Art Institutes

Visual Effects& Motion Graphics

My ideas have power.

Some people see things as they are, and want to make them more interesting, more exciting, more memorable. And a few of them manage to work their way into film and television production houses and design firms, making their living combining images, space, movement, sounds, and imagination to communicate and entertain. If you think you have the talent and commitment to join them, the place to start is with our Visual Effects & Motion Graphics degree programs. Here, you’ll work with professional-grade HD video technology and computer equipment as you have the opportunity to learn to grab the attention of an audience that’s growing more sophisticated every day. 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* who are dedicated to helping you succeed.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science in Visual Effects & Motion Graphics

Quarter Credit Hours:
12 Quarters

Gainful Employment


Bachelor of Science in Visual Effects & Motion Graphics

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will have the opportunity to:
  • Demonstrate the ability to use traditional design skills in the production of digital art projects.
  • Demonstrate an applied technical knowledge of compositing, effects, animation tools and software according to current industry standards.
  • Demonstrate professionalism through the creation and presentation of a portfolio and self promotion package, according to current industry standards.
  • Apply visual effects and motion graphics skills to meet the needs of corporate communication,television, motion picture, video production, and other media outlets.
  • Demonstrate the ability to conceptualize, plan, execute, and deliver quality visual effects and motion graphics projects.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work on team-based projects.

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

Classroom Experience

Teach me to think in three dimensions.

The Visual Effects & Motion Graphics degree programs can be the path that leads you to a creative career. You’ll start with fundamentals, from principles of typography, color, layout, and design to the latest computer software technologies. You can develop skills in areas like digital compositing to create the layered and textural landscapes that engage audiences on many levels. In a production-style, collaborative environment, you’ll take projects from initial concept to final execution. Working in teams with fellow students, just as you’ll collaborate with others as a creative professional, you’ll push yourself in new directions and arrive at unexpected solutions. You’ll work harder than you thought you could, but you might just go further than you every thought you would. See our gainful employment pages for possible careers that match the program that interests you.

Meet our Alumni

  • Alumni Tyler Crossno

    Tyler Crossno

    Visual Effects & Motion Graphics , 2016

    "While I wanted to specifically graduate as a motion graphics designer, my instructors taught me that I needed to be well rounded in as many disciplines as I could."

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    Tyler Crossno

    Tyler Crossno is a multimedia graphics designer for the Orange County, California Water District. He designs and develops multimedia-based layouts, graphics, animation, video, and sound for use in presentations, video productions, multimedia programs, online tutorials, websites, CDs, DVDs, and print media.

    At the Orange County Water District, Tyler is the only person doing design work. He says a typical day can involve everything from designing graphics to editing pictures and video or updating interactive content. He also goes into the field to shoot video and photos. He is solo in his office, so he often listens to audiobooks at work. “When I am reviewing my work with others, I am very honest and I like to explain my choices as a designer to see what they think. A fresh set of eyes can really make a difference.”

    Tyler says that his biggest artistic challenge is creating something from nothing. “Staring with a blank canvas, with little instruction and nothing in my brain, while under a strict deadline is absolutely terrifying [to me]. Because my greatest strength is my technical skills, I use this to generate ideas. [I just need to] get some type of composition going and then the ideas start to flow from there.” He adds that to be fully committed to this industry, it’s important to dive in head-first. “You can follow a tutorial, listen along in class, and recreate what you are learning, but that will only teach you how to do that specific technique. I found that taking the time to play around and tinker in a program [allowed me to] learn my own methods and think differently.”

    Tyler says that he’s been preparing for this job his entire life. “From when I was a kid, I wanted to work to help the environment. [In my current position], I helped to create a series of trading cards for characters that we use in our outreach program, 'O.C. Water Heroes.' This program teaches kids how to save water and protect the environment. This past summer, my trading cards were in the hands of over 5,000 kids. From teaching children, to developing fact sheets and publishing recorded meetings to help educate the public, I really feel like I'm making a difference in our world.”

    Tyler, who in 2016 earned a Bachelor of Science in Visual Effects & Motion Graphics from The Art Institute of California—Orange County, says that his education prepared him to be well-rounded in his career. “I wear many hats at work, so my adaptability is always challenged. I welcome the new projects whole-heartedly.”

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


What Will I Study?


I'm ready for the challenge. And I'm not afraid of hard work.

It takes a lot to pull off a truly remarkable visual effect. And it can take everything you have to become one of the professionals who do the job every day. The Visual Effects & Motion Graphics curriculum is focused on helping you do just that through as you study:

  • 3D Design
  • Maps, Mattes, and Masks
  • Conceptual Storytelling
  • Motion Graphics
  • Video for Visual Effects
  • 3D Modeling and Animation Techniques
  • Post-Production Management
  • Camera and Lighting Techniques
  • Editing for Visual Effects
  • 3D Textures
  • 3D Effects
  • Advanced Visual Effects
  • Interactive Visual Design
  • Production Studio

I'm looking for my proving ground.

At The Art Institutes system of schools, creativity is our core, our calling, our culture. Visual Effects & Motion Graphics is 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.


The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston alumni Sommer Bostick Working on game based training for the military has exposed me to things I never would be doing when I started at [The Art Institute of San Antonio]. Sommer Bostick
Media Arts & Animation, The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston, 2014