Art & Design ♡ AnimationPathway

Animation has come a long way from the first animated cartoon in 1908, but thankfully as the technology of animation has moved forward, so have the opportunities that amateur animators have to not only learn their craft but to improve upon it as well. With the internet, the number of resources available is near limitless and if there is something that cannot be found, it can easily be created and shared with people all over the world.

– Just Creative

According to you should do a little digging before you start and figure out what you should look for in an online animation class.

What to look for in an online animation course

Knowing what to look for in an online class can help you decide if the class is the right choice for you and will do everything it can to help you succeed and add to your skills. Before you sign up for any class, be sure to consider the following.

Skill level

As we said before, thanks to the internet, there are so many resources available for anyone who is looking to build new skills or refresh themselves on dormant ones. However, just because there are so many different classes out there, not every class may fit the skill level you’re at. For example, if you’re just looking for a refresher, taking an introductory class might be a waste of your time and money.

Teaching style

One area that not many people consider before taking an online class is the teaching style that is being used. Some of the more inexpensive classes may offer pre-recorded video lessons and come with no interaction with the instructor at all. Some others may offer one-on-one interaction with the instructor and even feedback tailored to the work you are doing and these types of classes generally come with a higher price.

Commitment level

The final area to consider is your commitment level. You need to consider how much time you can put towards the class as many classes can range from thirty minutes to 20 hours a week for several weeks. Knowing how much of a commitment and time that you can devote to an online class will help you choose the right one much easier.

Ruby 2021 – Charcoal on A3.

Homeschooling towards a Career in Animation

For us, the first building block is to work towards the American High School Diploma (Honors Pathway), in order to qualify for Matric Exemption in South Africa.

This will open doors and enable The Kiddo to enroll into any tertiary course, degree or diploma in Art & Design (Animation Pathway) that he wants to pursue. We chose Acellus Academy as our accredited service provider.

Art & Animation Courses


Let’s look at courses that can help you to build your Skillset and Art Portfolio, while you are still finishing high school.

●OCAD Arts from CambridgeOnline:

☆Courses Available: Photography, Fine Art, Illustration (inc. Manga), 3D Modelling, Games Design, Painting & Drawing, 3d design, Architectural design, Sculpture, Digital Art, Animation, Graphic Design, Pottery, Craft, Jewellery making, Fashion, Textiles.

☆Entry Requirements: 14 years or over or mature younger student, No previous art or design qualifications required.

☆Part-time programmes: Available all year round – enrolling now!

☆Full-time programmes: Start anytime – Portfolio must be complete by mid-June. Students will require at least 6 months to complete the course. Students can continue the following year if they fail to submit coursework by mid-June deadline.

☆Requirements: A computer with broadband connection / basic art materials

☆Progression: Progress to Foundation Diploma in Art & Design

☆Accreditation:  SEG ABC Awards Examination Board (Ofqual Code 501/2278/2)

☆Tuition: Face to face, one to one – unlimited

●The Animation Course

●The Animation School Short Courses

●Khan Academy:
Pixar in a Box


Vernon Fourie
Somerset West
076 078 3272

Animation Courses

Animation Courses

Animation Courses

●Class Central:
Animation Courses

Animation Training and Tutorials

●Oakfields College


This course is available at all campuses: Pretoria, East Rand, Johannesburg, Somerset West.

Somerset West Campus
Bizweni Campus, Bizweni Drive,
Somerset West
Phone 021 850 0383  
WhatsApp number
071 549 8834 (office hours only)

At Oakfields College we believe in introducing our students to cutting-edge technology, so this is a unique opportunity for all animation professionals and enthusiasts to learn the award-winning software Autodesk Maya.
Maya is the leading 3D program for animation worldwide.

In this 12-week course you’ll create your own models and scenes while learning the basic animation skills in this immersive 3D program. Go from dreaming to creating!

Course content includes:
– Navigate the Maya interface
– Create and manipulate 3D objects
– Construct and apply basic shapes, material and textures to polygon objects
– Create and organise projects in Maya
– Animate basic objects and rig in Maya

This course includes class projects that will enable you to build a personal portfolio to show prospective employers or clients.

