The School of Communication at Webster University has seen smaller class sizes benefit students greatly. They ensure that students get more face-to-face time with faculty and more production experience. The amount of quality courses available allows students to truly explore all facets of a production environment, equipping them with the skills to enter the workforce as competent and confident professionals.
The following courses are currently offered by the Animation program:
ANIM 1000 Animation I
Students learn the basic elements of animation, with emphasis on traditional processes, techniques, and styles employed in creating the illusion of movement on motion media. This is a drawing heavy course that will focus on the principles of animation. Prerequisite: None
ANIM 1010 Animation II
Students further expand upon the foundation built in Animation I by learning the basics of syncing audio and creating soundtracks for animation. Animation principles will be reviewed and honed. This is a drawing heavy course that will combine theory, lectures and hands-on experience. Prerequisite: ANIM 1000
ANIM 1040 Storyboarding
Scene blocking, visual character development and an overall aesthetic to filmmaking will be applied in this class. Students apply the unique art of drawing detailed storyboards, including their importance in collaborating with the director, animators, sound designers, and talent in producing a successful production. Prerequisite: None
ANIM 1200 3D Character Sculpting
Students will learn advanced sculpting techniques using the ZBrush platform for character modeling. Over the 16-week course we will explore the basics of the interface and its customization, the concepts of sculpting digitally, and advanced tricks/techniques for getting the most out of ZBrush. Prerequisite: None
ANIM 2000 Advanced Animation
Students learn full animation production for creating an animated short. Advanced exercises in movement and expression will be explored. This is a drawing heavy course that will combine theory, lectures and hands-on experience. Prerequisite: ANIM 1010
ANIM 2010 Experimental Animation
Students learn the potential of animation as a fine art medium. Experimentation is encouraged, utilizing a wide range of techniques towards producing individual and group projects. Current and past works are screened and discussed in class. Prerequisite: None
ANIM 2200 Introduction to 3D Animation
Students apply and incorporate the principles and techniques of animation in a comprehensive exploration of current 3-D software applications. Students learn how to integrate 3D animation into storytelling contexts and practical applications. Prerequisites: None
ANIM 3010 Voicing Your Creation
Students learn the art of the voiceover for animation with an in depth exploration of acting techniques and delivery. Additionally students create and work with sound effects and soundtracks and how they relate to motion, timing, performance and the composition as a whole. This class reviews the work of a wide range of voice talents and composers within several different genres. Prerequisite: None
ANIM 3030 Visual Storytelling
The expression of stories, compositional psychology and film theory and practice are covered in this class. Students analyze past examples of the language of filmmaking and apply them to the art of the storyboard. Prerequisite: None
ANIM 3040 Comic Book Creation
Students learn a step-by step introduction to comic book publication. This course will address the basics of concept development, storytelling, cartooning, penciling, inking, color, layout, publishing and distribution within the comic book industry. Prerequisite: None
ANIM 3150 Topics
This course is designed to periodically feature topics in animation not covered by regularly offered courses. Topics will be dedicated to narrow aspects of the discipline, time dependent materials, or guest lecturers. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisite: Vary with Topic
ANIM 3200 Intermediate 3D Animation
This class continues the subject matter introduced in ANIM 2030. Students will be exposed to more advanced tools and techniques used in 3D animation production for Film, Video, and Games. Prerequisites: ANIM 2030
ANIM 4010 Character Design
Students explore an in depth study of the character in multiple styles, genres and eras, bringing to life known as well as original characters onto model sheets for critique and discussion. These studies will factor in costuming, period research and artistic skills. Prerequisite: None
ANIM 4040 Concept Art
Students will learn advanced painting techniques using Photoshop and other supplementary software. Over this 16-week course we will explore basic painting techniques, process work, thumbnailing, critique, taking direction, and methods to maximize workflow productivity. Prerequisite: None
ANIM 4200 Advanced 3D Animation
This class expands upon the advanced tools and techniques introduced in ANIM 3200. Prerequisites: ANIM 3200
ANIM 4620 Senior Overview
This course provides an opportunity for seniors to demonstrate their proficiency in a selected area of animation. The student assumes responsibility for the production of a project under the direction of a faculty member. The projects can be collaborative and must demonstrate creative strategies using 2-D or 3-D animation. Prerequisites: Senior standing, acceptance of the petition to proceed with senior overview, AND permission of the instructor.
