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Animated landscape of mountains
2023 Student Work Highlight ReelWatch the Video
Animation & Visual Effects

Students Working In The Motion Capture Lab

Realistic VFX still of milk and cookies in front of a Christmas tree

Brett Anderson
ANIMT280: Materials & Textures

Realistic VFX still of jars of marmalade

Gabrielle Harder
ANIMT280: Materials & Textures

Realistic VFX still of sunlit bedroom
Kate Euting
ANIMT280: Materials & Textures
Realistic VFX still of a Gameboy and Tetris cartridge
Richard Vo
ANIM145: Realtime Visualization
Naturalistic VFX still of a forest glade
Maria Osanova
ANIM240: Lighting & Surfacing
Animation still of robots rolling through clouds of flame
Animation & Visual Effects Student Work Still
VFX/animation still of a sunlit kitchen
Animation & Visual Effects Student Work Still
Drexel in Los Angeles

Animation & Visual Effects Major

Why Study Animation & Visual Effects?

Drexel Westphal’s Animation & Visual Effects (VFX) major gives students the technological, storytelling and design skills to succeed as animators and visual effects artists in the highly competitive entertainment and design worlds.

Animation and visual effects are no longer used only when creating big-budget theatrical films. Today, these production techniques are also widely utilized in medical research, engineering, television, web content, the performing arts, corporate communications, and higher education. The depth and complexity of this exciting field necessitates a rigorous course of study to best prepare students for the demands of careers in these cutting-edge disciplines. Alumni from the Animation program at Drexel have worked as animators and technical directors on major big and small screen projects like The Mandalorian, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Avengers: Infinity War, and Ready Player One. Others have applied their Animation & Visual Effects education to research in the fields of virtual reality, generative design, and real-time rendering solutions.

What Skills Will You Learn in an Undergraduate Animation Program?

Over the course of their education in the Animation & Visual Effects program at Drexel, students will pursue a foundation of design and technology by taking core courses in all aspects of digital media while delving into coursework covering many areas of specialization. Animation & VFX students will also complete a six month co-op—a full-time work experience in the field—during which they will learn the underlying principles of animation along with industry-standard software technology. The entire creative pipeline from storyboarding through modeling and animation is covered in-depth, allowing students to experience all aspects of production.

Through foundational and hands-on coursework, Animation students will learn such skills as:

  • Storyboarding
  • Scripting and storytelling
  • 3D modeling
  • Compositing
  • Rigging
  • Character Design
  • Motion Capture

Drexel Westphal’s undergraduate program in Animation & Visual Effects encourages creativity while teaching foundational and advanced technological skills, preparing well-rounded graduates to adapt to an ever-changing industry. Students in the Animation & VFX program work collaboratively, developing critical teamwork and leadership competencies that serve them well beyond their time at Drexel. These skills are further enriched by Drexel’s co-op program, which allows Animation students to build a professional network and an impressive resume prior to graduation.

Learn more about the Animation & Visual effects curriculum and see sample plans of study here.

Facilities for Animation & Visual Effects Majors

The Animation & Visual Effects program is based in the URBN Center, the creative center of the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. The URBN Center is designed for interdisciplinary collaboration, with an open floorplan, shared making spaces, and cutting-edge studios and labs.

Animation Capture & Effects Lab

The central creative facility for the Animation & Visual effects program is the Animation Capture & Effects Lab (ACE-Lab). In this 1200-sq-ft digital media studio, Animation students gain practical experience with the latest digital media technology, including:

  • 25x17ft green screen cyclorama
  • Studio lighting
  • HD/2k/4k camera systems
  • Camera dolly
  • Vicon Vantage motion capture system
  • Stereo-360 “VR Video” capture systems
  • Room-scale VR tracking systems
  • Immersive Projection Dome

Students in the Animation & VFX major also have access to screening rooms, computer labs featuring advanced graphics workstations, the Immersive Research Lab for virtual reality, augmented reality, and immersive media projects, and more.

To schedule a tour of the ACE-Lab and other Digital Media facilities, contact Westphal Admissions at 215.895.1738 or send an email to 

Animation & VFX Faculty

The Drexel Westphal Animation & Visual Effects program is led by accomplished faculty who have extensive experience and diverse backgrounds in the industries of media, technology, and entertainment.

Program Director Milady Bridges brings a wealth of industry experience as an animation and visual effects technical artist for films such as Jurassic Park 3D, Titanic 3D, The Avengers, andStar Trek Into Darkness and a national advertising portfolio for such clients as Mini Cooper, Mazda, Dollar Shave Club and Lexus. Assistant Professor Nick Jushchyshyn brings two decades of experience in animation and immersive media, working on major feature films such as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which won an academy award for Outstanding Visual Effects; his research focuses on application of production pipelines for VR/AR and other immersive media formats in areas including education, cultural heritage, medicine, and narrative experiences. Visit the faculty directory to learn more about the Animation & Visual Effects program’s distinguished instructors.

To learn more about Drexel's Animation & Visual Effects program, contact Westphal Admissions at 215.895.1738 or send an email to

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