Film and Animation BFA

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

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
Choose one of the following: 3
 ARTH-124
   General Education – Global Perspective: Survey: Themes in the History of Art
This course introduces students to central issues in the history of art through the focused investigation of a specific theme. Themes will be global in scope, and potential examples include monuments and preservation; the concept of modernity in the visual arts; art and identity; diachronic studies of select works of art; or histories of a particular medium, subject, or form of patronage. Students will apply foundational methods of art history, including basic research tools, formal analysis, and contextual analysis; will engage in careful, conscious looking; will learn to describe and analyze what they see; and will articulate how works of art can express meaning. This course may be repeated with different topics. Topic is determined by the instructor. Lecture 3 (Fa/sp/su).
 
 ARTH-135
   General Education -- Global Perspective: Survey: Ancient to Medieval Art
In this course students will examine the forms, styles, functions, and meanings of important objects and monuments dating from prehistory through the Middle Ages, and consider these works of art in their social, historical and cultural contexts. The primary goals of this course are to learn how to look, how to describe and analyze what we see, and how to use these skills to understand and explain how art visually expresses meaning. At the end of the term, students will have gained a foundational knowledge of the object, scope and methods of the discipline of art history. The knowledge obtained in this introductory course will also guide students in their own creative endeavors. Lecture 3 (Fa/sp/su).
 
   ARTH-136
   General Education –Global Perspective: Survey: Renaissance to Modern Art
In this course students will examine the forms, styles, functions, and meanings of important objects and monuments dating from the Renaissance through the beginning of the twentieth century, and consider these works of art in their social, historical and cultural contexts. The primary goals of this course are to learn how to look and how to describe and analyze what we see, and to use these skills to understand and explain how art visually expresses meaning. At the end of the term, students will have gained a foundational knowledge of the object, scope and methods of the discipline of art history. The knowledge obtained in this introductory course will also guide students in their own creative endeavors. Lecture 3 (Fa/sp/su).
 
   ARTH-137
   General Education - Global Perspective: Survey: Arts of the Ancient Americas
In this course students will examine the forms, styles, functions, and meanings of ancient American architecture, sculpture, painting, and ceramics from prehistory up to the sixteenth century, when the Spanish conquistadores defeated the Aztec and Inca empires and imposed colonial rule. Students also will consider these works in their social, historical, and cultural contexts. At the end of the term, having gained a foundational knowledge of the object, scope, and methods of the discipline of art history, students will be able to describe and analyze what they see, and to apply art-historical methods to explain how indigenous arts of the Americas visually express meaning. Lecture 3 (Fa/sp/su).
 
SOFA-101
Production
A fundamental course in non-synchronous film production and an introduction to digital video editing. Filmmaking is presented as a means of interpretation and expression. This course combines technical information in motion picture exposure and editing with a theoretical and practical approach to motion picture continuity. Production is in non-sync format and post-production is digital software. Students furnish film, tape and processing. **Fee: There is a lab free required for this course. ** (This class is restricted to 1st and 2nd year students in FILMAN-BFA or DIGCIME-BS.) Lecture 2 (Fall or Spring).
3
SOFA-107
Principles of Animation
This course will introduce the concepts and mechanics of movement for animation, focusing on, but not limited to, character based movement. Animation principles will be introduced and applied using hand-drawn methods, which will serve as the foundation for their application in any desired medium. Weekly exercises will be recorded using standard animation software, and will be reviewed, discussed and open to group critique. (Prerequisite: SOFA-121 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
SOFA-121
General Education – Artistic Perspective: Animation I
This class will introduce students to the gamut of animation thinking and making through classroom instruction and hands-on practical experience. Lecture and readings will emphasize the process, theory and practice of animated filmmaking with extensive film screenings to illustrate each technique and related aesthetics. Hands-on supervised studio sessions will guide students to an intuitive understanding of the process of producing animation and students will use this understanding to analyze various animated works. Each student will develop their personal vision through assigned projects utilizing the material discussed in class. **This course has a facilities fee for Non-SOFA students.** Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
SOFA-122
Fundamentals of Computers and Imaging Technology
This course provides an introductory overview to computer systems and to principles associated with motion picture technologies. Topics covered include computer history, basics in computer architecture basics, operating systems, HTML and networking. Human vision and perception, image capture and display technologies (both analog and digital), digital image processing and post-production equipment and software are also covered. The course focuses on exposing the students to basic principles necessary to proceed with subsequent courses with production or animation focus. (This class is restricted to 1st and 2nd year students in FILMAN-BFA.) Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
SOFA-131
Film History and Theory I
Film History and Theory I is a motion picture examination and readings course. It will give media production students the opportunity to trace the development of many of the techniques and forms in what now constitute traditional and expanded definitions of cinema. The course is taught from the perspective of a practicing filmmaker involved in the critical exploration of film language as well as its historical and cultural dimensions. In addition to lectures, the course includes weekly screenings of seminal works from the history of cinema. Screenings support class lectures. (This class is restricted to 1st and 2nd year students in FILMAN-BFA or DIGCIME-BS.) Lec/Lab 5 (Fall).
3
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
0
FDTN-121
2D Design I
This course is a structured, cumulative introduction to the basic elements and principles of two-dimensional design. Organized to create a broad introductory experience, the course focuses on the development of both a visual and a verbal vocabulary as a means of exploring, developing and understanding two-dimensional compositions. Concepts are introduced through lectures, discussions, demonstrations, research, assigned projects and critiques. The course addresses a wide variety of media, tools, techniques both traditional and technological, and theoretical concepts to facilitate skill development and experimentation with process. Visual comprehension, the ability to organize perceptions and horizontal thinking that crosses other disciplines and theories, are key foundational components to the development of problem solving skills. Accumulative aspects of the curriculum included the exploration of historical and cultural themes and concepts intertwined with aspects of personal interpretation and experience. (Undergraduate Art and Design) Studio 6 (Fall, Spring).
3
FDTN-131
3D Design I
This course presents a progressive study over two-semesters in terminology, visual principles, exploration, concept generation, process, and techniques of three-dimensional design. Using hands-on problem solving, student will develop an informed understanding of the 3D form and space with an emphasis on the elements and principles of visual design and their function as the building blocks and guidelines for ordering a 3D composition. A heightened awareness of form and space will be developed through lecture, assigned projects, and critiques. Students will also develop a personal awareness of problem seeking and solving, experimentation, and critical analysis. **Note: May be taken as a one-semester offering** (Undergraduate Art and Design) Studio 6 (Fall, Spring).
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-108
   Drawing for Animation (2D)
This course focuses on the mechanics of motion as applied to animated characters, both human and non-human. Working directly from a live model, costumed and nude, and also employing visualization techniques, students will apply figure-drawing skills along with gesture drawing, focusing on the correct representation of weight, energy and force in sequential poses. Specific attention is paid to improving drawing skills in order to create stronger storytelling poses for animated properties. A variety of drawn animation examples will be screened in class. (Prerequisite: SOFA-121 or equivalent course. Co-requisite: SOFA-107 or equivalent course.) Studio 6 (Spring).
 
