What are the top animation colleges in France?

Top 10 French Animation Schools - 2022 College Rankings
2École Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques Montpellier
5MoPA School of AnimationArles
6Emile Cohl Art SchoolLyon
7ISART DigitalMultiple
8Ecole Georges Melies SchoolParis
10The BRASSART SchoolTours

Our 2022 rankings of the top formal animation degrees in France. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here

1. Gobelins, l'école de l'image, Paris, France

Gobelins, l'école de l'image (Gobelins, School of Images) has been around since 1964, making it one of the world’s oldest animation schools. A member of the European Animation School Network, Gobelins serves more than 1,100 students enrolled in programs that lead to a BA, MA or Professional Certification.

The Animation Program at Gobelins has multiple pathway options including the 3D Character Animator Professional Certificate (Level II, 2 years), the 3D Character Animator Professional Certificate (Level II, 3 years), the BA in Animation and Character Animation and Animated Filmmaking (three years), and the MA in Character Animation and Animated Filmmaking (two years).

An Animation Preparatory Year Program is available and open to students with a high school diploma who would like to develop basic artistic and technical animation skills. This program allows students to create at least one project and a portfolio. The Animation Preparatory Year Program can be an entry point for the Gobelins BA in Animation Program.

Across programs, students will explore areas such as acting, 3D layout, body mechanics, animation of characters, motion capture techniques, character and background design, scriptwriting, direction, sound design, storyboarding, the 3D pipeline, dynamics of movement, editing, special effects, and compositing.

Students in all Gobelins Animation Programs have the opportunity to produce a number of short films and a professional demo reel. Students will complete a mandatory two-month internship in France or abroad and participate in workshops and projects sponsored by partner companies and public institutions such as the French Ministry of Justice, Universal Music, Dell, Netflix, BMW, Musée Picasso, and Olympus.

Thanks to events such as the Speed-Recruiting event, which attracts more than 50 companies during the last year of the programs, graduates of the Gobelins Animation Programs enjoy a near 90% job placement rate within six months of graduation.

2. École Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques (ESMA), Montpellier, France
École Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques

The main École Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques (ESMA) campus is now located in the Creative Campus, which was built in Montpellier’s new district—The Creative City. The new location is outfitted with state-of-the-art classrooms, sound studios, an auditorium, and the FabLab. Other ESMA campuses include Lyon, Nantes, and Toulouse, France, and Montreal, Canada.

Founded in 1958, ESMA houses the CG Animation Cinema and Special Effects Department, which has two programs for animators: the 3D Animation Cinema & Special Effects leading to a Professional Diploma and the CG Animation & FX Master’s Degree. The Diploma Program includes an eight-week internship, where students can gain hands-on experience in animation before graduating. Available at all ESMA campuses, the 3D Animation Cinema & Special Effects Program has a 100% recruitment rate within nine months of graduation.

Available at the Montpellier, Lyon, Nantes, and Toulouse campuses, the CG Animation & FX Masters explores animation techniques and the animation production pipeline. Students in this program will have the opportunity to create an industry-ready animated short film in groups of four to seven students. The ESMA CG Animation & FX Masters takes three years to complete. Graduates of the program enjoy a 93% recruitment rate within six months after graduation and a 100% recruitment rate within just nine months.

Graduates of the Animation Programs at ESMA have been recruited by Ubisoft, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Illumination Mac Guff, Framestore, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Weta Digital, Aardman, Fontes Architecture, IKKS, Mikros Animation, MPC, Untold, A+Architecture, and ba&sh, among others.

3. RUBIKA, Valenciennes France, Montreal Canada, and Pune India

RUBIKA specializes in 2D/3D Animation, Design, and Video Games. Programs are collaborative and studio-based, with options across four campuses in Valenciennes (France), Montreal (Canada), Pune (India), and Nairobi (Kenya). With more than 1,300 students attending each year, Rubika has partnerships with more than 300 companies and a 90% employment rate within a year of graduating. Examples of RUBIKA partners include DreamWorks Animation, Gameloft, Pixar, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Disney, Illumination Mac Guff, Framestore, Ubisoft, and Aardman.

Launched in 1988, the Animation Program at RUBIKA has 2D Animation and 3D Animation Programs that lead to a Bachelor’s Degree in three years and a Master’s Degree in five years. Program features include several mandatory internships, participation in festivals and contests, annual projects that allow students to work on project and team management, and a Final 3D Animation Project that will be presented to a professional jury.

