• B.F.A. in Digital Arts

    Develop your core artistic and technical skills while learning timeless principles

  • B.F.A. in Digital Arts

    Lend your VFX expertise to student-produced live action films

  • B.F.A. in Digital Arts

    Learn from industry professionals with over a century of combined experience

  • B.F.A. in Digital Arts

    Participate in field trips to major studios, sketch groups, and movie nights and more.

» B.F.A. in Digital Arts

If you’re considering a career in the digital arts, consider this: you won’t find a program that offers a more supportive, immersive, and innovative experience than Chapman’s B.F.A. in Digital Arts.

For starters, there is the medium itself; no area in the arts or entertainment is more vibrant, evolving, or exciting than digital arts. From CG-animated feature films like those from Pixar and Dreamworks to astounding visual effects in movies like Gravity or Avatar to the latest video games or immersive virtual reality experiences, the world of moving images has gone forever digital.

We’re located less than an hour’s drive from the largest and most successful animation, visual effects, and gaming companies in the world. Our students have the advantage of meeting the industry’s top professionals, of touring their companies, and of finding internships and employment in America’s most robust and dynamic digital marketplace.

You won’t find a more advanced learning environment than our new Digital Media Arts Center (DMAC).  The DMAC features a 4K-steroscopic theater, an animation lab with both traditional animation pegged drawing discs and digital Cintique tablets, a VFX lab with dual monitors and a 4K workflow, individual study suites with specialized 3D and sound gear, and an art studio.  Our curriculum features all of the industry’s prominent software, including Maya, the Autodesk and Adobe Creative Suites, 3DS Max, Nuke–even software to support motion capture using the latest Xsens motion capture suits.

Most importantly, we have teachers with the knowledge and industry experience you’ll need to prepare for this fast-changing art form.  Led by Oscar-nominated animation director and industry pioneer Bill Kroyer, our faculty are working professionals with over a century of combined experience in the business who continue to stay current in the latest technology and innovations.

The student culture of the Digital Arts program is truly something special.  As a member of our Digital Arts Club you will have the opportunity to attend Saturday seminars, field trips to major studios; and to participate in sketch groups, beach bonfire parties, movie outings, and special guest lectures and more.  As a Digital Arts major, you’ll make connections for life.

+ - Is Digital Arts Right for You?

Digital Arts includes 2D animation, 3D animation, video game imagery, design, and all kinds of visual effects.  Which of these might be right for you as an area of study – or potential career?

For starters, think of two skills suggested in the title Digital Arts.

Arts means just that – the arts.  We expect and require you to have artistic ability.  We’ll be looking for that in the reel or portfolio we require you to submit.  We don’t expect you to be Leonardo da Vinci at 17, but we must see some evidence of talent, effort, and taste in your samples.

Digital suggests work done using computer technology.  Although we do a lot of traditional artwork in certain areas of DA, inevitably a comfort and skill with computers is a necessity.  If you have trouble with software, DA might be a difficult field for you.

We often have students applying to Digital Arts because they “love watching animation” or are great at playing video games.  Watching or playing media is very different from creating media.

No matter how talented you are, it takes hard work to improve your skills, learn new tools, and keep up with the ever-evolving technology.  You must be a self-starter, a problem solver, and should enjoy collaborating with and supporting your peers. 

We won’t expect you to choose a career focus until your Junior year.  Until then, you’ll be taught the fundamental artistic and technical skills that will be the foundation of whatever you do in digital arts.  You will be required to show mastery of these fundamentals, or you will not advance.

Remember, it’s the artist who creates art, not the computer. 

+ - You'll Study

The curriculum is designed to help you develop your core artistic skills as well as your technical expertise.  You’ll learn the timeless principles of motion, gesture, composition, color theory, story structure, performance, and sound design.

You’ll use a wide range of state-of-the-art tools to help prepare you for such career paths as director, animator, modeler, lighter, compositor, rigger, editor, texture painter, visual effects supervisor, or production designer.

+ - Learning Outcomes

In mastering the curriculum of the B.F.A. in Digital Arts, students will: 

  1. Students will demonstrate an ability to appraise the quality, value, and efficacy of digital arts projects and processes using a familiarity with past, current, and emerging work.
  2. Students will demonstrate an interdisciplinary acquisition of the artistic and technical skills used in the digital arts for the realization of creative concepts and ideas.
  3. Students will create and produce digital arts projects that reflect individual vision, taste, and talents developed through personalized education.

