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For international students who have decided to pursue an undergraduate degree in computer animation, there are a number of pressing considerations to keep in mind. The article below highlights some of these important parts of planning a successful undergraduate degree. The article will also offer an overview of a computer animation major, including a list of typical courses a student can expect.

For international students studying in the US, there are several important factors to keep in mind when deciding upon a potential major, including the number of career opportunities available upon graduation, as well as personal fulfillment with the substance of the major. Given these considerations, one of the increasingly popular decisions amongst international students is to pursue an undergraduate degree in computer animation. International students who decide to study computer animation in the United States have decided to use their artistic talents to create the dazzling special effects seen in Hollywood blockbuster films, television shows, and video games. There are many reasons that studying computer science in the US has become so popular, and this article will help identify the typical layout of an undergraduate degree in computer animation in hopes of making effectively planning a computer animation major easier.

Studying Computer Animation

Computer animation is a field that combines fine arts with technical computer-based skill to bring special effects big and small to life. Usually an undergraduate degree in computer animation takes the form of a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. While BS programs tend to focus more heavily on the technical aspects of digital animation, production, and computer-generated imagery, BA programs often emphasize a robust fine arts background, including the history of animation and character development. The cost of an undergraduate degree in computer animation will vary depending on the state and institution at which the computer animation major is located. However, there is also a large degree of flexibility regarding the number of courses a student takes during a semester and academic year, so students will surely be able to find a program that can be completed within their desired schedule. That being said, the first step in pursuing an undergraduate degree in computer animation is to select an institution and program at which to study.

Choosing a Computer Animations Program

International students who desire an undergraduate degree in computer animation will have to establish some criteria by which to decide between the many top-tier computer animation programs to which they will have access while studying in the United States. Some central points to consider when deciding where to pursue a computer animation major are:

  1. The reputation of the institution and job placement rate of graduates,
  2. The amount of funding/financial assistance that is available to undergraduate students,
  3. The rate of debt among graduates,
  4. Any industry affiliations (companies that work closely with graduates of a specific program or institution) which students can use to gain access to the competitive computer animation industry.

Deciding to pursue a computer animation major will not only link students' careers with their passion, the decision can also be a potentially lucrative investment. The undergraduate degree in computer animation a student receives will prepare them for a career in the entertainment industry being part of bringing artistic visions to life in an exciting medium.

Typical Courses Comprising a Four-Year Computer Animation Major

  • Fundamentals of Art (multiple levels)
  • Fundamentals of Animation (multiple levels)
  • Art History
  • 2D Animation
  • 3D Animation
  • Model Creation
  • Shading and Lighting
  • Methods of Design
  • Character Design and Creation
  • Geometry
  • Production Modeling
  • Physics
  • Rigging
  • Character Rigging
  • Character Animation
  • Visual Development
  • Motion Capture
  • Computer Animation Software
  • Compositing
  • Scene Finishing
  • Visual Effects
  • Animation Production
  • Portfolio Production (multiple levels, including capstone)

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