Graduates of the Animation Programs at RUBIKA are CG Animators, Technical Animators, 2D/3D Animators, VR Animators, Character Designers, VFX Artists, Modeling Artists, Compositing Artists, Shading & Texture Artists, Lighting Artists, Riggers, Layout/Tracking Artists, Lighting Artists and, Set & Environmental Artists. They work at studios such as Aardman, Disney Animation Studios, DreamWorks, Framestore, Illumination Mac Guff, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), and Pixar.

4. ARTFX, School of Digital Arts, Montpellier, Lille, Paris, France

ARTFX, School of Digital Arts, has an Animation Program with two options leading to a Master’s Degree. The 2D Film Animation and 3D Character Animation can be completed in five years. Open to applicants with a Bachelor’s Degree, the Animation Programs at ARTFX feature masterclasses with partner studios, a mandatory internship lasting six weeks (students may complete multiple internships), workshops, and access to state-of-the-art classrooms, labs and studios equipped with software such as Storyboard Pro, Affinity, Krita, SideFX Houdini, Autodesk Maya, Dragonframe, ZBrush, Unreal Engine, and Affinity Photo.

Established in 2004 and serving around 500 students, ARTFX is also recognized Toon Boom Center of Excellence. Students in all programs will complete an animated short film and participate in the program’s End-of-Studies Job Dating Session, which attracts French and international recruiters from top animation studios. ARTFX alumni enjoy a 95% job placement rate within six months to a year after graduating.

The graduation films at ARTFX have won dozens of awards and received more than 900 selections in festivals around the world. Alumni have worked on productions such as The Lion King, Star Wars Episode VIII, The Minions, Gravity, and Ready Player One. Potential job titles include 2D Animator, Character Designer, Animator, Concept Artist, Puppet Animator, Background Artist, Storyboard Artist, and Layout Artist.

5. MoPA School of Animation, Arles, France
 MoPA School of Animation

MoPA School of Animation (MoPA) dates back to 1988, when it launched as Supinfocom School—the first French institution of its kind devoted entirely to CGI. Supinfocom became MoPA School of Animation in 2015. In 2022, MoPA became a member of a network of schools known as the BRASSART Group. Located across 14 cities in France, the Group specializes in 3D Animation, Video Games, Audiovisuals, and Graphic Arts and Design.

MoPA features include access to 200 computers across MoPA’s studios, which house the same equipment and software used in professional studios, internship opportunities, and study abroad experiences.

The Animation Program at MoPA utilizes a project-based teaching method that emphasizes collaboration and teamwork. Leading to an Expert Diploma in 3D Design, Production, and Animation (Baccalaureate), the program takes five years to complete, which includes a preparatory year and two cycles: Fundamentals and Training and Professional Development. Examples of areas explored across the Prep Year and Cycles include rigging, body mechanics, facial animation, acting, body language, emotional expressions, compositing, and tracking.

In the final year of the program, students will work in teams of four to six to produce a short animated film under real studio conditions. Student films at MoPA are presented at the Final Year Jury in the Theatre of Arles. The event attracts 2,000 artists and spectators. After this public screening, student films will make their way through the International Film Festival circuit. MoPA graduates are prepared to seek careers in all areas of animation and game art, among others.

6. Emile Cohl Art School, Lyon, France
Emile Cohl Art School

The Animation Specialization at Emile Cohl Art School focuses on helping students develop skills in screenwriting, film production from start to finish, and industry-standard animation tolls such as Toonboom Harmony, TV Paint, and Adobe After Effects. Program features include workshops, professional critiques, business conferences, group projects, a six-month internship, and support and preparation for the final graduation project.

Students in the program will take courses that character design, cover sketching, modeling and digital sculpture, modeling, lighting and rendering in Maya and 3DS Max, composition painting, media writing, methodology and documentation, layout, scenery and level design in Photoshop, storyboards, sound design, compositing and visual effects in Adobe After Effects and Nuke.

The Animation Specialization at Emile Cohl Art School takes two years to complete and it leads to Professional Certificate.

7. ISART Digital, Paris and Nice, France
ISART Digital

ISART Digital has campuses in Paris and Nice, France, and Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The school also has a partnership with Tokyo University of Technology, which allows students at other campuses immerse in the video game and 3D-FX animation industries in Japan (TUT). During a one-month stay, ISART students will have the opportunity to participate in a Game Jam. Longer stays of six to 12 months allow students to complete a research thesis project with a TUT professor. Both options are suitable for Animation students who are interested in game art and animating for games.

