What are the top international animation training programs?

Top 25 International Animation Training Programs - 2023 School Rankings
1Vancouver Film SchoolCanada
2Filmakademie Baden-WurttembergGermany
3Vancouver Institute of Media ArtsCanada
4National Film and Television SchoolEngland
5Seneca CollegeCanada
6Think Tank Training CentreCanada
7Nanyang PolytechnicSingapore
8Trazos School of Digital ArtsSpain
9Animum Creativity Advanced SchoolSpain
10The One AcademyMalaysia
11Algonquin College of Applied Arts and TechnologyCanada
12The Animation SchoolSouth Africa
13FX Animation Barcelona 3D & Film SchoolSpain
14Capilano UniversityCanada
15La Poudrière Animation Film SchoolFrance
16CG SpectrumAustralia
17The Game AssemblySweden
18Vancouver Animation SchoolCanada
19Aardman AcademyEngland
20Escola de Cinema de BarcelonaSpain
21Universal Arts SchoolSpain
22The Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in PragueCzech Republic
23Lightbox AcademySpain
24Faculdade MeliesBrazil
25Max the Mutt College of AnimationCanada

Our 2023 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

Vancouver Film School (VFS) is a Houdini Certified School with a number of partnerships with major corporations. This allows students to establish valuable industry connections—all before graduation. Partnerships include Adobe, HP, Final Draft, Pixologic (makers of Zbrush), Unreal Engine, Dell Technologies, Unity, NVIDIA, and Autodesk, among others. 

Other VFS features include workshops and visiting artists; internships and other experiential learning opportunities; and 24/7 access to state-of-the-art computer labs equipped with industry standard software as well as studios, theaters, film sets, motion and performance capture facilities (among the largest in North America), production spaces, and screening rooms. VFS facilities are housed across eight campuses and more than 42,000 sq. ft. of space.

For students seeking Animation training, Vancouver Film School has an Animation & Visual Effects Program that consists of three 12-month, six-term Diploma options. These immersive programs include Classical Animation, 3D Animation & Visual Effects, and Animation Concept Art.

The VFS Classical Animation Diploma Program consists of coursework that explores the basics of Animation, Background Design, Animating Characters, Rendering,  Storyboards, Layout, and Art Direction. Students will graduate from the program with a master demo reel and a traditional Art and Animation portfolio.

The 3D Animation & Visual Effects Diploma explores areas such as the 3D Animation Pipeline, Storytelling, Production, Lighting and Rendering. Students will graduate from the program with a master demo reel of their final project.

The Animation Conception Art Diploma explores Creating Characters, Environments and Worlds, Storytelling, Drawing, and Digital Painting. 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.

All Vancouver Film School graduates have access to career services through the VFS Alumni Directory & Job Board. Graduates have also gone on to establish careers at top studios around the world. Over the past 6.5 years, program alumni have worked on 97 feature films, 24 TV/web series, 21 3D Animation projects, and 28 games. Examples include Toy Story 4, Ghostbusters, Overwatch, The Grinch, Justice League, Spider-Man, Luigi’s Mansion, Halo Infinite, League of Legends, Free Guy, and God of War.

Established in 1987 and serving hundreds of students, Vancouver Film School provides 15 post-secondary programs from Animation and Film to VR/AR Design & Development. The school has eight campuses throughout Vancouver, and one within Shanghai University (SHVFS) that was launched in 2014. Vancouver Film School is accredited by the B.C. Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education and the British Columbia Education Quality Assurance (EQA). VFS is also Certified under the Private Training Act.

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

Founded in 1991, Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg (Filmakademie or FABW) houses the Animation Institute. Established in 2002, the Institute trains students in Animation, Interactive Media, Visual Effects (VFX), Technical Editing, and Animation/Effects Producing.

Features across programs include a project-based curriculum with hands-on training; collaborations with local and international partners; scientific research and development; and guest speakers. All students are assigned their own private workstation equipped with all of the latest technology and software used in today’s Animation studios. Examples include Toon Boom Harmony, Adobe After Effects, SideFX Houdini, Dragonframe, TV Paint, and Autodesk Maya.

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 FABW Animation Programs is participation in the Annual Spring FMX Conference on Animation, Games, Effects, and Transmedia. Hosted by the Animation Institute since 1994, the Conference attracts Directors, Producers, and major studios from across Europe. The event takes place in Stuttgart.

Around a quarter of FABW students participate in the international exchange program with partners in countries such as Canada, South Africa Argentina, Lebanon, Poland, France, and Israel.

