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  • Diploma in Digital Animation

    Gain a strong foundation in the history of animation, principles of animation, colour theory, art direction, storytelling and pre-production, production and post-production.

    Download prospectusAbout the course

Course description

The aim of the Diploma in Digital Animation is to prepare students for a successful career in the animation industry by equipping them with the knowledge, skills, technological training and professionalism required to make a smooth transition into the work place or the opportunity to further their studies.

Students will gain a strong theoretical foundation in the history of animation, the principles of animation, colour theory, art direction, storytelling and pre-production, production and post-production. They will also develop detailed knowledge of the field of animation and how that knowledge relates to film and media studies, history, art and design. Students will be assessed on their ability to critically analyse these principles and theories and apply them when solving complex problems within 2D and 3D animation.

Graduates of the programme are complimented by employers for their ability to deliver excellent work from the first day of employment because of the industry- relevant experience gained in their third year. This includes production of a short film as a member of a team, completion of a 2-week placement within an animation studio and preparation of a personal demo-reel, all of which are underpinned by the knowledge and skills gained in the first and second years of the programme.

First year

  • Y1.C1 – Introduction to Animation
  • Y1.C2 – 2D Digital Animation
  • Y1.C3 – Introduction to 3D Production

Second year

  • Y2.C1 – Visual Narrative
  • Y2.C2 – 3D Character Animation
  • Y2.C3 – 3D Character Development
  • Y2.C4 – 3D Production

Third year

  • Y3.C1 – Pre-Production
  • Y3.C2 – Production Electives
  • Y3.C3 – Animated Short Film
  • Y3.C4 – Professional Development

Programme details

SAQA ID: 71756
NQF level: 6
Total credits: 360
Campus: Cape Town and Johannesburg
Start date: 4 February 2019
Duration: 3 years, full-time

Who should apply?

Applicants from around the world who are passionate about developing strong drawing skills, are inquisitive about the people and world around them, have a passion for visual storytelling and are willing to put in long hours to bring characters and stories to life are invited to apply for the Diploma in Digital Animation.

Experience in art and drama will support the more creative aspects of animation while mathematical and logical thinking skills will benefit those looking to focus on the technical side of animation.

Applicants must meet the minimum admission criteria specified in the prospectus (on the right).

What careers are available to graduates?

Graduates will be qualified to pursue a career in animation, film, TV, gaming, advertising or VFX as a generalist, concept artist, story boarder, character designer, animator, technical artist (rigging and/or rendering), lighting artist, compositor, surfacing/texturing artist, among numerous others.

Alternatively, graduates may explore a career in animation for other sectors such as health and medical (simulated medical procedures), architecture (virtual tours of buildings), engineering (simulated engineering processes or 3D models), forensics (recreating crime scenes) or virtual reality (VR).

80 – 90% of our graduates’ secure employment in the animation in the local animation industry and several have gone on to work in the US, Canada and Europe.

What are the fees?

Please download the prospectus (on the right) for information on fees.

What financial assistance is available?

The National Film and Video Foundation offer bursaries to talented South African students from disadvantaged backgrounds who require financial assistance, for more information please visit their website for more details on how to apply

Merit bursaries are offered to 2nd and 3rd year students with an 80% average or higher, merit bursaries are granted at the discretion of The Animation School.

The Feenix™ platform is your opportunity to take your funding needs into your own hands and use the power of your network to reach your goals. Visit https://www.feenix.org/ for more information.

How to apply

Step 1: Prepare your portfolio

The following pieces must be included in the portfolio:

  • 1 x Comic strip (6 panels) showing how to apply to study at The Animation School (download the template)
  • 6 – 12 Additional artwork pieces which you have personally produced in the past 3 years made up of any medium; illustrations, paintings, graphic design, portrait drawing, figure drawing, sculptures, digital artwork, animations or any other medium the applicant believes will motivate his/her application

Step 2: Compile your portfolio

Compile a single PDF document that includes the following:

  • Scanned or photographed artwork
  • Comic strip
  • Links to any short films or animations created by the applicant can be added to the portfolio but this is not a requirement.

Step 3: Write a motivation letter

Write a one-page (A4) motivation that addresses the following question:

  • Why do you want to study at The Animation School?

Step 4: Complete the application

  • Once you have compiled your portfolio, start completing the online form. You can save the form for later use.
  • Complete all personal details in the online application form
  • Upload the motivation letter
  • Upload the portfolio
  • Upload national senior certificate/ statement of results/ other qualification
  • ID photo

Enquire about the diploma

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Download the prospectus

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