Overview

The Emerging Media B.F.A. – Experimental Animation track allows students to integrate multiple artistic approaches from an individualized point of view. It is designed to provide a solid foundation in both technique and theory in one focused area of expertise.

The Experimental Animation track offers students the opportunity to explore expression through innovative, hybrid analog and digital practice. Students engage in classic, current, and widely varied techniques and mediums while making narrative or non-narrative creative works. Students in the track develop a unique creative vision which culminates in the completion of a BFA thesis project and exhibition/screening.

Experimental Animation’s philosophy should never be about the technical buttons alone! Ever. Students achieve digital citizenship to produce thoughtful, ethically researched, theory based artistic content. Ultimately, this content helps them thrive in their future careers.

Graduates of the Experimental Animation program acquire the broad Intermedia-based set of skills needed to respond rapidly to the ever-changing technical and creative job markets, emerging fields, and contemporary exhibition modalities and venues. Graduates also obtain the diverse technical and creative depth to move immediately into a variety of graduate-level art majors in which they may develop inventive, cross-disciplinary formal and conceptual M.F.A. thesis research.

FAQ

What is the difference between Experimental and Character Animation?

Simply put, the biggest difference is an individual focused art production (Experimental) vs. a group production (Character).

Experimental Animation students focus on individualized artistic study in which they take two years to explore and develop artworks in their own individual style and methodology (i.e. 3D modeling, Stop Motion, 3D Animation, Concept Art, 2D Animation, etc.). In Character Animation students engage in a group production resulting in a singular animated group project.

To elaborate, the Experimental Animation program’s focus is on individualized artistic study with the development of a personalized body of artwork and/or industry-based portfolio. Experimental students explore and develop artworks in their own individual style and methodology (i.e. 3D modeling, Stop Motion, 3D Animation, Concept Art, 2D Animation, etc.)

You take two years and make a focused and researched body of work to aid in obtaining post-graduate employment.

In comparison, Character Animation is a two-year, full-time cohort program where students take part in a group production experience resulting in a singular animated production. You take two years and make one animated film production.

Who is the typical Experimental Animation Student?

Those who are accepted into the Experimental Animation program are typically patient, self-starting individuals with a passion for traditional and digital art. These are students who have a passion to explore their own individual artistic point of view. Though there may be group work opportunities, Experimental Animation is about the student’s individualized development of a professional body of work. This body of work can be presented to a variety of professional industries.

Students enter the Experimental Animation program with a variety of backgrounds and career goals. For example, our students have interests in the following mediums in which they can explore in our program:

  • 3-D Animation
  • 2-D Animation
  • 3-D Modeling (T.V., Films, Video Games, Gallery Exhibition)
  • Hybrid, Experimental Animation Techniques
  • Concept Art and Pre Production Development

What makes Experimental Animation stand out?

Here are a few reasons why students have been drawn strongly to us over the past few years.

  • Founded in the art department in the 1990’s Experimental Animation (formally Art-Animation) is the original animation program at UCF.
  • Students are not limited to a single output (3-D, 2-D, etc) but encouraged to explore various media and mediums. In Experimental, it’s about producing art in a hybrid of mediums. After graduation, our students go on to become the next art directors, design leaders, and innovators of tomorrow’s professional industry. 
  • Concerning technology, our students are sound in their methods but our philosophy is it should never just be about the technical buttons alone! Ever. We are creating analog and digital citizenship and our students to produce thoughtful, ethically researched, theory-based artistic content. Ultimately, this content helps them prepare for the professional industry.
  • Our students will have the ability to narrow their artistic focus/practice on their medium of choice while also taking a variety of traditional art electives.

What industries are our students working in?

  • Movie/TV production 
  • Video Game production
  • Simulation/theme park industry
  • Gallery exhibition/independent video festivals
  • Graduate school

What the mediums do Experimental Animation students work in?

  • 3-D (digital or stop-motion)
  • 2-D (traditional, digital, stop-motion, hybrid)
  • VR/AR
  • Concept art, pre-production, and post-production
  • Traditional or experimental/innovative approaches

What computer should I get for Experimental Animation?

When selecting a laptop, students should research a “gaming ready or VR ready” device. These laptops typically contain fast processors, high-end graphics cards (AMD or NVIDIA) and over 8GB of ram.

Sample Devices:

MacBook Pro 

  • 2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7 or higher
  • Radeon Pro 555X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory and automatic graphics switching or higher
  • 16GB of RAM

PC

MSI GL Series GL63 Gaming Laptop or equivalent

  • 15.6″ 120 Hz Intel Core i7 8th Gen 8750H (2.20 GHz) 
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 
  • 16 GB Memory 
  • 512 GB NVMe SSD 
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit 

Students should avoid purchasing the following computers if their intention is high-end graphics use.

  • Tablet like computers with no graphics card
  • Laptops with no graphics card and under 8GB of RAM
  • IPads
  • Chromebooks
  • Surface tablets

What software will I use in Experimental Animation?

  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Autodesk Maya

Hardware Suggestions:

The Experimental Animation track provides Wacom Cintiq tablets for in-classroom use in many of its lap spaces. 

Students who are interested in 2D animation should think about investing in a digital drawing tablet for their B.F.A. tenure. Wacom and Huion tablets are popular brands of tablets students typically use.

For more information, please contact the Experimental Animation Area Coordinator Matt Dombrowski at mattd@ucf.edu.

Experimental Animation Student Work Examples

Character Animation and Graphic Design are other tracks in the Emerging Media B.F.A. program.

Requirements

Experimental Animation is a portfolio-restrictive track; students must submit a Studio Art Portfolio and application. The program is competitive and acceptance is based on the quality of the work submitted. Accepted students are required to follow a two-year cohort program as outlined in the UCF Undergraduate Catalog. Students should submit a portfolio and application when the program-specific prerequisite coursework has been completed.

What are the program-specific prerequisite courses?

  • ARH 2050 History of Western Art I
  • ARH 2051 History of Western Art II
  • ART 2201C Design Fundamentals 2D
  • ART 2203C Design Fundamentals 3D
  • ART 2300C Drawing Fundamentals I
  • ART 2301C Drawing Fundamentals II

Studio Art Portfolio Review

Contact

SVAD Advising
svadadvising@ucf.edu
407-823-1355
NSC 121
UCF Catalog