Profiles of Digital Video Programs & Schools

Virginia Digital Video

The digital video major prepares students for success in industries such as film and video production, animation visual effects, producing and directing, television, gaming, web and interface design, and newsgathering. A typical program prepares students for careers in these fields and others through an immersive and cross-disciplinary curriculum that consists of courses such as digital video production, motion graphics, digital media, special effects, graphic design, drawing, characters and vehicles animation, 3D modeling environments and FX, lighting, drawing, and character rigging. 

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Digital Technology and Culture (DTC) is a unique interdisciplinary degree program that “combines the creative production and critical exploration of digital media,” according to the College of Liberal Arts, Department of English at Washington State University (WSU). The program, which “emphasizes a historical, rhetorical, and cultural understanding of digital media,” prepares students for “problem solving and communicating both locally and globally,” says WSU. Because DTC combines multiple disciplines and subjects, graduates will be prepared to work in a wide variety of creative and technology-centered careers. Possible careers for DTC graduates include art director, game designer, graphic designer, social media consultant, internet marketer, editing and publishing, multimedia developer, marketing coordinator, teacher, media producer, information architect, and public affairs.

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An introductory note from the editor:  

We started publishing US based regional and national lists in 2012 in response to myriad emails from aspiring animators seeking advice regarding the "best" schools in the US. The US-centric lists have been well-received, so much so that we now receive frequent requests to publish rankings of international animation schools. ACR staff writer and Social Media Manager Tom Fronczak managed and authored this year's Top 100 International Animation Schools rankings. In preparing this year’s list, we surveyed over one hundred animation schools across the globe. Our end-goal is to give students access to ample information so they can make an informed decision about the school they choose to attend and the program they pursue.  

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As the entertainment industries bring in billions of dollars each year, the list of software that artists have to learn keeps growing longer. Needing the newest versions for each program every year can often prove to be quite costly. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a major 3D animation toolkit that was completely open source and free to use even for commercial projects? As many of you already know, that’s exactly what Blender has been doing for years, and each year it further closes the gap between itself and the most expensive software that money can buy.

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Cleveland Institute of Art

Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Animation, Communication Design, Game Design, Illustration, Technology and Integrated Media Environment (T. I. M. E.) – Digital Arts, Video

Tuition Information: Undergraduate $31,760 for the 2011 – 2012 school year.  Tuition does not include fees of $1,010 to $1,910 per year.

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At Animation Career Review we have published dozens of articles detailing the different types of degree programs available in animation, design, gaming, and related fields. Each article defines the program, details the typical coursework involved and notes the type of career paths available to someone with that particualr degree. Bookmark this handy dandy list for future use.

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Film & Video

What Does Film & Video Mean?

Film & video refers to the practice of filmmaking and the study of film. Film & video artists are experienced filmmakers, but they are also concerned with film analysis, history, and theory. While film & video artists typically work in film production, they also have the skills needed to work as educators or researchers.

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Digital Video

What Does Digital Video Mean?

The Lycos Tech Glossary defines digital video as the capturing, manipulation, and storage of moving images that can be displaced on computer screens. This requires that the moving images be digitally handled by the computer. A number of popular films have been shot predominantly on digital video. Just a few include The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Three Musketeers, Our Idiot Brother, Contagion, Zookeeper, Avatar, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Slumdog Millionaire.

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Digital Filmmaking

What Does Digital Filmmaking Mean?

From indie films to documentaries to animated features, digital filmmaking has become the preferred medium for filmmakers on a budget. But the lower cost to make a digital film isn’t the only difference between digital filmmaking and traditional filmmaking. According to, Digital “video is captured on magnetic tape and scanned back over a playhead,” whereas “film can become as large as the distance from projector to screen (determined somewhat by the strength of the projector) allows.”

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Bloomfield College

Degrees Offered: B. A. Creative Arts and Technology (CAT) with Concentration in Animation, Digital Video, Game Development, Graphics for Print and Digital Media or Interactive Multimedia and the World Wide Web

Tuition Information:  Undergraduate $22,500 for the 2011 – 2012 school year.  Tuition does not include fees of $1,200 per year.

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