Graduates of the Animation Programs at Filmakademie have gone on to establish careers at studios in Germany and abroad. Some alumni have launched their own independent studios or freelance businesses.

Founded in 1991, Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg serves approximately 500 students. The school consists of a Media Campus spread across two sites separating the Film Academy (including the Institute of Animation, Visual Effects and Digital Postproduction) from the Academy of Performing Arts Baden-Württemberg and the Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris. Filmakademie is a subsidiary of the State of Baden-Württemberg. The school awards Diplomas, which are equivalent to vocational qualifications from state art schools.

3. Vancouver Institute of Media Arts, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Vancouver Institute of Media Arts

Vancouver Institute of Media Arts (VanArts) is a Houdini Training Partner, with additional partnerships with Pixologic (makers of ZBrush), Adobe, Microsoft, SideFX, Toon Boom, and Autodesk. The school provides Diploma Programs that boast a 92% 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 Media Design School, RMIT University, Deakin University, Woodbury University, and Emily Carr University. Some Diploma2Degree Programs may be completed in as little as one year after completing a Diploma Program at VanArts.

An ideal program option for Animators is 2D/3D Character Animation. This program explores The 12 Principles of Animation, Lighting and Rendering, Life Drawing, Set Building, Acting and Performance, Character Assets, and Sound FX. Students will also master Maya, Adobe, Photoshop, and other industry-standard software. 

The VanArts Animation Program culminates with the completion of a short film or a sequence of assignments that demonstrate the student’s skills as a Character Animator. Graduates are prepared for positions in all areas of Animation as well as Television, Games, and Visual Effects (VFX). Students can also use their Animation skills for careers in Advertising, Graphic Design, Education, Architecture, Medicine, Science, and Legal.

VanArts graduates have been hired at or worked with major studios such as Walt Disney Animation Studios, DreamWorks, WETA FX, and Animal Logic. Examples of alumni credits include 101 Dalmatian Street, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Dragon Prince, Transformers: Rescue Bots, Mega Man, Hilda, and Teen Titans Go.

Vancouver Institute of Media Arts was founded in 1995 by Academy-Award winning Animator and Director Lee Mishkin. Serving hundreds of students from around the world, VanArts focuses on programs in Character Animation, Visual Effects Production, Game Art & Design, Web Development & Design, Professional Photography, and Acting for Film & Television. Vancouver Institute of Media Arts is designated by the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB), Education Quality Assurance (EQA), and EduCanada.

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

Beaconsfield Studios is the National Film and Television School’s (NFTS) main campus. This means, NFTS is the only Film School in the UK with its own in-house television and film studios. This allows the school to operate like a major studio, with state-of-the-art production facilities for Animation, Games, TV, Film, Design, and more.

NFTS has several paths to study Animation. Options include an MA in Directing Animation, a Diploma in Model Making for Animation, a Character Animation Certificate (provided in partnership with Aardman Studios), and a three-week online Storyboarding for Animators Program. The MA, Diploma, and Certificate Programs are delivered at the main campus (Beaconsfield Studios). Other options are delivered at locations across the UK in London’s Soho, Cardiff, Glasgow, and Leeds.

Students in all programs at National Film and Television School benefit from instructors who are active in the industry; student showcases; workshops; and animation guests such as Glen Keane (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) and Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings, The Boxtrolls). NFTS also has partnerships with BBC, Prime Video, the Film Distributors Association, ITV, The National Lottery, and the UK Cinema Association.

Across programs, students will study Animation Principles, 2D and 3D Animation, Life-Size Pixilation, Character Posing, Stop Motion, and Storyboarding for Animated TV Series (Storyboarding, Pitching, Revisioning).

Graduates of the Animation Programs at National Film and Television School enjoy a 90% employment rate. Program alumni have worked on productions such as Isle of Dogs and at studios such as Aardman Animations, Blue Zoo Animation Studio, Jellyfish Pictures, Animortal - Stop-Motion Animation Studio, and Blinkink – London Animation Studio.

Launched in 1971 as The National Film School, National Film and Television School serves more than 700 students each year. The school provides more than 30 Certificate, Diploma, and MA programs as well as short programs in multiple areas of Games, Television, and Film. Additional specialized programs include Cinematography, Directing, Production Accounting, and Script Supervision. National Film and Television School received the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education and the 2018 BAFTA for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema.

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

Seneca Polytechnic College (Seneca Polytechnic) provides a number of 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 Polytechnic 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 Polytechnic has several paths to study Animation. All offer the same benefits and opportunities. Options include the Animation Diploma and Graduate Certificates in 3D Animation and Game Art & Animation. The Certificate Programs take eight months to complete and they are delivered in a hybrid format.

