Media_Arts_Animation

Media Arts& Animation

I want to create my own future.

All kinds of industries—beyond just entertainment and media—need creative minds to bring ideas to life. Animators. 3D animators. Multimedia artists. Special Effects artists. Along with others, they put their skills and imaginations to work everywhere from film and TV to medicine and law. If you have the talent, passion, and tenacity to follow that career path, Media Arts & Animation degree programs can prepare you for a life of doing what you love. In our creative and supportive environment, you’ll use industry-specific hardware and software in an environment that’s as challenging and competitive as the real world. You’ll be surrounded and inspired by other talented, creatively driven students. And you’ll be pushed, challenged, and, above all else, supported by experienced faculty*. It won't be easy. But nothing truly worthwhile ever is.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts & Animation

Quarter Credit Hours:
180
Timeframe:
12 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes

Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts & Animation

Outcomes

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/925 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

View Academic Catalog

Classroom Experience

It's sink or swim. And I'm ready to dive in.

As a digital storyteller, you’ll find yourself right in the middle of a highly competitive, fast-paced and constantly evolving profession. That’s why it’s critical that you immerse yourself in learning every creative and production phase—from concept through delivery. In our program you’ll start with fundamentals in drawing, composition, color, and design. From there, you can learn to express your ideas in pictures and words. You can create the characters and their stories, then bring them to life in the worlds they inhabit. You can compose the shots and sequences of action, then edit it into a presentation ready for any screen. You’ll work with the same kinds of technology professionals use. You’ll be challenged with assignments drawn from the real world, and you’ll collaborate with your peers, just as you would in a production studio. See our gainful employment pages for possible careers that match the program that interests you.

Meet Our Alumni

  • The Art Institute of Colorado alumni Derek Brown

    Derek Brown

    Digital Filmmaking & Video Production , 2011

    "I enjoy [being] a digital storyteller."

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    Derek Brown

    Derek J. Brown works as a production associate for Rocky Mountain PBS in Denver. He was part of the team that created “Urban Rez,” a nationally distributed documentary about the legacy and modern effects of American Indians relocating to urban areas that won a 2013 Emmy Award in the Heartland Chapter regional competition. His other accomplishments include earning the President’s Scholarship at The Art Institute of Colorado and a nomination for the 2009 Heartland Chapter Emmy Awards.

    He’s proud of his Navajo heritage and enjoys using his career as a vehicle to tell stories about his tribe’s history. Derek also served his country, earning the rank of Sergeant in the United State Marine Corps and serving as a Marine artillery for seven years.

    Derek, who in 2011 earned a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Filmmaking & Video Production from The Art Institute of Colorado, says his education taught him the importance of being original. He encourages current students to stay focused and to learn from the advice, criticism, and encouragement of fellow students and instructors.

    See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/916 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Art Institute of Colorado alumni Diana Gormley

    Diana Gormley

    Fashion Marketing & Management , 1996

    "[My education] helped to solidify that the fashion world was for me."

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    Diana Gormley

    Diana Gormley is the director of the modeling division at Donna Baldwin Agency/Revolution Management in Denver, Colorado. She scouts, develops, promotes, markets, books, and places commercial and fashion models worldwide. Diana spent 12 years in New York City at two major fashion modeling agencies. She’s now proud to be running a successful agency in the Rocky Mountains.

    Diana is inspired by fashion, music, art, society, people, and literature. She enjoys the freedom and ability to be creative every day. “[It’s] never the same thing twice watching my models achieve their dreams.”

    Diana, who in 1996 earned an Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Marketing from The Art Institute of Colorado, says that her education taught her discipline and commitment to a goal. “It helped to solidify that the fashion world was for me.” She recommends that current students stay strong and work hard. Diana explains that her business is a lifestyle. “If you want a career that defines you, that you will love every day, go into fashion and never take no for an answer.”

    See aiprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Art Institute of Colorado alumni Elise Wiggins

    Elise Wiggins

    Culinary Arts , 1998

    "I always say when I teach classes that you need to let the food [talk to] you. A recipe is a great guideline but you need to let the food tell you what to do with it."

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    Elise Wiggins

    Since 2004, Elise Wiggins has been the executive chef at Panzano Restaurant in Denver, Colorado. When she started the job, she says she didn’t just have big shoes to fill, she had “thigh-high boots to fill.” Elise began by building a strong kitchen crew and worked toward her goal of growing a strong group of “regulars,” or people who know and follow her food. “It took many years to build and make Panzano what it is today. But perseverance, determination, and continued teaching with the staff is what got us here,” she says.