Admission Requirements: Computer literate
‍Duration: 12 weeks x 4 hours per week.
‍When: Refer to the part-time schedule for starting date and times

●Art Courses at School House Teachers

High School Credits


If you are studying towards the American High School Diploma, then you can transfer High School Credits from one accredited service provider to another accredited service provider. So that it will be a part of your Transcript and AHSD/ School Leaving Certificate.

●Power Homeschool / Acellus
AP Studio Art – Drawing

●Excelsior Classes

Higher Certificate

#NQF Level 5

Then there are also Higher Certificates to consider, it is a NQF Level 5 Qualification. It can be a bridging course between your Matric (Without Exemption) or a GED that is a NQF Level 4 Matric Pass in South Africa. This will enable you to apply for Matric Exemption with USAf, in order to study a degree course in Art & Design / Animation.

Here are a few Higher Certificates that are available in South Africa. They are full time, or part time, some are available online / distance learning.

●Stellenbosch Academy of Design & Photography:
Higher Certificate in Drawing

1 year – full time – NQF 5 

The Higher Certificate in Drawing is a one-year programme that gives students a solid foundation in techniques, practice and theoretical aspects of drawing. It focuses unashamedly on traditional, mostly observational, drawing and the theory that underpins this practice. As such, design principles and elements will be explored through figure, object, constructional  and digital drawing. In this process ways of looking, seeing, understanding and rendering are developed. 

This programme is viewed primarily as wonderful preparation for degrees in the Visual Communication such as Design, Illustration, Animation, Multimedia, etc. However, the Higher Certificate could also allow students to gain access to entry-level employment in various sectors of the visual communication industry such as animation, storyboarding, concept art, book publishing, infographics and design studios. They could also embark on an artistic career. 

●Academy of Digital Arts
Concept Art

Length of course: 1 Year
Resulting Qualification: Higher Certificate in Concept Art, NQF-level 5 (SAQA ID 112250, HEQSF-aligned, H/PR432/E005CAN, 120 Credits).

☆What are the course requirements?

You must have a valid Matric certificate or NQF4 equivalent. You will also need to complete all the questions and creative pieces requested in the enrolment application form, as well as provide your personal portfolio.

☆Geographically Challenged?

If you are not able to join us on our physical campus, we offer the opportunity for you to be a part of our virtual classroom. The same qualification and learning experience, now online.

☆Career opportunities:

Concept Artist /
Illustrator /
Game Graphics Developer /
Visual Effects Artist /
Comic Book Artist /
Visual Development Artist /
Industrial Designer /

The entertainment design industry is vast and has many avenues to explore as a creative. Concept Art opens the door to any number of opportunities in this industry, including game design, film, animation and illustration. Whether you choose to specialise in one field, or work in all of the above, the Academy of Digital Arts will equip you with all the conceptual and technical skills you need to develop and visualise ideas for use in any industry.

During this one-year course, you’ll learn how to use traditional and digital media to visualise your ideas, and how to enrich those ideas through narrative and world building. You’ll test your skills by creating everything from creatures, characters,  props and assets like weapons and vehicles, as well as environments and high-end illustrations.

●Academy of Digital Arts
Game & Interactive Media Development

Length of course: 1 Year
Resulting Qualification: Higher Certificate

☆What are the course requirements?

You must have a valid Matric certificate or NQF4 equivalent. You will also need to complete all the questions and creative pieces requested in the enrolment application form, as well as provide your personal portfolio.

☆Geographically Challenged?

If you are not able to join us on our physical campus, we offer the opportunity for you to be a part of our virtual classroom. The same qualification and learning experience, now online.

☆Career Opportunities:

Game Developer /
Game 3D Artist /
Game 2D Artist /
Game Animator /
Game Content Creator /
Game Designer/Producer /
Augmented Reality Developer /
Virtual Reality Developer /
Game Education/Serious Games Specialist /
Game Interface Designer /


●SAE Institute:

Higher Certificate in Animation and Visual Effects
SAQA ID: 86986;
Duration 1 year;
NQF Level 5;


●Open Windows
National Certificate: 3D Animation & VFX

NQF Level 5
Minimum entry requirements:
Pass on National Senior Certificate (Grade 12) and basic computer literacy.
Compulsory for students to have a laptop and remote access to reliable internet
Starting Date(s): 15 March
Duration: 147 Credits = 1 year of study.

