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BMCC Launches New Animation and Motion Graphics Major

June 29, 2015

The Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) will debut its new Animation and Motion Graphics major in Fall 2015 as part of a newly expanded BMCC Media Arts and Technology Department.

The new program will provide students with the fundamentals of two- and three-dimensional animation, motion graphics and special effects,” said Cynthia Karasek, Professor of Animation and Motion Graphics.

Graduates of the new BMCC program will earn an Associate in Science degree. Those who choose to further their education can either take advantage of an agreement between BMCC and Lehman College (CUNY) that gives transfer students 60 credits toward a 120-credit bachelor of fine arts degree in animation, or they can move on to other senior colleges.

Karasek embraced computer graphics when it was in its infancy back in 1983. In the years since, she has grown her skills by designing graphics for television, communications and her own multimedia projects.

Karasek’s own animated artwork, which combines computer-generated imagery, video and sculpture is represented by A.I.R. Gallery and has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Good News for New York Animation Majors

“Animation is everywhere. It is cheaper to produce and more ubiquitous than ever,” said Karasek.

Multimedia artists and animators create material for television, movies, video games, and other forms of media according to The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Nationwide, the government agency says job growth in the animation and motion graphics field should remain slow but steady through 2024. However, that growth will be faster in some states, including New York, which ranks second behind California in its concentration of working animators. Median pay for multimedia artists and animators was more than $61,000 annually in 2012 according to BLS.

And the demand for qualified animators and motion graphic artists extends beyond entertainment.

“Animation is also now available in advertising and educational applications and in all kinds of places. Years ago, it would have been too expensive when it wasn’t digitized,” said Karasek.

From biology to chemistry, there is hardly an educational tutorial that does not incorporate animation, she says. “Even random how-to-websites, such as how to tie a Windsor knot,” incorporate animated applications, said Karasek.

BMCC animation majors will create an original short narrative animation in the introduction to 2D animations course. They will write their own scripts, develop their own characters and create storyboards that show scenes and camera motion shots.

Exploding field

Students will also learn compositing to create special effects such as explosions. Karasek says it is one of the most highly desirable job skills in the field, calling it the “bread and butter of the business.

Compositing entails the combining of visual elements from separate sources into single images. The skill is often used to create the illusion that all those elements are parts of the same scene or moving image.

“This is one of the most important parts of the program, said Karasek. The skill is taught by using a composite from a section of video that shows a man walking past a car. An hour later, we have that car exploding behind him.”

Karasek said highly motivated students who do well in the associate animation program could likely get an entry-level job in the field. Or they can use the A.S. degree as the first two years of a four-year program.

“Essentially, we’ll guide them through the workflow experience of a professional animator.”

Contact information

Students who are interested in finding out more about the program can contact the BMCC Media Arts and Technology Department;

Media Arts and Technology Department
199 Chamber Street, S622
New York, NY 10007
212 346 8525



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  • New major debuts Fall 2015
  • Students can transfer 60 credits to Lehman College
  • BMCC will teach compositing,one of most highly desired skills in animation

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