Department of Art

B.F.A. Digital Animation

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Digital Animation degree at Missouri Western offers an art student the opportunity to become proficient in skills that are useful for producing a wide range of animation for cinema, broadcast television, gaming and interactive media.  Students will gain a broad foundation in animation from traditional hand-drawn to 3D animation. Balancing theory and practice, the educational emphasis will be on developing creative problem-solving skills and processes; honing artistic identity; spatial and temporal thinking and analysis; mastering digital animation technologies; and, research of new strategies for learning through digital advances. The Digital Animation degree reflects the convergence of computers and art, and emphasizes working with 2D and 3D graphics in a computer based, graphics-intensive environment.

Career Opportunities

Digital Animation majors may be self-employed or work for public or private businesses. The degree focuses on the preparation of design professionals in the animation and visualization industries, small-scale animation houses, media design firms, and fine art studios. Students who graduate with a B.F.A. degree in Digital Animation will be qualified for positions in the digital art industry including motion graphic designer, illustrative animator, character animator, character modeler, texture and lighting artist, background painter, medical and scientific visualization artist, product designer, visual effects artist, environment artists and level designer.  An increasing number of Digital Animators also are developing material for Internet Web pages, interactive media, and multimedia projects.

Because the digital arts are an ever-growing area, opportunities abound for the exceptionally talented. The environment tends to be highly charged and fast paced.  In much of the field, working as part of a team is the norm. For more information see Occupation Profile and Occupational Employment Statistics .

Admission Requirements

Minimum GPA of 2.5 in following courses:

  • ART 110 Beginning Drawing: Elementary drawing with the figure, still life, landscape, and perspective in various media.
  • ART 120 Two-Dimensional Design: Design principles and fundamentals in two-dimensional media using a problem-solving approach.
  • ART 130 Introduction to Tools and Techniques: Basic skills with studio hand tools and power equipment; emphasizes safety procedures. This course is a prerequisite for any studio art course except ART110 and ART120.
Digital Animation Courses
  • ART 210 Animation Fundamentals: Study of the fundamental principles and mechanics of motion through hand-drawn animation. Students explore timing, spacing, weight, staging an image for clarity, emotion and storytelling, and learn to apply and manipulate the fundamental concepts to creatively animate an idea. May be repeated for credit.
  • ART 250 Motion Graphics: This course is an introduction to Motion Graphics and Compositing, which includes the categories of commercial, interactive, broadcast, main title and music video. The course will include lectures, showcases and demonstrations of the history, techniques and applications of motion graphics in media. Projects will cover basic motion graphics principles, design and composition, timing and drama, storyboarding and planning, sound and music development and synchronization. Appropriate and current industry standard computer applications will be introduced and applied. May be repeated for credit.
  • ART 321 Digital 3D Modeling: Working with industrial 3D modeling software, this course provides an introduction to 3D model design. Students will learn how to utilize modeling techniques and applications, and gain a basic understanding of 3D modeling to design organized virtual models.
  • ART 325 Digital 3D Lighting: Study beginning rendering techniques using industry standard renders. Create custom shaders work with lighting and develop an understanding of the rendering and lighting process. May be repeated for credit.
  • ART 453 Digital Animation: Students will learn to create believable and natural 3D computer animations with a combination of several different techniques. Movements of objects, actors and cameras along with animated affects of attributes will be demonstrated and discussed. May be repeated for credit.
  • ART 459 Character Animation: This course emphasizes the practical and theoretical principles of character animation. Students will explore how to put personality into characters and develop skills to create characters that act. The exercises will provide a foundation for comprehending the underlying techniques for capturing expression of emotions in animation. May be repeated for credit.
  • ART 465 Digital Animation Production: Advanced exploration and development in digital animation production. This course is intended to provide students an opportunity to focus on advanced techniques used in the production of 3-D digital animation. May be repeated for credit.
Major/Minor Form 4 Year Plan