What are the top international animation training programs?

Top 25 International Animation Training Programs - 2022 School Rankings
1Vancouver Film SchoolCanada
2Vancouver Institute of Media Arts Canada
3Filmakademie Baden-WurttembergGermany
4National Film and Television SchoolEngland
5Seneca CollegeCanada
6Think Tank Training CentreCanada
7Capilano UniversityCanada
8Algonquin College of Applied Arts and TechnologyCanada
9Trazos School of Digital ArtsSpain
10Animum Creativity Advanced SchoolSpain
11FX Animation Barcelona 3D & Film SchoolSpain
12The One AcademyMalaysia
13The Animation SchoolSouth Africa
14Nanyang PolytechnicSingapore
15Max the Mutt College of AnimationCanada
16CG Masters School of 3D Animation & VFXCanada
17The Game AssemblySweden
18Universal Arts SchoolSpain
19Escola de Cinema de Barcelona Spain
20Vancouver Animation SchoolCanada
21La PoudrièreFrance
22Lightbox AcademySpain
23The Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in PragueCzech Republic
24Faculdade MeliesBrazil
25CG SpectrumAustralia

Our 2022 rankings of the top international animation training programs. For this ranking we only consider professional training programs, that is, non-degree programs such as certificate, diploma, and similar programs that are not formal 4-year bachelor's degrees. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here

1. Vancouver Film School, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Vancouver Film School

The Animation & Visual Effects Program at Vancouver Film School (VFS) is one of the school’s 15 programs that lead to careers in Animation, Design, Film & Television, and Games. Animation & Visual Effects consists of three 12-month, six-term Diploma programs: 3D Animation & Visual Effects, Animation Concept Art, and Classical Animation.

The 3D Animation & Visual Effects Diploma Program explores areas such as the basics of a 3D pipeline, storytelling, production, and lighting and rendering. Students will graduate from the program with a master demo reel of their final project.

The Animation Conception Art Diploma explores drawing, digital painting, storytelling, and creating characters, environments, and worlds. Graduates will leave the program with a portfolio of their best work. Career possibilities include Comic Arts, Film and Television, Games, Illustration, and Interactive Media.

The VFS Classical Animation Diploma Program consists of coursework that explores the basics of animation, background design, animating characters (conveying thoughts and emotions), rendering, creating storyboards, layout, and art direction. Students will graduate from the program with a master demo reel and a traditional art and animation portfolio.

Established in 1987 and serving more than 1,000 students across eight campuses, Vancouver Film School provides access to workshops, studios, theaters, film sets, motion and performance capture facilities (among the largest in North America), production spaces, and screening rooms. Students also have 24/7 access to state-of-the-art computer labs equipped with industry standard software. VFS facilities and studios are housed across eight campuses that consist of more than 42,000 sq. ft. of space.

All Vancouver Film School students will graduate with industry connections thanks to VFS’s partnerships with corporate leaders such as Pixologic, Dell Technologies, Unreal Engine, NVIDIA, Unity, Beyond Capture Studios, Final Draft, Adobe, HP, Autodesk, and 5Alarm Music. Graduates also have access to career services through the VFS Alumni Directory & Job Board.

alumni have gone on to establish careers at top studios around the world. They have worked on films and games such as Halo Infinite, The Grinch, Spider-Man, Toy Story 4, Overwatch, Luigi’s Mansion, League of Legends, Free Guy, Justice League, God of War, and Ghostbusters, among others.

2. Vancouver Institute of Media Arts (VanArts), Vancouver, British, Columbia, Canada
Vancouver Institute of Media Arts

The Diploma Programs at Vancouver Institute of Media Arts (VanArts) have a 90% employment rate within six months of graduation. Students can choose from programs such as 2D/3D Character Animation, Game Art & Design, Visual Effects for Film & TV, and Web Development & Design.

Programs can be completed in one year and many are eligible for a variety of Diploma2Degree Programs through articulation agreements with schools such as Deakin University, Media Design School, Woodbury University, Emily Carr University, and RMIT University. Some Diploma2Degree Programs may be completed in as little as one year after completing a Diploma Program at VanArts.

The 2D/3D Character Animation Program explores the principles of animation, life drawing, set building and character assets, story/visual language, acting and performance, sound FX, lighting and rendering, and  Students will master Maya, Adobe, Photoshop, and other industry-standard software.  

The VanArts Animation Program culminates the completion of a short film or a sequence of assignments that demonstrate the student’s skills as a Character Animator.

