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NZQA Accredited, level 6 programme. Starts April 24 in Manukau.

2D animation is a traditional hand-drawn craft, based on the practice developed by Walt Disney. It focuses on drawing techniques and anatomy knowledge. Stages of movements are analysed and broken down into storytelling drawings (more commonly known as ‘keys’ and ‘breaks’). Drawings are then filmed in sequence, set to dialogue or music and composited using specialised software to produce fluid animation and bring characters to life.

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Animation College use Adobe Flash and After Effects to bring digital 2D animation to life. Adobe Flash is often relied upon for freelance animation, web and television-quality animation. Students learn multiple approaches to 2D digital animation including; straight ahead digital animation (paperless 2D), puppetry animation and hybrid forms of 2D animation. 

The first year of tuition concentrates on animal and human life drawing, character design, and an introduction to rough in-betweening and cleanup animation techniques. Students gain a thorough understanding of physical motion, weight and balance, and the different properties of texture and form. Students are also introduced to digital software such as Adobe Flash and Adobe Photoshop. The course also gives a background in technical and production knowledge, legal requirements, and animation history.

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The second year focuses primarily on, key animation, analysis and layout. Students gain a thorough knowledge of timing, posing, animation with dialogue, and scene planning. Students continue to develop their life drawing skills and also continue with preproduction techniques such as character design, storyboarding and layout. Students build on post-production skills, colouring and compositing using After Effects software. 

Year 2 students also study acting throughout the year. This helps them to better understand the delivery of dialogue, facial expressions and body language. As an animator you are essentially an actor – your performance comes through in your animation.

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After completing your two-year Diploma in Applied Animation you can choose to take your skills to a higher level with our Diploma in Digital Media. This intensive year helps to refine your fundamental animation skills by exposing you to the entire production pipeline encountered in a real working studio environment.

Students work on creating an original project pitch book, which when complete, is pitched to industry. With feedback and further work, pitches are refined and chosen projects are animated by the class, to produce a festival quality piece of animation.

Students attend specialist workshops and master classes throughout the year driven by their chosen speciality. This assists them in the creation of; individual showpiece animation for showreels, exhibition quality work and a unique website to display their creations. 

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Course code: PC9832
Duration: 2 years
Prerequisite: Level 1 NCEA and complete Portfolio
Credits: Year 1: 120 Year 2: 120 (NZQA Accredited)
Level: 6
Fulltime: 32 weeks per year
Start date: April 24 2017 Manukau
$9,299 per annum (Domestic) $18,950 (International)

Semester Dates


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education Act 1989, and Animation College New Zealand Limited is accredited to teach it.

Kua Whakamanahia tēnei akoranga e Te Mana Tohu Mātauranga o Aotearoa i raro i te wāhanga 249 o te Ture Mātauranga 1989, ā, kua whakamanahia a Animation College New Zealand Limited ki te whakarato i taua akoranga i raro i te wāhanga 250 o te Ture.

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