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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) Degree in Computer Animation

Majors Overview February 3, 2015

Students in Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree programs in Computer Animation will be taught skills in digital video production, graphic design, and 3-D modeling. Those that graduate from these programs will be able to find career opportunities in electronic gaming, Internet design, and film production.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) Degree Programs in Computer Animation

Students enrolled in Computer Animation B.F.A. programs are offered the chance to hone their artistic abilities through the use of multimedia platforms. Students are taught the principles involved in the creation of virtual characters and online environments.

The program involves the exploration of ways in which character development and features are influenced by expression, lighting, and movement. Non-computerized art forms are often blended with digital art and are aimed at motivating students to scrutinize techniques that may prove helpful in creating realistic artwork.

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma; additionally, an artwork portfolio showcasing their skills may have to be submitted by prospective students.


Students take four years to complete bachelor’s programs in which they investigate animation software and techniques. Apart from foundations in traditional art, such as sculpture, drawing, and painting, the focus of the program is on character animation, 2-D and 3-D animation, and graphic design.

The program also includes other concepts, such as posing, character rigging, and modeling and design. Hands-on projects are also completed by students, which can be compiled into portfolios to showcase their skills.
Internship opportunities are offered by some schools in order to give students experience in real-world environments. Apart from general education classes, program coursework may include these topic areas:

•Motion graphics
•Web design
•Texturing and lighting
•Digital imaging
•3-D modeling

Career Choices

The program arms graduates with the technical expertise and industry knowledge needed to be able to seek occupations with video and motion picture companies, software publishers, gaming organizations, and design services. Computer animation graduates may choose from job titles such as:

•Gaming animator
•Web designer
•Digital artist
•Film production artist

Continuing Education Choices

Bachelor’s degree graduates can seek continuing education through enrollment in graduate certificate programs to keep abreast of advances in the field of computer animation and to broaden their skills and knowledge.

Coursework may include topic areas such as visual effects and digital animation. Students can refine their talents by pursuing Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degrees in Computer Graphics, Graphic Design, or Visual Effects, among other areas related to computer animation.

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2012, multimedia artists and animators banked an average annual wage of $61,370 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). These professionals earned the highest pay in the video and motion picture industries. A slower-than-average job growth rate of 8% has been predicted for multimedia artist and animating jobs over the 2010 – 2020 decade, with public relations, advertising, and related services expected to enjoy an at-par growth rate of 17%. A job growth rate of 40% has been predicted for computer systems design and software publishing jobs during that period.

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