About Animation

Animation is the discipline of creating the illusion of movement on screen for entertainment or informational purposes and has applications in film, television, gaming and app design.

Narrative animation has a rich history dating back to the earliest days of motion pictures on film and continues today with modern digital tools.

The Digital Animation emphasis consists of two certificates: Digital Art Foundation and Digital Animation. The program combines the study of animation, art, graphics, narrative structure and storyboarding using tools and techniques for digital animation. This course of study provides students with the foundational skills for entry-level positions in digital animation and gaming or transfer to a four-year program.

Explore Potential Careers

Studying Animation can lead to a variety of different jobs or career paths. Below are just some of the many options you will have!

  • Animator
  • Storyboard artist
  • Character designer
  • Layout artist
  • Motion graphics artist

Program Options 

Click on the degree or certificate you're interested in earning to see a sample map of courses to take to complete your goal from start to finish. 

Please note that the course maps provided are just an example to help you get started. Please meet with a faculty member in the department to personalize the plan to you and your Academic goals. 

View Requirements in College Catalog

Semester 1

Course Number Course Title Units Notes
VMD 100 Orientation to Visual Media Design 1  

VMD 101


ART 125A

Design Fundamentals


Basic Design




Can substitute DSGN 101 or PHOT 100
VMD 105 Visual Media Digital Skills 3  

VMD 118


ART 126

Color in Design






Advise: VMD 101, VMD 105

Total Units: 10 

Semester 2

Course Number Course Title Units Notes
VMD 112 Design Drawing Techniques 1.5 Advise: VMD 101 or DSGN 101 or PHOTO 100
VMD 150 Illustrator I 3 Prerequisite: VMD 105
VMD 154 Photoshop I 3 Prerequisite: VMD 105
ART 130 Basic Drawing 3 Advise: ART 125A

Total Units: 10.5

Overall Total Units: 20.5 

View Requirements in College Catalog

Semester 1

Completion of the Digital Art Foundation Certificate Required
Course Number Course Title Units Notes
VMD 162A 2D Animation I 3 Prerequisites: VMD 101, VMD 105
VMD 166 Storytelling/Storyboarding 1 Prerequisites: VMD 101, VMD 105

ART 130B


ART 132A

Intermediate Drawing


Intermediate Figure Drawing




Prerequisite: ART 130A


Prerequisite: ART 132A

VMD 168


ART 136A

Visual Development for Animation


Introduction to Illustration




Prerequisites: VMD 105, ART 130A


Advise: ART 125A, ART 130A

Total Units: 10

Semester 2

Course Number Course Title Units Notes
VMD 162B 2D Animation II 3 Prerequisite: VMD 162A
VMD 190 Portfolio Preparation 3 Prerequisites: VMD 101, VMD 105

VMD 194A

VMD 194B

Internship/Work Experience

1 and/or


Completion of Digital Design Foundation Certificate; Concurrent enrollment in 7 units

Total Units: 7 - 8

Overall Total Units: 17 - 18

Transfer Options

The program coursework you complete at City College will satisfy lower-division requirements for related majors at several colleges and universities. Start planning your transfer by exploring Animation programs at the following institutions: 

  • San Jose State University
  • Cal State Fullerton
  • California College of the Arts

Have questions about transfer? Visit the Transfer Center for help, transfer information, and/or to speak with college representatives.