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3D Animation Major and Undergraduate Degree Program Information

Majors Overview February 26, 2013

The art of 3D animation is used in different industries, such as advertising, video games, television, and film. Bachelor and associate degree programs are offered at the undergraduate level.

3D Animation Associate Degree

Students enrolling in associate degree programs in 3D animation gain career-oriented, practical training and gain experience in the use of conventional hand-drawn animation methods and 3D animation software programs. These degree programs concentrate on shape, lighting, and visual perception. At the end of the program, students usually complete a portfolio of creative work that could include short films.

Educational Prerequisites

Community colleges and two-year technical colleges offer associate degree programs in 3D animations. Students who want to enroll are expected to hold a high school diploma or equivalent qualification. Frequently, schools demand prior experience with animation software or computer graphics.

Program Coursework

Basic training in traditional animation methods is given to students who are enrolled in 3D animation associate degree programs, alongside modern 3D animation skills through coursework that includes:

•Introduction to 3D Animation
•Writing and Storyboarding
•3D Animation Special Effects
•Modeling and Lighting in Animation
•Basic Drawing
•2D Animation

3D Animation Bachelor Degree

Several undergraduate schools offer degree programs in 3D animation that can also be chosen as a minor concentration within a related major, such as digital design, visual communication or general animation. Students enrolled in 3D animation programs receive training in various artistic techniques, where they become adept at professional work in which they create forms of media such as video games and movies. A majority of programs end with students creating a portfolio of creative work that could include sample commercials, exercise in drawing or short films.

Educational Prerequisites

Four-year universities and colleges typically offer bachelor degree programs in 3D animation. Admission criteria usually include the completion of a high school diploma or equivalent qualification. Applicants may also have to complete prior courses in computer graphics or the arts, though this may be rarely needed. Frequently, applicants are required to submit SAT or ACT scores.

Program Coursework

Students enrolled in bachelor degree programs in 3D animation are provided with theoretical and practical skills, these can range from the history of video production to the technical aspects of the field. Courses could include the following:

•History of Animation
•3D Animation Character Design
•Drawing Techniques
•Lighting and Texture
•Storyboard Creation
•Fundamentals of 3D Computer Graphics and Modeling

Career Options

Students who graduate from an undergraduate degree program in 3D animation will be prepared for various positions in industries such as film production, web development, and advertising. The following are popular career options:

•Web Animation Designer
•Motion Capture Director
•Video Game Animation Artist
•Storyboard Artist
•3D Animation Modeling

Continuing Education

Students who possess an undergraduate degree could obtain entry-level positions. Employers of 3D animation designers and artists credit applicants for their portfolios more than anything else. A Master of Fine Arts in 3D Animation can be pursued by students who seek continuing education. Ph.D. programs in computer design, computer graphics and animation are also available. 3D animators are not required to obtain certification.

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