Welcome to the Animation, Capture & Visual Effects Lab at Drexel University

Animation / Visual Effects / Immersive Media / VR / AR / Motion Capture

Drexel University’s Animation, Capture and Effects Lab (aka The ACE-Lab) is home to the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design’s programs in digital Animation, Visual Effects, and immersive media including VR, AR and other interactive experiences. Drexel offers both Graduate and Undergraduate degree programs to students interested in pursuing Animation & Visual Effects careers.

Bachelor of Science in Animation & Visual Effects

The Undergraduate Major in Animation & Visual Effects provides students with the technological, story-telling and design skills to succeed as animators and visual effects artists in the highly competitive entertainment and design industries. Our students prepare for the demands of careers in these cutting-edge disciplines by pursuing core courses in both artistic and technology based theory and skills, completing a six month co-op, and delving into rigorous coursework in selected areas of specialization. Students learn the underlying principles of animation hand-in-hand with the latest, industry-standard software and hardware technologies.

Bachelor of Science in VR & Immersive Media

The Virtual Reality & Immersive Media major provides students with in-depth learning experiences, thorough instruction, and an understanding of the full pipeline of theories, technologies, techniques, and skills employed in designing and producing immersive media content. Students learn universal principles of storytelling, animation and design and effective ways to leverage them with the latest technologies including 3D modeling, ray-traced rendering, use of interactive game engines while using the latest hardware and software for VR, AR, Motion Capture, Projection and other technologies that are enabling the rapid growth of the Immersive Media’s industry.

Master of Science in Digital Media

The MS in Digital Media is a hybrid course of study created to offer students research and career opportunities in 21st century media applications. This two-year program offers comprehensive studies in advanced digital design, including 3D modeling, animation, interactivity, gaming and digital media history, theory and methods. The curriculum for the Master of Science in Digital Media offers a mix of academic course work and project-related activities including funded grant research opportunities, industry-sponsored projects and independent, student-generated projects.



Our programs are built on a foundation of traditional strengths. These include:

  • Over a dozen, full-time faculty members, each with decades of direct industry experience.
  • Core principles constructed around the tenants of design, storytelling and performance.
  • Facilities featuring the latest tools our industry has to offer including Vicon Motion Capture System, 3D Projection Caves, 200+ Processor Render Farm, 17’x26′ Greenscreen Cyclorama, and the latest in 3D, animation and visual effects software packages.

While honing their skills through rigorously critiqued projects within their animation focused program, Students also benefit from many opportunities that are wholly unique to Drexel.


Unique opportunities integrated into the Drexel learning experience include:

  • Six-month, full-time industry co-op opportunities
  • Partnering projects such as working on animations related to Engineering School DARPA proposals
  • Involvement in Biometric studies out of the Medical School
  • Creating award winning animations of newly discovered species for the College of Science’s Paleontology Department.


Our graduates enter an exciting and rapidly expanding industry, where their skills are valued regionally, nationally and abroad. Drexel’s animation alumni can often be found at top tier entertainment studios such as Pixar, DreamWorks, Disney, Digital Domain and Moving Picture Company. Drexel alumni worked on the 2013 Academy Award winning films for Best Animated Feature Film, Best Animated Short Film and Best Visual Effects. Our graduates are also found working in leading video game development companies, animation software developers and other diverse career tracks involving the use of their animation and visual effects skills.

Alumni Work Samples features poster images from feature films, television shows, national ads and more that include the work of our graduates.

A selection of feature film posters from movies worked on by Drexel graduates.