Chapman University

Chapman University

The Digital Arts program at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts prepares students to thrive as artists no matter how the technology evolves. Focusing on the fundamentals of drawing, color, and design to start, the curriculum is designed to help students develop core artistic skills, as well as technical expertise.

Students learn the timeless principles of motion, gesture, composition, color theory, story structure, performance, and sound design from their award-winning faculty, including Oscar®-nominated animation director and computer graphics pioneer Bill Kroyer, and regular visits from the world’s top directors, designers, and visual effects artists who have worked on films such as Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and WALL-E, as well as connections and trips to Dreamworks, PIXAR, Nickelodeon, Rhythm & Hues, SONY Imageworks, Activision/Blizzard, and Disney.

The program at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts trains students to work with the latest industry techniques and technology. The primary goal of the program is to train and develop the student-artist, and Toon Boom is the premiere software tool in that process. As the favored industry software for television production and the primary workflow for animation giants including Disney TV, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Disney Toons, it enables their students specializing in hand-drawn animation to bring their sketches to life, allowing them to add movement and color to their 2D animation.

Because Toon Boom Harmony offers a complete workflow for animation production, students who become proficient in the software have a vastly expanded toolset for creating a wide variety of animated projects. The fundamental training the artist receives in timeless skills such as life drawing, action sketch and color theory are easily applied to projects using the versatile interface of Harmony. From initial story sketch through color modeling, clean-up, animation and compositing, the Harmony environment can emulate the widest range of creative choices, from retro-traditional 2D to innovative 2D/3D blends.

The Digital Arts Program at Dodge College uses these technical capabilities to expand the students' quality of experience and scope of work. Whether it is exploring different staging sketches, experimenting with color, or literally adding scenes due to increased productivity, Harmony enables the student to boldly experiment with new approaches, confident that the toolset will allow quick and easy changes and modifications.

Harmony is a complete start-to-finish workflow that contains the essential art processes applicable to other specialties, such as the story work in Storyboard Pro. Additionally, Storyboard Pro provides added functions that make it a perfect front-end for not just animation production, but visual effects and pre-visualization projects. With one of America's most vibrant and productive live-action filmmaking programs, generating more than 50 films per school year, Dodge College offers a unique environment and opportunity for digital arts students to creatively integrate Harmony and Storyboard Pro into hybrid productions.

It is because of this wide-ranging experience that Dodge College Digital Arts alumni are working at the top film, TV, and game studios in the industry, including Disney, Dreamworks, PIXAR, Nickelodeon, SONY, BLIZZARD, Obsidian, and Amber.

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