Department of Digital Arts and Computer Animation

Ateneo de Naga University is the only academic institution in the Philippines which offers a four-year animation baccalaureate degree: Bachelor of Science in Digital Illustration & Animation. Located in Naga City, Philippines, the University’s Department of Digital Arts & Computer Animation (DACA) was established in 2000 to offer a world class educational facility, driven by a steadfast commitment to provide an industry-based and pioneering curriculum in computer animation and digital arts. Its special mission is to promote the growth and development of the Philippine animation industry while contributing to the alleviation of poverty in the Bikol Region.

Since its inception, DACA has always aimed to nurture students and produce graduates who are equipped with superior knowledge & skill in CG and animation, thus ensuring them of employment in the country’s high profile animation companies and studios. The department’s highly selective admission process coupled with its intensive curriculum highlighted with multiple projects and deadlines essentially prepare the students with the real life work experience and critical project management skills necessary for them to succeed in the industry. Future career paths will lead them to the area of 3D animation, cartooning, digital illustration, graphic design, visual effects and motion graphics, digital media, game development, 3D imagery and visualization, and creative technologies. To enable the students to creatively explore their limitless imagination, DACA is very well resourced, offering some of the latest in hardware, software and technology that truly reflect industry standards. Aside from working at their individually assigned computers during lab hours, students may access these computers outside of scheduled classes upon reservation.

Animation courses are production-based. Classes are small and compressed into an active timetable of labs, tutorials and production schedules, providing students the opportunity to achieve the highest levels of knowledge and experience. To be successful, students must be totally committed to their studies as a student-centered instruction provides an excellent platform to prove individual capabilities under pressure and to demonstrate the ability to be self-motivated. Under expert tutelage, students study the entire 3D animation production pipeline. To prepare them in dealing with the rigor and intricacies of computer animation, various courses are taken early in. These include basic sketching, digital illustration, photography, digital image manipulation, typography, color theory, interface design, introduction to film video tools and technology, scriptwriting, production process and stop-motion animation, multimedia and programming, sound and music design, and web animation. By sophomore year, students are introduced to modeling, texturing, lighting, with special focus on character modeling. In junior year, they learn various animation techniques, character animation, facial animation, lip synchronization, inverse kinematics, morph targets, particles, dynamics, and advance rendering. Skills such as rigging, compositing, imaging and post-production effects are also taught. The senior year is dedicated to pipeline animation production where an assigned adviser guides each of the students in crating a 30-second ad, a comical animation clip and a full animation short. These outputs ad substance to the demo reel, which every graduate of the program is required to produce in preparation for employment.

DACA has established linkages with the country’s major computer animation studios, post-production houses, and broadcast industries. Topnotch representatives from these companies eventually from the industry panel, which scrutinizes and evaluates the final showreel of the graduating students. Currently, the graduates of the program are employed by companies responsible for the digital effects and animation of numerous local television shows, movies, product commercials, station and event IDs and many similar projects in the Philippines.