Thank you for your interest in this offering through Otis College Extension. We are excited to partner with Otis College Extension to expand our offerings to you. Students will enroll, register, and pay all fees for these offerings through the Otis College Extension website. Upon completion of the certificate program, Otis College will provide a certificate of completion. Transcripts are available through the Otis College website.

Program Overview

Bring your creative ideas to life by using concept development, storytelling, 2D and 3D graphics, and digital tools in Otis Extension’s Animation Certificate Program. Animation can be used across a wide range of applications including broadcast, film, advertising, fine arts, gaming, and visualization. After completing the program, you will be prepared to begin a career or enhance your skills in the field of animation. Learn from experienced professionals and artists, connect with a network of creatives, and receive career support, including career counseling, career assessment, internship advising, and employer networking opportunities. Ultimately you will create a professional-quality portfolio demonstrating conceptual, design, and technical proficiency for entry-level positions in the animation industry.
Certificate Application
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    Est. Tuition $9,560

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    Learning Format Online

  • Analog clock icon

    Duration 1.5 - 2 years

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    Total Courses 18 Courses

Program Courses

Course Formats
Course Schedules are Subject to Change
2D Animation I Learn the basics of 2D computer animation in this hands-on course designed for aspiring animators interested in working in this rewarding and challenging field. Students will learn the techniques and principles of animation and will apply these principles to short animated pieces of their own. Beginning with basic animation exercises and progressing quickly to more complex character animation, this course teaches the craft of animation and the art of entertaining an audience with moving pictures. By the end of this course, every student will have a portfolio of several short animated pieces and a solid grasp of industry-standard software.
2D Animation II Students continue to explore 2D Animation principles and techniques using Adobe After Effects as the primary tool. This advanced course focuses on character animation and storytelling as students apply principles of timing, weight, anticipation, posing, silhouette, and mood. The course also examines animation shorts and films for critique and to train the “animator’s eye”.
2D Design What is good design? Line, space, balance, value, texture, perspective—these are just a few of the elements and principles that designers engage with to create strong design solutions. This course provides a thorough introduction to visual elements, language, and applications fundamental to 2-dimensional design. Through weekly assignments, students apply design principles using digital or traditional media. This course builds confidence in the design process for beginners and professionals by focusing on perception and thinking, historic and current references, and craftsmanship. Instruction includes design projects, online lectures, online discussion, process, and critique.
3D Animation I This course covers the principles and techniques of 3D animation in Maya. Students establish a working knowledge of Maya’s suite of animation tools, as well as build a foundation for approaching both cartoony and realistic animation. Beginning with basic exercises designed to teach proper animation technique and culminating in a final character animation project, students gain an understanding of the tools and techniques required to create eye-catching animation.
3D Animation II Take your Maya skills to the next level for a variety of applications including film, tv, video games, and visual effects. Autodesk Maya is the industry-standard 3D software package for film, tv, video games, and visual effects. This course advances the student’s production of three-dimensional, computer-generated animation utilizing Autodesk Maya. Through weekly Zoom meetings, students work under the guidance of instructor expertise to develop their own 3D animation projects. Topics include modeling, texturing, lighting, animation, and rendering.
Character Design Have your own idea for a cartoon? A little character design goes a long way. In this course, students learn to create believable, interesting characters with human traits for cartoons and animation. Instruction covers staging, silhouette, posture, structure, costume, color, and shapes. Students also explore the art of popular cartoonists, animation characters, and design types. In addition, students learn how to apply these skills in various market segments such as advertising, animation, gaming, and beyond.
Color Theory and Design Color is emotional. A color resonates based on memory, cultural bias, and personal preference. Artists and designers alike communicate effectively through choice of hue, saturation, and value. In this course, knowledge and understanding of color are developed through weekly exercises and homework projects. Through lecture, demonstration, critique, and practical experience, students investigate color theory; fundamental elements, principles, and terminology; color systems, color modes; and more. Students develop an investigative process for problem-solving, revising, and inventing through the application of color as it exists in physical and digital worlds.
Digital Design Tools: Media Whether your interest is in producing digital interfaces or animated content for social media, you need to start with the basics and become familiar with the digital tools of the trade. Students will be introduced to digital design-specific applications that are used by design professionals in areas of multimedia, animated graphics, UX/UI and web design – Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Animate, Adobe XD, and Adobe Dreamweaver. This course is recommended for Animation, Motion Graphics, and UX/UI for Web Design certificate students.
Digital Drawing I: Illustrator The ability to produce vector graphics is a “must-have” skill for any modern artist or designer. Adobe Illustrator is the world’s leading vector graphics application used for producing professional quality logos, package design, signage and so much more. Students will be introduced to the basics of working with Illustrator to create compelling designs. This hands-on course introduces students to the basics of working with Illustrator to create compelling designs.
Digital Imaging I: Photoshop Adobe Photoshop isn’t just for photographers. Its multitude of applications makes it a go-to tool for creatives. This course teaches a comprehensive understanding of Photoshop and how digital imaging and is used in various professional applications. Students learn the basics of interface elements, keyboard shortcuts, and file management before diving into more advanced topics such as masks, selections, color correction, and layering techniques to create various effects. Through hands-on projects, they develop essential skills to paint digitally, retouch images, and manipulate photos. This course is recommended for anyone who wishes to develop technical foundations for a range of digital art and design careers.
