creation, concept art, stop motion puppet making, and 3D computer graphics and modeling. Students will master software programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Flash, and Autodesk 3Ds Max.

  • Principles of Animation. This survey course exposes students to animation exercises, using the 12 traditional principles of animation as its springboard. Students will learn about the animation process, its history, and a number of techniques. Students will deconstruct live action films to gain deeper insight into animation basics.
  • Camera and Lighting Techniques. Students will explore a number of camera and lighting techniques that apply to computer animation. Students will learn how to apply these techniques to computer generated animation.
  • Web Animation. This course examines the process of designing and creating animated content for the web. Students will learn how to use Adobe Flash and other software to produce animation for the web and other content formats.

Students will work on a number of animation projects in classes. They will assemble their work in a portfolio that they will eventually present to employers when seeking employment opportunities. A final capstone project will demonstrate their growth and potential to instructors and employers alike.

Building a Career

Students who graduate with a degree in 3D animation may pursue careers as 2D and 3D animators, 3D modelers, visual effects artists, storyboard artists, concept artists, or stop motion animators. They may work for film, television, or online platforms. These animators may specialize in specific stages of the animation process, from storyboarding to the final phases of production. They may create computer games, movies, music videos, and commercials.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual wage of multimedia artists and animators was $68,060 as of May 2012. Of course, this figure is subject to variation, and actual earnings will depend on the specific industry an individual selects, as well as the individual’s level of education and experience.

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