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Animation

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Video games, animated movies, special effects, motion graphics, and even architectural renderings all depend on the work of animators. MTSU’s Bachelor of Science degree in Animation helps students learn how to bring their ideas to life on the screen. Students begin with traditional art and animation techniques and progress through advanced digital tools and techniques, and theory used by major animation studios for films, television, video games, and more. This program provides students the opportunity to prepare for careers in 3-D animation, 2-D animation, motion graphics, and special visual effects. MTSU’s Animation program gives students hands-on opportunities from their first semester. In addition to supplemental classes, students take a six-semester sequence of courses (fall and spring) focused in 3D animation. The final two semesters of the six-semester sequence culminate in a two-semester capstone experience in which each student creates a project of their own design to serve as a primary item in their creative portfolios.

Live outside of Tennessee? You could be eligible for in-state tuition and save thousands of dollars.


What We're Doing

Nashville Film Festival trophy

MTSU Animation students win top student film at Nashville Film Festival

A group of Animation students - Tyler Aldridge, Ngoc Chi Nguyen and Virginia Lake Petty - took home the first-place prize for best Tennessee Student Short at the 51st annual Nashville Film Festival. The animated short film, “Cat Burglar” was created by the trio while in their Animation Capstone classes. “The work our students do is so intense and time-consuming it takes two courses to do it. They develop the entire film from the idea, through preproduction, production and postproduction,” said Animation Associate Professor, Kevin McNulty. The Animation professor said an opportunity like the Nashville Film Festival allows students to get their work seen by thousands of people. “When students get their films accepted into film festivals, like the Nashville Film Festival, it’s an endorsement from industry professionals. It’s a huge confidence builder for the students, and it also makes them more sellable in the job market.” 

ROAM poster

MTSU Students gain industry experience while working on award-winning short film

An 18-minute film made up of more than 300 shots gave  five MTSU Animation students a first-hand experience working in their field of study. The short film, “ROAM” was released in 2020. “Working on projects like “ROAM” gives students an opportunity to deal with real production workflows, skills, and problem-solving, which is a focus of all the animation courses at MTSU. We really push to give animation students the full range of skills and experiences they will need in the industry and for them to be able to show it in their portfolio,” explained Assistant Professor Rick Lewis. Since its release, “ROAM” has won more than a dozen industry awards. “As the film wins awards, which it has been doing quite well, it creates additions for the students’ resumes and has the potential for helping them make additional industry connections,” Lewis said. 


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Careers in animations cover a great number of specializations that one can see in the long list of credits at the end of any animated film. Primary categories for careers in Animation include 3D animation, 2D animation, motion graphics, and special visual effects. Major categories for animated content include film, television, video games, video, visualization, commercials, augmented reality and virtual reality.

Possibilities for prospective careers include:

  • 3D modeler
  • 3D projection mapper
  • Animated filmmaker
  • Animator for film, TV, and video games
  • Architectural visualization artist
  • Compositor
  • Environment and set extender
  • Forensic re-creation artist
  • Lighting and rendering artist
  • Medical visualization artist
  • Motion graphics artist
  • Product design artist
  • Rigger
  • Script writer
  • Technical director
  • Texturer
  • Video game production artist
  • Visual effects artist for film and video

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • ActionVFX
  • Baby Giant
  • Big Idea Entertainment
  • Blizzard Entertainment
  • Blue Sky Studios
  • Cinesite Studios
  • CMT
  • deeproot Studios
  • Digital Domain
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • DWP Live
  • Gamma Blast Studios
  • Gibson
  • Industrial Light & Magic (ILM)
  • Innovative Learning Solutions
  • Magnetic Dreams
  • Millennium Studios
  • Nitrogen Studios
  • North Star Studios
  • Pixel Magic
  • Pixomondo
  • ReelFX Animation Studios
  • Rhythm & Hues
  • Shadowmachine
  • Sony Pictures Imageworks
  • Tippett Studios
  • Waterproof Studios

Students may choose from five Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees in the Department of Media Arts.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above. 

Students may minor in any program that is not under the same degree as their major. Animation majors are required to have an Art minor. 

Master of Science (M.S.) degree is available in Media and Communication.

Animation, B.S.

Media Arts 
615-898-5628
Kevin McNulty, program coordinator
Kevin.Mcnulty@mtsu.edu

The Animation major is designed for those who wish to work professionally in animation and/or imaging, including character animation, video games, motion graphics, visual effects, simulation and visualization, and image manipulation. This program blends theoretical and hands-on approaches to traditional and digital animation. Students are encouraged to complete their education with internships in professional settings.

In addition to supplemental classes, students take a six-semester sequence of courses (fall and spring) focused in 3D animation. The final two semesters of the six-semester sequence culminate in a two-semester capstone experience in which each student creates a project of their own design or with a team to serve as a primary item in their creative portfolios.

The major requires a minor in Art as described below.

Notice to Transfer Students: MTSU's Animation degree program is designed as a four-year, eight-semester program. Most of the courses must be taken in a strict sequence. To graduate in four years, students must follow the prescribed sequence of classes described below. ART 1610 - Two-Dimensional Design, ART 1620 - Drawing I, and PHOT 1050 - Basic Digital Photography and Imaging must be completed in the Freshman year. Even with transferring those credits, the student may be excessively burdened with animation classes the first semester sophomore year. ANIM 2300 - Introduction to 3D Animation must be taken no later than the first semester of the sophomore year. Transferring to MTSU's Animation program later than the first semester of the Sophomore year will definitely require extra semesters to complete the program. Contact an MTSU academic advisor for more information.

NOTE: Majors must complete all major course requirements with a grade of C (2.00) or better.

Admission to Candidacy

 To be admitted to candidacy in Animation, the student must meet the following requirements:

  1. 45 hours completed before applying for candidacy
  2. Passing grade in EMC 1010
  3. Grade of C (2.00) or better in each of the following pre-candidacy courses:

ART 1610 

ART 1620 

ANIM 1300 

ANIM 2300

ANIM 3040/VFP 3040 

PHOT 1050/EMC 1050

Minimum overall GPA in pre-candidacy coursework of 2.50. 

