Animation student in class

What is Animation?

LMU's Animation program provides students a broadband approach to this major within a liberal arts framework. In small classroom settings, students will complete coursework in traditional and digital areas of animation, including advanced storytelling and production techniques, 3D filmmaking, visual effects, interactive design, and alternative/experimental forms of the medium.

During their first year of study, animation majors focus on the core principles of the craft and make their first animated films. In the second and third years, students are introduced to the many aspects of modern animation production and undertake digital group projects. In the senior year, students write, animate and direct a thesis film.  

What do Animation majors do?

Animation majors develop a personal artistic vision while also learning about the collaborative filmmaking process. By the end of sophomore year, the range of course offerings allows students to specialize in one of three tracks: Traditional, 3D, or Interactive animation.

Students seeking, for example, careers as videogame animators may take courses in Animation's 3D and Interactive tracks. Aspiring directors may take courses in the Traditional track (which has emphases in areas such as staging, layout and storyboarding) or the 3D track. Admission to the program is partially based on a portfolio that includes 10 to 15 samples of artwork. Click here for more information.  

Is this major right for you?

You might be a Animation major if you:

  • Are a storyteller
  • Enjoy videogames as a prevalent medium of our times
  • Like interactive experiences
  • Love to draw
  • Are creative  

About our faculty

Our faculty members are experts in fields such as 2D/3D digital animation, composited effects, stop motion, pixilation, Maya, AfterEffects, Flash, movement expression, and games animation.

Our faculty members come from the academic world but also have experience in television, feature films, and games. Faculty members have had short films exhibited in major festivals, worked as animators on TV series, created visual effects for animated films, lectured on avant-garde animation history, and won a MacArthur Foundation grant.  

About our students and graduates

Our students receive career advisement and assistance in developing professional portfolios. With assistance from the School of Film and Television Office of Industry Relations, students intern with key employers in the animation industry and make valuable connections with guilds and professional associations.

LMU students majoring or minoring in Animation will be prepared to take creative leadership roles in new and emerging industries. Many will work within the studio system while others will be independent artists. Graduates work in movies, television, videogames, and many other media. Many have won awards at film festivals in this country and abroad.

Our alumni include such notable industry professionals as:

  • Van Partible, creator/director of the Cartoon Network series Johnny Bravo (which started life as his LMU Animation thesis film);
  • David Mirkin, an Emmy Award-winning producer/director of The Simpsons, and co-writer ofThe Simpsons Movie;
  • Lauren Montgomery, director of the Warner Bros. animated features Wonder Woman, Superman: Doomsday, and Green Lantern: First Flight.  

Representative courses

Our offered courses have included:

  • History of Animation
  • Visual Story Development for Animation
  • Animation Workshop
  • Character Design
  • Game Design
  • Introduction to Three-Dimensional Computer Animation
  • Intermediate Two-Dimensional Computer Animation
  • Introduction to Interactive Animation
  • Digital Toolbox
  • Advanced Storyboard
  • Experimental Animation
  • Mechanics of Animation
  • Interactive Animation
  • Internship
  • Independent Studies  

More resources (links)