The Animation Diploma Program at Seneca Polytechnic College takes three years (six semesters) to complete. Delivered in a hybrid format and leading to the Ontario College Advanced Diploma, the Program explores Computer Animation and Animation Production. Courses for the program are hands-on and cross-disciplinary, with titles such as Storyboarding – Film Structure, Animation Applications, Storytelling, Layout – Environmental Design, Character Development, History of Animation, Character Acting, and Character Design.

The first year of the Animation Program at Seneca Polyethnic explores Animation Foundations. This helps students develop skills in Animation, Design, Film Language, Life Drawing, and Structural Drawing for Animation. In the second and third year of the Program, students will focus in one of four areas including 2D Animation, 3D Animation, Visual Development, and Game Art and Animation. Students will have the opportunity to collaborate with peers across all focus areas.

All focus areas include portfolio preparation and development courses. Other program features include access to state-of-the-art facilities including the Animation Lab and the Digital Animation Lab; the Toon Boom Center of Excellence Program; affiliations including Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI), Computer Animation Studios of Ontario (CASO), Ottawa International Animation Festival, LightBox Expo, and others; and workshops, internships, and visiting artists.

Graduates of the Seneca Polytechnic College Animation Program are prepared to pursue careers in all areas of Animation for Film, the Web, Games, Television, Advertising, and Education. Program alumni also go on to enroll in an Animation BA Program at partner schools such as University of Gloucestershire and Munster Technological University (MTU).

The 3D Animation Program at Seneca Polytechnic explores Animation, Rendering, Modeling, Lighting, Compositing, and Rigging. Students in this program will also develop Storyboard Drawing and Project Development skills. Graduates are prepared for careers in Animation, 3D Animation, Film, Television, Gaming, Forensic Animation, Interior Design and Industrial Design. Examples of potential job titles include Digital Animator, Character Rigger, 3D Painting/Texturing and Lighting Specialist, and Modeler.

Game Art & Animation students will master high-end hardware and software, while developing skills in Design, Modeling, Animation, and Texturing. Students will also learn about how the Production Pipeline works at AAA Game Studios. Graduates are prepared for careers in Animation, Modeling, Prop Art, Level Design, and Lighting.

Established in 1967, Seneca Polytechnic College serves approximately 30,000 students annually, with 7,000 students hailing from more than 150 countries. Seneca Polytechnic provides more than 300 programs leading to a Degree, Graduate Certificate, Diploma, Advanced Diploma, or Undergraduate Certificate.

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

Think Tank Training Centre (Think Tank) has a 3D Animation, Visual Effects & Game Art Diploma Program that explores all aspects of Animation, Computer Graphics, VFX, and Games. Consisting of 40-60 hours of work per week, this immersive program features courses such as 3D Animation, Classical and Flash Animation, Texturing, Compositing & VFX, Acting for Animation, Rigging, Production Pipeline, and Game Design.

Software provides includes Unreal Engine, Nuke, Maya, Mudbox, Photoshop, ZBrush, Mari, V-Ray, UVLayout, Substance Designer, Marmoset, Substance Painter, and Marvelous Designer.

Taught across four terms completed over 64 weeks, the Think Tank Diploma Program culminates with an industry-ready portfolio.

Think Tank Training Centre also has a 16-week option designed for students with very advanced skills in CG. Students in this program learn and create at personal, state-of-the-art workstations, and they have access to personal mentors who are industry professionals. Courses include Production Pipeline, Job Readiness, and Final Portfolio Production.

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, portfolio workshops, and additional job-readiness tutorials.

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 (up to eight students), supervised projects and production, a state-of-the-art learning portal, and full-time support by industry professionals.

Graduates of the Animation and CG Programs at Think Tank Training Centre have been hired at local and global studios such as Electronic Arts (EA), Sony Pictures Imageworks, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Digital Domain, BioWare, DNEG, Animal Logic, Phoenix Labs, Method Studios, Scan Line VFX, and Waterproof Studios.

Founded in 2005, Think Tank Training Centre prepares students for careers in the CG Industry. Specialized programs include Animation, Game Art, and Visual Effects (VFX). The school serves hundreds of students at its North Vancouver location as well as hundreds of online students around the world.

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

Students at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) have many opportunities to work on real-world projects at studios in Singapore, Finland, Hong Kong, Sweden, China, and France through the NYP Internship Program (ITP). Since 1998, the NYP ITP has been helping place students at major studios such as Pixar Animation, Disney, Lucasfilm, Ubisoft, Blizzard Entertainment, and Weta Digital. NYP internships are mandatory and last 24 weeks.

