University of South Florida


Student works on ipad during animation class

Abigail Long, a student in the College of The Arts, works on an animation project during class.

USF College of The Arts Aims to Develop New Degree in Animation

More than ever, cartoonists, architects, designers, historians and even engineers are using animation to great effect. According to University of South Florida Associate Professor of Animation and Digital Modeling, McArthur Freeman, just about anyone with a story to tell, a model to create or an idea to illustrate benefits from the 3-D technology.

USF opened its first state-of-the-art animation studio in 2012 and started offering a beginner course to students across a number of academic disciplines.

“When I first got here, we only had one class,” said Freeman. “Students wanted to do more and learn more, so we expanded and began adding one course at a time.”

Today the University’s College of The Arts is preparing to update the technology and equipment in its existing studio and plans to open a second in the Fall of 2020. The program now offers eight courses including 3-D Animation, Digital Sculpting and Animation Production Studio, among others. While these classes are currently offered as a part of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts (BFA), Freeman along with his colleague and new hire K-J Mathieson, Associate Professor of Animation, are collaborating to advance the program by developing a new degree track designed specifically for students interested in pursuing careers in animation.

"There was a need for an animation degree within the department due to increased enrollment," said Mathieson. " The new animation program will cover traditional animation, computer-generated animation and motion design, with a focus on visual storytelling.

Combining cutting-edge technology with a foundation of the design process, craft, and studio art practices, the program aims to develop students in both 2D and 3D animation as well as the production of virtual 3D objects for fine art, film, games, and visualization.

To learn more about the animation courses being offered at USF’s College of The Arts, please visit their website by clicking here.

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