Animation, Visual Effects, and Gaming are for those who are passionate storytellers and who loves to give life to its characters. It is the perfect blend of technology and entertainment. Animation currently is a highly sought-after profession yielding high salaries and career growth. With this, also comes stiff competition and success comes to those with the right aptitude and skills. Therefore, it is essential to have a good training. Below are some of the best-known schools for animation programs which have till date produced successful animators and worth taking a look -
1. Sheridan College
Nicknamed as the ‘Harvard of Animation’ or ‘Disney North’, Sheridan College located in Ontario, Canada is a top choice for animation aspirants. Distinguished graduates of Sheridan include Academy and Emmy award winners in the field of animated film making and directing. Sheridan offers more than 130 programs leading to diplomas, certificates, degrees, and postgraduate diplomas. The Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design (FAAD) of Sheridan is Canada’s largest Art School. The faculty offers 37 programs and has produced till date 7 Oscar award winners. The school today offers a four-year Honours Bachelor's degree in animation comprising a mandatory internship and three post-graduate programs in computer animation, visual effects, and character animation. By the end of the training, you will be able to create world-class animated sequences, create 2D and 3D sequences, develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, communicate ideas and emotions visually among other skills necessary to succeed in this field. Besides, FAAD also offers programs in Film, TV, and Journalism; Design, Illustration, and Photography; Material Art and Design and Visual and Performing Arts.
2. Bournemouth University
Bournemouth University’s National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) is ranked among the world’s top 10 visual effects school and the best place in the UK for animation and gaming studies. NCCA graduates have worked in films such as Fantastic Beasts, The Avengers and many more. BU is often the choice for candidates aiming for success in amination and game design. Since 2017 more than 60 graduates have been in involved in Oscar nominated work. The university offers a BA (Hons) Computer Animation Art and Design, BA (Hons) Computer Technical Arts, MA 3D Computer Animation, MSc Computer Animation, and Visual Effects. Students can also look for courses such as BA (Hons) Visual Effects, BA (Hons) Digital Creative Industries and MA Digital Effects. For those interested to embark a career in the video games industry some highly ranking courses include BSc (Hons) Games Software Engineering, BSc (Hons) Games Design among others.
3. Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Located in Vancouver, Canada the Emily Carr University of Art+Design is a highly regarded world-leading art and design school. The university’s Ian Gillespie Faculty of Design + Dynamic Media offers interdisciplinary studies in areas of visual communications and story-telling; experimental and 3D animation; film and video; interactive and integrated design among other areas. The Bachelor of Media Arts degree offers animation aspirants to choose majors in 2D & Experimental Animation or 3D Computer Animation. Animation students learn about animation principles, character development, design, story and production techniques, opportunity to engage in international projects, research, etc. Walt Disney Animation Studios, Sony Picture Imageworks are among the few notable employers recruiting Emily Carr’s graduates.
4. Griffith University
Australia’s Griffith University is one of the favourite places for animation aspirants, Griffith’s animation programs include collaboration with leading filmmakers, award-winning animators, and game designers, learn storyboarding, 2D and 3D character animation, concept development, editing, graphics processes, visual effects, sound recording, post-production marketing and distribution and more. Degrees offered in this area include Bachelor of Animation, Bachelor of Animation (Hons), Bachelor of Creative and Interactive Media, Graduate Certificate in Interactive Media and Masters of Interactive Media, each program designed to suit people with diverse career goals, skills, and background. Aspiring candidates must check the requirements before applying.
5. University of Technology Sydney
The University of Technology Sydney (UTS), ranked 1st in Australia and 10th in the world by the 2019 QS World University Rankings offers leading animation, gaming and multimedia programs. UTS offers a 3 years full time or equivalent part-time Bachelor of Design in Animation and a 1-year full time or equivalent part-time Master of Animation and Visualisation (MAV) program and practice-based Ph.D. research opportunities. Excellent technical, design and production facilities allow students to develop their creativity and professional skills to the ultimate. UTS animation students are provided the opportunity to work in custom-built studios with real-world work structures with industry leaders such as Animal Logic. Applicants need to check the application requirements and fee structures prior to applying.