   SOFA-209
   Introduction to 3D Modeling (3D)
Students create models for animation in three-dimensional software. Students learn various modeling, texturing, and lighting techniques that apply to animation and digital cinematography. Students' model, texture and light three-dimensional environments. (Prerequisites: SOFA-107 or equivalent course or student standing in DIGCIME-BS.) Lab 3 (Spring).
 
 
General Education – First-Year Writing (WI)
3
Second Year
SOFA-205
Basic Sound Recording
Students will learn to work with sound and to distinguish and evaluate proper sound techniques for film and animation productions. The course lays the foundation for professional work in the sound industry. Each student records audio and prepares a mixed soundtrack to professional quality standards. (Prerequisite: SOFA-101 or equivalent course.) Lab 2 (Fall, Spring).
3
SOFA-217
Animation Production Workshop I
This course will provide the first practical experience of building a complete animated film from conception to finish. Students will apply their knowledge within the greater context of an animation production pipeline. Weekly workshops are focused on helping students plan, develop, and execute their work with regular milestones and deadlines. Students will practice time-management and build skills to adhere to deadlines, and will present their completed films to the RIT community. (Prerequisites: (SOFA-203 or SOFA-215 or SOFA-522) and SOFA-228 or equivalent courses.) Lec/Lab 4 (Spring).
4
SOFA-228
Animation Scriptwriting and Storyboard (WI-PR)
This course concentrates on the structures of temporal organization for the screen in all animated productions. Particular attention is paid to the structures of scriptwriting and the layout of movements and visual composition via editing into storyboards. Various individual written script projects will be required of the student, leading to a final production script for an animated film that will be fully storyboarded and formatted. Particular attention will be paid to the visual storytelling aspects of converting a written script. Layouts from the production will also be developed. (Prerequisites: FDTN-121 or FDTN-131 or equivalent courses and completion of First Year Writing (FYW) requirement. Co-requisites: SOFA-203 or SOFA-215 or SOFA-522 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
SOFA-541
History and Aesthetics of Animation (WI-PR)
This course will explore the beginnings, the evolution, the creative and practical history of the animated film, including prehistory of animation, early film and animation history, major trends, artists, animation studios, theoretical distinctions and international identities in animation. Issues of animation aesthetics will also be elucidated through discussions, readings and reviews of exemplary films to emphasize the unique characteristics of the animated art form and how those characteristics are used as a means of interpretation and expression. Both orthodox and unorthodox animation will be highlighted. Films will be screened at every lecture. (Prerequisites: SOFA-121 or equivalent course and completion of First Year Writing (FYW) requirement.) Lec/Lab 4 (Fall, Spring).
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-203
    2D Animation I (2D)
This course focuses specifically on the sequential stages of hand-drawn digital animation. Students will explore every stage of production of a short animated scene, including dialogue, from ideation to clean up. Each week builds on the previous week’s progress. The final result is a complete rough-animated scene. (Prerequisites: SOFA-107 and SOFA-108 or equivalent courses.) Studio 6 (Fall).
 
   SOFA-215
   3D Animation I (3D)
This course is an introduction to three-dimensional computer animation and character rigging. The basic principles of animation will be addressed in relation to three-dimensional animation. Character rigging techniques are presented and will include skeletons and animation controls. Students produce a series of short 3D computer animations and some basic character rigs. Students will become familiar with a variety of 3D computer animation techniques. (Prerequisite: SOFA-107 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall).
 
 SOFA-522
   Stop Motion Puppet Fundamentals
This is an introductory course that will give students a basic and solid understanding of stop-motion animation. The class covers all aspects of stop-motion in its various forms but will mainly concentrate on stop-motion puppet/character animation. There will be demonstrations on model fabrication, animation techniques and camera/grip techniques. More in-depth topics, like latex and silicon mold making and intensive post production techniques will be introduced. There will be opportunities for students to practice animation with specific goals and assignments. (Prerequisite: SOFA-107 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall).
 
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-224
   2D Digital Animation (2D)
This course will introduce students to two-dimensional computer animation, adapting traditional techniques to the digital production environment. Students will learn how to use specialized 2D animation software to produce short exercises adapted from traditional animation techniques. Students should be able to apply 2D digital animation tools into their own work. (Prerequisite: SOFA-107 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall).
 
   SOFA-226
   Advanced 3D Modeling (3D)
This course will focus on three-dimensional character modeling. Students will learn about anatomy and creating economical topology for deformation in animation and be introduced to industry-standard digital sculpting techniques. (Prerequisites: SOFA-209 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall).
 
