Q&A with Our Online Animation Degree Program Director

Animation Online

Q&A with Kenneth Norman Online Program Director of Animation at The L.A. Film School

The online animation degree is a sought-after program at The Los Angeles Film School due to its remote flexibility and in-depth course offerings. Our online program director Kenneth Norman recently did a Q&A with Animation Magazine about the online animation degree. If you are interested in learning more about the animation program, keep reading to get a better idea about the animation degree and student support that we offer.

Can you tell us a little bit about the animation program at The L.A. Film School?

The online Animation Bachelor of Science Degree consists of three concentrations focusing on computer-generated imagery departments within the animation industry for film and games. The concentrations are Character Animation, Environment and Character Design, and Visual Effects. The length of the concentrations is 36 months long, but each concentration shares the first 19 months to learn the foundational knowledge along with the production pipeline used in the animation industry. The second half of the degree takes a deeper dive into a particular section of the animation pipeline, allowing students to develop their skill set in an area they want to focus on.

What makes this program stand out from other schools?

A couple of unique things about our online Animation degree are that our staff consists of individuals who have worked in the animation industry for a minimum of 4 years. Our curriculum is designed based on pipelines used in the industry. The way our program is designed is another unique thing about the animation degree. We teach a flipped curriculum at the beginning of the program with an emphasis on the final output. We focus on camera, composition, and render using production assets at the beginning.  The goal is to build confidence, give students a stronger expectation of what quality assets should be produced, and demonstrate that they can create a high-quality production asset.

Story-Driven Animation, Crowd Animation, Visual Effects for Games and Film, and Character Creation are among our students’ most popular courses in our animation degree program. Students love creating their own personal vision for their characters, visual effects, and to be able to bring to life their own stories in those courses.

Online Animation

What is the best advice you can give those who are applying to the program?

Your health should always come first.

Trying to learn something new without a healthy lifestyle can significantly impact your concentration and brain. Your body needs food, nourishment, and sleep to absorb things properly.

The key to learning is to communicate properly and be open-minded.

Most students come from a standardized learning background where they complete a project, accept the grade, and don’t follow up on what they could have done better. They should think of college as more of a mentorship and push to understand the relevance behind what they are learning. and how it aids them in their personal goals.  

Find an organizational and time management paradigm that works for you.

I would suggest setting a particular time and place to work in your home. Understand you’re not perfect, and we all slip up.  Learn from it and course correct and rebalance your time.

Remember every school event and people you meet is an opportunity.

Surrounding yourself with people who have similar interests will keep your motivation, engagement high and they could be a help to you after graduation.

Get to know your instructors and faculty, they are the subject matter experts.

The instructors have worked in the industry and know the reason behind what you’re learning. That wisdom will take you further than just having the knowledge of what the tool does. 

Enjoy and embrace the artistic growth process. 

Getting feedback sometimes can be perceived as mentally frustrating or discouraging. Keep your focus and remember feedback is to make you a better artist and get you closer to your goal.

What kind of career placement opportunities do you offer students/graduates?

The Los Angeles Film School has a Career Development department that provides assistance and resources that support students and graduates as they navigate creating and sustaining a successful career. The Career Development Department works in conjunction with students’ education curricula to prepare them with interpersonal and professional skills, support their vocational goals, and help to bridge the gap between academia and the workplace.

What is your take on the employment picture for recent graduates?

I believe the job market is good and our growing list of graduates are leaving the school with the skill sets needed to be successful in an entry-level role in their field of study. We start aiding our graduates months before graduation to help them work on the portfolio and the soft skills needed to apply for a job. We are very proud of our graduates and their portfolios and will always support them even after they leave the school.

Thank you, Ken Norman!