Learn about different occupations in 2D animation, including concept art, character creation, set design, storyboarding, animatics, layout, colour, rigging and more. You’ll learn the traditional drawing techniques and the digital tools used by studios. At ARTFX, you’ll work alongside 3D animation students with complementary skills. While the latest French 2D animated feature films – ‘Calamity, a childhood of Martha Jane Cannary’, ‘The Summit of the Gods’ or ‘Chien Pourri, la vie à Paris!’ – are spared any “false 2D” (2D-styled 3D animation), many productions today demonstrate the complementarity of 2D and 3D, each of which has its own sense of meaning, depending on artistic choices and budgets. ‘Klaus’, produced by Netflix and nominated for best animated film in the 2020 Oscars, thus exploits recent technological developments (character animation via 3D models, computer-generated light, following the action in real time, etc.) and beautifully illustrates this convergence cultivated at ARTFX, which has always taught 2D animation. Before devoting a separate course to it.
in the comeback
of 2D animation
2D animation flourished in Japan when manga enjoyed global success, but was abandoned by the Disney studios more than 10 years ago. But now in the West it’s making a comeback. Artistically ambitious productions have widened the audience for film animation, which has long been perceived as children’s entertainment. In France, Michel Ocelot led the way in 1998 with ‘Kirikou and the Sorceress’, which sold over a million tickets. Sylvain Chomet followed with ‘The Triplets of Belleville’(2003) and Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud with ‘Persepolis’ (2007) (directors). Since then, 2D animation has enjoyed a golden age, and France’s expertise is especially valued. This sector covers a wide range of techniques, from stop motion and pixilation to digital/semi-traditional 2D, including of course frame by frame animation.
ARTFX is a founding member of RECA, an association that currently includes 28 French animation film schools clearly recognised by the professional world, both in France and abroad.
(secondary school leaving qualification) level
- Exclusive of Parcoursup: you apply directly to the school.
- Tests + creative folder + interview
1 class of 25 students is organised on each site.
🇫🇷 Course in French only
recognised by the State
The Master’s awards the qualification of “digital producer” (lev.7, equivalent B +5 (5th year), registered in the Répertoire national des certifications professionnelles (national directory of professional certifications) on 14 September 2020
The 2D Animation Master’s degree is a 5-year course that allows students to practice drawing (morphology, character research, mounting, set creation, etc.), enrich their visual awareness, experiment with different styles and assert their artistic sensitivity using traditional and digital techniques employed in animation studios. 2D animation students trained at ARTFX can effectively work as soon as they leave the school, and are comfortable with studio working methods. They also stand out for their ability to adapt and their knowledge of all the positions along the production chain of an animated film. During their studies, students complete at least one internship lasting at least six weeks and benefit from masterclasses with partner studios. In the 5th year, they make an animated short film which is screened before a professional panel, giving them an understanding of the different production stages of an animated film from storyboarding to post-production.
Year 1 The basics
Like all courses, the 1st year consolidates the basics and confirms the choice of orientation. Building on English skills.
Observation drawing, figure drawing & anatomy, perspective, sculpture, colour & light
Creativity, storytelling, image grammar, photography, screenplay, film and video game culture
Workshops to explore professions
Directing, 3D modelling, matte painting, programming, storyboard, 2D animation, charadesign, video games
Collaborative and individual projects
Year 2 Orientation
One year to choose your area of activity.
Concept art, character design, anatomy, figure drawing
Directing and storytelling
Screenplay, storyboard, storytelling, image grammar, film culture
Directing, 2D animation, puppet rigging, layout, compositing, image and sound editing
Making a short 2D animation film
Year 3 Specialisation
A year to refine your choice of specialisation. Teaching in English.
Concept art, character design
Directing and storytelling
Screenplay, storyboard, layout
Character and set animation, puppet rigging, compositing
Making a short 2D animation film in a team
Year 4 Professional program
A foot in the world of work.Teaching in English.
Production of a demo professional reel
Character animation, acting
Management of projects and of teams
Masterclasses with partner studios
Internship six weeks minimum in studio
Year 5 Production
Carrying out your professional project.
Creating and making an end-of-studies short 2D animation film
Coaching in English
Presentation to a professional panel
- All types of baccalauréat (secondary school leaving qualification), film or art foundation
- ST2A Bac and plastic arts options are an advantage.
- A predisposition for drawing is necessary to succeed in this field.
- Parallel admissions possible in 2nd and 3rd years
- Your level will be evaluated during the admission session to offer you the appropriate orientation.
€7,200 in Lille and Montpellier
€7,700 in Paris
Excluding enrollment fees
Années 2 à 5 :
€8,200/year in Lille and Montpellier
€8,700/year in Paris
Excluding enrollment fees
- Storyboard Pro
- Toon Boom
- ARTFX is a recognisied Toon Boom Centre of Excellence
Careers and main occupations studied
France is the leading producer and exporter of animated films in Europe (3rd in the world, behind the United States and Japan). No less than 120 French studios deliver international television channels, cinemas and video-on-demand platforms (Netflix, Disney+, etc.). ‘Yakari’, ‘Josep’, ‘Calamity’, ‘Little Vampire’, ‘I lost my body’, ‘Pachamama’, ‘Dilili in Paris’, ‘Ernest & Celestine’, etc. Over the last 10 years, a quarter of the animated films released in cinemas have been made in France (2D and 3D combined, split equally). This boom is due to the constant support of the CNC, the French National Centre for Cinema and the Moving Image, but also the quality of French animation schools, which rank among the best in the world. ARTFX is one example. France also boasts a rich culture of images and drawings, from the great painters to Franco-Belgian comic strips. The animation sector is growing fast and currently employs 7,500 people. Forecasts predict that it will reach 10,000 by 2025.
The 2D animators trained by ARTFX are supported to enter the professional world through masterclasses given by partner studios, an internship lasting six weeks min. and a job dating session organised following the end-of-studies panel, to which French and international recruiters from the most prestigious animation studios are invited.
I’ve gotten a lot out of ARTFX, in terms of both technique and preparing me for work. There’s also a very good atmosphere in the school. After graduating, I worked for almost a year as a Storyboard Artist at Cube Creative, on the series ‘Where’s Chicky’ season 2 by William Hoareau, and ‘Athleticus’ season 3 by Nicolas Deveaux.