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
  • Money in hand icon

    Est. Tuition $9,090

  • Computer and user icon

    Learning Format Online

  • Analog clock icon

    Duration 1.5 - 2 years

  • Gear or cog icon

    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 using gouache. Through lecture, demonstration, critique, and practical experience, students investigate color theory; color in the environment, and more.
Digital Design Tools: Media Whether your interest is in producing animated interactive media for the web or you’re all about print production, you need to start with the basics and become familiar with the digital tools of the trade. This hands-on course introduces students to various digital graphics software applications that are the industry standard for design professionals in areas of motion graphics and web design—Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Animate, and Adobe Dreamweaver.
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 Photoshop isn’t just for photographers. Its multitude of applications makes it a go-to tool for most creative fields, small businesses, and savvy amateurs alike. In this hands-on course, students learn the Adobe Photoshop techniques used by professionals to create masterful images. Instruction covers all basic functions, including using palettes, various file formats, and more.
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 Tik Tok 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. These personal projects may include memoir, autobiography, and informative prose, and use a traditional, or non-traditional, narrative structure. Topics include story structure, storyboarding, shot & sound design, editing concepts, and sourcing audio and visual materials. The instructor will also discuss the future of digital storytelling in terms of emerging forms such as 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. Elements include the contour line, 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 Digital Media Arts 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 meet with the instructor on an agreed-upon basis, for a minimum of six half-hour sessions throughout the term.
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.