Course Lists


AN 202 The Principles of Animation

Introduces the art of 2D hand drawn animation. In this course, students will become familiar with the principles of animation and learn how to create believable characters and gestures while developing a sense of observation, timing and motion.

Prerequisite: Earned credit or concurrent enrollment in FF 140

AN 203 3D Computer Animation I

Introduces students to the enormous creative capabilities of 3D animation software. From a basic understanding of the software’s operation, students learn to visualize, plan, and model in three-dimensional space as well as explore its animation capabilities. This powerful and sophisticated tool can be a great help to sculptors, designers, architects, and ceramic, wood, fiber, and installation artists to develop and enhance their studio concepts. This course encourages a recognition of the digital environment as a tool for advancing their creative direction, whether it be 2D or 3D. Emphasis is placed on concept, application/execution of materials taught in class, and personal direction.

Prerequisite: AN 202 or permission of instructor

AN 208 Toon Boom Animation

Streamline the production process while learning one of the best 2D digital vector animation tools in the industry. A highly flexible tool with lots of functionality.

Prerequisite: AN 202 and AN 255, or permission of instructor

AN 209 Acting for Animators

Learn how to create characters that seem believable and real. Through a series of acting workshops, students will get first-hand experience as to which actions, gestures, and expressions will best translate to their characters. In-depth drawing and sketching will coincide with acting and directing technical demonstrations.

AN 210 Otherworldly

Students will learn miniature building techniques through material study while inventing fictitious universes, world-building, and inner logic, while gaining hands-on experience creating functioning stop-motion animation puppets and sets.

AN 220 Experimental Animation

This course is designed for you to experiment with a variety of media to create/capture imagery that can be recorded and set in motion. Each week new ideas and techniques will be presented and time will be allowed to work in class using these elements. No prior experience with animation is required. Regardless of your main artistic focus you will be able to challenge and project your own artistic vision as short film sketches/ live performance or in installation form. Some of the techniques we will experiment with include direct techniques, time-lapse, light painting, projection and live action.

AN 225 Stop-Motion Animation

In this hands-on animation course, students get the opportunity to explore a number of animation techniques such as painting on glass, sand animation, cut-out animation, and clay animation. According to their own level, new students learn how to develop a sense of motion and timing through direct manipulation under the camera and simple assignments. Experimentation is encouraged in order to develop a personal style.

Prerequisite: Earned credit or concurrent enrollment in FF 140

AN 240 History of Animation

This class will retrace the history of Animation in the US and worldwide, starting with "optical toys" and first moving images up to the state-of-the-Art in CGI productions. The importance of women in animation, the influence of African American culture, as well as the social, artistic, and political context in which those animations were created will be discussed.

AN 245 Animation Pre-Production

Covers the steps that need to happen before the production of an animation film: concept, storytelling, design, character development, story-boarding, and layout.

Prerequisite: Earned credit or concurrent enrollment in FF 140

AN 255 Digital Tools for Animation

Students learn the tools and techniques required for project management, compositing, and post production for animation projects and pipelines.

Prerequisite: Earned credit or concurrent enrollment in FF 140

AN 260 Storyboarding for Animation

Learn how to create compelling storyboards as a visual storyteller.

AN 263 Sound Design for Animators

From Disney to Laika to Augenblick - Animation as a motion picture medium has led to innumerable advancements in the craft of cinematic sound. In this studio course, students will explore the practice of sound and voice recording, sound design, Foley art, and mixing for the animated image. Students will be learning how animation benefits from well crafted sound and how sound can aid in telling a film's story. The course will focus on learning the tools of the trade including Pro Tools and Audition, in addition to the use of props, sound effects libraries, and the human voice. Also, students will be introduced to the history and theory of the art form and the ways in which it has evolved over time.

AN 268 Animated Music Video

Ever since video killed the radio star, the music video has been an expressive channel for innovative animation. Students collaborate with local musicians to produce their own animated music videos.

Prerequisite: AN 202 and AN 255

AN 272 Animation in Unique Spaces

Domes, spheres, arches, and other unusual spaces are becoming a regular feature in animation, video, installation, and performance art. Through collaboration with science centers, museums, and visitor centers, students learn the appropriate techniques and tools to explore an extreme extension of their ideas outside the conventional screen.

Prerequisite: AN 255

AN 273 Animated Documentary

The Stoop Storytelling Series is a Baltimore-based live show and podcast that features “ordinary” people telling the extraordinary, true tales of their lives. Working with The Stoop hosts and MICA animation faculty, students will create animated documentaries from these intimate and surprising local stories. The final animated documentaries will be screened at The Senator Theater during The Stoop’s main stage show in April.

Prerequisite: AN 202 and AN 255

AN 304 3D Modeling Landscape

Create inspiring 3D environments! This intermediate level 3D course focuses on various methods of world building and creating environments for animations, films, games and more using 3D software. Students complete three five-week-long projects, learning techniques and approaches to creating individual 3D assets as well as complete scenes to be used for other projects or as polished portfolio pieces.

Prerequisite: AN 203

AN 305 Advanced 3D Open Studio

Allows students to further explore, both individually and as members of a collaborative team, applications of 3D modeling and animation. Emphasis is on, but not limited to, concept, animation, story-telling, independent film making, innovative uses of animation, and team-oriented projects. The course will include demonstrations of advanced techniques as well as occasional visits by guest artists.

