Digital 3D Animation using Maya: Diploma Description

About this article
With a diploma in Digital 3D Animation using Maya, you'll have the skills you need for a career in professional animation using some of the most cutting edge graphics software there is. This article describes some of the skills you will learn and how you can apply them.
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What is a Maya 3D Digital Animation Diploma Program?

Maya is a software program used for the creation of 3D animation. A diploma program in the use of Maya will teach you about the possibilities the program offers, and how to maximize its tools. In most programs, you'll learn from people who are not only trained in the use of the software, but, ideally, have some industry experience, whether in computer games, the film industry, or some other related field, with the use of Maya as a production tool. As a digital character animator, you will combine graphic storytelling with digital operating environments and characters to create a virtual world. You will build your animation background, learn to create storyboards, character animation, virtual environments, and all the features commonly associated with computer generated imagery, film and game creation, and other related applications.

Skills Acquired

In a Maya 3D software diploma program, you'll learn a great many skills and techniques for utilizing one of the most powerful computer animation software tools available. You will learn about modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering, and animation. A good program will teach you about 3D applications for character animation, advanced animation tools, rendering, and MEL (Maya's Embedded Language) scripting. Your courses should cover skills in character rigging and animation, paint effects, 2D and 3D digital painting, computer graphics, and digital video production, as well as applying paintings rendered on traditional canvas directly to 3D surfaces. A solid Maya diploma program will give you experience with painting on all geometry surfaces, creating custom brushes, animating plants, trees, and hair for realistic representations.

Coursework in a Maya 3D Digital Animation diploma program may include:

  • Digital Character Animation
  • Storyboard
  • 3D Animation
  • 3D Modeling
  • Character Design & Set-up
  • Shaders & Textures
  • 3D Lighting
  • Rendering
  • Digital Compositing
  • MEL Scripting

Career Outlook and Salary Information

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, multi-media artists and animators will experience competition for jobs, but the field will grow steadily through 2014. As video games and fantasy genre films gain popularity, more convincing special effects will continue to create demand for skilled computer illustrators, especially those trained in Maya, which is virtually an industry standard. The average annual income for multi-media artists and animators was about $50K in 2004, and the highest paid took in as much as $70K per year.

Popular Schools

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    1. Full Sail University

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    Master's
      • Master of Fine Arts - Media Design
      • Master of Fine Arts - Media Design
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Simulation and Visualization (Campus)
      • BS - Game Design (Campus)
      • BS - Media Communications (Campus)
      • B.S. - Computer Animation
      • B.S. - Graphic Design
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    2. The George Washington University

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Graduate Certificate in Multimedia Development
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Johns Hopkins University

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    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Communication
    Certificate
      • Post-Bachelor's Certificate in Applied Research for Communication
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    4. Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

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    Master's
      • Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology
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    5. Purdue University

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    Master's
      • Master of Science in Communication
    Certificate
      • Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication Management
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    6. Southern New Hampshire University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MA in Communication: New Media & Marketing
      • MA in Communication
    Bachelor's
      • BA Graphic Design and Media Arts/ 3-D Modeling & Animation
      • BS Game Programming and Development
      • BA in Game Art and Development
      • BA in Graphic Design
      • BA Graphic Design and Media Arts/Web Design
      • BA in Communication
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    7. Colorado State University Global

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      • BS - Communication
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    8. American University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
      • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
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    9. Queens University of Charlotte

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Communication - General
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Integrated Digital Strategy Concentration
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Undecided
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    10. Indiana Wesleyan University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. Digital Communication
      • BS Human Communications
      • B.S. General Studies - Communication
      • B.S. Communications
    Associate's
      • A.S. General Studies - Communications
    Certificate
      • Undergraduate Certificate - Communications

Featured Schools

Full Sail University

  • Master of Fine Arts - Media Design
  • BS - Simulation and Visualization (Campus)
  • BS - Game Design (Campus)

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The George Washington University

  • Graduate Certificate in Multimedia Development

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Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Arts in Communication
  • Post-Bachelor's Certificate in Applied Research for Communication

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Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

  • Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology

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Purdue University

  • Master of Science in Communication
  • Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication Management

What is your highest level of education?

Southern New Hampshire University

  • MA in Communication: New Media & Marketing
  • MA in Communication
  • BA Graphic Design and Media Arts/ 3-D Modeling & Animation
  • BS Game Programming and Development

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado State University Global

  • BS - Communication

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American University

  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration

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