Best Animation Bootcamps

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Updated September 13, 2022

Animation bootcamps offer training in motion graphics, visual effects, and project management. Explore typical costs, curriculum, and career options.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Woman drawing on a digital tablet using a desktop computer Credit: Tatiana Chekryzhova / EyeEm / Getty Images

Coding bootcamps offer intensive tech training and education in a much shorter time frame than typical degree programs. They can prepare participants to launch careers with higher-than-average salaries in a growing field. People enroll in coding bootcamps to gain new skills, switch fields, or move up in their careers.

Bootcamps — which cover a variety of subjects — can help develop skills that graduates need to qualify for new jobs and earn higher salaries. In animation bootcamps, students learn animation techniques and how to use popular animation software.

This roundup of animation bootcamps can be a good place to start your program search. Keep reading to learn more about what to expect from an animation bootcamp, including typical curricula, cost, and the types of jobs open to graduates.

What Is an Animation Bootcamp?

Animation bootcamps cover the fundamentals of animation and creative production. Students may develop skills in lighting, audio, visual effects, and motion. Other topics may include 3D animation, post-processing, and prototyping. Bootcamps can also help participants improve their communication, critical thinking, and teamwork skills.

Animation bootcamps offer online, in-person, and hybrid options. Programs may require full- or part-time enrollment, while some offer self-paced learning. Some bootcamps are hosted at universities, while others are run through independent providers.

Bootcamps differ from associate and bachelor's programs in several key ways. Instead of providing the broad education of a full degree, bootcamps focus on helping students develop career-relevant skills in a short timespan. According to a 2019 RTI Press report, the typical bootcamp lasts 16.5 weeks, compared to the 2-4 years of full-time study to earn an associate or bachelor's degree.

Bootcamps usually cost less than a full degree and typically have less stringent admission requirements than higher education institutions.

Skills Learned in Animation Bootcamps

Animation bootcamps can help students develop various skills and coding abilities. Potential skills learned in these programs include prototyping, visual effects, and lighting. Students may also develop soft skills like project management, communication, and collaboration. Below, we explore some of the most common skills that most animation bootcamps cover.

One of the first things covered in many animation bootcamps is movement. Animators must learn how to make animated humans, animals, and other objects move naturally using software. In video game design, for example, students must master walking, running, and fighting movement animation. Students may learn traditional hand-drawn 2D animation. However, most bootcamps focus on 3D animation and visual effects, which animators create with software programs. Learners study visual effects like rigid and soft bodies, fluids, and hair. An early part of the animation process, storyboarding is when preliminary ideas from writers get turned into images. Storyboarding often happens on paper. This preliminary step lets clients and animators visualize the end product before spending time and money on an actual production. Animation bootcamp participants learn to effectively manage animation projects. This is an important skill for the tech field, because many technical jobs require workers to balance more than one project at a time and to keep track of multiple timelines, budgets, and goals.

What Will an Animation Bootcamp Cost?

The cost of animation bootcamps varies. Factors that impact price include program length, format, and focus. Because bootcamps are designed to build skills for specific careers, they don't require as many courses as college degrees and thus usually cost less.

Payment options for animation bootcamp include upfront payment, income share agreements, loans, and deferred tuition. Income share agreements let students pay some or all tuition after they find a job, at which point they start paying back a certain percentage of their salary each month.

Some bootcamps may provide job guarantees or require no upfront payment, reducing your personal financial risk when completing this type of program.

As you calculate the total cost of a bootcamp, consider more than just tuition. Think about the cost of software or other required materials, application fees, and additional charges.

What Jobs Can I Get After an Animation Bootcamp?

Animation bootcamps can prepare participants to apply for many animation and creative tech jobs. Below, we describe some of the potential tech careers that animation bootcamp graduates can hold. Some of these careers, like software developer and data scientist, may require additional education, experience, or training.

Video Game Developer

Video game developers create games that run on computers, mobile platforms, and gaming consoles. Typical tasks include storyboarding, character development, and world-building. This is a collaborative role, so good teamwork skills are essential. Video game developers usually need a bachelor's degree, but experience or bootcamp credentials can be substituted for education in some cases.

Average Annual Salary: $67,230

Web Designer

Web designers create engaging, attractive website designs. They focus on the visual, user-facing aspects of site design. Web developers need experience with tools like HTML, JavaScript, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Dreamweaver.

