Digital Art and Animation, BFA

Programme Overview
The BFA in Digital Art and Animation programme offers comprehensive education in the technique, processes, and tools that professional artists use to create art assets for games, animated films, and other digital media. Rather than simply teaching students how to use current software, this programme focuses on developing foundational skills that remain valuable and useful regardless of the technology or medium. Graduates of this programme have the ability to produce powerful affecting imagery in a professional studio environment.

Curriculum
Students who successfully complete the BFA in Digital Art and Animation programme possess the following:

  • Extensive production experience, in both 2D and 3D animation, as well as an area of greater focus that enables students to target a specific sector of the industry according to their interests and abilities.
  • Excellent drawing skills, including a mastery of perspective, shading, drawing from observation, figure drawing, value, color and composition.
  • Strong storytelling abilities, including visual storytelling, literary traditions, story through dialogue, story through acting and cinematic conventions.
  • Familiarity with modern studio processes, including the ability to use current tools and software, as well as the ability to learn new software while maintaining a strict production schedule.
  • Professional work habits, including and understanding of how to maintain and continually enhance their craft throughout their career, as well as the ability to utilize and integrate professional criticism into their work.

Career Opportunities
This programme prepares students for careers in digital art and digital 3D animation, digital 2D animation and video game or animation pre-production. Possible job titles include:

  • Character Animator
  • Concept Artist
  • Illustrator
  • Storyboard Artist

Learn more about DigiPen's Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Art and Animation.

Eligibility and Exemption

All full-time diplomas awarded by the five local polytechnics

* Diplomas awarded by Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and LASALLE College of the Arts will be considered on a case-by-case basis for the BFA in Digital Art and Animation programme.

Applicants who are not graduates from a Polytechnic in Singapore, but have completed a formal 12th year education equivalent to A-Levels, are eligible to apply for the following degree programme:

Overseas University Partner

Degree Programmes

Subject Requirement(s)

DigiPen Institute of Technology

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Art & Animation

  1. A/H2 Mathematics
  2. HL Mathematics
  3. Also see programme-specific requirements for all DigiPen programmes

Note:

Credit transfers and duration of studies will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 

Students who have relevant post-secondary qualifications may complete DigiPen’s degree programmes within seven semesters. To be eligible for the abridged programme, students must successfully satisfy the following criteria:

  1. The course(s) being evaluated must be taken at a bona fide, legitimate institution recognised and approved by a regulatory authority that oversees the educational system in the country where the institution is. These courses must appear on official transcripts from the institution.  The final decision regarding the transfer credits remains at DigiPen’s discretion.

  2. The course(s) must be comparable in academic quality to DigiPen courses including the number of credits or contact hours. Application will be denied for courses not meeting this standard.

  3. Transfer credit will be considered for courses in which the grade of “B -” or better is recorded. “Credit” or “Pass” grades will not be accepted for transfer credit.

  4. Course(s) transferred to a student’s major may also require a validation examination in order to be accepted.

Actual number of credits may vary from one student to another depending on the individual course work completed. Any course(s) not transferred must be completed within the duration of the programme.

Study Trip

All students have to complete a 12-week immersion programme at the home campus of DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond.  Students will take classes in Redmond’s summer semester and work with faculty and students from different programmes. The estimated cost for the programme ranges from S$8,000 - S$9,000 (based on prevailing currency exchange rates and flight ticket prices).

MODULE SYNOPSIS

Semester 1
ANI 101 Animation Basics 1

This course introduces the principles of animation through a variety of animation techniques. Topics include motion research and analysis, effective timing, spacing, volume control, stagecraft, and choreography. Weekly screenings of classic animation are held, followed by in-class critiques.

ART 101 The Language of Drawing I

This course explores the nature of drawing as a language skill and the use of drawing by production artists and animators. Topics include applied drawing goals, critical thinking skills, and best practices in drawing practice, drill, and play. Design principles, reference research, and the design process are applied to a series of practical problems. This course also explores drawing materials, drawing strategy, drawing sequence, and linear drawing methodology, practice, and theory.

ART 125 Tone, Color, and Composition

This course introduces various methods for activating the picture plane, manipulating the viewer’s visual experience, and visually communicating complex ideas and moods. These methods are reinforced through the study and application of light, darkness, value, color-harmony systems, and compositional strategies.

ART 115 Art and Technology

This course provides an overview of art history from Paleolithic times through the modern day. The course examines classical art materials and methods and traces the technological advances of society and art. It considers the interplay between art and technology and how they have historically impacted society.

ENG 116 Storytelling

This course covers the principal elements of storytelling including theme, character, perspective, setting, plot, and dialogue. It emphasizes non-visual media such as short stories, novels, and plays, though visual media including film and video games may be discussed as well.

