BFA Visual Effects

We are no longer accepting new applications for BFA in Visual Effects.

Visual effects and digital art have become an essential part of all modern forms of entertainment and commercial media. The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Effects gives you an immersive experience with the tools, processes, creative skills and collaborative workflow used to create and produce professional quality 3D models, animations, simulated effects and composites for film, television, animation, video games and interactive media.

Using industry-standard software and professional equipment, you’ll take project-based courses that reflect the real world of the visual effects production pipeline. A distinguished faculty of visual effects artists, animators and creative professionals, many of whom continue to work in the film and game industries will prepare you to meet the ever-evolving demands of a broad spectrum of industries and distribution platforms.

You’ll also study the liberal arts and sciences for intellectual exposure to the wider world of thought and ideas that enable critical thinking, creative problem-solving and the ability to communicate ideas, images and opinions effectively. You’ll complete your degree program by developing a cohesive, industry-ready professional portfolio and demo reel showcasing your unique talents, abilities and creative achievements.

Program learning outcomes

Upon successfully completing the BFA in Visual Effects, students will be able to:

  1. Implement design principles in all stages of visual effects and animation production.
  2. Utilize hardware and software tools and techniques of professional visual effects and animation industries.
  3. Evaluate works of visual effects and animation with regard to cultural influences and historical precedents.
  4. Apply knowledge of professional practices specific to visual effects and animation industries.
  5. Exercise problem-solving and communication skills necessary to function in interdisciplinary teams and organizational structures.

Time to completion


Your career path

The BFA in Visual Effects program immerses you in the skills and theory you’ll need to build your career in a variety of industries, including entertainment, gaming, marketing, advertising and education. Most importantly, you’ll acquire the essential, practical skills, experience and knowledge you’ll need to create your own entrepreneurial career path in the vast arena of visual effects and animation.

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Choose your emphasis

Customize your BFA program by choosing an emphasis that focuses advanced studies on an area of VFX that interests you most. Emphasis choices are animation, compositing and digital modeling.

Animation is the process of creating a sense of life in characters, shapes and environments through motion over time. Students who choose the Animation emphasis learn the fundamentals of animating characters, creatures and environments using industry-standard computer graphics tools and technology.

The Animation emphasis curriculum is designed to reflect the real world of the animation industry. Students create characters using rigging tools to control motion and deliver a strong emotional performance. Courses include advanced creature animation and dialogue animation, including voice accents, beats, eye darts, expressive facial poses and lip sync. Each student is challenged to explore acting, lighting and directing by working a complex computer-controlled puppet rig while directing actors to deliver emotionally engaging performances.

Career opportunities

  • 3D animator.
  • Motion design artist.
  • Storyboard artist.
  • Previsualization artist.
  • Character rigger.
  • Motion capture artist.
  • Digital 2D animator.

Compositing is the art of combining live-action footage with digitally created characters, creatures, environments and anything else imaginable. Students who choose the compositing emphasis use industry-standard compositing software to add digital models, green-screened actors, miniatures, entirely computer-generated imagery or painted environments to live-action scenes. In hands-on, project-based courses,

Compositing students act as collaborative artists, often working at the center of a dynamic and creative team of visual and special effects craftspeople. The curriculum focuses on the fundamentals of node-based compositing tools, the art of digital lighting, rendering in 3D, high-end dynamic simulations, motion capture, match-moving, previsualization and creating render passes to manipulate the imagery created by other talented artists. Compositing students also work on the set, learning and executing the role of an effects supervisor to properly capture footage for visual effects production.

Career opportunities

  • Compositor.
  • Camera tracking/match-moving artist.
  • Motion design artist.
  • Dynamic simulations artist.
  • Matte painter.
  • Set extension artist.
  • VFX supervisor.

Digital modeling emphasis students specialize in creating both inorganic hard-surfaces and mechanical objects and organic, living creatures, plants and geological environments.

Using a wide variety of sculpting software and industry-standard polygonal modeling tools, students learn to create forms with clean, efficient polygonal edge loops, unwrap and add color and bump metallic and surface roughness for use in visual effects for film, television, video, games and virtual reality environments.

Career opportunities

  • 3D modeler.
  • 3D character and creature artist.
  • Environment artist.
  • Architectural visualization artist.
  • 3D generalist.



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