    She urges students to work with recipes—not just follow them exactly. “You don’t know if that recipe was made on the East Coast or West Coast or further North in America because climates are different. Flours are different, sugar is different, salt is even different. You need to expose yourself to the different ingredients.”

    Elise’s connection with The Art Institute of Colorado paid off especially well for a fellow graduate—who worked as a pastry chef at Panzano. “She came to me as a student and I worked with her closely and helped her find her style. I exposed her to Italian cuisine and pastries and she just blossomed and grew. She ended up getting ‘Best 30 Under 30’ in Zagat. That was tremendous.” Elise adds that it was a struggle to add the pastry chef position to her restaurant’s tight budget—but it was one that paid off. “Not only did we increase sales but we were able to do the cakes in house. It was a win-win situation across the board.”

    The demands of the culinary industry are not for everyone, she cautions. “Making a thousand raviolis a day is hard but you need to appreciate the tedious stuff. It has to ring your bell. You have to really enjoy it. Otherwise you will burn yourself out.” Elise believes that repetition builds knowledge of food and preparation techniques. “If you are making pasta dough over and over the years, you will realize that the pasta dough changes with the weather. The more moisture that is in the atmosphere, the more moisture is in the dough. The time of year the flour was milled has an impact on the flour and the moisture. The more you handle a product, the more it speaks to you.”

    Elise, who in 1998 earned an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of Colorado, says that her education built upon her existing love of culinary arts. “[A chef where I worked] actually encouraged me to go to culinary school. [He said] if you don’t know the why and the bases and how to dice things in the proper sizes, then you don’t understand how the end product comes out.” She encourages current students to focus on the “why” in culinary school. “You really need to have that in order to get where you need to be, at the level of where you want to be. If you really want to be a chef you need to get as much education as you possibly can.”

    See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/912 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Art Institute of Colorado alumni Eric Lind

    Eric Lind

    Interior Design , 2006

    "The collaborative nature of studio classes created a healthy competitive environment not unlike the workplace."

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    Eric Lind

    Eric L. Lind is working as an interior designer for Gensler, an integrated architecture, design, planning, and consulting firm in Denver, CO. He is assigned corporate workplace projects to create functional spaces that protect employees’ health, safety, and welfare. “I am the leader of the ‘Revit-guru’ team within the workplace studio at Gensler Denver, which means that I regularly participate in conceptualizing designs and am heavily engaged in the virtual modeling of solutions and producing the construction documents,” he says.

    Eric’s most noteworthy project to date is the San Jose International Airport terminal renovation that he completed while working at a previous firm. “It has received numerous awards and is quite a progressive design which integrates modern technology while focusing on an unrivaled passenger experience.” He adds that the best thing about interior design is the ability to impact lives by shaping experiences within a space. “Designers bring expertise to realizing a built environment that helps clients take their business to a new destination. We support habits and encourage the development of new ones through creative design solutions.”

    Eric, who in 2006 earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interior Design from The Art Institute of Colorado, says that his education focused on technology and critical practice areas that provided a strong foundation for his career. “Passionate and experienced instructors challenged students to seek innovative design solutions while teaching vital skills for execution. The collaborative nature of studio classes created a healthy competitive environment not unlike the workplace.” Eric encourages current students to network and make their own opportunities. “Wear your passion on your sleeve and do not accept the first solution as the right one. Never burn a bridge. The design community is very tight knit even in large markets.”

    See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/923 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Art Institute of Colorado alumni Eric Youngstrom

    Eric Youngstrom

    Visual Effects & Motion Graphics , 2014

    "[My education] taught me that hard work pays off. I used school as an introduction to the software, sort of a 'hello' to the basic terminology and skills that now I'm on my way to mastering."

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    Eric Youngstrom

    Eric Youngstrom is a motion graphics artist for Altitude Sports & Entertainment in Colorado. He’s responsible for art direction, design, and animation of in-game and promotional graphics for the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Mammoth, and Colorado Rapids. A typical day consists of Cinema 4D work mixed with After Effects to complete—start to finish—graphics for the five television shows his company produces and broadcasts.

    Eric’s work includes everything from conceptualizing to storyboards, texturing, lighting, animation, rendering, compositing, editing, and sound design. The end result is a complete television show package that includes opens, caps, rejoins, transitions, in-show elements, and logos. Eric counts his dad as his hero. “He has taught me patience and to be honest and hard working. Growing up I took all of that for granted but now I can see where it is all coming into play.” He also looks up to his instructor, Ognian Bozikov, who instilled in him a passion for VFX and compositing. His favorite studios are Framestore, Image Engine, Pixomondo, Digital Domain, and Method Studios.

