2024 Registration Open!

Follow the journey from beginner to pro-animator, while you craft intricate scenes through movement and emotion in our array of online Animation courses

You will define your style while focusing on storytelling, character design, and visual art through projects and assessments that will provide you with a professional portfolio and demo reel.

animation studio with motion graphics on the wall

About Animation

Master the art of storytelling through animation.

Starting with foundations courses you will learn to convey personality, emotion, and behavior, as you work through online courses that focus on the conceptual, aesthetic, and professional techniques of animation.


Course Listing

Foundations Course

Digital Lab for Animators

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.

Available Now

$650 + GST

Register for Digital Lab for Animators
digital lab for animators picture displaying the workspace of toon boom harmony including labels

Available Now

$650 + GST

Register for Fundamentals in Animation
fundamentals in animation illustration depicting different concepts of 2D animation

Foundations Course

Fundamentals in Animation

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.

Foundations Course

Introduction to Drawing

Introduce yourself to the foundational elements of drawing, including basic techniques, composition, and how to accurately draw human form.

You will learn how and when to use various media to practice different drawing exercises. In addition to video lessons from an expert covering a range of topics, you will be able to communicate with your instructor and your classmates on a discussion board and in optional live sessions.

You will receive feedback on your work from an experienced practitioner as you complete assignments that will improve your composition skills.

Available Now

$650 + GST

Register for Introduction to Drawing
Introduction to drawing photo depicting instructor drawing an example of a gesture drawing

Available Now

$650 + GST

Register for Drawing for Animators
Drawing for animators instructors draws example gesture image using photoshop of a dancer wearing pink and purple clothing

Character Design Course

Drawing for Animators

The process of developing animation is just as important as the final product.

Discover how to use drawing as a tool of communication, exploring the medium with an emphasis on obtaining visual understanding of mass, gesture, human figure, weight, and balance.

Learn to identify and implement different conceptual, aesthetic, and technical approaches to animation drawing as you work through individual projects and assessments.

Character Design Course

Intermediate Animation

Concentrate on hand-drawn 2D character animation while gaining a solid understanding of the construction and mechanics of human form. Through figure drawing and motion studies you will learn how to effectively depict movement in a natural way.

Focus intently on character development. Specifically, how to communicate story points and emotion using tried-and-true animation principles.

Using Toon Boom Harmony you will develop your visual language and technical knowledge, including soundtrack design, while creating a short project that can be added to your portfolio.

Available Now

$650 + GST

Register for Intermediate Animation
Intermediate Animation instructor working through a demo exercise in toon boom harmony workspace. Depicting the concept of thumbnailing through small gestural drawings of red human figures on beige background.


$650 + GST

3 x 3 grid depicting example of basic storyboarding using black and white images that display black and white images of potential scenes for an animated story.

Character Design Course

Storyboards for Animators

Translate your idea or script into moving visuals through storyboarding.

Learn to translate your story ideas into a visual narrative as you begin to consider frame composition, camera angles and movement, character blocking, and layout drawings.

Discover the full potential of storyboarding by completing an animatic that will help evaluate the flow of your narrative and sound design. Through assignments and assessments you will have the opportunity to work on an original idea or adapt from an existing source.

Software Course

After Effects

Learn the fundamentals of After Effects and how to create simple animation techniques using the software.

Introduce yourself to the program's basic interface, discover how to create compositions and import assets, and learn to refine your projects using After Effects' compositing and colour grading abilities.

Through demos and projects you will get a knack for basic motion graphic techniques through animating shapes and text, creating movement and keyframes alongside an audio track.

Available Now

$650 + GST

Register for After Effects
after effects workspace depicting AUArts logo

Available Now

$650 + GST

Register for Maya
Photo of maya workspace, in which an animation instructor is giving a demo of how to apply textures to a 3D table surface he has created with the program.

Software Course


Get introduced to the industry standard 3D program, Maya, learn its basic functions and how to apply them to create 3D animations.

As you discover the basic tools for navigating the software, you will gain a solid understanding of its vast abilities including introductory modeling, rigging, lighting, and key frame animation.

Work on several small projects to learn how the interface works, applying the principles of animation to your work, enhancing your technical understanding and revitalizing the creative output of your 3D animations.

Professional Practices Course

Enterprise and Studio Practices for Animators

Now that you've acquired the skills to create professional level animations as a freelancer or with a studio, take time to examine the professional projects and responsibilities that fall outside of creating animation but will secure your success in the industry. These include tasks such as creating a curriculum vitae and portfolio, grant writing, project budgeting, and building 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.

Career Pathways

AUArts' Animation courses 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 technical animation principles.
  • Understanding of concepts relating to visual narratives. 
  • Familiarity with various 2D and 3D softwares.
  • Completion of a demo-reel and portfolio pieces.

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

Learn more about Micro-Credentials

Learn animation at AUArts.

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

Completion Requirements

To earn AUArts' Animation Certificate you must successfully complete all 10 courses listed above.

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.