Program Details

Bachelor of Arts in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Animation

Offered By: College of Fine Arts and Production
Next Start Date:
Program Now Enrolling
Approx. Course Length:
Online: 7 weeks [More Info]
Campus: 15 weeks
Total Program Credits:
120 Credits
Transfer Credits:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division

Overview

Earn Your Degree in Animation

Gains in video gaming, motion graphics and special effects have all been made through developments in digital design. Enter the next wave of technology with skills in digital design and animation. The College of Fine Arts and Production's Bachelor of Arts in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Animation degree helps you balance an aptitude for technology with a passion for the creative arts. Core courses in the digital design with an emphasis in animation program inspire you to think critically, act ethically and communicate effectively.

In this animation degree program, you can enhance your abilities in drawing, photography and composition and study motion graphics for television and film. Introductory classes in kinematics, typography and visual arts provide the groundwork for your learning. Advanced studies in sculpture, modeling, film production and visual effects prepare you for an accelerated animation and design curriculum. At Grand Canyon University (GCU), learning extends beyond the classroom walls. Digital design students are encouraged to participate in the creative community on campus, including our student design organization and AIGA, as well as establish connections with the larger design community.

To be successful in our web design program, you are required to provide your own laptop and maintain an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription for the duration of your program.

Degree Outcomes

Curriculum for Animation Design

In GCU's Bachelor of Arts in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Animation degree program, you study animation, drawing, color, typography, photography and composition. You also study the business aspects of operating a design studio. Coursework in the animation degree focuses developing creativity, communication and problem-solving skills that demonstrate ethical leadership. GCU's global approach to creative education creates skills that can help you succeed in today's marketplace and thrive as you match passion with purpose.

What You Will Learn

Coursework for the Animation Degree

In this program, you review the following course topics:

  • Digital content for both 2D and 3D applications
  • Developing character models and basic rigging, lighting and textures
  • Pipeline from story idea to final rendering
  • Kinetic type and graphics primarily seen in television and film title sequences
  • Advanced animation and short film production

Career Outcomes

Careers in Digital Design and Animation

An animation degree prepares you to work in a variety of areas, including television, film, computer applications and games, technical simulations in manufacturing and medical industries, architectural visualization, new product development and more. Potential careers include animator, graphic designer, illustrator, game developer or artist, designer, creative director and web artist. Digital designers and animation experts typically work in advertising, multimedia and film industries.

Course List

The programs offered at Grand Canyon University may vary by content and course length. You are currently viewing the program version available in Arizona. In order to view the specific course content and credit length available for your state, please contact a counselor at 1-855-GCU-LOPE or click here to request more information.
General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
Major:
80 credits
Open Elective Credits:
0-6 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University’s General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.

Requirements

Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

GCU Course Options

  • UNV-103, University Success: 4 credits
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4 credits

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

GCU Course Options

  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4 credits
  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4 credits
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4 credits
  • COM-263, Elements of Intercultural Communication: 4 credits

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

GCU Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4 credits
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4 credits

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments. Students are required to take 3 credits of college mathematics or higher.

GCU Course Options

  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4 credits

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, crosscultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

GCU Course Options

  • INT-244, World Religions: 4 credits
  • PSY-100, Psychology in Everyday Life: 4 credits
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4 credits

Program Core Courses

Course Description

This survey course introduces majors to theoretical foundations of the visual arts and cultures. Modes of cultural production are explored—including art, photography, film, and design—with focus on influential artists, critics, and theoreticians. Students begin to identify, form, and critically support their own visual interests and opinions in relation to the diverse and changing nature of contemporary culture. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Course Description

Drawing, sketching, conceptualization for clients, and preparing storyboards are essential communication skills in a visual world. This introductory drawing course teaches students about rendering spatial relationships, perspective, light, shadow, texture, and forms. This foundational course includes still life, gesture, and perspective drawing as well as lectures, critiques, and discussions. This course does not require that students have an art background. All types of aspiring artists will benefit from the fundamental and techniques taught in this class. Students will provide drawing supplies and paper along with a portfolio to carry them.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the basic elements of design and processes of visual communication using graphic tools standard in the industry. The focus is on mastering pixel, vector, and layout tools to demonstrate two-dimensional graphics, images, symbols, color theory, typography, and composition.

Course Description

This course teaches students the anatomy of figure drawing for animation and character modeling. Developed skill sets transfer to figure drawing of any organic being, whether human or animal. Class time consists of demonstrations, lectures, critiques, and drawing exercises using a variety of media and subject matter. Student will provide drawing supplies and paper, along with a portfolio to carry them. A supply list will be provided at the start of the course.

Course Description

During this course students will apply the concepts of production management, including structuring and preparing electronic files through production for a variety of mediums. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud, external drive for back-ups, mouse and/or graphics tablet for input.

Course Description

Students develop perspective and layout techniques for creating depth illusion as applied to principles of 3D modeling and animation. This course emphasizes the study of story, size relationships, values, lines, vanishing points, lighting, path direction, camera placements, and composition. Students also explore drawing media. Prerequisites: DDN-105. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop and subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, a graphics tablet, sound editing software (Garage Band or Audacity), and additional supplies as defined during the course.

