Faculty of manga Animation Course

Animation Course

“Motion” surprising the world — as taught only here

Characters start moving vividly in the world you create. The story exhilarates and enchants viewers. If you love animation, you must have had this dream. To make it come true, the Animation Course teaches the most important element in animation: “motion.”

The basis of animation is “motion.” Detailed movements animate characters and enrich the worldview presented by the story. For example, the way a character turns round reveals that character’s personality and emotions.

Students first realize the importance of motion and then acquire methods and technique to express it. They simultaneously develop their ability to draw people and scenery in detail. Furthermore, polishing their abilities to employ the latest digital tools, students gain expertise in diverse specialized aspects of animation, such as planning, directing, filming, and using sound effects.

With the ability to express “motion” and other specific skills in hand, students create animations that can surprise the world while pursuing the essence of animation.

Four Years in the Animation Course

  • 1st Year

    Can you communicate emotion through ○△□?

    Japanese animation has become the focus of attention all around the world. In order for students to create inspiring animation for the next generation, they need to understand animation’s distinct characteristics. SEIKA aims to furnish students with the abilities to draw and create motion, helping them to pursue animation over four years of study.

    In the first year, students acquire foundational skills in drawing pictures, such as sketching, layout, and color composition. Without these basic abilities, you cannot animate pictures. Students first play around with simple diagrams to understand how to make motion. Through changing speed as well as trajectories, students realize they can express different emotions, feelings, and thoughts through motion. They also learn computer graphic techniques, indispensable for today’s animation.

    What you learn during the first year might well be different from the fun animation you are used to watching, in which the characters move around freely. But it is important to shift your way of thinking from that of a viewer to that of a creator, and this training is the first step towards becoming a professional, capable of animating any type of picture, including video games, TV commercials, and online media.

    1st year
    1st Year Goals
    Acquiring drawing ability, the fundamentals of animation, and learning the foundation of “making motion.”
  • 2nd Year

    Learning in state-of-the-art facilities and environments

    Based on the foundational skills acquired in their first year, students now go on to learn animation more deeply and broadly. In classes teaching hand-drawing skills, students advance their drawing skills in expressing motion, as well as techniques in sketching background pictures in order to have the skills to individually create short animations. By viewing folk performances from different countries, such as Japanese Noh (classical drama) and Ningyo Joruri (puppet theater), pantomime, and Flamenco, and experiencing the differences of region and culture, students deepen their awareness of what “motion” is.

    The classes on sound, a vital element in animation, also start from the second year. SEIKA is equipped with leading sound facilities, allowing students to study the foundations of recording technique, as well as sound production, such as background music, sound effects, and voice-over. The Stop Motion Animation class teaches students how to create characters with clay and record their movements through a year-long program.

    In their second year students develop their skills and enhance a range of creative techniques to flex their unique individuality.

    2nd year
    2nd Year Goals
    Utilizing drawing ability and foundational “motion-making,” and acquiring applied abilities to create sound and background art for rich animation.
  • 3rd Year

    Shaping imagination into form, starting on full-scale production

    Using both foundational abilities and skills in application, students start tackling full-scale animation production projects. Through learning how to plan a project as well as how to draw a storyboard, students once again question themselves about why they want to create an animation and what type of work they want to create. In order for students to shape their ideas, it is vital to spend time thinking about the essentials of animation.

    Attaining expert knowledge and practicing techniques for modeling with 3DCG software and sound production, and even trying their hand at making a live-action film, students train to acquire the comprehensive range of abilities necessary for being an animator.

    From second semester, students start preparing for the graduation projects in their fourth year. Since in real production work, a team of artists creates an animation by working together to coordinate drawing, computer graphics, and sound, many students here also work on graduation projects as a group. For that reason the course offers many classes during the third year that allow students to plan projects and produce them as a group.

    3rd year
    3rd Year Goals
    Consolidating the foundational abilities and skills in application acquired over the first two years, and establishing an individual creative style.
  • 4th Year

    Create animation and capture the attention of the world

    Based on the project plan and storyboard developed up to their third year, in this year students begin work on their graduation projects while having a series of meetings with professors, leading professionals in the animation industry.

    Creating a long-term project requires students to successfully manage their personal schedules. Working together on group projects, they learn how to assign different tasks and to communicate effectively, both skills necessary for entering professional environments.

    The importance of sound in animation means it is also a vital part of graduation projects. SEIKA’s sound studio is a professional-level facility, with a 5.1ch surrounding sound system, where dubbing sessions with professional voice actors are recorded.

    Graduation projects vary from hand-drawn animation to full 3D computer graphic works, and stop motion animation. Every year graduation projects are highly acclaimed by a range of institutions, including listing in the New Face Award category at the Japan Media Arts Festival. Graduation projects are a culmination of four years of work and also represent students’ first step onto the professional stage.

    4th year
    4th Year Goals
    With an eye on the world, creating “the best animation” as a culmination of four years of work.

Career paths after graduating from the Animation Course

The Animation program is highly regarded and animations produced by students while still at SEIKA have won numerous awards. Students learn the abilities to express the emotions and personalities of characters through motion, and to shape ideas and themes, all under the tutelage of leading professionals who have contributed to the history of Japanese animation. Furnished with drawing skills, and techniques in computer graphics and sound, students head out into the world as creators of consummate entertainment.

Career choices

  • Animators creating original works
  • Video game designer with strong drawing skills
  • Videographer for a film production company
  • Digital content designer for computer graphics

Other career options

  • Event manager
  • Art educator
  • Manga artist
  • Advertising producer
  • Character designer
  • Assistant manga artist etc.