AA0 – Animation and Production

This 90-hour Online Academy teaches the basics of animation using both 2D and 3D software to demonstrate the fundamental principles of animation and animation production and relying on traditional art concepts, such as color theory and perspective, to reinforce storytelling and composition. Students will work through the entire process of creating animations, from pre-production to completed animation. Using industry-standard software, students will produce a high volume of art and animation in preparation for a final animation that will incorporate all they have learned. Topics include basic drawing and compositional skills, the 12 principles of animation, 2D and 3D Animation techniques, and the role of art in storytelling, as well as character design and an introduction to 3D character rigging.

Prerequisites and Requirements


This course is open to students in Grades 8 through 12.

Students must also possess the following basic computer skills.

A student must be able to:
  • Zip and unzip files
  • Upload files to class distance learning site
  • Navigate class distance learning site
  • Download software
  • Install software
  • Have administrative access to PC
  • Use Windows operating system running on a PC
  • Read and understand instructions
  • Read a computer screen
  • Have keyboarding skills to type messages in chat
  • Navigate websites
  • Demonstrate interest in subject matter
  • Think logically and sequentially
  • Sit at a computer workstation and use the screen for up to two and a half hours at a time

Technology Requirements

In addition to the prerequisites listed above, students must have access to a computer that meets the technology requirements listed below.

  • Operating System: PC running Windows 7 or 8 (virtual machines such as Parallels and VMWare Fusion are not supported) OR Intel-based Mac (OS X 10.8 or later)
  • Pentium 4 CPU or newer, 1.5 GHz or faster
  • 2 GB RAM (4 GB for 64-bit version)
  • 10 GB of free hard drive space
  • Video card with at least 256 MB of dedicated video RAM*
  • Minimum display resolution 1024×768
  • Sound card and headphones or speakers
  • Broadband Internet connection (512 Kbits or higher)—no dialup
  • Browser: Internet Explorer 8 or Firefox 3 or newer
  • Plugins: Adobe Reader 9, Adobe Flash Player 10
  • Microsoft Word 2003 (or newer) or OpenOffice 3.2.0 (optional)
  • 2D Paint/Photo Editing Software (Photoshop CS4 or later and/or GIMP (freeware) is recommended)
  • Autodesk Maya 2014 or later (free student version available)
  • Ability to digitize your pencil and paper artwork (a flatbed scanner or digital camera is recommended)

*A discrete graphics card with its own video memory (VRAM) is required for this course. A computer with an integrated graphics system may not run Maya 2013 or later. Most discrete video cards are manufactured by NVIDIA (GeForce brand) or ATI / AMD (Radeon brand). Integrated graphics, which may be unsuitable for 3D animation, are often manufactured by Intel (the Intel GMA series, for example). If your video card has only “shared memory” or says its amount of memory is “up to” a certain number, that is an indication that you have a basic, integrated graphics system. If you are unsure about the suitability of your computer’s performance, please contact us.

Schedule and Tuition

Schedule for 2016-2017

2016-2017 SCHOOL YEAR

Fall Quarter: September 7, 2016 – February 1, 2017
Fall Quarter Registration Deadline: Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Live Weekly Meeting Times: Wednesdays, 4:00-5:00 p.m. PST
There will be no class on November 23, December 21, December 28, and January 4.

Spring Quarter: February 8, 2017 – June 14, 2017
Spring Quarter Registration Deadline: Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Live Weekly Meeting Times: Wednesdays, 4:00-5:00 p.m. PST
There will be no class on March 1.

Summer Quarter: June 19, 2017 – August 16, 2017
Summer Quarter Registration Deadline: Wednesday, June 12, 2017
Live Weekly Meeting Times: Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:30-7:00 p.m. PST


The tuition for this Online Academy is $595 per 90-hour session. A $100 non-refundable deposit must be paid at the time of registration. The remaining $495 must be paid one week prior to the start of the course.

DigiPen's ProjectFUN offers workshops, camps and college prep courses for kids and teens. Technology courses are held in Redmond, WA (near Seattle and Bellevue), and online.