Animation and Visual Effects

Major: Animation and Visual Effects
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Science (BS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 186.0
Co-op Options: One Co-op (Four years)

Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 10.0304
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 27-1014

About the Program

The Animation & Visual Effects major provides students with the artistic, technological, story-telling and design skills to succeed as animators and visual effects artists in the highly competitive entertainment, design and communications industries.

Animation and Visual Effects has grown beyond its traditional applications in entertainment, such as feature films, television and internet based programming. Today, these production techniques are widely used in feature films, medical research, engineering, virtual reality and augmented reality systems, immersive media, web content, the performing arts, interactive game systems, corporate communications and higher education. The depth and complexity of this field necessitates a rigorous course of study.

To best prepare students for the demands of careers in these cutting-edge disciplines, this program provides a foundational understanding of design and technology, with core courses in multiple aspects of digital media, completing a six month co-op and delving into rigorous coursework covering specialized aspects of digital animation, visual effects and immersive media. Students will learn the underlying principles of animation, along with advanced, industry-standard software and hardware technologies. The entire creative pipeline from storyboarding through modeling and animation is covered in depth, allowing students to experience all aspects of production.

 Additional Information

To find out more about this major, visit the Westphal College’s Animation & Visual Effects Major web page.

Degree Requirements 

General Education Requirements
COM 230Techniques of Speaking3.0
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
MATH 101Introduction to Analysis I4.0
PHYS 121Physical Science for Design I4.0
PHYS 122Physical Science for Design II4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience2.0
Required Arts and Humanities-students elect a minimum of 9 credits9.0
Required Social Science-students elect a minimum of 9.0 credits9.0
Free electives24.0
Art and Art History Requirements
ARTH 102History of Art II: Renaissance to Romanticism3.0
ARTH 103History of Art III: Modern Art3.0
ARTH 300 [WI] History of Modern Design3.0
VSST 108Design I for Media3.0
VSST 109Design II for Media3.0
VSST 110Introductory Drawing3.0
VSST 111Figure Drawing I3.0
VSST 210Painting Basics3.0
Media and Computer Science Requirements
ANIM 231Scripting for Animation and Visual Effects3.0
CS 171Computer Programming I3.0
FMVD 206Audio Production and Post3.0
SCRP 270 [WI] Screenwriting I3.0
Digital Media Core Requirements
ANIM 140Computer Graphics Imagery I3.0
ANIM 141Computer Graphics Imagery II3.0
ANIM 211Animation I3.0
DIGM 105Overview of Digital Media3.0
DIGM 223Creative Concept Design3.0
DIGM 350 [WI] Digital Storytelling3.0
DIGM 451 [WI] Explorations in New Media3.0
DIGM 475 [WI] Seminar: The Future of Digital Media3.0
DIGM 490Digital Media Senior Project9.0
DIGM 491Digital Media Senior Project Studio3.0
GMAP 260Overview of Computer Gaming3.0
IDM 100Introduction to Web Development3.0
Animation Requirements
ANIM 100Foundational Tools for Animation & VFX3.0
ANIM 110Digital Imaging for Animation & VFX3.0
ANIM 212Animation II3.0
ANIM 215History of Animation3.0
ANIM 220Digital Compositing I3.0
ANIM 221Digital Compositing II3.0
ANIM 247Organic Modeling I3.0
ANIM 250Professional Practices for Animation & VFX3.0
ANIM 314Character Animation I3.0
Animation Electives
Select four of the following:12.0
Advanced Lighting
Character Animation II
Organic Modeling II
Spatial Data Capture
Advanced Compositing
Advanced Animation
Special Topics in Animation
Special Topics in Animation
Special Topics in Animation
Special Topics in Animation
Overview of Immersive Media
Immersive Media Production & Post
Game Development Foundations
Character Animation for Gaming
Total Credits186.0

 

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Program. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term.

