What are the top animation colleges in France?

Top 10 French Animation Schools - 2023 College Rankings
2École Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques Montpellier
3Supinfocom RubikaValenciennes
5MoPA School of AnimationArles
6Emile Cohl School Lyon
7ISART DigitalMultiple
8Ecole Georges Melies SchoolParis
9L'Institut Supérieur des Arts Appliqués Paris

Our 2023 rankings of the top formal animation degrees in France. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here

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

Gobelins, l'école de l'image, (Gobelins, School of Images), has a variety of paths to study Animation. For students seeking an introductory program, Gobelins has an Animation Preparatory Year Program that can be completed on campus or online. For experienced artists looking to enhance their skillset, Gobelins has a 3D Character Animator Certificate Program. Degree-seeking students have three options: the Character Animation and Animated Filmmaking BA, the Bachelor in 3D Animation, and the Character Animation and Animated Filmmaking MA.

The Animation Preparatory Year Program is designed for 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 undergraduate degree programs.

The 3D Character Animator Certificate Program is designed for naturals or individuals who have some Animation training. Students will learn by doing through simulation exercises and experiential learning opportunities. Coursework covers 3D Layout, Body Mechanics, Character Animation, 3D Animation, and more. The Gobelins 3D Character Animator Certificate Program takes one year to complete, full-time. Graduates have a 100% employment rate within six months after graduating.

The Character Animation and Animated Filmmaking BA and the Bachelor’s in 3D Character Animation explore Special Effects (SFX), 2D/3D Animation, Scriptwriting, Character and Background Design, Storyboard Writing, Direction, Layout, and Editing. During the course of the programs, students will work their way through the entire Animation production pipeline. Both programs take three years to complete, full-time. Graduates enjoy a near 90% employment rate within six months after graduating.

The Character Animation and Animated Filmmaking MA at Gobelins Paris explores Film Studies, SFX, Directing, Storytelling, Complex Animation, and Storyboarding at an advanced level. Students in this professional program will work in teams on projects and animated productions.

Across all programs, other features include courses taught by professionals from major studios; participation in a speed-recruiting event organized during the Annecy festival with more than 50 companies in attendance; access to state-of-the-art equipment, studios, and dedicated workstations; participation in workshops and projects sponsored by partner companies and public institutions such as Dell, Netflix, BMW, the French Ministry of Justice, Universal Music, Musée Picasso, and Olympus; and a mandatory internship in France or abroad. 

Graduates of the Animation Programs at Gobelins Paris are prepared for careers such as 2D or 3D Animator, Character Designer, Storyboard Artist, Crowd and Series Animator, Previz Artist, Film Director, Video Game Animator, Director 2D or 3D, and 3D Animation Supervisor.

Founded in 1964 by the Parisian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIP), Gobelins Paris is one of the oldest Animation schools in the world. Serving approximately 1,185 students today across two campuses in Paris and one in the French Alps, Gobelins provides a variety of programs leading to a BA, MA or Professional Certificate. Single courses such as 2D Animation, Drawing for Movement, and From Storyboard to Animatic are available online. Gobelins Paris is a member of the French Animation School Network known as RECA, and IPAX—the U.S. network of schools recognized by Sony Pictures.

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

École Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques (ESMA) has a 3D Animation & FX Master’s Degree Program that 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 and it is taught in English at the Montpellier and Lyon campuses, and in French at all ESMA campuses.

Graduates of the program enjoy a 93% employment rate within nine months of graduation. Program alumni have been recruited by major studios and agencies such as 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.

Founded in 1958, the 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, Toulouse, Rennes, and Bourdeaux France, and Montreal, Canada.

3. Supinfocom Rubika, Valenciennes France, Montreal Canada, and Pune India

The Animation Program at Supinfocom Rubika has 2D Animation and 3D Animation options that lead to a Bachelor’s Degree in three years and a Master’s Degree in five years. Thanks to partnerships with more than 300 companies, Supinfocom Rubika Animation students will complete several mandatory internships that will allow them to work with real-world clients on a variety of projects. Examples of RUBIKA partners include DreamWorks Animation, Gameloft, Pixar, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Disney, Illumination Mac Guff, Framestore, Ubisoft, and Aardman.

Animation students at Supinfocom Rubika will train on industry-standard digital tools such as Maya, ToonBoom, Arnold, Houdini, TVPaint Animation, Nuke, and Adobe Animate. Activities take place in a professional studio environment and include creating still and animated images; mastering the animation production chain; project management; and working in teams to produce short films.

