From East to West - Computer Animation Education in China and the United States

Hui Zhu, Bruce Wands, Xiaobo Lu, Sven Travis

From 3D Modeling to Character Animation, from Storyboard to Production, from Basic Animation to Intermediate Animation, computer animation courses comprise a complex composite system. This paper explores approaches to computer animation education systerm in China and the United States. More and more universities and schools have started teaching computer animation courses, but there is still a shortage of talented computer animators in the Chinese animation industry. By comparing the Chinese animation courses with American computer animation courses, we will examine the different approaches and philosophies, thus giving insight into how to most effectively teach computer animation.

One area of attention will be the development of story and visual content and conceptual development of animators. Chinese universities generally promote the creation of fine art works using computer animation. Many American universities focus on having their students position themselves for commercial production, although there are several art schools which use an approach very similar to the Chinese. A comparison of computer animation programs will be explored through an examination of their curriculum, faculty, the philosophical foundations of computer animation programs, 2D and 3D computer animation works, lab facilities, environmental and aesthetic similarities and contrasts between the two countries. Research methodologies will also be discussed. The goal of this presentation is to provide an international perspective on computer animation education.

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