Founded in 1995 and serving hundreds of students from around the world, Vancouver Institute of Media Arts has a long list of successful alumni. VanArts graduates have worked on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures Imageworks), DRAGON PRINCE, The Dragon Prince, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Teen Titans Go, Hilda, 101 Dalmatian Street, Mega Man, Transformers: Rescue Bots, 101 Dalmatian Street, and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

3. Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg, Ludwigsburg, Germany
Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg

Founded in 1991, Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg (Filmakademie or FABW) is home to the Animation Institute. Established in 2002, the Institute trains students in Animation, VFX, Technical Editing, Animation/Effects Producing, and Interactive Media. Students in all programs enjoy benefits such as a project-based curriculum, hands-on training, collaborations with local and international partners, scientific research and development, and guest speakers.

Courses at the FABW Animation Institute are taught and mentored by more than 300 experts from the film and media industries. In collaboration with instructor mentors, Filmakademie student teams produce at least 250 films each year. Many of these student films win prizes at the Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards and SIGGRAPH.

A major component of the programs at FABW is participation in the FMX Conference on Animation, Effects, Games, and Transmedia. The event has been hosted by the Animation Institute since 1994 and attracts directors, producers, major studios, and more from across Europe. The event takes place in Stuttgart each Spring.

An annual high point at FABW is the FMX Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Transmedia, which the Animation Institute has hosted since 1994. This English-language non-profit event is Europe’s most influential conference on the creation, production and distribution of digital entertainment, and brings major players from the industries to Stuttgart every spring.

Graduates of the Animation Programs at Filmakademie have established successful careers at studios in Germany and abroad, Many have launched their own studios and businesses.

4. National Film and Television School, Beaconsfield – Buckinghamshire, England
National Film and Television School

Launched in 1971 as The National Film School, National Film and Television School (NFTS) received the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education and the 2018 BAFTA for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema. Serving hundreds of students, NFTS has more than 30 Certificate, Diploma, and MA programs and short programs in multiple areas of games, film, and television. Additional specialized programs include Directing, Cinematography, Production Accounting, and Script Supervision.

The only UK film school with its own in-house television and film studios, NFTS has several programs for animators. Options include an MA in Directing Animation, a Full-Time Diploma in Model Making for Animation, a Certificate in Character Animation provided in partnership with Aardman Studios, and a three-week online Storyboarding for Animators Program.

Students in all NFTS programs benefit from workshops, instructors that work at major studios, Student showcases, animation guests such as Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings, The Boxtrolls), and Glen Keane (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast), and partnerships with BBC, Prime Video, the Film Distributors Association, ITV, The National Lottery, and the UK Cinema Association.

Across programs, students will study 2D and 3D animation, stop-motion, life-size pixilation, Storyboard Pro, 3D printing, puppet making, painting and detailing, animation principles, character posing, and storyboarding for animated TV series: storyboarding, pitching, revisioning.

Graduates of the Animation Programs at National Film and Television School enjoy 80%+ employment rate. Program alumni have worked on productions such as the recent Wes Anderson Isle of Dogs feature film, and at studios such as Aardman Features, Factory Create, Traveller’s Tales, Blue Zoo, Jellyfish, Animortal, and Blink Ink.

5. Seneca College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Seneca College

Seneca College was established in 1976. Serving 20,855 students, the school provides  numerous opportunities to gain work experience and immerse in other cultures around the world. Examples include co-op experiences, field placements, work terms, and the study abroad program. Seneca College also participates in a number of associations and groups such as Polytechnics Canada, Colleges Ontario, and Colleges and Institutes of Canada, and it is the only college in Ontario to have programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

The School of Creative Arts & Animation at Seneca College has an Animation Program that takes three years to complete. Leading to the Ontario College Advanced Diploma, the program explores both computer animation and animation production. Course examples for the program include History of Animation, Character Design, Storyboarding – Film Structure, Storytelling, Character Development, Animation Applications, Character Acting, and Layout – Environmental Design.

Beginning in the semester five, students will choose a focus area or “stream.” Options include Digital Animation, 2D Animation, and Gaming. Across streams, course examples include Advanced Lighting, Texturing, and rendering, Advanced Animation Tools, Storyboarding for the 3D Environment, Introduction to MEL Scripting, Advanced Digital Tools, Game Engines and Development, 3D Modeling for Games, Game Animation, Systems and Rigging for Games, Digital Storytelling, 2D Effects Tools for Animation, and Animated short Film Production.

All focus areas include portfolio preparation and development courses. Graduates of the Seneca College Animation Program are prepared to pursue careers in all areas of animation for film, the web, games, television, advertising and marketing, and education. Program alumni also go on to enroll in Animation BA programs at partner schools such as University of Gloucestershire and Munster Technological University (MTU). The program at MTU is a BA (Hons) in Animation, Visual Effects, and Motion Design.

6. Think Tank Training Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Think Tank Training Centre

The Animation Program at Think Tank Training Centre has a full-time pathway and mentorship option. The full-time pathway (Computer Animation, Visual Effects and Game Design), explores all aspects of animation, computer graphics, VFX, and games. Course examples include 3D Animation, Classical and Flash Animation, Texturing, Compositing & VFX, Acting for Animation, Rigging, Production Pipeline, and Game Design. The program consists of three terms completed over 12 months. Students will earn a Diploma upon completion of the program.