Course Description

This course introduces the principles of animation, bringing objects to life using established principles of squash and stretch, key framing, and basic timing techniques. Vector-based design tools are used to create moving design. This course includes reading, writing, and lab assignments and requires the creation and exhibition of student artwork. Prerequisites: DDN-110. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Course Description

This course explores fundamentals and traditions for creating, setting, and designing with type, as well as corporate design with an emphasis on typography and integration of vector designs and photography into promotional pieces. Students propose and create solutions for visual problems with type. This course includes reading, writing, and lab assignments and requires the creation and exhibition of student artwork. Prerequisites: DDN-110. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Course Description

This course focuses on 3D modeling using a variety of media and processes. Students demonstrate three-dimensional concepts, theories, and application while creating products and package designs; photography and 3D model integration; game environment designs; and beginning character designs. This course includes reading, writing, and lab assignments and requires the creation and exhibition of student artwork. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, a graphics tablet, external hard drive, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Maya software is available as a student download from the Autodesk website.

Course Description

This course introduces students to sculpture in various mediums, both traditional and nontraditional; provides practical and theoretical exploration of form, surface, mass, gravity, and structure; includes reading and writing assignments; and requires the creation and exhibition of student artwork. Students will provide their own sculpture tools. A supply list will be posted prior to the start of class.

Course Description

This course is a study of the tools used to convert two-dimensional hand drawings, photos, and other references into three-dimensional elements. Students employ the terminology, tools, and topology of animation and game industries while modeling polygons, NURBS, and SubDs. Students explore texturing methods, camera setups, lighting techniques, and rendering options. This course includes reading, writing, and lab assignments and requires the creation and exhibition of student work. Prerequisites: DDN-330. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, a graphics tablet, external hard drive, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Maya software is available as a student download from the Autodesk website.

Course Description

In this course, the principles of animation are explored in greater depth as they apply to 3D. Students learn about the production cycle of animation while planning models for future animation. Kinematics, rigging, and facial animation processes are explored as students demonstrate walk cycles, express emotions, and synchronize sound to animations. Students also create short animations and integrate basic sound and video compositing software. This course includes reading, writing, and lab assignments. Prerequisites: DDN-220 and DDN-330.

Course Description

This course is an advanced study in digital painting tools to support animation projects. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud, external drive for back-ups, mouse and/or graphics tablet for input.

Course Description

During this course students will create animated graphics in a variety of mediums to meet client business needs. This course includes reading, writing, and lab assignments and requires the creation and exhibition of student artwork. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud, external drive for back-ups, mouse and/or graphics tablet for input.

Course Description

This writing intensive course focuses on the history of visual arts, graphic design, and animation; genres of design; and the influence of artists, graphic artists, and animators through the ages. Emphasis is placed on the history of and current developments in the digital and information age. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Course Description

In this course, students plan and visualize a special effects project by creating a shot-by-shot storyboard, building environmental sets and props, applying appropriate lighting and special effects, and rendering the solution. Sets are modeled with realistic texturing, lighting design, visual effects, and rendering solutions demonstrated. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, a graphics tablet, external hard drive, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Maya software is available as a student download from the Autodesk website. Prerequisite: DDN-360.

Course Description

This writing intensive course focuses on the essential business skills necessary for the design practice and professional. Business development, legal issues, project management, finances, human resources, and other management issues are explored as they relate to the design profession. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Course Description

In this course students are introduced to every aspect of the short-film production pipeline, from pre-production when the story and characters are developed to the final lighting, rendering, visual and sound effects, music, titles, and ending credits in post-production. Students prepare a production plan for their own animated short film and create production quality scripts and storyboards. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, a graphics tablet, external hard drive, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud and Maya software. Maya software is available as a free student download from the Autodesk website. Check system requirements to run those programs at https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/maya/troubleshooting/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/System-requirements-for-Autodesk-Maya.html. Prerequisite: DDN-365.

Course Description

This advanced design course, provides a culminating experience in which students incorporate their personal style as designers through the development of a portfolio. Professional design projects for a variety of campus and studio-based projects provide opportunities for students to fine-tune solutions for customer-driven, reality-based design problems. Students propose design solutions, practicing their communication and presentation skills while exploring career opportunities. The ethics of business practice is incorporated into studio projects. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Course Description

This is a highly aesthetic and technical course in which students bring all design skills together, including pre-production, graphic design, modeling, animation, audio production, texturing, and rendering. Students must demonstrate composition, timing, and editing while producing a short, time-based project. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, a graphics tablet, external hard drive, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Maya software is available as a student download from the Autodesk website. Prerequisite: DDN-410.

Faculty Bios

Program Locations

Campus

Campus

Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview. New modern classrooms, suite-style residence halls, popular dining options, resort-style swimming pools and a focus on creating a dynamic student life make GCU a top choice for high school graduates and transfer students. Exciting events, well-known guest speakers and Division I athletics round out the traditional student experience. Our welcoming campus community is the perfect place to find your purpose.
Online

Online

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere. GCU offers the most experienced leadership in delivering online degree programs. Full-time faculty members and fully trained adjunct instructors, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Designed with the career-oriented professional in mind, our online classes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Choose from programs across our distinct colleges, in high-demand employment areas. Classes begin frequently.

On-campus program disclosures Online and Evening program disclosures

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.