2D Animation Essentials

Learn 2D animation for beginners taught online by professional animators


Build 2D animation essentials in our short course led by industry pros

This beginner's course will equip you with 2D animation essentials. You'll dive right into the 12 Principles of Animation, explore hand-drawn style animation, and learn how to navigate Toon Boom Harmony.

Why study 2D animation with us:

  • Study with more flexibility (100% online)
  • Start learning how to create industry-level work
  • Gain direct access to film and game artists
  • Choose 1-on-1 or small group classes (max. 4 students)

Learn from professional animators who've worked on classics like Klaus, Rick & Morty, Pocahontas, and Road to El Dorado. They'll show you how to create 2D animations from scratch, frame by frame!


Industry Certificate


3 months


20 hrs weekly

Skill level


Start date

August 5th, 2024
September 9th, 2024
October 7th, 2024


Group Class: $3,333 USD
Private Class: $4,677 USD
Ask about our payment plans

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An industry-approved curriculum to get you started in the world of 2D animation

Term 1: 12 weeks

Foundations 1: Essentials of 2D Animation

Starting with the 12 Principles of Animation, you'll learn 2D animation fundamentals step by step and start animating your first 2D pieces: the bouncing ball, flour sack jump, and a walk cycle that brings your animated character to life. You'll discover how to create an animated scene packed with personality and emotion, while also creating the illusion of three-dimensional space; learn key features of Toon Boom and get familiar with drawing tools, posing, timing, spacing, the timeline, and X-sheet. 

*This course is equivalent to the first term of the 2D Animation Foundations course. If you continue your learning journey, you'll be eligible to join the Foundations course from Term 2 onwards.

  • How to make your own 2D animations from scratch
  • Use Toon Boom Harmony software
  • Apply the 12 Principles of Animation
  • Create animated scenes using the most efficient workflows
  • 2D Animation Introduction and Overview
  • Bouncing Ball Animation Exercise
  • Adding a Tail to the Bouncing Ball
  • Drawing Fundamentals
  • Flour Sack Animation 01
  • Flour Sack Animation 02
  • Flour Sack Animation 03
  • Animating a Walk 01
  • Animating a Walk 02
  • Animating a Walk 03
  • Animating a Simple Character Take
  • Animating a Complex Character Take
Career Track

Your pathway to the industry

This short course is equivalent to term one of the Foundations course. On completion of the Essentials course, if you decide to progress further with your studies, you'll enroll straight into term two of the corresponding Foundations course which means you'll already be one-third of the way through your studies! Continue your learning journey towards an exciting career in the industry by enrolling into the Foundations Career Track.

Pathway illustration for Essentials 3 Month Course

Study with a professional 2D animator as your mentor

All 2D animation classes are taught by industry veterans with years of experience working on animated video games, movies, and TV shows.

Frequently asked questions

2D Animation Essentials course FAQs

Learn more about the prerequisites for this course and the 2D animation careers you could explore in the future. For general questions about studying at CG Spectrum, visit the main FAQ page or contact us.

Age Minimum
he general minimum age to be able to enroll in our industry certificate courses is 16. We require parent or guardian consent during the enrollment process for applicants under 18.

Students under 16 will require a further assessment before they can officially enrol. This may include an interview with a course advisor and the creation of a study plan to ensure they have considered how they will manage a college-level workload.

English Proficiency
We expect our students to have a good understanding of written and spoken English. There’s no specific ’level'; however, you must be able to understand video tutorials in English (no subtitles) and speak with your mentor in English during your live Q&A session.

Computer Literacy
To be successful in this program, you will need basic computer skills and a computer that meets the minimum specifications (see next question).


You will be required to purchase Toon Boom Harmony Premium.  Student discounts are available.

Instructions for how to obtain a license with a student discount will be provided upon enrollment.


You will need a computer that meets the minimum system requirements for Toon Boom, and a graphics tablet (see 2D animation software and equipment).

Please note: as the software we use is regularly updated, please check the specs against the latest available version at the time of enrolling.

This short course will get you started on your creative journey, but in a competitive industry, we advise continuing your studies with the full career track.

The 2D animation career track includes the 2D Animation Foundations Course and the 2D Cut-out Animator Specialization. It is designed to better prepare you for a job in the industry and help increase your employment opportunities.

The career track ensures you build strong foundational skills before moving on to more complex techniques and workflows. You will also dedicate time to career development and preparing a polished portfolio while you gain invaluable industry insights.

Some of the junior 2D animator jobs you could pursue after completing the full study pathway include:

Discover more about these 2D animator jobs, tips, and salary expectations on our careers page: