The Animation Workshop

Location: Melnitz 2487

Our animation area serves as an instruction and production center for both traditional and CG animation. This includes 2D and 3D character animation; experimental; stop motion; cut-out; interactive work and more.

The Mac Lab and the Walter Lantz Digital Animation Studio are state-of-the-art workspaces where students create their digitally animated projects in 2D, or 3D, or a combination of techniques. Many award-winning films have been made in these labs including George Fleming's Siren (2015) and Erick Oh's Heart (2010).

Our Mac Lab primarily serves second-year M.F.A students with 12 Mac Pros and three PC computers. From the teaching island in the center of the room, instructors lead students in Adobe Production Suite, Maya, TVPaint and Flash software demonstrations and exercises, all of which are displayed on four wall-mounted HD monitors. Award-winning films Attack of the Killer Trees (Valerie Giuili, 2014) and Love on the Line (Melissa Graziano-Humphrey, 2008), among others, were made here.

The Lantz studio is where all third-year M.F.A. animation students work on their thesis films. It was here that one such student, alumnus Shane Acker, created his Academy Award-nominated and Student Academy Award-winning short film, 9, which was later turned into a successful feature film. More recently, Yangzi She’s film Eggplant, also made here, was an official selection for Annecy 2015 (and winner of numerous awards).

We are also equipped with a digital stop-motion workshop, which has construction tools available for students to use in the creation of their miniature sets. Three small stages, each containing a mini Mac computer and digital SLR camera mounted on incremental tripods, allow students to animate their characters frame-by-frame. Stop-motion films made here include the award-winning The Walker (Heather Collins, 2015); and Morose (Daniel Olivas, 2015).

Fun fact: We received the vintage animation desks found in the Animation Workshop as a donation from the Walt Disney Studios where they were used in the production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.