Student work by Jose Alvarado, 2013. Photo by Sarah Mulholland.
Learn the skills to bring your imagination to life in OCAD University’s new Experimental Animation program.

OCAD U has a long history of graduating successful animators in art and film including George Dunning who directed The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine and Richard Williams who was animation director for Who Framed Roger Rabbit. More recently, alumni include computer animator Trudy Elmore and emerging VR artist Jawa El Khash. Shary Boyle, who represented Canada at the Venice Biennale, has achieved great success with her mesmerizing performances using hand-animated imagery.

In this program, you’ll develop a personal artistic vision and push the boundaries of animation as a contemporary art form. You’ll mix traditional and digital media using 2D, 3D, stop-motion, digital compositing and augmented/virtual reality.

During the Experimental Animation program, you’ll have a lot of flexibility to take elective art and design courses beyond animation. The program has growing relationships with other schools around the world and many connections with Toronto’s growing animation industry. OCAD U alumni have worked at Industrial Light & Magic, Yowza, Guru, Jam-Filled, Stoopid Buddy, The Stop Motion Department, StereoD and Moment Factory, among others. The program’s full-time faculty are active practitioners in contemporary art and animation and show their work internationally.

At the End of this Program...

At the end of this four-year program, you’ll earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. This program focuses on experimental animation and contemporary art but many students will find careers in creative industries such as animation and gaming.

Admissions Requirements

Jobs You Can Get

Graduates of the program work in: 

  • Artistic practice
  • Animation
  • Mural work
  • Film, video and TV production

Internships &/ Experiential learning

OCAD U offers so much more than co-ops because creative careers take many forms. Our career services help you build a professional community, valuable experience and skills you need for a meaningful career. Get access to:

  • Short experiential learning placements from among hundreds of organizations
  • Creative in-class projects with real-world industry partners
  • Exclusive summer internships
  • Gallery exhibitions of your work
  • Freelance creative opportunities
  • Jobs after graduation

You will have a ton of choice in taking different kind of classes to get a good base for future years. A few are mandatory, such as Introduction to Experimental Animation, but the rest of your classes could include:

  • Sculpture Concepts
  • Form and structure
  • Wearable art
  • Photography
  • Painting
  • The Moving Image: Production I
  • 3D Animation and Modelling
  • Painting & Digital Imaging
  • Sonic Art
  • XR Playground
  • Body and technology
  • Printmaking
  • Art and code

In second year, you’ll start developing core storytelling and technical skills. You will be exposed to many different animation practices, approaches and theories. You’ll take Animation Reframed, a course covering the state of animation art today and a Visual Storytelling course to learn about storyboarding and building meaningful concepts. You’ll also take a Hybrid Animation Workshop to focus on expanded animation like installations, game engines and virtual/augmented reality. You can also take three animation electives of your choice, such as:

  • Compositing & Digital Animation
  • 3D Modelling and Animation
  • Intermediate Animation
  • Stop-Motion Material Mashup
  • Character Design & Animation

You’ll also take a Contemporary Issues seminar and two Liberal Arts electives of your choice.

In third year, you’ll work on a year-long project. You’ll take Advanced Animation Studio 1 and 2 to develop your personal vision, research and core media and animation skills. You’ll also have a choice of electives that could include:

  • 3D Modelling & Animation 2
  • Advanced 2D Character Animation
  • Stop-Motion Puppet Show
  • Advanced Compositing
  • Sound Design

You’ll also choose an experimental learning course that will help you prepare for your career:

  • Professional Practice
  • Learning in the Field
  • Independent Study

In fourth year, you’ll take an Experimental Learning course. You could work with one of OCAD U’s many partners. Past projects have included making animations for billboards at Yonge-Dundas Square or the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, developing projections for the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra, projection mapping animations on buildings for the City of Toronto with AVA Animation, teaching workshops or assisting professional animators at the Toronto Animated Image Society.

Everything else is up to you. You’ll be able to choose your focus and do a deep-dive on a personal, year-long project in the EXAN Thesis Course. This is a six-hour a semester course where you will work closely with your classmates and faculty to develop your vision into a final project that you will be able to show in festivals and venues around the world.

At the end of the year, you’ll showcase your work at GradEx, OCAD U’s Graduate Exhibition, the biggest free art and design exhibition in Toronto with more than 40,000 visitors.

Minors

In all undergraduate programs you can choose to take a minor alongside your major to explore and expand your practice. Minors give you the opportunity to pursue a focused secondary field of study in addition to or sometimes instead of taking electives in your program and can help you look better for employers or in grants or grad school applications.  You don’t need to choose a minor on your application – rather once you start at OCAD U, you’ll be able to choose from over 90 electives that can build towards one of our 25 focused minors. Learn more about Minor Programs here.

Program
Experimental Animation
Degree earned
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Faculty
Faculty of Art
Format
Full-time
Duration
4 years
Portfolio required
Yes