Digital Animation Careers and Degree Programs

Learn about what digital animators do and which industries employ them. Discover the computer animation degree program options available online and on campus. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Digital animators use a mix of tools and materials in order to create Web videos, television commercials, computer games, training videos, simulations, films and other multimedia graphics. You can find 2-year associate's degree programs and 4-year bachelor's degree programs in the field of computer-generated animation. Programs are available both on campus and online.

Responsibilities Creation and design of artwork in a variety of mediums
Degrees Associate's and bachelor's degrees in computer-generated animation
Classes Digital media theory, figure illustration, sculpture, photography, digital animation software, computer-aided design techniques, storyboards and cartoons, computer programming, digital animation production and portfolio creation

What Would I Do in a Digital Animation Job?

With digital animation, you typically start with a hand-drawn image and use computers to create a series of pictures that form a moving image or special effect. You also might work with digital photographs, cartoon figures, clay models or other media. You may be involved in creating storyboard sketches at the beginning of the production stage and see a project through to the final post-production editing.

To create an animated presentation, you can use a variety of software programs, including 3- and 2-dimensional graphics illustrators, computer-aided design programs and Web design applications.

Where Would I Work?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over half of multimedia artists and animators were self-employed in 2017 (www.bls.gov). You could be contracted by television or motion picture studios, documentary video producers, advertising agencies and computer design companies. You might find work in marketing firms, research universities and scientific visualization studios.

What Degree Programs Are Available to Me?

In an associate's degree program, you'll typically take courses in digital media theory while working to hone basic art skills. You may choose from courses in the following:

  • Figure Illustration
  • Sculpture
  • Photography
  • Digital Animation Software
  • Computer-Aided Design Techniques
  • Storyboards and Cartoons

At the bachelor's degree level, you can expect courses to include computer programming and digital animation production. Production classes cover computer simulation, rigging, character development, lighting and modeling. Whether you're a distance learner or an on-campus student, portfolio creation courses can teach you how to pitch your ideas to perspective employers.

Some schools that offer digital animation degree programs include:

  • University of Colorado Denver
  • Ferris State University
  • University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash College
  • Spartanburg Community College

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Full Sail University

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  • Colorado Christian University

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  • Regent University

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