Advanced 2D animation course taught by industry mentors

Strengthen your 2D animation skills and get comprehensive career training that will prepare you for the industry. Gain speed and precision using industry tools, build critical job skills, and develop an impressive portfolio to show employers.

Why study 2D animation at CG Spectrum:

  • Learn advanced skills studios are hiring for
  • Become proficient in industry software Toon Boom
  • Get additional career support and guidance
  • Choose 1-on-1 or small group classes

Focusing on cut-out style character animation, your experienced 2D mentor will guide you through fun and challenging exercises, help you refine your modern and traditional animation techniques, and provide insightful feedback to help you progress faster as an artist.



Industry Certificate


9 months


20 hrs weekly

Skill level


Start date

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


Group Class: $9,999 USD
Private Class: $13,999 USD
Ask about our payment plans

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Why study with us

Learn advanced 2D animation tools and techniques with industry support and feedback

Our specialized expert-led animation programs will see you progress faster and help you build practical job skills that will serve you throughout your career.

Industry Mentors

Learn from mentors who have worked on top films and games

Flexible Scheduling

Plan your studies around work and family commitments

Job Ready Skills

Build practical, relevant job skills that studios are looking for

Payment Plans

Options to help you pursue your passion and start working sooner


An industry-approved curriculum to help launch your career as a 2D animator

Term 1: 12 weeks

Cut-Out Animation 1

Building on the 2D animation knowledge you gained in the 2D Animation Foundations, you'll add cutout animation to your skillset, learning techniques using Toon Boom Harmony’s peg and node animation system, then moving onto complex physical animations, rigging and animating bipeds and quadrupeds. With your mentor's guidance, you'll analyze strong cutout scenes and apply lessons to your own work.

By the end of this term, you will have a strong understanding of advanced cutout-style animation techniques and confidence in rigging and animating characters and creatures.

  • Create cutout style animation
  • Rig and animate bipeds & quadrupeds
  • Use advanced Toon Boom tools
  • Master poses, timing & spacing 
  1. Cutout Animation History and Analysis
  2. Rigging a Bouncing Ball with the Harmony Peg and Node System
  3. Rigging an Arm for a Finger Point Animation
  4. Finger Point Animation
  5. Biped Rigging: Creating the Character Component Drawings
  6. Biped Rigging: Peg Hierarchy and Deformers
  7. Biped Rigging: Apply the Node Effects and Template the Rig
  8. Walk with a Rigged Biped Character
  9. Character Prop Pickup: Two Approaches
  10. Run and Jump with the Rigged Biped Character: Key Poses
  11. Run and Jump with the Rigged Biped Character: Breakdown Poses and Spacing
  12. Cutout Animation Work Week
Term 2: 12 weeks

Cut-Out Animation 2

Push your skills further than you thought possible in term 2. You'll jump into a variety of projects including single and two-character dialogue acting scenes using the cutout animation technique. You'll be introduced to Harmony’s FX and compositing tools, and use them to add these elements to your dialogue scenes.

By the end of this term, you will have a better understanding of how, when and why you should add FX to your animations, and have hands-on practice using Harmony's compositing and FX tools.

  • Apply advanced movement techniques
  • Maximize Harmony compositing and FX tools
  • Use acting for feature/episodic animation
  • Add FX to enhance your animations
  1. Quadruped Rigging 01: Create Character Component Drawing Elements
  2. Quadruped Rigging 02: Peg Hierarchy, Effects Node Structure, and Deformers
  3. Quadruped Walk to Run 01: Key Poses
  4. Quadruped Walk to Run 02: Breakdown Poses
  5. Biped Walk to Sit 01: Key Blocking Poses
  6. Biped Walk to Sit 02: Breakdowns and Spacing
  7. Single Character Dialogue Animation 01: Planning, Setting Key Poses
  8. Single Character Dialogue Animation 02: Breakdowns
  9. Two-Character Dialog Animation 01: Thumbnail Planning and Reference
  10. Two-Character Dialog Animation 02: Storytelling and Key Extreme Poses
  11. Two-Character Dialog Animation 03: Breakdowns, Spacing and Mouth Shapes
  12. Finalizing the Two-Character Dialog Scene: Camera and Compositing
Term 3: 12 weeks

Mentored Studio: 2D Animation

This final term is about getting you job-ready! Using the technique of your choice (tradigital, cutout, or both), you will be mentored in the planning and production of a short animation demo reel, which includes design and animation of multiple characters, creation of background elements, and addition of camera movement, FX, and compositing.

Students in this course receive additional 1-on-1 career support, portfolio reviews, and industry insights from CG Spectrum's Career Development Manager.

  • Polish your portfolio to impress employers
  • Be more confident with negotiation
  • Network & self-promote effectively
  • Tap into the hidden job market 
  1. Career Pathways
  2. Industry Overview
  3. Portfolio Upgrade
  4. Networking and Online Presence
  5. Resume and Cover Letter
  6. Job Hunting
  7. Freelance Work
  8. Interviews and Pitching
  9. Personal Projects and Challenges
  10. Working in a Studio
  11. Contracts and Negotiations
  12. Personal Roadblocks
Course structure

Your pathway to the industry

The 9-month Specialization Course is the second half of our Career Track, preparing you for your first day in the industry. Your future awaits!

