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Animation. Graphic Design. Game Art.

2017 Top 100 International Animation Schools

Written by Tom FronczakJanuary 8, 2017
Did You Know.....Full Sail University offers online degree programs in computer animation, game art, and game design? Learn more about Full Sail University's online programs.
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French Schools:

ARTFX. Montpellier, France.

ARTFX promises rapid post-graduate placement in some of the largest studios in France and around the world, and they have the success stories to back it up. Graduates have gone on to work on movies such as Thor, Despicable Me 2, Skyfall, and The Lorax. This is one of those schools where interested students should skip checking out the curriculum and pricing lists they offer on their site and first checkout the jaw dropping student gallery section to see what previous students were able to achieve by enrolling here in 3D animation, special effects, and video game programs!

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La Poudrière. Valence, France.

La Poudrière provides two year training programs as well as short courses in a variety of animation and film curriculum. Class sizes are very small so make sure to apply as soon as possible! The school specializes in tasking students with long-term projects. 2015 resulted in 63 student short films, three feature films, and two video games!

LISAA L'Institut Supérieur des Arts Appliqués. Campus locations: Paris, France.

LISAA trains students in 2D animation, 3D animation, video game design, and visual effects. Next year the school will even offer a brand new degree: Master Game Tech and MBA in Video Games Production. Its other degree programs are MBA Video Game Production, Bachelor 2D Animation, Bachelor 3D Animation, Bachelor 2D/3D Video Games, Bachelor Visual Effects, and Master Production Management & Digital Animation Techniques.

SAE Institute Paris. Paris, France.

SAE Institute was established in 1976, and it currently has over 50 campuses in almost 30 countries around the world! Of its numerous SAE locations, SAE Paris is still the best. SAE Paris has a four month Motion & Graphic Design Certificate for learning 2D animation for First Pro and Adobe After Effects. Their Game Art Animation Bachelor Program runs two years and teaches both 2D and 3D animation. Their Visual Effects Animation Bachelor Program is also two years, and offers training in 2D and 3D animation, as well as other VFX art and film editing.

School of Decorative Arts. Paris, France.

Also known as “École Nationale Superieure Des Arts Decoratifs” – or just “ENSAD” – this school began way back in 1927 and played a part in the Art Deco movement in the 1920s, although technically it has roots from the Royal Free School of Art that was founded way back in 1766! Their students enter a five year degree course that starts with one year of foundation courses before they can choose a specialization path in the second year. Mandatory professional internships occur in the fourth year, and in their fifth year students must create a Grand Project diploma project.

School Georges Méliès. Château Georges Méliès, France.

Until 2010, this school was named “EESA - Ecole Europenne Superieur d'Animation” (European Graduate School of Animation) before it changed its name to honor a famous filmmaker in 2010. Last year, they opened a 3,000 m² building that has a movie theater with 150 seats, a film set, a recording studio, anatomy theaters, and other artist delights. Their Artisan of the Animated Image program is four years and trains students in animated cinema, 2D/3D visual and digital effects, architectures, aeronautics, and medical imaging.

German Schools:

Games Academy. Berlin and Frankfurt, Germany. Vancouver, Canada.

Back in 2000, this school was founded in Berlin as Europe’s first college to solely focus on computer and video game production. They’ve come a long way and currently offer four degrees: Game Programming (two years, about 550,00 € per month), Game Production (two years, about 550,00 € per month), Game Design (one year, about 795,00 € per month), and Game Art & Animation (two years, about 795,00 € per month). Want to know more? Try one of their two week full-time trial lessons for 490,00 €! They offer one for Game Development Basics and one for Work in Animation.

SAE Institute Berlin. Other campuses in Germany: SAE Berlin, SAE Bochum, SAE Cologne (SAE Köln), SAE Frankfurt, SAE Hamburg, SAE Hannover, SAE Leipzig, SAE Munich, (SAE München), and SAE Stuttgart.

SAE Berlin offers a variety of different programs for animators and game design artists! Their BA/BSc (Hons) Game Art Animation program can be completed in 24, 30, or 42 months, and specializes in Character Design, 3D Modeling, 3D Animation, and Digital Painting. Their BSc (Hons) Games Programming program runs 24, 30, or 42 months, and specializes in C#, C++, Graphics Programming, and Gameplay Programming. Their Game Art & 3D Animation Diploma is 18 months long and prepares graduates for jobs as 3D Modeler, Texture Artist, 3D Animator, Game Artist, and Character Designer. Their Games Programming Diploma runs 18 months and specializes in C#, C++, Graphics Programming, and Gameplay Programming. If you’re more interested in VFX, they have an eighteen month Visual FX & 3D Animation Diploma, as well as a BA/BSc (Hons) Visual FX & 3D Animation program that runs 24, 30, or 42 months.