  1. In addition to the above requirements, candidacy will be granted to students earning a score of 90 or better on the Animation Candidacy Evaluation. A limited number of additional students may be granted candidacy based upon candidacy score and available resources.
  2. Animation Candidacy Evaluation uses a 100-point scale composed of 60 percent portfolio review and 40 percent grade point average (GPA) on required pre-candidacy courses.
    1. The student's portfolio may be composed of work from classes and personal projects. Portfolios will be scored on a 60-point scale. Suggested work samples include
      1. traditional art such as drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, graphic design, etc.,
      2. still digital art,
      3. animation of any form or format,
      4. other creative work to demonstrate the student's creative and aesthetic competency as it applies to the fields of Animation.
    2. The student's GPA for required pre-candidacy courses will be multiplied by 10 for a maximum score of 40 points.

Academic Map

Following is a printable, suggested four-year schedule of courses:

Animation, B.S., Academic Map  

Degree Requirements

General Education41 hours
Major Requirements58 hours
     College Core Requirements   9 hours*
     Major Requirements   49 hours
Minor (Art or Interactive/Illustration)18 hours
Computer Literacy Requirement3 hours
Electives0-3 hours
TOTAL120 hours

*This program requires courses that can also fulfill requirements of the General Education curriculum. If program requirements are also used to fulfill General Education requirements, the number of elective hours will increase.

General Education (41 hours)

General Education requirements (shown in curricular listings below) include courses in Communication, History, Humanities and/or Fine Arts, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social/Behavioral Sciences.

The following course required by the program meets General Education requirements:

Major Requirements (58 hours)

College Core (9 hours)

 

  • EMC 1020 - American Media and Social Institutions  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    EMC 1020 - American Media and Social Institutions

    3 credit hours

    (Same as JOUR 1020/RIM 1020.)

    The power of the mass media and its effect on social institutions and practices. Develops skills of qualitative and quantitative social science research in the area of mass communication processes; examines media as social, cultural, and economic institutions that shape the values of American society, its political dialogues, its social practices, and institutions.

  • JOUR 1020 - American Media and Social Institutions  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    JOUR 1020 - American Media and Social Institutions

    3 credit hours

    (Same as EMC 1020/RIM 1020.) The power of the mass media and its effect on social institutions and practices. Develops skills of qualitative and quantitative social science research in the area of mass communication processes; examines media as social, cultural, and economic institutions that shape the values of American society, its political dialogues, its social practices, and institutions.

  • RIM 1020 - American Media and Social Institutions

    3 credit hours

    (Same as EMC 1020/JOUR 1020.) The power of the mass media and its effect on social institutions and practices. Develops skills of qualitative and quantitative social science research in the area of mass communication processes; examines media as social, cultural, and economic institutions that shape the values of American society, its political dialogues, its social practices, and institutions.

(May be counted in General Education)

 

  • VFP 2020 - Scripts for Media  3 credit hours  

    VFP 2020 - Scripts for Media

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Media Arts majors only; ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020. Examines the conventions and practices of effective writing for screen-based media, developing understanding and awareness of and writing ability with various script formats for media production. Alongside the study of other's produced work, students will practice writing and rewriting their own material, gaining a fundamental capability with conceiving, developing, and completing different kinds of scripts to entertain, educate, inform, influence, and/or inspire viewers. 

 

  • EMC 3650 - Free Expression, Mass Media, and the American Public  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    EMC 3650 - Free Expression, Mass Media, and the American Public

    3 credit hours

    (Same as JOUR 3650/RIM 3650.)

    A general introduction to the issues surrounding free expression and its relationship to mass media in contemporary America. A comprehensive analysis of the history, philosophies, cases, and controls associated with freedom of expression.

  • EMC 4250 - Mass Media Law  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    EMC 4250 - Mass Media Law

    3 credit hours

    (Same as JOUR 4250.) Prerequisites: EMC 1020; junior standing. Examines legal guarantees and restrictions on the flow of information using the case study method. Focuses on libel, privacy, obscenity, and the special restrictions placed on advertising, broadcasting, cable television, and the Internet.  

  • JOUR 4250 - Mass Media Law  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    JOUR 4250 - Mass Media Law

    3 credit hours

    (Same as EMC 4250.) Prerequisites: JOUR 1020 and JOUR 2710; junior standing. Examination of legal guarantees and restrictions on the flow of information using the case study method. Focus on libel, privacy, obscenity, and the special restrictions placed on advertising, broadcasting, cable TV, and the Internet.

  • PHOT 4190 - Ethics and Law for Visual Communicators

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy; junior status with declared major.

    Background in ethics and law for the visual communicator. Focus on ethical philosophies, ethics case studies, and solutions to ethical dilemmas; copyright, privacy, and libel law.

    Normally offered Spring only

Animation Requirements (49 hours)

  • ANIM 1300 - Animation and the Illusion of Motion

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Animation majors/minors only; others, permission of instructor.

    Introduces traditional techniques and history of animation. Explores production from planning to execution. Topics include history, story, storyboarding, timing, 2D animation techniques, and stop-motion animation techniques.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-lab per week.

  • ANIM 2300 - Introduction to 3D Animation  3 credit hours  
    Asterisk*  dotslash:* title:Asterisk 

    ANIM 2300 - Introduction to 3D Animation

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: ART 1610 or ART 1620 with C or better. Animation majors/minors only; others permission of instructor.

    Three-dimensional computer graphics and animation. Emphasis on the aesthetics and techniques for building, lighting, texturing, animating, and rendering of three-dimensional models to be used in designing and producing three-dimensional computer-generated animations. Includes a broad survey of the process and techniques involved with creating digital media quality three-dimensional animations and techniques and aesthetics incorporated into traditional methods of animations for contrast and comparison.

    Must be taken no later than first semester of the sophomore year.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

    Formerly ANIM 3300

*Must be taken no later than first semester of the sophomore year

  • ANIM 3000 - History of Animation

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Animation majors only or permission of instructor.

    Covers the historic evolution of animation and the animation industry. Explores the origins of cinema and animation, the individual artists, and the studios and organizations that shaped the animation field today. Familiarizes students with the technological developments that allowed the rise of the field. Covers the history of animation following lectures, videos research, readings, quizzes, and written tests.

  • ANIM 3310 - Texturing, Lighting, and Rendering

    3 credit hours

    All candidacy courses with grade of C or better; Animation majors/minors only; others permission of instructor.

