Carnegie Mellon University


Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology

Animation & Special Effects

Animation & Special Effects comprise a rich field of inquiry at the intersection of art, science, and technology. Students in the IDeATe Animation & Special Effects minor will gain experience and competency across a wide range of techniques, while learning about the diverse histories, theories, and practices of animation from renowned faculty experts and visiting artists. Coursework cultivates development of unique aesthetics and individual voice through opportunities for group critique, iteration, public screening and exhibition. Through the minor, students will: have opportunities to collaborate and connect with peers in other fields of research; develop relevant practical skills and abilities that can be applied across a variety of independent studio and industry contexts; deepen cultural sensitivities while expanding their own creative practices; and develop a compelling animation portfolio. In particular, students will gain skills and competencies in the following areas:

  • Storytelling through animation
  • Digital 2D and 3D animation techniques
  • Expanded and experimental animation methods
  • Real-time animation systems
  • Motion-capture technologies
  • Visual effects and procedural animation
  • Rendering and compositing

 Animation & Special Effects Minor - Minimum of 45 Units

one computing course - Minimum of 9 units

  • 15-104 Introduction to Computing for Creative Practice
  • 15-110 Principles of Computing
  • 15-112 Fundamentals of Programming and Computer Science
  • 60-212 Intermediate Studio: Creative Coding

One ideate Portal course - minimum of 9 units

  • Recommended Portal Course for this area: 60-125 Introduction to 3D Animation Pipeline
  • 16-223 IDeATe Portal: Creative Kinetic Systems
  • 18-090 Twisted Signals: Multimedia Processing for the Arts
  • 53-322 IDeATe: Little Games/Big Stories: Indie Roleplaying Game Studio
  • 60-223 IDeATe Introduction to Physical Computing
  • 62-150 IDeATe Introduction to Media Synthesis & Analysis

  • 82-250 Digital Realites: Introducing Immersive Technologies for Arts and Culture
  • 99-361 IDeATe Portal

Ideate animation & Special effects Courses - minimum of 27 units

  • 15-463 Computational Photography
  • 15-465/60-414 Animation, Art, and Technology
  • 53-320 IDeATe Special Topics in Animation: Character Modeling
  • 53-321 IDeATe Special Topics in Animation: Bipedal Rigging for Animation Production
  • 53-323 IDeATe: Storytelling Through Effects Animation
  • 60-220 IDeATe: Technical Character Animation
  • 60-333 Intermediate Studio: Animation Rigging
  • 60-335 IDeATe Special Topics in Animation: Story Development
  • 60-337 IDeATe Special Topics in Animation: Storyboarding
  • 60-398 Critical Studies: Social History of Animation
  • 60-413 Intermediate Studio: Real-Time Animation
  • 60-415 Advanced ETB: Animation Studio
  • 60-426 Intermediate Studio: 2D Animation
  • 60-461 Experimental Capture
  • Additional courses as available. Please check IDeATe Courses for the options for the current and upcoming semester.

 Double-counting: Students may double-count up to two of their IDeATe minor courses for other requirements.

Animation & Special Effects Faculty

The Animation & Special Effects faculty represent Carnegie Mellon's expertise in Art and Robotics. They carefully oversee the collaboration of students while delivering the IDeATe Animation & Special Effects courses. Learn more about participating faculty here.