Embark on a creative journey with the UCF School of Visual Arts & Design’s Emerging Media, BFA – Animation & Visualization track (formally Experimental Animation), where students delve into personalized digital art exploration. Once admitted into the track, Over two years, students cultivate their unique art style and methodology. They explore diverse digital art forms and methods, including Visual Storytelling, 3D Modeling and Visualization, Motion Design, Stop Motion, 3D Animation, 2D Animation, Visual Effects, and more.

Track Highlights:

  • Founded in the 1990s as the “Art-Animation program,” the track is the oldest at UCF, having existed for almost 30 years.
  • Individualized Artistic Study: The Animation & Visualization track encourages students to carve their artistic path, fostering an environment where creativity knows no bounds.
  • Diverse Mediums: From 3D Visualization to 2D Digital Art, students engage with various artistic mediums, honing their animation and visualization technological skills.
  • Innovation and Exploration: The track emphasizes independence and innovation, allowing students to experiment and push boundaries in the dynamic fields of the digital arts industry.
  • Professional Development: Students gain hands-on experience and industry-relevant professional skills, preparing for a successful career in animation, visual effects, and related digital arts fields.

Graduates of the Animation & Visualization track acquire the broad intermedia-based skills needed to respond rapidly to the ever-changing technical and creative job markets, emerging fields, and contemporary exhibition modalities and venues. Graduates obtain diverse technical and creative depths to move immediately into various graduate-level art majors. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to enter the professional industry or continue developing innovative, cross-disciplinary formal and conceptual M.F.A. thesis research.

Discover the power of storytelling through the Emerging Media: Animation & Visualization track—where creativity meets technology and imagination takes flight.

More information

Matt Dombrowski
Animation & Visualization Area Coordinator
[email protected].

Animation & Visualization Student Work Examples

Character Animation and Graphic Design are other tracks in the Emerging Media BFA program.

As part of the program, some courses study the form and proportion of the human figure. Nude models are used as reference.


Animation & Visualization is a portfolio-restrictive track; students must submit an Animation & Visualization Portfolio. The track is competitive, and acceptance is based on the quality of the work submitted. Accepted students are required to follow a two-year cohort program as outlined in the UCF Undergraduate Catalog. Students should submit a portfolio and application when the program-specific prerequisite coursework has been completed or they are enrolled in the semester when submitting the portfolio.

Animation & Visualization Portfolio Review


The following prerequisite courses must be successfully completed OR currently enrolled in the semester when submitting portfolio.

  • ARH 2051 History of Western Art II
  • ART 2201C Design Fundamentals 2D
  • ART 2203C Design Fundamentals 3D
  • ART 2300C Drawing Fundamentals I
  • ART 2301C Drawing Fundamentals II
  • DIG 2000 Introduction to Digital Media (requires a “B” or better)
  • DIG 2030 Digital Video Fundamentals
  • DIG 2109 Digital Imaging Fundamentals
  • DIG 2500 Fundamentals of Interactive Design
  • GRA 2101C Introduction to Computer Art
  • MAC 1105C College Algebra

Starting Spring 2024: The following prerequisite courses can be completed after submitting portfolio:

  • ARH 2050 History of Western Art I
  • CGS 2100C Computer Fundamentals for Business

A grade of “C” or better is required for each course listed above. These courses must be completed or enrolled in by the semester applying for portfolio. A GPA of 3.0 is required for major courses.

NOTE: Students seeking to transfer courses taken at other institutions should check tes.collegesource.com to confirm equivalency.

Simply put, the biggest difference is an individual focused art production (Animation & Visualization) vs. a group production (Character).

Animation & Visualization students focus on individualized artistic study in which they take two years to explore and develop artworks in their own individual style and methodology (i.e. 3D modeling, Stop Motion, 3D Animation, Concept Art, 2D Animation, etc.). In Character Animation students engage in a group production resulting in a singular animated group project.

