The Emerging Media B.F.A. – Experimental Animation track welcomes students to integrate multiple artistic approaches from an individualized research perspective and approach. The Experimental Animation track provides students with a balance of a solid traditional art foundation and opportunities for exploring the latest emerging media practice. Students utilize their newly expanded artistic technique and theory to cultivate a particular area of expertise within their second year of the track.
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 that culminates in completing a B.F.A. thesis project and exhibition/screening.
Experimental Animation’s philosophy revolves around the unification of individualized research and a melding of art and technology; it should never be about the technical buttons alone. 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 obtain the diverse technical and creative depth to move immediately into various graduate-level art majors. Upon graduation, students may choose to enter the professional industry or continue developing innovative, cross-disciplinary formal and conceptual M.F.A. thesis research.
Experimental Animation is a portfolio-restrictive track; students must submit a Experimental Animation 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
- CGS 2100C Computer Fundamentals for Business (COP 2500 for students in the catalog year 2018-19 or prior)
- DIG 2000 Introduction to Digital Media
- DIG 2030 Digital Video Fundamentals
- DIG 2109 Digital Imaging Fundamentals
- DIG 2500 Fundamentals of Interactive Design
- GRA 2101C Introduction to Computer Art
- MAC 1105C College Algebra
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.
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.
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
- 3-D (digital or stop-motion)
- 2-D (traditional, digital, stop-motion, hybrid)
- Concept art, pre-production, and post-production
- Traditional or experimental/innovative approaches
Prospective Students are strongly encouraged to purchase their own hardware and software during their two-year track experience. While UCF is not required to provide technical support, there are open labs around campus for student use. Students typically have more significant creative outcomes when they have access to their own equipment. This allows them to create both inside and outside the classroom environment.
Below are some hardware specifications to assure students have technology that can handle their industry-level software and help them excel in their studies.
|Operating System||Windows 10 or Mac OS 10.13||Windows 10 or Mac OS 10.15||Windows 10 or Mac OS 10.15|
|Processor||Intel i7||Intel i7 or Higher||Intel i7 or Higher|
|Ram||16 GB||32 GB or Higher||64 GB or higher|
|Video Card||Autodesk Certified*||Autodesk Certified*||Autodesk Certified*|
|Storage||512GB HDD or SSD||1TB HDD or SSD||512GB + SSD|
|Misc||64-bit Intel® or AMD® multi-core processor with SSE4.2 instruction set||64-bit Intel® or AMD® multi-core processor with SSE4.2 instruction set||64-bit Intel® or AMD® multi-core processor with SSE4.2 instruction set|
When selecting a personal desktop or laptop, students should gravitate toward a “gaming ready or VR ready” device. These computers typically contain fast processors, high-end graphics cards (AMD or NVIDIA), and over 16GB of ram. There are benefits for both laptop and desktop computers. We suggest students factor in their living situation and lifestyle in choosing what device works best for them.
Students should avoid purchasing the following hardware if their intention is high-end graphics use:
- Tablet like computers with no dedicated graphics card (AMD or NVIDIA)
- Laptops with no dedicated graphics card and under 16GB of RAM
- Surface tablets
Students will use the following software during their two years in the Experimental Animation track:
- Adobe Creative Cloud (monthly or yearly subscription required)
- Autodesk Maya (Free for Student use with valid UCF ID)
- Substance Painter (Free for Student use with valid UCF ID)
Our 2D-focused animation classes use Adobe Creative Cloud. Many students explore digital 2D animation like to explore Toon Boom Harmony within the second year of the track.
- https://store.toonboom.com/students (Monthly or yearly subscription required)
Additional Hardware considerations:
- The Experimental Animation track provides Wacom Cintiq tablets for in-classroom lab use in many of its spaces.
- Students interested in 2D animation should invest in a digital drawing tablet for their BFA tenure. Wacom and Huion tablets are popular brands of tablets students typically use.
- Movie/TV production
- Video Game production
- Simulation/theme park industry
- Gallery exhibition/independent video festivals
- Graduate school
- Walt Disney Animation
- Electronic Arts (E.A)
- FX Networks
- Digital Domain
- Art Director
- Digital Compositor
- 2-D, 3-D, Stop Motion Animator
- 3-D Modeler
- Video Game Artist
- Themed Design
- Production Designer
- Independent Filmmaker
- Prop, Maquette Sculptor, and Set Fabricator
- Gallery/Museum Artisan
- VFX Artist
- Motion Graphics Artist
Experimental Animation graduates have worked on the following:
Film: Frozen, Avengers: End Game, Hotel Transylvania, Transformers, Mary Poppins Returns, Dragon Ball Z (2017), Wonder Woman, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Martian, Fantastic Four (2015), The Smurfs, Thor, TRON: Legacy.
Video Games: Injustice, Call of Duty, SkyRim, Madden, Tiger Woods, UFC, EA NBA
TV: Archer, Mr. Robot, The Tick