    Eric, who in 2014 earned a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Effects & Motion Graphics from The Art Institute of Colorado says that his education helped him to learn industry-relevant software and push his imagination. “It taught me that hard work pays off. I used school as an introduction to the software, sort of a ‘hello’ to the basic terminology and skills that now I'm on my way to mastering.” He encourages current students to understand the challenges of a career in visual effects. “It has to be something you’re truly passionate about because the industry doesn’t accept half [efforts].”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/930 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Art Institute of Colorado alumni Morgan Gutshall

    Morgan Gutshall

    Graphic & Web Design , 2013

    "My education was, and still is, very valuable in getting a career started. Not only do I have the technical skills that I learned from all of my classes, but I have the critical thinking skills that I developed in my time at school."

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    Morgan Gutshall

    Morgan Gutshall is a graphic designer for Pure Strategic in Boulder, Colorado. She designs promotional assets and associated graphics and website comps for the company’s clients. Morgan enjoys being able to express herself within a creative environment. “I enjoy the freedom that I have to suggest better solutions in my graphic design work. I like that I can strategically plan out and make decisions in everything I do—and have [the knowledge] to back up my [opinions],” she says.

    Morgan is proud to have been the first person in her office with multimedia experience. “[I enjoy] working with my hands just as much as I like working with pixels. Any chance I get, I will use my artistic skills to bring whatever I am creating to the next level.” She accomplishes this by styling and photographing 3D objects rather than clipping out and combining stock images. “I'm also really proud of the cookbooks I've created here—those are pretty neat!”

    She lists her creative influences as Jessica Hische and Stefan Sagmeister. “I really appreciate their artistic style, and continue to look through their work when I feel like I am in a creative block.” She also looks to fellow designers and her family for inspiration. “My dad is my artistic hero. Without him, I would not have explored my artistic talents and I would not be where I am today.”

    Morgan, who in 2013 earned a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design from The Art Institute of Colorado, says her education provided valuable technical and critical thinking skills she uses daily in her career. She recommends that current students take time and absorb from those around them after graduation. “You learn [so] much being in the actual field [after graduation]. Don’t feel bad if you don't feel proficient at everything right off the bat. Every year since graduating, I look back at the year before and see how much I've accomplished and I am thankful for all of the new things I have learned—and am still learning.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/918 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Art Institute of Colorado alumni Seth Miller

    Seth Miller

    Media Arts & Animation , 2014

    "[My education] provided a sense of self-reliance. No excuses, and it stressed the importance of a great portfolio."

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    Seth Miller

    Seth Miller is working as a forensic animator for Kineticorp in Greenwood Village, Colorado. He specializes in 3D animation software and techniques for both accident scenes and vehicles. “I use these skills in three-dimensional modeling, rendering, lighting, camera matching, motion capture, character animation, and video analysis to further the field of accident reconstruction,” he says. Seth is proud to be the lead author and presenter of a research paper at the upcoming SAE International conference. SAE International is the premiere world resource for the design, manufacturing, operation, and maintenance of automobiles and aircraft.

    He adds that he enjoys his career because it gives him a sense of purpose and fulfillment. “I go to work each day and know that my contribution directly affects the business and its success.” Seth says that movies and video games were the original inspiration for his choice of study, but he quickly discovered that he wanted to work in a different field. “I felt those industries were too unreliable for me. I wanted a secure field where I could truly create a career.”

    Seth, who in 2014 earned a Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts & Animation from The Art Institute of Colorado, says that his education taught him the technical skills he needed to succeed in the industry. “It also provided a sense of self-reliance. No excuses, and it stressed the importance of a great portfolio.” Seth says that current students need to remain focused on their studies. “If you’re a slacker, you will fail. Employers want someone who is dedicated. They want someone who they can count on to complete a task when it needs to be done.”

    See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/925 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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What Will I Study?

Media_Arts_Animation

I'm ready to start telling stories.

Our Media Arts & Animation curriculum will truly put you to the test. Because it was designed by industry experts to help put you in a position to succeed in field where the only limit is your imagination. You'll study:

  • Digital Imaging
  • Life Drawing for Animation
  • Character and Object Design for Animation
  • Cinematic Storytelling
  • Digital Editing
  • Computer 3D Modeling and Animation
  • Principles of Animation
  • Acting / Movement
  • 2D Animation
  • Storyboard Rendering for Animation
  • Camera and Lighting Techniques
  • Creative and Collaborative Project Management
  • 3D Modeling
  • 3D Character Animation
  • 3D Textures
  • Web Animation



I'm looking for my proving ground.

