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Have you ever dreamed of building an entire world from scratch? From breathtaking landscapes to eye-catching characters, artists have a tremendous amount of influence over how we connect with video games, animated films, and movies.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Art and Animation is a rigorous program that prepares you for the challenges of professional art production. It begins with a solid grounding in the traditional arts, then progresses to computer animation techniques and technologies, and culminates in a series of projects that teach you all stages of the art production pipeline. You’ll graduate with the tools to translate your ideas into powerful, affecting imagery — and a new way of looking at the world around you.

As a student in the BFA degree program, you will both learn and practice the many roles that make up the art production pipeline for games and animation.


Who Should Pursue This Degree?

The BFA in Digital Art and Animation is a challenging program — one that will mold you into becoming a capable artist through sustained creative practice and critical feedback. If you have the capacity to get lost in your artwork, an interest in learning the stages of the art and animation pipelines, and the determination to begin creating at a professional level, this program is designed to help you succeed.

As a student in this program, you will:

  • Master the Fundamentals

    Build your artistic foundation through sustained practice in traditional media and application of core concepts.

  • Build Your Proficiency in Digital Tools

    Dive deep into the world of 2D and 3D digital art and animation production by learning the tools, pipelines, and techniques of professionals in the industry.

  • Work on Original Film or Game Projects

    Apply what you learn toward collaborative film or game projects as a team artist, animator, or related role.


Academic Roadmap

As a BFA in Digital Art and Animation student, you’ll spend the majority of your first year learning about tone, color, composition, and other foundational subjects as you practice observational drawing and working with traditional media. From there, you’ll begin to apply those same fundamentals to the realm of computer graphics, digital sculpting, and 2D and 3D animation. As you advance through the traditional and digital foundations, you will work on projects that incorporate the many roles and job types common to modern-day films and game productions. By your junior year, you will tailor your electives to specialized skill sets that match your career aspirations. By the end of your studies, you’ll have a deep understanding of production pipelines and a body of work to get you started on your career path.

View a sample course sequence

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Houdini Certification

DigiPen is a Certified Partner of SideFX, developers of the procedural 3D art software, Houdini. Certification means our students have demonstrated exceptional skill using the industry-leading tool favored by professional technical artists working in the film, television, and games industries.

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Admissions Requirements

In addition to meeting all standard undergraduate admissions requirements, applicants to the BFA program must submit an art portfolio.

View all requirements

Topics Covered

Students in the BFA in Digital Art and Animation program will gain the following:

  • Extensive production experience in both 2D and 3D animation, as well as an area of greater focus that enables you to target a specific sector of the industry according to your interests and abilities.
  • Excellent drawing skills, including a mastery of perspective, shading, drawing from observation, figure drawing, value, color, and composition.
  • Strong storytelling abilities, including visual storytelling, literary traditions, story through dialogue, story through acting, and cinematic conventions.
  • Familiarity with modern studio processes, including the ability to use current tools and software, as well as the ability to learn new software while maintaining a strict production schedule.
  • Professional work habits, including an understanding of how to continually enhance your craft, as well as the ability to utilize and implement professional criticism.

Event Schedule

Navigating Fall 2021 Admissions

Saturday, October 10, 2020 - 10:00am to 12:30pm

Navigating Fall 2021 Admissions

Saturday, October 10, 2020 - 10:00am to 12:30pm

Join us online for this webcast created for high school seniors and their families planning to apply for fall 2021 admissions. We will be covering the updates to the admissions process and how we’ve been adapting financial aid, housing, and student services during the pandemic. Register for the livestream today and be sure to ask us any questions you have for our staff and students.

RSVP Today

DigiPen Degree Program Deep Dive Series: Admissions & Student Services Session

Saturday, October 31, 2020 - 10:00am

DigiPen Degree Program Deep Dive Series: Admissions & Student Services Session

Saturday, October 31, 2020 - 10:00am

This two-hour Deep Dive session offers a broad overview of DigiPen itself and is especially helpful for students and families who haven’t attended one of our online or in-person events before.

This session will include:

  • A welcome talk with DigiPen founder and president Claude Comair
  • A brief overview of the degree programs
  • An overview of financial aid, types of accepted aid, available scholarships, and more 
  • An overview of student services, housing, Disability Support Services, and student life
  • A Q&A with staff from Admissions, Financial Aid, and Student Affairs
  • A panel of current DigiPen students discussing student life

RSVP Today

DigiPen Degree Program Deep Dive Series: BFA in Digital Art and Animation

Monday, November 2, 2020 - 4:00pm

DigiPen Degree Program Deep Dive Series: BFA in Digital Art and Animation

Monday, November 2, 2020 - 4:00pm

Join us online for the DigiPen Degree Program Deep Dive Series! Monday, November 2 at 4:00 p.m. PST, we’ll have faculty members and students live on stream to share their insights and take your questions about the BFA program.

RSVP Today

Student Projects

Multidisciplinary team projects make up a core component of the BFA in Digital Art and Animation curriculum. As a student in the program, you will have the option to contribute on collaborative endeavors in student games, animated films, and more. These semester- and year-long projects will give you the opportunity to see a project through from the concept stage to final, polished product. These are just a few examples of team projects that BFA students have worked on.


Career Outlook

As a graduate of the BFA program, you’ll be equipped to pursue a wide range of professions within the fields of game and film, as well as other applied arts.

Potential Careers

Character Artist

The role of the character artist can involve or incorporate a number of specialized roles, including modeling, texturing, rigging, and more. Their job is to create the actual 3D or 2D character assets that populate the games we play — relying on the fundamentals of anatomy, locomotion, and visual storytelling.

Environmental/Asset Artist

Environmental/Asset artists create and build the interactive worlds and spaces of video games, as well as the props and objects found within.

Animator

The animator brings life and motion to the creatures, characters, and environments in a game or film — in a way that is accurate and believable. Similar to a character or environmental artist, the day-to-day work or specialized role of an animator can take many forms, however, the foundation remains the same.

Other Job Titles

  • 3D Lighting and Camera Designer

  • Art Instructor

  • Character Animator

  • Character Designer

  • Character Modeler

  • Character Rigger

  • Compositor

  • Concept Artist

  • Illustrator

  • Level Designer

  • Maquette Sculptor

  • Producer

  • Project Manager

  • Props and Environment Modeler

  • Simulation and Effects Animator

  • Storyboard Artist

  • Technical Artist

  • Texture Artist

  • UI Designer

  • Web Designer

Excalibots screenshot: Robot knight swings sword at cluster of enemy goblins in a field of flowers

The DigiPen students of team MooseBear take a look back at the making of their 3D hack-and-slash adventure starring a sword-collecting robot knight.

A drawing from Nickelodeon’s The Loud House depicting the chaotic Loud family on their front yard.

The DigiPen BFA alumna has taken her cartooning to network television just a year after graduating.

Group photo with the 16 members of DigiPen student game team Nuclear Lunch

When members of student game team Nuclear Lunch decided to make a 3D action adventure for their junior-level project, it took a team effort to pull it off.

Take the Next Step

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