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Through the Department of Fine Arts and Animation, artists will develop skills in the field of artistic drawing using color and traditional compositions to later use in the digital field. Starting with 2D drawing as its own language, students will learn the necessary basic concepts to transition to 3D in the fields of animation and video games. Artists will learn to draw human and animal anatomy to understand how the musculoskeletal apparatus works. They will develop creations, creatures or characters, within scenarios where physical logic is present. Students will also learn the use of color, lighting, shading, and more through practical exercises.

From the Department of Fine Arts and Animation, students will learn production processes in the field of animated film and video game production using the latest standards and prominent digital programs in the industry. At first, the 12 basic principles of animation will be taught as an essential in the training of future professionals, with multiple exercises in 2D while using traditional tools that will gradually be applied to 3D. Faculty members employ time-tested practices designed to prepare students for work in professional film and game development environments.

Fine Arts and Animation Faculty Directory

Department Faculty

Asier Azkarraga

Department Chair - Fine Arts and Animation
Senior Professor

Asier Azkarraga is the current head of the Department of Arts and has more than 30 years of experience in the 2D and 3D animation field. He has worked on more than 30 national and international productions, including well-known works such as Disney’s Brother Bear, The Simpsons, Batman: The Animated Series, and Warner Bros.’ Space Jam. He has also worked on television advertisements for the NBA, Kellogg’s, and Cola Cao.

He currently teaches 2D animation along with design and creation of sets and scenery. He also coordinates 2D student animation projects and student concept art, mirroring the production process of the animation sector.

Azakarraga is earning a Ph.D. in Anthropology, and his doctoral thesis deals with the origin of art in the human race, representations and symbolic figures, and the beginnings of recreating animation.

Sergio Martinez

Department Chair - Digital Arts and Film Production
Senior Professor

Sergio Martinez has a degree in Fine Arts from the University of the Basque Country specializing in audio-visuals and multimedia. He completed his animation studies at the University of the West of England in Bristol, UK. While living in Bristol, he collaborated with Aardman Studios contributing to Gulp, a film recognized by Guinness World Records for having the largest ever stop-motion animation set. On his return to Bilbao, he joined the Motion Graphics Department at Euskal Irrati Telebista (EITB), where he contributed with his experience in puppet animation. Several years ago, Martinez became a regular member of the animation collective Hauazkena Animazio Taldea, a group formed by Basque animators that combine conventional animation techniques with the most experimental techniques. The Ditch, or Areka, was a short he helped create within the collective.

Thanks to his skills in composition, drawing, and painting, his personal work has been seen in multiple exhibitions and festivals. With more than 13 years of experience as a teacher, he trains students in traditional painting and digital art disciplines. Due to his experience as a software developer, he is also a tutor for 2D video game projects.

Javier Martin

Senior Professor

Javier Martin is a professor teaching both artistic and figure drawing and has more than 20 years of experience in the creative industry. His training as an architect, together with his career in the animation world — which has included high-quality programs such as Asterix and the Vikings, The Illusionist, and animation direction for El Cid: The Legend — combined with his passion for artistic drawing, makes his classes a true learning experience for his students.

After interviewing dozens of former animation colleagues, he wrote reports about the making of several feature films, as well as a report about the 2D animation industry in the 1990s and 2000s, trying to find causes for its decadence and substitution by 3D audiovisual products.

He is also an investigator of the history of his native industrial town, specializing in manufacturing processes and urban development. To that end, he interviews elders in the hopes of capturing their knowledge to store before they pass away. While collaborating with others, he enters field work by visiting industrial, archaeological, and architectural remains to create plans of these sites. He has published articles in the local magazine about these investigations.

For many years he has collected pre-cinema gadgets and toys and cooperated in investigations and documentations focused on that world. He has organized several workshops with some of these devices.

Iñaki Amurrio

Affiliate Lecturer

Iñaki Amurrio is a senior animation director with more than 30 years of experience. With initial academic training as a computer programmer and self-taught animator, he has directed animation for many international productions.

Amurrio has worked and partnered with studios all over the world, including the USA, Canada, France, the Philippines, South Korea, India, China, and more. His long career provided opportunities to work in nearly all phases of animation production, ranging from areas like directing , editing, storyboarding , and post-production. Together with his international experience, Amurrio uses his broad technical-artistic background to be a great connoisseur of the international animation ecosystem and of the internal functions of different studios and their work processes. During these years, well-known characters from franchises such as SpongeBob, Ninja Turtles or Tiny Toons have passed through his hands, and he has worked on various productions at Netflix, Nickelodeon, Warner Bros., Paramount, RAI, TVE, and others.

Laura Choueri

Junior Lecturer

Laura Choueri is an illustrator and 2D animator who studied at the Académie Libanaise des Beaux Arts in Beirut, Lebanon, as well as at the Georges Méliès School in Paris, France.

From Dubai, Jordan, all the way to South Korea and many more, she has collaborated with different animation studios, advertising firms, television stations, and publishing companies such as LBC Television, Stabilization Network, SABIS, and more.

All her experience contributed to her knowledge in the fields of illustration, conceptual animation, books, e-books, and television advertisements. Her passion for animals led her to join DigiPen’s family as an animal anatomy teacher. In addition, Laura also teaches art history and drawing fundamentals.

Choueri’s enthusiasm for board games allows her to inject innovative new approaches for her students and their projects to make learning fun and accessible. This helps her see the most rewarding part of being a teacher, to see her students discover their passion and grow as artists.

Berta Fernández

Affiliate Lecturer

Berta Fernández is a 2D illustrator and animator. She graduated with a BFA in Visual Design of Digital Content from U-tad (University Center for Technology and Digital Art) in Madrid.

She began her professional career in animated film eight years ago when working on the film Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles. Her career continued as she went on to work for a variety of animation companies, including The SPA Studios, Netflix, and Warner Bros. Animation. Additional credits of animated productions include Space Jam: A New Legacy and Klaus, the latter of which was nominated for an Oscar for best animated film in 2020.

Today, Fernández designs and develops her own projects while continuing to work for companies on various animation and illustration projects. Her work on animated films helped her develop great versatility in adapting different artistic styles, both traditional and digital. This helps maintain her goal of always innovating in the visual design of her work.

Kote Camacho

Affiliate Lecturer

Kote Camacho is an artist, animator, and filmmaker from Oiartzun, Basque Country. He completed his studies in animation and fine arts at the Basque Country University (UPV-EHU) and Kent Institute of Art and Design.

He started work as a cartoonist in Napartheid fanzine shortly after graduation. After studying for DOP, he began his career in Madrid as storyboard artist for Basque director Julio Medem. Later, he worked in London alongside movie directors like Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and Alex Garland at DNA Films.

As a member of the European Film Academy (EFA), Camacho found continued success with the impressively animated La Gran Carrera (2010), an experimental film which obtained 72 international awards. With Elkartea (2013), he broke worldwide ground by introducing a Basque language short film for the first time at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. Don Miguel (2014), another of his short films, introduced yet another original style. As part of a young team made up of Basque artists and led by animator Bego Vicario, he contributed to the award-winning animated films Beti Bezperako Koplak (2016) and Areka (2017).

Since 2004, Camacho has settled back in the Basque Country and focused on his own artistic and independent film production. Currently, he runs Komiki Films SL, his own animation studio in Donostia, co-producing both his own production and collaborating with other artists and filmmakers, such as Maru Solores. He also directs the Labo section at Animadeba, an international animation film festival. At DigiPen Europe-Bilbao, he teaches concept art for animation.