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Stop Motion Animation Education and Training Program Information

Stop motion animation is the art of creating objects and filming their movements frame by frame. In stop motion animation degree programs, students explore the art, history and science of the field and gain skills in animation design, filming and figure creation.

Essential Information

There are a number of bachelor's and master's degree programs in this discipline, where students learn filming procedures and how to construct figures, puppets or prototypes on top of articulated metal armatures using wood, clay and latex. At the undergraduate level, students get functional knowledge of animation history, principles and techniques, and are able to find the right fit for their talent temperaments with concentration options.

In addition to the standard admission requirements of a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) equivalent, a work portfolio may have to be submitted. At a full-time rate, this degree option usually takes 4 years to complete. Master's degree programs are more specialized, involving workshops and internships that can be used as course credit. Applicants must have a bachelor's and submit standardized scores and an art portfolio.

  • Program Levels in Stop Motion Animation: Bachelor's and master's
  • Prerequisites: For a bachelor's, a high school diploma or equivalent, and a portfolio. At the graduate level, a bachelor's, standardized exam scores and a portfolio is needed.
  • Some Program Specializations: Concentrations are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels
  • Program Length: Bachelor's programs usually take 4 years
  • Other Requirements: For a master's, an internship must be completed for graduation

Bachelor's Degree in Stop Motion Animation

A bachelor's level stop motion animation program thoroughly covers the history of the field and its advances, from early cut outs and shadow puppets, to today's modifying vectors, software programs and 3-D animation. Advancements in the art are also discussed, such as:

  • Character rigging
  • Wire armature construction
  • Concept development
  • Lighting
  • Postproduction

Master's Degree in Animation

Graduate animation programs provide students time to develop an artistic point of view in practicums and courses that explore topics like the following:

  • Film editing
  • Aesthetics
  • Previsualization
  • Computer generated modeling

Popular Careers

Stop motion animation companies create feature films, TV advertisements, TV shows and special effects for films. Popular careers include:

  • Animator
  • Character designer
  • Compositor
  • Previsualization artist
  • Special effects animator

Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for multimedia artists and animators is projected to grow by 6% from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2014, the mean annual salary of these professionals was $69,410.

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