The National Certificate course in 3D Animation and Visual Effects aims to deliver students who are competent 3D animation or visual effects artists.

Tertiary Studies

#Diploma/ Degree in Animation

Diploma in Animation

●The Animation School:
Diploma in Digital Animation

SAQA ID: 71756
NQF Level: 6
Total Credits: 360
Campus: Cape Town and Johannesburg
Start Date: 7 February 2022
Duration: 3 Years, Full-Time

Cape Town campus:
+27 021 461 0822
42 Searle Street, Woodstock

The Animation School is the leading source of specialist animation education in South Africa.

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.

●Oakfields College

In our 3D animation course you will design and produce a portfolio of the work you have done during your studies at Oakfields College which will enable prospective employers to gauge your abilities and talent.

3 Year Diploma.
Admission requirements: Portfolio and National Senior Certificate endorsed with
minimum entry requirements for admission to diploma study.

This course is available at all campuses: Pretoria, East Rand, Johannesburg, Somerset West.

Somerset West Campus
Bizweni Campus, Bizweni Drive,
Somerset West
Phone 021 850 0383  
WhatsApp number
071 549 8834 (office hours only)

Degree in Art & Design

●University of Stellenbosch:
Fine Arts

●SAE Institute:

Bachelor of Arts in Motion Design and Animation
SAQA ID: 94949;
Duration 3 years;
NQF Level 7;


●Academy of Art University:
Visual Development

●Academy of Art University:
School of Illustration

Take your passion for illustration to the professional level by earning a four-year Illustration degree from Academy of Art University.

●Academy of Art University:
School of Animation & Visual Effects

Gain the skills you need for an exciting career in this vibrant and growing industry from our School of Animation & Visual Effects (VFX). Aspiring visual effects artists, 2D and 3D animators, and storyboard artist come to the Academy to learn from industry professionals in the heart of the animation industry.

Learn Online:

Our revolutionary online courses provide the same rigorous education that we offer on campus with greater flexibility. Study on your own time, at your own pace. Combine online and on-site classes.

●Open Windows
Bachelor of Film Arts

NQF Level 7
SAQA ID: 94670


OWC OF 30-33*
*Subject to OW’s Admissions Vetting Process
An English mark of 55%
International applications please contact

The School of ANIMATION ARTS forms part of our fully accredited Bachelor of Film Arts degree with major subjects such as 3D Animation, Game Design and Motion Design. The School of Animation Arts delivers a hands-on education with an accomplished faculty that focuses on helping students discover their talents, celebrate creativity and unlock the potential of technology.

In this School, the narrative remains at the core of these disciplines, whether it is driven by the moving image or handing over control of an interactive an experience by journeying to the outreaches of one’s imagination to breathe life into one’s creations. Students learn the fundamental principles that fuel the medium and develop their own distinct artistic voice.

Online Animation School

●Animation Mentor
The Online Animation School

ANO1 Courses:

  1. Animation Basics
    Course Length: 12 weeks
    Price Per Course: $2,499
  2. Body Mechanics
    Course Length: 12 weeks
    Price Per Course: $2,499
  3. Advanced Body Mechanics
    Course Length: 12 weeks
    Price Per Course: $2,499
  4. Introduction to Acting
    Course Length: 12 weeks
    Price Per Course: $2,499
  5. Advanced Acting
    Course Length: 12 weeks
    Price Per Course: $2,499
  6. Polish & Portfolio
    Course Length: 12 weeks
    Price Per Course: $2,499

