At Hench DADA, students explore every aspect of art in motion and learn why animation has become central to all modern digital media. The Division teaches courses in all facets of animation and digital arts. These include including classic character animation, 2-D and 3-D storytelling, performance capture, visual effects, motion graphics, stop-motion, experimental filmmaking, installations and multimedia, documentary animation, and visualizing scientific research. Students can explore collaborative projects with the interactive games division, production (live action) division, the Thornton School of Music, and the Kaufman School of Dance. But the most important work Hench DADA students do is develop their own artistic vision. Whether working with paper, clay or a computer, if you can imagine it, you can animate it, and USC is where it can happen.
Head of division becomes the first recipient of the John C. Hench Endowed Chair.
Animation student took top honors at the 2018 Student Academy Awards.
Student Academy Award Winner
Featured Student Work
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Animation was the first moving image art and laid the groundwork for the other cinematic arts. No surprise then that it remains one of the most innovative areas of practice, paving the way for some of the most cutting edge advancements in media creation. The Bachelor of Fine Arts offers a full overview of what's going on in Animation today. Students leave the program having honed their skills as artists and with an appreciation for the areas of the media industry that are most in need of the type of Animation they have chosen as a specialty. Areas of concentration might include character animation, experimental animation, visual effects, 3D computer animation, science visualization and interactive animation.
Masters in Fine Arts
The Master of Fine Arts degree in Animation + Digital Arts focuses on animation production while covering the field's wide range of techniques and aesthetic approaches. Hench DADA challenges graduate students to invent their own aesthetic. Although it embraces traditional forms, the program strongly encourages innovation and experimentation, and emphasizes imagination, creativity and critical thinking. Graduate students have their own mini studios within the Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Center for Animation where they work on thesis.
The minor in 3-D animation in cinematic arts offers an introduction to basic animation principles and history, as well as creative and skill-based instruction in 3-D computer animation. Through elective choices students may focus their studies on their specific area of interest, including visual effects, motion capture, virtual reality, modeling or character animation.
Animation + Digital Arts
The minor in animation is open to an USC student interested in learning about the theory and practice of animation, including its relationship to the history of art and cinema, creative writing and basic film production. It provides students with an opportunity to create both personal and collaborative work in a wide range of genres, from traditional character to contemporary experimental and computer animation. This includes painting, cel, stop motion, collage, mixed media, 2D and 3D computer animation software and interactive digital media. Successful completion of a final project is required.
Science visualization uses principles from animation to bring scientific data to life in revelatory ways. The minor in science visualization offers an introduction to science visualization methodology and practice focused in an area of relevant research. Students must undertake a capstone project the utilizes the skills and knowledge of the field, under the close supervision of faculty in both animation and science.
John C. Hench Division of Animation + Digital Arts
USC School of Cinematic Arts
930 W. 34th Street - SCB 210
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2211
Daphne Sigismondi (Assistant Director)
Elena Aquino - Administrative Coordinator