Other program features include several mandatory internships; participation in festivals and contests; annual projects; and a Final 3D Animation Project that will be presented to a professional jury.

Graduates of the Animation Programs at Supinfocom Rubika enjoy a 90% employment rate within a year of graduating. Program alumni 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.

Supinfocom Rubika Animation alumni have been hired at major studios such as Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), Pixar, Disney Animation Studios, DreamWorks, Aardman, Framestore, and Illumination Mac Guff.

Supinfocom Rubika was created when three schools merged: the Institut Supérieur de Design (Higher Institute of Design, est. 1988), Supinfocom (est. 1988), and Supinfogame (est. 2001). Today, Supinfocom Rubika serves 1,200 students each year across four campuses in Valenciennes and Montbeliard France, Montreal Canada, and Pune India. Diploma Programs are available in Animation, Design, and Games. Supinfocom Rubika students can also enroll in a number of one-year preparatory programs.

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

ARTFX, School of Digital Arts, has an Animation Program with 2D Film Animation and 3D Character Animation options leading to a Master’s Degree that can be completed in five years. Open to applicants with a Bachelor’s Degree, the Animation Programs at ARTFX feature masterclasses and other activities with partner studios such as DNEG, Framestore, MPC Film, Illumination Mac Guff, Cinesite, Lighthouse Studios, Mikros Animation, Asobo Studio, Digital District, and Rovio Animation.

Other program features include workshops; a mandatory internship lasting six weeks (students may complete multiple internships); access to state-of-the-art classrooms, labs and studios equipped with industry-standard software such as Storyboard Pro, Affinity, Krita, SideFX Houdini, Autodesk Maya, Dragonframe, ZBrush, Unreal Engine, and Affinity Photo; and RECA—an association founded by ARTFX that consists of 28 industry-recognized French Animation Film Schools.

In the final year of the Animation Programs at ARTFX, students will complete an animated short film that will be screened by a professional panel. The graduation films at ARTFX have won dozens of awards and received more than 900 selections in festivals around the world.

Upon completion of the program, Animation students will have the opportunity to participate in the  End-of-Studies Job Dating Session, which attracts French and international recruiters from major Animation studios. To date, ARTFX Animation graduates have enjoyed a 95% job placement rate within six months to a year after graduating.

Program alumni have worked on productions such as Star Wars Episode VIII, Ready Player One, The Lion King, Gravity, and The Minions. Graduates are also prepared to pursue roles such as 2D Animator, Layout Artist, Character Designer, Background Artist, Animator, Concept Artist, Puppet Animator, and Storyboard Artist.

ARTFX, School of Digital Arts was founded in 2004 by French Special Effects pioneer Gilbert Kiner. Launched in Montpellier, the school’s first program was 3D Animation and Special Effects (SFX). Today, ARTFX has three campuses in France that house 80 professors, 50 permanent staff members, and 1,100 students. 

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

The Animation Program at MoPA School of Animation (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 including Cycle 1: Years 1 to 3; and Cycle 2: Years 4 and 5.

During the first year (Preparatory), students will engage in animated film, photography, and video workshops, as well as numerous projects using a wide range of animation and filmmaking techniques. In Cycle 1, students will work on projects in teams and individually. All students will engage in the entire production pipeline of an animated short film. They will study Modeling, Sound Illustration, Character Design, Script, Film Analysis, Storyboarding, and 3DS Max, Vray, Nuke, Substance, and Zbrush.

In Cycle 2 of the Animation Program at MoPA, students will choose a Specialization. Options include Animation Professions and Image Professions. Students will also work in teams of four to six to produce a short animated film under real studio conditions.

Other 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.

MoPA student films are presented at the Final Year Jury in the Theatre of Arles, which 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, Game Design and Development, Film, and Visual Effects (VFX).

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.

6. Emile Cohl School, Lyon, France

Emile Cohl School has been training artists since 1984. The School offers a 2 years “Art designer-Director in animation” Master program, accessible after a Bachelor. The school also offers Master programs in Illustration, Video games and Bachelor programs in fine arts and 3D design.