The four-month Think Tank Mentorship Program is designed for students with previous training and or experience. Students in this program learn and create at personal, state-of-the-art workstations, they have access mentors who are industry professionals, and at the end of the program, students can take advantage of four additional months of facility access to complete their demo reel and job hunt. Mentees also have access to studio tours with partner organizations.

Think Tank Training Centre launched an Online Division in 2017. Think Tank Online has a 16-month Specialized CG Training Program that features live weekly classes, small class sizes (5-8 students), supervised projects and production, a state-of-the-art learning portal, and fulltime support by industry professionals.

Graduates of the programs at Think Tank Training Centre have established successful careers at local and global studios such as Electronic Arts (EA), Animal Logic, Phoenix Labs, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Method Studios, Digital Domain, Scan Line VFX, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Waterproof Studios, ZOIC, Double Negative Visual Effects, and BioWare, among others.

7. Capilano University, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Capilano University

The Faculty of Fine & Applied Arts at Capilano University (CapU) houses the School of Motion Picture Arts (SMPA). Located in the Bosa Centre for Film and Animation, SMPA has options in 2D Animation & Visual Development, Visual Effects for Film, Streaming & Immersive Media, 3D Animation for Film and Games, and Animation Fundamentals. This program takes eight weeks to complete and it leads to a Citation of Achievement. All other programs take two years to complete and lead to a Diploma.

Founded in 1968, Capilano University (CapU) has grown from 784 students to more than 12,700 today. Students in all programs have access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources across two campuses in North Vancouver and Sechelt. In addition, CapU students have access to workshops, internship opportunities, and study abroad programs.

Course examples across CapU SMPA Programs include Studio: Gesture and Form, Digital Matte Painting, Animation: Timing and Principles, Visual Effects Modeling and Texturing, Character Animation, Visual Effects Animation, Visual Effects Production, Advanced Production Design for Animation, Visual Storytelling, Visual Development and Concept Design, Animation: Emerging Technologies, 3D Animation I-IV, Look Development and Lighting, 3D Design for Production I-IV, The Art of Visual Storytelling, Technical Direction and Rigging, and Animation Action Analysis. The programs also provide entrepreneurship and business courses such as Business Writing for Digital Visual Effects and Entrepreneurship in the Animation Industry.

In the final year of the SMPA Programs, students  will have the opportunity to complete a professional demo reel and/or a practicum at a local studio. Graduates of the SMPA Programs at Capilano University are Animators, VFX Artists, Texture Artists, 3D Modelers, Storyboard Artists, and Layout Artists, among others.

8. Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology, Ottawa, Pembroke and Perth, Ontario, Canada
Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology

Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology (Algonquin College) provides more than 300 program options to nearly 20,000 students. Founded in 1957, the school houses dozens of departments and schools, including the School of Media & Design. Students in the Media School have access to more than 20 programs leading to a Diploma or Certificate.

For animators, the School of Media & Design at Algonquin College has a three-year Advanced Diploma in Animation option and a 12-Month Certificate in Drawing Foundations for Animation and Illustration. Courses for the Animation Diploma Program are taught by industry professionals who work (or have worked) at studios such as Warner Bros. Animation, Ubisoft, Disney, Atomic Cartoons, and Sony Pictures Imageworks.

Course examples for the program include Animation Design, Environmental and Visual Problem Solving, Gesture Drawing for Animation, Digital Animation, Scriptwriting for Animation, Character Animation, and Design Thinking. Courses at Algonquin College may be delivered in a classroom or lab, in hybrid mode (online/on campus) or 100% online.

The Animation Diploma Program at Algonquin College may be completed in three years, full-time. Graduates will  leave the program with a portfolio and demo reel of their best work. Examples of potential careers for graduates include 3D Animator, Rigger or Modeler, Game Animator, Animator, Character Designer, Background Artist, Location Designer, Tradigital Rigger, and Layout Artist.  

The Certificate in Drawing Foundations for Animation and Illustration is designed for students who would like to develop strong drawing skills for entry into a variety of creative industries. Students will explore drawing for animation, games, comic books, anime, concept art, graphic novels, and books. Other program features include participation in the Annual Showcase and opportunity to transfer into the Animation or Illustration and Concept Art Diploma Program. The Algonquin College Certificate Program can be completed in one year.

9. Trazos School of Digital Arts, Madrid, Spain
Trazos School of Digital Arts

Trazos School of Digital Arts (Trazos) has been training students in the Technology, Digital Art, and New Media areas for more than 25 years. Programs at Trazos are focused solely on producing artists who have the experience and skills needed to enter the industry immediately. To date, the school has more than 10,000 graduates who are all professionals in their respective fields. Examples of companies that have hired Trazos graduates include Leo Burnett, Ogilvy, Y&R, ReasonWhy, Sanitas, Volkswagen, Adecco, and Accenture.