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-216
   3D Animation II (3D)
In this course students will learn the mechanics of motion within characters. Complete character-rigging techniques will be discussed and demonstrated. Students will gain further knowledge of a variety of three-dimensional computer animation techniques and will produce a series of short 3D computer animations using a pre-rigged character. (Prerequisite: SOFA-215 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Spring).
 
   SOFA-218
   Concept and Character Design (2D)
This course will introduce students to the basics of design as applied to characters and environments for animated productions. Students will create and develop a cast of characters for an imagined property, focusing on group dynamics, visual appeal and personality development. Line, color, texture, shape, form and story are referenced when developing characters and environments. Students will institute a process of visual development through a variety of exercises, working toward a final, finished project. (Prerequisite: SOFA-203 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Spring).
 
   SOFA-533
   Advanced Stop Motion Techniques
This course will introduce stop motion students to advanced techniques of photographic single frame production. This course will concentrate on fabrication techniques from sculpting to mold building, including an introduction to three-dimensional printing. History and the specific language of stop motion will be covered. Camera and camera lenses and lighting are explored along with various exercises in animation. (Prerequisites: SOFA-522 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Spring).
 
 
Open Elective
3
 
General Education - Ethical Perspective
3
Choose one of the following:
3
 
   General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective
 
 
   General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective
 
 
   General Education – Mathematical Perspective A or B
 
Third Year
SOFA-303
Animation Production Workshop II
Students will explore phases of animation short film production in their area of interest as determined by their experiences with their second-year films. Through identification of project needs and exploration and fulfillment of determined objectives, unique filmic assets will be created. (Prerequisites: SOFA-217 or equivalent course.) Critique 3 (Fall or Spring).
6
SOFA-518
Business and Careers in Animation
This course will focus on the role of the small animation business owner, the studio employee, and the individual freelance animator in developing a small business. The elements of discussion will teach students how to approach animation work in the industry from a small business perspective. This course will discuss the creation of sample reels, websites, self-promotion, contracts, pitching, fund-raising, research and interview techniques all related to the individual in animation. Ethics and individual responsibilities will also be discussed. Professionals working in the animation industry will often be guests for the class. (Prerequisites: SOFA-317 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-323
   2D Animation II: Performance
This course will focus on the continued development of students’ skills in the two-dimension animation medium, using computer software. As an intermediate course, students will build on the skills they accrued as well as learn new, advanced techniques. A variety of examples of 2D computer animation will be screened in class. (Prerequisites: SOFA-218 or equivalent course.) Studio 6 (Spring).
 
   SOFA-582
   Alternative Frame By Frame
This course will give all students a chance to explore three different approaches to stop-motion animation. The class will study and experiment with pixilation, time-lapse and relief animation with a “down-shooter.” These techniques will expand the student’s knowledge of traditional and experimental animation and present an alternative means of expression. The class will study existing work with these techniques, analyze and discuss them with the instructor and then produce several examples of their own work after instruction for each approach. There will be a final project in the technique of the student’s choice. (This class is restricted to students with majors in CAD and at least 3rd year student standing.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
 
 
   CAD Elective‡
 
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-575
   3D Lighting and Rendering
This course is an intensive look at lighting for three-dimensional animation pipelines. Students will learn to observe, plan and replicate real-world environments and expand those into artistic interpretations of style and design. There will be a strong focus on surfacing, set-dressing, production design, as well as economical rendering techniques. Students will learn to identify the balance between artistic needs and technical limitations and how to adequately prepare a scene for post-production practices. (Prerequisite: SOFA-216 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Spring).
 
 
   CAD Elective‡
 
 
Professional Electives
6
 
General Education – Social Perspective
3
 
General Education – Immersion 1 
3
 
Open Elective
3
Fourth Year
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-411
   Animation Capstone I
The first of two classes designed to advance students toward the completion of a capstone. It will advance students from capstone proposal toward the completion of a project. Students will also take part in weekly critiques to present their work and discuss the work of their classmates. At the completion of this course, students should be at the halfway point of their set project. (Prerequisites: SOFA-306 or (SOFA-317 and IDEA-150) or equivalent course.) Lecture 4 (Fall).
 
 
   CAD Elective‡
 
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-411
   Animation Capstone I
The first of two classes designed to advance students toward the completion of a capstone. It will advance students from capstone proposal toward the completion of a project. Students will also take part in weekly critiques to present their work and discuss the work of their classmates. At the completion of this course, students should be at the halfway point of their set project. (Prerequisites: SOFA-306 or (SOFA-317 and IDEA-150) or equivalent course.) Lecture 4 (Fall).
 
   SOFA-412
   Animation Capstone II
This course will lead students toward the completion of their capstone. Students will take part in weekly critiques to present their work and discuss the work of their classmates. At the completion of this course, students will complete their capstone and take part in a public screening of their finished work. (Prerequisite: SOFA-411 or equivalent course.) Lecture 4 (Spring).
 
 
   CAD Elective‡
 
 
History and Aesthetics Elective
3
 
Open Electives
9
 
General Education – Immersion 2, 3
6
 
CAD Elective‡
3
 
General Education - Elective
3
Total Semester Credit Hours
120

Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.

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

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

‡ CAD Elective - any College of Art and Design course.

