Art Institutes

Online Media Arts &Animation Degree Programs

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, our online 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 & instructors.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science in Media Arts & Animation

Quarter Credit Hours:
180
Timeframe:
15 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes & Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Media Arts & Animation

Outcomes & Requirements

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/204 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

  • Graduates demonstrate application of learned concepts from foundation level art courses. These would include: drawing, color, form, design, composition and foundation level digital art skills.
  • Graduates demonstrate an applied technical knowledge of animation tools and software according to current industry standards.
  • Graduates demonstrate a practical understanding and application in the principles of animation, acting and movement and cinematic storytelling as it relates to 2D and 3D animation (as applicable).
  • Graduates demonstrate professionalism, through the creation and presentation of a demo-reel and self-promotion package, according to current industry standards.
  • Graduates demonstrate the ability to conceptualize, plan, execute, and deliver quality animation projects.- Graduates demonstrate the ability to work on team-based projects

Requirements

View Academic Catalog

Certificate in 2D Animation

Quarter Credit Hours:
42
Timeframe:
5 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes & Requirements

Certificate in 2D Animation

Outcomes & Requirements

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/3458 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

  • Upon completion of the Certificate in 2D Animation certificate program, graduates will be able to develop and execute accurate freehand drawings, render textures & tones on human figures, draw expressive images of body language, with weight and balance. They will be able to develop original characters, model sheets and compositions. They will be able to develop a production schedule and exposure sheets, design and render a presentation storyboard, apply camera angles, point of view, and a variety of shots.

Requirements

View Academic Catalog

Certificate in 3D Animation

Quarter Credit Hours:
39
Timeframe:
5 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes & Requirements

Certificate in 3D Animation

Outcomes & Requirements

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/3461 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

  • Upon completion of the Certificate in 3D Animation program, graduates will be able to create, build, and modify multiple complex 3D models, generate 3D animation, and animate 3D armatures. They will be able to create 3D models, create simple and complex surface materials, perform renders as well as prepare CG assets that are suitable for compositing into still or live action imagery. They will be provided with foundational tools that are used for animation, such as rigging and skinning, and will create animation to test the rig. Also, students will create 3D assets and environments from real world observations, camera positioning and animation to create mood and atmosphere, including depth of field, static, motion, zoom, pan, dolly and truck in camera movement for 3D computer animation

Requirements

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. At our online animation school, 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 online animation program that interests you.

Meet Our Alumni

  • Nicole_Simila

    Nicole Simila

    Digital Photography , 2016

    "[My education] helped me to learn ways to use my camera that I had never thought of, or couldn't seem to teach myself."

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    Nicole Simila

    Self-employed Business Owner and Photographer at EvelynJo Photography

    Nicole Simila is a self-employed business owner and photographer at EvelynJo Photography. She runs her business on nights and weekends, after she completes her full time job. This determination, and her passion for photography, keeps her motivated. “There are going to be times where you feel like you may have failed but keep your head high and you will succeed.”

    She discusses a time when she was shooting weddings—only to realize that it wasn’t what she wanted to be doing. “The stress and worrying that came a long with it wasn't worth the time and effort. I figured out through [my education] that I wanted to mainly focus on working with children.” Today, she says that her studio work with children provides smiles and creates joy for the children’s parents, friends, and family.

    Nicole adds that since she’s completed her education, her photography workload has increased. She attributes this to the confidence she’s gained as a photographer.

    “My hard work and determination throughout school helped me to succeed and learn so much more than I had known before.” She says that she always has room to grow and seeks out tips and tricks to add to her repertoire.

    Nicole, who in 2016 earned an Associate of Science in Photography from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division, says that her education helped her to learn about studio lighting and camera operations. “It helped me to learn ways to use my camera that I had never thought of, or couldn't seem to teach myself.”

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

    Read More...
  • William_Douglas

    William Douglas

    Digital Photography , 2015

    "I try to encourage others to express their creativity and think outside the box."

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    William Douglas

    Spent 10 years in the United States Army as an 11B/4 sniper

    William Douglas spent 10 years in United States Army as an 11B/4 sniper. “I served during Operation Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Operation Just Cause and was honorably discharged as Staff Sargent,” he says. Today, he is the owner of Liam Photography in Atlanta, Georgia. He takes professional, editorial, portrait, and drone photos. And recently he was honored to have one of his photos selected by National Geographic to be on the cover of its newest book on “Big Cats.”

