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Animation is magical—it can speak across cultural, age, gender and language barriers. Because animation uses our own imagination, its images and narratives have a unique power to move people to laughter and tears—sometimes at the same time.
A Day at SVA
More About the Department
Animation has a long tradition in New York. Most people do not know that one of the very first animators, J. Stuart Blackton, animated drawings produced and distributed by none other than Thomas Edison. That was in 1906, years before Walt Disney began to work on Mickey Mouse.
SVA has prepared young artists for the animation industry for over 40 years. Our faculty includes some of the best artists in the industry, who bring knowledge and experience in multiple disciplines straight from the studio into the classroom. Your mentors will include directors, fine artists, photographers, special-effects artists, writers, character designers, and commercial artists. You will not only learn innovative drawing techniques, and methods of storytelling, but also industry standard software—Photoshop, Adobe Animate, After Effects, Toon Boom Harmony, Storyboard Pro, and Maya (in conjunction with the Computer Arts department)—in our digitally outfitted lab. You will work in our Pro Tools audio recording studio designing sound for your films, creating sound effects and mixing sound tracks. You will have access to a proprietary music library that allows you to own the music in your films.
You will be immersed in hands-on experience, whether you’re studying traditional, stop-motion or computer animation. Your four years culminates in a showcase of your work to industry professionals and luminaries at our Thesis Celebration.
Our special working relationships with alumni-owned Plymptoons, Titmouse and Augenblick studios—as well as with numerous other independent animation creators throughout New York—provide extraordinary opportunities for internships and part-time employment. SVA students have produced animation for non-profit organizations and public service organizations such as Ted-ED, UNICEF, UNESCO and other local institutions that see us as the go-to school for animators.
Graduates of our program have gone to work for Disney Animation Studios, DreamWorks Animation SKG, Warner Bros. Animation, Blue Sky Studios, Nickelodeon, Lucasfilm Animation, Sony Pictures Animation and independent animation studios around the world. Many have won awards for their short and feature films, from the Academy of Motion Pictures, The International Animation Festival and the Association of International Film Animators (ASIFA), as well as numerous festivals around the world. If it’s animated, an SVA alum was probably part of the team.