The following is a list of recommended hardware and software for students entering the Animation Program. Items noted with an asterisk* will be used immediately at the entry level.  Others can be added strategically as the need and personal budget allows. Many items are available through the CMU Book Store.



Required and Recommended Technology

Portable Hard Drive

*1TB Standard Drive:



Wacom Intuos Bluetooth Tablet (Small): *Required for use in Animation classes outside of Lab WI 224 and WI 221


Wacom Carry Case (optional)


Cintiq Pens: *Required for use in Animation Lab WI 224


Wacom INTUOS4/CINTIQ21 Grip Pen for use in the animation lab


Portable Light Box


14.56 x 10.03 x 1.18 inches A4 Light Board,Portable Tracing Light Pad,Magnetic Drawing Board




Laptop Recommendations


Owning a graphics-capable laptop as your enter advanced-level animation classes is recommended but not required. While the Animation and Graphic Design labs are exclusively Mac OS, PC laptops can be considered a viable option if the technical specifications are comparable with the links below. 


Mac: 15 inch Macbook Pro 2.6GHz


PC: Obviously there are many choices as to style and brand.  You will want a laptop that gamers use.  The following are minimum specs for a PC that will support animation graphics and last a while. 


This article offers a range of options:




Software Recommendations


As far as software goes, our program focuses on Toon Boom Harmony, Maya, and the following from the Adobe suite; Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Bridge, Media Encoder and Audition. 


A syncing program is highly recommended for backing up your work.  All-sync is a multi-platform sync program available for free.  We use Mac-based ChronoSync in the labs.


All the labs are fully loaded so you shouldn't need any software to get started.   Initially, I would consider the Adobe subscription and wait until you’ve taken some classes to figure out what you might want to invest in for animation software specifically. 


Later on, if you want to work outside of the labs we can help direct you in purchasing specific softwares.