Bob Jones University’s cinema department will host an open house April 1 from 5-7 p.m. in the Cinematic Arts Center, located between Rodeheaver Auditorium and the parking garage, to exhibit their facilities and promote their animation classes.
According to Sharyn Robertson, the head of the cinema department, the animation open house will be a drop-in event.
Refreshments will be provided, and Dave Rogers, the primary animation instructor, will give a brief talk at 6 p.m.“They can come any time they want,” Robertson said. “But if they really want to hear directly from [Rogers] right then, six o’clock is a great time to come.”
Rogers said he wants to raise awareness of the animation classes at BJU. “The animation open house is primarily geared toward students on campus who are unaware that we teach animation,” Rogers said. According to Rogers, students will have a hands-on experience at the open house.
Rogers said students of different majors have taken animation courses in the past, including cinema production, graphic design and computer science majors. He also said knowledge of 3D animation is important for those interested in video game design.
While the open house is intended primarily for current students, Rogers welcomes pre-college students who are interested in the animation process.
Student feedback will impact what the courses will cover in the future. “If we can get enough interest and enough students taking animation, then we can steer the animation a lot to what they would like to have,” Rogers said.
BJU offers five animation classes: Ci 314 The Art of Animation—2D, Ci 315 Animation Production, Ci 316 Motion Graphic Design & Digital Effects, Ci 415 3D Computer Modeling and Ci 416 3D Computer Animation. Only Ci 315 has a prerequisite.
“There’s usually a misconception that you have to take cinema classes in order to take an animation class, which is not the case,” Robertson said.
Robertson suggests animation classes because of their differences from regular classes. “It’s not book heavy,” Robertson said. “This is a hands-on class. It’s a lot of fun.”
Robertson suggests the classes for those interested in drawing, Pixar animation or gaming. “You need to take these animation classes to help further that [gaming] career if that’s what you’re looking to,” Robertson said.
Robertson said Rogers could help those who cannot draw to create animated sequences. “For the 2D animation, you don’t have to be the best drawers,” Robertson said.
The University’s animation department began in the mid-1970s after Bill Sturm, a former animator who worked on Popeye and Disney cartoons, approached Katherine Stenholm, director of Unusual Films, about doing animation at BJU.
Since then, Bob Jones University has used animation in promotional materials and for the 30-minute short children’s film, “The Golden Rom,” which won an International Christian Visual Media Gold Crown Award.
“We have a state-of-the-art program,” Rogers said. “It’s full-fledged animation.”