Launched in 2001, ISART Digital has programs that prepare students for careers in visual effects, 3D animation, and video game design and development. For animators, ISART has two options: MA degrees in 3D Cinema or 3D Film. The 3D Cinema Program is based at the main campus in Paris. Students may Specialize in 3D Animation or Special Effects. Program features include the opportunity to master the entire animation production pipeline in a setting that functions like a real film studio, the chance to produce several productions individually or in groups, and the opportunity to complete two internships.

Graduates of the ISART Digital 3D Cinema MA Program have enjoyed a 90% employment rate for the past three years. Examples of potential job titles include 3D Animator, Concept Artist, Motion Designer, Art Director, Environment Artist, Storyboard Artist, CG Supervisor FX Artist or Supervisor, and Technical Director.

The 3D Film MA at ISART Digital provides the same opportunities as the 3D Cinema MA. Students in this program will spend the first two years of the program perfecting 3D Art skills. The final two years of the program consist of specializing in an area that fits the students career goals. Students will also complete a 3D short during this time. In addition to the job titles mentioned earlier, graduates of the 3D Cinema MA Program can pursue titles such as 2D/3D Graphic Designer, Chara Designer, Previs Artist, SFX Artist, Digital Matte Painter, 3D Supervisor, and Compositing Artist.

8. Ecole Georges Melies School, Paris, France
Ecole Georges Melies School

École Georges Méliès School has an Animation Program that allows students to explore the entire production pipeline for both traditional animation (stop motion, 2D) and digital animation films. Courses for the program are led by industry professionals from studios such as Ubisoft, Illumination Mac Guff, and Ellipsanime. Course examples include 3D Animation, CFX, Live Action, Character Design, Modeling, Digital Animation, 2D Compositing, Storyboard, Motion Capture, Artistic Direction, PreVis, Rigging and Special Effects, and Production Management.

Other program features classes that are limited to 30 students, participation in the International Film Festival of Annecy, Paris Games Week, and SIGGRAPH (among others), and 24/7 access to studios and technical resources.

Leading to a Bachelor’s Degree, the Animation Program at École Georges Méliès School culminates with a short film produced in an environment designed to simulate a real production studio. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers in all areas of Animation, Games, and VFX.

9. New3dge, Paris, France

Launched in 2010, New3dge is a private Game Art, Animation, and VFX school that serves more than 100 students. Programs at New3dge allow these students to work in teams to complete a variety of projects—including the Final Graduation Project.

For animators, New3dge has a 3D Animation & VFX Master’s Program that explores areas such as cinematographic production, character creation, 2D and 3D techniques, and compositing and VFX. Students will work their way through the entire animation production pipeline in a studio-like environment. In addition to the Final Graduation Project, graduates will leave the program with a portfolio of their best work.

New3dge has a 93% completion rate and a 90% job placement rate. Program alumni are prepared for leadership roles such as Design Director for 3D Animation & VFX Artistic Director, and Production Manager. Other potential roles include 3D Animator, game Artist, Character Designer, Render Artist, Environmental Designer, Color Grader, Setup/Rigging Specialist, Layout Artist, 3D Graphic Designer, VFX Artist, and Storyboard Artist.

10. The BRASSART School, Tours, France

The BRASSART School trains students in the areas of 3D Animation, Video Games, Illustration, VFX and Graphic Design. After merging with Aries and ESMI in 2019, the school has a presence across 14 campuses in France. Before the merger, BRASSART had been training artists and designers for 70 years.

Programs at BRASSART lead to Professional Certifications equivalent to a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree. Recognized by the National Directory of Professional Certifications (RNCP), BRASSART programs feature courses led by industry professionals, individual and team-based projects, small class sizes (BRASSART serves 3,000+ students), and networking opportunities with partners such as Apple, Disney, DreamWorks, Sony Pictures, Pixar, Gameloft SE, Ubisoft, Illumination Mac Guff, and Lucasfilm, among others.

Specific program options for animators include the 3D Animation/Video Game Art Bachelor’s and Master’s. The undergraduate degree takes three years to complete and prepares students for careers in Animated Film, 3D for Games, Multimedia, Advertising, and Architecture. The two-year graduate degree builds on the Bachelor’s degree, and prepares students for leadership roles in 3D Animation for Films and Video Games. Both programs are available across all BRASSART campuses.

BRASSART School graduates enjoy an 87% employment rate. They have worked on more than 150 animated films and over 40 games since 2013. Program alumni are often hired by BRASSART partners for roles such as 2D/3D Animator, Character Artist, Environment Artist, 3D Generalist, VFX Artist, Surfacing Artist, Rigger, Character Designer, 3D Generalist, and Compositing Graphic Designer.