2D Animation & Illustration

The 2D Character Animation Program explores the world of animation and how the digital age has revolutionized the methods used for creating it.

This intensive course will cover the popular programs used by today’s studios, and will deal heavily with the raw fundamentals of animation. Daily exercises that utilize the twelve principles of animation will strengthen students’ understanding of the physics and timing involved in creating professional characters and scenes.  Graduates can step comfortably into any creative department while setting a career path for future growth. Student work is evaluated and critiqued until it meets or exceeds the instructor’s expected level of excellence. Students will have the opportunity to develop the specific technical areas suited to their interests.

NEXT START DATE:  March 15, 2017


By immersing themselves into a completely practical learning environment, students will be able to integrate themselves into an animation studio upon graduation, or will have the means to start their own studio and bring their own stories and ideas to life.  This program develops industry-ready designers, who are capable of using the latest software and hardware in all production mediums. Students are trained in Adobe®, Toon Boom and Apple software to learn the fundamentals 2D character animation.



  • + 2D100 Software Fundamentals

    There are many different software packages used in the industry to create 2D animation. We will be focusing on the Adobe suite of programs, namely Adobe Flash and Adobe After Effects and well as Toon Boom Animate.  Many studios use these programs to create their animations, as Flash files are easily importable and easy to work with within After Effects. The twelve fundamentals of animation will be covered in brief, with an explanation of how they are integrated into the course.


    2D100.01 Introduction to Flash

    2D100.02 Flash II

    2D100.03 Intro to After Effects

    2D100.04 Intro to the twelve fundamentals of animation

  • + 2D200 Character Design

    The fundamentals of character design will be learned through life drawing and sketching, all within the Flash, Toon Boom or Illustrator programs. Students will learn how to properly construct and rig a character in Flash, and the basics behind asset management in the Flash environment. The fundamentals of solid drawing and appeal will be explored in this unit.  Guest artists and instructors are brought in to help students get a diverse and dynamic drawing experience


    2D200.01 Drawing techniques

    2D200.02 Life drawing

    2D200.03 Character design basics

    2D200.04 Color theory and rules for broadcast

    2D200.05 Character rigging

  • + 2D300 Cinematography

    Good animation needs proper staging and a solid set up of the action to be completed. Students will learn how to organize their characters within Flash or Toon Boom and the methods used to control different scenes on the timeline, as well as creating an appealing scene through placement of characters, backgrounds, objects, as well as lighting and shading techniques.


    2D300.01 Scenes, Storyboards, and Animatics

    2D300.02 Lighting and shading techniques

    2D300.03 Camera movement and setup

    2D300.04 Framing and following action

  • + 2D400 Movement Basics

    The principles of squash and stretch, anticipation, easing in and out, and timing will be covering in Movement Basics. These animation fundamentals are critical to the smooth operation and animation of a character in Flash. Students will complete exercises on pre-existing character models to perform a variety of different motions and actions.


    2D400.01 Spacing, Squashing, and Stretching

    2D400.02 Timing movement and action

    2D400.03 Walk cycle basics

    2D400.04 Lip-syncing audio

  • + 2D500 Advanced Placement

    Once students have mastered the basics of movement in animation, it’s time to move up to the next level. Students will learn the advanced fundamentals of animation such as follow through, overlapping action, secondary action, arcs, and exaggeration. This unit can essentially be thought of as ‘animation within animation’, or animating different parts of a character amidst their primary actions. This is what brings appeal and depth to an animated character, and will require a firm understanding of the basics of animation before being covered.


    2D500.01 Advanced walk and run cycles

    2D500.02 Implementing secondary actions

    2D500.03 Clothing, hair, and material movement

    2D500.04 Exaggerated action

  • + 2D600 Scene Development

    Using pre-existing audio, students will add their own flair and style to characters they develop and animate them using the fundamentals they’ve learned. Methods of scene organization will be covered, specifically the ability to import backgrounds and characters into After Effects to make use of different cameras to create depth and special effects in a scene.


    2D600.01 Character creation and design

    2D600.02 Background design

    2D600.03 Refining performances

    2D600.04 Creating advanced scenes using cameras within After Effects

  • + 2D700 Demo Reel & Skills Development

    Students will learn what employers look for in a good demo reel, and what their primary focus should be when putting one together. The formats required for web delivery and broadcast delivery will be covered. Students will receive advice on job applications and career paths and the best route to take to achieve their goals and ambitions.


    2D700.01 Demo reel creation

    2D700.02 Output formats for web and broadcast

    2D700.03 Skills management


    The 2D Character Animation Diploma Program Curriculum also includes 20hrs of Career Development, with Pixel Blue College’s Employment Specialist.


    * Curriculum subject to change without notice.


The tuition for the 2D Character Animation Diploma Program is $15,995 CAD.  This covers the cost of 5 months in-class instruction, the use of a personal computer, all required course materials, including textbooks, and full access to our facilities 24-hours a day.



Aboriginal students may qualify for additional funding or aid. Please contact us or one of the organizations below for more information.



  • + iMac

    Apple's primary desktop computer. The iMac is an "all-in-one" that houses the computer and drives within the flat panel monitor case. The Core i5 iMac provides the raw horsepower and sleek functionality sought by creative professionals and power users.

  • + Wacom Tablets Bamboo Pen & Touch

    Wacom Tablets Bamboo Pen & Touch combines the benefits of Multi-Touch with the comfort and precision of Wacom's ergonomically-designed pen. The result: a powerful new way to work with your computer.


    With Multi-Touch, you use simple hand gestures and finger taps on the tablet's surface. And because the active area is larger than traditional mobile devices and laptop trackpads, it's comfortable and natural to use. Easily move around your desktop, scroll through documents, navigate the web, zoom in and out of photos, and rotate images.

  • + Adobe Illustrator

    Illustrator software gives you new creative freedom that lets you realize your ideas quickly and powerfully. Instantly convert bitmaps to vector artwork and paint more intuitively. Save time with intelligent palettes and optimized workspaces. Plus, tight integration with other software allows you to produce extraordinary graphics for print, video, the web, and mobile devices.

  • + Adobe Photoshop

    Photoshop software, the professional image-editing standard and leader of the Photoshop digital imaging line, delivers more of what you crave. Groundbreaking creative tools help you achieve extraordinary results. Unprecedented adaptability lets you custom-fit Photoshop to the way you work. And with more efficient editing, processing, and file handling, there's no slowing you down.

  • + Adobe Flash

    Flash is the industry's most advanced authoring environment for creating interactive websites, digital experiences and mobile content. With 8, creative professionals design and author interactive content rich with video, graphics, and animation for truly unique, engaging websites, presentations or mobile content.

  • + Adobe After Effects

    After Effects is used for creating motion graphics and visual effects. After Effects allows users to animate, alter, and composite media in 2D and 3D space with various built-in tools and third party plug-ins.

Ready to begin your application?