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.

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 BFA program.


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

Experiential Animation Portfolio Review


All students, no matter the track, will receive the same Emerging Media BFA degree upon graduation. The most significant difference between the two Emerging Media animation tracks is an individual-focused art production (Experimental) vs. a group production (Character).  

Experimental Animation students focus on individualized artistic study. Students research, explore, and develop creative works in their chosen researched style and methodology during their second year of the track. In Character Animation, students engage in a two-year group production resulting in a singular animated group project.  

In their first year of the two-year track, Experimental Animation students explore a variety of digital mediums within animation and emerging media such as 3D Animation, 2D Animation, Hybrid 2D/3D Animation, Motion Graphics, 3D Modeling and Texturing, Stop Motion Animation, Pre-Production Concept Art, and Visual Effects. 

Students hone their creative focus during their second and final year in the track with a specialization in an individualized area of artistic study. They utilize their last two semesters to research and develop a personalized body of creative work, job placement materials, and a professional portfolio. Experimental Animation students examine, explore, and create works within their chosen niche of emerging media during this time.  

The two years of study culminate in a focused and researched body of creative work to obtain post-graduate employment. Students display their innovative body of work in the UCF Art Gallery during their capstone thesis course. 

In comparison, Character Animation is a two-year, full-time cohort program where students participate in a group production experience resulting in a singular animated production. Students of that track utilize their two years and create an animated film production. 

Experimental Animation students are patient, self-starting individuals with a passion for both traditional and digital art. They desire to explore and actualize their unique artistic points of view. Though there may be group work opportunities within the track, Experimental Animation's core outcome is the individual artistic development of a researched, informed, and industry-standard professional body of creative work.   

Students enter the Experimental Animation program from a variety of diverse backgrounds and unique career goals. For example, current and former students have an interest in the following mediums in which they can explore in our program:  

  • 3-D Animation  
  • 2-D Animation  
  • Stop Motion Animation  
  • 3-D Modeling & Texturing (T.V., Films, Video Games, Gallery Exhibition)  
  • Hybrid, Experimental Animation Techniques  
  • Motion Graphics  
  • Concept Art and Previsualization 

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

  • Founded in the UCF Art Department in the 1990's, Experimental Animation (formally titled Art-Animation) is the original animation program at UCF. The Experimental Animation alumni network has a global reach and creates a strong community of support for our graduating students.  
  • Experimental Animation students are not limited to a single output (3-D, 2-D, etc.) but are encouraged to explore various media and mediums. After graduation, our students become art directors, design leaders, and innovators of tomorrow’s professional industry. Alumni have these roles at DisneyUniversal CreativeNickelodeon, Electronic ArtsILM, and more.  
  • Experimental Animation students are sound in their methods concerning technology, but our philosophy is it should “never just be about the technical buttons alone.” Faculty encourage both analog and digital creation. Our students produce thoughtful, ethically researched, theory-based artistic content. Ultimately, this content helps them prepare for the professional industry and become digital citizens and leaders in their fields.  
  • Experimental Animation students can narrow their artistic focus/practice on their medium of choice while also bolstering their skills by studying various traditional core art electives. 

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.   

Minimum: Recommended: Power User:
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 
  • iPad 
  • Chromebooks 
  • Surface tablets 

Students will use the following software during their two years in the Experimental Animation track: 

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. 

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. 


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