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Begin your journey into the world of animation by registering for AUArts' Animation Certificate. Designed by animation professionals, it's your turn to become the future of the industry. 

Learn to tell a compelling story through moving images. You will learn how to communicate personality, emotions and behaviour with various conceptual, aesthetic and technical approaches to the medium of animation. Following the steps professional animators use to build animation from blocking to polish, you will create complex scenes that tell a story through movement and emotion. This program’s emphasis on storytelling, narrative, character design and visual art is what will set you apart in the animation world.

Work towards a final capstone project of creating either a professional-level portfolio, demo reel or a short animation project that meets industry requirements for employment and entrepreneurial activity, in Canada and internationally. 


Career Pathways

The Animation Certificate Program will prepare you to explore many roles in the creative technology industry, including animator, animation director, animation producer, character design, and animation production design.

Program Goals

  • Comprehension of artistic and technical animation principles and standards of practice. 
  • Understand cinema vocabulary as it relates to a visual narrative for effective visual storytelling 
  • Personal creative content development for animation and motion graphics. 
  • Understanding of 2D and 3D software applications. 
  • Professional development and industry awareness. 
  • Completion of a capstone project of either a professional-level portfolio/demo reel or a short animation project.

More Information

  • This program includes the completion of 10 self-paced Micro-Credential courses and a Capstone project.

Learn more about Micro-credentials.



Animation Foundations

No set class times, work at your own pace, on your own time, from the comfort of your home!

Course Name



Introduction to Drawing*


$950 + GST

Learn foundational elements of drawing, basic drawing techniques, best composition practices, and how to accurately draw the human form. You will also explore and practice a range of approaches using various media. In addition to video lessons from an expert covering a range of topics, you will be able to communicate with your instructor and your colleagues on a discussion board and in optional live sessions. You will receive feedback on your work from an experienced practitioner as you deepen your knowledge and improve your composition skills.

Digital Lab for Animators*


$950 + GST

Get introduced to the software packages used most often when creating digital animations: Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere, and Toon Boom Harmony. You will explore the differences between traditional, hand-drawn animation, and digital animation. You will learn how to use each program on its own and in conjunction with each other as you practice using essential tools and identify their strengths and weaknesses. You will also create projects to demonstrate your mastery of basic skills and your work will be evaluated based on your technical understanding of each program.

Fundamentals in Animation*


$950 + GST

Learn and apply fundamental principles of animation. Learn how to communicate personality, emotions, and behaviour through several short-animated motion assignments, while also exploring various conceptual, aesthetic, and technical approaches to the discipline. You have the option of working in or out of the digital realm; however, all project post-production will be created using digital software. You will create projects to demonstrate your mastery of foundational animation skills and your work will be evaluated based on your understanding of fundamental principles.

Character Illustration & Design Block

Course Name


Drawing for Animators

Micro-Credential Coming Soon

The process of developing animation is just as important as the final product. You will use drawing as a tool of communication as you explore the medium with an emphasis on obtaining visual understanding of mass, gesture, the human figure, weight, and balance. Work through appropriate conceptual, aesthetic, and a technical approach for your individual projects.

Intermediate Animation

Micro-Credential Coming Soon

Concentrate on hand-drawn 2D character animation as you gain a solid understanding of the construction and mechanics of the human form and how to effectively depict movement, through figure drawing and motion studies. Pay special attention to character development and how to communicate story points and emotion using animation principles and technical basics. Develop your visual language and technical knowledge, including soundtrack design while creating a short project.

Storyboards for Animators

Micro-Credential Coming Soon

Translate your idea or script into moving visuals through storyboarding. You will consider frame composition, camera moves and angles, character blocking, and layout drawings. Discover the full potential of storyboarding through completion of an animatic to evaluate the flow of your narrative and sound design. Projects are student directed, you will work on an original idea or adapt an existing source.

Visual Story & Character Development

Micro-Credential Coming Soon

Learn the art of creating a story and visual development that is essential to making a compelling animated short film. Projects will explore different approaches to story structure allowing you to find your own voice while making the appropriate improvements to help convey concepts. Emphasis will be on understanding the technical use of cinematic language, emotion, and environment essential to story, as you gain an understanding of the importance of preproduction for an animation project.