 

Semester 2
ANI 151 Advanced Animation – Theories and Techniques II

This course explores concepts and techniques of traditional animation. Motion and posing is explored through character development, which includes the expression of personality, mood, thought, and attitude. Emphasis is placed on the refinement of drawings, subtlety of movement, and creativity.

ART 130 Tone, Color, and Composition II

This course builds upon the theories, techniques, and practices introduced in ART 125 while introducing the concepts of analysis and extrapolation in the creation of a visual reference library for implementation in subsequent coursework.

ART 150 Human Anatomy

This course explores the skeletal and muscular structures of the human body. Skeletal and muscular forms are identified from both live models and anatomical references. Topics include terminology, structural arrangement, and kinetic function. The course gives special emphasis to adapting this knowledge to the needs of artists and animators.

ART 151 Life Drawing I

This course introduces the challenges of drawing the human form and applying lessons in anatomy to the figure. Life drawing for animation is examined in this course by studying the skeletal structure, muscle form, gesture, and emotion when drawing a live model.

PRJ 101 The Basics of Production

This course investigates production pipelines adopted by schools and companies. Topics include career opportunities, best practices and methodologies, efficient workflows, and basic navigation of common industry software. Projects range from small individual assignments to a limited team-based project within a game engine.

Semester 3
ART 201 Life Drawing II

This course emphasizes drawing the human form from a structural perspective. Strategies for visualizing anatomy are explored. These include identifying bony landmarks and constructing the form through primitives and value. Additional topics include drawing the clothed figure and foreshortening.

CG 201 2D Raster Graphics and Animation

This course introduces 2D computer graphics software and practices for digital painting and production. Topics include transition from traditional to digital art, photo editing and manipulation, material studies, critical thinking skills and techniques, conceptualization, and illustration.

 

CG 225 Introduction to 3D Animation

This course introduces students to 3D software and practices for production. Topics include organization strategies, modeling, unwrapping, texture mapping, rigging, lighting, and cameras.

FLM 115 History of Film and Animation

This course examines the more than 100-year history of film and animation. Beginning with the scientific and technical advances that made these media technologies possible, students explore every major movement and genre as well as their impact on society. The course gives students critical vocabulary required for explaining story, animation and cinematic techniques.

PRJ 201 2D Animation Production

This course is the first semester of a two-semester traditional animation project. Work is completed in small teams with a special emphasis on physicality. Additional topics include research, visual development, and production pipeline management.

Semester 4
ART 251 Character Design

This course introduces the traditions of character design and the basic structural strategies for creating animated characters. The course explores simplification gradients relative to human, animal, and inanimate object-based characters. It also considers issues of costume, personality, and story interaction. The course emphasizes professional applications, techniques, and standards of quality. The work completed in this course may serve as pre-production design for PRJ 300, PRJ 350, or ANI 300.

ART 300 Perspective, Backgrounds, and Layouts

This course introduces students to the aesthetics and principles of 2D (floor plans and elevations) and 3D environment design. A survey of architectural styles from throughout the world is blended with concepts, such as emotion, mood, lighting, shadows, aesthetics, and more. The course emphasizes learning the architectural vocabulary as well as the aesthetics of environmental and game-level design. Texturing, spatial design, negative space, dramatic lighting, and other concepts that affect not only the psychology of level design but also gameplay principles are covered. Students participate in numerous field trips to local examples of architecture in order to gain an understanding of architectural spaces and the fieldís vocabulary.

 

ART 350 Storyboards

This course explores the animation pre-production skills of storyboard art. Emphasis is placed on storytelling and cinematography to create both production and presentation storyboards. Drawing is applied as a means to create story-flow, character development, mood, time, and place.

 

CG 275 3D Character Animation

This course explores and exercises the concepts and techniques of 3D animation through a series of assignments applied to characters. The course emphasizes character development in the expression of personality, mood, thought, and attitude through motion and posing.

COL 230 College Success for Artists

This course introduces industry research, professional expectations, and requisite levels of proficiency. The course helps identify strengths, skills, interests, and areas for growth and requires the creation of an academic plan.

PRJ 251 2D Vector Animation

This course is the second semester of a two-semester traditional animation project. Work is completed in small teams with a special emphasis on production quality. Topics include cleanup, scanning, coloring, raster and vector-based software, and production pipeline management.

Semester 5
ART 200 Animal Anatomy

This course introduces the major skeletal and muscular structures of animals. Topics include terminology, structural arrangement, and kinetic function. The course also considers standard locomotion cycles and the relationship between humans and various animals. This course gives special emphasis to adapting this knowledge to the needs of artists and animators.