Sample Plan of Study

Term 1Credits
ANIM 100Foundational Tools for Animation & VFX3.0
DIGM 105Overview of Digital Media3.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
PHYS 121Physical Science for Design I4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
VSST 110Introductory Drawing3.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 2
ANIM 110Digital Imaging for Animation & VFX3.0
ANIM 140Computer Graphics Imagery I3.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
PHYS 122Physical Science for Design II4.0
VSST 108Design I for Media3.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 3
ANIM 141Computer Graphics Imagery II3.0
ANIM 220Digital Compositing I3.0
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
MATH 101Introduction to Analysis I4.0
VSST 109Design II for Media3.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 4
ANIM 211Animation I3.0
CS 171Computer Programming I3.0
DIGM 223Creative Concept Design3.0
GMAP 260Overview of Computer Gaming3.0
VSST 210Painting Basics3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 5
ANIM 212Animation II3.0
ANIM 215History of Animation3.0
ARTH 102History of Art II: Renaissance to Romanticism3.0
IDM 100Introduction to Web Development3.0
VSST 111Figure Drawing I3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 6
ANIM 221Digital Compositing II3.0
ANIM 247Organic Modeling I3.0
ARTH 103History of Art III: Modern Art3.0
SCRP 270 [WI] Screenwriting I3.0
Free Elective3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 7
ANIM 231Scripting for Animation and Visual Effects3.0
ANIM 250Professional Practices for Animation & VFX3.0
COM 230Techniques of Speaking3.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development0.0
DIGM 350 [WI] Digital Storytelling3.0
FMVD 206Audio Production and Post3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 8
ANIM 314Character Animation I3.0
ARTH 300 [WI] History of Modern Design3.0
Animation Elective*3.0
Free elective 6.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 9
DIGM 451 [WI] Explorations in New Media3.0
Animation Elective*3.0
Arts and Humanities elective 3.0
Social Science elective 3.0
Free Elective3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 10
DIGM 490Digital Media Senior Project3.0
DIGM 491Digital Media Senior Project Studio1.0
Animation Elective*3.0
Free elective3.0
Arts and Humanities elective 3.0
Social Science elective 3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 11
DIGM 490Digital Media Senior Project3.0
DIGM 491Digital Media Senior Project Studio1.0
Animation Elective*3.0
Social Science elective 3.0
Free electives 3.0
 Term Credits13.0
Term 12
DIGM 475 [WI] Seminar: The Future of Digital Media3.0
DIGM 490Digital Media Senior Project3.0
DIGM 491Digital Media Senior Project Studio1.0
Arts and Humanities elective 3.0
Free electives 6.0
 Term Credits16.0
Total Credit: 186.0

Dual/Accelerated Degrees

The accelerated degree program enables academically qualified students to earn both their bachelor's degree and a master's degree in digital media — graduating sooner than they would in traditional programs.

Current Drexel animation and visual effects students may apply for the accelerated BS/MS degree through the Graduate College of Drexel University after completing 90.0 credits, but no more than 120.0 credits. Contact the Graduate College of Drexel University for further information.

Facilities

This major is based in the Westphal College's Digital Media Department, located in the Westphal College's URBN Center.

The central creative space for the department is the Animation Capture & Effects Lab (ACE-Lab), featuring a 1200-sq-ft open studio space dedicated to digital media production. The studio features include a 25-foot-by-17-foot green screen cyclorama, studio lighting and modifiers, HD/2k/4k camera systems, camera dolly, Vicon Vantage motion capture system, stereo-360 “VR Video” capture systems, room-scale VR tracking systems, and a full 360° Immersive Projection Dome among other resources.

Additional spaces surrounding the main studio include screening rooms, classrooms and computer labs featuring advanced graphics work stations, VR labs, research labs, meeting rooms and faculty offices.

Animation and Visual Effects Faculty

Theo Artz, BFA (Tyler School of Art, Temple University). Associate Professor. Digital media.
John Berton Assistant Professor. Visual effects, lighting and rendering Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI)
Paul Diefenbach, PhD (University of Pennsylvania). Assistant Professor. Game development, real-time rendering.
Jeremy Fernsler, BA (Pennsylvania State University ) Program Director, Game Design & Production. Assistant Teaching Professor. Digital effects artist; compositor and animator for the feature film visual effects industry.
Nick Jushchyshyn, MFA (Academy of Art University) Program Director, Animation and Visual Effects. Assistant Teaching Professor. Visual effects, digital media and animation.
Frank J. Lee, PhD (Carnegie Mellon University). Associate Professor. Human-computer interaction; cognitive engineering and science; intelligent software agents for games and education.
Robert Lloyd, MFA (Temple University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Game development, themed entertainment and motion simulation.
David Mauriello, BA (Lafayette College). Assistant Professor. 3D modeling and animation.
Glen Muschio, PhD (Temple University). Associate Professor. Digital media, society, communication.
Stefan Rank, PhD (Vienna University of Technology). Assistant Professor. Artificial intelligence, game design and human-computer interaction.
Jervis Thompson, BS (Drexel University). Associate Teaching Professor. Digital media, interactive multimedia.
Michael Wagner, PhD (Vienna University of Technology) Program Director, Digital Media. Associate Professor. Educational use of digital media and computer games.
Jichen Zhu, PhD (Georgia Institute of Technology). Assistant Professor. Developing humanistic and interpretive framework of computational technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), and constructing AI-based cultural artifacts; interactive storytelling, games and software studies.
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