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2021-22 programs

This program and most programs listed on our site are already underway. Check back on Monday, October 19, 2020 for the most up-to-date information on 2021-22 programs.

Digital Animation

Learn the art of visual storytelling and develop the creative and technical skills needed for a career in animation.

Program Image
Start Date:
Typical Length:
2 Years

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Digital Animation is a program that focuses on animation production. There's a common first semester where you develop your traditional artistic skills of drawing, painting, sculpture and visual language/composition. You also explore the two types of animation (2D and 3D).

At the end of first semester, you choose the concentration that you'll pursue: 2D animation or 3D animation.

Considerable time is spent with hands-on learning. Regardless of your concentration, you continue with life-drawing and the traditional art classes. You also study courses that are specific to the animation production pipeline, such as storyboarding, character design, layout and animation.

Explore this program on YouTube »

Co-operative education

  • This program is eligible for an optional cooperative education (co-op) credit course between year one and two.
  • Co-op provides an opportunity for paid employment – in a field related to your program.
  • Opportunities are full-time work placements that last 12 to 16 weeks.
  • Our co-op program follows Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) guidelines.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities.

Choose NSCC

  • Every student has access to their own traditional animation desk and there are two computer labs with current industry-standard software.
  • A motion-capture system is available for those who specialize in the study of 3D animation.
  • Instructors with diverse skill sets will help guide and support your personal and academic direction.
  • Continue your studies at university – This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more

2021-22 programs

This program and most programs listed on our site are already underway. Check back on Monday, October 19, 2020 for the most up-to-date information on programs starting September 2021.

September 2020

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Truro Campus/Online Truro Full time BlendedBlended
Complete your program through courses that combine online (scheduled) and on-campus learning.

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details
  • A portfolio is a significant factor in determining your admission into the program. For detailed information on what your portfolio needs to include, see the Digital Animation Portfolio Requirements (PDF 1.36MB). Drop your portfolio off at any campus and it will be delivered to the Admissions Office for you.


Tuition is valid for the 2020-21 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Animation is a growing field in Nova Scotia and across Canada. In addition, it's a sector where small animation and gaming studios are benefiting from advances in technology and establishing competitive positions in the market.
  • Creative positions that require animation skills are found in a range of firms, including entertainment, software development, training, animation production, illustration and graphic design.
  • Upon graduation, you're qualified for entry-level positions with animation and gaming studios. Job titles may include junior 2D or 3D animator, junior designer, junior storyboard artist, junior layout artist, junior background artist, junior 3D modeler, 3D rigger and 3D texture artist.
  • Students in the program benefit from a hands-on project-based learning approach and are exposed to the business-side of the industry, so graduates may also have the opportunity to pursue self-employment or an entrepreneurial career path.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

DATD 1000 - Life Drawing I
This is a hands-on in studio and on location life drawing course which introduces learners to the fundamental elements of developing the solid drawing skills required as a classically trained animator in 2D and 3D Animation. Learners will begin the process of creating dynamic drawings of human and animal forms in motion. Learners will also engage in the process of a gallery education, by critiquing and exhibiting their work. By working as a team to critique, mount and exhibit their work in a public exhibition space learners will develop their team and interpersonal skills, while presenting and speaking about their work in a professional manner.

DATD 1001 - Animation Fundamentals
This course provides learners with an introduction to the principles of animation. The learner will cover concepts such as squash and stretch, path of action, arcs, timing, and volume. The concepts will be applied using different media: traditional pencil on paper, 2D digital software, and 3D digital software.

DATD 1010 - Structural Drawing - Anatomy I
Learners will develop the observational skills needed to more accurately draw objects and skeletal structures with basic geometric shapes, while applying the basic principles of perspective. Learners will apply structural drawing skills to create more accurate drawings and begin to demonstrate this understanding in their animation and life drawings.

DATD 1040 - Pre-Production Design
This course will introduce learners to much of the pre-production work that is required to make an animated film, before the actual animation is started. Learners will do projects that involve designing characters, props and locations, storyboarding, and creating animatics. The whole production process will be discussed, as well as the importance of meeting deadlines and communicating with the team.

DATD 1045 - Perspective Drawing
This course will focus entirely on the skill of drawing perspective, the art of making a two-dimensional image look three-dimensional. The emphasis will be on one and two point perspective. Other topics will include ellipses, inclined planes, reflections, repeating objects, and characters.

DATD 1050 - Painting and Composition
In this course, learners will develop rendering skills using paint and other media. Lighting, shading and shadows are crucial for making images that feel three-dimensional. The colour wheel will be studied to develop an understanding of colour theory. A variety of techniques will be developed through research and experimentation.

DATD 1060 - History of Animation and Film Theory
This course explores the evolution of styles and forms of animation, beginning with the methods and inventions of its pioneers. Short animated films will be screened and the techniques used to create them will be discussed. Drawing and/or animation styles and techniques will be researched and then emulated. Learners will also look at the basic visual components and aspects of film structure that aid in storytelling for animation including cinematic, emotional, aesthetic, symbolic, as well as theatrical reality, the suspension of disbelief and the illusion of life.

DATD 1075 - Introduction to 3D
This course utilizes 3D software for the creation of basic 3D models using industry standard packages. Through hands on experience, students will have the opportunity to develop skills by creating a variety of increasingly involved 3D models while learning professional workflows of a 3D artist. Learners will focus on navigating, file structure and have a working knowledge of polygons, UV unwrapping, and material nodes.

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