Animation, Film and Visual Effects

  • LOCATION:  Niagara Career and Technical Center only 

    Instructor:  Jennifer Manning



    This program is comprised of two one-year courses designed to help students gain valuable media creation experience, and move to the next stage of their career path. Our media production facilities include digital film and audio equipment, a green screen studio space, and Macintosh workstations. Students use the same industry-standard software as professional filmmakers and animators, including Adobe Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and After Effects, Toon Boom Harmony and Autodesk Maya. This program is open to juniors and seniors in the morning and afternoon sessions. The courses are non-consecutive, so students may take one or both courses, in either order. 


    Animation (afternoon session)

    This one year course introduces the basic terminology, concepts, and techniques of animation. Students gain experience with current technologies, historical perspectives, applications and basic principles of 2D and 3D animation. Students use a variety of animation techniques to create a portfolio of work designed to give them an advantage in their pursuit of further training in the field.

    Topics include: Design Fundamentals, Storyboarding, Vector Drawing, Animation History, Principles of Animation, 2D Animation Techniques, Audio and Lip Sync, 3D Modeling and Animation, Lighting, Composition and Portfolio Creation.

    Film and Visual Effects (morning session)

    Emphasizing hands-on production, this one-year course explores the fundamentals of film creation, including the techniques and aesthetics of shooting, lighting, and editing. Students explore film technologies, equipment operation, composition, lighting, audio fundamentals, motion graphics, visual effects, production planning, and non-linear editing. Students work individually and in teams to experience the pre-production, production, and post production stages of video creation, distribution, and evaluation.

    Topics include: Principles of Composition, Image Editing, Camera Operation, Nonlinear Editing, Scriptwriting, Storyboarding, Audio Production, Lighting, Compositing, Motion Graphics, Visual Effects and Portfolio Creation.

    Possible Careers

    Video Technician
    Camera Operator
    Lighting Technician
    Sound Technician
    Concept Artist
    Video Game Animator
    Storyboard Artist
    Character Animator
    Motion Graphics Artist
    Medical/Forensic Animator
    Visual Effects Artist

    Suggested Education Background & Qualities

    • Excellent attendance
    • Strong communication skills, both visual and written
    • Good reading comprehension
    • Organizational skills
    •  Time management
    • Strong work ethic
    • Ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure
    • Problem solving and troubleshooting skills
    • Technical skills
    • Solid math and science background
    • Artistic skills
    • Creativity
    • Art, media or computer classes beneficial

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