Software Block

Course Name


After Effects

Micro-Credential Coming Soon

Learn the fundamentals of After Effects and how to create simple animation techniques using the software. You will be introduced to the basic interface, and gain an understanding of how to create compositions, import assets, in addition to learning compositing and colour grading principles. You will also learn basic motion graphics techniques by animating shapes and text, and how to create movement and keyframes alongside an audio track.


Micro-Credential Coming Soon

Get introduced to the 3D software, Maya, learn basic functions and how to use them to create animations. Master the basic tools for navigating the software, as you gain a solid understanding of introductory modeling, rigging, lighting, and key frame animation. You will work on several small projects to learn how the interface works, while applying the principles of animation as you grow your creative understanding and output of 3D animation.

Capstone Block

Course Name


Enterprise & Studio Practices for Animators

Micro-Credential Coming Soon

You will examine professional issues and responsibilities you may face in your animation practice, including creating a curriculum vitae and portfolio, grant writing and project budgeting, and pitch packages. You will also discuss festival submissions, contracts, and concerns associated with starting an artistic practice in animation. Project selection and component deadlines are mostly student directed.

Capstone Project

Coming Soon 

Work on a career focused project suitable for professional presentation under the guidance of your instructor. You will determine the focus of your project, and in consultation with you instructor, establish a schedule for individual meetings and deliverables to stay on track and produce a strong portfolio worthy project.

What next?


Follow this link to find and register for your Animation courses.

Register here

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Technology Requirements

Computer System (minimum specs)

Storage - 1TB and up

Ram - 16GB and up

Processor - Latest generation, i5 and up

PC Users

The latest gaming or "VR Ready" laptops would work best, especially on a budget and maximize the specs given.

MAC Users

Strongly recommend a MacBook Pro

Additional Equipment

Wacom tablet (any size) 

1TB External hard drive 

3 button mouse

Admission Requirements

  1. Successful Completion of the Animation Foundations Micro-Credentials


Permission of the Department based on Credit transfers using Prior Learning Assessment.

Language Proficiency – English Language Proficiency (if educated outside Canada) 

A score of 83% or higher on an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) on the Internet-based test (iBT), with a minimum score of 20 in each of the four testing sections, or 220 on the computer-based test (CBT). 

A score of 70% or higher on the Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) assessment, or a score of 70, or higher on the computer edition (CAEL CE).

A score of 6.5 or higher on the International English Language Test (IELTS).

Course Disclaimer

Please note that by proceeding with registration for courses without completing the Animation Foundations prerequisite courses, you acknowledge and accept the following disclaimer:

  1. Prerequisite Knowledge: The Animation Foundations courses are designed to ensure that students possess the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary for successful comprehension and engagement of the subject matter. Lack of prerequisite courses may result in a knowledge gap, which could impede your ability to fully grasp the course material.

  2. Academic Performance: The absence of prerequisite courses may adversely affect your academic performance. Without the foundational knowledge provided by the prerequisite courses, you may face challenges in keeping up with the course content, assignments, and examinations. This can ultimately impact your grades and overall academic progress.

  3. Limited Support: Please be aware that instructors may assume students have completed the required prerequisites and structure their lessons accordingly. As a result, limited support and additional assistance might be available to students who have not fulfilled the prerequisite requirements.

  4. Incomplete Understanding: Enrolling in a course without the necessary prerequisites can hinder your comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. This could undermine the learning experience and limit your ability to build upon prior knowledge effectively.

  5. Responsibility and Time Commitment: Registering for courses without completing the prerequisite courses is a decision that places the responsibility for your academic success solely on yourself. It may require additional time and effort on your part to independently bridge any knowledge gaps.

  6. Course Withdrawal: If you find the course too challenging or feel overwhelmed due to the lack of prerequisite knowledge, you may consider withdrawing from the course. However, be aware that withdrawal deadlines, policies, and potential financial implications may vary, and it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the institution's withdrawal procedures.

By acknowledging this disclaimer, you understand that proceeding with course registration without fulfilling the prerequisite course requirements may have consequences on your academic performance and overall learning experience. We strongly encourage you to carefully consider the importance of prerequisite knowledge and evaluate your readiness before enrolling in courses without meeting the necessary prerequisites.

Completion Requirements

AUArts Animation Certificate consists of the completion of 10 online, self-paced Micro-Credential courses and a Capstone project. 

Students have a maximum of five years to complete the program. 

Upon completion, students will receive a non-credit Certificate in Animation administered by Alberta University of the Arts School of Continuing Education and Professional Development.