Art and Craft of Animation is an introductory course for students interested in exploring animation history and practice, with a strong emphasis on practice. Animation, as a discipline, has historically had a vast number of modalities, techniques and styles. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to some important animation techniques and modalities and to build a foundation for further coursework or personal exploration of this diverse and dynamic artistic medium.

Students will explore and practice modalities of animation traditionally practiced by independent filmmakers like drawn, cut paper, stop motion, pixilation, as well as modalities practiced in the animation production industry like character design, concept art, and animatics production. Students will also learn the basics of animation post-production, including editing, sound, color correction, and preparing short animated films for delivery via YouTube, Vimeo, and other streaming services where their work can be viewed by the public.

This computer art and animation course is designed by Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) faculty in the School of Art & Design, Department of Transmedia. The Department of Transmedia is a major academic center for the education of contemporary artists and media arts professionals.

Within the Department of Transmedia, computer art and animation is integrated with film, art video, and art photography, allowing for a practice that is tightly focused but free to traverse a network of related disciplines. Students explore the possibilities of digital media within a fine art, exploratory, and culturally aware setting and are mentored to become highly skilled critical thinkers producing art in individual and collaborative contexts.

The Syracuse University VPA computer art and animation program boasts alumni who are placed at some of the most prestigious animation and visual effects companies in the world—Pixar, Cartoon Network, Filmworks/FX, LucasArts, Tippett Studio, and Sony Pictures Imageworks—along with creative representation at galleries and media art festivals internationally.