For students who would like to pursue a career in Animation, the School of Design & Media (SDM) at Nanyang Polytechnic has an Animation, Games & Visual Effects (VFX) Diploma Program that takes just three years to complete. Courses are taught in state-of-the-art facilities and classrooms by professionals who have worked with major studios such as Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Lucasfilm, The Walt Disney Company, and Ubisoft.

Course examples for the program include 2D and 3D Animation, Advanced Figure Drawing, Technical Direction, Concept Ideation, Animation Principles, Texturing, Lighting & Rendering, Environment Design, 3D Character Animation, Story through Audio & Visual, Storyboarding, 3D Workflows, and Motion Graphics.

Animation, Games & VFX students have the opportunity to develop skills in other areas through a variety of electives. Examples include Game Story Creation, Business for Digital Media Industry, Digital Photography, Audio Creation, Mixed Reality Experience Design, Creative Producing, Cinematography for Visual Effects, and Sequential Art. Students may also earn industry certifications through NYP partners such as Epic Games.

NYP Animation, Games & VFX students will complete several projects throughout the program. This includes the One Year Final Project (FYP).

Graduates of the Animation, Games & VFX Program at Nanyang Polytechnic are prepared to enroll in an advanced degree program or pursue positions in Animation, Game Design, and Visual Effects. Program alumni have established careers such as 2D/3D Character Animator, Art Director, Animation Producer, Creative Director, VFX Artist, Character Designer, Storyboard Artist, Production Designer, 3D Modeler, Comic Artist, Illustrator, and Visual Development Artist.

NYP graduates work at studios such as Sony Pictures Imageworks, DNEG, Netflix Animation, Method Studios, AMC Studio, Polygon Pictures, and Crave FX.

Established in 1992, Nanyang Polytechnic serves more than 15,000 students enrolled in 40+ programs across seven schools. Students at Nanyang have access to more than 40 full-time Diploma programs, and a full suite of Continuing Education and Training (CET) options. Many CET programs are housed in the school’s Asian Culinary Institute; Singapore Institute of Retail Studies; and the National Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning.

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

Trazos School of Digital Arts (Trazos) is an Autodesk Authorized Training Center and a Houdini Training Center. The school has training programs for individuals seeking a career in Animation or single courses for working professionals looking to enhance their skills. Examples of courses include 3D with Blender, Unreal Engine, and 3D Animator with a Specialization in Cartoony & Snappy.

Delivered through a combination of online and face-to-face courses, the Cartoony & Snappy Program provides the opportunity to work on 100% “real” projects for the production company Anima. Students will immerse in production for three hours a day, Monday thru Friday, for a total of 150 hours. Upon completion of the program, students will receive an employment contract with Anima. Cartoony graduates will also have a portfolio and the opportunity to apply to more than 1,100 other production companies or studios.

For individuals looking to launch a career in Animation, Trazos has a Double Major in Illustration, 3D and Animation (1,800 Hours); 3D Racing and Animation with Autodesk (1,200); 3D Image or Advanced 3D Image (900 hours); and Race in 3D with Autodesk Maya (900 hours). Professional Master options range from 300 to 600 hours and include Animation; Advanced Character Creation with Zbrush; Advanced Animation; Design and 2D Animation with Toon Boom; 3D and Animation; 3D and VFX with Maya and Houdini; 3D with Autodesk; Character Design and Creation; 2D Animation with Toon Boom; VFX with Houdini; Advanced 3D Mastering with Autodesk Maya; and VFX with Houdini. Programs range from 300 to 1,800 hours.

Across programs and courses, features include access to personal studio spaces and state-of-the-art facilities that function like real professional studios; partnerships with Apple, Pixologic, Adobe, Autodesk, and Maxon; and the opportunity to produce a number of animated productions, including a Final Diploma Project.

Across all Trazos Programs, graduates have been hired to work in wide range of roles at a variety of companies. Examples include Leo Burnett, Ogilvy, Y&R, Accenture, ReasonWhy, Sanitas, Volkswagen, and Adecco. Animation graduates have also been hired at a many local and global studios.

Established more than 25 years ago, Trazos School of Digital Arts is a Professional Training School that prepares students for careers in Animation, Motion Graphics, VFX, game Design, Graphic Design, Web Development, Digital Production, and more. To date, the school has more than 15,000 graduates who are working in their chosen fields.

