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Film and Animation BFA

Malcolm Spaull, Administrative Chair
(585) 475-2779, mgscdm@rit.edu

http://cias.rit.edu/film/

Program overview

The BFA degree program in film and animation is for students who recognize the moving image as an expressive force uniquely important to modern life. The school develops students’ production skills and acquaints them with film, video, and animation as creative media.

Curriculum

The curriculum emphasizes production, with students beginning their first semester working in 16mm film and animation, and continues with production work in every semester. Students may choose one of two options: animation or production. The school’s goal is to prepare students who are able to produce, creatively and practically, their own independent work and/or fulfill professional production responsibilities in any medium suitable to their interests and abilities.

Through lectures and laboratories, students develop individual skills in moving-image communications and learn the aesthetic principles governing the art. Technology and technique are never taught as an end in themselves but in terms of learning to use the tools necessary to achieve a creative goal in relation to the audience.

Students in the film and animation major produce several short films or animations by working through all phases of production, from scripting, production planning, and budgeting to shooting, editing, and sound design. Students further their learning of visual and sound artistry through hands-on experience with camera and sound equipment. Film, video, and animation projects are designed by individual students. A wide variety of styles and intentions is expressed in the department’s work.

Utilizing research, critical thinking, creativity, and a range of problem-solving principles, students are taught to address complex motion imaging work flow issues within the constraints of time, space, budget, and technology. Graduates enjoy a variety of career opportunities, from feature film and television post-production to imaging equipment design nd essential motion imaging technology research and development.

Film and animation (animation option), BFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
SOFA-101 Production I 3
SOFA-106 Film Syntax 2
  LAS Foundation 1: First Year Seminar† 3
  LAS Foundation 2: First Year Writing 3
SOFA-107 Principles of Animation 4
SOFA-111 Film Viewings  1
SOFA-121 Animation Survey (LAS Perspective 1) 3
SOFA-122 Fundamentals of Computers and Imaging Technology (SMTL) 3
SOFA-228 Animation Scriptwriting and Storyboard 3
  LAS Perspective 2 3
  YearOne 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Choose one of the following: 3
   SOFA-108    Drawing for Animation  
   SOFA-209    Object and Character Creation  
Second Year
Choose one of the following: 3
   SOFA-203    2D Animation I: Dynamics  
   SOFA-215      Animation I  
SOFA-205 Basic Sound Recording 3
SOFA-217 Animation Production Workshop I 4
SOFA-224  Tradigital Animation  3
SOFA-225  Performance Resources for Animation 3
SOFA-227  Animation Pre-Production 3
Choose one of the following: 3
   SOFA-216     3D Animation II  
   SOFA-218    Concept and Character Design  
SOFA-541  History and Aesthetics of Animation 3
  CIAS/SOFA Elective 3
  LAS Perspective 3 3
Third Year
SOFA-302 Business and Careers in Animation 3
SOFA-317 Animation Production Workshop II 4
  Open Elective 3
  CIAS/SOFA Elective‡ 6
  LAS Perspective 4 3
  LAS Elective (SMTL) 3
  CIAS/SOFA History and Aesthetics course‡ 3
  LAS Immersion I 3
Choose one of the following: 3
   SOFA-323    2D Animation II: Performance  
   SOFA-575    3D Lighting and Rendering  
SOFA-306 Senior Thesis Seminar 1
Fourth Year
SOFA-406 Senior Thesis I 4
SOFA-407 Senior Thesis I 4
SOFA-408 Senior Forum 1
  CIAS/SOFA History and Aesthetics course‡ 3
  Open Electives 6
  LAS Immersion 2, 3 6
  CIAS/SOFA Elective§ 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 121

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

(SMTL) Refers to science, math, technical literacy requirement.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two Wellness courses.

† The First Year Seminar requirement is replaced by an LAS Elective for the 2014-15 academic year.

‡ History and aesthetics courses include History and Aesthetics of Animation (SOFA-241) and History and Aesthetics: Animation Stories (SOFA-242).

