2D animation course taught by industry mentors

Comprehensive career training to get you job-readY

This advanced 2D animation course prepares you for an exciting career in 2D animation. You'll learn from industry experts who have worked at top studios, gain valuable industry insights, build critical job skills, and develop a polished 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


Now that you have the basics of animation covered, time to step it up! Focusing on cut-out style character animation, your mentor will guide you through fun and challenging exercises, share both modern and traditional animation techniques, and offer insightful feedback to help you progress faster as an artist.

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

With their support, you'll learn to create polished animated scenes frame by frame, discover techniques that save time and frustration, and graduate with a portfolio to impress employers with.

Classes are held online, so they’re available to you wherever you are in the world. Get your career off to a great start at CG Spectrum online animation school.



Study duration

36 weeks


20 hrs weekly

Skill level



2D Animation Foundations course or portfolio submission


Weekly online classes, feedback and support


Toon Boom Harmony

Start date

Jun 3, 2024

(SizeLimitingPyMap: {form_id=fad79dc7-4875-4e6e-bfb8-559d493dc494, form_type=HUBSPOT, gotowebinar_webinar_key=null, message=Thanks for submitting the form., redirect_id=34690303461, redirect_url=null, response_type=redirect})

Why study with us

Learn 2D animation from industry pros who have worked on major feature films

Whether straight out of high school, changing careers, or upgrading skills, our specialized expert-led animation programs help you build practical job skills that serve 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


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 essentials gained in the 2D Animation Course, 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 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

Dive right into the full study pathway and be industry ready in 18 months.

Pathway illustration for Career Track (18 months)

Get direct access to 2D animators with years of real-world experience

To be the best, it helps to learn from the best. Our 2D classes are led by industry veterans with years of experience working on film, game and cartoon animation.


Small Class

The most affordable way to learn from top industry mentors in a fun, collaborative environment, while still getting plenty of personalized feedback.

  • Max. 4 students per course
  • Affordable high-quality education
  • Network while you learn

1-on-1 Private

Progress faster and enjoy more flexiblity with private mentorship. Ideal for busy schedules, career-changers, or artists upgrading skills or changing specialties.

  • Maximum level of mentor interaction
  • Greater flexibility to schedule classes
  • Customized learning experience


Choose your class size

$1,185 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$3,200 USD

(3 x payments)

$1,750 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$4,725 USD

(3 x payments)

Frequently asked questions

Have questions? We've got answers.

Aside from basic computer skills and a computer that meets the minimum specifications (see next question), this course requires the successful completion of the 2D Animation Course or portfolio submission demonstrating professional experience and an accompanying reel/resume. Your portfolio submission 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 and we'll arrange a review by the department head and a possible student interview, depending on circumstances.



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 Advanced 2D Animation Course you will have greater confidence in bringing your animated characters and creatures to life, and have a demo reel full of animation projects to show employers.

Unlike some other animation schools, you will also have access to personalized career services with our Career Development Manager which can help when applying for junior 2D animator jobs such as:

Whether you want to work on animated video games or feature films, you'll find an animation career a fulfilling and exciting one where no two days are the same. 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:

Student Showcase

High quality student work that speaks for itself

With a focus on portfolio preparation, we help students build their competitive edge with high quality work that gets noticed. See what they are creating.


Studios that hire our students