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

Animum Creativity Advanced School (Animum) is certified by Autodesk, Houdini, and Adobe. The school has a number of Animation options 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 Art 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, both locally and around the world.

With an 80% job placement rate, Animum graduates 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.

Animum Creativity Advanced School has been providing programs in Art and Design, 3D Production, and Postproduction training programs for more than 15 years. Training in these areas focuses on live action film, animated film, and video game industries. This postgraduate school serves more than 500 professionals from all over Spain and Latin America each year.

10. The One Academy, Selangor, Malaysia
The One Academy

The One Academy (TOA) is an Academic Partner of Unreal Engine in Malaysia. The school has a Digital Animation (with Game Development) Program that takes three years to complete. Leading to a Diploma, the Program features Specializations in Animation and Modeling; opportunities to work with mentors who are professionals in the Animation industry; assignments and projects that take place in a studio environment; access to state-of-the-art production equipment; and immersive workshops.

The TOA Digital Animation Program requires Liberal Arts courses such as Culture & Humanities, Language & Communication Skills, History of Art & Design, and Business & Marketing. Students will also take Personal Development and Studio Software courses. Examples include Adobe After Effects, 3D Animation, Story Workshop, Autodesk Maya, Visual Storytelling, Adobe Illustrator, Team Building, 3D Environment Modeling, Digital Video Creation, Advanced Rigging Workshop, and Sound Workshop.

In the final year of the TOA Digital Animation Program, students will complete a professional portfolio and demo reel.

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, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Leo Burnett,  MPC, Weta, Ogilvy, DreamWorks, Young & Rubicam, Ubisoft, AMBER China, BBDO, and Bear Down Studio, among others.

Established in 1991, The One Academy is a private Art and Design school that serves hundreds of students enrolled in Diploma, Degree, and Certificate Programs. TOA is fully accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and the school is endorsed by the Malaysia Status Institution (MSC).

11. Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology

Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology (Algonquin College) houses the School of Media and Design. Students in the Media School have access to more than 20 programs leading to a Diploma or Certificate. For individuals seeking Animation training, the School has a three-year Advanced Diploma in Animation and a 12-Month Certificate in Drawing Foundations for Animation and Illustration. Courses for the Animation Diploma Program are taught by industry professionals who have worked with or at studios such as Disney, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Warner Bros. Animation, Ubisoft, and Atomic Cartoons.

Course examples for the program include Digital Animation, Gesture Drawing for Animation, Design Thinking, Environmental and Visual Problem Solving, Animation Design, Scriptwriting for Animation, and Character Animation. Courses at Algonquin College are 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. Career options for program alumni 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 at Algonquin College is designed for students who would like to develop strong drawing skills for entry into a variety of creative industries. Students will explore Anime, Games, Graphic Novels, Drawing for Animation, Books, Concept Art, and Comic Books.

Other program features include participation in the Annual Showcase and the opportunity to transfer into the Animation or Illustration and Concept Art Diploma Program. The Algonquin College Certificate Program can be completed in one year.

Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology formed in 1967 after the merger of the Eastern Ontario Institute of Technology (est. 1957) and the Ontario Vocational Center (est. 1965). The school serves more than 20,000 students enrolled in 200+ programs across campuses in Ottawa, Pembroke, Perth and Online. The Online Campus at Algonquin College launched in 2019 and it serves students from around the world.

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

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 Character Animation, 3D Production, Visual Narrative, and 3D Character Development.

During the third year of the Digital Animation Program at The Animation School, students will select electives that support their education goals and complete a Professional Development course. Students will also produce an Animated short film as a team. This project will become a part of the student’s final personal demo reel.

Other Animation School benefits include a mandatory two-week internship with an Animation studio; lectures, seminars and workshops; 24-hour access to professional state-of-the-art facilities; and participation in local and international film festivals. 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.

The Animation School is known as the leading source of specialist Animation education in South Africa. With full service campuses in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa, the school serves hundreds of students each year.

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

FX Animation Barcelona 3D & Film School (FX Animation) has two paths to study Animation: the Specialized Studies Program in Character and Creature Animation, and a Higher Master in 3D Character Animation. 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.

Features across programs include partnerships with companies such as HP, Wacom, ASUS, 22 Barcelona, and Polford; small class sizes (up to 15 students); and the opportunity to complete one or more internships. FX Animation students have interned at studios such as The Game Forge, Deluxe, B-Water Animation Studios, Digital Legends, Scarecrow Studio, Music Has No Limits, Entropy Studio, and El Ranchito.

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 production of an industry-ready animated films.

