• Visiting Artist Kika Nicolela

  • Visiting Artist Paul Catanese

B.S. in Kinetic Imaging with an Emphasis in Animation

Kinetic Imaging at Western Michigan University’s Gwen Frostic School of Art is a Bachelor of Science Degree with tracks in Animation, Game Art, and Video Art. The Kinetic Imaging core includes coursework in illustration, AR/VR, coding, 3D modeling, world building, sound art, installation, and performance art.  

The Animation track focuses on traditional and contemporary animation techniques, tools, and approaches through the use of hand drawing, stop motion, 3-D modeling, texturing, lighting, and rendering. Emphasis is placed on problem-solving, conceptual development, and effective communication towards the creation of a portfolio. It provides students with an opportunity to engage in creative thinking and learn more about storytelling and motion graphics, while developing their understanding of how animation impacts our culture and society.  
Kinetic Imaging prepares students for professional practice as multimedia artists by creating a multitude of contemporary approaches through a flexible curriculum. The program is a four-year course of study that emphasizes critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and experimentation, as well as the creative use and mis-use of technology. At critical points in the curriculum, the KI program intersects with the Multimedia Art Technology (MAT) program in the School of Music. By studying media history, theory, technique, methodologies, and related technology, students will accumulate a wide range of experiences and skills applicable to a diverse set of artistic endeavors and media-focused careers.  



Video of Recode Screendance - Motion Capture, Animation, Video & Realtime Rendering

An interdisciplinary work created by staff and faculty of the College of Fine Arts "Recode Screendance" explores dualistic identities as they exist during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through film and motion capture, this work utilizes dance to explore how information can be lost, glitched, or broken down through the current modes of communication, therefore transforming how humans are interacting with each other and themselves. 

The work was largely constructed in the Unity Game Engine, where its real-time rendering allowed the creative team to iterate through many ideas and dynamically make changes without waiting to render content. Other important tools include Optitrack Motive, Adobe After Effects, Blender and Maxon ZBrush. Learning to combine workflows, tools, and production methods from a variety of content creation mediums is a crucial skill for the contemporary artists using technology.

Visiting Artists 

The mission of Frostic School of Art’s Visiting Artist program is tri-fold: to provide students direct, meaningful contact with working artists, both established and emerging; to elevate the regional, national, and international profile of the Frostic School of Art and Richmond Center for Visual Arts; and to nurture a sense of community among students, faculty and staff within WMU’s College of Fine Arts. Recent visiting artists and scholars that supported the kinetic imaging curriculum include; Justin Lincoln, Lev Manovich, Kika NicolelaLaleh Mehran, Chris Coleman, Robin O'Neil, Paul Catanese, and Naomi van Niekerk


Basic Studies - 12 credits 

  • ART 1040 Object Drawing  
  • ART 1070 Form and Surface   
  • ART 1080 Form and Space ​  
  • ART 1090 Time and Process ​  

Art History - 3 credits

Select at least one of the following

  • ART 2200 Caves to Cathedrals ​
  • ART 2210 Modern and Postmodern ​   
  • ART 2220 Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas ​  
  • ART 2230 Introduction to Asian Art History ​  

Kinetic Imaging Core - 18 credits

  • CFA 2000 Coding Lab (repeatable for credit) 
  • MUS 2240 Electronic Music Techniques ​  
  • ART 2290 Digital Video Concepts ​
  • ART 2690 Illustration I ​
  • ART 3780 Media and Culture ​  
  • CFA 4000 Experimental Lab (repeatable for credit) 
  • ART 4800 Topics in Kinetic Imaging (repeatable for credit) 

Non-Digital Studio Art - 6 credits

Select at least two of the following

  • ART 2160 Black and White Photography I ​  
  • ART 2300 Ceramics I ​  
  • ART 2310 Sculpture I ​  
  • ART 2380 Metals & Jewelry I ​  
  • ART 2400 Painting I ​  
  • ART 2800 Printmedia I ​  

Kinetic Imaging Concentrations - 9 credits

Select at least one of the following: 

  • ART 2840 Animation I ​  
  • ART 3840 Animation II ​  
  • ART 3180 Topics in Animation (repeatable for credit) 


Game Art   
  • ART 2970 Game Art I ​  
  • ART 3970 Game Art II ​  
  • ART 3190 Topics in Game Art (repeatable for credit) 


Video Art  
  • ART 2750 Video Art I ​  
  • ART 3750 Video Art II ​  
  • ART 3170 Topics in Video Art (repeatable for credit) 

Kinetic Imaging Capstone - 6 credits

  • ART 4810 Projects in Kinetic Imaging I ​  
  • ART 4820 Projects in Kinetic Imaging II ​  


  • Kinetic Imaging Major—54 credits
  • Western Essential Studies —37 credits
  • Electives —31 credits 
  • Total Credit Hours—122 credits

Students should consult the WMU catalog for the kinetic imaging program course descriptions and requirements.



Kevin Abbott

Jacklyn Brickman

Adriane Little

Paul Sizer

Eric Souther

Yuanliang Sun