Digital Storytelling Our human tradition of storytelling now exists in a digital media environment where millions have access to multimedia tools and the opportunity to instantly connect with a global audience. From TikTok to YouTube, people are telling their digital stories. This hands-on course covers the tools to better understand, produce and communicate within this shared media environment. Over 10 weeks, students produce compelling and emotionally engaging digital stories in the form of a web page and companion 3 - 5 minute video. Students are encouraged to approach their stories from their own unique perspectives and may combine text, images, video, interactivity, music, and other media. Topics include emerging digital storytelling forms of AI, AR and VR.
Drawing and Composition Want to draw, but the blank page scares you? Then start here. Through demonstration, class exercises, and critiques, students in this beginning course learn the elements of drawing and composition. Students create finished drawings with attention to line, shading, composition, perspective drawing, and positive versus negative space.
Final Portfolio: Digital Media Arts Curate your body of work and get your talent noticed in the marketplace. In this required course, advanced students enrolled in the Animation, Motion Graphics, or Digital Drawing and Illustration certificate program create a portfolio from work produced throughout their course of study. The instructor provides individualized critique and guidance in technical and conceptual development. Students work independently and collaboratively to create a professional-quality portfolio demonstrating relevant skills and experience for their chosen industry.
Life Drawing Why draw from a photograph or magazine when you can draw from life itself? Observing and drawing the live model allows the artist to learn about proportions, foreshortening, light and shadow, and the fundamentals of drawing. This beginning/intermediate course places emphasis on the structure and proportion of the human form. Using a variety of drawing media, students are instructed in a gesture as well as long and short poses.
Media Literacy Don’t just consume media. Deconstruct, analyze, and evaluate what you see online or hear or in print to understand it. In this course, students look at the media through a historical lens and the cultural values presented from Medieval paintings to tomorrow’s deep fakes to understand the past, present, and future. Students explore its impact on daily life, questioning what is in the frame, how it is constructed, and what may have been intentionally or unintentionally left out of view. Through lectures, presentations, online dialogue with classmates and more, students develop an understanding of visual language and the ability to decode the symbols disseminated by media.
Storyboarding for Film and Animation Storyboards help the designer, art director, producer, director, and client visualize a finished work. This course concentrates on translating a concept, idea, image or story into a sequenced visual format. Students develop knowledge and skills to create storyboards for advertising, feature films, television, animation, and game design. Under the guidance of instructor expertise, they develop all aspects of a concept, including characters, backgrounds, storytelling, and a final storyboard.
3D Digital Modeling I Developed for makers, artists, designers, and inventors, this course provides an exciting introduction into the 3D design practices transforming both our physical and digital experiences. The course explores and connects two distinct fields of practice: the use of 3D digital modeling for the design and prototyping of physical objects; and the application of 3D digital modeling in the design of virtual experiences. Enhance your capacity to envision and create 3D experiences while developing fundamental skills of 3D computer-aided design. Learn 3D modeling software and how to design and produce digital prototypes that can be adapted for physical 3D printing. Develop design thinking skills to creatively realize ideas and solve design problems such as how to print a broken part, modify or customize an existing design, or create something entirely new. Apply 3D design skills to create augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and other 3D content usable in metaverse applications. This course develops a broad skill set and conceptual understanding of how the physical and virtual worlds are becoming ever more intertwined through thoughtful and creative 3D design.
3D Digital Modeling II In this advanced modeling course, students apply 3D design knowledge to create an online virtual reality world (in Hubs) and build a 3D video game (in Unreal). Students develop skills in Mozilla Hubs and Unreal tools which can be expanded into exciting possibilities for creating various 3d elements for virtual and interactive environments. Skills reinforced in this class are 3D modeling, digital rendering, and visual storytelling.
Cinema 4D Cinema 4D has become an industry-standard software application for modeling, animation, and rendering, thanks to its relatively short learning curve and ease of use. In this hands-on, 10-week course, students learn to create eye-catching 3D animation and design using Cinema 4D. Starting with the fundamentals of 3D design, this course builds on step-by-step demonstrations and exercises and progresses to more advanced projects. By the end of this course, students will have a strong foundation in 3D Design, Modeling, Lighting, and Animation in Cinema 4D.
Digital Imaging II: Photoshop Take your Photoshop skills to the next level. This course advances the use of Adobe Photoshop for applications including post-production, illustration, graphic design, and digital art. Techniques include retouching and modifying; color correction; photo collage; scanning and importing images, and preparing for output.
Editing I Learn the foundations of video editing while gaining a broad understanding of film production techniques. Using digital tools including Adobe Premiere, students create projects that focus on continuity, screen direction, and narrative clarity. Technical topics include capturing and logging; understanding camera settings; organizing workflow; working with timelines and clips; refining edits; applying transitions; adding sound and color grading. Working both independently and in small teams, students create short narratives, which explore and refine editing approaches and techniques. Students also learn basic terminology and receive an overview of career options in the editing field.
Motion Graphics I Adobe After Effects is the go-to motion graphics tool for television and film production. In fact, the application won an Academy Award for scientific and technical achievement in 2019. This course introduces students to the basic concepts of After Effects. Hands-on exercises focus on combining 2D graphics, video, typography, and sound. Classes offer lectures, technical demonstrations, and professional examples of motion graphics, while assignments cover the use of basic After Effects tools, composition and design, storyboarding, and project planning, adding both music and sound synchronization.
Motion Graphics II The better you become at motion graphics, the more it becomes about solving design problems rather than about being creative. Offering real-world solutions used by professionals and artists, this course reinforces the best practices, techniques, and concepts learned in Motion Graphics I—along with introducing new ones. Learn the basics of Cinema 4D, an industry standard 3D engine. Each class teaches the fundamentals of the 2D/3D pipeline. Course covers 3D subjects such as compositing, modeling, texturing / lighting & building style frames. Assignments also cover the advanced use of After Effects tools, composition and design, storyboarding, project planning, and adding both music and sound synchronization. Guided tutorials help students learn effective production methods and effects. Each class offers lectures, technical demonstrations, and professional examples of motion graphics used in broadcast media.