    Continuation of ANIM 2300 for the development of three-dimensional computer graphics and animation. Further understanding of aesthetics and techniques for building, lighting, texturing, and rendering of three-dimensional models to be used in designing and producing three-dimensional computer-generated animations. Introduces the creation and modification of customized lighting models and techniques involved in the compositing of live-action, sound, and computer-generated images.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

  • ANIM 3330 - Animation and Rigging

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: ANIM 3310; admission to candidacy or permission of instructor.

    The development of three-dimensional computer graphics and animation. Further understanding of the aesthetics and techniques for organic modeling, rigging, and animation. Offers greater understanding of complete animation production, principles, and methods.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

    Formerly ANIM 4300

  • ANIM 4310 - Animation and Performance

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ANIM 3310 and ANIM 3330 with C or better; admission to candidacy

    Continuation of ANIM 3330 for the development of three-dimensional computer graphics and animation. Further understanding of the aesthetics and techniques for creating animation for film, television, games, motion graphics, and VFX. Serves as additional preparation for the required senior capstone courses and offers greater understanding of advanced character animation production, organic modeling, and rigging.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

  • ANIM 4400 - Animation Capstone I  3 to 4 credit hours  
    (4 credit hours)(4 credit hours)  dotslash:(4 credit hours) title:(4 credit hours) 
    (4 credit hours) 

    ANIM 4400 - Animation Capstone I

    3 to 4 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Senior standing; ANIM 3040, ANIM 3320, and ANIM 4310 with C or better; corequisite: ANIM 4405.

    Part one of two senior capstone courses for animation students. Students will create an original animated short film from concept to production. Emphasis placed on story.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

  • ANIM 4405 - Professional Practices in Animation

    2 credit hours

    Prerequisite: ANIM 4310; corequisite: ANIM 4400.

    Focuses on preparing Animation majors for the real world job market. Students create marketing materials to help sell themselves to prospective employers. Additional lectures and discussions on soft skills, career planning, and job hunting also included.

  • ANIM 4410 - Animation Capstone II  3 to 4 credit hours  
    (4 credit hours)(4 credit hours)  dotslash:(4 credit hours) title:(4 credit hours) 
    (4 credit hours) 

    ANIM 4410 - Animation Capstone II

    3 to 4 credit hours

    Prerequisite: ANIM 4400. 

    Part two of two capstone courses for animation students. Students continue work on original animated short film and see it through to completion. At the end of the course, students submit completed films to various film and animation festivals around the world.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

  • Media and Entertainment upper-division elective 3 credit hours
  • EMC 1010 - Orientation to Media Arts

    1 credit hour

    Introduces Media Arts majors to its degree programs, degree requirements, descriptions of curriculum, student resources and opportunities, career options, and critical goals for graduating seniors. Meetings may include lectures, guest lecturers, and site visits. Freshmen should enroll in this course no later than their second semester. Transfer students should enroll in this course during their first semester at MTSU. This course or a pre-approved substitute is required for candidacy in all majors in the Department of Media Arts.

  • EMC 3001 - Success in Media Arts

    1 credit hour

    Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy.

    Introduces students who have just achieved candidacy in Media Arts to best practices for success in Media Arts. Project management key topic. Emphasizes the value and importance of portfolio-quality work samples, experience points for resumes, and extracurricular experiences. 

  • VFP 1060 - Basic Video Production

    3 credit hours

    Focuses on the basics of creating videos by shooting good video, recording good audio, editing raw footage into a coherent story or presentation, and sharing finished videos. Exposes students to camera, lighting, composition, sound, graphics, perspective, movement, and other tools of the motion picture language. Students must provide their own video cameras (smartphones acceptable), computers for editing videos, video editing software (iMovie, Windows Movie maker, or better), and microphones that work with their chosen cameras.

 

  • ANIM 3040 - Motion Graphics I  3 to 4 credit hours  
    OR(4 credit hours) OR  dotslash:(4 credit hours) OR title:OR 
    (4 credit hours) OR 

    ANIM 3040 - Motion Graphics I

    3 to 4 credit hours

    (Same as VFP 3040.) Prerequisites: EMC 1050/PHOT 1050 with minimum grade of C or permission of instructor.

    Aesthetics, principles, and processes of designing motion graphics for video production, broadcast television, film, and the Internet. Emphasizes freedom of expression while respecting diversity of media audiences.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

  • VFP 3040 - Motion Graphics I  3 to 4 credit hours  
    (4 credit hours)(4 credit hours)  dotslash:(4 credit hours) title:(4 credit hours) 
    (4 credit hours) 

    VFP 3040 - Motion Graphics I

    3 to 4 credit hours

    (Same as ANIM 3040.) Prerequisites: EMC 1050/PHOT 1050 with minimum grade of C or permission of instructor.

    Aesthetics, principles, and processes of designing motion graphics for video production, broadcast television, film, and the Internet. Emphasizes freedom of expression while respecting diversity of media audiences.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

 

  • PHOT 1050 - Basic Digital Photography and Imaging  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    PHOT 1050 - Basic Digital Photography and Imaging

    3 credit hours

    (Same as EMC 1050.)

    Introduces simple and multiple image photography, principles, methods, theory, and practice for both Photography majors and non-Photography majors. Explores digital camera anatomy, operating, and handling while discussing proper in-camera exposure, metering, focusing, shutter speeds, apertures, depth of field, and camera accessories. Basic principles of lighting, design, and image composition discussed. Digital darkroom techniques and image manipulation using tools such as Photoshop included. Emphasis placed on  cameras with manual controls. Students required to own a digital camera with manual controls. Must have working knowledge of the Macintosh computer system.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

  • EMC 1050 - Basic Digital Photography and Imaging

    3 credit hours

    (Same as PHOT 1050.)

    Introduces simple and multiple image photography, principles, methods, theory, and practice for both Photography majors and non-Photography majors. Explores digital camera anatomy, operating, and handling while discussing proper in-camera exposure, metering, focusing, shutter speeds, apertures, depth of field, and camera accessories. Basic principles of lighting, design, and image composition discussed. Digital darkroom techniques and image manipulation using tool such as Photoshop included. Emphasis placed on the DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera. Students responsible for providing a DSLR camera for the class. Must have working knowledge of the Macintosh computer system.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

 

  • ANIM 3320 - Introduction to Digital Compositing  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    ANIM 3320 - Introduction to Digital Compositing

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: VFP 1060 or VFP 2130 with minimum grade of C and admission to candidacy

    (Same as VFP 3320.) History, techniques, and applications of compositing in the areas of film, video, and multimedia production. Broad survey of process and techniques involved with creating composites. Techniques and aesthetics incorporated into traditional methods of compositing for contrast and comparison. Frequent review and discussion of current work from industry will occur in the form of media presentations.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

  • VFP 3320 - Introduction to Digital Compositing

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: VFP 1060 with minimum grade of C.

