Animation and Digital Art

From traditional stop-motion photography and paper cutouts to entire worlds created within the computer, work in the areas of animation and digital art at Hampshire College is as varied as the school itself.

Hampshire uses a distinctive approach that combines individualized training with interdisciplinary collaboration between studio artists, animators, filmmakers, composers, and computer scientists.

Hampshire provides opportunities for students to develop their own voices as well as work on substantial team-based projects.

Our graduates emerge prepared to pursue careers as independent artists and/or as well-trained specialists in industry (Hampshire alums work at Pixar Animation Studios, Rhythm & Hues Studios, South Park, the Cartoon Network, and more).

Student Project Titles

  • WhoseSpace?: Issues of Empowerment and Control in Social Networking Communities
  • Challenging the Digital Generation: An Approach to Creating Critical Consumers Through Media Education
  • Virtual Power, Digital Bodies: Capital and Control in Cyberspace
  • Visceral Reality: New interfaces for the Digital Playground
  • Cyborgs, Posthumans, and New Techniques of Existence in the Age of Technoscience
  • Helga: The Filmmaker's Open-Source Toolset
  • Caught in the Net: Potential Sexual Offenders and the Regulation of Sexual Deviance
  • The Changing Self: Reflections on a Computer Mediated Existence

Sample First-Year Course

Women in Animation

This course is a general introduction to animated filmmaking with an emphasis on the creative contributions of women. Through readings, screenings, and discussions, students (regardless of gender) will explore the work of female animators, directors, painters, writers, and producers. These studies will inspire and inform production assignments in which students produce their own animations using both traditional and digital animation tools. No prior animation experience is expected in this first-year tutorial; ideal candidates will simply be curious about the art, history, and/or technology of the field.

Sample Courses at Hampshire

  • Animation Workshop
  • Art/Nature/Technology
  • Computer Animation I, II, and III
  • Computer Music I
  • Digital Art: Multimedia, Malleability and Interactivity
  • Digital Image Manipulation for Film and Video
  • Data Structures
  • Foundations of Digital Media
  • Intro to Media Arts in Film, Photo and Video: Cuba
  • Intro to Media Production: Media in Action
  • Math and the Other Arts
  • Media Studies 2.0: An Introduction to New Media
  • Mediaworks
  • New Media: Innovation, Adoption, Future
  • Ordering the World: From Gutenberg to Google
  • Pixelbending
  • Programming Artificial Life
  • Sequential Imagery I and II
  • Topics in Computer Graphics
  • Video II: New Media Convergence
  • What Computers Can't Do
  • Women in Animation

Through the Consortium

  • Cinema and New Media (AC)
  • Digital Art (MHC)
  • Digital Cultures (AC)
  • Digital Media: Printmaking (UMass)
  • Digital Sound and Music Production (SC)
  • Global Communication (UMass)
  • Interactive Digital Multimedia (SC)
  • Intro Media Arts and Technology (SC)

Facilities and Resources

Hampshire's campus is wired for wireless Internet and has an e-classroom, several computer labs, and media labs equipped with industry-standard software, facilities for computer animation and video editing, an electronic music recording studio, and a sound lab. Hampshire also has film-editing facilities, an imaging lab, and a photography studio.

Hampshire boasts six flat-bed film-editing machines, an optical printer, as well as Final Cut Pro digital editing suites, an Avid digital editing suite, and large-scale printers. In addition, Hampshire's Studio Arts building houses a third animation studio. A 42-node linux cluster is available as a render, composite, or compute farm.

Bit Films

Since 2002, Hampshire and Five-College students have benefited from the college's close relationship to independent production house Bit Films, which provides internship and mentoring opportunities for promising candidates. The short animated films produced through this connection have gone on to win dozens of awards from film festivals worldwide.