Animation is the art of motion, and art in motion.         Philosophy Statement, DADA, USC
 It is that which gives something life. Animators             By Vibeke Sorensen 
  create the illusion of life by transferring organic            Professor & Founding Chair 1994-2005
   gesture to their chosen medium. From hand                                   
    drawn images to computer animation, from stop
     motion to cels, a wide range of media are used
      to record complex gestures and  put them into
       motion. It is through a succession of  frames in 
        time that they become organic metaphors imbued
         with symbolic meaning, becoming stories and
          experiences that reveal our individual and 
           collective imagination. It brings our dreams, 
          myths and memories to life.
         Organic, physical gestures are those we know
        instinctively by being alive and  interacting with
       other living things. It includes the movement of
      our hands, bodies and minds in time and space, 
     fusing the performing arts(dance, music, theater)
    with the visual arts. We see living  gesture every
   day, and know it through our interaction with
  animals and plants, as well as a wide range of
 dynamic phenomena visible and invisible worlds.
We know it through all of our senses, and 
express it through a re-ordering of them as 
sense expressions. The animator observes the 
 world with all of his or her senses carefully and 
  critically, and translates them into a living form
   others can see.
    Grounded in this notion that organic, physical 
     gesture is the basis for all animation, our 
      undergraduate and graduate programs encourage
       the integration of physical and digital processes,
        spanning a wide range of media from  traditional
          drawing and cel to contemporary interactive 
           computer.  Therefore, there is a dual emphasis
           on the exploration of  physical media and new
          technologies. While students can choose to work
         primarily in a specific medium, they are 
        encouraged to explore and develop new forms
       and techniques that result from new combinations
      of digital and physical media. This is a largely
     unexplored territory open to the influence of
    creative imagination and invention and
   therefore students can contribute a great deal
  to the growth of new forms of animation. We
 feel that animation transcends any one specific
medium, and therefore encompasses them all.
It is up to each animator to define the approach
which best communicates their ideas and
imagination. We embrace traditional and 
 contemporary technologies,and the continuum
  in between.
   All data in the computer, regardless of origin, are
    connected in this continuum by a common digital
     foundation. Because of this, animators are provided
      limitless opportunities for transformation of data
       from one modality to another. Sound files can 
        become images, human gestures can be captured
         and turned into colors. Because image data is
          discrete, it  is malleable, one element or frame at
           a time. This is what animators do: they affect each
           image in a sequence one frame at a time. The
           computer provides unprecendented opportunities
           for data transformation, both in real-time and not in
          real-time. It allows animators to work with both 2
         and 3-D animation, in real-time interactive virtual
        environments. They are a hybrid form of filmmaker,
       functioning at various times as directors, actors,
      cinematographers, and editors. Computers are 
     transformative instruments providing vast new
    spaces and  possibilities for animators.
  Our program sits at the intersection of academia,
 industry, and the arts. We are located within an
academic institution and therefore balance the
intellectual and pedagocial needs of this 
 community with the needs of the film industry,
  as well as the fine art community. Los Angeles
   is home to Hollywood and many potential 
    employers. It is also home to a vibrant fine arts
     community, a major influence on the entertainment
       Our animators are adept with a range of media
        and contemporary technology. Because it changes
         so quickly, they have to be both aesthetically
          sophisticated and technologically aware. This 
           means they have to embrace change not only as
           part of the animation, but also in their approach to
           media. They are a window to the future where 
          more and  more people will be using animation in
         their communication of information on the internet
        and related technologies. They are on the cutting
       edge, protoyping humanistic uses of these 
      technologies, and providing new ideas and a new
     way of thinking about their relationship to the world
    around them.
   Finally, we encourage students to apply to our 
  programs from a wide range of cultures and 
countries. We hope that they will bring with them
the richness of their cultural traditions, and help
develop animation into an even more international
 art form than it already is.
                              - Vibeke Sorensen
                                 Professor and Chair                             


The USC School of Cinema-Television, Division of
         Animation and Digital Arts offers both an undergrad
        Minor in Animation program and an intensive three-
       year MFA in Film, Video and Computer Animation
      program.The undergraduate Minor in Animation 
     offers students an introduction to the theory and
    practice of animation, including its relationship to
   the history of art and cinema, creative writing, and
  basic film production. It provides students with an
 opportunity to create both personal and collaborative
work in a wide range of genres, from traditional
character to contemporary experimental and
computer animation. This includes cel, stop
motion, collage, mixed media, 2 and 3D computer
 animation software and interactive digital media.
  Successful completion of a final project is required.
   The MFA in Film, Video and Computer Animation
    curriculum focuses on animation production, including
     a wide range of techniques and aesthetic approaches,
     from hand drawn character animation to state of the art
     interactive computer graphics. While embracing traditional
     forms, the program strongly encourages innovation and
     experimentation, and emphasizes imagination, creativity
    and critical thinking. Courses include the history of 
   animation, life drawing, computer animation, and 
  writing for animation, among others. Successful
completion of a Thesis project is required.
Upon graduation, our students possess both depth
and breadth, positioning them perfectly for leadership
 roles in the field. Such positions usually require vision,
  scope, creative problem solving skills, adaptability to
   new concepts and working methodologies, as well as
    excellent "people" skills. We expect our students to be
     ambassadors for the field to the field.Graduates of  our
      program have gone on to  Disney Feature Animation, 
       Microsoft  Graphics Research Group, Fox, Warner Bros.,
        Digital Domain, Pixar, Dreamworks SKG, Pacific Data 
         Images, Industrial  Light and Magic, among others.
          The School of Cinema-Television, in downtown
          Los Angeles, is in close proximity to many of the
          leading studios and major art museums in 
         Southern California that provide students with 
        opportunities for exposure to the industry and
       contemporary fine arts, including internships 
      and employment.
                               - Vibeke Sorensen
                                  Professor and Chair