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BFA ENTERTAINMENT ART / ANIMATION
Mission & Goals
The Mission of the Entertainment Art/Animation program is to provide students with conceptual understanding, technical skills, practical experience, and opportunities to explore the art of animation; to be successful entertainers, communicators and storytellers with a focus on character animation.
The goals of the concentration are:
have acquired a knowledge and understanding of character animation principles, concepts, and techniques as used to create character based performances.
Demonstrate through the creation of personal animated work, an understanding of the animation process and its use as a storytelling medium.
have developed a critical appreciation of historical and contemporary animation forms;
have developed expertise applicable to professional practice as evidenced within a portfolio and reel of animation and related art;
be capable of creatively expressing one's personal experience and thought with visual skill and clarity.
As a freshman and sophomore, you will focus on the foundations of the visual arts: color, composition, rendering, figure anatomy, perspective, and design. Animation students study drawing for animation, emphasizing gesture, expressiveness, and storytelling through drawing the figure. Courses studying the principles of digital and traditional animation are introduced in the sophomore year.
Two courses in art history covering prehistoric to contemporary times expand your understanding of the evolution of art in man’s development. The core of the upper division studies is the completion of a personal animated short, film during the junior year. The experience of creating a short film is modeled after the animated feature film making production process, introducing you to the various roles artists fulfill in an animated production, as well as developing your capacity as a storyteller, getting you in touch with your own voice while developing your ability to use animation to communicate with an audience. A variety of elective courses are available to provide the opportunity to focus more specifically on career goals and enhance your personal interests: 3D Digital animation, digital painting, additional life drawing and painting courses, motion graphics, cartooning and caricature, storyboarding, comic book and children’s book illustration, background painting, landscape painting, and more. A recommended History of Animation, course is available to enhance your knowledge of the profession and it’s application to other areas of communication. At the senior, special studies level, we offer opportunities for students to refine their focus and build a reel or portfolio in character animation (digital or traditional), storyboarding for animation, or to participate in a group project.
Finally, to jump-start seniors’ careers, an internship in a real world business prepares you for job hunting and industry practices.
Student and Alumni Achievements
Due to the significant contribution CSUF alum have made to their studio, Nickelodeon Animation Studios approached the CSUF Entertainment Art/Animation Concentration requesting the opportunity to work with us in further developing the educational opportunities we offer. CSUF Entertainment Art/Animation alum are working for Disney Feature Animation (in both traditional and digital animation positions), Rhythm and Hues, Starz Media (Film Roman), Sony Pictures Imageworks, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Blue Sky, Disney TV Animation, Lucas Films, Oddbot, etc. In the games industry, CSUF alum are animating at Electronic Arts, working for Pandemic Studios, Systemic Studios, Obsidian Entertainment, Sony Games, and various others. The work of our alum can be seen in productions such as Spiderman 3, Superman Returns, Meet the Robinsons, Beowulf, Alvin and The Chipmunks, Robots, Ice Age 2, The Simpsons, Tak, Avatar, The Power Of JuJu, Catscratch, SpongeBob Squarepants, and many others.
The Pencil Mileage Club, primarily serving animation and illustration students is the largest Student Organization on the campus, The club provides an opportunity for the students to develop relationships and contribute in another way to their development as artists. The club meets weekly, organizes tours of studios, hosts guest speakers from the industry, as well as regular events based around the students in the group.
Our faculty members bring significant professional experience to the classroom, having backgrounds as creative professionals working in the animation industry. Members of the CSUF Entertainment Art/Animation faculty have worked for Disney, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Fox Animation Studios, Dreamworks, Disney Online, Film Roman, Cornerstone Animation, Toonacious Family Entertainment, as well as various other studios. CSUF Faculty also explore the creation and exploration of personal animated films and related art; having had their art/animation displayed in festivals and other competitive venues all over the world, including the Rhode Island International Film festival, Los Angeles Short Film Festival, the Newport Beach Film Festival, Filmstock International Film Festival, Raindance International Film Festival, The Newport International Film Festival, the Temecula Valley International Film Festival, works published in Expose (The World’s Finest Digital Art), Painter (The World’s Finest Painter Art), and many more. For more information about the animation concentration, please contact faculty members Dana Lamb, Chuck Grieb, or Brandon Strathmann.
Dana Lamb, Professor and Department Chair
Chuck Grieb, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator
Joe Forkan, Associate Professor
Brandon Strathmann, Assistant Professor
Tina Schmidt, Lecturer
Brian Kennon, Lecturer
We encourage you to visit The University Academic Catalog to become more familiar with the Art Education curriculum as well as the News section for art department news. Also, check out the article at Titan Magazine for more details on where our alumni have pursued their careers.