Get Animated With an Animation Degree

Animation is more than just cartoons. It is a versatile and constantly evolving art form that brings stories and ideas to life through motion. An animation degree provides students with the skills and knowledge to thrive in this exciting field.

With origins tracing back thousands of years, animation continues to capture our imaginations. Today, animators use cutting-edge tools and technology to create stunning visual effects, engaging video games, brilliant advertisements, and of course, animated films and TV shows. The industry offers a wide range of career paths for those who earn an animation degree.

What is an Animation Degree?

An animation degree teaches students the fundamentals of visual storytelling and provides training in specialized technology and software to equip graduates for success. While specific program components vary, most animation degrees cover:

  • Drawing Fundamentals: Composition, perspective, anatomy, color theory
  • Animation Principles: Timing, motion, exaggeration, appeal
  • Storytelling and Visual Development: Storyboarding, character/environment design
  • Technical Skills: Proficiency with industry-standard animation and design software
  • Production Pipeline: asset creation, rigging, lighting, rendering, compositing
  • Collaborative Projects: Group assignments modeling real-world studio environments
  • Demo Reel and Portfolio Development: Projects showcasing skills and talents

Animation Career Paths

An animation degree opens doors to exciting careers bringing stories and products to life. Animators may find themselves working for major studios, game developers, advertising agencies, tech companies, and more. Common animation career paths include:

Character Animator

Bring animated figures to life through movement and acting. Work closely with designers to make characters appealing and expressive. Animate background extras in addition to leads.

3D Modeler

Build virtual 3D assets like characters, props, and environments. Focus on form, silhouette, and functionality for rigging. Master anatomy to construct realistic organic models.

Storyboard Artist

Plan out visual sequences panel-by-panel. Lay the groundwork for timing, composition, and camera movement. Iterate based on director feedback in fast-paced environments.

Visual Effects Artist

Generate stunning digital effects like explosions, magical spells, or scenery. Integrate CG elements into live-action plates to heighten realism through compositing.

Technical Director

Develop and implement pipelines, tools, and workflows to improve studio efficiency. Write scripts and programs to automate or streamline complex tasks. Solve technical artistic challenges.

Art Director

Guide overall style and visuals of productions. Lead teams of artists and oversee asset creation. Maintain consistency across characters, effects, props, and environments.

Game Animator

Bring video game characters and components to life through movement and interactions. Optimize animations to perform well in real-time game engines under memory constraints.