Degree Spotlight: Computer Animation Bachelor's at Full Sail University
The Computer Animation Bachelor of Science at Full Sail University
Pete Bandstra, Full Sail's Computer Animation Program Director, oversees the academic aspects of the bachelor's degree program including everything related to the courses, projects, and instructors. In this video, he shares everything you need to know about what you'll learn, the structure of the program, and his advice for success.
At Full Sail, the Computer Animation bachelor of science covers five key disciplines: modeling, animation, lighting, rigging, and compositing. It's designed to help students develop artistic skills, create 3D content for any type of production, and build a portfolio that showcases their work for potential employers.
The Central Track
The first portion of the Computer Animation degree program is about understanding the foundational animation skills of traditional media. It gives students hands-on experience in learning the principles of composition, scale and proportion, and value and light.
"During the Central Track, you'll take a series of modeling courses that expand on these concepts in the context of digital 3D geometry," says Pete. "You'll continue to hone your understanding of visual elements while working toward the level of detail required to produce high-resolution assets."
Students also learn the importance of proper surface structure and edge flow – an important skill you'll need for material mapping in the next phase of the degree program, the Specialized Track.
The Specialized Track
In the next portion of the Computer Animation degree program, students learn advanced modeling and animation skills, character rigging, and compositing. Character rigging builds an anatomical structure under the geometry to help animators move an object. For example, how do a person's limbs move when they run? Compositing means adding digital assets to live action shots. It seamlessly integrates the digital content using lighting.
At Full Sail, our curriculum is built to help students walk away with a portfolio of their work to show potential employers their personal brand and achievements. In the Computer Animation degree program, portfolio courses give students the opportunity to add projects to their portfolio that show their growth over time.
"This web-based portfolio will demonstrate your artistic direction and serve as a supplement to your resume when you begin your job search," says Pete.
Advice for Computer Animators
"Get critiques. Get them often."
"Critique is a vital part of the artistic process and can come from your instructors and your peers," says Pete.
By receiving and providing thoughtful, honest critiques with other students, you'll build collaboration skills and help those around you grow. "This input provides opportunities to mature as an artist, create stronger work, and prepare you for the collaborative environment of the industry," he says.
"Work on projects that harness your artistic passion."
Pete explains that building objects that excite you will reinforce what you learn and create meaningful content for your portfolio that reflects your personal interests.
"By doing what you love and growing along the way, you will develop a unique portfolio and a brand that will help you stand out to employers," he says.
Game Art vs. Computer Animation
If you're more interested in creating 3D art for games, the Game Art bachelor's degree program at Full Sail might be a better fit for you.
While Game Art also teaches skills in modeling, materials, animation, and motion capture, this program is designed for students who want to work in the gaming industry. For example, the Game Art degree program focuses on skills like gameplay animation cycles and real-time game engine integration.
Want to learn more? Explore our Art & Design degree programs.
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