§ SOFA electives include the following courses: Alternative Frame by Frame (SOFA-582), Character Design (SOFA-577), After Effects for Animators (SOFA-576), 3D Lighting and Rendering (SOFA-575), Particles and Dynamics (SOFA-581), Programming for 3D Animators (SOFA-586), Building the 3D Character (SOFA-583), Advanced Object and Character Creation (SOFA-309), Digital Sculpting (SOFA-587), Fusion Production (SOFA-573), Concept Design and Development (SOFA-574), or DVD Authoring (SOFA-388). 

Film and animation (production option), BFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
SOFA-101 Production I 3
SOFA-102 Production II 3
SOFA-106 Film Syntax 2
SOFA-111 Film Viewings 1
SOFA-112 Fundamentals of Screenwriting (WI) 3
SOFA-121 LAS Perspective 1: Animation Survey (LAS Perspective 1) 3
  LAS Foundation 1: First Year Seminar† 3
  LAS Foundation 2: First Year Writing 3
SOFA-122 Fundamentals of Computers and Imaging Technology (SMTL) 3
  History and Aesthetics course‡ 3
  LAS Perspective 2 3
  YearOne 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
SOFA-202 Production Processes  4
SOFA-205 Basic Sound Recording 3
SOFA-206  Directing the Actor 3
SOFA-208  Dramatic Structure  3
  LAS Perspective 3, 4 6
  SOFA Production Workshop** 4
  SOFA Craft Choice†† 3
  CIAS/SOFA Elective§ 3
  Open Elective 3
Third Year 
SOFA-301 Business and Careers in Film 3
SOFA-306 Senior Thesis Seminar 1
  SOFA Production Workshop** 4
  CIAS/SOFA History and Aesthetics courses‡ 6
  CIAS/SOFA Electives§ 6
  LAS Elective (SMTL) 3
  SOFA Craft Choice†† 3
  Open Elective 3
  LAS Immersion 1 3
Fourth Year
SOFA-406 Senior Thesis I 4
SOFA-407 Senior Thesis II 4
SOFA-408 Senior Forum 1
  CIAS/SOFA History and Aesthetics course‡ 3
  Open Electives 6
  LAS Immersion 2, 3 6
  CIAS/SOFA Elective§ 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 121

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

(SMTL) Refers to science, math, technical literacy requirement.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two Wellness courses.

† The First Year Seminar requirement is replaced by an LAS Elective for the 2014-15 academic year.

‡ History and aesthetics courses include Film Sound Theory-Music (SOFA-262), Film Sound Theory-Effects (SOFA-261), Documentary Film History (SOFA-366), International Film History (SOFA-362), New Documentary Issues (SOFA-361).

§ SOFA elective courses include Audio Introduction for Media (SOFA-165), Digital Effects and Compositing (SOFA-271), Cinematography and Lighting (SOFA-263), 30-Second Commercial Production (SOFA-266), Writing The Feature I (SOFA-363), Writing The Feature II (SOFA-364), Mixing and Sound Design (SOFA-372), Underwater Cinematography (SOFA-272), Advanced Production Immersion (SOFA-371).

** SOFA production workshop courses include Documentary Workshop (SOFA-211),Fiction Workshop (SOFA-212), Radical Cinema Workshop (SOFA-213).

†† SOFA craft choice courses include Advanced Sound Recording (SOFA-321), Camera Choreography (SOFA-322), Advanced Editing (SOFA-323), Advanced Directing the Actor (SOFA-324), Advanced Acting for Film (SOFA-325), Writing the Short Film (SOFA-326).

Admission requirements

For information on undergraduate admission, including freshman and transfer admission guidelines, please refer to the Undergraduate Admission section of this bulletin.

Portfolio guidelines: Specific instructions on portfolio submission for applicants to the film and animation major are available in the college's introductory section of this bulletin or on the college website (http://cias.rit.edu/prospective-students/portfolio-guide/). The review committee is looking for work that is original in concept and content. It does not necessarily need to be motion media, but should be visual or aural. Examples include films/videos, photos, drawings, paintings, sculpture, stop-motion puppets, scripts, storyboards, and original music.

Writing policy

The School of Film and Animation has a minimum writing requirement within each of its majors. A copy of the school’s official writing competency policy may be obtained from the department or from the Office of Academic Student Services.

