Top 3D Animation Colleges & Schools in the World: Your Guide for 2024
Explore top-ranked 3D animation schools globally in our 2024 guide, featuring elite programs that shape future animation experts.
Explore top-ranked 3D animation schools globally in our 2024 guide, featuring elite programs that shape future animation experts.
So, you’re thinking about diving into the world of animation? Super cool decision! Animation isn’t just about making stuff move; it’s about bringing ideas to life, telling stories that matter, and, let’s be honest, having a bit of fun along the way. With the industry booming, there's never been a better time to jump in.
Now, picking the right school is kinda like choosing your adventure. You want somewhere that not only teaches you the ropes but also pushes you to explore your creativity, work on awesome projects, and maybe even prep you for that dream gig.
That's where I come in. With years of experience in the animation industry and a deep understanding of what makes a great animation school, I've curated a list of the top 10 Animation Schools for 2024. But why should you trust this list?
Diving into the realm of animation education, I rely on the esteemed Rookies Global School Rankings for 2023, a treasure trove of insights drawn from the exceptional achievements of students who showcased their talents at the Rookie Awards 2023. These rankings serve as a beacon, illuminating institutions that not only foster creativity but also equip students with the requisite skills to thrive in the dynamic realm of animation and digital art.
Here are some key statistics from the rankings, providing a glimpse into the extensive evaluation process:
Below, you'll find the top schools from these rankings, ensuring you're looking at the best of the best as you plot your path to a career in animation.
New3dge is a specialized private school of higher education in Paris, dedicated to Game Art, 3D Animation&VFX, and Concept Art. Our student program and teaching methods have been designed in collaboration with leading industry experts to provide our students with a curriculum that meets the highest industry standards.
Our educators are carefully selected from a global network of respected professionals, ensuring that our students receive instruction from the most qualified and experienced teachers. At New3dge, our students have access to cutting-edge technology and a constantly evolving environment to help them develop the skills necessary for success in the video game, 3D animation&VFX, and Concept Art industries.
Our campus, located in the heart of Paris, offers traditional classrooms equipped with easels and saddles for painting and sculpting, as well as digital classrooms featuring professional-grade software and hardware. We also provide support rooms and a cafeteria to create a comfortable and productive learning environment.
Moreover, being situated in Paris gives our students unparalleled access to world-class architecture, museums, and parks, which makes it one of the most inspiring cities in the world to study art and design.
In summary, at New3dge, we are committed to providing our students with a comprehensive education in the fields of art and design, equipping them with the knowledge and skills they need to pursue successful careers in their chosen industry.
For over twenty years, Gnomon has educated many of the world’s best digital artists. Called “the MIT of visual effects” by Fast Company magazine, Gnomon offers a variety of educational options to help students reach their goals in the entertainment industry, with both degree and vocational certificate programs, specialized courses for high school students and over 100 individual courses for professional enrichment. Visual effects artists launched Gnomon with the support of the entertainment industry to help meet the demand for well-trained creative talent in the growing field of digital entertainment. Our graduates are professionals working on the latest blockbuster films and games, and have positions at film and video game studios around the world.
Since 1931, Ringling College of Art and Design has cultivated the creative spirit in students from around the globe. The private, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in eleven disciplines and the Bachelor of Arts in two. The College’s rigorous curriculum employs the studio model of teaching and immediately engages students through a comprehensive program that is both specific to the major of study and focused on the liberal arts. The Ringling College teaching model ultimately shapes students into highly employable and globally aware artists and designers. For more information, please visit www.ringling.edu.
We are a specialized educational institution for CG and VFX (Visual Effects) located in Seoul, Busan, and Daegu, South Korea. Many of our graduates currently work for top VFX and 3D animation companies worldwide. We welcome students of all levels of experience. Our systematic curriculum is designed to guide students with no prior experience towards becoming CG and VFX professionals. For students who already have experience, we provide specialized education in their chosen areas of interest. Regardless of their skill level upon entry, our goal is for all students to acquire practical and comprehensive skills in the field of CG and VFX by the end of the program. SFFS is an ideal school for both beginners and experienced individuals in the industry.
AnimSchool's 3D Animation Program is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). ACCSC is a recognized accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education.
Each week, animators from film and game studios work with the students one-by-one, giving the students a guided opportunity for growth. Animation is about bringing characters to life. This is a very demanding and competitive discipline, but for those of us in the field, all the hard work is worth that magic result: a character who seems to come to life on the screen. Our students learn animation from instructors from 3D animation studios like Dreamworks, Sony Pictures, Disney, and Blue Sky Studios.
ESMA is a higher education establishment specialising in CG Animation and Special Effects, which also offers courses in interior architecture, graphical design, video game design and concept art, with campuses in Bordeaux, Lyon, Montpellier, Nantes, Rennes and Toulouse in France, but also in Montreal, in Canada.
Each of our campuses in France, are equipped with student housing, thus facilitating the needs of foreign students looking to study at ESMA.
ESMA offers a comprehensive professional course, over a 5-year cycle, dedicated to learning the ropes of CG Animation and FX (certified Lv7 RNCP, which is equivalent to the French Bac +5), allowing students to receive a complete and professional training in every aspect of the CG production pipeline. The campuses in Lyon and Montpellier also offer this course in English for international students.