    (Same as ANIM 3320.) History, techniques, and applications of compositing in the areas of film, video, and multimedia production. Broad survey of process and techniques involved with creating composites. Techniques and aesthetics incorporated into traditional methods of compositing for contrast and comparison. Frequent review and discussion of current work from industry will occur in the form of media presentations.

 

  • ENGL 3870 - Film History  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    ENGL 3870 - Film History

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Completion of 1000- and 2000-level English requirements with a grade of C- or better. History of world film from its inception through the 1990s.

  • ENGL 3885 - Topics in Gender and Film  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    ENGL 3885 - Topics in Gender and Film

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Completion of 1000- and 2000-level English requirements with a grade of C- or better. A selected subject or focus within gender and film studies. Topic will vary each time course is taught. Possible topics include representation of women in film, history of gender representation in film, women directors; Hollywood and gender; queer film studies; gender and international cinema; gender, race, and Hollywood, etc. May be repeated up to four times with different topics.

  • ENGL 4855 - Film Theory and Criticism  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    ENGL 4855 - Film Theory and Criticism

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Completion of 1000- and 2000-level English requirements with a grade of C- or better. A survey of the major theoretical approaches to film, including montage, mise-en-scene, and structuralist theory.

  • JOUR 4240 - Television, Culture, and History  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    JOUR 4240 - Television, Culture, and History

    3 credit hours

    Examines television as a cultural product, communication tool, "mirror on the world," and as an agent for social change. Explores censorship, sponsorship, ethics, and the impact of context on content. Focuses on role that television has had and continues to have on constructing notions of gender, race, class, and difference.

  • JOUR 4510 - Media History and Culture  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    JOUR 4510 - Media History and Culture

    3 credit hours

    Viewing history as the study of change across time, examines "new media" from different periods (symbols, writing, printing, telecommunications, Internet) and their role in shaping journalism and media content historically. Includes discussion of alternative media, including the Black Press and Woman Suffrage Press.

  • PHOT 3040 - History of Photography  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    PHOT 3040 - History of Photography

    3 credit hours

    Evolution of photography from its prehistory and invention up until today. Introduces technological advancements, image-makers, processes, movements, and genres within the context of cultural, social, and economic concerns. Focus is primarily on Western Europe and American photography.

    Normally offered Fall only

  • VCOM 3810 - History of Visual Communication  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    VCOM 3810 - History of Visual Communication

    3 credit hours

    Explores various creative and critical dialogues between principles and practices, movements and paradigms, art, science, and technology relating specifically to journalism and visual media from the printed to the digital.  

  • VFP 2510 - History of American Cinema

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: VFP major.

    The development and role of motion pictures in America, including the history of films and filmmakers, the development of film technique and genres, and the role of films in culture and society.

Minor (18 hours)

Choose from Art Minor or Interactive/Illustration Minor.

Computer Literacy Requirement (3 hours)

  • CSCI 1150 - Computer Orientation

    3 credit hours

    A general introduction to computers with an emphasis on personal computing, database, word processing, presentation graphics, spreadsheets, and Internet tools. Does not count for Computer Science major or minor.

Electives (0-3 hours)

Curriculum: Animation

Curricular listings include General Education requirements in Communication, History, Humanities and/or Fine Arts, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social/Behavioral Sciences categories.

Freshman Fall

 

  • ART 1610 - Two-Dimensional Design

    3 credit hours

    The principles and techniques of design and their application to two-dimensional art forms. Six-hour studio course. TBR Common Course: ART 1340

  • EMC 1010 - Orientation to Media Arts

    1 credit hour

    Introduces Media Arts majors to its degree programs, degree requirements, descriptions of curriculum, student resources and opportunities, career options, and critical goals for graduating seniors. Meetings may include lectures, guest lecturers, and site visits. Freshmen should enroll in this course no later than their second semester. Transfer students should enroll in this course during their first semester at MTSU. This course or a pre-approved substitute is required for candidacy in all majors in the Department of Media Arts.

  • ENGL 1010 - Expository Writing  3 credit hours  
    (Comm)(Comm)  dotslash:(Comm) title:(Comm) 
    (Comm) 

    ENGL 1010 - Expository Writing

    3 credit hours

    The first General Education English course. Emphasis on learning to adapt composing processes to a variety of expository and analytic writing assignments. Minimum grade of C- required for credit.

  • VFP 1060 - Basic Video Production

    3 credit hours

    Focuses on the basics of creating videos by shooting good video, recording good audio, editing raw footage into a coherent story or presentation, and sharing finished videos. Exposes students to camera, lighting, composition, sound, graphics, perspective, movement, and other tools of the motion picture language. Students must provide their own video cameras (smartphones acceptable), computers for editing videos, video editing software (iMovie, Windows Movie maker, or better), and microphones that work with their chosen cameras.

 

  • PHOT 1050 - Basic Digital Photography and Imaging  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    PHOT 1050 - Basic Digital Photography and Imaging

    3 credit hours

    (Same as EMC 1050.)

    Introduces simple and multiple image photography, principles, methods, theory, and practice for both Photography majors and non-Photography majors. Explores digital camera anatomy, operating, and handling while discussing proper in-camera exposure, metering, focusing, shutter speeds, apertures, depth of field, and camera accessories. Basic principles of lighting, design, and image composition discussed. Digital darkroom techniques and image manipulation using tools such as Photoshop included. Emphasis placed on  cameras with manual controls. Students required to own a digital camera with manual controls. Must have working knowledge of the Macintosh computer system.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

  • EMC 1050 - Basic Digital Photography and Imaging

    3 credit hours

    (Same as PHOT 1050.)

    Introduces simple and multiple image photography, principles, methods, theory, and practice for both Photography majors and non-Photography majors. Explores digital camera anatomy, operating, and handling while discussing proper in-camera exposure, metering, focusing, shutter speeds, apertures, depth of field, and camera accessories. Basic principles of lighting, design, and image composition discussed. Digital darkroom techniques and image manipulation using tool such as Photoshop included. Emphasis placed on the DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera. Students responsible for providing a DSLR camera for the class. Must have working knowledge of the Macintosh computer system.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

 

  • EMC 1020 - American Media and Social Institutions  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    EMC 1020 - American Media and Social Institutions

    3 credit hours

    (Same as JOUR 1020/RIM 1020.)

