DigiPen Art and Animation

DigiPen Art student working on digital art


  • Location: DigiPen Institute, Redmond Campus
  • High School Credits: Year 1 – CTE (1.0), Fine Art (1.0), Art History (1.0). Year 2 – CTE (2.0), AP Art (1.0)
  • 2 Year Program Available
  • No Tuition
  • Program fees may apply. Financial assistance may be available for qualifying students
  • College Credits: DigiPen Credits TBD
  • Prerequisites Year 1: No prior experience required. Prerequisites Year 2: Successful completion of Year 1 and instructor approval.

The DigiPen Academy WANIC Art and Animation course helps students develop the skills necessary to pursue post-secondary education in the field of fine art and animation. The program focuses on traditional art skills including basic drawing, composition, line and value, and perspective drawing. Upon learning these skills, students are introduced to essential animation skills like character concept and design, basic keyframe animation, motion studies, and 2D and 3D computer animation.

Exciting career opportunities for digital artists have never been greater, but whether producing art assets for a video game, creating a 2D or 3D animation, or compositing visual effects, today’s artists must have strong traditional skills to be competitive. DigiPen’s Art & Animation track focuses on establishing this foundation, concentrating on both art and animation techniques that strengthen artistic skills. No prior art or animation skills are required as this structured program covers the basics including perspective, color, form, value, design, composition, and timing. Like learning a new language, students gain an understanding of the “grammar” of art and develop a fluency with their digital art skills, they apply critical design process to create the amazing visuals and animation expected by today’s audience.

In this full-year, 3-period Skill Center class (3 high school credits) students will:

  • Practice the nature of drawing with emphasis on perspective and effective use of depth cues to create the illusion of form and space
  • Discover how shape, color, and value work together to create 2D visual artworks
  • Understand the role and responsibilities of a production artist in solo and group settings
  • Apply critical animation principles such as timing, spacing, and keyframes
  • Utilize 2D and 3D digital tools and techniques to aid in the art production process
  • Practice the Video Game production process including pitches, design documents, scheduling, milestones, testing, time management, and working on interdisciplinary teams


Potential Careers:

3D Animator • 3D Artist • Animation Director • Animator • Art Director • Artist • Creative Director • Design Director • Designer • Director of Creative Services • Graphic Artist • Graphic Designer • Group Art Supervisor • Illustrator


Example Median Yearly Salary in the Seattle Metro area:

  • Art Directors $109,330
  • Graphic Designers $72,850
  • Special Effects Artists and Animators $87,620

*Source: careeronestop.org, U.S. Department of Labor 2021


Course Expectations: DigiPen Art & Animation.  Located at DigiPen Institute of Technology 

Reading Expectations of this class:  

Students will be expected to read, understand, and execute assignment briefs with specific requirements. 

Utilize computer skills such as file management, basic troubleshooting, industry software, and internet research. 

Writing Expectations of this class: 

Students must take notes from live lectures and course materials, analyze works of art (including their own) in written format using art principles and techniques as evidence. Students must also manage time and class resources (class websites, digital turn-ins, multiple ongoing projects/assignments). 

Math Expectations of this class:  

Students must be able to use fractions, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to learn art concepts and use them to solve real-world problems. They must also be able to synthesize basic math procedures with art principles. 

Science Expectations of this class:  

Not applicable 

Homework Expectations of this class:  

All the coursework for this class is intended to be done during class. Lab time is planned in class for every assignment, and students are expected to be self-motivated during this time. The goal is for students to have all the help they need while actively working on their assignments. Any work done outside of class is typically preparatory work, such as reading or reviewing a video in advance of the topic being introduced in the class. 


To be successful in this class, the student should be prepared to:  

Have their artwork evaluated using professional, objective criteria. Receive and embrace constructive critique of their work as a valuable opportunity for growth and improvement in their artistic work. Students must be willing to repeatedly practice fundamentals to achieve mastery, and work on specific assignments/techniques, not just their preferred subjects or style. Students will be expected to learn art as an industry skill set and a method of expression. 


Applying and practicing skills is key to showcasing your competency. Embrace an attendance policy reflecting the norms of business and industry, where you take on the role of an employee or professional. Commit to full daily attendance and active participation for optimal learning and productivity. Dive into the program's array of hands-on activities, necessary for earning credit. 


Additional Information: 
  • Prerequisites Year 2: Successful completion of Year 1 and instructor approval.

  • College credit may be available.