Sep 23, 2023  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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Animation Department Mission

The Animation Department at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design places a strong emphasis upon developing creative, visual storytelling skills in our students, whether expressed through hand- drawn animation, computer animation, experimental and stop-motion animation, or a combination of these. Graduates of RMCAD’s Animation Department are ready to become independent artists, animators and producers, and are well prepared to imagine and create the complex and ever-changing future of animation.

Animation Program Description

RMCAD’s Animation Program awards Bachelors of Fine Arts in 2D Animation and 3D Animation.

The first known artists told stories of the hunt by drawing on cave walls and imparted a sense of motion to the animals in their stories by drawing them with multiple legs in different poses. Thousands of years later, humans are still telling stories, but using much more sophisticated animation techniques to breathe life and movement into the characters they create.

The stories of our lives develop out of the choices we each make in response to the challenges and situations we are presented with. These choices, unique to us, arise out of our individuality, our personal histories, and our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual being—our character. This is the essence of character animation; not just making a body move believably, but knowing how to make a character express itself through that movement, no matter if your creative tool is a pencil, a computer, or a puppet.

Building on this foundation, the RMCAD Animation Department provides a curriculum designed to balance the aesthetic and technical aspects of visual communication with the realities of the professional production environment. Animation merges the arts of storytelling, acting, drawing, design, illustration, sculpture, photography and filmmaking with the technology of computers. Knowledge of the rich history of animation in all cultures of the world provides a context for the student’s learning; from the fundamentals of motion studies, through every aspect of animation production, to the output of the finished work. Graduates of RMCAD’s Animation Department are ready to become independent artists, animators and producers, and are well prepared to imagine and create the complex and ever-changing future of animation.

Program Outcomes

2D Animation Program Learning Outcome Rubric  

3D Art Animation Program Learning Outcome Rubric   


TECHNICAL: Demonstrate understanding of software, hardware, and use of materials, sound studio, editing systems, and other peripheral devices and tools used in animation production.

FOUNDATIONAL: Demonstrate strong drawing, composition, anatomy, color and perspective skills.

CREATIVE: Demonstrate artistry, unique voice, conceptualization and process including thumbnails, comps and character designs.

PROFESSIONAL: Demonstrate strong work ethic, punctuality, cooperative attitude, communication skills, time management, and organizational skills and personal initiative.

GROWTH: Demonstrate ability to assess and critique own work, acquisition of increasingly advanced concepts and production skills with a strong focus on goals and independent learning.

CRITICAL: Demonstrate critical + analytical thinking and problem- solving abilities related to technical prowess, fundamental animation principles and storytelling skills. Demonstrate effective application of critique.

COLLABORATION: Demonstrate cooperative attitude in class discussions, collective projects, and communication with other students and instructors.

STORY: Demonstrate understanding of narrative + visual storytelling fundamentals, cinematic form and coherent delivery.

ANIMATION: Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of animation fundamentals and believability in motion, timing and structure.



The online BFA degrees in 2D + 3D Animation are professional degrees for students needing remote access to the educational requirements for careers in 2D + 3D animation.

The degrees consist of 123 credit hours with courses delivered in eight-week terms in a regulated sequence to allow for the acquisition of necessary skills, the retention and transfer of knowledge, and the professional discipline necessary for entry-level animation practice.

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