Lenora St. Blog

Kinetic, Keyframe or Motion: It’s All Storytelling

This blog entry comes from a series coming directly from Cornish Design writing about how they teach within their field, what’s different about Cornish Design, and more.

Animation at Cornish

by Tiffany De Mott, Cornish Design faculty

Recently, I’ve been thinking about why I love teaching in the Design program here at Cornish. I think that what we value here sets us apart—both intellectually and conceptually—from other schools. We understand the value of teaching industry-standard software, but some schools stop there. For us, that’s just the beginning of the journey. Our students continue on—focusing on concepting, on negotiating the inevitable changes that come with opportunities, and most important, honing their ability to learn how to learn. With hardware and software changing all the time, we believe that a student’s confidence in their ability to learn, their confidence in knowing how to pivot and change, comes from their confidence in their knowledge of underlying principles and concepts.

I’m the faculty lead for animation here at Cornish. Animation is 2D, it is 3D, it is interactive. It is kinetic comics, it is cel, it is keyframe, it is motion design, it is everything moving—and we teach all of that, holistically. But deep down, the student is learning the principles and concepts of storytelling. And in their future work, no matter what techniques emerge, they will still be telling stories, and will know how to do so.

Our animation program mixes traditional animation, film, and interactive narrative. While many other programs focus on just one “language” of the art, at Cornish, we believe that the strongest kind of student is one who can learn to speak all of the languages. (And they’re all so wonderful!) While a student may want to focus primarily on cel animation, they also learn an array of other tools, from stop motion to AfterEffects. When they leave here, they have the ability to glide between job descriptions, entrepreneurship, and studios—landing in the place that feeds their soul, and feels like a fit.

Associate Professor Tiffany Laine De Mott is the faculty lead for animation at Cornish. She is a multimedia artist who approaches each of her projects with inquiry into the relationship between form and function.

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