    William says that one of the biggest challenges he faced as a photographer was giving models instructions for poses. “I was able to overcome this by shooting friends and family members and working with some of the members of my photography club. I learned to be more of a leader when directing shoots. I try to encourage others to express their creativity and think outside the box.”

    He recommends that current students build their professional connections and experience through networking and reading photography blogs and articles. “I spend a lot of time on sites like SLR Lounge reading articles and blog posts,” he adds.

    William, who in 2015 earned an Associate of Science in Photography from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division, says that his education provided a strong foundation for his career. But he adds that being a photographer requires constant learning. “You cannot just graduate and think you will immediately make money as a photographer. It takes, time, patience, and networking—a lot.”

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

    Read More...
  • VisualDesign

    Jeffrey Siereveld

    Web Design & Interactive Media , 2014

    "My education taught me the basic fundamentals of web design and interactive media, [including] the ability to read and manipulate it to get the results I am looking for."

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    Jeffrey Siereveld

    Freelance Website Designer

    Jeffrey Siereveld is a freelance designer specializing in WordPress websites. He says that a typical day involves building sites or adjusting the layout of an already-existing website. “I spend a lot of time researching the industry. Whether that is testing WordPress themes or researching a niche for my next big idea, there's always something to do.”

    Before becoming a freelancer, Jeffrey was a web design intern for Blizzard Internet Marketing, creating sites for the vacation rental, travel, and tourism industry. He understands the competitive nature of his industry and recommends that students find ways to break up their days increase productivity. “It will help you to keep moving forward when the going gets tough.”

    Jeffrey says that the biggest professional challenge he’s encountered is making the decision to become a professional freelancer. “The agency I worked for told me it was going to

    He adds that he finds clients via word of mouth—saying they are better to work with and often pay more than those found on freelancer websites. Jeffrey says that designers need to understand that everyone must pay their dues as they make their way up the ladder. “There’s a good chance that you will have to take jobs that pay less than you expect. But until your professional portfolio is built out enough to attract or persuade people that don't know anything about you, it will be really hard to charge $100 per hour or more than $1,000 for a simple website. Eventually you will get there.”

    He cites a quote by Eric Thomas as being motivational: ”When you want to succeed, as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.” And he keeps creativity flowing by maintaining a clean and organized workspace. “It's so easy for me to work late into the night and have empty cans or water bottles on or around my desk before I step over to my bed and fall asleep. So keeping my work area clean and organized definitely impacts my creativity.”

    Jeffrey states that his roommate is also a mentor. “My roommate is an search engine optimization (SEO) expert who has been working in this industry for about four years longer than I have. He’s created his own company that has been growing every day and he doesn't have any employees. Just seeing what he is doing, and learning about SEO from him, has given me the desire to create a company of my own and not give up on it.”

    He believes that his biggest challenge is the continually changing industry. He keeps growing and learning to keep ahead of trends. Jeffrey, who in 2014 earned an Associate of Science in Web Design & Interactive Media from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division, says that his education provided the fundamentals he needed to move into a web design career. “The knowledge of HTML and CSS, and the ability to read an manipulate it to get the results I am looking for, have been a huge help.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/202 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

    Read More...
  • FilmProd

    Pocco Roberts

    Digital Photography , 2014

    "Without [gaining educational experience] in camera settings, understanding light, networking, the use of Photoshop/Lightroom, and how to run a photography business, I would never have been able to live my dream of being an artist."

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    Pocco Roberts
    Owner and Lead Photographer at PSR Images

    Pocco Roberts is the owner and lead photographer at PSR Images in Turner, Maine. He says that a typical day involves setting up photo shoots, working on current photos, and selling artwork through my website. He’s also a United States Army veteran who earned the rank of Sergeant.

    Pocco says that he enjoys a career where he’s able to create. And he recommends that current students be patient during classwork that may appear to be repetitive. ”I remember taking several classes that seemed to have little to do with the genre of photography that I was interested in. However, if you give it your very best, you will walk away with something that makes your photography better.”

    He is often challenged in his work and says that patience, determination, and asking for help when it’s needed has helped him to overcome obstacles. “Be smart, research, learn, and move to a new location if you must. But if your dream is to be an artist, and it is your passion, then nothing will get in your way.” He’s always striving to evolve and believes that “if your art is the best it can be, then it is time for a new career.”

