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. There is an optional Co-op work term offered between year 1 and year 2 of the program.

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 60% 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 One
Semester One
ANIM 111 Life Drawing I
ANIM 112 Animation Principles I
ANIM 114 Layout and Design I
ANIM 116 Character Design I
ANIM 120 Animation History
CMNS 101 Communication Fundamentals
Semester Two
ANIM 121 Life Drawing II
ANIM 122 Animation Principles II
ANIM 124 Layout and Design II
ANIM 126 Character Design II
ANIM 127 Storyboarding I
Intersession (May - Aug)
ANIM 101 Co-op Work Term

Year Two

Semester Three

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.

Semester Four

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.

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


Department Website

Okanagan College Calendar: Printed 02/25/2018