Program Scope

The Animation Minor is open to all majors. The program is a production emphasis in creative storytelling, social issue documentary and artistic experimentation.

Using techniques like drawing, stop-motion, 2D/3D digital, and mixed media, students apply their research to short animated projects. Students gain a foundation in animation principles and methods applicable to fine art, creative, entertainment, industrial, scientific and humanities fields. The Animation Society welcomes all students to the club meetings. The Animation Society website.

Students can email club officers at:

Minor in Animation

Enrollment in the Animation Minor is limited and requires a portfolio review. Upper division standing students of any major can apply. Five animation courses totaling 15 units are required. Students must maintain a grade of “C” or better in the required animation classes. It takes two years to complete the animation minor. 

Program learning outcomes are as follows:

1.  Students will acquire basic skills in the critical analysis of films, focused by the analysis of representative film texts from a range of periods and cultures.

2.  Students will relate animation to the production, distribution and exhibition industries, to other arts, and to society.

3.  Students will identify contemporary technological, artistic and industrial trends in the animation and cinematic arts.

4.  Students will acquire the basic technical skills necessary for cinematic expression with animation.

5.  Students will locate voice in the creation of animation as a cinematic interdisciplinary art.


Animation Advisers

Students whose last name begins with:

Animation Portfolio Review

The portfolio review is online in spring semester (deadline April 20th). Students should meet with an animation adviser in fall and prepare their portfolios during their freshmen and sophomore years. Up to 14 students will be admitted after the spring portfolio review; they will receive permits to register for CINE 444, Animation 1. Others with strong portfolios will be wait listed. All students must upload their application materials (application, portfolio, unofficial transcripts) to SF State Box by April 20th.

Transfer Students Admitted After May

Transfer students admitted late to the university should upload their portfolio by August 15th. Only transfer student portfolios will be considered in August. Upon successful portfolio review, transfer students will get permits to enroll in Cine 444, Animation 1; students on the spring waitlist will receive permits in August if there are available seats.

Portfolio Guidelines

Portfolio Application (pdf)

Sample Portfolio (pdf)

Students should take a beginning drawing and a life drawing class before the review. Portfolios should include only student’s strongest work and be limited to 20 pages assembled as a digital pdf.

  • Required: 10-15 pages of human and animal life drawing, gestures & sequenced motion (not cartoons or doodles)
  • Each page should have several drawings (See sample portfolio)
  • Optional: 2-4 pages of color, design, painting, photography, sculpture or other art samples
  • Optional: Up to 2 animation or film samples (2 minute max each, include URL on application for online streaming submissions

How to Upload Your Portfolio Using an SF State Box Account

  • Download application and sample portfolio
  • Sign up for an SF State Box account
    - A Box at SF State individual account is created for all current faculty, staff, students, and community members the first time they access the service via the Web using their SF State ID and password.
    SF State Box Website
  • Make a folder for submission materials and submit the following:
    - portfolio
    - animation application
    - SF State unofficial transcript or DPR report
    -unofficial transcripts from other transfer schools (if applicable)
  • Share the folder with animation advisers Martha Gorzycki and Ben Ridgway
    - Locate the folder/file you wish to share and click once to see more options
    - Click the Share button
    - Select sharing type: Link
    - Set the link permission using the People in this folder dropdown
    - Copy the link and share, or
    - Enter email address(es) in the Email Address field to share immediately

Recommended Drawing Books

  • Force, Dynamic Life Drawing For Animators. Michael D. Mattesi. Focal Press, MA 2006
  • The Art of Animal Drawing. Ken Hultgren. Dover, NY 1993

Required Courses / 15 units total for the Minor (3 units each)

Enrollment in required animation courses requires a grade of C or better. It takes two years to complete the five required animation courses.

  • Cine 365 History of Animation (spring)
  • Cine 444 Animation 1 (fall)  Hands-on practice with animation principles using various techniques
  • Cine 445 Animation 2 (spring)  Sync-sound animation projects using various techniques
  • Cine 664 Animation 3 (fall)  Short animations exploring poetic design and creative storytelling
  • Cine 665 Animation 4 (spring)  Thesis short animation project

Optional Electives (3 units each)

  • Cine 440 Animation Pre-Production
  • Cine 443 Drawing for Animation
  • Cine 446 Stop Motion Animation
  • Cine 448 2D Digital Animation
  • Cine 651 Experimental Animation
  • Cine 652 Documentary Animation
  • Cine 660 3D Computer Animation I
  • Cine 661 3D Computer Animation II
  • Cine 667 Animation Professional Practice

Equipment Requirements & Recommendations

All animation production courses use computers and professional digital tools and software. Cinema computer labs have open access during specific hours M-F. The animation lab has digital tablets and stop-motion stations that are accessible to students enrolled in animation classes.

Tablet Recommendations for Animation 1

Pen Tablets

Laptop Recommendations

Use the Adobe After Effects system requirements as a benchmark guide for your computer specs - LINK


Laptop Software Recommendations