Trazos School of Digital Arts also has short programs for working professionals looking to enhance their skills. Zbrush and Advanced Zbrush are just a few options. For animators, Trazos has Masters Programs (Diploma) and courses in Animation, Advanced Animation, 3D and Animation, 3D with Autodesk Maya, Advanced 3D with Autodesk Maya, 2D Animation with Toon Boom, 3D and VFX with Maya and Houdini, Design and 2D Animation with Toon Boom, Design and Creation of Characters, Race in 3D with Autodesk Maya, Motion Graphics and 2D Animation with Toon Boom, Race in 3D and Animation with Autodesk Maya, and Illustration, 3D, and Animation. Motion Graphics and 2D Animation with Toon Boom, Race in 3D and Animation with Autodesk Maya, and Illustration, 3D and Animation. Programs range from 300 to 1,800 hours.

Students in all Trazos programs benefit from partnerships with Apple, Pixologic, Adobe, Autodesk, and Maxon, and access to personal studio spaces and state-of-the-art facilities that function like a real professional studio. Students in all Diploma programs will have the opportunity to produce a number of animated productions, including a Final Diploma Project.

10. Animum Creativity Advanced School, Malaga, Spain
Animum Creativity Advanced School

Animum Creativity Advanced School (Animum) provides programs for students seeking careers in game design, animation, VFX, film and video, and other areas in the entertainment industry. Launched more than a decade ago, Animum has a number of animation programs for artists interested in taking a single course to those seeking a longer program, such as the Animum Master.

Options include the Digital Drawing and 2D Animation Master (560 hours), Animation of 3D Characters Master (18 months), the Master Concept of Characters (15 months), Animation for Video Games Advanced Program (nine Months), Explode Your Reel – Character Animation (three-month Advanced Workshop), Cartoon Animation (three-month Program), and Fundamentals of Animation (course, 30 hours).

Graduates of the Animation Programs at Animum Creativity Advanced School have the opportunity to  promote their professional portfolios or reels to major studios, companies, and agencies locally and around the world.

Animum alumni have established careers at animation studios, game design companies, VFX studios, creative firms, and motion graphics production studios, among others. With locations in Los Angeles, New York, Mumbai, Chicago, London, Vancouver, Melbourne, and Montreal, Framestore (Animation & VFX) frequently hires Animum graduates. Illumination MacGuff (Paris), which produces animated films, is another top studio for graduates of the Animation Programs at Animum.

11. FX Animation Barcelona 3D & Film School, Barcelona, Spain
FX Animation Barcelona 3D & Film School

FX Animation Barcelona 3D & Film School (FX Animation) provides a four-year Specialized Studies Program in Character and Creature Animation, and a Higher Master in 3D Character Animation. Features across programs include internship opportunities, small class sizes (up to 15 students), and the opportunity to complete an industry-ready animated film. FX Animation students have interned at studios such as B-Water Animation Studios, Digital Legends, El Ranchito, The Game Forge, Deluxe, Scarecrow Studio, Music Has No Limits, and Entropy Studio.

Students in the Character and Creature Animation Program will master Autodesk Maya, Mudbox, MotionBuilder, Autodesk Sketchbook, and Zbrush, among others. Module examples for the program include CGI, FXExperience, 3D Advanced Character Animation, Animation Film Production, Realistic Animal Animation, and Fantastic Creatures Animation. Students will also complete two Animation Short Production modules. The program culminates with the Final Animation Project.

The Higher Master in Character and Creature Animation may be completed online or on-campus. Students in this program will master Maya, Mudbox, TVPaint, Autodesk Sketchbook, and MotionBuilder, among others. The program explores everything from the 12 principles of animation to advanced animation of creatures. The FX Animation Higher Master is the only Master’s at the national level to offer a specialization in the animation of creatures, quadrupeds, and bipeds.

All FX Animation students benefit from the school’s relationship with technology partners such as Fuji Film, HP, ASUS, The Rookies, Wacom, 22 Barcelona, and SenoraX Productions, and intense training in industry-standard software and other tools such as Houdini, LightWave, Nuke, Maya, Avid, Cara VR, Pro Tools, RailClone, Adobe Premier Pro, V-Ray, Adobe After Effects, DaVinci, Mari, SynthEyes, 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, and Forest Pack. All FX Animation students also have access to state-of-the-art production equipment and studios.

Established in 2007, FX Animation - Barcelona 3D & Film School has a near perfect 99% job placement rate, with graduates working at well over 800 companies in Europe and around the world. FX Animation alumni work in areas such as TV, film, games, and advertising.

