2017-18 Calendar

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Animation Diploma

The two-year Animation diploma program focuses on drawing, design and the principles and techniques of traditional and digital character animation.

Features include a state of the art classroom in the new Innovation Centre in downtown Kelowna, the latest technology in the field of digital animation, and comprehensive drawing classes taught by industry professionals to develop artistic skills, technical dexterity and creative thinking. Industry standard production scenarios and professional practices mimic the production pipeline. Core courses include 2D, digital 2D and 3D animation, life drawing, character design, storyboard and layout design. Animation history, communications and an introduction to business functions are also studied.

Successful graduates complete a professional quality, industry-focused demo reel showcasing their design and digital animation skills, preparing them for a career in British Columbia's (B.C.'s) booming entertainment industry.

Program Goals:

  • Focus on applied learning: from pencil to digital, graduating animators and not just operators.
  • Deliver a curriculum which balances artistic skills, industry techniques and applied technology.
  • Maintain close relationships with the industry.
  • Train artists for a successful career in the 2D or 3D animation industry.

Skill sets taught in the Animation program are also applicable to careers in the fields of computer games, multimedia, web design, television and feature film.

Admission Requirements

B.C. secondary school graduation, or equivalent, or 19 years of age and out of secondary school for one year as of the first day of classes.

English 12 with minimum 50% or alternatives.

Interview and portfolio assessment. Please refer to program website for more details.

Applicants may be required to complete a drawing exercise.

Graduation Requirements

Successful completion of the prescribed courses as listed in the program outline with a minimum graduating grade average of 60%.

Program Outline

Year 1

ANIM 111 Life Drawing I

Students are introduced to life drawing as an independent art form and as a critical component of the effective development of believable animation. Emphasis is placed on observational drawing skills though a series of demonstrations, drawing techniques, and structural drawings of basic human anatomy.

ANIM 112 Animation Principles I

Students are introduced to the baisc principles of animation and timing through a series of exercises designed to bring attention to the details of frame by frame movement. Industry standard digital tools and methodologies used to produce 2D and 3D animation are introduced.

ANIM 114 Layout and Design I

Students are introduced to the role that perspective, composition, and design play in the production of layouts for animation. Studies include how perspective is used to establish depth and point of view (POV). The principles of composition are studied in relation to their role in visual storytelling and staging the layout. The functional aspects of the layout are introduced, as well as the use of the field guide in planning basic camera moves. Principles of location design is explored and digital methodologies are introduced in the production of functional layouts.

ANIM 116 Character Design I

Students are introduced to the principles of elementary character design. Emphasis is placed on fundamental design principles, learning to use and manipulate basic 3 dimensional shapes, integrating knowledge of human anatomy into character design.

ANIM 120 Animation History

Students are introduced to animation's rich history from pre-cinema to the industry's present state of scale and production. The evolution of animation and how technology, economics, aritstic trends, individual artists and national cultures have affected its development are examined. Various films and filmmakers are analyzed to provide a context for the principles taught in this and other courses within the program.

ANIM 121 Life Drawing II

Advanced drawing techniques are explored through a series of demonstrations including an in-depth study of light and shadow and its role in defining form. Students examine the figure in context to the environment using principles of linear perspective, and are introduced to the concept of economy of expression through anatomical simplification. A study of musculature builds on first semester skeletal knowledge. Various animals are sketched during a series of field studies, enabling students to compare and contrast human and animal anatomy, form and movement.

ANIM 122 Animation Principles II

Students integrate the fundamental principles of animation presented in Animation Principles I with a series of exercises designed to place an emphasis on action analysis and performance. Exercises include animating characters engaging in tasks affected by anatomy, momentum and gravity. Introductory effects animation is covered. Digital methodologies used in the production of 2D and 3D animation are further explored.

ANIM 124 Layout and Design II

Students further develop skills required to create industry standard layouts and effective location designs. Students analyze a storyboard sequence for layout and draw from established designs to maintain visual continuity. Students are introduced to the roles that design theory, advanced perspective techniques, research skills and lighting design play in the creation of original location designs, which serve various roles in visual storytelling and animation production. Lighting design is studied in its capacity to develop framing, mood, emotion and atmosphere in layouts and location designs. Digital methodologies are used in the production of industry standard layouts and location designs.

ANIM 126 Character Design II

Standard industry methods used to design characters for animation are introduced. The role that storytelling, personality, exaggeration and shape play in the design of appealing, memorable characters that function for complex animation are studied.

