Bachelor of Arts (Visual Communication) majoring in Animation



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Animation is about bringing things to life. If you spent most of your high school years populating your books with new characters in fantastic worlds, this is the ideal course for you.

It is also an evolving career choice as digital technology continues to bring great changes and many new opportunities. Areas that were separate, but related, are merging. Traditional, underlying knowledge and skills remain. At the same time the craft is also broadening and its application is changing considerably.


Using digital technology, people coming into the industry can be involved in feature films or TV programs made entirely using 3D; 2D animation; visual effects that enhance the movies and TV shows we watch; creating simulations and visualisations; as well as a variety of media such as the Internet, mobile devices and games consoles.

You’ll learn techniques developed by the great masters of traditional animation, as well as the very latest in digital tools. You’ll watch and discuss masterworks as well as experiment with your own styles and techniques. While the focus is on the artistic and creative aspects of these media, we will focus on preparing you for a career. You’ll graduate with the knowledge, skill and attitude to get that first job; that is, the ability to use the software to work quickly and competently, as required as part of a production team.

At the same time, the course emphasises the ‘higher level’ skills that you can transfer across media, over time, or as the technology develops. We’ll help you develop all these skills as well as add value to what you do by drawing on a creative and artistic background. This range of skills and creative qualities will help you stand out and propel you through a fun career.



As a graduate, you can set your goals in one or more of the following broad areas. They are only described briefly here and many more actual roles exist.


  • A producer brings a team together to make a project and is interested in project quality, cost, and saleability.
  • A production manager makes sure the production runs on time and on budget.


  • An animation director is in charge of overall creativity. Making sure that the story is told well by the artists, animators, voice actors, musicians, sound engineers and editors.
  • The storyboard artist works with the director to make a preliminary drawn comic strip version of the project. The director uses this to clarify their vision and communicate it to their crew. Sometimes the storyboard is made into a moving version complete with sound called an animatic. This is used to fine tune things before the expensive step of animating.


  • An animator is someone who, in the broad sense, makes something move, more particularly though an animator is someone who makes a character move. Their craft is to make the character move either naturally, give ‘the illusion of life’, or stylistically as the script dictates.


  • Modellers use 3D software to create objects and characters. If they create a character they may have to ‘rig’ it. This means adding controls to individual body parts so that animators can move them.
  • Texture and lighting artists When a character is first built it is very plain and simple. By adding a combination of textures and lighting effects the character gains detail, personality and, if required, life-like character. Texture and lighting artists also help to develop style, mood and setting.


  • A character designer creates the character. They must consider artistic as well as practical animation problems. They sometimes work on paper, sometimes screen and sometimes sculpting real objects.
  • Concept artists make visuals using natural media or digital drawings to bring out the director’s vision.
  • A motion graphics artist creates things like titles for movies using a combination of text, image and computer generated content.

Visual effects

  • A visual effects supervisor works out the best way to digitally create things like explosions, flying objects and difficult to build sets in live action movies.
  • Matte painter refers to anyone who creates backgrounds to be inserted digitally. They tend to use programs like Photoshop or Painter rather than the traditional paint on glass.
  • A compositor assembles all the components backgrounds, objects, live action footage in layers. They then manipulate those layers to create the most effective result.

The rewards

Rewards vary depending on the budget and size of production, the demand of a particular skill at a particular time and the experience and ability of the artist. As a guide, Animation Directors can expect over $100,000 p.a., Senior animators can earn around $80,000 - $90,000 p.a., and as a junior starting out, you could expect to earn around $45,000 p.a.

Course Outline

Course Outline

The Bachelor of Arts (Visual Communication) Degree (majoring in Animation) is 3 years full time.

Semester 1 Semester 2
The Moving Image Animation
Production Design 3D Studies
Computing for Design Drawing, Design Principles and Colour Theory
Ideas and Thought Visual Communication
Semester 3 Semester 4
Understanding Acting Story and Drama
Character Design 3D Animation
History of Visual Communication Design Meaning and Culture
Elective Elective

Associate Degree Exit point

Semester 5 Semester 6
Major Project (Part 1) Industry Experience
Directing Animation Major Project (Part 2)
Business Communication  





Animation Electives

  • Advanced Motion Graphics
  • Animation
  • Cine
  • Compositing and Special Effects
  • Digital Video and Audio
  • Graphic Construction
  • Photography Essentials
  • Photojournalism
  • Post Production
  • Sight for Sound
  • Understanding Acting
  • Understanding Programming

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Bachelor of Arts (Visual Communications) Majoring in Animation
Associate Degree of Visual Communications Majoring in Animation  

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BA (Vis Comm)
Majoring in Animation

Bachelor Degree (3 years)
Assoc Degree (2 years)

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