Algonquin College

Algonquin College

Located in Ottawa, Canada, Algonquin College’s Animation program focuses on teaching students the skills necessary to meet the high standards required to gain meaningful employment in the demanding animation industry.

This three-year Ontario College Advanced Diploma program provides students with training in traditional 2D digital and 3D animation techniques that can be applied to everything from feature films, television and game animation.

Following a common first year of study, which includes animation, life drawing and design courses, students have the option of focusing on either traditional or digital animation disciplines with an emphasis on creating performance-based character animation. 2D digital techniques are taught throughout both streams using Toon Boom Harmony and Storyboard Pro.

One of the guiding principles at our annual faculty review of the curriculum is to make sure that we are setting students up for success. We want to be certain they are prepared for life in the animation industry, that they are ‘studio ready’. The feedback we get from the studios that hire our grads indicate that we are on the right track. Having access to Toon Boom software, such as Harmony and Storyboard Pro, and how we integrate them into our curriculum is one of the reasons for that success.

Using Toon Boom software enhances the students’ experience by offering immediate feedback on their work, honing their timing, spacing, arcs and other animation principles. Animation is about problem solving and a big part of that is having the freedom to try out ideas and revise, revise, revise. This is true especially when you are learning the difference between ‘seeing’ and ‘feeling’ the animation principles at work in a performance or translating a script into a visual medium that can elicit an emotional response from the audience, be it a laugh or a tear. This is a process that takes time for the student to refi ne and Toon Boom software offers a great set of tools to help the student along that path.

The success of the graduates speaks for itself. Many have been on the crew of shows that have gone on to win Oscar® and Emmy® awards. We have grads at feature studios like Disney Features, Sony Animation and Blue Sky, as well as populating local studios like Mercury Filmworks, PIP Animation, Big Jump, Kratt Bros, Jam FIlled and more. No matter where our grads go, we know they are ready to take on the challenges that each new project brings and to be part of a team that is capable of anything.

Just like our grads, we are always learning and trying to improve how we deliver our curriculum. Next year is the 25th anniversary year of the animation program and being recognized as the fi rst Toon Boom Centre of Excellence in Canada is an honour that we will strive not to only maintain, but to build on.

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