Prerequisite: AN 203

AN 315 Astro-Animation

A collaborative 6 credit course (3 credits Animation/3 credits NSCI) exploring Astrophysics through Animation. Students will meet scientists from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to explore a concept of their choice associated with the Fermi Space Telescope to turn it into animation. The course will start with basic fundamentals of astrophysics and an overview of the phenomena chosen by the students. Those concepts will then be developed and translated into animation. The last 5 weeks will be spent on animation and different ways of projections. Students will be challenged to use their creative vision within a scientific constraint. Trip to NASA and to the Maryland Science Center will be part of the course. Topics include dark matter, cosmic rays, black holes and more.

Prerequisite: AN 202 or AN 255 Concurrent enrollment in NSCI 315 required, totaling 6 credits

AN 334 Animation Digital Fabrication

Explores the expressive potential and technical underpinnings of the computer rapid prototyping processes such as 3D printing and laser cutting that are transforming the way artists create objects and think about what is "real." Students begin by producing virtual objects using software such as SolidWorks, and then proceed to realize the objects in the physical world using one or more rapid prototyping systems. Students produce items ranging from pose-able action figures to models of utilitarian objects such as furniture or articulated sculptural forms that can be used in kinetic artworks.

Prerequisite: AN 202 or permission of instructor

AN 340 Stop-Motion Puppet Rubbish

Students will complete a single project within this flexible curriculum that encourages experimentation & cross-disciplinary approaches to stop motion. No formal animation training necessary. Upper level non-animation seniors and graduate students welcome.

Prerequisite: AN 225, or permission of the instructor

AN 350 Animation Production

In this studio course, the entire class works together to create a single short film. While taking on different production roles and responsibilities, students will get hands-on experience to gain a better understanding of each step in the animation pipeline.

Prerequisite: AN 202 and AN 245

AN 363 2D Character Animation

Introduces students to the process of creating effective animated characters. Students learn to articulate a character's persona and embody that persona in appropriate movements and gestures by producing a series of short animations that explore a character's temperament, behavior, expression, timing, balance, mood, and attitude. Students also experiment with acting techniques that will help them create memorable animations that engage and excite audiences.

Prerequisite: AN 202 or permission of instructor

AN 365 3D Character AN: Performance

Bring CG characters to life! This course focuses on the movement of CG characters to create compelling storytelling and performance. Special attention will be given to applying the techniques of traditional character animation to this contemporary medium. The course use pre-made rigs to demonstrate believable, expressive movement, as well as convey personality, emotion, and a character's thought process. In addition, the course develops student's understanding of facial anatomy, lip-sync, gestures, current and classic film performances, and focus on the importance of the animator as actor. Prior experience and a basic working knowledge of Autodesk Maya software is required.

Prerequisite: AN 203

AN 366 3D Character Rigging

Focuses on the design and construction of CG characters to further create compelling films. This course explores the anatomy of the figure in developing convincing realistic models to more stylized forms, and investigate character designs translating from 2D conception through 3D production. Discussions of the silhouette, posture, and intention, will coincide with mesh topology and modeling techniques. Developed models will then be textured and brought through the facial and body rigging process resulting in CG characters that are ready to create believable movement. Prior experience and a working knowledge of Autodesk Maya software is required.

Prerequisite: AN 203

AN 367 Character Conflict Performance

This course combines storytelling and character screenwriting with character animation and performance. Students learn how to develop a compelling short story with strong characters and apply it to their animation. At the end of the course, students will have a short script with a full-fledged animated research and development of the character.

Prerequisite: AN 202 or permission of instructor

AN 368 Characters Independent Project

This is a project course based on performance with an emphasis on character acting in animation. It will accommodate 2D, 3D or stop-motion students who want to develop a personal project or work on a portfolio piece focusing on the acting and performance aspect of characters. This course is not about the technique, but about the performance and acting of these characters.

Prerequisite: AN 202 or permission of instructor

AN 385 Prof Practice for Animators

Focuses on preparing students for their professional life and for navigating the animation world after school. Topics will cover animation opportunities in various fields; portfolio preparation; online presence; intellectual property; applying to festivals, and more. Visiting speakers will be part of the curriculum.

AN 399 Special Topics in Animation

The learning objectives of this course are geared toward a specific topic of current interest generally not covered in other courses offered by the department. These courses, typically not offered continuously in the department, provide students and faculty the opportunity to explore new content and course formats. The specific topic is announced in the course schedule.

Prerequisite: AN 202 and AN 255, or permission of instructor

AN 400 Senior Thesis - Visual Dev

In this course students start to prepare the final body of artwork to be produced while in Animation, Game Design, or Illustration departments, building their portfolio to achieve a personally rewarding and commercially viable project(s). Working closely with instructors and peers, students from all three departments, to create solo and/or collaborative projects that are reviewed in individual and group critiques. There are visiting artists, critics and lecturers and field trips to places of interest.

Senior Animation majors only, or by permission of the Chairperson

AN 460 Sound for Thesis

This course focuses on sound for capstone work from the perspective of a director or artist making a film or other media project. It addresses aesthetic and technical factors in sound design, mixing, installation, voice performance and score, and supports both solo and collaborative processes.

Corequisite: enrollment in a senior-level thesis course.

AN 498 Animation Thesis I

Animation Thesis shows the culmination of our students' aesthetic, technical and conceptual voice through a yearlong capstone project. This project's research explores the expansive potential of the animated moving image through film, installation or interactive media and its iterations.

Senior Animation majors only, or by permission of the Chairperson

AN 499 Animation Thesis II

Animation Thesis shows the culmination of our students' aesthetic, technical and conceptual voice through a yearlong capstone project. This project's research explores the expansive potential of the animated moving image through film, installation or interactive media and its iterations.

Senior Animation majors only, or by permission of the Chairperson