12. The One Academy, Selangor, Malaysia
The One Academy

Established in 1991, The One Academy (TOA) is an international art and design school that serves hundreds of students enrolled in Diploma, Degree, and Certificate Programs. A Digital Animation Program is available, and it leads to a Diploma. This three-year program provides opportunities to work with mentors who are professionals in the animation industry. Students will work and learn in a studio environment, with access to state-of-the-art production equipment and immersive workshops.

The TOA Digital Animation Program requires liberal arts courses such as Business & Marketing, Language & Communication Skills, and Survey of Southeast Asia Art & Culture. Students will also take Studio, Software, and Personal Development courses. Examples include 3D Animation, Adobe Illustrator, Team Building, Story Workshop, Autodesk Maya, Visual Storytelling, 3D Environment Modeling, Digital Video Creation, Marmoset Tooslbag, Adobe After Effects, and Advanced Rigging Workshop. Students will complete a professional portfolio and demo reel in the final year of the program.

Graduates of the Digital Animation Program at The One Academy are prepared to pursue positions such as 3D Animator, 2D Animator, Rigger, Concept Artist, 3D Character Modeler, Videographer, Director, Production Assistant, Producer, Storyboard Artist, technical Artist, Lighting & Shading Artist, and Teacher, Lecturer or Researcher.

TOA alumni work at Pixar Animation Studios, Lucasfilm Animation Singapore, Leo Burnett, The Moving Picture Company, Weta Digital, Ogilvy, DreamWorks, Young & Rubicam, Hydraulx, Rhythm & Hue, BlueDigital International, Ubisoft, AMBER China, BBDO, and Bear Down Studio, among others.

13. The Animation School, Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa
The Animation School

With full service campuses in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa, The Animation School provides a Diploma Program and six- to seven-week courses covering 3D Animation, 2D Cartoon Animation, and Digital Drawing. The Digital Animation Diploma is a three-year program that allows students to begin animating on day one. Course examples for the program include 2D Digital Animation, 3D Production, Visual Narrative, 3D Character Animation, 3D Production, and 3D Character Development.

During the third year of the program, students will select electives that support their education goals and complete a Professional Development course. Students will produce an animated short film as a team and they will also complete a two-week internship with an animation studio. The animated short film will become part of the student’s final personal demo reel.

Other Animation School benefits include small class sizes, lectures, seminars and workshops, and participation in local and international film festivals, and 24-hour access to professional state-of-the-art facilities. Animation School students also have access to the exchange program with Emile Cohl School in Lyons, France.

Graduates of the Animation Diploma Program at The Animation School enjoy a 90-95% employment placement rate with top studios around the world.

14. Nanyang Polytechnic, Ang Mo Kio, Singapore
Nanyang Polytechnic

The programs at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) provide opportunities to work on real-world projects at companies and studios in Singapore or abroad. Through the NYP Internship Program (ITP), students have worked at companies and studios in the U.S., Japan, China, Finland, Hong Kong, Sweden, China, and France. Since 1998, the NYP ITP has been helping place students at major studios such as Pixar Animation Studios, Disney, Blizzard Entertainment, Lucasfilm, Ubisoft, Blizzard Entertainment and Weta Digital.

Established in 1992, Nanyang Polytechnic serves more than 15,000 students enrolled in more than 40 programs in seven schools. The NYP School of Design & Media (SDM) has an Animation & Visual Effects Diploma Program that takes just three years to complete. Courses are taught by professionals who have worked with major studios such as Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Lucasfilm, and Ubisoft.

Course examples for the program include Concept Ideation, Animation Principles, Story through Audio & Visual, Storyboarding, 3D Workflows, 2D and 3D Animation, Advanced Figure Drawing, Technical Direction, Texturing, Lighting & Rendering, Environment Design, 3D Character Animation, and Motion Graphics. Through a variety of electives, students may develop skills in other areas. Elective examples include Mixed Reality Experience Design, Creative Producing, Game Story Creation, Business for Digital Media Industry, Digital Photography, Cinematography for Visual Effects, Sequential Art, and Audio Creation.

Students will have the option to participate in NYP ITP, which lasts 24 weeks or combine a 12-week internship with a 12-week Final Year Project. Students will complete several additional projects throughout the program as well as a Professional Portfolio.

Graduates of the Nanyang Polytechnic Animation & Visual Effects Program are prepared to enroll in an advanced degree program or pursue positions in animation, game design, and visual effects, among others. Program alumni are 2D/3D Character Animators, Art Directors, Character Designers, Storyboard Artists, Production Designers, Animation Producers, Creative Directors, Visual Effects Artists, Comic Artists, Illustrators, and 3D Modelers.

In addition to the studios mentioned earlier, NYP graduates work at AMC Studio, Netflix Animation, DNEG, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Method Studios, Polygon Pictures, and Crave FX, among others.