To elaborate, the Animation & Visualization program’s focus is on individualized artistic study with the development of a personalized body of artwork and/or industry-based portfolio. Experimental students explore and develop artworks in their own individual style and methodology (i.e. 3D modeling, Stop Motion, 3D Animation, Concept Art, 2D Animation, etc.)

You take two years and make a focused and researched body of work to aid in obtaining post-graduate employment.

In comparison, Character Animation is a two-year, full-time cohort program where students take part in a group production experience resulting in a singular animated production. You take two years and make one animated film production.

Those accepted into the Animation & Visualization program are typically patient, self-starting individuals with a passion for traditional and digital art. These students have a passion for exploring their own artistic points of view. Though there may be group work opportunities, Animation & Visualization is about the student’s individualized development of a professional body of work. This body of work can be presented to a variety of professional industries.

Prospective Animation & Visualization students are strongly encouraged to purchase their own computer hardware and software during their two-year track experience. While UCF is not required to provide technical support, there are open labs around campus for student use. Students typically have more significant creative outcomes when they access their own equipment. This allows them to create both inside and outside the classroom environment.

Below are some hardware specifications to ensure students have technology that can handle their industry-level software and help them excel in their studies.

Selecting a Computer

At this time, we recommend that students select a PC computer when entering the two-year track. Students should gravitate toward a “gaming-ready or VR-ready” device when choosing a personal PC desktop or laptop. Many students select brands such as Alienware, Dell, or MSI PCs. These computers typically contain fast processors, high-end graphics cards, and over 16GB of dedicated RAM. We strongly recommend computers with NVIDIA RTX Graphics cards at this time. Please check Autodesk Maya and Adobe compatible graphics card lists for recommended graphics cards. There are benefits for both laptop and desktop computers. We suggest students consider their living situations and lifestyles when choosing the best device. At this time, Apple devices are struggling with the performance of 3D rendering software used in the track. PCs are a more cost-effective and class-outcome-effective choice.

System Requirements for Autodesk Maya 3D Software:

System Requirements for Adobe Apps:

Students should avoid purchasing the following hardware for in-class digital art production in the Animation & Visualization track:

  • Tablet-like computers with no dedicated graphics card (AMD or NVIDIA)
  • Laptops with no dedicated graphics card and under 16GB of RAM
  • iPads
  • Chromebooks
  • Surface tablets

Students will use the following software during their two years in the Animation & Visualization track:

Additional Hardware considerations

  • The Animation & Visualization track provides Wacom Cintiq tablets for in-classroom lab use in many of its spaces.
  • Students interested in 2D animation should invest in a digital drawing tablet for their BFA tenure. Wacom and Huion tablets are popular brands of tablets students typically use.


  • Movie/TV production 
  • Video Game production
  • Simulation/theme park industry
  • Gallery exhibition/independent video festivals
  • Graduate school


  • Walt Disney Animation
  • Electronic Arts (E.A)
  • Nickelodeon
  • FX Networks
  • ILM
  • Digital Domain
  • Framestore


  • Art Director
  • Digital Compositor
  • 2-D, 3-D, Stop Motion Animator 
  • 3-D Modeler
  • Video Game Artist
  • Themed Design
  • Production Designer
  • Independent Filmmaker 
  • Prop, Maquette Sculptor, and Set Fabricator
  • Gallery/Museum Artisan
  • VFX Artist
  • Motion Graphics Artist

Experimental Animation graduates have worked on the following:

Film: Frozen, Avengers: End Game, Hotel Transylvania, Transformers, Mary Poppins Returns, Dragon Ball Z (2017), Wonder Woman, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Martian, Fantastic Four (2015), The Smurfs, Thor, TRON: Legacy.

Video Games: Injustice, Call of Duty, SkyRim, Madden, Tiger Woods, UFC, EA NBA

TV: Archer, Mr. Robot, The Tick