+ - Degree Requirements

Please note: The below core requirements reflect the 2015-2016 Catalog year

Core Requirements (39 credits)

DA 109

Fundamental Graphics I for Digital Arts

DA 120

Introduction to Digital Arts

FTV 130

Introduction to Visual Storytelling

DA 202

3-D Computer Graphics I

DA 206

Mechanics of Motion

DA 209

Fundamental Graphics II for Digital Arts

DA 247

History and Aesthetics of Digital Arts

DA 249

Storytelling in Digital Arts

DA 302

3-D Computer Graphics II

DA 323

Color and Design: Principles and Practice

DA 496

Senior Thesis I: Concept Development

DA 497

Senior Thesis II: Pre-Production and Production I

DA 498

Senior Thesis III: Production II and Post-Production


Area of Study Requirements
(18 credits)
Students must complete all the requirements within one of the following areas of study:

Animation Area of Study
(18 credits)

DA 256

Beginning Character Animation

DA 356

Intermediate Character Animation

DA 385

Character Design

DA 402

3-D Computer Graphics III

DA 456

Advanced Character Animation Elective

Visual Effects Area of Study (18 credits)

DA 242

2D Computer Graphics

DA 369

Elements of Visual Effects I

DA 379

Elements of Visual Effects II

DA 392

Advanced Pre-visualization for Motion Pictures

DA 402

3-D Computer Graphics III

DA 469

Visual Effects Production

Design Area of Study (18 credits)

DA 242

2D Computer Graphics

DA 339

Digital Illustration

DA 355

Production Design for Animation and Visual Effects

DA 360

Art Direction for Digital Arts

DA 385

Character Design Elective

Electives

ART 132

Visualization - Perspective and Rendering

FP 133

Audio Techniques

FP 201

Actor-Director Workshop

CPSC 230

Computer Science I

FP 237

Cinematography I

FP 333

Audio Design

ART 336

Illustration

FP 336

Production Design I

CPSC 340

Game Development

SW 387

Short Script Workshop

FTV 441

Visual Perception and Expression

FP 481

Set Decoration

FP 486

Costume Design

FTV 249

Storytelling in Digital Arts

FTV 256

Beginning Character Animation

FTV 356

Intermediate Character Animation

FTV 385

Character Design

FTV 402

3-D Computer Graphics III

FTV 456

Advanced Character Animation

 

Elective

Visual Effects area of study (21 credits)

FTV 242

2D Computer Graphics

FTV 249

Storytelling in Digital Arts

FTV 369

Elements of Visual Effects

FTV 392

Advanced Pre-visualization for Motion Pictures

FTV 402

3-D Computer Graphics III

FTV 469

Visual Effects Production

 

Elective

Art Direction area of study (21 credits)

FTV 242

2D Computer Graphics

FTV 322

Design Theory

FTV 339

Digital Illustration

FTV 355

Production Design for Animation and Visual Effects

FTV 385

Character Design

FTV 402

3D Computer Graphics III

 

Elective

electives

ART 132

Visualization - Perspective and Rendering

FTV 133

Audio Techniques

FTV 201

Actor-Director Workshop

CPSC 230

Computer Science I

FTV 237

Cinematography I

FTV 333

Audio Design

ART 336

Illustration

FTV 336

Production Design I

CPSC 340

Game Development

FTV 387

Short Script Workshop

FTV 441

Visual Perception and Expression

FTV 481

Set Decoration

FTV 486

Costume Design

+ - Careers in Digital Arts

Our wide range of state-of-the-art tools will help you prepare for career paths such as:

  • director
  • animator
  • modeler
  • lighter
  • compositor
  • rigger
  • editor
  • texture painter
  • visual effects supervisor
  • production designer

+ - Program FAQs

If you know what you’re doing, your time at Chapman will be incredibly rewarding. Here are some tips on software and technology, studying abroad, graduation and more, to help things go more smoothly.

»Digital Arts Program FAQs
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Have you seen where you'll be working?

The Digital Media Arts Center provides students with access to the very latest technology so that you are well-prepared to work as professionals on Hollywood’s most technically sophisticated projects.

Learn more

Did you know our animated films are award winning?

Daniel Drummond ’14 took home a Gold Medal from the 2015 Student Academy Awards, the most prestigious student film awards in the world. Read more...

Your film on the Silver Screen

Our Digital Arts projects have played prestigious film festivals like Austin Film Festival, BendFilm Festival, Cinequest Film Festival, Cleveland International Film Festival, LA Shorts Film Fest, Melbourne International Animation Festival, Nashville Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival, Rhode Island International Film Festival, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and hundreds more. 

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