ANIM 127 Storyboarding I

Students are introduced to the concepts, principles and requirements of storyboarding as it relates to visual storytelling, animation and filmmaking. Through guided commentary on selected films, students become familiar with principles involved in cinematic theory and visual storytelling, and how to convey those principles through the production tool of the storyboard. Digital methodologies are introduced to facilitate the production of a storyboard.

CMNS 113 Technical Communication for Information Technology

Year 2

ANIM 211 Life Drawing III

A sequence of drawing exercises are performed to emphasize movement, character and acting, demonstrating how skills developed in life drawing are fundamental to the art of animation and storytelling principles. Students explore various character archetypes through the study of costumed persona in historical, cultural, ethnic and social settings. Emphasis is placed on the anatomical structure under clothing, and how to render the nuances of clothing that inform the action and the dynamic nature of the figure. A variety of mediums are explored in rendering line and tone. A short study of caricature is also explored.

ANIM 212 Animation Principles III

The principles of acting for animation are introduced. Topics include acting for animation, lip synch and interpreting the emotion and performance reflected in the sound track. Exercises incorporate acting principles with the mechanics of speech incorporated into animated sequences. Pre-recorded dialogue tracks are introduced and emphasis is placed on ensuring mouth action is synchronized and body action is consistent with the dialogue. An analysis of human movement is the framework for rendering physical movement in animation, which may include broad physical humor (slapstick) or subtle drama.

ANIM 214 Layout and Design III

Students explore the roles and skill requirements of the concept artist and the visual development artist in commercial animation production. Through an examination of the production art of various animated films, students develop both a personal style and the ability to produce work in established styles. Systematic and experimental approaches to the creative development process are introduced. Emphasis is placed on historical and architectural research. Colour theory and the use of colour as a story device is explored through its capacity to help develop framing, mood, emotion and atmosphere in environment designs. Utilizing digital drawing and painting tools, students create finished artwork that becomes a major part of their portfolios.

ANIM 216 Character Design III

Students explore the technical aspects of digital character design. A series of exercises provide the background for the development of various characters, which are then built using digital methodologies in current industry standard 2D digital software.

ANIM 217 Storyboarding II

Students are introduced to advanced methodology, theory and practices used by story artists to create storyboards at an industry standard level. Students learn to interpret a script for storyboarding. Acting, performance, and creative solutions to staging are explored. Emphasis is placed on action breakdown and pushing posing. The story pitch process and its attendant constructive criticism are examined. Using digital production tools, editing methods are explored through the creation of an animatic.

ANIM 221 Life Drawing IV

Students explore elements of personal expression and style. The style and work of past and present artists and their influences on modern art forms are studied and analyzed. Work that exhibits mastery in the drawing of the human form, draped and undraped, are introduced. Assessment of one's own work for inclusion in a presentation portfolio is examined.

ANIM 222 Animation Principles IV

Students are introduced to complex animation studies which replicates the studio experience. While animating a sequence of scenes involving multiple characters, learners study the coordination of team members, managing assets, problem solving, achieving production milestones and assessing visual continuity and technical challenges. Professional practices used in the production of 2D and 3D animation are introduced.

ANIM 230 Demo Reel Production

In this course, students integrate all of the concepts, principles and applied skills developed throughout the program. Under the guidance of the instructor, students design and develop an industry-focused portfolio and demo reel that targets a specialized area of production chosen by the student. Guest speakers from the industry who are experts in thier craft provide mentorship and critical portfolio feedback. Analytical skills and the objective evaluation of one's own work are fostered through regular peer review and group critique sessions. Digital methodologies and techniques required to assemble, edit and composite the final demo reel are examined.

CMNS 123 Analysis and Reporting for Information Technology

Program Area:


Campus (Intake):

  • Kelowna (Sep)




  • Full-Time


2017-18: $38,178.16 (Total for the program)

  • Fees include all mandatory fees: Activity fee, Health & Dental, Student Association fee, Education Technology fee, Development fee.
  • All amounts are approximate and are subject to change.
  • International students will pay International tuition fees


Up to $6,000 will be awarded to every domestic Animation Diploma student during their first year to offset program costs. For more information, please contact the Department Chair at animationchair@okanagan.bc.ca.

Department Website

Okanagan College Calendar: Printed 05/24/2017