Additional information

Summer session

The School of Film and Animation offers a limited selection of courses during the summer term. These range from beginning courses to those requiring a substantial background. For information on summer courses, please contact the school.

Memberships

The school maintains memberships in a number of professional organizations, including: Animation World Network, College Art Association, Rochester Audio Visual Association, Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, University Film and Video Association, Siggraph, and BEA. The school also is a certified Apple Training Center for Professional Applications.

[arrow] Click to view program requirements in the Quarter Calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.

Program overview

The BFA degree program in film and animation is for students who recognize the moving image as an expressive force uniquely important to modern life. The school will develop students’ production skills and acquaint each with film, video, and animation as creative media.

Curriculum

The curriculum emphasizes production, with students beginning their first quarter working in 16mm film and animation and continuing with production work every quarter until they graduate. Students may choose to specialize in motion pictures, video, or traditional or computer animation. The school’s goal is to prepare students who are able to produce, creatively and practically, their own independent work and/or fulfill professional production responsibilities in any medium suitable to their interests and abilities.

Through lectures and laboratories, students develop individual skills in moving-image communications and learn the aesthetic principles governing the art. Technology and technique are never taught as an end in themselves but in terms of learning to use the tools necessary to achieve a creative goal in relation to the audience.

Students in the film and animation program produce several short films or animations by working through all phases of production: scripting, production planning, budgeting, shooting, editing, and sound design. Students further their learning of visual and sound artistry through hands-on experience with camera and sound equipment. Film, video, and animation projects are designed by individual students. A wide variety of styles and intentions is expressed in the department’s work.

Utilizing research, critical thinking, creativity, and a range of problem-solving principles, students are taught to address complex motion imaging workflow issues within the constraints of time, space, budget, and technology. Graduates of the BS program will enjoy a variety of career opportunities, from feature film and television post-production to imaging equipment design and essential motion imaging technology research and development.

Semester conversion
Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. Each program and its associated courses have been sent to the New York State Department of Education for approval of the semester plan. For reference, the following charts illustrate the typical course sequence for this program in both quarters and semesters. Students should consult their academic advisers with questions regarding planning and course selection.

Film and animation, BFA degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
2065-201 Introduction to Film Production 4
2065-202, 203 Digital Production I, II 8
2065-206 Story and Structure 2
2065-216 Fundamentals of Computer Imaging 3
2065-221 Materials and Processes of Moving Image 2
2065-222 Film Language 4
2065-263 Single-Frame Motion 2
2065-331 Introduction to Animation 4
2065-342 Scriptwriting I 3
  Liberal Arts* 12
1720-050, 051 First-Year Enrichment 2
  Wellness Education† 0
Second Year
2065-344 Post-production Processes 4
  Liberal Arts* 12
  Wellness Education† 0
  Production Emphasis:  
2065-316     Production Processes 5
2065-324     Live-Action Pre-production 3
2065-343     Scriptwriting II 3
      Film/Video Production Workshop 4
      Film Animation History and Aesthetics 12
      Film/Animation Electives 9-12
  Animation Emphasis:  
2065-352     Animation Pre-production 4
2065-427     2D Computer Animation 4
2065-457     Introduction to 3D Modeling Animation 4
2013-211, 212     Foundation Drawing 6
Choose one of the following: 4
    2065-333     Animation Production Workshop  
    2065-447     Experimental Animation Workshop  
Choose one of the following: 3
    2013-213     Foundation Drawing  
    2013-231     2D Design  
    2013-241     3D Design  
  Film/Animation History and Aesthetics 6-8
  Film/Animation Elective 3-4
Third Year
2065-413 Senior Project Seminar 1
  Open Electives 8
  Liberal Arts* 12
  Production Emphasis:  
Choose one of the following: 4
   2065-387    Writing the Short Film  
   2065-376    Dramatic Structure for Film/TV  
Choose one of the following: 8
     Production Workshop: Documentary/Experimental/Fiction  
   2065-387    Writing the Short Film  
  Film/Animation History and Aesthetics 6-8
  Film/Animation Electives 8
  Animation Emphasis:  
Choose one of the following: 4
   2065-361    Introduction to 3D Computer Animation I  
   2065-478    3D Computer Animation II  
   2065-332    Advanced Animation Tools  
2065-363 Scriptwriting for Animation 3
2065-437 Advanced Animation Workshop I 4
2065-438 Advanced Animation Workshop II 4
  Film/Animation History and Aesthetics 3-4
  Film/Animation Electives 6-8
Fourth Year
  Open Elective 4
  Liberal Arts* 9-12
  Production Emphasis and Animation Emphasis:  
2065-507, 508, 509     Senior Project 1, 2, 3 12
2065-512     Senior Forum 2
2065-513     Career Preparation 2
      Film/Animation History and Aesthetics 3-4
      Film/Animation Electives 9-12
Total Quarter Credit Hours 184-195