CG 300 3D Environment and Level Design

This course introduces students to the principles of 3D environment design. Theatrical sets, architectural simulations, and level design are considered. In order to provide students with a broader skill set, this course also presents the “mechanics” of how to use other 3D animation software, with an emphasis on the unique strengths of the package. Students explore the comparative strengths of different software packages and the impact that this has on workflow. The course emphasizes critical thinking skills and strategies for tool selection.

DAA Elective 300 level or higher: ART, ANI, FLM, or CG
FLM 201 Cinematography

This course explores camera composition, lighting, and editing techniques through a series of cinematic projects. Topics include 2D and 3D camera moves, film and script analysis, storytelling conventions, choreography, and staging.

PRJ 300 Limited-Scope 3D Production

This course introduces a limited 3D production pipeline through a one-semester individual project. A range of artistic disciplines will be covered, including modeling, texturing, rendering, rigging, and animation. Storyboards and designs for characters, environments, and assets are provided.

Semester 6
COL 499 Career Search Preparation: Materials, Logistics, And Communication

College 499 is a capstone course for students to prepare their job application materials and learn how to effectively search for an entry-level job in their field. The goal of the course is for each student to have a polished resume, cover letter, business card, and online/web presence by the end of the semester, as well as a search strategy for seeking employment.

COM 250 Professional Communication

This course prepares students for the communication challenges that await them in the professional world. Topics covered may include professional networking strategies, career search materials, self-presentation and interview skills, and effective communication across all levels and functions of the workplace.

 

CS 115 Introduction to Scripting and Programming

This class introduces programming environments to students who are not experienced programmers. This course covers simple logic, programming flow, and the use of variables. It introduces students to the history of programming and the basic vocabulary of the programming industry. The course culminates in a series of hands-on exercises using this knowledge to solve problems. At his or her discretion, the instructor may cover special topics in programming or scripting.

DAA Elective 300 level or higher: ART, ANI, FLM, or CG
DAA Elective 300 level or higher: ART, ANI, FLM, or CG
PRJ 350 3D Animation Production

This course is the first semester of a two-semester sequence on the production of a short 2D or 3D film. The course focuses on concept, pre-production, and asset creation in a team environment. Topics include effective presentations, managing scope, and team dynamics.

Semester 7
ART 401 Conceptual Illustration and Visual Development

This course explores the animation pre-production skills of conceptual illustration and visual development. Students apply their knowledge of drawing, storytelling, and composition to create speculative drawings for animation. They review compositional systems, design process, and illustration techniques. Additionally, students explore means of using drawing to visually explore story and character ideas from both existing and original story materials. They also consider adaptation, stylization, and visual variety. The course emphasizes professional applications, techniques, and standards of quality. The work completed in this course serves as pre- production design for PRJ300, PRJ350, or ANI300.

ART 450 Portfolio

This course explores elements of personal branding and professional portfolio development. Emphasis is placed on visual continuity in the creation of traditional and digital art portfolios, web sites, demo reels, and promotional items. The course also covers strategies for job interviews, contract negotiations, understanding business documents, and exhibiting at trade shows.

- English Elective Any ENG course of three credits or more
PHY Elective Any 3 credit course with the PHY designation
PRJ 400 Cinematic Production

This course is the second semester of a two-semester sequence on the production of a short 2D or 3D film. With pre-production completed, the sequence continues with final animation, rendering, and post-production. Commercial art direction, quality control, production deadlines, team dynamics, and technical challenges are addressed.

Semester 8
General Education Elective Any ENG, LAW, HIS, SOS, PSY, or MAT elective
LAW115 Introduction to Intellectual Property and Contracts

The animation and computer software industries are founded upon the principle of intellectual property. This course introduces students to the social concepts and traditions that led to the idea of intellectual property. It surveys the various international legal systems governing intellectual property, giving special consideration to Title 17 and the local statutes that govern copyrights, trademarks, and patents in the United States. Students learn fundamental issues surrounding this field, such as fair use, international relations, and economics. The course also introduces students to a basic overview of contracts, including structure, traditions, and vocabulary.

Open Elective An elective of the student’s choice from any department at DigiPen
PRJ 450 Career Preparation

This course focuses on building portfolios and reels in preparation for the professional world. Emphasis is placed on professional practices, methodologies, and presentation.

SOS115 Media and Ethics: A Social Science Perspective

This course guides students in the ethical assessment of both the processes and outcomes of social decision-making. After an introduction to basic ethical theories, students acquire an understanding of the structure of social institutions and the process through which one makes social choices. Central to the analysis is a study of ethics as a criterion for assessment of social decision-making with emphasis on the study of particular issues of social choice. The course also provides a theoretical framework within which to spot and analyse ethical issues in the media.

Campus Location
SIT@SP Building
SIT@SP Building

Singapore Polytechnic
510 Dover Road, Singapore 139660