Major: Animation and Special Effects

What colleges offer a Major in Animation and Special Effects?

The phenakistiscope and zoetrope were animation devices developed in the 1830s. The phenakistiscope was a spinning cardboard disc with pictures that moved when viewed through the device’s mirror. The zoetrope was a rotating drum lined with a strip of images that came to life when viewed through its slots. 

French inventor Émile Reynaud patented the first animation device: the praxinoscope, which led to the projection of animated films in the late 1800s. Reynaud, Walt Disney, and Warner Bros., among others, paved the way for further expansion into this field and the creation of timeless and awe-inspiring cinema.

What does a student majoring in Animation and Special Effects study? 

Your coursework will give you a firm grasp of the arts and digital technology. Your studies will help sharpen your attention to detail, computer and drawing skills, and storytelling. Here are some sample courses:

  • Introduction to Drawing
  • Computer Graphics
  • History of Animation
  • Storyboarding
  • Animation Drawing
  • Visual Effects

What can I do with an Animation and Special Effects degree?

Opportunities are vast in this industry. Here are some career options:

Specializations for an Animation and Special Effects Major:

  • 2D Animator
  • 3D Animator
  • Forensic Animator
  • Photorealistic design
  • Video game graphics
  • Concept art development

What are the requirements for an Animation and Special Effects degree? 

Besides completing your undergraduate coursework, you should make it a priority to get hands-on experience by completing animation and special effects projects and internships. Doing so builds the skills you’ll need to launch your animation career. In addition to the information provided by your faculty adviser and academic institution, AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) is a helpful resource.