Overview of our BFA in Animation
Our three-year Bachelor's is for highly motivated students who would like to enter an intensive hands-on professional course of study. By completing the Bachelor's degree in three-years students:
The Academy makes this accelerated schedule possible by creating an extended academic year allowing students to complete three full-length semesters in each calendar year. Students may also choose to complete the program in a traditional four-year time frame.
- Save one year of expenses
- Enter the field of their choice a year early
New York Film Academy BFA degree programs are offered only at our Los Angeles Campus.
The New York Film Academy Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation is an eight-semester conservatory-based, full-time study undergraduate program. The curriculum is designed to immerse gifted and energetic prospective 3-D Animation and Visual Effects Artists in all aspects of the discipline. The New York Film Academy Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation provides a creative setting in which to challenge, inspire, and perfect the talents of its student body.
Students follow an intensive curriculum and achieve multiple learning goals.
The structure of this program emulates the workflow and pipeline of a professional production in the industry, which will provide students with the following:
- preparation for a competitive professional environment
- knowledge directly applicable in current work field using the latest software and technology
- practical skills developed from intensive discipline and practice
- ability to deliver a project from the beginning to the end in the manner used in actual professional production
The program will also be dedicated to strengthening fundamental visual storytelling knowledge. Students will dissect principles and techniques rooted in the real world and discover how they apply to a CG-generated world. This will enable students to have the choice to mimic reality and photography or to create more stylized imagery.
STUDENTS WILL LEARN:
DISCIPLINES THAT WILL BE TAUGHT IN DEPTH ARE:
- how real lights correspond to CG lights
- how real world cameras and lenses correspond to CG cameras and lenses, understanding the imperfections of photorealistic images.
- how to bring life to inanimate objects or characters by understanding the 12 basic principles of animation.
- traditional drawing and sculpting in order to understand their fundamental concepts to digitally paint and sculpt
- modeling (characters and environments)
- texture painting
- look development
- lighting and rendering
- MEL and Python scripting
- matte painting
- character design
With the guidance of instructors, students will also develop a professional-caliber demo reel.
The above discipline-specific learning goals are bolstered by rigorous studies in Natural and Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Math and English.
SEMESTER ONE OVERVIEW
The primary objective of the first semester is to focus on the fundamental knowledge of computer graphics. Students will study Maya's world-class, industry-standard-setting interface and capabilities while receiving a broad understanding of computer-generated images both in 2-D and 3-D applications. Students will also take Foundation Studies courses in English Composition, Computing and Film Art.
SEMESTER TWO OVERVIEW
This semester will focus on creating digital and practical creatures with proper anatomy, plausible fantasy anatomy and good design aesthetic. Students will get to apply their knowledge to both digital and traditional sculpture. By the end of the semester students will have a traditional maquette of their creature as well as a properly constructed creature or character that can fit into a film or animation production pipeline. Students will continue to develop their analytical skills in Critical Thinking and Critical Film Studies classes, as well as develop healthy practices for a productive learning and creative atmosphere in Physical and Mental Wellness.
SEMESTER THREE OVERVIEW
Semester 3 courses will delve deeper into 3-D comprehension. Students will directly apply concepts and improve projects created throughout the second semester. They will follow through the next stages of production by learning how to set up character rigs for animation, which will then be seen through with proper lighting and rendering. There will be an emphasis on presentation in order to create beautiful photo realistic imagery or stylized imagery. Students will also explore the creation of original characters by studying the process of character design and creation. Students round out their Foundation Studies with Public Speaking and College Math courses, and further develop their analytical skills with Critical Film Studies II.
SEMESTER FOUR OVERVIEW
This semester will take a further examination of character setup while introducing Animation. The study will center on the details and complexities of rigging while learning scripting in Python and MEL. Python and MEL will directly enhance and supplement the Character Setup course. Scripting knowledge will also enable the creation of custom tools and expedite workflow, which will prepare students with skills for the professional world. In the Psychology of Performance class, students will enrich their understanding of the emotional mechanisms at play in visual storytelling, and the Environmental Biology course will give students an understanding of the natural world and the role humans play in it.
SEMESTER FIVE OVERVIEW
In the 5th semester, students are challenged to create original digital environments using a combination of 3-D techniques and timeless traditional matte painting techniques. Students will continue to study advanced animation and analyze character and creature performance. The concepts of 3-D digital environments, set extension and traditional 2 matte painting will be introduced, allowing students to create fantastical and sophisticated photorealistic worlds. Students will also begin learning how to integrate digital film footage into believable finished VFX shots. Students are expected to research their ideas and develop believable constructs.
Research is emphasized this semester through advanced general education topics. Students also take Arts and Humanities courses such as Dramatic Literature; Comparative Literature; and Art, Culture and Society, in order to gain a deeper understanding of great works of literary and visual arts and how they influence and are influenced by the cultures from which they arose.
SEMESTER SIX OVERVIEW
By semester 6, students have now experienced a broad range of 3-D disciplines and are ready to combine all these skills into a final product. Students will receive hands-on production experience with digital cinematography. Original material will be shot and edited by the students. 3-D effects will be integrated into the live action footage, creating a polished photorealistic film quality result. On completion of the sixth semester, students are expected to have mastered the tools to create a believable visual effects shot from beginning to end.
Students also continue to deepen and broaden their education with upper division electives in Social and Behavioral Sciences and Natural Sciences.
The final two semesters develop the student into a professional-caliber 3-D artist. Students will choose their preferred discipline (animation, modeling, texturing, rigging, etc.) and are guided through developing a professional reel with this focus.
SEMESTER SEVEN OVERVIEW
Semester seven concentrates on creating better storytellers both through the Screenwriting and Storyboard and Animatic courses, in which students learn traditional storyboarding as well as modern 3-D animatic/previsualization techniques. Students also learn how to create and control natural and fantastical dynamic FX inside of Maya such as fire, smoke, dust, particle effects, and volumetric fluid dynamics. Students also continue to put their own work into a larger cultural context through advanced courses in Arts and Humanities and History of Film, Theater and Media.
SEMESTER EIGHT OVERVIEW
In semester eight, students create their Animation Thesis Project and polish their discipline-specific reel. The Special Topics in Animation course covers in depth advanced, specific areas of the art and craft of Animation. Professional Development in Animation class prepares students for what awaits them in the professional world of Animation once they graduate. Students will learn how to prepare and polish professional materials such as a demo reel, which will be crucial to their introduction to the professional world. Also discussed are the standards and practices of the business of Animation. Industry guest speakers will work with students this semester as well. Students will complete their LAS studies in an upper division Arts and Humanities elective.