At The Art Institutes system of schools, creativity is our core, our calling, our culture. Media Arts & Animation degree programs are built on that creative foundation. It’s also built on our knowledge that a creative career is not for the faint of heart. Because it’s tough out there, it’s tough in here. But we temper the tough with the support you need to make your creativity marketable. We provide the mentoring and real-world experience you need to prevail, with faculty* who’ve worked in the field and internship possibilities at successful businesses. Here, you’ll be encouraged and expected to be bold. To take risks. To push yourself and the people around you. So if your heart is telling you that you belong in a creative field, you belong here. It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever love.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

 

Meet Our Faculty

  • Edward Popovitz

    Graphic & Web Design

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    Edward Popovitz

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    When I was young, I painted the sign for my mom's beauty shop. Everyone loved it. I did not know who, what, where, or why, but I did know that I wanted to work in art. From photography for ads to designing menu boards to creating layouts for magazines, I realized that art and design were a way life.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    My work in the design community puts me in touch with many resources so I make it a point to bring real-world projects into the classroom. I provide experiential opportunities for my students. We visit professional studios and I bring in guest speakers to enrich the classroom experience.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    My pre-press and production project invites students to create books that are a personal statement about something significant in their lives. I like this project because it involves both digital and handmade craftsmanship. Students are challenged to practice everything they have learned—from designing a layout to sourcing materials to measuring, cutting, and assembly.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    I create opportunities for students to work together. Group projects, critiques, and teamwork build relationships and help bridge programs.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Look around and be amazed. We all spend too much time on our devices. Engaging with people, visiting places, and looking for new experiences will inform your design choices more than any software or any class.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Get involved in a professional organization. Every discipline has a one, and that's the place to make connections.

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  • Shannon Hayashi, CEC, M.Ed.

    Culinary Arts

    Dedication and integrity are two valuable ingredients for success.

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    Shannon Hayashi, CEC, M.Ed.

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    One’s destiny is determined by the first breath one takes. As a child, teenager, and young adult, I was always an educator, mentor, and coach, in and out of the classroom, never knowing that would be my destiny. Cooking never crossed my mind, but when I entered the restaurant field I knew that I had a gift for cooking. I never looked back from that moment.

    In your opinion, what makes a great chef?


    I feel that a great chef does not necessarily make a great educator. It takes compassion, dedication, sincerity, and, above all, continual research and professional development to instill greatness and success in the student.

    How would you describe your approach to teaching and mentoring?


    Here are a few thoughts I pass along to my students that I feel have contributed to their growth and success: Be accountable for your education. Learn once, and learn forever. Immerse yourself as you would to learn a foreign language and respect your profession.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?


    Dedication and integrity are two valuable ingredients for success.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    First, be curious, and discover on your own. Second, think of ideas that can help improve the way we live together. And lastly, decide what will be your contribution to your community.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    The opportunity to be able to influence the careers of students is an honor that an educator should never take for granted.

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  • Steven Pierce

    Game Art & Design

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    Steven Pierce

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    Even as a child I could draw, paint and take photographs. As a college biology major, I signed up for a non-art major sculpture class. My teacher saw something in my artwork and became a mentor as I worked toward a double degree in art and horticulture.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I believe that when students work in teams to create successful level designs, they build confidence and self-esteem. The game development process is not easy. But when new team members work with more experienced students, they quickly learn what works and what does not work. Success breeds confidence. When students share in the design process, they each feel more engaged. They are empowered to take creative chances, which puts them on the path to innovation. Expanding creative innovation is something that is needed in business today. I see this play out in the projects I assign in my classes: Level Design and Game Prototyping, as well as in Pre-Production, Production, and Post-Production.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?


    Video game development is the art of the 21st century. From 2D and 3D design to story, audio, and animation to programming, creating interactive experiences is demanding, and students need support from other disciplines. Cross-program collaboration generates excitement and creates connections that can help build professional networks after graduation.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Be persistent. Work and work, then keep working and learning. Learning is a lifelong endeavor.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Tough artistic problems demand varied solutions. Be persistent and follow through with quality and professional courtesy.

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Miami International University of Art & Design alumni Marlon Munoz I'm challenged by the opportunity to take my ideas and bring them to life. Marlon Munoz
Visual Effects & Motion Graphics, Miami International University of Art & Design, 2008