GIVING LIFE TO ILLUSION
The Animation major in KCAI’s Department of Converging Media provides students with the quality education, technical expertise and career skills necessary to realize their artistic visions and to succeed upon graduation. Animation students receive intensive instruction in classical, experimental and computer animation, but one solution is never emphasized over another. Instead, our approach is based on creative exploration and self-direction supported by faculty advisors, mentorships and guided research.
The Animation major features technologically integrated classrooms and studios. The Department of Converging Media also houses Filmmaking, Interactive Arts and Photography, Animation students work in environments and curriculum designed to facilitate creativity and cross-disciplinary approaches to image-making. Students are encouraged to take electives in the other three majors to develop their understanding of how Animation relates to each.
The sequential classes emphasize the creative process by combining aspects of animation principles, concept modeling, production methods, history, theory and technique into each project.
Courses within the major have planned synergies that will develop over three years the essential skills necessary for students to identify and solve problems in physical, virtual, cognitive and cultural contexts.
“One of the biggest bonuses to our animation department is the wide range of projects that are possible and encouraged...”Elizabeth Davis
Associate Professor and Chair of Animation
Doug Hudson has been making experimental music and film since the mid-80s, teaching since 2000. Most notably, he designed and founded the award-winning Animation department for the Kansas City Art Institute in 2004. Currently, he teaches full time and is Chair of Animation at KCAI.
His graduates work throughout the industry and have earned many honors and distinctions, including a Student Academy Award in 2010. Additionally, many have gone on to earn graduate degrees from top colleges, including Cal Arts, USC, and UCLA.
Hudson earned a M.F.A. in Experimental Animation from Cal Arts in 2000 (under the mentorship of Jules Engel, Suzan Pitt, William Moritz, Raimund Krumme, and Maureen Selwood) and a B.F.A. in Animation from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 1997 (under the mentorship of Sheila Sofian, David Fain, Lowell Boston, and Peter Rose). At Warner Brothers Online in Los Angeles (2000-2001), he was a member of the first team of animators to bring the iconic Looney Tunes characters to the internet via a series of original Flash-based webtoons as well as animating for the DC Comics series, Gotham Girls and Lobo.
Whether mentoring or making, Hudson is deeply committed to instilling and exalting the independent spirit of experimental creative practice. He is currently in production on a stop-motion film about a lost parade (starring over 1000 vintage and antique toys).
John Baker joined KCAI in 2010 and teaches interactive arts and animation. Previously, he was an animator with MK12, a Kansas City-based motion graphics firm, where he was responsible for generating concepts for clients from storyboards to final animation. He also worked as editor and data manager on national and international film and video productions. Baker was responsible for shooting footage, including short films, and he handled filming and processing green-screen footage, rotoscope work and various visual effects. Before that he was an animator with Video Post Productions in Kansas City, where he worked in 2-D and 3-D animation for national and international clients. He has worked on numerous production projects for many well-known national brands.
Christiane Cegavske is best known for her feature-length animated film, “Blood Tea and Red String,” completed in 2005. She is currently working on her second animated feature film, “Seed in the Sand.” In addition to being an independent filmmaker, painter, poet and doll maker, she has been a lead animator and sculptor working on projects for The Oxygen Network, VH1, and the Disney Channel, among others. She also created animated dream sequences for Asia Argento’s “The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things” and a music video for Mark Growden’s song “Coyote.”
Eva Louise Hall
Eva Louise Hall has been teaching with the Kansas City Art Institute since 2014. She is an animator and performance artist, producing multi-media animation installation, puppetry and projection work both locally and internationally for theater and film.
Once you declare your major, animation students take the following core courses as they progress from sophomore to senior year. For additional electives and liberal arts courses, download the complete Course Catalog
- Principles of Animation
- Digital Methods
- History of Animation
- Visual Communication
- Contemporary Animation History
- Explorations in Animation
- Ideas in Motion
- Senior Studio I
- Senior Studio II
- Professional Practice
View Samples of Our Work
Like What You See?
For additional examples of student-produced work that displays a wider range of styles, technique and subject matter, browse our expanded photo gallery.
Professional practice is a compulsory component of the KCAI program in which students benefit enormously from insights provided by world-renowned visiting artists, scholars and professionals.
Current software applications being used include Adobe Creative Suite, Cinema 4D and Dragonframe.
Recommended systems/tools: 15” MacBook Pro with retina display (minimum) or PC w/Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Phenom II processor with Windows 8 or 8.1 and 64-bit support. Recommended add-ons: carrying case, min. 1TB external hard drive, mini display to VGA adapter and damage/theft insurance.
Jobs + Internships
KCAI animation majors have worked or interned for the following studios and institutions: Digital Domain, Nickelodeon, Hallmark, Shadow Machine Films, Bill Plympton Studio, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, MK12, Intake Studios, Encyclopedia Pictura, Dream Studio, Fuzzy Duck Design, Titmouse Inc., Panda Panther, Grasshorse and Threehouse Studio.
Many artists visit the animation studios each year to share their knowledge and inspiration with KCAI students. Here are a few that have recently stopped by:
Martin Marquet, Joshua Mosley, Matthias Lechner, Environmental Art Dir./Disney, and Alexis Gordon (in partnership with the Spencer Art Museum).