The Higher Master in Character and Creature Animation may be completed online or on-campus. Students in this program will master industry-standard tools and software such as Maya, Mudbox, TVPaint, Autodesk Sketchbook, and MotionBuilder. The program explores everything from the 12 principles of Animation to advanced Animation of creatures.

All FX Animation students benefit from intense training in other industry-standard tools and software such as Houdini, LightWave, Nuke, Avid, Cara VR, Pro Tools, RailClone, Adobe Premier Pro, V-Ray, Adobe After Effects, DaVinci, Mari, SynthEyes, 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, and Forest Pack. In addition, all FX Animation students have access to state-of-the-art production equipment, workshops, labs, studios, and technical classrooms.

FX Animation Barcelona 3D & Film School has a near perfect 99% job placement rate, with graduates working at more than 800 companies across Europe and around the world. FX Animation alumni work in areas such as Animation, Film, Games, VFX, Advertising, and TV.

Established in 2007, FX Animation Barcelona 3D & Film School provides training in 3D Animation and Cinema. Programs are led by more than 40 professionals with expertise in Animation, Film, and Education. FX Animation serves approximately 300 students.

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

Capilano University (CapU) houses the Faculty of Fine & Applied Arts, home to the School of Animation and Visual Effects (AVFX). An Unreal Engine Authorized Training Center, AVFX has several paths to study Animation including 2D Animation and Visual Development, Visual Effects for Film, Streaming & Immersive Media, and 3D Animation for Film and Games.

For students seeking a short program, AVFX has an Animation Fundamentals option. Leading to a Citation of Achievement, this program takes eight weeks to complete. All other programs lead to a Diploma and they take two years to complete, full-time.

Across programs, features include access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources across two campuses in North Vancouver and Sechelt; Unreal Engine workshops and others; internship opportunities; and study abroad experiences.

Course examples across programs include 3D Animation I-IV, Technical Direction and Rigging, Studio: Gesture and Form, Visual Effects Animation, 3D Design for Production I-IV, Animation: Emerging Technologies, Animation: Timing and Principles, Visual Effects Modeling and Texturing, Character Animation, The Art of Visual Storytelling, Advanced Production Design for Animation, Visual Storytelling, Animation Action Analysis, and Visual Effects Production.

The programs also provide Business and Entrepreneurship courses such as Entrepreneurship in the Animation Industry and Business Writing for Digital Visual Effects.

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

Founded in 1968, Capilano University serves approximately 12,700 students enrolled in nearly 100 programs, including options in Film, Design, Business Administration, Early Childhood Education, and Kinesiology, among others. Programs at Capilano lead to a Bachelor’s Degree, Diploma, Associate Degree, Certificate, or Graduate Degree. Capilano University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

15. La Poudrière Animation Film School, Valence, Drome, France
La Poudrière Animation Film School

The Programs at La Poudrière Animation Film School prepare students for immediate employment in the Animation industry or to produce their own independent short films. Programs explore writing and animating for film, trailers, and TV series; directing actors; sound and music; and editing. Culminating with one or several completed films, La Poudrière pathways take two years to complete.

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. Alumni will also have exclusive access to professional events such as Cartoon Forum, Cartoon Movie, and Cartoon Springboard.

La Poudrière Animation Film School supports all graduates with additional short film projects through Ciclic, (the cultural agency of the Centre-Val-de-Loire Region), SACD, the European Conservatory of Audiovisual Writing, and CEEA.

Launched in 1999, La Poudrière (Film School) trains students in Animated Film Production. Since its inception, the school has more than 200 artists, with 120+ certified since 2009 and 95% obtaining global certification in the last several years.

16. CG Spectrum, South Melbourne, Australia
CG Spectrum

CG Spectrum (CG) is an Unreal Authorized Training Center, Unreal Academic Partner, Unreal Connector Toon Boom Authorized Training Center, and Houdini Certified School. CG features include small class sizes; access to state-of-the-art facilities; courses taught by artists from Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Disney, Weta, Electronic Arts (EA), and Sony; mentorship from industry professionals; flexible class schedules; and networking and career training opportunities.

For Animators, CG Spectrum has an Introduction to 2D Animation Program that 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. Upon completion, students will receive a Certificate.

For students seeking a longer program, CG Spectrum has a 2D Animation Certificate 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.

CG Spectrum also has an Advanced 2D Animation Program that takes nine months to complete. Students in this program will explore Animation, Drawing, Creating characters, FX Animation, and Acting. Students will also 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, Character Animation, Creating Fight Scenes, Rigs and Posing, Animating walk Cycles, 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 or 3D Animator, Character Animator, Creature Animator, Pre-Vis Animator, Layout Artist, Character Rigger, Storyboard Artist, and Clean-Up Artist.

