New faculty member, classes in works for animation department next spring

The animation department is expanding next semester to include new classes, groups and even a possible degree.

“The animation department is doing real well,” Michael Henderson, computer animation assistant professor said. “We’re expanding and getting a new class next spring. We’re getting a new faculty member and even getting a student group started up for those interested in computer animation.”

The animation department will be welcoming the addition of David Dawson, a veteran of video game industry who will be teaching a class on computer animation in video games in the near future. The new class currently set to be taught next semester will be called Character Animation. The department is also looking to be moved from the art department to the Farrington building.

“We’re hoping to offer a new degree in animation next year,” Henderson said. “Right now students can only minor in animation. We have about 20-30 students all together who are minoring in animation.”

Next spring, students can join Special Interest Group Graphics, or SIGGRAPH, a student branch of the national organization. The group is open to all students interested in animation and computer graphics.

“You don’t have to know how to use the software,” Jason Monk said. “It’s really open to anyone. We decided to start it up two years ago but didn’t get anything done until last year. We have three major events planned for each year. The first is a graphics design show for the graphics design majors. The second is the animation show where all the animation students compile all of their work onto a dvd for everyone to view. The third is the event that everyone looks to, where we send eight to 10 students to the national SIGGRAPH conference over the summer. They get to see all of the new software and technology that comes out in the last year.”

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