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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in 3D Animation

Majors Overview July 1, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in 3D animation and their education requirements, coursework, and career choices.

Master’s Programs in 3D Animation

Professional 3D animators use geometric representations in creating three-dimensional graphic images for video games, computers, films, television, and cartoons. Few schools, if any, offer master’s programs that specialize in 3D animation. Enrollment in a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Digital Arts program, with a specialization in 3D animation, would benefit students keen on a 3D animation education. Students enrolled in this 2-year program are provided with the technical ability required for the creation of animations. They will allocate significant amounts of time in computer labs and classrooms to gain knowledge about the field’s technology.

The algorithms used to create three-dimensional figures are explored by them, in addition to gaining expertise on creating 3D models, controlling 3D rendering and applying the concepts of weight and physical laws to animated creations. They also involve themselves in an examination of ways of channeling these technical rules into comprehensive stories aimed at conveying emotion and capturing minute details. Depending on the school, program graduates are expected to build a considerable portfolio of work and complete a project or thesis.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. Good preparation for a master’s program specializing in 3D animation would include undergraduate programs in drawing, computer graphics, design, art, and visual animation. Admission criteria also include the submission of a portfolio or body of work, for consideration, before the students can seek enrollment.


Courses in a 3D animation master’s degree program predominantly focus on developing technical skills, along with other courses relating to animation and storytelling. Students learn about using techniques in 3D animation aimed at the artistic expression of ideas. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Animation of digital characters
•3D character animation
•Drawing from imagination
•3D modeling and animation
•Techniques of character animation
•Development of digital art
•Studio in digital animation
•Artistic animation effects

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek careers in special effects, computer design, television, film, and broadcast design. They may pursue possible job positions such as:

•Character animator
•Graphic designer
•Storyboard artist
•3D designer
•Motion graphic designer
•3D animation artist
•Background artist
•Technical Director

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