Courses

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:

 

 

ANIMATION

 

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

 

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.

 

 

FILM STUDIES

 

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.

 

 

MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS

 

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

 

 

SCRIPTWRITING

 

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

 

 

SPEECH COMMUNICATIONS

 

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:

University Course Catalog

“I like to get up at six in the morning, and I draw until sometimes ten at night.”

Bill Plympton

Animator