Electives

History and Aesthetics Electives
Course
ARTH-###
Any "ARTH" undergraduate course
PHAR-211
Histories and Aesthetics of Photography I
The objective of this course, part one of a two semester sequence, is to present an overview of the multiple, intersecting histories and aesthetic practices of photography as utilized for fine art, snapshot, documentary, scientific, commercial and propaganda purposes in a global perspective. Course lectures include the medium's pre-history and a detailed development of the camera obscura. Students will learn about many technical processes, as well as, the multiple interpretations of notable images during the period 1800-1915. Lecture 3 (Fall, Summer).
PHAR-212
Histories and Aesthetics of Photography II
The objective of this course, the second course of a two-semester sequence, is to present an overview of the multiple, intersecting histories and aesthetic practices of photography from the development of Modernism to the present, including the medium's transformation by digital imaging in the 21st century. Photography's applications within fine art, documentary, scientific, journalistic, commercial and vernacular practices will be investigated within a global perspective, but primary emphasis is placed upon developments and movements within the United States and Europe. Lecture 3 (Spring, Summer).
SOFA-511
Film Sound Theory: Music
This course is one of three in the study of film sound theory. Through readings, focused group discussion, and the viewing of/listening to select films, the course promotes critical analysis of the varied and profound uses of music in sound design. Addressed is the history of music from the silent era to the modern score. The concepts studied include the modal changes in point-of-audition, and positioning across diegeses. Newer topics including audio-visualization and ventriloquism theory are also addressed. (This course is available to RIT degree-seeking undergraduate students.) Lec/Lab 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
SOFA-512
Film Sound Theory: Effects
This course is one of three in the study of film sound theory. Through readings, focused group discussion, and the viewing of/listening to select films, the course promotes critical analysis of the varied and profound uses of effects in sound design. Addressed is the history of effects from the early sound era to the modern design. The concepts studied include the modal changes in point-of-audition, and positioning across diegeses. Other topics like complementarity and the acousmetre acousmatic are also addressed. (This course is available to RIT degree-seeking undergraduate students.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
SOFA-513
Film Sound Theory: Voice
Through readings, focused group discussion, and the viewing/listening of select films, the course promotes critical analysis of the varied and profound uses of voice in sound design. The history of voice from the silent era to the modern sound design will be addressed. The concepts studied include the modal changes in point-of-audition, and positioning across diegeses. Other topics will also be addressed: vococentric mixing and separation, dialogue theory, etc. At the conclusion of the course each student will present on a chosen concept within film voice theory. (This course is available to RIT degree-seeking undergraduate students.) Lab 3 (Fa/sp/su).
SOFA-561
New Documentary Issues
This course will examine the current trends in documentary film during the last decade. Students will view 1-2 documentary films each week. Students will examine each film critically; analyzing the film’s theme, structure, style, relationship to reality, and effectiveness. In addition, students will examine how current filmmakers interpret and build upon the basic ideas and discourse that have defined documentary filmmaking since its beginnings. (Prerequisites: SOFA-106 or SOFA-131 or equivalent courses.) Lec/Lab 4 (Fall).
SOFA-562
Film History
This course examines selected, varying film topics in a wider socio-historical context. Seminar themes change each year and may include topics such as post-war German film, films of the Holocaust, Japanese film, surrealist and magic realist film, Soviet film, Native Americans on film, etc. Students are expected to participate actively in the course discussions. (Prerequisites: SOFA-106 or SOFA-131 or equivalent courses.) Lec/Lab 5 (Fall, Spring).
SOFA-566
Documentary Film History
This course will examine the development of documentary film from 1920 to the present day. Students will explore central themes in documentary filmmaking, including the Grierson social documentary, the Flaherty romantic tradition, cinema verite, propaganda films, first-person narratives, and experimental documentary. Through film viewings, class discussions, and assigned readings, the students will critically examine how documentary film is constructed, keeping in mind the critical relationship between the film’s content and its meaning. (Prerequisite: SOFA-131 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 5 (Spring).
IDEA-242
Comics: Image & Text in Popular Culture
An interdisciplinary course in comics and related media that blend image and text. By reading and discussing a range of comics and comics-related works, from 19th-century lithographs and newspaper comic strips, to superhero comics and works of art that make use of comics, we will learn both how to analyze comics and how the medium of comics emerged in and remains vital to popular culture. Through the use of interdisciplinary methods and resources in art history, communications and journalism, literary studies, material culture studies, rhetoric, sociology, and visual culture studies, we will also explore the aesthetic, cultural, historical, and global significance of comics. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).

 

