Digital Art and Animation

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Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Art and Animation (DAA)

Digital Arts and Animation offers students preparation in four concentration areas: 3D Animation, Entertainment Design, Game Design, and 3D Modeling. The coursework bridges traditional and digital arts classes and includes solid components of theory, production, and general education. Digital Arts and Animation project classes provide many opportunities for collaborations with other programs at Cogswell, including Digital Audio Technology and Digital Arts Engineering. The Portfolio classes provide a format for bringing together all of the elements of the concept to delivery pipeline as students collaborate on multidisciplinary teams to complete real world projects.

3D Animation

The animation program encompasses character, non-character and experimental animation. Character animation fuses acting, performance and the principles of movement to create believable, genuine, emotive characters. Character design, story structure and strong animation fundamentals are used by students to create a short, animated film project in their senior year. Fundamentals and the development of the "craft" of animation are stressed. Students may produce animations fusing both traditional and computer techniques. Non-character animation focuses on visual effects, abstract animation or the motion of inanimate objects. Students are encouraged to combine media to produce original, creative work and content.

Entertainment Design

The Entertainment Design concentration integrates a strong traditional art background with skills in digital imagery. The course of study includes drawing, painting, illustration, character design, and concept art. It is designed for students interested in digital matte and texture painting as well as concept design. Issues of presentation and delivery are addressed. The ability to transform verbal and written directions into visual representations of characters and scenes is emphasized.


The Modeling concentration develops both 2D and 3D skills in modeling. It allows the student to focus on strong conceptual visual skills, project-based model building, digitizing, texture mapping, and other skills necessary for model data set creation. These models find applications in movies, commercials, simulators and emulators, games, animation sequences, product design, and product development.

DAA Learning Outcomes

  • Students will identify the most critical components of a project by evaluating the contributing factors.
  • Students can develop a production plan that includes concepts, technology, and a schedule.
  • Students produce a senior reel that integrates the principles, techniques, and skills acquired in their coursework.
  • Students can utilize the most appropriate existing and emerging software technology in their work.
  • Students create computer-generated images that convey messages and emotions.
  • Students can apply the elements of design and color to their work.
  • Students use drawing and rendering techniques to invent expressive characters, sets, and props.
  • Students can define the role of each member of a group project.
  • Students will effectively contribute their expertise to a collaborative project.
  • Students develop a final project concept through experimentation and iteration.
  • Students design and implement a project that exhibits inventive combinations of ideas, techniques, and materials.

Digital Arts and Animation Curriculum – 123 Credits

  • Digital Arts & Animation Core - 42 credits
    • DAA100 2D Design 3
    • DAA105 Color Theory 3
    • DAA106 Digital Imaging Concepts 3
    • DAA107 Creativity & Content Development 3
    • DAA108 Intro to Photography 3
    • DAA109 Web Design
      DAA264 Drawing Animation 3
    • DAA110 Sketching 3
    • DAA115 Figure Drawing 3
    • DAA212 Perspective and Rendering 3
    • DAA230 Intro to Sculpture 3
    • DAA240 Intro to 3D Modeling 3
    • DAA310 Storyboarding 3
    • DAT110 Desktop Production Fundamentals 3
    • DMP230 Video Editing 3
  • General Education - 45 Credits
    • English - 9 credits
      • ENG100 Composition 3
      • ENG228 Creative Writing
        ENG227 Scriptwriting 3
      • ENG310 Classics of Western Drama
        ENG320 Classics of World Drama 3
    • Humanities - 18 credits
      • HUM120 Nature and History of Western Art
        HUM130 Modern Art History 3
      • HUM122 World Music
        HUM125 Music in Western Culture 3
      • HUM200 History of the Modern World 3
      • HUM227 Film History
        HUM230 History of Animation 3
      • HUM361 Contemporary Ethical Issues 3
      • HUM400 General Education Capstone Research 3
    • Social Science - 6 credits
      • SSC200 U.S. Government 3
      • SSC332 Global Political Economics 3
    • Math - 6 credits minimum
      • MAT115 Basic Topics in Mathematics 3
      • Math Course higher than MATH115
        Scripting or Programming (4credits) 3
    • Science for DAA - 6 credits
      • SCI100 Basic Concepts of Physics 3
      • SCI130 Basic Concepts of Anatomy& Physiology
        SCI200 General Science: Principles & Trends 3
  • DAA Concentration Courses (Choose One) - 36 credits
    • 3D Animation
      • DMP200 Acting 3
      • DAA265 2D Animation 3
      • DAA267 Character Rigging 3
      • DAA244 Intro to 3D Animation Principals 3
      • DAA364 Drawing Animation 3
      • DAA460 2D Animation 3
      • DAA360 3D Animation I 3
      • DAA365 3D Animation II 3
      • DAA465 3D Animation III or Project Course 3
      • DAA Upper Division Elective 3
      • DAA480A Portfolio I or Project Course 3
      • DAA485A Portfolio II or Project Course 3
    • 3D Modeling
      • DAA120 Painting 3
        DAA270 Illustration
      • DAA245 Texturing 3
      • DAA330 Figure Sculpture 3
      • DAA248 Lighting and Layout 3
      • DAA340 Modeling 3
      • DAA267 Character Rigging 3
      • DAA370 Concept Design 3
      • DAA442 Advanced Lighting and Layout 3
      • DAA345 Modeling 3
      • DAA440 Modeling 3
      • DAA480M Portfolio 3
      • DAA485M Portfolio 3
    • Entertainment Design
      • DAA210 Figure Drawing II 3
      • DAA120 Painting 3
      • DAA320 Digital Painting 3
      • DAA270 Illustration 3
      • DAA335 Portrait Sculpture 3
      • DAA245 Texturing 3
      • DAA470 Illustration II 3
      • DAA370 Concept Design 3
      • DAA340 Modeling I 3
      • DAA Upper Division Elective 3
      • DAA480E Portfolio I 3
      • DAA485E Portfolio II 3

If you are a current student enrolled before fall 2008, please refer to the appropriate catalog and use one of the links below.