The study of animation focuses on how to design visual media using rapid displays of 2D images and 3D modeling to create the illusion of movement on a screen. Among the methods used to achieve this effect are traditional cell and stop motion animation, animatronics and, most recently, computer animation, which constitutes the most rapidly growing segment of the field.
Through their studies, students can expect to be educated in a number of areas, including:
Training in computer graphics includes the study of programs that enable the design of 2D and 3D animation as well as special effects. Certain courses cover training in Photoshop, digital imagery, digital concept art and Maya Interface, which is the industry standard in 3D animation.
Specific classes will teach students physics in order to develop the understanding of motion, mechanics and light as they relate to animation concepts. Students learn how to use numerical simulation to bring figures to life as well as reproduce natural phenomena and locomotion of rigid bodies.
In drawing courses, students learn fundamentals such as lighting, shading, texturing and proportion.
A portion of the courses explore literature to help students understand the principles of storytelling and promote creative thought. By analyzing scenarios, identifying intended audiences and breaking down plots, students gain insight into how animations can relate to larger productions.
Computer animators use geometric principles to create realistic animations of characters, objects and the relationships between them. These courses show students how to calculate curves and angles when constructing an animation.
Classes can help students develop the following skills:
Written and Verbal Communication
Students will learn how to envision and communicate concepts to others through written and verbal communication. These skills are developed through public speaking and persuasive writing, and paying attention to nonverbal communication such as body language can also influence a student's animations.
As an artistic pursuit, animation requires highly creative thinking to conceive characters, concepts and objects prior to design. This nurtures the imagination by challenging students to solve creative problems and envision new ideas.
Animation is predominantly processed on computers today, which means students must learn how relevant software is applied to animating for film, television, video games, commercials and more. Certain classes will teach students the principles of 2D and 3D graphics rendering software and digital editing as they relate to the professional world.
Students will develop discipline so they can meet tight deadlines while working independently through these classes. By forming work schedules and setting goals, students learn how to break large projects into manageable pieces that can be completed in a timely fashion.
Courses like these encourage students to use everyday surroundings to inspire designs. By paying closer attention to the forms of people, animals, objects and the overall environment, students can improve the realism of 2D and 3D animations.
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