Program Info

Star Wars or any Pixar film could never have been made without the skills and software you will learn in this program. The most talented in our field are able to successfully combine the mastery of storytelling, artistry, and technology, and that’s our goal. You are challenged to combine your academic abilities with creativity and innovation, as you redefine reality through 3D design and animation, visual effects, and advanced techniques for motion graphics in an environment that encourages teamwork, problem solving, and the ability to meet deadlines.

College bound? Complete curriculum designed to provide an overview of the opportunities available related to animation and visual effects so you can “try it out” before selecting a major. Compete for scholarships as you develop exceptionally creative digital portfolios and demo reels, limited only by the imagination. Advance your motion graphics and 3D animation skills to the next level that will bring your creations to life.

Autodesks’ Oscar-winning software, Maya is the primary application our program utilizes; Maya is a broad, practical program with many applications. It supports several industries, including the entertainment industry–movies, television, and video games; training and education; communications and marketing; government and healthcare professions through simulated animations; advertising, particularly with the growth of the “in-game” advertising; and in the corporate world, where digital media is increasingly used as a visual marketing tool as businesses struggle to be noticed in our digital society.

In addition to Maya, you may use a variety of CGI tools including Toon Boom Harmony, Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects; Apple Final Cut Pro, ZBrush, MotionBuilder, and compositing applications. You will have the ability to earn over 30 hours of college credit.

Additionally, you will join the elite PixlCrew. The Pixl Crew will allow you to network with other creative students and expand your network of budding professionals. Every year, we host PixlFest where you have the opportunity to learn and network with industry professionals.

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The path to follow for success is defined by our advisory board members, experts in the industry who have a significant role in customizing your training plan. Competencies are the skills that will enable you to leave prepared for college and/or a career. These competencies have been arranged into modules, Modules completed are dependent upon the career major selected for training.


Training Options



Refer to the 3D Checklist for the modules to be completed according to your chosen training option.

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Professional Enhancement

Professional Skills | Academics | Creative Challenges | Leadership Experiences | Capstone Project

This course features experiences designed to foster professional enhancement and preparation for employment and/or college. Experiences may include guest speakers, Business Professional of America projects, leadership opportunities, academic enhancement, and professional skills workshops. You may also undertake special projects, cross-train, or participate in collaborative workplace learning opportunities to enhance skills in accordance with industry demands.

Visual Illustration Tools

Design Principles | Photoshop | Illustrator | Cintiq Tablets

Students will study drawing and illustration techniques, principles of branding, and will use groundbreaking, creative tools to achieve extraordinary results as they create, revise, optimize and export photographs, illustrations, logos, textures, and graphics for motion graphics, animations, video, the Web or mobile devices.

Digital Animation

Principles of Animation | Camera Techniques | Lighting | Storyboarding | After Effects | Final Cut Pro | Toon Boom Harmony

Students will combine storyboarding, camera, and animation techniques as they create cartoons, and other short animations. Animations will contain animated text, character movements that include walk cycles and turnarounds; voice (lip syncing), background sound, and sound effects. Skills will evolve to encompass rotoscoping and tracking.

 Applied Principles of Animation

Introduction to Maya | modeling, texturing, materials, animation, lighting, rendering

Students will integrate academic skills with modeling, texturing, lighting, animation, and rendering techniques as they become familiar with principles of digital illustration and animation within a 3D motion graphics application.

Motion Graphics & Visual Effects

Mocap using Motion Builder | After Effects | Unity 3D

Students will combine motion capture technology with editing and compression techniques to foster creativity and innovation while designing motion graphics and visual effects that deliver stunning results.

Creative Design and Digital Marketing Techniques

Portfolio | Branding | Copyright | Pixlcrew Team Collaboration Project

Students will participate in experiences designed to foster professional creativity that will serve as a stimulation to develop exceptionally creative products through digital media. Principles of branding, color and design theory, digital illustration and animation concepts, and digital photography will be reflected in collaborative projects as well as in the design of digital portfolios and demo reels that highlight skills and certifications.

3D Modeling Techniques

Maya | modeling, materials, UV layout, texturing, rendering, lighting, shading networks

Students will acquire and/or enhance modeling, shading, texturing, rendering, and lighting techniques for 3D characters and/or scenes.

Enhanced Modeling Techniques

ZBrush | Integration with Maya, sculpting, texturing, UV layouts

Students will focus on developing intermediate modeling, texturing, painting, and digital artistry skills as they utilize UV mapping and sculpting techniques to define and apply textures to models.

Non-Linear Editing for Motion Graphics

Pixlcrew Team Collaboration Project | Real World Projects | Demo Reel

Students will combine non-linear editing, graphic design and illustration skills, special effects and techniques for motion graphics, modeling, and animation skills as they complete advanced projects in a collaborative environment that emphasizes the entire pipeline for working in industry.

3D Animation

Maya | animation techniques, walk cycles, rigging | MotionBuilder

Students will utilize 3D animation tools and techniques for advanced key frame animation, animation layering, and motion as they produce an accurate digital representation of motion for film and/or video games. Techniques will include motion capture technology, and designing rigs that can be re-used as a basis for articulating similar characters and/or objects.

Dynamics and Special Effects for Motion Graphics

Maya | Dynamics, nParticles, NCloth, Fluids | Scripting

Students will explore Maya’s system of tools for applying rigid and/or soft-body dynamics and simulate object behavior as they produce rendered animations of special effects like smoke, fire, particle systems, force fields, and turbulence. Students will also utilize scripting techniques to automate tasks and add efficiency to the workflow.

Advanced Motion Graphics and Digital Compositing

Motion Tracking | Matchmoving | Integration | Compositing

Students will develop digital compositing skills and techniques for advanced visual effects as they work with professional, comprehensive software designed to achieve superior results for motion graphics and visual effects.

Career Experience


Internships, On-the-Job Training, Special Projects/Pixlcrew, etc. Can substitute for any course(s) listed above, as appropriate.

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What’s New?

Think, Believe, Dream, Dare!

This year is a new chapter in your story with many blank pages waiting to be filled with adventure, terrific experiences, friendships, learning, and fun.

YOU are the author of your own story–Make it Great!



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