Established in 2015, CG Spectrum is an Online Digital Animation School that provides job-focused career training and mentorship from industry professionals. The school serves hundreds of students enrolled in programs ranging from Animation and Games to Digital Painting and Visual Effects (VFX).

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 program in the workplace. The school also features partnerships with local gaming studios; small class sizes; courses taught by professionals who are active in the industry; and the opportunity to collaborate with students across all TGA programs.

For Animators, The Game Assembly has a Game Animator Program that takes 2.5 years to complete. This immersive program explores the 12 Principles of Animation as well as software such as Autodesk Maya and MotionBuilder. Courses for the program are advanced and include examples such as 3D Graphics, Animation: Body Mechanics, Animation: Motion Capture, Animation: Creatures, Animation: Rigging, and Animation: Cinematics.

Throughout the program, students will have the opportunity to develop a total of eight games, both individually and in teams, from concept to playable game.

The Game Assembly Game Animator Program leads to a Diploma. Graduates are prepared to pursue positions in all areas of Animation for Television and Film, Game Art, and Game Animation.

Founded in 2008, The Game Assembly is a Higher Vocational Education Institution with campuses in Malmo and Stockholm, Sweden. Serving hundreds of students each year, the school is HBTQI Certified.

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

Vancouver Animation School (VANAS) has both 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 Certificate Program is also available and it takes one month to complete.

The Animation Programs at VANAS can be completed 100% online or in a hybrid (online/onsite) format. 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.

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

Established in 2010, Vancouver Animation School is accredited by the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB), Education Quality Assurance (EQA), The Canadian Information Center for International Credentials (CICIC), EduCanada, and the Washington Education Training Board. VANAS has campuses in Canada and Blaine, Washington (USA).

19. Aardman Academy, Bristol, England, UK
Aardman Academy

Aardman Academy has several paths to study Animation. Students can enroll in four-week online Foundation Courses such as Storyboard, Stop-Motion, and Model Making. For students seeking a longer program, Aardman has Stop Motion 1 and Stop Motion 2. These programs can be completed in 12 weeks.

Foundation courses are taught by industry professionals and consist of practical masterclasses, weekly assignments, and core principles. Stop Motion 1 is an online, industry-led Character Animation Program that explores the Principles of Stop Motion and Performance with Bi-Ped Characters. Content includes masterclasses, weekly assignments, and individual mentoring.

Stop Motion 2 explores Advanced Stop Motion, Lip-Sync, and Full-Face Performance. Content includes masterclasses, weekly assignments, and individual mentoring.

Upon completion of the Animation Programs at Aardman Academy, students are prepared for entry-level positions in Animation for Film, Television, Games, Advertising, and more.

Aardman Academy provides short and longer Animation Training Programs delivered from the school’s Gas Ferry Road Studios in Bristol, UK. Programs at Aardman are also provided online.

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

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, Concept Art and Character Design, VFX Animation, Animation and Stop Motion Production, 3D Character Animation, Animation and 2D Realization, and 3D Animation Generalist. Programs lead to a Diploma or Master’s Degree.

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

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

Since 2015, Escola de Cinema de Barcelona has incorporated the 9Zeroes Training Program into its curriculums. Founded in 1995, this private school serves hundreds of students from Spain and several other countries.

21. Universal Arts School, Valencia, Spain
Universal Arts School

Universal Arts School holds approximately a dozen Authorized Training Center credentials. Examples include Zbrush, AutoDesk, Houdini, Unity, Epic Games, Adobe, Unreal Engine, and Nuke. The school has several paths to study Animation at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

At the undergraduate level, the UA 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.

Undergraduate students who would like to pursue studies in more than one professional area can add a Specialization such as 3D Art, Character Animation for Cinema or Character Animator for Videogames. Dual Specializations can be completed in five years.

Across several modules, students in all areas will explore The 12 Principles of Animation, Preproduction, Acting and LipSynch, Audio, Realistic Animation, Cartoon Animation, Quadrupids, Character Interaction, and Maya.

At the graduate level, Universal Arts School 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 Masters  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.

All programs can be completed on 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 Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Disney, Weta Digital, Lucasfilm Animation, Pixar, Blizzard Entertainment, Framestore, Ubisoft, and LightBox Studios. Some UA alumni have launched their own studios or freelance businesses.

