Stop Motion Animation Education and Training Program Information

Stop-motion animation is the art of creating objects and filming their movements frame by frame. There are a number of bachelor's and master's degree programs in this discipline. Program and career details, including salary, follow.

Essential Information

In stop motion animation degree programs, students explore the art, history and science of the field and gain skills in animation design. They 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 can choose a concentration in a particular area of interest.

In addition to the standard undergraduate 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.


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 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, the mean annual salary of these professionals was $70,300.

Formal training in stop-motion animation is available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Bachelor's degree programs provide a comprehensive overview of the field and help students build basic artistic skills, while master's degree programs provide them with the opportunity to explore their creativity through more advanced courses and real-world experiences.


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