Indian Schools:

Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics. Various locations in India.

Its courses are split into these categories: 3D Animation, VFX, Graphic Design & Multimedia, Gaming Design, and Media & Entertainment. They also offer short courses (two to eight months) in 3ds Max, Maya, Smoke, Nuke, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Soundbooth, Eyeon Fusion, and Apple Final Cut Pro.

The Digital Film School. Mumbai, India.

This school is not for 2D animators! Some 3D animators won't prefer this school either; DFS focuses heavily on VFX. Classes take place in a 25,000 square foot post-production facility and offer students a very realistic real world visual effects experience. Courses range from three to nine months, so if you want to fast track your career without being locked in for years, this is a good place to check out.

Toonz Academy. Kerala, India.

This school continues to impress and look better every year! Their alumni have gone on to studios like DreamWorks and Rhythm and Hues. They offer programs for Digital Graphics, Visual Effects, 3D CGI Animation, and 3D Game Development, but their famous certificate course is Animation Filmmaking Advanced (AFMA). That program teaches character modeling, organic character texturing, lighting, character rigging, character animation, particle effects, dynamics, and compositing. After twelve months the top AFMA students take tests and have the opportunity to end with a three month internship at the Toonz Animation Studio in Technopark!

Japanese Schools:

Tokyo Animation College. Tokyo, Japan.

If you want to create art for anime or manga, this is a school you must check out! They have three year programs for Anime Production Course and Complete Comic Course. Tokyo Animation College also offers two year programs for Animator Course, Story Comic Course, and Character Design Course.

Kyoto Seika University. Kyoto, Japan.

Also referred to as SEIKA, this school offers assistance to students from overseas with immigration and Visa issues. Their animation program is four years. In the first year, students focus heavily on drawing and basic principles of animation. Second year students move on to expressions, background art, and sound classes. Third year students start tackling large animation projects and work on graduate projects for their fourth year.

Tokyo School of Anime. Tokyo, Japan.

This might be the best school for anime in existence! They offer the following anime programs: Voice Actor & Vocalist World, Anime Production World, Anime Creator World, Anime Design World, and Anime Business World. The Anime Creator World program is a two year Animation Major and teaches flash animation, game animation, 3D animation, sound design, and CG/VFX for anime. The Anime Design World program is a two year course that focuses more on character design, color theory, and figure drawing classes.

Malaysian Schools:

Limkokwing University. Cyberjaya, Malaysia.

Often called LUCT by its students and faculty, Limkokwing offers a three year Diploma in Animation that teaches both 2D animation and computer animation. LUCT also has Diploma and Degree programs for Animation & Multimedia Design, Creative Multimedia, Graphic Design Technology, Interactive & Multimedia Design, and Motion Graphics & Visual Effects.

The One Academy. Bandar Sunway, Malaysia.

This school has a three year Digital Animation program and enrollment periods are January, April, and August. Course material covers perspective, typography, life drawing, 2D animation, character design, concept art, 3D modeling basics, 3D animation basics, 3D character animation, advanced 3D animation, compositing & editing, and even helps students create a demo reel by graduation!

Dutch Schools:

HKU University of the Arts Utrecht. Utrecht, Netherlands.

HKU has over 3,900 students spread throughout all its programs, but all of the classes are taught in Dutch. Their Animation program teaches both 2D and 3D animation. Artists seeking other careers can consider their programs for Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Illustration, Image and Media Technology, Photography, and Product Design.

SAE Institute Amsterdam. Amsterdam, Netherlands.

SAE Amsterdam has three programs for animators: Game Art Animation Diploma (one year full-time), BA/BSc (Hons) Game Art Animation (two years full-time), and MA/MSC Professional Practice (Creative Media Industries) which is an online course that lasts one year full-time or two years part-time and costs 7.800€.

New Zealand Schools:

Massey University. Wellington, New Zealand.

The College of Creative Arts at Massey has several design programs but the one that looks most enticing is its full-time three year Bachelor of Creative Media Production. In the first year alone, students take classes in Web & Mobile Media, Media Production, Computer Animation, VFX & Motion Graphics, Digital Video Production, Game Technologies & Mechanics, Audio Production & Sound Design, and Animatronics & Modelling.

Yoobee School of Design. Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington, New Zealand.

Yoobee is almost two decades old and it's already boasting lots of quality curriculum and graduate success. Their site oozes personality and student appreciation, so if you're at all interested in this school you owe it to yourself to take a tour! They have nine different Animation programs that span anywhere from fifteen to 43 weeks in length, as well as three Game Art Development programs that span twenty four weeks to two years! This is a school that continues to improve every year!