Professional Electives
Course
ENGL-386
World Building Workshop
This course focuses on the collaboration construction of fictional worlds. Students will learn to think critically about features of fictional worlds, such as the social, political, and economic structures that influence daily life for the characters who inhabit that world. Students will also participate in extensive character development exercises, and then write short fiction from these characters’ perspectives describing the challenges they face in these worlds. Students will critique each other’s fiction and submit revised work. Each class will include considerations of sophisticated fictional worlds in print and in other media and discuss world building features relevant to teach. (Prerequisites: ENGL-211 or completion of First Year Writing (FYW) requirement or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
ILLS-468
Fantastic Illustration
This course will focus on the visual interpretation of subject matter specific to these specialized genres of illustration. Emphasis will be placed on creating a wide variety of finished illustrations. Critical thinking, visual criticism, and rhetoric will also be a required component of work generation and imaginative conceptualizing. Stylistic options and technical approaches to the subject matter will be emphasized. Studio 5 (Fall).
ILLS-472
Sketchbook Illustration
This course will facilitate the use of sketchbooks as a creative, developmental tool for illustrators and artists. Students will complete assignments by draw on location and in class to explore subjects and environments to create a visual reference material in the form of a sketchbook journal. Material documented in the sketchbook will then provide visual reference for more complete illustrations. Studio 5 (Spring).
SOFA-221
After Effects for Animators
This course will teach students the basics of Adobe After Effects. Students will learn production theory as well as gain practical experience in 2.5 D animation production. (Prerequisite: SOFA-107 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall).
SOFA-225
Performance Resources for Animation
In this course students will examine facial expressions and learn how to create emotion in the face. Advanced rigging techniques, especially pertaining to the faces, will be presented. Students will be presented with techniques to dissect sentences and reconstruct them in to useable connected speech for animated characters. Students will produce a series of short three-dimensional computer animations using a pre-rigged character. (Prerequisite: SOFA-107 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
SOFA-263
Virtual Production II
Virtual Production II addresses advanced topics in the evolving field of virtual cinematic and television production and serves as a practical film workshop following successful completion of Virtual Production I. Students will develop mastery of the techniques and workflows associated with virtual production and previsualization using current and future hardware and software, computer graphics, immersive technology, real-time rendering, game engines, and practical filmmaking. Students will use project management techniques and work in teams to produce short fiction projects using virtual production technologies. Students specializing in a cinematic craft or engineering will contribute their role-specific skills to the projects. Intensive pre-production protocol and documentation are followed. VFX, editing and sound design will be completed through post-production workflows as well. Students will complete projects for screening at the end of the semester. (Prerequisite: SOFA-262 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall).
SOFA-516
Virtual Production I
Virtual Production I introduces the theory and practice in the evolving field of virtual cinematic and television production. Students are exposed to the techniques and workflows associated with virtual production and previsualization using current and future hardware and software, computer graphics, immersive technology, real-time rendering, game engines, and practical filmmaking. Technologies addressed include AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) for scouting, environment and asset creation, motion capture for previsualization and real-time production, virtual cinematography, lighting design, real-time visual effects (VFX), and set extension. Students will use project management techniques and work in teams to research and develop an array of pipeline and technology needs for the successful creation of creative narratives. By the completion of the course, students develop a working knowledge of engineering and design thinking and an immersion in the methods of teamwork in the disciplines which enable modern virtual production. (Prerequisites: This class is restricted to students with at least 2nd year standing.) Lab 3 (Fall or Spring).
SOFA-529
Experimental Animation
This course will explore the concept of animation as a fine art practice. Course content will cover various techniques and concepts within experimental animation. Lectures will be enriched through film screenings and in-depth class discussions and demonstrations. Students will explore adventurous techniques and mediums such as, but not limited to, direct-on-film processes, stop motion paint, phenakistoscopes, stratacuts, charcoal/chalk board palimpsests, maximum loop cycles, paper cut-out animation, and sound. By the completion of the course, students will have a thorough understanding of the scope of experimental animation techniques. (Prerequisite: SOFA-121 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall or Spring).
SOFA-531
Digital Effects & Compositing
This course will offer hands-on experience in manipulating live action video and applying digital effects. There is an emphasis on digital compositing using rotoscoping, image tracking, alpha channels and transparency. Composites may be accomplished through green screen shooting, transfer modes, masks, and/or traveling mattes. Node based compositing will also be addressed as well. (Prerequisites: SOFA-103 or SOFA-122 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall).
SOFA-556
Transformative Trends in Entertainment
We are in a transformative age in entertainment. New technologies and platforms are changing the way filmmakers create content and also how consumers experience content, disrupting the traditional business models and creating new markets. This course will explore contemporary topics affecting today’s entertainment industry through weekly live guest interviews and seminars from leading Hollywood experts in the areas of production, post-production, distribution, storytelling, visual effects, development, technology, streaming and emerging technologies. Students will interact with industry professionals, participate in online discussions and choose a topic of their own to explore with assistance and mentoring from guest speakers. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
SOFA-557
Chasing Rainbows: Entertainment Distribution
As a student of entertainment, you will be entering the workforce at a time of major change in the way entertainment is produced, distributed and monetized. This course will focus on the big picture realities of today’s entertainment media industry with an emphasis on the economic, technological and consumer forces that influence the creation and distribution of creative content. From the fracturing of the traditional studio system to the promise and pitfalls of new media platforms such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube, students will gain an understanding of the issues and opportunities that exist in today’s entertainment marketplace. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
SOFA-581
Particles & Dynamics
This course is an introduction to the creation of three-dimensional generated visual effects designed to enhance film and animation productions. This includes everything from generated particle animation to dynamic simulations of fluid, hair, and cloth. Students will work across multiple applications and learn to successfully integrate various elements into cohesive scenes. (Prerequisite: SOFA-215 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall).
SOFA-583
Building the 3D Character
This course is an intensive exploration of the process of character creation, specifically character rigging for digital animation. Students will learn to build a working rig by applying their research into body mechanics, character deformation, and dynamic restructuring. By combining their understanding of aesthetic character creation with the study of three-dimensional technology, the course is designed to teach automation through code-building and expressions. (Prerequisites: SOFA-209 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall).
SOFA-586
Programming for 3D Animators
This programming course is designed specifically for artists and animators with little or no programming experience. It is designed to give students the ability to solve software problems by making their own tools or finding existing tools. All of the assignments and examples in class are graphics related and will include tools for animation, rigging, particles, texturing and modeling. (Prerequisite: SOFA-215 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Spring).