    The power of the mass media and its effect on social institutions and practices. Develops skills of qualitative and quantitative social science research in the area of mass communication processes; examines media as social, cultural, and economic institutions that shape the values of American society, its political dialogues, its social practices, and institutions.

  • JOUR 1020 - American Media and Social Institutions  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    JOUR 1020 - American Media and Social Institutions

    3 credit hours

    (Same as EMC 1020/RIM 1020.) The power of the mass media and its effect on social institutions and practices. Develops skills of qualitative and quantitative social science research in the area of mass communication processes; examines media as social, cultural, and economic institutions that shape the values of American society, its political dialogues, its social practices, and institutions.

  • RIM 1020 - American Media and Social Institutions

    3 credit hours

    (Same as EMC 1020/JOUR 1020.) The power of the mass media and its effect on social institutions and practices. Develops skills of qualitative and quantitative social science research in the area of mass communication processes; examines media as social, cultural, and economic institutions that shape the values of American society, its political dialogues, its social practices, and institutions.

May count as a Social/Behavioral Sciences requirement

Subtotal: 16 Hours

Freshman Spring

 

  • ANIM 1300 - Animation and the Illusion of Motion

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Animation majors/minors only; others, permission of instructor.

    Introduces traditional techniques and history of animation. Explores production from planning to execution. Topics include history, story, storyboarding, timing, 2D animation techniques, and stop-motion animation techniques.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-lab per week.

  • ART 1620 - Drawing I  3 credit hours  

    ART 1620 - Drawing I

    3 credit hours

    Develops observational drawing skills and a formal drawing vocabulary; introduces various drawing materials. Six-hour studio course. TBR Common Course: ART 1045

  • CSCI 1150 - Computer Orientation

    3 credit hours

    A general introduction to computers with an emphasis on personal computing, database, word processing, presentation graphics, spreadsheets, and Internet tools. Does not count for Computer Science major or minor.

  • ENGL 1020 - Research and Argumentative Writing  3 credit hours  
    (Comm)(Comm)  dotslash:(Comm) title:(Comm) 
    (Comm) 

    ENGL 1020 - Research and Argumentative Writing

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: ENGL 1010. The second General Education English course. Emphasis on analytic and argumentative writing and on locating, organizing, and using library resource materials in the writing. Minimum grade of C- required for credit.

  • Mathematics 3 credit hours

Subtotal: 15 Hours

 

Sophomore Fall

 

  • ANIM 2300 - Introduction to 3D Animation

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: ART 1610 or ART 1620 with C or better. Animation majors/minors only; others permission of instructor.

    Three-dimensional computer graphics and animation. Emphasis on the aesthetics and techniques for building, lighting, texturing, animating, and rendering of three-dimensional models to be used in designing and producing three-dimensional computer-generated animations. Includes a broad survey of the process and techniques involved with creating digital media quality three-dimensional animations and techniques and aesthetics incorporated into traditional methods of animations for contrast and comparison.

    Must be taken no later than first semester of the sophomore year.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

    Formerly ANIM 3300

  • ART 1630 - Three-Dimensional Design

    3 credit hours

    Emphasis on elements of design as they operate in the three-dimensional environment. Six-hour studio course. TBR Common Course: ART 1350

  • COMM 2200 - Fundamentals of Communication  3 credit hours  
    (Comm)(Comm)  dotslash:(Comm) title:(Comm) 
    (Comm) 

    COMM 2200 - Fundamentals of Communication

    3 credit hours

    Introduces principles and processes of effective public oral communication including researching, critical thinking, organizing, presenting, listening, and using appropriate language. Counts as part of the General Education Communication requirement. TBR Common Course: COMM 2025

 

  • ENGL 2020 - Themes in Literature and Culture  3 credit hours  
    (Hum/FA) OR(Hum/FA) OR  dotslash:(Hum/FA) OR title:(Hum/FA) OR 
    (Hum/FA) OR 

    ENGL 2020 - Themes in Literature and Culture

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020. Traces a specific theme or idea through a number of literary texts that reflect different historical and cultural contexts. Subject will vary.

  • ENGL 2030 - The Experience of Literature  3 credit hours  
    (Hum/FA) OR(Hum/FA) OR  dotslash:(Hum/FA) OR title:(Hum/FA) OR 
    (Hum/FA) OR 

    ENGL 2030 - The Experience of Literature

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020. The reading of a variety of literary types which illuminate themes and experiences common to human existence.

  • HUM 2610 - World Literatures  3 credit hours  
    (Hum/FA)(Hum/FA)  dotslash:(Hum/FA) title:(Hum/FA) 
    (Hum/FA) 

    HUM 2610 - World Literatures

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020. Representative works of French, German, and Hispanic authors in English translation. No foreign-language proficiency required. Carries General Education credit.

 

  • VFP 3040 - Motion Graphics I  3 to 4 credit hours  
    OR(4 credit hours required) OR  dotslash:(4 credit hours required) OR title:OR 
    (4 credit hours required) OR 

    VFP 3040 - Motion Graphics I

    3 to 4 credit hours

    (Same as ANIM 3040.) Prerequisites: EMC 1050/PHOT 1050 with minimum grade of C or permission of instructor.

    Aesthetics, principles, and processes of designing motion graphics for video production, broadcast television, film, and the Internet. Emphasizes freedom of expression while respecting diversity of media audiences.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

  • ANIM 3040 - Motion Graphics I  3 to 4 credit hours  
    (4 credit hours)(4 credit hours required)  dotslash:(4 credit hours required) title:(4 credit hours) 
    (4 credit hours required) 

    ANIM 3040 - Motion Graphics I

    3 to 4 credit hours

    (Same as VFP 3040.) Prerequisites: EMC 1050/PHOT 1050 with minimum grade of C or permission of instructor.

    Aesthetics, principles, and processes of designing motion graphics for video production, broadcast television, film, and the Internet. Emphasizes freedom of expression while respecting diversity of media audiences.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

Subtotal: 16 Hours

Sophomore Spring

 

  • ART 1640 - Drawing II  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    ART 1640 - Drawing II

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ART 1610 and ART 1620 with a minimum grade of C. A continuation of ART 1620 with specific emphasis placed on drawing processes and expression. Six-hour studio course. TBR Common Course: ART 1050

  • ART 1650 - Foundations of Digital Art and Design

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: ART 1610 with C or better. Introduces the fundamental language and technology of digital media in visual art and design. 