ANIM 4700 Professional Development in Animation
Students are guided through the process of building a portfolio online. A demo reel will also be compiled upon completion of the class. Interview strategies, hiring trends and networking will be discussed. Current work will be compiled, tweaked and polished. Prerequisites: Junior Standing
Animation students also take classes offered by other programs for an immersive, interdisciplinary approach. Students will learn visual storytelling, aesthetics, film and visual theory, animation and film history, and get experience in various modes of production.
ART 1110 Introduction to Drawing
Gears compositional exercises and structural processes to form making. Personal development emerges through subject sources, the figure, and out-of-studio projects. Various materials and routines are employed.
ART 1120 Principles of Drawing
Presents drawing problems that allow the student to explore line, form, and subject matter concepts in producing visual imagery. Stresses production of unusual compositions, involving the use of line, mass, and volume, and the application of a broad selection of drawing media. Prerequisites: ART 1110. Students without portfolio admission to the department with permission of the chair.
ART 2110 Figure Drawing
Extends compositional initiative through the figure and a variety of source material. Prerequisites: ART 1120. Students without portfolio admission to the department with permission of the chair.
ART 2120 Intermediate Drawing
Includes individualized instruction in a variety of situations and problems, with emphasis on individual growth and achievement. Prerequisites: ART 2110. Students without portfolio admission to the department with permission of the chair.
FLST 1800 Film Appreciation
Students learn the aesthetic and technological elements in motion pictures. The course traces artistic trends and critical theories and focuses on visual imagery, sound, story, acting, and directing to develop a critical framework for appreciating the artistic aspects of film.
FLST 2050 History of Film
Students learn the basics of the film medium and its development as an art form. Students view films weekly, discuss them in their historical settings, analyze them for directorial style, and evaluate them as forms of art and entertainment.
FLST 2060 Modern World Cinema
Students learn the current trends, styles, and significant development in the field of cinema.
FLST 2070 History of Animation
Students learn the aesthetics and technical elements of animation as well as its development into a popular form of art and entertainment. This class reviews the work of a wide range of animation genres.
MEDC 1630 Media Literacy
Students learn to systematically decode, evaluate, and analyze information conveyed through the channels of mass communication. They learn the process, language, and effects of the media and develop a critical awareness of messages conveyed through channels of mass communications, as reflected in children’s programming, advertising, journalism, and political communications. Prerequisite: None
SCPT 2900 Scriptwriting
Students will learn the basic elements of scriptwriting for a number of forms, including advertising, episodic television, corporate videos, documentaries and narrative features.
SCPT 3500 Writing Screenplays for Film
Students learn the essential elements of a successful script for a feature film, including how to structure an effective narrative, how to create engaging characters, how to develop and maintain suspense and tension, and how to engage an audience’s emotional response. Students will write a finished script for the first act of a feature film. Prerequisite: None
SPCM 3500 Presentations for Media Professionals
This course focuses on building skills that contribute to presentational effectiveness within media contexts and professions. The course is an intensive speaking course with an emphasis on activities specific to media-related professions, such as requests for proposals and portfolio presentations.
FILM, TELEVISION, and VIDEO PRODUCTION
FTVP 1400 Graphics and Effects
This course focuses on the procedures, strategies, and techniques employed in a video post-production studio. The class assumes a “systems approach” so that students learn the technical flow of the post-production studio.
FTVP 2400 Motion Graphics
Students in this course will work to create professionally finished motion graphics projects with delivery outcomes for potential broadcast, film, and web clients. Areas of emphasis will include: aesthetics, technical skills, collaborative capacity, and time management. Prerequisite: FTVP 1400
FTVP 2450 Visual Effects
“Visual effects” is the term used to describe what many think of as film “magic” and includes areas of study such as particle systems, compositing, color correction, chroma keying, and basic modeling. Students will explore these concepts in both 2D and 3D programs using timeline and node based software. Prerequisite: FTVP 1400
FTVP 3500 Production House
A professional video faculty member acts as an executive producer and/or producer/director, while students work as a crew to produce a video project that embodies professional standards and production values. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
To see the requirements of the Animation major, minor or certificate, visit the University’s course catalog pages here:
“I like to get up at six in the morning, and I draw until sometimes ten at night.”Bill Plympton