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

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ARTH-135
General Education – Global Perspective: Survey: Ancient to Medieval Art
In this course students will examine the forms, styles, functions, and meanings of important objects and monuments dating from prehistory through the Middle Ages, and consider these works of art in their social, historical and cultural contexts. The primary goals of this course are to learn how to look, how to describe and analyze what we see, and how to use these skills to understand and explain how art visually expresses meaning. At the end of the term, students will have gained a foundational knowledge of the object, scope and methods of the discipline of art history. The knowledge obtained in this introductory course will also guide students in their own creative endeavors. Lecture 3 (Fa/sp/su).
3
ARTH-136
General Education – Elective: Survey: Renaissance to Modern Art
In this course students will examine the forms, styles, functions, and meanings of important objects and monuments dating from the Renaissance through the beginning of the twentieth century, and consider these works of art in their social, historical and cultural contexts. The primary goals of this course are to learn how to look and how to describe and analyze what we see, and to use these skills to understand and explain how art visually expresses meaning. At the end of the term, students will have gained a foundational knowledge of the object, scope and methods of the discipline of art history. The knowledge obtained in this introductory course will also guide students in their own creative endeavors. Lecture 3 (Fa/sp/su).
3
SOFA-101
Production
A fundamental course in non-synchronous film production and an introduction to digital video editing. Filmmaking is presented as a means of interpretation and expression. This course combines technical information in motion picture exposure and editing with a theoretical and practical approach to motion picture continuity. Production is in non-sync format and post-production is digital software. Students furnish film, tape and processing. **Fee: There is a lab free required for this course. ** (This class is restricted to 1st and 2nd year students in FILMAN-BFA or DIGCIME-BS.) Lecture 2 (Fall or Spring).
3
SOFA-105
Documentary Field Practices
This foundation level course introduces students to documentary film as a creative and socially engaging form of storytelling. In addition to aesthetic and conceptual skills, production techniques focus on the ability to develop filming strategies, gathering clean sound, filming to edit, and interviewing skills. In addition, the relationship between filmmaker and subject, will be examined, including the ethical challenges of representing real life subjects. Critical thinking skills will be employed as we analyze the different styles of documentary film. Students will work in small documentary crews out in the field learning the use of microphones, field lighting, handheld and other non-traditional camerawork, selecting/interviewing documentary subjects and capturing material with proper coverage in order to build scenes in the edit room. (Prerequisite: SOFA-101 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall, Summer).
4
SOFA-112
Fundamentals of Screenwriting
This course will introduce students to the forms and techniques of writing for visual media, particularly the short film. Students will develop resources for finding stories and concepts that can be turned into films. Students will be responsible for writing a short script of their own choosing and for completing several brief written exercises in areas such as personal storytelling, character development, dialogue, and plot. Scripts written in this course can be used as the basis for films produced in other classes. (This class is restricted to 1st and 2nd year students in FILMAN-BFA or DIGCIME-BS.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
SOFA-121
General Education – Artistic Perspective: Animation I
This class will introduce students to the gamut of animation thinking and making through classroom instruction and hands-on practical experience. Lecture and readings will emphasize the process, theory and practice of animated filmmaking with extensive film screenings to illustrate each technique and related aesthetics. Hands-on supervised studio sessions will guide students to an intuitive understanding of the process of producing animation and students will use this understanding to analyze various animated works. Each student will develop their personal vision through assigned projects utilizing the material discussed in class. **This course has a facilities fee for Non-SOFA students.** Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
SOFA-122
Fundamentals of Computers and Imaging Technology
This course provides an introductory overview to computer systems and to principles associated with motion picture technologies. Topics covered include computer history, basics in computer architecture basics, operating systems, HTML and networking. Human vision and perception, image capture and display technologies (both analog and digital), digital image processing and post-production equipment and software are also covered. The course focuses on exposing the students to basic principles necessary to proceed with subsequent courses with production or animation focus. (This class is restricted to 1st and 2nd year students in FILMAN-BFA.) Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
SOFA-131
Film History and Theory I
Film History and Theory I is a motion picture examination and readings course. It will give media production students the opportunity to trace the development of many of the techniques and forms in what now constitute traditional and expanded definitions of cinema. The course is taught from the perspective of a practicing filmmaker involved in the critical exploration of film language as well as its historical and cultural dimensions. In addition to lectures, the course includes weekly screenings of seminal works from the history of cinema. Screenings support class lectures. (This class is restricted to 1st and 2nd year students in FILMAN-BFA or DIGCIME-BS.) Lec/Lab 5 (Fall).
3
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
0
 
General Education – First-Year Writing (WI)
3
 
General Education – Ethical Perspective
3
Second Year
SOFA-502
Production Processes
This course is an introduction to all aspects of professional film/video narrative production. Students produce short projects while learning basic shooting and crewing procedures, studio protocol, equipment handling and maintenance, and basic sync editing. (Prerequisite: SOFA-101 or equivalent course.) Lecture 2 (Fall, Spring).
6
SOFA-205
Basic Sound Recording
Students will learn to work with sound and to distinguish and evaluate proper sound techniques for film and animation productions. The course lays the foundation for professional work in the sound industry. Each student records audio and prepares a mixed soundtrack to professional quality standards. (Prerequisite: SOFA-101 or equivalent course.) Lab 2 (Fall, Spring).
3
SOFA-206
Directing
This course is an introduction to the arts of directing and acting with an emphasis on script analysis, performance, and blocking. Students direct and act in scenes from professional productions. Scenes are rehearsed outside of class, and then staged and critiqued in class. (Prerequisites: SOFA-102 or SOFA-101 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
SOFA-208
Dramatic Structure (WI-PR)
This course explores the theories of dramatic structure from Aristotle to the present and applies these theories to current and classic dramatic works. The class also explores dramatic script structure as it is used in dramatic works on stage and screen. (Prerequisites: SOFA-112 and (SOFA-131 or SOFA-106) or equivalent courses and completion of First Year Writing (FYW) requirement.) Lab 3 (Fall).
3
Choose one of the following:
4
   SOFA-211
   Documentary Workshop
Students will make a short documentary film on a subject they choose. Students plan for pre-production including research, contacting possible subjects, and writing a proposal. During the production phase of the film, students will learn interviewing skills, how to direct a documentary crew, and how to work with their subjects. During post production students will learn how to organize their material into a short film. Students will complete projects for screening at the end of the semester. (Prerequisites: SOFA-105 or SOFA-502 or PHPJ-315 or FDTN-141 or equivalent course.) Lecture 4 (Fall or Spring).
 