☆Why it’s right for you

  • Learn from Animation Mentor’s proven, trusted Character Animation curriculum – the same curriculum taught to top animators working at studios like Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Industrial Light & Magic, WETA Digital and Blue Sky Studios
  • Learn from the best mentors, at the world’s first and most respected online animation school
  • Level up basic 3D animation software experience, and go beyond software tutorials to truly understand the art and craft of animation
  • Work with industry-quality characters and assets
  • Create a kick-ass demo reel full of your best animation and prepare yourself to apply for a job as a character animator

☆What You Get:

  • Access to the Animation Mentor community of over 5,500 students and alumni in more than 105 countries around the world
  • Instruction from top-quality mentors from the world’s leading animation studios
  • Over 12 hours of pre-recorded lecture material, made available to watch on-demand each week
  • A weekly eCritique of your assignment from your mentor
  • A weekly live Q&A with your mentor and classmates
  • Access to the Animation Mentor resource library with guest lectures, additional Q&As, and weekly video news
  • Ongoing access to all characters and rigs from the course, including Aia, Jules, Bishop, Sarge, Stella, Stan, Stewart, the Imps, Squirrels, Bird Ball and Monster Ball
  • By finishing and passing this course you will also gain access to our creature rigs, including Dozer, Dragon, Ogre, and Cat


  • Be 18 years of age or older upon the first day of this course
  • Meet the minimum system requirements
  • Have intermediate computer software skills. This course requires a basic knowledge of 3D software. If you have little to no experience using 3D animation software like Maya, Blender or 3DS Max, we strongly recommend our Maya Workshop: Animation Basics
  • Our rigs and demonstrations use Autodesk Maya. You are welcome to use any other 3D software or rigs if you choose to.
  • Have a good understanding of the English language

Autism & Animation

●Exceptional Minds

Exceptional Minds’ three-year, full-time flagship Professional Training Academy is unique in that we combine the skills of artists, instructors, technicians, and behaviorists into a completely articulated curriculum based on idiographic, empirically validated principles of instructional design.

We are the only autism education organization that provides technical instruction in the digital arts while fully integrating behavioral training into the curriculum. Our Employment Support Program provides work readiness training, job coaching, placements, troubleshooting, and employer education. All students are subsidized through our fundraising efforts and 30% also receive tuition assistance.

Our Part-Time Programs include Saturday, Summer, and After School Workshops, Private Lessons both On-Site and Virtual, and Academy Extensions Programs.

In 2014, Exceptional Minds launched the professional studio. Graduate students work in the visual effects, animation, rigging animation for gaming and titles as junior or senior artists, or continue on-the-job training as apprentices.

The studio is an approved vendor for Disney, Fox, HBO, Marvel Studios, Netflix, Paramount, Universal, and Warner Bros. The Studio’s credits include Special Olympics, Sesame Street, and blockbuster films such as Black Panther and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

☆Full-Time Program:

Exceptional Minds Full-Time Professional Training Program is designed for artists on the autism spectrum who are motivated and capable of learning the technical and work-readiness skills necessary to work independently in the competitive fields of Visual Effects and Animation.

We provide technical training in an array of professional software as well as professional training in portfolio creation, interview skills, and career path planning in order to focus the students’ career interests, prospects, and goals.

Our three-year Full-Time Program offers a crucial bridge between high school and opportunities for meaningful employment by building on the strengths of our students. Tuition Assistance may be available for those students accepted and enrolled in the program.

Full-Time Program Course Information

Studio Track Classes – Full-Time students receive specialized training to prepare them for jobs in either Visual Effects or Animation.

  • Visual Effects Studio Track students master the fundamentals of roto, keying, tracking, marker removal, monitor burn-ins,
    and split compositing.
  • Animation Studio Track students work toward mastery of design, storyboarding, and applying the principles of animation.

Technical Core Classes – Students broaden their technical skill sets and learn the fundamental concepts used in digital arts
including the Elements and Principles of Design in Photoshop, Motion Graphics Animation in After Effects and/or
3D Design and Animation in Maya and Zbrush.

Vocational Classes – Students learn professional behavior, job seeking, and career planning skills. Students receive three years
of hands-on practice and guidance with resume writing, interviewing, and building a demo reel.