After graduating, the students are ready to join the industry in cinema, video games, advertising, TV, etc. Within 6 months of graduation, 92% of our students get hired, and many of them join renowned studios, seeing their names in the credits of many a blockbuster or hit TV show.
During its 30 years of expertise, ESMA earned international renown. Every year, it is counted in the top 10 schools in the world in rankings recognised by the industry, and the movies created by our students receive awards and nominations in the greatest film festivals.
Norwich University of the Arts is a dynamic and creative university offering a range of courses in art, architecture, design, fashion, communication, media and performing arts. Our vibrant community is driven by a passion to understand the world, imagine its possibilities, and shape its future.
We are ranked in the top 30 in The Rookies Global School Rankings 2023, which also placed us 6th in the world for 2D Animation, 7th for 3D Animation and 13th for Production Excellence in VFX.
Our diverse and dynamic community includes over 3000 students from 40 countries. We have an exceptional track record of launching and developing successful careers with our staff and graduates making significant contributions across creative and cultural industries, from global leaders to independent practitioners.
For over a century, our award-winning staff and students have been at the forefront of learning, creativity, and practice. Inspired by critical creativity, our community is encouraged to challenge conventions, think differently, and give form and voice to new possibilities.
At Norwich, we value everyone's identity, embracing makers and creators, performers, thinkers and researchers from around the globe. In Norwich - the City of Stories - we unite to shape the future of creativity and creative arts education.
Join us at Norwich University of the Arts, where creativity thrives, and possibilities come to life.
Since 2005, Think Tank has been offering an unmatched learning experience that emphasizes collaboration and feedback with professional supervisors and mentors from across the VFX, Animation, Game Art, and CG world. Consistently ranked as one of the top schools worldwide, Think Tank's Online, Campus, and Hybrid programs offer artists a specialized and hands-on education that primes them for an exciting career in the Film, TV, and Games. Go directly from school to studio with the latest software, professional mentorship, job readiness training, and an industry-ready demo reel. Most artists who want to get into the CG industry rarely know what job position or discipline they want to end up in.
Think Tank believes in supporting your journey to discover your true passion and unique point of view. Work with Advisors, Instructors, and Personal Mentors who are themselves experienced in CG to establish exactly the type of work you want to do. Once your specialization is determined, you’ll develop an industry-ready portfolio alongside your mentor that is catered towards a particular career, and ofter, a specific studio. This means that when you’re looking for that first job, your work will already be elevated above the average generalist. Up for the challenge? Think Tank is here to help you take the next step.
PIXL VISN was founded in 2010 by industry professionals Andrei Stirbu and Robb Innes. We offer an accelerated 18-month 3D Animation and Visual Effects training program in a modern facility equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, located in the heart of Cologne, Germany. We are now the largest talent factory for 3D Visual Effects Artists in the German-speaking region.
Instructors at PIXL VISN are a part of the industry: They work in relevant positions at major studios around the world helping to create major Hollywood feature films, hit television series and blockbuster video games, so you learn directly from industry professionals and benefit from their current professional experience.
Our graduates have worked on productions like “Avengers: Endgame”, “House of the Dragon” and “Avatar: The Way of Water”. Many of our alumni are also working in responsible positions, e.g. as Senior VFX Coordinator, Lead Animator or Rigging/CFX Supervisor.
PIXL VISN is consistently one of the best schools in the world: Since 2018, we are repeatedly listed in the official “World School Rankings®️” at “The Rookies” in the TOP 10 of the world's best schools in the categories “Visual Effects” and “3D Animation”.
3dsense Media School is a leading digital arts school in Asia, preparing students for careers in the creative entertainment industry since 2003. We focus on providing industry-based training for Visual Effects, Animation, Game Art, Motion Design, Concept Art, Illustration and Toy Production. Since 2015, 3dsense has been consistently ranked amongst the Top 10 Art Schools globally by “The Rookies World School Rankings”, the world’s most respected ranking system for creative media schools. Besides education, the school also plays a major role in fostering a vibrant arts & design industry through its events and masterclasses. These include CGOverdrive, CG Hero Awards, and “Behind the Pixels”, a YouTube interview channel providing unparalleled access to industry veterans sharing vital knowledge and insights.
Residing at the intersection of creativity and technology, CG Spectrum and CG Spectrum Institute are global online training providers for the film, video game, and creative industries, delivering an industry-standard education.
They provide online, expert-led courses and accredited degrees and diplomas in animation, VFX, game development, digital painting, virtual production, and 3D visualization, along with career development services and access to a vibrant online community of over 4,000 students, alums, and industry professionals.
CG Spectrum is an Unreal Authorized Training Center, Unreal Academic Partner, SideFX Certified Training Provider, Toon Boom Authorized Training Center, and Chaos Academic Partner.
CG Spectrum at a glance:
- 170+ film and game industry mentors
- 80% job success rate for advanced course graduates
- Students across 90 countries
- 1-on-1 mentorship options
- 2-week, 3-month, 6-month, and 9-month courses
CG Spectrum Institute is registered with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), combining academic excellence with real-world industry practices to ensure students receive a high-quality education.