 

  • ANIM 3310 - Texturing, Lighting, and Rendering

    3 credit hours

    All candidacy courses with grade of C or better; Animation majors/minors only; others permission of instructor.

    Continuation of ANIM 2300 for the development of three-dimensional computer graphics and animation. Further understanding of aesthetics and techniques for building, lighting, texturing, and rendering of three-dimensional models to be used in designing and producing three-dimensional computer-generated animations. Introduces the creation and modification of customized lighting models and techniques involved in the compositing of live-action, sound, and computer-generated images.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

  • Natural Sciences 4 credit hours
  • VFP 2020 - Scripts for Media  3 credit hours  

    VFP 2020 - Scripts for Media

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Media Arts majors only; ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020. Examines the conventions and practices of effective writing for screen-based media, developing understanding and awareness of and writing ability with various script formats for media production. Alongside the study of other's produced work, students will practice writing and rewriting their own material, gaining a fundamental capability with conceiving, developing, and completing different kinds of scripts to entertain, educate, inform, influence, and/or inspire viewers. 

 

  • HIST 2010 - Survey of United States History I  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    HIST 2010 - Survey of United States History I

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic phases of American life in its regional, national, and international aspects. Discusses the era from the beginning to 1877. May be used to satisfy one part of the General Education History requirement. HIST 2010 is NOT a prerequisite for HIST 2020. TBR Common Course: HIST 2010

  • HIST 2020 - Survey of United States History II  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    HIST 2020 - Survey of United States History II

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic phases of American life in its regional, national, and international aspects. Discusses the era from 1877 to the present. May be used to satisfy one part of the the General Education History requirement. HIST 2010 is NOT a prerequisite for HIST 2020. TBR Common Course: HIST 2020

  • HIST 2030 - Tennessee History  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    HIST 2030 - Tennessee History

    3 credit hours

    The role of the state in the development of the nation. May be used to satisfy one part of the General Education History requirement. TBR Common Course: HIST 2030

  • HIST 2040 - Survey African American History I  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    HIST 2040 - Survey African American History I

    3 credit hours

    (Same as AST 2040.) The role of African Americans in establishing and shaping the American nation. Covers their historical development and contributions to American art, music, literature, and religion. May be used to satisfy one part of the General Education History requirement.

  • HIST 2050 - Survey African American History II

    3 credit hours

    (Same as AST 2050.) The role of African Americans in shaping the American nation and creating a twentieth-century racial identity. Covers their historical development and examines their contributions to American art, music, literature, and religion. May be used to satisfy one part of the General Education History requirement.

Subtotal: 16 Hours

 

Junior Fall

 

  • ANIM 3000 - History of Animation

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Animation majors only or permission of instructor.

    Covers the historic evolution of animation and the animation industry. Explores the origins of cinema and animation, the individual artists, and the studios and organizations that shaped the animation field today. Familiarizes students with the technological developments that allowed the rise of the field. Covers the history of animation following lectures, videos research, readings, quizzes, and written tests.

  • EMC 3001 - Success in Media Arts

    1 credit hour

    Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy.

    Introduces students who have just achieved candidacy in Media Arts to best practices for success in Media Arts. Project management key topic. Emphasizes the value and importance of portfolio-quality work samples, experience points for resumes, and extracurricular experiences. 

  • EMC 3650 - Free Expression, Mass Media, and the American Public  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    EMC 3650 - Free Expression, Mass Media, and the American Public

    3 credit hours

    (Same as JOUR 3650/RIM 3650.)

    A general introduction to the issues surrounding free expression and its relationship to mass media in contemporary America. A comprehensive analysis of the history, philosophies, cases, and controls associated with freedom of expression.

  • EMC 4250 - Mass Media Law  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    EMC 4250 - Mass Media Law

    3 credit hours

    (Same as JOUR 4250.) Prerequisites: EMC 1020; junior standing. Examines legal guarantees and restrictions on the flow of information using the case study method. Focuses on libel, privacy, obscenity, and the special restrictions placed on advertising, broadcasting, cable television, and the Internet.  

  • JOUR 4250 - Mass Media Law  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    JOUR 4250 - Mass Media Law

    3 credit hours

    (Same as EMC 4250.) Prerequisites: JOUR 1020 and JOUR 2710; junior standing. Examination of legal guarantees and restrictions on the flow of information using the case study method. Focus on libel, privacy, obscenity, and the special restrictions placed on advertising, broadcasting, cable TV, and the Internet.

  • PHOT 4190 - Ethics and Law for Visual Communicators

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy; junior status with declared major.

    Background in ethics and law for the visual communicator. Focus on ethical philosophies, ethics case studies, and solutions to ethical dilemmas; copyright, privacy, and libel law.

    Normally offered Spring only

  • ANIM 3330 - Animation and Rigging

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: ANIM 3310; admission to candidacy or permission of instructor.

    The development of three-dimensional computer graphics and animation. Further understanding of the aesthetics and techniques for organic modeling, rigging, and animation. Offers greater understanding of complete animation production, principles, and methods.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

    Formerly ANIM 4300

  • ART or Interactive/Illustration minor course 3 credit hours

 

  • ANIM 3320 - Introduction to Digital Compositing  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    ANIM 3320 - Introduction to Digital Compositing

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: VFP 1060 or VFP 2130 with minimum grade of C and admission to candidacy

    (Same as VFP 3320.) History, techniques, and applications of compositing in the areas of film, video, and multimedia production. Broad survey of process and techniques involved with creating composites. Techniques and aesthetics incorporated into traditional methods of compositing for contrast and comparison. Frequent review and discussion of current work from industry will occur in the form of media presentations.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

  • VFP 3320 - Introduction to Digital Compositing

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: VFP 1060 with minimum grade of C.

    (Same as ANIM 3320.) History, techniques, and applications of compositing in the areas of film, video, and multimedia production. Broad survey of process and techniques involved with creating composites. Techniques and aesthetics incorporated into traditional methods of compositing for contrast and comparison. Frequent review and discussion of current work from industry will occur in the form of media presentations.

