The award-winning animation program at KCAI provides a unique learning environment for students to successfully explore their creativity and to produce animation within personal and professional contexts.
Experienced faculty provide well-rounded instruction in classical, experimental and computer animation. However, one approach, idea or piece of technology is never prioritized over another. Instead, our method is to encourage students to think and act for themselves while exploring fresh new approaches and solutions.
Senior-level majors are offered a year of structured studio time devoted to producing a significant personal work. The goal of the senior graduation animation project is for the students to complete productions that exemplify their mastery of the medium to date. This approach fully prepares students to enter the field with a strong portfolio and a well-rounded sense of artistic and technical confidence.
Professional practice is a compulsory component of all three years, and every animation major benefits directly from interaction with world-renowned visiting artists, scholars and professionals. These generous mentors present their work and engage the students in one-on-one critiques and group workshops.
Upon graduation, students are fully prepared for entry-level work within the animation industry or to seek and create opportunities on their own as freelance independent artists.
Professional opportunities may include: animation studios, feature film and television production, independent short-form film festivals, museum exhibition, teaching and corporate media. Many of our graduates have gone on to further their studies at top graduate schools, such as Cal Arts.
Current software applications being taught include:
Photoshop, After Effects, Premier Pro, Maya, Cinema 4D and Dragonframe.
Jobs and internships
In addition to an ever-growing list of screenings in national and international film festivals, such as the Ottawa International Animation Festival, three of our graduates won a silver Student Academy Award in 2010 for their film, "Dried Up." Visit our YouTube channel to see the film.
KCAI Animation majors have worked or interned for the following studios and institutions: Disney, DreamWorks, Digital Domain, Nickelodeon, Hallmark, Shadow Machine Films, Bill Plympton Studio, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Bazillion Pictures, T2, MK12, Intake Studios, Encyclopedia Pictura, Dream Studio, Fuzzy Duck Design, Titmouse Inc., Panda Panther, Grasshorse and Threehouse Studio.
Doug Hudson, associate professor
Douglas Hudson is an independent animation director and educator. Currently he is associate professor of animation at KCAI.
John Baker, special instructor
John Baker joined KCAI in 2010 and teaches courses in digital media and animation. Previously he was an animator with MK12, a Kansas...Read More
Christoph Steger, assistant professor
Christoph Steger is an animation director whose films explore the grey areas between traditional animation and observational...Read More
Melinda Robino, special instructor
Melinda Robino began her career as graphic designer and typesetter. In 1987, she was selected to beta-test a little-known computer...Read More