CG Spectrum Institute at a glance:
- 4 unique accredited degrees and diplomas
- FEE-HELP available for eligible students
- Partnered with world-class film and game studios
- Fast-tracked degrees (full-time bachelor’s students graduate in 2 years)
- Teaches technical skills balanced with industry concepts and interpersonal skills
ARTFX is a private digital arts college, training its students in CGI, VFX, 3D Animation and Video Games. Located in Montpellier (France), the school was created by professionals of the film, video games and visual effects industries. As the only school in Europe specialising in compositing CGI into live-action footage, ARTFX is a reference for CGI and CG animation training. At ARTFX you will develop professional level skills and build a solid network of contacts thanks to our close partnerships with professional artists. Thanks to these connections our graduates also have a 99% placement rate in major post-production studios within France and around the world. As a private establishment of higher education technical training, ARTFX is a member and co-founder of the Network of French Film and Animation.
The National Centre for Computer Animation has been at the forefront of computer graphics and animation education and research in the UK since 1989. In 2011, the Centre was presented with the Queen’s Anniversary Award for “World-class computer animation teaching with wide scientific and creative applications” and its contribution to world-leading excellence and pioneering development in the teaching of computer animation. The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes form part of the national honours system and are the most prestigious awards in UK education.
Many BU graduates have gone on to win awards for the quality of their visual effects work, including Oscar winners for films such as Inception, Interstellar and Ex Machina.
Animum is an internationally recognized graduate school committed to excellence. We offer the highest level of specialization in each of our masters, with a 100% professional training, with the highest rigor and commitment to quality. Some of the disciplines we teach in our school are 3D Modeling, 3D Animation, Illustration and Concept Art, VFX, Compositing and Lighting.
We are teaching CG graphics based on sincerity and trust so that those who study CG can achieve their desired goals.
Creative Seeds is a private school that trains students in 3D animation, FX, and video games.Created by recognized professional artists from internationally renowned studios, it operates as a studio-school, reproducing a studio environment, with daily mentor guidance.
The school offers a complete course in 3 or 5 years to find your way and prepare your career. The 3-year course delivers a professional certification. It makes it possible to effectively acquire all the essential skills to integrate the labor market in the chosen specialty. The 5-year course delivers a level 7 digital director title. Students consolidate their technical and artistic skills in each specialty by tackling new work contexts, and push their practical experiments on longer and more ambitious projects. They gain autonomy, the ability to organize themselves and manage productions worthy of feature film standards.
We believe a world yearning for hope and joy needs the graduates of Brigham Young University—disciples of Jesus Christ who are driven by love for God and His children and who are prepared to serve and lead. This preparation demands a unique university model: at BYU, belief enhances inquiry, study amplifies faith, and revelation leads to rich understanding; at BYU, helping students develop their full divine potential is central to both our teaching and our scholarship. As the flagship higher education institution of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, BYU strives to be among the exceptional universities in the world and an essential university for the world.
Brassart was created in 1949 and originally provided training courses in tradition arts before moving towards graphic and digital design. They began teaching 3D in 2002, acquired the 3D specialized school “ESMI” in Bordeaux in 2017, and became a new entity in 2019 with the acquisition of the group “Ecole Aries” who is specialised in 3D Design, VFX, Animation and Video Games. Brassart in 2020 is made up of 12 schools proposing programs in Graphic Design, Video Games, and 3D, VFX, & Animation.
Lightbox Academy is a Digital Arts School located in Madrid that came into being thanks to the most lauded Animation Film Production Company in Spain: Lightbox Animation Studios. The school’s academic offer encompasses the production pipelines in animation, series and videogames. Having started with a foot already in the door allows Lightbox Academy to present a training program adapted to the real workflow in any studio or production company nowadays. The students learn to work in a professional manner, using the same software and the same mechanisms that are used at all major studios. And this method, the practical method, is further boosted by our teachers: working professionals in the digital industry who find a way to balance their work as teachers with their activity as professionals in the entertainment industry.
School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for more than six decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, dynamic curriculum and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. Comprised of more than 6,000 students at its Manhattan campus and over 41,000 alumni from 100 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. For information about the College’s 32 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
When applying to animation schools, focus on showcasing these key skills:
By focusing on these skills in your portfolio, you'll stand out to animation schools and increase your chances of admission.
When selecting an animation school, it's crucial to look beyond flashy advertisements and alumni testimonials to ensure you make an informed decision. Here are some essential questions to ask schools during your research process:
Armed with these questions, you can make an informed decision and find the right animation school to nurture your talents and kickstart your career in the creative industry.
Picking the right animation school is a big move, but it’s also an exciting one. It’s about setting up the next few years of your life to be as fun, challenging, and rewarding as possible. So take your time, do your research, and always trust your gut.
Remember, the world of animation is vast and varied. Whether you dream of working on the next blockbuster movie or designing characters for indie games, there’s a place for you. So go ahead, chase those dreams, and let’s make something amazing together.