Subtotal: 16 Hours

Junior Spring

 

  • ANIM 4310 - Animation and Performance

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ANIM 3310 and ANIM 3330 with C or better; admission to candidacy

    Continuation of ANIM 3330 for the development of three-dimensional computer graphics and animation. Further understanding of the aesthetics and techniques for creating animation for film, television, games, motion graphics, and VFX. Serves as additional preparation for the required senior capstone courses and offers greater understanding of advanced character animation production, organic modeling, and rigging.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

  • ART or Interactive/Illustration minor 3 credit hours
  • Media and Entertainment UD elective 3 credit hours
  • Natural Sciences 4 credit hours

 

  • ENGL 3870 - Film History  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    ENGL 3870 - Film History

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Completion of 1000- and 2000-level English requirements with a grade of C- or better. History of world film from its inception through the 1990s.

  • ENGL 3885 - Topics in Gender and Film  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    ENGL 3885 - Topics in Gender and Film

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Completion of 1000- and 2000-level English requirements with a grade of C- or better. A selected subject or focus within gender and film studies. Topic will vary each time course is taught. Possible topics include representation of women in film, history of gender representation in film, women directors; Hollywood and gender; queer film studies; gender and international cinema; gender, race, and Hollywood, etc. May be repeated up to four times with different topics.

  • ENGL 4855 - Film Theory and Criticism  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    ENGL 4855 - Film Theory and Criticism

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Completion of 1000- and 2000-level English requirements with a grade of C- or better. A survey of the major theoretical approaches to film, including montage, mise-en-scene, and structuralist theory.

  • JOUR 4240 - Television, Culture, and History  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    JOUR 4240 - Television, Culture, and History

    3 credit hours

    Examines television as a cultural product, communication tool, "mirror on the world," and as an agent for social change. Explores censorship, sponsorship, ethics, and the impact of context on content. Focuses on role that television has had and continues to have on constructing notions of gender, race, class, and difference.

  • JOUR 4510 - Media History and Culture  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    JOUR 4510 - Media History and Culture

    3 credit hours

    Viewing history as the study of change across time, examines "new media" from different periods (symbols, writing, printing, telecommunications, Internet) and their role in shaping journalism and media content historically. Includes discussion of alternative media, including the Black Press and Woman Suffrage Press.

  • PHOT 3040 - History of Photography  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    PHOT 3040 - History of Photography

    3 credit hours

    Evolution of photography from its prehistory and invention up until today. Introduces technological advancements, image-makers, processes, movements, and genres within the context of cultural, social, and economic concerns. Focus is primarily on Western Europe and American photography.

    Normally offered Fall only

  • VCOM 3810 - History of Visual Communication  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    VCOM 3810 - History of Visual Communication

    3 credit hours

    Explores various creative and critical dialogues between principles and practices, movements and paradigms, art, science, and technology relating specifically to journalism and visual media from the printed to the digital.  

  • VFP 2510 - History of American Cinema

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: VFP major.

    The development and role of motion pictures in America, including the history of films and filmmakers, the development of film technique and genres, and the role of films in culture and society.

Subtotal: 16 Hours

Senior Fall

 

  • ANIM 4400 - Animation Capstone I  3 to 4 credit hours  
    (4 credit hours)(4 credit hours required)  dotslash:(4 credit hours required) title:(4 credit hours) 
    (4 credit hours required) 

    ANIM 4400 - Animation Capstone I

    3 to 4 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Senior standing; ANIM 3040, ANIM 3320, and ANIM 4310 with C or better; corequisite: ANIM 4405.

    Part one of two senior capstone courses for animation students. Students will create an original animated short film from concept to production. Emphasis placed on story.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

  • ANIM 4405 - Professional Practices in Animation

    2 credit hours

    Prerequisite: ANIM 4310; corequisite: ANIM 4400.

    Focuses on preparing Animation majors for the real world job market. Students create marketing materials to help sell themselves to prospective employers. Additional lectures and discussions on soft skills, career planning, and job hunting also included.

  • Humanities and/or Fine Arts 3 credit hours

 

  • HIST 2010 - Survey of United States History I  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    HIST 2010 - Survey of United States History I

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic phases of American life in its regional, national, and international aspects. Discusses the era from the beginning to 1877. May be used to satisfy one part of the General Education History requirement. HIST 2010 is NOT a prerequisite for HIST 2020. TBR Common Course: HIST 2010

  • HIST 2020 - Survey of United States History II  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    HIST 2020 - Survey of United States History II

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic phases of American life in its regional, national, and international aspects. Discusses the era from 1877 to the present. May be used to satisfy one part of the the General Education History requirement. HIST 2010 is NOT a prerequisite for HIST 2020. TBR Common Course: HIST 2020

  • HIST 2030 - Tennessee History  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    HIST 2030 - Tennessee History

    3 credit hours

    The role of the state in the development of the nation. May be used to satisfy one part of the General Education History requirement. TBR Common Course: HIST 2030

  • HIST 2040 - Survey African American History I  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    HIST 2040 - Survey African American History I

    3 credit hours

    (Same as AST 2040.) The role of African Americans in establishing and shaping the American nation. Covers their historical development and contributions to American art, music, literature, and religion. May be used to satisfy one part of the General Education History requirement.

  • HIST 2050 - Survey African American History II

    3 credit hours

    (Same as AST 2050.) The role of African Americans in shaping the American nation and creating a twentieth-century racial identity. Covers their historical development and examines their contributions to American art, music, literature, and religion. May be used to satisfy one part of the General Education History requirement.

Subtotal: 12 Hours

Senior Spring

 

  • ANIM 4410 - Animation Capstone II  3 to 4 credit hours  
    (take 4 credit hours)(4 credit hours required)  dotslash:(4 credit hours required) title:(take 4 credit hours) 
    (4 credit hours required) 

    ANIM 4410 - Animation Capstone II

    3 to 4 credit hours

    Prerequisite: ANIM 4400. 

    Part two of two capstone courses for animation students. Students continue work on original animated short film and see it through to completion. At the end of the course, students submit completed films to various film and animation festivals around the world.

    Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

  • Humanities and/or Fine Arts 3 credit hours
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences 3 credit hours
  • Elective 3 credit hours

Subtotal: 13 Hours

Our adjunct faculty bring outstanding professional experience to our programs. Many are industry leaders with decorated careers and honors. Importantly, they are innovative educators who offer hands-on learning to our students to prepare them to enter and thrive in a dynamic, and oftentimes emerging, industry and professional world. They inspire, instruct, and challenge our students toward academic and professional success.