Pathway illustration for Specialization 9 Month Course


Want to take your education higher?

Did you know that the subjects you complete in the career track courses can be used to apply for credit toward our accredited degrees and diplomas in the same discipline? 

The skills and knowledge you build in any industry-certificate course can be transferred into academic credits through our Advanced Standing and Credit Transfer process. So, if you decide to take your studies to the next level, know that your prior learning will be recognized.

Compare your options and find out which course is right for you.



Get direct access to 2D animators with years of industry experience

CG Spectrum mentors have years of real world experience working at studios like Walt Disney Animation, DreamWorks, SPA Studios, Bardel Entertainment and others. 

Student Showcase

Incredible work from our talented students

With a focus on portfolio preparation, we help students craft impressive, high-quality work that stands out in a competitive industry. See what they are creating.


Studios that hire our students

Our commitment to job outcomes and focus on career development have helped graduates find work at studios worldwide.

Frequently asked questions

Have questions? We've got answers.

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

This course requires the successful completion of the 2D Animation Foundations career track or portfolio submission demonstrating professional experience and an accompanying reel/resume.

If you submit a portfolio, it should include:

1) A demonstrated understanding of the 12 Principles of Animation.  3-5 pieces that showcase work that provides evidence of an understanding of the basic animation 'rules.'  

2) A demonstrated understanding of general aesthetics and design. Evidence you have an understanding of how to compose images and present actions clearly and in an artistically pleasing way.

3) Examples of completion of basic animation exercises covered in beginner courses.  Show proof of abilities to create a basic bouncing ball, flour sack, walk/run cycle, weight and timing, make basic acting choices and be able to turn key poses into fully-realized, fluid animation work. 

4) The ability to show some sense of entertainment value in your work. More than just a basic understanding, your work should showcase some flair and a sense of confidence in your general understanding of timing, motion and performance in basic animation exercises. 

5) A body of work (1-3 pieces at least) that show a range of skills you currently possess.  There should be enough examples in your body of work for us to make an assessment of where you are currently at and where you might be going.  

If you are unsure if your skills are sufficient, send us your portfolio when you apply, and we'll arrange for the department head to review it and, depending on the circumstances, a student interview.

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).


Toon Boom Harmony Premium.  Student discounts are provided.

Instructions for how to obtain your student discount for this software 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).

On completion of the 2D Animator Specialization course, you will have greater confidence in your technical and creative abilities and a polished portfolio to show prospective employers.

You will also have access to our career coach and personalized career services (including interview preparation, CV/resume assistance, and portfolio reviews), which can help when applying for junior 2D animator jobs such as:

The CG Spectrum community is another great resource. Through graduates and mentors already working in the industry, you can network and learn about relevant job vacancies. 

Discover more about these 2D animation jobs, tips, salary expectations and tips to meet the minimum job requirements for this industry on our careers page:

This 2D Animator Specialization builds upon the skills offered in the 2D Animation Foundations course and completes our career track offering. Students who are serious about pursuing a career in animation have an opportunity to explore the world of animation art more deeply and progress further with cut-out animation.

The Specialization course also offers an entire term dedicated to getting students career-ready. This includes building necessary job skills while working on your professional portfolio, with support and feedback from your mentor every step of the way.

While CG Spectrum's advanced students have a high job success rate (83%), we cannot offer guaranteed employment as the film and game industry is competitive, and there is no way of knowing what the market will demand when it comes to animation.

The students who experience the greatest success are those who take responsibility for their careers, put in the hard work to raise their skills to industry standards, leverage their mentor's invaluable expertise, and take advantage of every opportunity to excel.

Taking an advanced 2D animation class not only keeps students focused while they grow as artists and build their portfolios, but it also increases their social scope as they make more contacts with more time and work, a key component in securing a job. 

To help students find employment, we have a range of career services and a dedicated career coach who regularly hosts exclusive career-focused webinars, Q&As, artist interviews, and workshops for CG Spectrum students and graduates and is available to answer career-related questions.

The Specialization course also dedicates a full term to career and industry preparation. With your mentor's guidance, you'll refine your professional portfolio, build essential job skills, and learn how to market yourself.

If you have any questions about our career services as they relate to your personal career goals, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

As with any venture, it will be what you make of it! The best animators are constantly growing, evolving, and learning new skill sets. 

A specialized 2D animator class is an excellent way to sharpen one’s skills, open doors to exciting new methods and practices, refine your showreel, and continue to grow and network as an artist and member of the animation community.

The benefit of doing the 2D Animator Specialization at CG Spectrum is receiving mentorship from an industry professional who can share their workflows and techniques with you. If you choose the 1-on-1 private mentorship option, there is also some flexibility to customize the program to meet your particular needs and career goals.

You can also get additional support from our career coach if you are looking to take the next step in your career, whether that be a promotion or switching your specialization.