15. Max the Mutt College of Animation, Art & Design, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Max the Mutt College of Animation

The Animation Diploma Program at Max the Mutt College of Animation, Art & Design (Max the Mutt) explores storytelling, drawing, background painting and design, cartooning, visual language, and acting for animation. Courses explore both classical and digital animation and include Production Process, Design & Composition, Digital Background Painting, Structural Drawing, Cartooning for Animation Storytelling & Story Development, 2D Computer Animation: Introduction (Harmony), 3D Animation Software, 3D Film Development & Pre-Production, and Layout for 3D Development.

Students in the Animation Diploma Program will complete several animated productions across four years and a professional portfolio of their best work.

Established in 1996, Max the Mutt has an additional program option that is suitable for students interested in animation. The Concept Art Program combines animation, fine art, cartooning, concept art, and illustration courses. The first year of the program consists of Visual Arts Literacy (VAL) coursework.

Throughout the program, students will develop advanced skills in software programs such as Maya and Photoshop.

Course examples include Artistic Anatomy, Environment Visualization, Advanced Environment Design & Painting in Photoshop, Painting the Costumed Mode, Traditional & Computer Illustration, and Creature Design. Students will leave the Concept Art Program with a professional portfolio.

Students in all Max the Mutt Programs have opportunities to participate in the Annual Industry Open House and Annual Showcase, art, animation, gaming, portfolio development and other workshops (on campus or online), and the internship program.

Graduates of the Animation and Concept Art Programs at Max the Mutt have been hired at studios such as Pixar, Warner Bros. Games, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Guru Studios, Disney Design Group, CMJ Productions, Nanomyte Productions, Mercury Filmworks, See Creatures, Elliott Animation, Pipeline Studios, and Legend 3D.

16. CG Masters School of 3D Animation & VFX, New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
CG Masters School of 3D Animation & VFX

CG Masters School of 3D Animation & VFX provides career-focused 3D animation training in a real working studio. Founded in 2012, the school also offers small class sizes, courses taught by industry professionals, and job placement services. Program options for animators include a one-year intensive 3D Animation VFX Production Diploma and a 12-week 3D Foundations Certificate. Houdini classes and tutoring are available as well.

Launching on June 7, 2022, the 3D Foundations Certificate will teach the basics of animation and visual effects. The program explores rendering and storyboarding, 3D modeling, photography, art theory, texture creation, FX particles and dynamics, cinematography, and compositing. The program will be offered online and in-person—with small class sizes.

The CG Masters Diploma Program consists of courses such as Animation I-II, Production I-II, Modeling & Texturing I-II, Rigging & Scripting I-II, and Dynamics I-II. In the third term of the program students will complete Production III and Dailies III. Throughout the program, student will explore the production pipeline and complete several projects.

Graduates of the 3D Animation VFX Production Diploma at CG Masters work at studios around the world. They are Production Coordinators, Technical Animators, Character Animators, RotoPaint Artists, Matchmovers, FX Artists, Riggers, Lighting Technical Directors, 3D Modelers, FX Technical Directors, and Texture Artists, among others. Program alumni have worked on productions such as Spiderman, The Lion King, The Dragon Prince, Tarzan, and Puss in Boots.

17. The Game Assembly, Malmo, Sweden
The Game Assembly

The Game Assembly (TGA) is one of the few schools that provides the opportunity to spend a third of any given program in the workplace. Founded in 2008, this polytechnic school also features partnerships with gaming local gaming studios, small class sizes, courses taught by professionals who are active in the industry, and the opportunity to collaborate with students across programs.

The TGA Game Animator Diploma is an immersive program that focuses on 3D. The program also covers the 12 Animation Principles, along with Autodesk maya and Motion Builder. Students will have the opportunity to develop a total of eight games both individually and in teams from concept to playable game.

The Game Animator Diploma Program at The Game Assembly takes 2.5 years to complete, full-time.

18. Universal Arts School, Valencia, Spain
Universal Arts School

The Character Animation Program at Universal Arts School (UA) has several pathways for animators seeking an undergraduate or graduate degree. The Character Animation Bachelor’s Degree has 14 Specializations. Examples include Videogame Art and Character Animation, Concept Art and Character Animation, Videogame Art and VFX, Matte Painting and Character Animation, and Digital Film and Concept Art. Students in the program will be prepared for senior level positions in four years.

Students who would like to work in more than one professional area can add a Specialty such as 3D Art, Character Animation for Cinema or Character Animator for Videogames. Dual Specialty Options take five years to complete.

