About Digital Art
Learn to give form to ideas while making use of multimedia.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Studio Art and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Studio Art digital art concentrations nurture creative insight, theoretical grounding, and practical expertise. LSU also offers a Master in Digital Media Arts & Engineering and two DMAE minors: the arts-oriented DMART and the technology-oriented DMAET.
Digital technology is an essential part of the creative process. Over the past 50 years, digital technology has transformed the disciplines of painting, drawing, sculpture, and music/sound art, and groundbreaking multimedia artists are working across traditional disciplines and using digital technology to create interactive installations, virtual realities, and more.
At LSU, we teach the expressive potential of hybridized technologies and democratized tools to engage with diverse audiences. We emphasize emergent forms, and student work may manifest through integrated media including animation, games, visual effects, networked art, robotics, physical computing, printed matter, performance, public intervention, audio composition, installation, and digital fabrication, among limitless combinations.
Animation Career Review named LSU’s animation program in the top 25 best public university or college animation programs in the nation!
While studying digital art at LSU, Madeline Kornman interned at Incendii VFX in New Orleans, where she worked on the Academy Award–winning film Selma.
For her digital art thesis exhibition, Haley Hatfield experimented with 360-degree video and virtual reality to document real-life experiences.
Students pursuing the Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art with a digital art concentration refine their skills in classes that provide an integrated understanding of creative practice across 3D modeling, animation, digital sculpting, digital painting, visual effects (VFX), games, and experimental new media art. Through advanced coursework in these topics, in addition to analyzing the history and theory of digital media, the BFA nurtures a holistic understanding to the medium. See the digital art curriculum guide and digital art expanded course descriptions page for more information about available courses and approved electives. Students are also encouraged to consider a minor from the LSU Screen Arts program or Digital Media Arts & Engineering (DMAE), both collaborative endeavors with multiple campus units at LSU.
The bachelor of arts (BA) is a liberal arts degree that allows students to craft their own sequence of courses in the School of Art. It provides the curricular freedom to compliment digital art courses with a required minor, second major, or approved course of study. Students interested in topics such as animation, VFX, games, or new media art should find a sequence of digital art classes in one of these areas to ensure they meet the prerequisites necessary to enroll in upper level classes. Other programs at LSU, such as electronic music, computer science, architecture, mass communications, screen arts, or film & TV, provide unique opportunities to create a hybridized learning experience through the BA.
See the digital art curriculum guide for more information about available courses and approved electives. The BA may be especially appealing if you are interested in pursuing a second bachelor’s degree or are transferring from another school.
Futures in Digital Art
Upon graduating with a strong artistic, technical, and conceptual skill set, students will confidently pursue studies in graduate school or launch careers as independent artists or commercial practitioners in roles such as animator, modeler, character designer, environment artist, texture artist, concept artist, storyboard artist, lighting artist, compositor, roto artist, level designer, gameplay designer, motion graphics artist, creative technologist, experience designer, in addition to paths yet to be defined by emerging forms for creative expression.
The digital art MFA curriculum is comprehensive, experimental, and flexible. Converging practices in interactivity, lens-based media, and virtual spaces are central to our program, as are balancing individual explorations with team-based collaborations. Our curriculum facilitates discourse within the context of social practice, history, theory, and contemporary society. While digital art MFA students focus on computational art making, they also have access to the rich offering of courses across the School of Art, including interdisciplinary seminars in sculpture, painting, printmaking, art history, ceramics, and graphic design. The curriculum also allows students to expand beyond the School of Art by integrating coursework from other university areas such as computer science, electronic music, performance studies, and film. Above all, we foster nimble artists ready to shape a future of art, cultural, and technological progress.
The Master in Digital Media Arts & Engineering (DMAE) is an interdisciplinary program involving the College of Art & Design and the College of Engineering. DMAE is both an undergraduate minor and an intensive, two-year master’s degree that employs a practice-driven approach to produce polished outcomes designed to meet industry needs. The courses explore cutting-edge developments in video games, visual effects, and animation. While the DMAE is separate from the MFA, given its focus on commercial art, there is still a close connection between the departments and significant overlap between the faculty and facilities, and we encourage DMAE students to take MFA classes and vice versa. Visit dmae.lsu.edu for more information.
Digital Art Faculty
Our faculty draw from many backgrounds to support multidisciplinary digital media creation and are devoted to fostering intellectually driven artists and communicators.
Jesse Allison, Associate Professor of Experimental Music & Digital Media
Randy Dannenberg, Instructor, Center for Computation & Technology
Beyond the Studio
Seated at the flagship research university in Louisiana, our program encourages collaborations with faculty in areas from the sciences to the humanities as well as cutting-edge industry creators. We support our students in pursuing opportunities throughout the university and the broader community. The Center for Computation & Technology has established a multidisciplinary research and creative focus on the intersections between the arts, technology, and the computations sciences.
The Digital Art and Design Association (DADA) and LSU ACM SIGGRAPH student chapter serve as creative laboratories for making original content, hosting events, and connecting digital media professionals in the community.
Visiting artists and lecturers provide further opportunities for students to extend their creative interests and to establish connections with artists from a variety of disciplines.
The high ground above the Mississippi River is an environment where landscape, climate, history, and culture allow for a lifestyle that is uniquely suited to the artistic temperament.
Digital art occupies offices, classrooms, and studio spaces in the Art and Design buildings. Digital art students have access to a state-of-the-art 4K or Ultra HD theater via the Digital Media Center, a 100,000-square-foot building that is home to Electronic Arts and the Center for Computation & Technology. More digital art facilities include a media research studio; computer labs; a motion capture, virtual reality, and lighting studio; a private editing suite; and a range of digital fabrication tools including 3D printers and laser cutters. A variety of render farm and compute resources are available for digital art students, as well as video production equipment and professional quality software. A variety of digital art resources are available.
Students have access to a traditional woodworking shop; digital fabrication, photography, and lighting equipment; large-format printers and scanners; an arboretum; a foundry; a motion-capture studio; high-end workstations; and more.
The School of Art hosts exhibitions throughout the year at its on- and off-campus galleries. Students have abundant opportunities to see and experience innovative work from a wide range of perspectives and social themes.
Renovations to the Studio Arts Building are underway. The building is the gateway to the historic part of campus and will promote arts to the community and provide state-of-the-art facilities and studios for students.
Students currently enrolled in the Digital Art MFA or BFA program may access the Digital Art Community Moodle to access additional student resources tailored to our students. Information on the site includes render farm instructions, mailing lists, license servers, software guides, equipment procedures for the motion capture studio and VR Lab, file server access information, and more.