Animation

ANIM 1090 - Image and Video Foundations
4 credit hours

Focuses on the basics of aesthetics and techniques for shooting, lighting, composing, and editing of digital photography and video as it applies to the production of animation and motion graphics. Students will get hands-on experience using DSLR cameras to understand camera anatomy, operations, and handling. Digital editing techniques and image manipulation explored in-depth to give specific foundations that apply to the animation field.

ANIM 1300 - Animation and the Illusion of Motion
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Animation majors/minors only; others, permission of instructor.

Introduces traditional techniques and history of animation. Explores production from planning to execution. Topics include history, story, storyboarding, timing, 2D animation techniques, and stop-motion animation techniques.

Three-hour lecture plus up to three-lab per week.

ANIM 2300 - Introduction to 3D Animation
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: ART 1610 or ART 1620 with C or better. Animation majors/minors only; others permission of instructor.

Three-dimensional computer graphics and animation. Emphasis on the aesthetics and techniques for building, lighting, texturing, animating, and rendering of three-dimensional models to be used in designing and producing three-dimensional computer-generated animations. Includes a broad survey of the process and techniques involved with creating digital media quality three-dimensional animations and techniques and aesthetics incorporated into traditional methods of animations for contrast and comparison.

Must be taken no later than first semester of the sophomore year.

Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

Formerly ANIM 3300

ANIM 3000 - History of Animation
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Animation majors only or permission of instructor.

Covers the historic evolution of animation and the animation industry. Explores the origins of cinema and animation, the individual artists, and the studios and organizations that shaped the animation field today. Familiarizes students with the technological developments that allowed the rise of the field. Covers the history of animation following lectures, videos research, readings, quizzes, and written tests.

ANIM 3040 - Motion Graphics I
3 to 4 credit hours

(Same as VFP 3040.) Prerequisites: EMC 1050/PHOT 1050 with minimum grade of C or permission of instructor.

Aesthetics, principles, and processes of designing motion graphics for video production, broadcast television, film, and the Internet. Emphasizes freedom of expression while respecting diversity of media audiences.

Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

ANIM 3310 - Texturing, Lighting, and Rendering
3 credit hours

All candidacy courses with grade of C or better; Animation majors/minors only; others permission of instructor.

Continuation of ANIM 2300 for the development of three-dimensional computer graphics and animation. Further understanding of aesthetics and techniques for building, lighting, texturing, and rendering of three-dimensional models to be used in designing and producing three-dimensional computer-generated animations. Introduces the creation and modification of customized lighting models and techniques involved in the compositing of live-action, sound, and computer-generated images.

Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

ANIM 3320 - Introduction to Digital Compositing
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: VFP 1060 or VFP 2130 with minimum grade of C and admission to candidacy

(Same as VFP 3320.) History, techniques, and applications of compositing in the areas of film, video, and multimedia production. Broad survey of process and techniques involved with creating composites. Techniques and aesthetics incorporated into traditional methods of compositing for contrast and comparison. Frequent review and discussion of current work from industry will occur in the form of media presentations.

Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

ANIM 3330 - Animation and Rigging
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: ANIM 3310; admission to candidacy or permission of instructor.

The development of three-dimensional computer graphics and animation. Further understanding of the aesthetics and techniques for organic modeling, rigging, and animation. Offers greater understanding of complete animation production, principles, and methods.

Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

Formerly ANIM 4300

ANIM 4040 - Motion Graphics II
3 credit hours

(Same as VFP 4040.) Prerequisites: ANIM 3040/VFP 3040 and ANIM 3320/VFP 3320 with minimum grade of C or permission of instructor.

Aesthetics, advanced principles, and processes of designing motion graphics for video production, broadcast television, film, and the Internet. Emphasizes freedom of expression while respecting diversity of media audiences.

Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

ANIM 4310 - Animation and Performance
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: ANIM 3310 and ANIM 3330 with C or better; admission to candidacy

Continuation of ANIM 3330 for the development of three-dimensional computer graphics and animation. Further understanding of the aesthetics and techniques for creating animation for film, television, games, motion graphics, and VFX. Serves as additional preparation for the required senior capstone courses and offers greater understanding of advanced character animation production, organic modeling, and rigging.

Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

ANIM 4400 - Animation Capstone I
3 to 4 credit hours

Prerequisites: Senior standing; ANIM 3040, ANIM 3320, and ANIM 4310 with C or better; corequisite: ANIM 4405.

Part one of two senior capstone courses for animation students. Students will create an original animated short film from concept to production. Emphasis placed on story.

Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

ANIM 4405 - Professional Practices in Animation
2 credit hours

Prerequisite: ANIM 4310; corequisite: ANIM 4400.

Focuses on preparing Animation majors for the real world job market. Students create marketing materials to help sell themselves to prospective employers. Additional lectures and discussions on soft skills, career planning, and job hunting also included.

ANIM 4410 - Animation Capstone II
3 to 4 credit hours

Prerequisite: ANIM 4400. 

Part two of two capstone courses for animation students. Students continue work on original animated short film and see it through to completion. At the end of the course, students submit completed films to various film and animation festivals around the world.

Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

ANIM 4910 - Advanced Seminar - Animation
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy; permission of department only. Practical experience in the conceptualization, pre-production preparation, and production of animation and digital imaging materials. Integration of theory and skills from other ANIM courses. Advanced compositing techniques, particle generation, and advanced modeling techniques probable topics. Can be repeated with different topics; topics will vary by semester offering. Three-hour lecture plus up to three-hour lab per week.

The B.S. in Animation is accredited by NASAD, National Association of Schools of Art and Design.  In the spirit of sharing information related to the program's performance with the public, the following data is provided here.

Contact Information

Kevin McNulty, program coordinator
Kevin.Mcnulty@mtsu.edu
615-904-8154

Who is My Advisor?

Tiffany Milfort (A)
Tiffany.Milfort@mtsu.edu
615-494-7994 | BRAGG 230B

Sarah Gregory (B)
Sarah.Gregory@mtsu.edu
615-494-7995 | BRAGG 230E

Lucille Wilcox (C-R)
Lucille.Wilcox@mtsu.edu
615-898-5499 | BRAGG 230I

Janaé Daniels (S-Z)
Janae.Daniels@mtsu.edu
615-494-7997 | BRAGG 230K

Mailing Address

Department of Media Arts
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 58
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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