Advanced 2D Animation Diploma

Intensive online 2D animation course to prepare you for a career in film and games


2D animation course taught by industry mentors

Comprehensive career training to get you job-ready

The Advanced 2D Animation Diploma 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


Focusing on cut-out style character animation, your mentor will guide you through fun and challenging exercises, offering insightful feedback to help you progress faster as an artist. Mentors actively work in the industry, so you know you’re receiving the most up-to-date training.

Get plenty of hands-on experience, 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!

Industry Qualification

Advanced diploma


9 months


20 hrs weekly

Skill level



2D Animation Diploma or portfolio submission


Weekly online classes, feedback and support

Included software

Toon Boom Harmony

Start date

Dec 7, 2020

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
Introduction to Cut-Out Animation

Building on principles gained in the 2D Animation Diploma, 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.

Learn how to:

  • Create cutout style animation
  • Rig and animate bipeds & quadrupeds
  • Use advanced Toon Boom tools
  • Master poses, timing & spacing 

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.

  1. Intro to Harmony Peg and Node System & Simple Rigging
  2. Rigging a Flour Sack for Cutout Animation
  3. Animating a Flour Sack: Planning and Key Poses
  4. Animating a Flour Sack: Breakdown Poses and Timing
  5. Study and Analysis of Cutout Animation Scenes
  6. Rigging a Biped Character 01: Designing a Character
  7. Rigging a Biped Character 02: Hierarchy & Deformers
  8. Animating a Walk with the Rigged Biped Character
  9. Animating a Run and Jump: Create Key Poses
  10. Animating a Run and Jump: Breakdown Poses and Spacing
  11. Rigging a Quadruped Character: Designing the Character
  12. Rigging a Quadruped Character: Hierarchy and Deformers
Term 2: 12 weeks
Advanced Cut-Out Animation

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.

Learn how to:

  • Apply advanced movement techniques
  • Maximize Harmony compositing and FX tools
  • Use acting for feature/episodic animation
  • Add FX to enhance your animations

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.

  1. Animating a Quadraped Walk to Run: Creating Key Poses
  2. Animating a Quadraped Walk to Run: Breakdown Poses and Spacing
  3. Personality Walk to Sit: Planning and Key Poses
  4. Personality Walk to Sit: Breakdowns and Spacing
  5. Single Character Dialogue: Thumbnail Planning and Setting Key Poses
  6. Single Character Dialogue: Breakdown Poses and Spacing
  7. Rigging a Biped Character 03: Design and Rig a Second Biped Character
  8. Two-Character Dialogue: Thumbnail Planning and Setting Key Poses
  9. Two-Character Dialogue: Breakdowns and Spacing
  10. Two-Character Dialogue: Polish
  11. Adding FX Elements to Your Two-Character Dialogue Scene
  12. Adding Camera Movement and Compositing Elements
Term 3: 12 weeks
Portfolio and Career Development

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.

Learn how to:

  • Polish your portfolio to impress employers
  • Be more confident with negotiation
  • Network & self-promote effectively
  • Tap into the hidden job market 

All diploma students receive additional 1-on-1 career support, portfolio reviews, and industry insights from CG Spectrum's Career Development Manager.

  1. Getting Your Career Started
  2. Self-promotion
  3. Portfolio Prep
  4. Payments and Contracts
  5. Your First Commissions
  6. Finding your Audience
  7. Staff vs. Freelance
  8. Developing Personal Projects
  9. Path of the Independent Artist
  10. Skill Development Practices
  11. Motivational Guidelines
  12. Emerging Art Career Tips

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

To be the best, it helps to learn from the best. All 2D classes are taught by industry mentors with years of experience working on major films and TV shows.

Study Options

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
Study Options

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


$1,185 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$3,199 USD

(3 x payments)

$1,485 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$3,999 USD

(3 x payments)

Study Pathway

Your journey to a successful career starts here

Study duration: 18 months
2D Animation Course Pathway

We've built our animation courses based on industry input and focus on teaching skills studios are hiring for.

The three courses below form a complete study pathway designed to fast track your education so you can land your first job sooner. Each course can also be taken separately depending on your skill level and career goals. 


The Introduction to 2D Animation Certificate teaches you solid foundations, giving you an idea of what it takes to pursue a career in this field.

This course serves as the first term of the 2D Animation Diploma, so you’ll already be one-third of the way through the diploma if you choose to continue your journey.


Course Summary:

  • Qualification: Certificate
  • Duration: 3 months
  • Commitment: 20 hours weekly
  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Software: A student educational license of Toon Boom Harmony is provided to all students for free

View Course


The 2D Animation Diploma develops your skill level further with more complex techniques and a focus on producing the quality of animation expected in film and television production.


  • Completion of Introduction to 2D Animation Certificate
    (Note: The Introduction to 2D Animation Certificate is embedded in the 2D Animation Diploma and serves as Term 01. If you have already completed the introductory course, you are one-third of the way through this diploma.)
  • Digital art tablet and a computer that meets the minimum recommended specifications

Course Summary:

  • Qualification: Diploma
  • Duration: 9 months
  • Commitment: 20 hours weekly
  • Skill level: Intermediate
  • Software: An educational license of Toon Boom Harmony is provided to all students for free
View Course


The Advanced 2D Animation Diploma takes your skills to a feature film level and focuses on building your professional portfolio.


Course Summary:

  • Qualification: Advanced Diploma
  • Duration: 9 months
  • Commitment: 20 hours weekly
  • Skill level: Advanced
  • Software: A Toon Boom Harmony educational license is provided to students for free

View Course

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

Our commitment to job-outcomes and focus on career development has helped graduates find work at studios all over the world.

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