At the graduate level, UA has Master’s and Dual Master’s Degree Programs. The Master’s Degree has two options—Character Animation and Rigging with Maya. Students in the Dual Master’s have eight Specialization options. Examples include Character Animation and Illustration Concept Art, Character Animation and VFX with Houdini, Rigging 3D with Maya and Character Animation, and Animation and Digital Film. Students in this program may choose two Specialty areas. Both the Master’s and Dual Master’s take two years to complete.

Established in 1994, UA has two campuses in Valencia, Spain and one in Hollywood, California. All programs can be completed at either campus or entirely online. Features across programs include access to more than 200 mentors, internship opportunities, the Start-Up component, which helps students develop skills to start their own business, and access to nearly 100 speakers and collaborators from game and film studios.

The Universal Arts School Character Animation Programs culminate with a final project and professional demo reel. UA graduates have been hired at major studios such as Pixar, Blizzard Entertainment, Lucasfilm Animation, Ubisoft, Disney, Weta Digital, Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), LightBox Studios, and Framestore. Some alumni UA have launched their own studios or freelance businesses.

19. Escola de Cinema de Barcelona – ECIB (9Zeros Training Program), Barcelona, Spain
Escola de Cinema de Barcelona – ECIB (9Zeros Training Program)

Escola de Cinema de Barcelona – ECIB (9Zeros Training Program) is the only school in the Catalonia Region that offers training in all aspects of film. For animators, ECIB/9Zeroes has degree programs, courses, and workshops in Animation, VFX Animation, 3D Character Animation, 3D Animation Generalist, Animation and 2D Realization, Animation and Stop Motion Production, and Concept Art and Character Design. Programs lead to a Diploma or Master’s Degree.

The Animation Program is the most popular option for students seeking an undergraduate degree. Covering the three branches of Animation (2D, 3D and Stop-Motion Animation) this three-year option is the only program in the Catalonia Region that provides training in all three branches.

Across programs, ECIB/9Zeros graduates have secured positions at major studios such as Pixar, Double Negative, Aardman Animations, Lightbox Animation Studios, and Weta Digital. ECIB/9Zeros alumni have worked on productions such as The Hunger Games, Cars 3, X-Men: Apocalypse, Brave, The Jungle Book, Inside Out, The Chronicles of Narnia, Justice League, and The Hunger Games.

20. Vancouver Animation School, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
Vancouver Animation School

The Animation Programs at Vancouver Animation School (VANAS) can be completed 100% online or online + onsite (hybrid). Students who choose the hybrid option will spend three hours each week in onsite sessions where they will interact with industry professionals and other students.

Established in 2010, Vancouver Animation School has Diploma and Introduction Programs for Animators. Diploma Programs are 12 months and include 2D Computer Animation, 3D Computer Animation, and Animated Short Films. All Diploma Programs have three-month Introduction options. Short or Introduction Programs include Introduction to Digital Art and Writing for Animation. A Professional Career Development Program is also available and it takes one month to complete. At the end of this program, students will receive a Certificate.

Graduates of the Animation Programs at Vancouver Animation School work in a variety of positions at studios and game software developers such as Ubisoft, Zynga, Bethesda Game Studios, Double Negative, Epic Games, Framestore, Gameloft, Reel FX Animation, and Gearbox Software.

21. La Poudrière, Valence, Drome, France
La Poudrière

La Poudrière (Film School) trains students in Animated Film Production. Students will explore writing and animating for film, trailers, and TV series, directing actors, sound, music, and editing. Programs at La Poudrière take two years to complete and they prepare students for immediate employment in the animation industry or to produce their own independent short films.

Launched in 1999, La Poudrière has trained nearly 200 artists, with 119 certified since 2009 and 95% obtaining global certification in the last two years. The programs at La Poudrière culminate with a one or several completed projects.

Upon completion of any program at La Poudrière, graduates will gain access to networking opportunities, direct connections to producers, and critiques by composers and co-authors; exclusive access to professional events such as Cartoon Forum, Cartoon Movie, and Cartoon Springboard; and support with short film projects through Ciclic, (the cultural agency of the Centre-Val-de-Loire Region),  the European Conservatory of Audiovisual Writing, and the SACD and the CEEA.

22. Lightbox Academy, Madrid, Spain
 Lightbox Academy

Lightbox Academy School of Digital Arts (Lightbox Academy) is located in the heart of Madrid. The school features state-of-the art classrooms and facilities, small class sizes, practice and meeting rooms, studios that function the same as a professional industry studio, personalized attention, and access to job and internship exchange, which consists of more than 250 companies and institutions.

Lightbox Academy provides programs in 3D, Animation, Motion Graphics, Illustration, VFX, Graphic Design, Web Design and Videogames. All programs begin with the basics and gradually progress to the professional level. Students will work in a collaborative and interdisciplinary environment where they can learn from each other and about multiple areas within the design, film, and entertainment. industries.