   SOFA-212
   Fiction Workshop
Students will direct short fiction projects using either film or digital media and also serve on the production crew for other projects. Students specializing in a cinematic craft will work in important creative capacities on two or more projects. Students are encouraged to explore individual styles and concepts. Intensive pre-production protocol and documentation are followed. Editing and sound design will be completed as well. Students will complete projects for screening at the end of the semester. Students can retake this course as a SOFA elective once they have completed Documentary or Radical Cinema Workshop. (Prerequisite: SOFA-202 or equivalent course.) Lecture 4 (Fall, Spring).
 
   SOFA-213
   Radical Cinema Workshop
Students will produce at least one major artistic work that uses the moving image. This course demands the use of alternative expressions in concept, style, or technology, and students are encouraged to take risks, break "rules" and explore their own unique creative potential. Students may work in a variety of media, depending on their proficiencies and their vision of the project. Students will complete projects for screening at the end of the semester. Students can retake this course as a SOFA elective once they have completed Fiction Workshop or Documentary Workshop. (Prerequisites: SOFA-105 or SOFA-202 or equivalent course.) Lecture 4 (Fall, Spring).
 
Choose one of the following:
3
 
   General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective
 
 
   General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective
 
 
   General Education – Mathematical Perspective A or B
 
SOFA-214
Fundamentals of Editing
3
 
CAD Elective‡
3
 
General Education – Social Perspective
3
Third Year
SOFA-306
Senior Capstone Seminar
Students discuss and generate written plans for their senior films or capstone projects. Each student will secure a film and animation faculty adviser for their senior year. (Co-requisite: Successful completion of one of the following courses: SOFA-211 or SOFA-212 or SOFA-213 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 2 (Spring).
1
SOFA-514
Business and Careers in Film
An introduction to all aspects of the business side of professional film/video narrative documentary and commercial production. Students will form production companies and develop a business plan while considering alternative careers in film, basic financial and legal protocol, and mental preparation needed to enter the film business market. Resumes and reels are assigned projects. (Prerequisite: SOFA-202 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
 
History and Aesthetics Electives
3
 
CAD Electives‡
6
 
SOFA Craft Choice§
6
 
Open Electives
6
 
General Education – Immersion 1 (WI-GE)
3
Fourth Year
SOFA-416
Production Capstone I
The first of two classes designed to advance students toward the completion of a capstone. It will advance students from capstone proposal toward the completion of a project. Students will also take part in weekly critiques to present their work and discuss the work of their classmates. At the completion of this course, students should be at the halfway point of their set project. (Prerequisite: SOFA-306 or equivalent course.) Lecture 4 (Fall).
4
SOFA-417
Production Capstone II
This course will lead students toward the completion of their capstone. Students will take part in weekly critiques, present their work, and discuss the work of their classmates. At the end of this course, students will complete their capstone and take part in a public screening of their finished work or craft experience. (Prerequisite: SOFA-416 or equivalent course.) Lecture 4 (Fall).
4
 
Open Electives
9
 
General Education – Immersion 2, 3
6
 
CAD Elective‡
3
 
History and Aesthetics Elective
3
Total Semester Credit Hours
121

Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.

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

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

† SOFA production workshop courses include Documentary Workshop (SOFA-211), Fiction Workshop (SOFA-212), and Radical Cinema Workshop (SOFA-213). Students must complete two production workshops over the course of three semesters, starting in the spring of the second year and ending in the spring of the third year. Once the student has completed two different workshops, courses may be repeated for credit.

‡ CAD Elective - any College of Art and Design course.

§ SOFA craft choice courses include Advanced Sound Recording (SOFA-521), Advanced Editing (SOFA-523), Advanced Directing (SOFA-524), Writing the Short (SOFA-526), Advanced Cinematography I (SOFA-578).

