Experimental Animation (in person) | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Experimental Animation (in person)

This course is designed to expand the boundaries of traditional animation, encourage students to broaden their visual vocabulary, and to encourage a playful and exploratory approach to time-based media making. Open to students 16 and above. 

Guided by the instructor, students learn a brief history of experimental animation in order to discuss, analyze, and place themselves in the context of the medium. Each student develops a basic concept, thesis, or message to explore visually through animation. Students choose materials to support this thesis and begin production. With the instructor, students bolster their knowledge of compositing tools and use Adobe AfterEffects to craft their final project. Once the projects have been completed, the instructor offers resources they can explore to continue their work (film festivals, local screenings, networking events). Walk away with a finished experimental animation, knowledge about the history of animation, and a better understanding of exploratory art making. / Students will have access to Adobe Creative Cloud software throughout the course.

Open to students ages 16 and above. View complete policies.

MCAD requires, with limited exceptions, all students, faculty, and staff who work or study on campus to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This includes a booster shot if eligible. We will also require that all students, faculty, staff, and visitors wear a high quality mask (such as an N95, KN95, or 3-ply surgical mask) indoors. This mandate is subject to change and includes all individuals regardless of vaccination status. Please see MCAD’s Covid policies for more information. Students will be asked to submit proof of vaccination before the first class meeting. Students must complete this proof of vaccination form. If proof of vaccination is not received before the first class meeting, you will be automatically dropped from the class.


Previous experience with Adobe AfterEffects OR other compositing software (i.e. Adobe Premiere, DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro) is required. Students should have a basic knowledge of navigating a timeline, editing (and related vocabulary), transform tools (position, rotation, opacity, etc), and effects library.

Required materials


A computer, tablet, or smartphone with internet access, a camera, and microphone for class meetings and to capture and upload work.


Adobe Creative Cloud (provided by MCAD).


  • pen or pencil
  • notebook or sketchbook
  • USB drive or cloud storage option for saving work
  • phone camera with storage available.

The supplies you purchase will be dependent on the materials you want to work with. Some common supplies that people use to build experimental animation assets are:

  • paper
  • graphite/charcoal
  • watercolor/acrylic
  • clay
  • fiber
  • collage materials
  • sand
  • found materials

NOTE: if you want to animate with paper and pencil, you must purchase a light table, a peg bar, and animation-hole-punched paper (a light table can be found on Amazon for around $30, and the paper that is hole-punched for an animation peg bar can be found at MCAD's Art Cellar).

If you want to animate digitally, you will need to bring a drawing tablet or an iPad with a stylus. Supplies will be discussed during the first class meeting.

Class resources

This class uses Adobe Creative Cloud, Canvas (MCAD’s learning management system), and Papercut (MCAD’s print management system). Please see links for more information.

Registration deadline

July 8

If the minimum enrollment is not met by the deadline above, the class will be canceled on this date. Registration will remain open after this date if the minimum enrollment has been met.

Class savings

Register on or before May 16 and save $25.

Register for more than one class at a time and receive $25 off each additional class (same-day registrations only).

Additional savings. Are you eligible?


Contact MCAD Continuing Education at continuing_education@mcad.edu or call 612.874.3765.


Non-credit Tuition
Student Birthdate
  • Date:
  • Time:
    6:30–9:30 p.m. (Central Time)
  • Day(s) of the week:
  • Ages:
    Open to students ages 16 and above.
  • Term:
    Summer 2022
  • Instructor: Merit Thursday
  • Location:
    In Person
  • SKU:
    CSMA 9615 01 SU22


See below