The Program in Character Animation is designed for students who seek an understanding of the art of acting animation. It provides comprehensive artistic and technical training to help each student to develop as a fully-fledged animation artist within both the traditional and computer-generated (CG) animation environments. To best instruct, guide and mentor students, the program features a faculty of experienced professionals who work at the forefront of traditional, CG and independent animation.
The first year of the program’s intensive four-year curriculum is devoted to courses in life drawing, color and design, storytelling and character animation—both traditional and CG. The second year takes this work to a higher level by incorporating elements such as dialogue, sound effects and music. In the third year, students typically move to the advanced level in their coursework, which can include story classes geared toward short-form traditional animation, 3-D computer animation, and specialized work in painting, illustration, graphic novels and advanced visual design. In the fourth and final year, students move up to the highest level of the core classes and can customize their curriculum according to their own specific areas of interest. During the course of their studies, students develop a professional-caliber portfolio.
In addition to its course requirements, the program calls on students to attend lectures, demonstrations and screenings as part of an extensive visiting artist series, which features noted animators, filmmakers, actors and comedians.