☆Part-Time program:

  • Private Lessons:
    • On-Site Private Lessons
    • Virtual Private Lessons
  • Workshops
    • Summer Workshops
    • Saturday Workshops
    • After School Workshops
  • Academy Extensions
    • Prep Program
    • Freelance Exceptional Artist Training (FLEAT)
    • PACE

☆Summer Programs:

For ages 12 – 15:

For ages 16+:

☆Art Labs:

2-hour Labs are offered from 3:30- 5:30 pm | Monday -Thursday | Price varies

Digital Drawing Lab- 2-hour Lab $75 | Monday -Thursday | 3:30 – 5:30 pm

Develop your drawing practice with personalized feedback from our animation instructors. Students work on perspective, proportion, gesture, and speed with figure and still life drawing practice.

Dungeons and Dragons Role Playing (ages 16+) – 4 Class Package $200 | Tuesday & Thursday 3:30 – 5:30 pm

Computer Practice Lab- 2-hour Lab $45 | Monday -Thursday | 3:30 – 5:30 pm

Work on personal projects and class assignments with guidance from our technical instructors. Instructors are available to help with animation, after effects and 3D projects. For lab, students should be able work independently for 15 minutes at a time. Must be enrolled in Summer Workshops to sign up for computer practice lab.

Best Websites and Online Tools for Learning Animation

Animation is becoming increasingly important skill for both illustrators and graphic designers with the high demand for video, GIFs and motion graphics for anything from a social media campaign to a website homepage. Of course, animating in 3D is powerful skill to have under the belt too, but here we mainly focus on courses for 2D animation, largely aimed at those learning animation for the first time. Most online tools listed here will offer tutorials in 3D animation as well, such as Udemey and

– Digital Arts Online

●Digital Arts Online:

Learn how to create your own animation with industry leading software including 2D tools Adobe After Effects (see our tutorials for After Effects here),  Adobe Animate or Toon Boom – or 3D tools like Autodesk Maya, Blender or Cinema 4D – with these online tutorials, videos and websites for beginners through to advanced learners. You can also learn basic forms of animation using CrazyTalk Animator in the following tutorials.

●Trump Learning:
9 Best Animation Classes & Courses Online

1. Learn 3D Animation – The Ultimate NEW BLENDER 2.8 Course A-Z (Udemy)

2. Animation and CGI Motion Offered by Columbia University (edX)

3. Basic 3D animation using Blender Offered by IIT Bombay (edX)

4. Character Animation Basics: Create a Dance Loop with After Effects and Photoshop (Skillshare)

5. Animation for Illustration: Creating Layered GIFs with Photoshop & After Effects (Skillshare)

6. Animation Foundations: Fundamentals (LinkedIn)

7. Maya for Beginners: Complete Guide to 3D Animation in Maya (Udemy)

8. After Effects CC Creating Your First Animation (PluralSight)

9. Become a 2D Digital Animator (LinkedIn)

●Just Creative:
Top 9 best animation courses online free / paid

If you go online, you will find numerous online classes for animation and some are much better than others. In our opinion, the list below contains the classes that we feel offer the most for your time and money.

1. The Beginner’s Guide to After Effects (Skillshare) – 2 Months Free then $99/year

2. 12 Principles of Animation with Justin Harrison (Udemy) – $19

3. Learn 3D Animation – The Ultimate Blender Guide (Udemy) – $139

4. Maya 2020 Essential Training (LinkedIn Learning) – $39

5. 2D Animation For Beginners With Adobe Animate (Skillshare) – 2 Months Free then $99/year

6. Complete Animation Course by Aaron Blaise – $50

7. Character Setup and Animation (Coursera) – $79/month

8. How to Create Lifelike Movement (Skillshare) – 2 Months Free then  $99/year

9. Blender 2.8 Essential Training (Linkedin Learning) – $44

●Bloop Animation:
Animation Courses & Software

Bloop Animation Studios is a leading platform in animation training, with hundreds of video tutorials and articles, books, 15 animation video courses and 3 animated short films under its belt.

As animators, we built this course from the ground up to be tailored to other animators and filmmakers. Professional or aspiring.