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A digital artist uses computer animation as an instrument to tell stories and bring characters and experiences to life. Powerful visual effects are no longer limited to big-budget Hollywood productions. Technologies in virtual and augmented reality are continuing to expand into every industry, increasing the demand for visually engaging content.

The Associate of Applied Science in Animation + Visual Effects introduces you to dynamic world of animation and VFX techniques. Throughout the program, you’ll have the opportunity to build your strengths in a wide range of areas, including character and environmental modeling, rigging and animation, shooting and editing live action footage, and compositing both practical and computer-generated assets.

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Are you the type of person who:
  • Has an active imagination, and dreams of bringing your creations to life in a VFX or game studio
  • Has passion for creativity, and drawing or sculpting characters or environments?
  • Is inspired by the possibilities of combining art with advanced computer graphics technology to tell stories?
  • Looks forward to learning about composition, color, value and texture, and how to use sophisticated software to create visually engaging experiences?
  • Is ready to be an active learner in an intense, collaborative environment that will have you quickly working on real-world projects?

Career Paths

  • Compositor
  • Animator
  • Character Modeler
  • Environmental Artist
Gainful Employment Information

For more information about this program’s graduation rate, median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please click here for this program’s gainful employment disclosure.

What You Can Learn

In this program, students have the opportunity to build broad and transferable skills in modeling, visual effects, and computer-simulated motion. Here are some of the skills taught in the AAS in Animation + Visual Effects program.

  • How to use high-end industry software, including: Maya, Zbrush, Cinema4D and Houdini
  • How to design, texture, light, and render a variety of models
  • How to shoot and edit live action footage for use in the production of visual effects
  • Character modeling and rigging
  • Character compositing and animation of both real and computer generated (CG) assets
  • Hard surface and environment modeling

Courses Include

  • Computer Technology
  • Perspective and Still Life Drawing
  • Flashpoint Studios
  • 2D Image Manipulation
  • Introduction to 3D Modeling
  • Advanced Topics: 3D Modeling II
  • Introduction to 3D Animation
  • Lighting and Rendering I
  • Introduction to Compositing
  • Advanced Topics: 3D Animation II
  • Composition I
  • Composition II
  • Design
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Simulations/Production-in-Action
  • Introduction to Media and Motion
  • First Year Experience
  • The Hero’s Journey
  • General Math
  • Oral Communication
  • Motion Graphics I
Critical Studies

Flashpoint Chicago Critical Studies Program aims to educate students in the art and science of communications and the diverse media of contemporary storytelling within an exploration of the liberal arts. Our rigorous course of study and practice prepares graduates to be analytical thinkers and effective communicators who are creative, knowledgeable, and responsible contributors to advancing a curious, thoughtful, and compassionate global community. Flashpoint strives to assess student learning and achievement to the core competencies of critical studies that are intended to capture the broad spirit of a well-rounded liberal arts education. Learn more about our Critical Studies Department here.


Project-based curriculum. Classes are designed to put you to work collaboratively in teams on real-world projects. You’ll have the opportunity to learn contemporary skills in modeling, visual effects, and animation for use in television, movies, games and interactive media opportunities. All while you build your confidence, skills and a professional portfolio.

Cross-disciplinary experience. Unlike traditional animation + visual effects schools, Flashpoint joins students from different programs in a capstone course each year to work on a project alongside those who are fulfilling the various roles in the marketing and creative process. This reflects the on-the-job reality that may become your career, and starts here in your first year.

High-tech campus. The Flashpoint campus is loaded with world-class environments and equipment. Featuring a professional screening room, film and recording studios, sound design suites, visual effects labs and more—this is the place to get prepared for your career.

Practicing professionals as your instructors. Faculty at Flashpoint don’t just teach—they mentor. In our focused, personalized environment you’ll get maximum attention and support from instructors who know you, and will guide every step of your education.

Deep industry connections. With the endorsements and support of some of the industry’s top players, Flashpoint offers incredible opportunities to meet your future employer through career services workshops, speaker events, portfolio shows and more.

Support every step of the way. With financial aid options for those who qualify, seamless transfer credit assistance, academic support workshops, and so much more—the Flashpoint community has a deep commitment to the success of every student from the first day of class to graduation and beyond.

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