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Students working in an animation class

Art: Concentration Animation + Visual Effects

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Why Study Animation and Visual Effects

Animation + Visual Effects is a versatile and highly in-demand skill set for today’s digital artists and storytellers. The ever-evolving digital world demands artists that have the ability to critically generate content that is both technical and creative. 

Our generalist approach to the discipline presents graduating students with a wide range of career opportunities in the entertainment industry. Coursework covers topics such as 3D modeling, texturing, rigging, lighting/rendering, compositing, rotoscoping, effects simulation, environments, matte painting, green screen filming, storyboarding, digital painting, motion graphics, AR/VR, motion capture, and a variety of digital animation techniques and mediums. Students also have the opportunity to take additional courses in Studio Art and Graphic Design (such as drawing, photography, painting, and typography) to complement their area of interest within the degree.

The ideal student has a passion for drawing, computer technology skills, and patience to focus on minute details over long periods of time. The ideal student is able to work according to a director’s instruction, while still finding a creative solution.

Students will gain hands-on and practical experience creating digital content, both independently and in a collaborative studio setting. Additional opportunities available include: 

Students have the opportunity to get class credit for Internships. The Art+Design department has a designated Internship Coordinator who helps the student navigate this option. The surrounding Nashville area provides opportunities for on-site internships while virtual and remote internships are also a possibility.

 With the help of The Center of ​Excellence in the Creative Arts, we are able to bring in industry professionals each year to meet with students and classes.

Students who complete this degree will primarily be prepared for work in the entertainment industry, such as an animation or visual effects studio. However, there are opportunities to use the degree in other fields such as graphic design firms, media production companies, industrial design firms, and the military.


In Fall of 2017 the department moved into a new $21.3 million dollar, 46,000 square feet Art + Design Building, featuring custom studio space for all the concentrations. Animation + Visual Effects has a dedicated Mac computer lab with access to Autodesk Maya, Adobe Creative Cloud, Toon Boom Harmony, Dragonframe, and The Foundry’s Nuke, Mari, and Modo. The lab is a versatile space that also includes a green screen wall and several Cintiq Pro workstations. Additional lab equipment includes five Rokoko motion capture suits, a DJI drone, Lightform projection mapping, Oculus Rift VR headsets, Dragonframe keypads, and filming/lighting equipment. The department also manages The Vault, where students can check out equipment for personal use such as Wacom Intuos Pro tablets, Cintiq Companion tablets, portable green screen and lighting equipment, smartphone Stedicams, projectors, DSLRs, and audio recording equipment. The department MakerSpace features additional equipment such as a CNC router, laser etcher, and MakerBot 3D printers.

Faculty Expertise: 

What Will I Learn


Sample Course Plan and General Education Requirements

Animation and Visual Effects Sample 4 Year Plan

General Education Core