Back to top

The BFA program has reached enrollment capacity for fall 2021. For the remainder of the fall 2021 application cycle, applicants who qualify for admission will be placed on a waitlist, with the option to defer to fall 2022.

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

Houdini Certified School Logo

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.

Houdini Certified School Logo

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

Game Design, Art, and Music Portfolio Review

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Game Design, Art, and Music Portfolio Review

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Did you know that several of our degree programs require a portfolio submission when applying? Have no fear! Our staff will dissect the requirements, and let you know exactly what you need to stay ahead of the curve in this upcoming Online Info Session.

During the stream, you’ll be able to use our live chat platform to ask any questions you have about the portfolio submission process, so RSVP for a seat now and join us November 17 at 3:00 p.m. PST!

RSVP Today

Application Workshop

Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Application Workshop

Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

The application can be a daunting process for many but we’re here to make sure it doesn’t have to be! We’re here to help you step-by-step during this session to review what all goes into the DigiPen application.

During the stream, you’ll be able to use our live chat platform to ask any questions you have about the application, DigiPen’s admissions requirements, and more, so RSVP for a seat now and join us January 12 at 3:00 p.m. PST!

RSVP Today

Application Workshop

Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Application Workshop

Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

The application can be a daunting process for many but we’re here to make sure it doesn’t have to be! We’re here to help you step-by-step during this session to review what all goes into the DigiPen application.

During the stream, you’ll be able to use our live chat platform to ask any questions you have about the application, DigiPen’s admissions requirements, and more, so RSVP for a seat now and join us March 2 at 3:00 p.m. PST!

RSVP Today

DigiPen Student Stories

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.

Meet the Faculty

DigiPen’s art and animation faculty is composed of experienced artists, educators, and industry veterans from the world of professional film and game production. These are just a few of the faculty who teach core courses in the program.

DigiPen Faculty YZ Tan

YZ Tan

Department Chair

YZ Tan started his career in 3D animation when he joined Southern Star’s satellite studio in Singapore to develop 3D-animated TV series. While working on these series, his interest in body mechanics bloomed, leading him to the games industry. He briefly joined Koei Entertainment Singapore before going to work for LucasArts at the end of 2006. Tan spent a year at LucasArts in San Francisco working on Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, where he contributed to the 3D animation and previsualization using the studio’s proprietary game engine.

DigiPen Faculty Jazno Francoeur

Jazno Francoeur

Program Director (Bachelor of Fine Arts)

Jazno Francoeur’s career began in 1990, when he interned at the Walt Disney Feature Animation studio in Orlando, Florida. Upon graduating from Kansas City Art Institute in 1992, he began working at the Disney studios in Los Angeles, California.

DigiPen Faculty Brigitte Samson

Brigitte Samson

Senior Lecturer

Brigitte Samson is a computer graphics artist with more than 20 years of experience in video game and TV/film productions. She has six published game credits, including the 2014 game of the year Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. She has taught for DigiPen’s Department of Digital Arts since 2012. Born and raised in Québec, Canada, Samson is fluent in French and English. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Arts with Honors from the University of Québec in Montréal.


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

Desert canyon ruins

For the DigiPen students of Spicy Dice Studios, their Dark Souls-inspired action adventure game Metamorphos was a two-year gamble that paid off.

Collage of images from game screenshots, including a dragon, porcelein doll, blocks, and aliens.

Be sure to check out the dozens of student game trailers, and see what DigiPen students were up to throughout the 2020-21 academic year.

Game screenshot from OMFG: One Million Fatal Guns; room filled with deadly enemy robots

With the breakthrough success of their senior game project, OMFG: One Million Fatal Guns, three DigiPen students look back on their four-year journey.

Take the Next Step

Get started with our in-depth information packet!

Sign up to receive our degree program viewbook and other resources to help you determine if a DigiPen education is right for you.

Request Information

Start Your Application

Ready to take your education further? Head to our secure application portal and submit an application for admission.

Apply Online