Specific program options for students interested in a career in animation include Double Master’s Degrees in 3D Animation, 3D Modeling, and Concept Illustration. An undergraduate Animation Production Program is available as well as an Online High Specialization Program for students interested in learning about the animation pipeline, animation project development and production, and rigging, lighting, set design, and props modeling.

23. The Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
The Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague

Founded in 1946, The Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU) is the fifth oldest film school in Europe and one of the three schools of the Academy of Performing Arts. The school has been an incubator for young artists, and it is a founding member of the European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA), the European Film Academy, the International Association of Film and Television Schools (CILECT), and the European Grouping of Film and Television Schools (GEECT). FAMU is also an institutional member of the Czech Society for Film Studies (CEFS).  

FAMU has six accredited programs housed in twelve departments. The Department of Animated Film has a one-year, intensive program that provides the opportunity to create films in a workshop environment. Students will explore both hand-drawn and computer animation, stop-motion animation, and storyboarding, among other areas. Course examples include Animation of Drawing, Experimental Animation, Stop-Motion Puppet Animation, History and Theory of Animation, and Visual Expression and Figure Drawing. The program culminates with a professional portfolio of the student’s best work.

The Animated Film Program at FAMU leads to a Certificate. Graduates are prepared to pursue positions at animation studios around the world. The certificate is also transferrable to a four-year degree program at any college and university. 

24. Faculdade Melies, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Faculdade Melies

The Animation Program at Melies Faculdade Criativa (Melies) has an 18-month option and a two-year option. Students who would like to take a single course can do so for free. 3D Animation, 3D Fundamentals, Semiotics, and Imaginary are a few course options.

The 18-month program option—2D Animation—explores topics such as Traditional and Digital Animation, Character Creation, Planning and Thumbnail Animation, Mechanics of Movement, and Character Rigging. The program begins with the 12 Principles of Animation and concludes with a Final Animation Project and a Professional Portfolio. Throughout the program, students will develop advanced skills using Toon Boom. Graduates will receive a Post-Graduate Certificate with a Specialization in 2D Animation.

The two-year Melies Animation Design Program leads to a Diploma and focuses on 3D Animated Filmmaking. Students will have the opportunity to work through the entire 3D animated film production process. Examples of areas explored include rendering, storyboarding, texturing, modeling, lighting, effects and editing, assembly, screenwriting, and art direction. The Animation Design Program culminates with a Final Short Film (Graduation Project).

Established in 2005 as Melies School of Cinema, 3D And Animation, Melies Faculdade Criativa has helped graduates establish careers in Advertising and at Animation Studios, Game Studios, Creative Agencies, and Film/Television Studios. Melies alumni are Animators, VFX Artists, Digital Animators, Modelers, Art Directors, Film Producers, and Animation Designers. They have worked on films and games such as The Last of Us Part II, Avengers: Infinity War, and Game of Thrones.

25. CG Spectrum, South Melbourne, Australia
CG Spectrum

CG Spectrum is an Online Digital Animation School that trains students for careers in Animation, Game Development, and Visual Effects. CG Spectrum benefits include access to programs that can be completed 100% online, small class sizes, mentorship from industry professionals, networking and career training opportunities, and flexible class schedules.

Established in 2015 and a Toon Boom Authorized Training Center, CG Spectrum has animation programs that consists  courses taught by artists from Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Disney, Weta, Electronic Arts (EA), and Sony. The Introduction to 2D Animation Program explores the 12 Principles of Animation. This hands-on program allows students to choose between the one-on-one option and small group classes (maximum four students). Designed for artists with no prior animation experience, the Introduction to  2D Animation Program takes just three months to complete and it leads to a Certificate.

For a more advanced program, CG has a 2D Animation Program that takes nine months to complete. With a 20 hour a week time commitment, students in the program will explore hand-drawn character animation and train on Toon Boom Harmony. The 2D Animation Program leads to a Certificate.

For an even more advanced program, CG Spectrum has an Advanced 2D Animation Program that also takes nine months to complete. Students in this program will explore creating characters, drawing, FX animation, and acting. Students will master Toon Boom and build a professional portfolio.

For students interested in 3D Animation, CG Spectrum has an Introduction to 3D Animation Program that takes three months to complete (20 hours a week), a 3D Animation Program that takes nine months to complete (20 hours a week), and Advanced 3D Animation, which also takes nine months to complete, with a 20 hour a week commitment. Across options, students will explore the 12 Principles of Animation, 3D foundations, animating walk cycles, creating fight scenes, character animation techniques, creating scenes, character rigs and posing, and more.

All options allow students to master Maya software. The nine-month programs culminate with a professional portfolio and career development. Examples of potential job titles for CG Spectrum graduates include 2D Animator or 3D Animator, Character Animator, Pre-Vis Animator, Layout Artist, Character Rigger, Storyboard Artist, Clean-Up Artist, Character Rigger, and Creature Animator.