* Please see Liberal Arts General Education Requirements for more information.

† Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

Film and animation (animation option), BFA degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
SOFA-101 Production I 3
SOFA-121 LAS Perspective 1: Animation Survey 3
SOFA-106 Film Syntax 2
SOFA-111 Film Viewings 1
  LAS Foundation 1: First-Year Seminar 3
ENGL-150 LAS Foundation 2: Writing Seminar 3
SOFA-107 Principles of Animation 4
SOFA-112 Fundamentals of Screenwriting (WI) 3
SOFA-122 Fundamentals of Computers and Imaging Technology (SMTL) 3
  LAS Perspective 2 3
  Wellness Education* 0
Choose one of the following: 3
   SOFA-108    Drawing for Animation  
   SOFA-209    Object and Character Creation  
Second Year
SOFA-205 Basic Sound Recording 3
Choose one of the following: 3
   SOFA-203    2D Animation I: Dynamics  
   SOFA-215      Animation I  
   SOFA-222    Stop Motion Puppet Fundamentals  
SOFA-224  Tradigital Animation  3
SOFA-225  Performance Resources for Animation 3
SOFA-227  Animation Pre-Production 3
SOFA-217 Animation Production Workshop I 4
Choose one of the following: 3
   SOFA-204     2D Animation II: Movement  
   SOFA-216    3D Animation II  
   SOFA-223    Advanced Stop Motion Techniques  
SOFA-228  Animation Scriptwriting and Storyboard  3
  SOFA Elective‡ 3
  LAS Perspective 3  3
Third Year 
SOFA-317 Animation Production Workshop II 4
  History and Aesthetics course† 3
  SOFA Elective‡ 3
  LAS Perspective 4 3
  LAS Elective (SMTL) 3
SOFA-302 Business and Careers in Animation 3
Choose one of the following: 3
   SOFA-304    2D Animation III: Performance    
   SOFA-316    3D Animation III  
SOFA-306 Senior Thesis Seminar 1
  History and Aesthetics course† 3
  Free Elective 3
  LAS Immersion 1 3
Fourth Year
SOFA-406 Senior Thesis I 4
SOFA-408 Senior Forum 1
  History and Aesthetics course† 3
  Free Electives 6
  LAS Immersion 2, 3 6
SOFA-407 Senior Thesis II 4
  SOFA Elective‡ 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 121

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

(SMTL) Refers to science, math, technical literacy requirement.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

† History and aesthetics courses include History and Aesthetics of Animation (SOFA-241) and History and Aesthetics: Animation Stories (SOFA-242).

‡ SOFA electives include the following courses: Alternative Frame by Frame (SOFA-582), Character Design (SOFA-577), After Effects for Animators (SOFA-576), 3D Lighting and Rendering (SOFA-575), Particles and Dynamics (SOFA-581), Programming for 3D Animators (SOFA-586), Building the 3D Character (SOFA-583), Advanced Object and Character Creation (SOFA-309), Digital Sculpting (SOFA-587), Fusion Production (SOFA-573), Concept Design and Development (SOFA-574), or DVD Authoring (SOFA-388). 