The aim of the Master is to train students to develop an artistic approach in their works and to enable them to master the artistic production process from start to finish: conception of the aesthetics of the image in the service of a narrative, shaping the project, taking charge of all stages in the production of the film, right through to its finalization and distribution at festivals. The Master aims to develop skills in all the key steps of animation: film writing, character design, storyboard, layout, animation, editing, sound, etc. It also aims at mastering the software used by animation studios. During the second year of the Master, each student produces individually a 3 to 5 minutes animated short. Students develop their original works thanks to high-level artistic and technical training (workshop, project monitoring, conferences, composition painting, sketching, software courses, etc.).

All courses and training are taught by professionals active in the animation industry (Director, Art designer, Storyboarder, etc.). Students participate to a speed-recruiting event with over 40 companies (including Blue Spirit, Caribara, Cube creative, Mikros, Sun Creature, Xilam). The School has a team dedicated to the promotion in festivals (in France and abroad) of the shorts made by Master students, leading to high visibility of their works and regular nomination and award winning, including Annecy Festival. The Master also offers the possibility to participate to high level industry projects and cross schools projects (for instance with Nanyang Technological University and La Salle College of the Art).

Graduates of the program enjoy a 97% employment rate within one year of graduation. Alumni are recruited by major studios and agencies such as Ubisoft, Illumination, Xilam, Weta, Mikros, DreamWorks, as well as many other French and international studios.

Ecole Emile Cohl was created in 1984 in Lyon, the 2nd major city in France, located just 2 hours from Paris and 1 hour from Annecy. It is one of the a very few private schools in France to hold the highest diploma recognition from the French ministry of higher education (so-called “visa”). The school welcomes 850 students in total and boasts 8,000 m2 of workshops, computer rooms, offices and exhibition space, within France's largest vocational training campus. A new campus was launched in 2021 in Angoulême, in the west of France, where 40 animation studios have settled over the last 30 years. Since its creation, the school has trained over 3 000 students who are now working in all the fields of creative industries, in France and abroad. It holds its the name from “Emile Cohl”, a French artist from the beginning of 20th century unanimously recognized as the “father” of the animated cartoon.

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

ISART Digital (ISART) is a member of the Network of French Cinema Animation Schools (RECA) and Women Animate (Les Femmes s'Animent). The school also has partnerships with Tokyo University of Technology (TUT) and Niigata Computer College, which allow students to immerse in the 3D-FX Animation and Video Game industries in Japan. 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 ideal for students who are interested in Animating for Games or Game Art.

Back at ISART Digital, students who would like to focus in 3D Animation can earn a Bachelor’s/MA in 3D Cinema with an Animation Option. Students may also choose the hybrid option, which allows them to specialize in Animation and Special Effects (SFX).

In Bachelor’s/MA Program, students will work their way through the entire Animation production pipeline in a setting that mirrors a real film studio. Students will also have the opportunity to produce several productions individually or in groups. The option to complete up to two internships is also part of the program.

Based at the main campus in Paris, the 3D Cinema Program at ISART Digital takes five years to complete—from Bachelor’s to MA. Graduates of the program enjoy a 90% employment rate. Program alumni are prepared to pursue positions such as 3D Animator, Concept Artist, Motion Designer, Art Director, Environment Artist, Storyboard Artist, CG Supervisor, FX Artist or Supervisor, and Technical Director.

Launched in 2001, ISART Digital serves approximately 1,200 students across campuses in Paris and Nice, France; and Montreal, Quebec, Canada. More than dozen degree programs are provided across the 3D Animation, Visual Effects (VFX), and Video Game Design disciplines.

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

École Georges Méliès School has an Animation Program that provides 24/7 access to art studios, state-of-the-art production facilities, a Disney-style 2D Animation room, an anatomy amphitheater, and professional recording studio. The Georges Melies School also houses a green-screen space for real-life motion capture modeled after the pioneering style of Andy Serkis and Peter Jackson at Weta Digital (Lord of The Rings). A fully functioning theater is also available for screening events. 

The Animation Program allows students to explore the entire Animation 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 (SFX), and Production Management.

Other program features include small class sizes limited to 30 students; participation in the Annecy International Film Festival, Paris Games Week, and SIGGRAPH (among others); and strong ties to the Film and Animation industries, which provides opportunities for internships, projects, and scholarships.

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 Visual Effects (VFX).

École Georges Méliès School alumni have gone on to work at studios both locally and across the globe. Some alumni have also won prestigious awards. For example, in 2013, Guillaume Rocheron won a Visual Effects Oscar for the 2012 film The Life of Pi; and in 2017, Fabien Nowak won a Visual Effects Oscar for The Jungle Book (2016). Another graduate, Audrey Ferrara, supervised the VFX for The Jungle Book, and the science-fiction film Passengers (2016).