Established in 1994 as a Specialized Training Center, Universal Arts School has campuses in Valencia, Spain and Hollywood, California. With more than 10 program options, UA has three million hours of training to its credit.

22. 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

The Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU) is one of the three schools of the Academy of Performing Arts. Within the school is the Department of Animated Film (KAT), which has both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Animated Film. The Bachelor’s Program takes place over six semesters, and the Masters’ Program can be completed in four semesters.

Across programs, students will explore all aspects of making Animated films, Directing, and Screenwriting through hands-on exercises, projects, and creative workshops led by Department instructors. Other program features include access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities; internship opportunities; and a final project to be presented at an exhibition. In addition, students will leave the program with a polished portfolio of their best work.

Graduates of the Animated Film Programs at FAMU 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 or university. 

Founded in 1946, The Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague is the fifth oldest film school in Europe. An incubator for young artists, the school provides six accredited programs across  twelve departments. FAMU 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). 

23. Lightbox Academy, Madrid, Spain
Lightbox Academy

Accredited by Erasmus, Lightbox Academy (Lightbox) is Spain’s only school founded by a major Animation Studio. Students at Lightbox have access to an extensive internship and job bank consisting of more than 500 companies and institution; participation in events, masterclasses, and workshops; and the opportunity to create works in Animation, Design, and Visual Effects (VFX).

For students seeking a career in Animation, Lightbox has a five-month Master’s Degree in Animation, Advanced Animation, 2D Animation, or Advanced 2D Animation; a five-month Highly Specialized Master’s Degree in Animation; a one-year Master’s in 2D Animation or 3D Animation: a one-year 3D Modeling and Animation Master’s; and a 2.5-year Double Master’s in Animation. Students in all programs will work and learn in state-of-the-art classrooms and studios equipped with the latest industry software and tools. All programs culminate with a Professional Project.

Around 95% of Lightbox students are employed in the Entertainment Industry shortly after graduation. Lightbox alumni go on to land positions in all areas of Animation, Video Games, Films, and Advertising at top companies and studios across Spain and around the world.

Lightbox Academy is a Digital Arts School that employs a team of active professionals with at least 20 years of experience in the Entertainment Industry. Led by Lightbox Animation Studios, the school provides programs that lead to direct employment in the Entertainment Industry.

24. Faculdade Melies, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Faculdade Melies

The Animation Program at Faculdade Melies has an 18-month option and single Animation courses such as 3D Animation and 3D Fundamentals. Single Animation courses are free. The 18-month 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.

Graduates of the Animation Program at Faculdade Melies have been hired at Animation Studios, Game Studios, Creative Agencies, and Film/Television Studios. Program alumni are Animators, VFX Artists, Digital Animators, Modelers, Art Directors, Film Producers, and Animation Designers. They have worked on Games and Films such as Game of Thrones, Avengers: Infinity War, and The Last of Us Part II.

Faculdade Melies was established in 2005 as Melies School of Cinema, 3D And Animation. The school has produced more than 10,000 trained professionals over the years working at studios around the world. Faculdade Melies gained accreditation by MEC in 2014 as the First Faculty Specialized in Animation in Brazil, with undergraduate and graduate programs (live, in-person, and online).

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

Max the Mutt College of Animation, Art & Design is also known as Metro Toronto Media College of Animation, Art & Design (MTM College or Max the Mutt). The school has an Animation Diploma Program that explores Drawing, Storytelling, Cartooning, Background Painting and Design, Visual Language, and Acting for Animation.

Courses for the program explore both digital and classical animation and include Structural Drawing, Cartooning for Animation Storytelling & Story Development, 2D Computer Animation: Introduction (Harmony), 3D Animation Software, Production Process, Design & Composition, Digital Background Painting, Layout for 3D Development, and 3D Film Development & Pre-Production.

Students in the Animation Diploma Program at MTM College will complete several animated productions across four years. The program culminates with a professional portfolio of the student’s best work.

Max the Mutt has an additional program option that is suitable for students interested in Animation. The program (Concept Art) combines Animation, Cartooning, Fine Art, Illustration, and Concept Art coursework. The first year of this Diploma Program consists of Visual Arts Literacy (VAL) coursework. Throughout the program, students will develop advanced skills in software programs such as Photoshop and Maya. 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 Art, Animation, and Gaming workshops (on campus or online); the internship program; and the Annual Industry Open House and Annual Showcase. 

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

Max the Mutt College of Animation, Art & Design was founded in 1996 by Artists and Animators. The school is registered as a Private Career College under the Private Career Colleges Act of 2005 with the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.