Electives

History and Aesthetics Electives
Course
ARTH-###
Any "ARTH" undergraduate course
ANTH-310
African Film
This course considers the diversity, contours and synergies of African films and filmmaking, traversing the continent to view films from Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, Kenya, Egypt and Mali. Though much scholarship has focused on influential African filmmakers and nationally located cinemas, the straight-to-video systems of the 1980s and 1990s had a profound impact on African films and filmmaking. Nollywood and other video film industries began to dominate film production and transnational mobility, influencing new film technologies and industries, accessibility and addressability across the globe. Topics in this course include the influence of African film directors on filmmaking, and critical developments in major industries; Nollywood and beyond, and the cultural aesthetics, politics and economics that affect their global mobility and popular appeal; postcolonial identities and power; music and oral traditions of storytelling; didactic, post-colonial cinema with moral, political missions vs. ‘arthouse’ approaches; Afrofuturist and speculative cinema; channels such as African Magic that are shown in more than 50 African countries; and the effects of video streaming on global stardom and popularity. Students will learn about diverse African films and approaches to filmmaking, and the vibrant people and creative cultures that make up these film industries. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
ANTH-430
Visual Anthropology
We see others as we imagine them to be, in terms of our values, not as they see themselves. This course examines ways in which we understand and represent the reality of others through visual media, across the boundaries of culture, gender, and race. It considers how and why visual media can be used to represent or to distort the world around us. Pictorial media, in particular ethnographic film and photography, are analyzed to document the ways in which indigenous and native peoples in different parts of the world have been represented and imagined by anthropologists and western popular culture. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
MLFR-352
The French Heritage in Films
Heritage films are central to the French cinematographic production. They enable the transmission and the reevaluation of a tradition that lies at the core of French cultural identity. This course examines a selection of French films adapted from both canonical and non-canonical texts representative of major events, trends, social issues, and artistic movements that contributed to shaping modern France. Students will become familiar with world-renowned French novels, short stories, comic books, and films. The course deals with topics such as aristocratic culture, racial identity in France, the myth of the resistance and the legacy of the Second World War, France’s rural past, the French colonial experience, women and bourgeois culture, the long-standing tradition of comic books and comedy in France, the Tradition of Quality, the French New Wave, and heritage films. The course also examines the interconnectedness of French culture and the cultures of the United States, England, and former French colonies. It notably explores how the French colonial experience informed the development of French cinema, and how French heritage films were both inspired and reinterpreted by British and American cinematographic industries to reflect the cultures and values of those societies. Conducted in English. Lecture 3 (Spring).
PHAR-211
Histories and Aesthetics of Photography I
The objective of this course, part one of a two semester sequence, is to present an overview of the multiple, intersecting histories and aesthetic practices of photography as utilized for fine art, snapshot, documentary, scientific, commercial and propaganda purposes in a global perspective. Course lectures include the medium's pre-history and a detailed development of the camera obscura. Students will learn about many technical processes, as well as, the multiple interpretations of notable images during the period 1800-1915. Lecture 3 (Fall, Summer).
PHAR-212
Histories and Aesthetics of Photography II
The objective of this course, the second course of a two-semester sequence, is to present an overview of the multiple, intersecting histories and aesthetic practices of photography from the development of Modernism to the present, including the medium's transformation by digital imaging in the 21st century. Photography's applications within fine art, documentary, scientific, journalistic, commercial and vernacular practices will be investigated within a global perspective, but primary emphasis is placed upon developments and movements within the United States and Europe. Lecture 3 (Spring, Summer).
SOFA-511
Film Sound Theory: Music
This course is one of three in the study of film sound theory. Through readings, focused group discussion, and the viewing of/listening to select films, the course promotes critical analysis of the varied and profound uses of music in sound design. Addressed is the history of music from the silent era to the modern score. The concepts studied include the modal changes in point-of-audition, and positioning across diegeses. Newer topics including audio-visualization and ventriloquism theory are also addressed. (This course is available to RIT degree-seeking undergraduate students.) Lec/Lab 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
SOFA-512
Film Sound Theory: Effects
This course is one of three in the study of film sound theory. Through readings, focused group discussion, and the viewing of/listening to select films, the course promotes critical analysis of the varied and profound uses of effects in sound design. Addressed is the history of effects from the early sound era to the modern design. The concepts studied include the modal changes in point-of-audition, and positioning across diegeses. Other topics like complementarity and the acousmetre acousmatic are also addressed. (This course is available to RIT degree-seeking undergraduate students.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
SOFA-513
Film Sound Theory: Voice
Through readings, focused group discussion, and the viewing/listening of select films, the course promotes critical analysis of the varied and profound uses of voice in sound design. The history of voice from the silent era to the modern sound design will be addressed. The concepts studied include the modal changes in point-of-audition, and positioning across diegeses. Other topics will also be addressed: vococentric mixing and separation, dialogue theory, etc. At the conclusion of the course each student will present on a chosen concept within film voice theory. (This course is available to RIT degree-seeking undergraduate students.) Lab 3 (Fa/sp/su).
SOFA-541
History and Aesthetics of Animation
This course will explore the beginnings, the evolution, the creative and practical history of the animated film, including prehistory of animation, early film and animation history, major trends, artists, animation studios, theoretical distinctions and international identities in animation. Issues of animation aesthetics will also be elucidated through discussions, readings and reviews of exemplary films to emphasize the unique characteristics of the animated art form and how those characteristics are used as a means of interpretation and expression. Both orthodox and unorthodox animation will be highlighted. Films will be screened at every lecture. (Prerequisites: SOFA-121 or equivalent course and completion of First Year Writing (FYW) requirement.) Lec/Lab 4 (Fall, Spring).
SOFA-561
New Documentary Issues
This course will examine the current trends in documentary film during the last decade. Students will view 1-2 documentary films each week. Students will examine each film critically; analyzing the film’s theme, structure, style, relationship to reality, and effectiveness. In addition, students will examine how current filmmakers interpret and build upon the basic ideas and discourse that have defined documentary filmmaking since its beginnings. (Prerequisites: SOFA-106 or SOFA-131 or equivalent courses.) Lec/Lab 4 (Fall).
SOFA-562
Film History
This course examines selected, varying film topics in a wider socio-historical context. Seminar themes change each year and may include topics such as post-war German film, films of the Holocaust, Japanese film, surrealist and magic realist film, Soviet film, Native Americans on film, etc. Students are expected to participate actively in the course discussions. (Prerequisites: SOFA-106 or SOFA-131 or equivalent courses.) Lec/Lab 5 (Fall, Spring).
SOFA-566
Documentary Film History
This course will examine the development of documentary film from 1920 to the present day. Students will explore central themes in documentary filmmaking, including the Grierson social documentary, the Flaherty romantic tradition, cinema verite, propaganda films, first-person narratives, and experimental documentary. Through film viewings, class discussions, and assigned readings, the students will critically examine how documentary film is constructed, keeping in mind the critical relationship between the film’s content and its meaning. (Prerequisite: SOFA-131 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 5 (Spring).
VISL-373
American Film Since the Sixties
This course examines the history and aesthetics of the motion picture in the United States since the late 1960s, when the classical studio era ended. Emphasis will be placed on the analysis of both the work of major American filmmakers and the evolution of major American film genres between 1967 and 2001. Among the filmmakers to be studied are Kazan, Cassavetes, Penn, Coppola, Scorsese, Spielberg, Allen, Seidelman, Lee, Burton, Altman, Tarantino, Coen, and Lynch. The course will consider the evolution of such traditional Hollywood genres as the gangster film, the romantic comedy, and the Hollywood movie, study the development of new, blended genres, investigate the rise of the blockbuster, explore the rise of the Independents, and follow the aesthetic changes that occurred since the 1967. The films will be studied within the context of contemporary cultural and political events, and will be discussed from several viewpoints, including aesthetic, technical, social, and economic. The ways in which gender, race, and class are constructed through the movies will also be a major focus of study. Lecture 3 (Spring).