Located in Montpellier, France, ArtFX is a world-renowned school for animation, special effects and video games, aspirants. The institute has been training international studio talents since the last 15 years. Courses offered by ArtFX includes 3D animation and VFX movies, 2D animation cinema, video game studios, virtual reality studios and more. The school also offers exceptional industry linkages with leading studios and production companies around the world. Popular programs include Bachelor’s in 2D Animation & Stop Motion, Master’s in 3D Animation, Master’s in CGI & Visual Effects, Professional Certification in Programming for Video Games & VFX among others. So, whether you want to be a highly trained 3D animator or a CG artist or a VFX supervisor ArtFX has reputed courses suiting varied interests and career plans. Aspirants must check the institute website for admission, portfolio requirements, and fee information to apply for a course.
7. Royal College of Art
The Royal College of Art (RCA) located in London, UK is a leading public research university and the only university in the world for postgraduate art and design studies. The university offers cutting-edge postgraduate programs in many areas including Animation, Digital Direction, Architecture, Fashion and more. The highly ranked MA Animation programme offered by the School of Communication/Animation comprises of three pathways (Documentary Animation, Narrative Animation, and Experimental Animation) and to be selected when you are applying for the program. Applicants can check the details of each pathway to understand the structure and career outcomes before selecting a pathway. The application process is supposedly competitive, applicants must, therefore, prepare a strong application package to be considered by RCA.
8. Media Design School
The Media Design School in Auckland, New Zealand is considered among the top 5 digital design schools in the Asia Pacific. It is a private tertiary institute providing world-class specialist training programs in the areas of 3D animation and visual effects, graphics and motion design, game art and game programming. The school offers animation and creative technology programs leading to degrees from foundation to graduate certificates. The Bachelor of 3D Animation & Visual Effects is one of its top-ranking programmes, graduates of which have gone on to work in blockbusters like The Hobbit and Avatar. For those interested in specialising two of the world’s biggest emerging technologies -Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, this could be the ideal place. Media Design School is also the first tertiary provider in New Zealand to offer a qualification focusing on Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Students may check the website for application requirements or get in touch with one of the school’s international education agencies around the world for application assistance.
9. Gnomon School of VFX and Animation
Located in Hollywood, California, the Gnomon School of VFX and Animation is a for-profit college and counted among the top 10 visual effects school by many professional surveys including the Hollywood Reporter. The school originally created to train industry artists has gradually evolved into a world-leading art school offering courses for those aspiring to work in film and games industry. The school offers a Foundation in Art & Design, BFA Degree in Digital Production and a Certificate in Digital Production. Visual Effects Animation, Character & Creature Animation, 3D Generalist are among the specializations offered. The school’s industry-relevant programs offer students to create and collaborate on real-world projects and designed to produce industry-ready graduates.
10. California Institute of the Arts
California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is a world leader in the education of artists. CalArts’ programs in visual, media, performing and literary arts are top ranking and highly selective. For animation aspirants, the school offers a highly ranked BFA program in Character Animation and a BFA/MFA program in Experimental Animation. Each program is designed to cater to individual student needs and various studies involving animation, its concepts, and practices. Cutting edge animation, visual and multimedia labs, video studios, post-production facilities provide CalArts students with superior hands-on training in both theory and professional practice. Till date, CalArts graduates have made a mark in their respective fields. Some of the notable animation alumni include Mark Andrews (Brave), Wesley Archer (The Simpsons) and Adam Beckett (Star Wars).
In addition to the above-reputed schools for animation programs, the following schools can also be considered for various professional and short-term training programs in animation.
- Billy Blue College of Design-Torrens University, Australia
- RMIT University, Australia
- Yoobee School of Design, New Zealand
- School of Visual Arts, New York
- Rubika - France, Canada, India
- ChungKang College of Cultural Industries, South Korea
- Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Malaysia
- Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
- Vancouver Institute of Media Arts
- Max The Mutt College Of Animation, Canada
- Seneca College
- Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany
Download this article as PDF to read offlineDownload Guide