Film and animation (production option), BFA degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
SOFA-101 Production I 3
SOFA-121 LAS Perspective 1: Animation Survey 3
SOFA-106 Film Syntax 2
SOFA-111 Film Viewings 1
  LAS Foundation 1: First-Year Seminar 3
ENGL-150 LAS Foundation 2: Writing Seminar 3
SOFA-102 Production II 4
SOFA-112 Fundamentals of Screenwriting (WI) 3
SOFA-122 Fundamentals of Computers and Imaging Technology (SMTL) 3
  History and Aesthetics course† 3
  LAS Perspective 2 3
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
SOFA-202 Production Processes  4
Choose one of the following: 3
   SOFA-206    Directing the Actor  
   SOFA-207     Acting for Film and Video  
SOFA-208  Dramatic Structure  3
SOFA-205  Basic Sound Recording 3
  LAS Perspective 3, 4 6
  SOFA Production Workshop§ 4
  SOFA Craft Choice** 3
  SOFA Elective‡ 3
  History and Aesthetics course†  3
Third Year 
  SOFA Production Workshop§ 4
  History and Aesthetics courses† 6
  SOFA Electives‡ 6
SOFA-301  Business and Careers in Film 3
  LAS Elective (SMTL) 3
  SOFA Craft Choice**  
  Free Elective 3
  LAS Immersion 1 3
SOFA-306 Senior Thesis Seminar 1
Fourth Year
SOFA-406 Senior Thesis I 4
SOFA-408 Senior Forum 1
  History and Aesthetics course† 3
  Free Electives 6
  LAS Immersion 2, 3 6
SOFA-407 Senior Thesis II 4
  SOFA Elective‡ 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 121

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

(SMTL) Refers to science, math, technical literacy requirement.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

† History and aesthetics courses includeFilm Sound Theory-Music (SOFA-262),Film Sound Theory-Effects (SOFA-261), Documentary Film History (SOFA-366), International Film History (SOFA-362), New Documentary Issues (SOFA-361).

‡ SOFA elective courses includeAudio Introduction for Media (SOFA-165),Digital Effects and Compositing (SOFA-271),Cinematography and Lighting (SOFA-263),30-Second Commercial Production (SOFA-266),Writing The Feature I (SOFA-363),Writing The Feature II (SOFA-364),Mixing and Sound Design (SOFA-372),Underwater Cinematography (SOFA-272),Advanced Production Immersion (SOFA-371).

§ SOFA production workshop courses include Documentary Workshop (SOFA-211),Fiction Workshop (SOFA-212), Radical Cinema Workshop (SOFA-213).

** SOFA craft choice courses include Advanced Sound Recording (SOFA-321), Camera Choreography (SOFA-322), Advanced Editing (SOFA-323), Advanced Directing the Actor (SOFA-324), Advanced Acting for Film (SOFA-325), Writing the Short Film (SOFA-326).

Admission requirements

For information on undergraduate admission, including freshman and transfer admission guidelines, please refer to the Undergraduate Admission section of this bulletin.

Portfolio guidelines: Please see portfolio guidelines listed in the introductory section for this college for specific instructions on portfolio submission for applicants to the film and animation program. The review committee is looking for work that is original in concept and content. It does not necessarily need to be motion media, but should be visual or aural. Examples include films/videos, photos, drawings, paintings, sculpture, stop-motion puppets, scripts, storyboards, and original music.

An inventory sheet or table of contents should accompany portfolios. Videos should be on mini-DV, DVCAM, VHS, DVD, or DVDROM. The movie files on a DVDROM must be in QuickTime or MPEG2 format. No AVI or other digital video architectures files. NTSC or ATSC (HD) only. Still images should be on DVDROM or CDROM in jpeg or tiff format. Slides in 35mm format are acceptable, but they must be presented in sleeves. No boxes or carousel trays will be accepted. Sound design should be no longer than 10 minutes in length and must be presented in CD format.

Writing policy

The School of Film and Animation has a minimum writing requirement within each of its degree programs. A copy of the school’s official writing competency policy may be obtained from the department or from the Office of Academic Student Services.

Additional information

Summer session

The School of Film and Animation offers a limited selection of courses during the summer quarter. These range from beginning courses to those requiring a substantial background. For information on summer courses, please e-mail the school: sofa@rit.edu.

Memberships

The school maintains memberships in a number of professional organizations: Animation World Network, College Art Association, Rochester Audio Visual Association, Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, University Film and Video Association, Siggraph, and BEA. The school also is a certified Apple Training Center for Professional Applications.