École Georges Méliès School was founded in 1999 by director Frank Petitta and named after the man known as the “Father of Cinematography.” Situated on a modern 9,850 square foot site, Ecole Georges provides four immersive programs focused in the Arts, Animated Image, Video Games, and Special Effects/VFX to approximately 310 students.

9. L'Institut Supérieur des Arts Appliqués (LISAA), Paris, France
L'Institut Supérieur des Arts Appliqués

The Art and Design Programs at L'Institut Supérieur des Arts Appliqués (LISAA) provide a number of noteworthy features including solo and team projects; Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Preparatory options; and access to state-of-the-art production equipment. Examples include an 80m² green screen studio equipped with a professional grill; a motion capture studio and digital calibration station; a sound post-production studio, and a computer park equipped with professional software—all in the heart of Paris.

Specific undergraduate pathways for Animators include the Entertainment Preparation Program and Bachelor’s degrees in 2D/3D Animation, 2D Animator, or 3D Animator. Graduate options include Master’s degrees in 2D Animation, 3D Animation, and Art Direction/Animated Media. All programs are available at the main campus in Paris. The 2D/3D Animator Bachelor’s is also available at the Toulouse campus. The Art Direction/Animated Media Program is also offered at the Strasbourg and Rennes campuses.

Across LISAA Animation Programs, course examples include 2D Animation, Digital Color/3D Techniques, Digital Painting, Shooting/VFX, Storyboard, Motion Design, Communication and Social Media Strategy, Stop Motion Animation, Environment/Web, Interface Design/UI, The History of Art, Background technical Design, Film Analysis, Storyboard, and 2D Animated.

Students in all programs will master the software used in professional studios including Toon Boom Harmony and Storyboard Pro, Nuke Studio, Houdini, Unreal Engine, Shotgun, Unity, Adobe, 3ds Max, VRay, Autodesk Maya, Kitsu, and Arnold.

LISAA has more than 50,000 contacts across 650+ professions, and partnerships with the Toon Boom Center of Excellence, progiss/3DVF, Wacom, Adobe, and The Rookies, Animation students have access to a wide range of employment opportunities.

Examples potential careers for graduates of the Animation Programs at L'Institut Supérieur des Arts Appliqués include 3D Animator, Animation & Special Effects Production Manager, CG Generalist, Character Designer, Director, VFX Artist, Lighting/Rendering Artist, Modeler/Mapper, Motion Designer, Realtime Scriptwriter, Special Effects Director, Storyboarder, Texturing Artist, Tracking/Match Move Artist, and Video Game Artist.

Founded in 1986, L'Institut Supérieur des Arts Appliqués is a private higher/technical education institution that trains Artists in the fields of Animation, Video Games, Graphics, Design, Fashion, and Interior Architecture. With a main campus in Paris, LISAA serves more than 4,000 students across nine different locations and online.

10. New3dge, Paris, France
10. New3dge, Paris, France

The Game Art, Animation, and VFX Programs at New3dge provide the opportunity for students to work in teams to complete a number of projects for inclusion their professional portfolios. At the center of the students portfolio is the Final Graduation Project.

For students seeking an Animation degree, New3dge has a 3D Animation & VFX Bachelor’s/Master’s Program that explores areas such as 2D and 3D Techniques, Compositing, Cinematographic Production, Character Creation, and VFX. During the course of the program, students will work their way through the entire Animation production pipeline in a studio-like environment. All students will have the opportunity to specialize in any area related to 3D, VFX, Animated Film, or Game Art.

The New3dge 3D Animation & VFX Program takes five years to complete, including years 1-3 (Bachelor’s) and years 4-5 (Master’s). Graduates enjoy a 90% job placement rate. Program alumni are prepared for a variety of leadership roles such as Design Director for 3D Animation & VFX, Artistic Director, and Production Manager.

Other potential careers include 3D Animator, VFX Artist, Game Artist, Character Designer, Render Artist, Environmental Designer, Color Grader, Setup/Rigging Specialist, Layout Artist, 3D Graphic Designer, and Storyboard Artist.

Launched in 2010, New3dge is a private Game Art, Animation, and VFX school that serves more than 100 students. Quality certification for New3dge has been issued under the following categories: Training Actions, Validation of Acquired Experience, and Apprenticeship Training Actions.