2D Animation

Across the industries of film, advertising, video, television, games, software development, and so much more, companies demand animators with the talent and training to move their audiences. Find out how our 2D Animation Certificate program can prepare you with focused technical skills that can help you excel in the field.

Enhance your 2D Animation skills

In this program, you can:

  • Learn how to develop and execute accurate freehand drawings, render textures and tones on human figures, and draw expressive images of body language with weight and balance
  • Study image manipulation, observational drawing, storyboarding and animatics, the language of animation and film, character and object design, and more
  • See how you can use frame-to-frame and Flash animation to bring characters to life
  • Gain valuable knowledge from instructors with professional experience working in 2D animation

Career opportunities

As a graduate, you could pursue a variety of entry-level positions in 2D animation, including:

  • 2D Artist
  • Animator
  • Character Artist
  • Lighting Artist

Our Career Services team can support you in preparing for and finding the career opportunity that’s right for you.

Learn More Read Gainful Employment Information

The Art Institute student portfolios

Our students, alumni, and faculty are invited to join The Art Institute Portfolio Gallery — an exclusive network — to gain broader exposure for your work, connect with fellow students and alumni, and make it easier for potential clients, recruiters, and creative enthusiasts to find your work.

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Course listing

The courses in the Certificate in 2D Animation are designed to prepare you to pursue a career in your chosen field. All of our courses are built to engage and challenge you through text, video, animation, chat, and more, while also helping you learn relevant industry knowledge and skills.

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Faculty overview

The faculty members at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division are devoted to empowering you for your future career. Their guidance and mentorship can help you to focus your creative energy and vision toward the skills that matter most in your field—and, as an online student, you’ll be in constant contact with your instructors via email, video, phone, and even chat.

Ms. Deborah Baxtrom

Ms. Baxtrom received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University in New York. She works as a screenwriter in Los Angeles and has two scripts being produced through J. Todd Harris's production company. She also runs her own company, Screenplay Search, which holds three annual screenplay contests and provides script analysis services. She has also worked as an entertainment writer, as well as working as a script doctor and story analyst for several production companies and agencies. She has written and produced two award-winning short films and won several scriptwriting awards. Before working for The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division, Ms. Baxtrom taught for Springfield College.

Mr. Mauricio Ferrazza

Mr. Ferrazza holds a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising & Marketing from Fundacao Armando Alvares Penteado (Sao Paulo, Brazil), and an MFA in Computer Animation from Miami International University of Art & Design. He has also been deeply involved in the production of short and feature animated 3D movies, exploring mostly character animation and its fundamentals. Mr. Ferrazza has been a full time faculty member since 2007. He has served on Entrance Portfolio Review, Exit Portfolio Review, 3rd 6th and 9th Quarter Review and Industry Committee.

Among his most exciting projects, Mr. Ferrazza was creatively involved in the development of The Fisherman and His Soul, a feature animated movie based on a short story by Oscar Wilde, which is scheduled to be released in 2011. He was also involved in developing and creating the graphics package for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Mr. John Goldsack

Mr. Goldsack has been a full-time faculty member since January 2008.  Besides teaching, he is a freelance artist and has had some of his work published through Whitewolf Publications in their Urban Legends book, as well as in the 25th Anniversary Complete series DVD Set of Transformers. He is currently working on the first chapter of a graphic novel. 

Ms. Noelia D. Goss

Ms. Goss received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Sciences from Bayamon Technological University College and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Computer Animation from Miami International University of Art & Design. Throughout her career, she has worked as a Subject Matter Expert developing courses for The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division, Academic Director at The Art Institute of Tampa, a branch of Miami International University of Art & Design, freelance illustrator and graphic designer, and Second Life modeler. Her passion for teaching lead her to teach in schools in Las Vegas, Boca Raton, Miami, Tampa and online. She has also served on several committees and educational task forces with The Art Institutes system of schools.

2D Animation degree requirements

The prospective student must be a high school graduate with a minimum, final high school GPA of 1.5 or higher, or hold a General Education Development (GED) Certificate, or associate's degree or higher as a prerequisite for admission.

Online orientation

Before you start your first course, you’re encouraged to complete an online orientation that introduces you to different features of the online classroom and prepares you for your role as an active learner in our online classes.

Classroom demo

See the online classroom in action.

Software Requirements

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  • Adobe Acrobat Professional (Version 10 or higher)
  • Adobe Photoshop (Version CS6 or higher)
  • Adobe After Effects (Version CS6 or higher)
  • Adobe Dreamweaver (Version CS6 or higher)
  • Adobe Flash Professional (Version CS6 or higher)
  • Adobe Illustrator (Version CS6 or higher)
  • Adobe Premiere (Version CS6 or higher)
  • Autodesk Maya Unlimited
  • Audacity 2.0.3
  • Autodesk 3ds Max
  • ToonBoom Custom EDMC Package
  • Microsoft Office Professional (Version 2010 or higher) or Microsoft Office University 365
  • Norton Antivirus (Version 10.2 or higher)
  • Windows Media Player (Version 12 or higher)

Minimum Technology Requirements

  • PC : Users should have systems with the following specifications: Intel Core®2 Duo or AMD Phenom® II processor with 64-bit support, Windows 7 Professional with SP 1 (64-bit), 4GB RAM, 30 GB available hard disk space recommended, 1280x900 display with 16-bit color, 1 GB VRAM, OpenGL 2.0–capable system, Sound card compatible with ASIO protocol or Microsoft WDM//MME, Direct3D 11 technology, Direct3D 10, or OpenGL-capable graphics card, Stereo Sound Card, Speakers and/or Headset, Internet Speed : DSL or Cable Internet highly recommended and Video Card (minimum specs): Nvidia 400-series (or better) or ATI Radeon 5000-series (or better) video card.
  • Mac: Dual Boot Required Users should have systems with the following specifications: Apple® Mac® Pro 4.1 or later; MacBook® Pro 5.1 or later; iMac® 8.1 or later or *Mac OS X v. 10.7 or higher, 4GB RAM, 30GB available hard disk space recommended, 1280x1024 display with 16-bit color, 512MB VRAM, and OpenGL 2.0–capable system. Dual boot requirements: Boot Camp (comes with mac OS X), Windows 7 (64-bit required if running OS X 10.7) and Additional 20 GB HD Space required for Windows Partition. Mac users must have a minimum of OS 10.7 in order to run Adobe Creative Cloud. Additional notes about installing Windows via Boot Camp if students do not have it already set up: Students will need to purchase: Windows 7: Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate (Boot Camp 4 or 5) See Windows 7 requirements -or- Windows 8: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro (Boot Camp 5 only) See Windows 8 requirements. Helpful link: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht5634

Important Note: “Virtual machines” are not supported by The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division for the 2D Animation program.

Web Browser Requirements

Windows Users: The two latest releases of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome are supported.

Mac Users: The two latest releases of Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome are supported.

Hardware Requirements

Purchase hardware and software

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