    Pocco enjoys challenging himself and uses his art to take on social issues. He also marks the passage of time through visual statements. “Remember, art doesn't need approval, it just needs inspiration.” Today, he experiences the benefits of his hard would through networking and making new friends, a steady paycheck, and a positive reputation among his friends.

    Pocco, who in 2014 earned a Bachelor of Science in Photography from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division, says that his education taught him proper camera settings, lighting techniques, networking, use of Photoshop/Lightroom, and how to run a photography business. [Without that foundation], I would never have been able to live my dream of being an artist.”

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

    Read More...

What Will I Study?

Study Section

I'm ready to start telling stories.

Our online Media Arts & Animation courses will truly put you to the test. Because it was designed by industry experts to help put you in a position to succeed in a 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 Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division, creativity is our core, our calling, our culture. Our online 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 & instructors.

 

Meet Our Faculty

  • Noelia D. Goss

    Noelia D. Goss

    Media Arts & Animation

    "Work hard, meet deadlines, and be professional."

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    Noelia D. Goss
    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    After working for a year in computer programming, I realized that I wanted something more, so I put a portfolio together and got accepted to two schools. Preparing my portfolio and becoming immersed in art helped me realize that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

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


    I use examples from my professional experience that apply to the projects we work on in class, to add a layer of realism to the learning.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    With every project I assign, I offer real-world examples and provide guidance. Students often tell me they enjoy my video tutorials—especially when I open their file and pass along tips and ideas to enhance the work.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    I don’t assign group projects, but we do use classroom critiques. I find most students benefit from getting different perspectives on their work.

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

    Work hard, meet deadlines, and be professional. Networking starts in school, so building a good reputation in the industry is critical for success.

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

    Be a team player. Read More...
  • Online Media Arts & Animation Instructor Deborah Baxtrom

    Deborah Baxtrom

    Media Arts & Animation

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    Deborah Baxtrom

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

    There were several. As far back as I can remember I was writing and illustrating stories. When I was about 13, I decided I wanted to work in visual media, primarily in films, either as a screenwriter or director. In my senior year of high school, I took a creative writing class. My instructor’s encouragement and praise gave me the confidence to try to make my dreams a reality.

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

    I share my own experiences as they relate to the subject to add a real-world context. And any time a student doesn’t seem to see the value in a particular assignment or skill set, I let them know why it matters in the field they plan to enter. That usually helps students focus on the material.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching, mentoring, and pushing your students beyond their own perceived limits?

    I find that when creating stories, many students focus on the plot at the expense of character development; they tend to create characters like the ones they've seen before. But when I ask what draws them to certain stories, whether in a game or animation, they almost always mention the characters. I use this approach to push them toward developing characters that are unique.

    What are the benefits of teaching an online course?

    For me the most important benefit is flexibility. I'm also a working writer, so teaching online allows me to attend meetings and events, and also make time each day for writing. I can answer students' questions and help them work through issues more frequently online rather than just once or twice a week, as I would in a classroom setting.

    What are the benefits of an online education for students?

    Most of my students have other responsibilities just like I do, and studying online means they can earn an income and raise a family while still pursuing their education. It also cuts back on the time, stress, and expense of commuting to an on-ground campus.

    What are the most student-friendly features of an online education?

    Creative students tend to enjoy working independently, and an online education allows them that freedom. They can work on projects and attend class at their own pace throughout the week. They can create and share art, videos, and other work online with relative ease. And they don't need to work around someone else's schedule. I know some people who do their best work late at night, while others prefer early morning. Without the stress of commuting, students can focus on their projects whenever and however they like, knowing they can instantly share their work when they're ready.

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

    I stress originality. There’s so much redundancy in visual stories and characters these days. I tell students that original stories and characters will set them apart from the competition.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    Each student is at a different place in their academic and creative journey. I try to help them reach their own personal next level of success, rather than expecting each to achieve the same level of quality in their work.

    Read More...
The Art Institute of Virginia Beach, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta alumni Harlen Capen Photography is an extremely fast-paced career when it comes to new technology. Harlen Capen
Digital Photography, The Art Institute of Virginia Beach, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta, 2015