Median Annual Salary: $77,200
Job Outlook (2020-30): +13%

Software Developer

Software developers create computer programs and applications. They need proficiency with tools like ASP.NET and programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, and C#. Software developers typically hold at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field, but some employers will let job applicants substitute experience, bootcamps, or certifications for a degree.

Median Annual Salary: $110,140
Job Outlook (2020-30): +22%

Web Developer

Web developers build the technical, non-user-facing parts of a website. Developers may work on the front end or back end of sites. Professionals who work on both sides are called full-stack developers. Web developers may work as freelancers or in companies' marketing and IT departments.

Median Annual Salary: $77,200
Job Outlook (2020-30): +13%

Data Scientist

Data scientists solve real-world problems using mathematical models. They collect, analyze, and report data findings. Important skills include working with big data, data mining, and SQL. This role requires at least a bachelor's degree, though many data scientists hold a master's degree. An animation bootcamp can help data scientists communicate their findings through engaging visuals.

Average Annual Salary: $97,580

Other Computer Science Education Options

Many other educational opportunities abound in computer science. Someone interested in animation may want to pursue one or more of these routes instead of — or in addition to — an animation bootcamp, as these paths can improve job and salary prospects.

Associate Degree in Computer Science

An associate degree in computer science introduces students to the information technology field and prepares them for entry-level positions like computer support specialist. Associate degrees can help learners explore the field without committing to the time and cost of a bachelor's degree.

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science

A bachelor's in computer science provides a broad foundation in computing theory and practices. It can prepare graduates to apply to most entry-level computer science positions.

Master's Degree in Computer Science

Consider earning a computer science master's degree if you want to develop expertise in a subfield of computer science. This level of education can prepare students to apply for advanced jobs like computer and information research scientist.

Ph.D. in Computer Science

A Ph.D. in computer science lets students become experts in narrow, specific areas of the field. Graduates can apply for university teaching jobs or conduct research in academia, government, and private industry.

Explore Other Coding Bootcamps

Coding bootcamps cover a variety of topics. Pursuing other programs can bolster your skills in areas like full-stack development or specific programming languages. Consider a general coding bootcamp if you do not already have a background in computer science basics.

2022's Bootcamps for Animation

Completing an animation bootcamp can prepare you to apply for various tech jobs. The list below highlights some of the most popular programs, based on name recognition.

All of the schools included in this list are intensive animation bootcamps rather than short, individual courses. These programs can help launch students on the path to a new tech career in the United States.

Keep reading to explore our list of U.S. animation bootcamps that are accepting students in 2022.

Deep Dive


Created in 2013, Deep Dive offers immersive tech-focused bootcamps for Central New Mexico Community College. The bootcamp builds community while preparing students to pursue new careers.

Intro to Business Animation

Students looking for animation bootcamps can explore Deep Dive's intro to business animation course. This fully online, part-time program takes place Thursdays and Fridays, 9-5, over ten weeks.

The program develops digital animation skills from developing a concept to making it a reality. Participants learn storyboarding, production, and scriptwriting. Students graduate with a professional digital portfolio to show prospective employers.

Prerequisites include basic computer skills, familiarity with digital peripheral devices, and experience with the internet and Windows or OS X operating systems.

  • Cost: $2,995
  • Format: Online; Part-Time
  • Length: 10 weeks
  • CIRR Member: No

Other Courses Offered by Deep Dive

  • Full-Stack Web Development
  • Java and Android
  • Digital Media
  • Data Science
  • Data Science for Business Leaders
  • Internet of Things
  • Video Production
  • Game Design
  • Salesforce Administrator Certificate
  • UX/UI Design
  • IT Professional
  • Cybersecurity

Deep Dive's Job Placement Assistance

Deep Dive staff offer career support and professional development, including coaching and resume-building workshops. Students can access exclusive job postings and attend employer roundtable and interview days.

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Epic Games


Headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, Epic Games is a major video game and software developer and publisher. Epic developed Unreal Engine, a 3D creation tool that powers video games globally and is used in many other industries.

Welcome To Game Development

Epic's game development animation bootcamp provides hands-on experience using Unreal Engine for game development. Designed for beginners, the online program includes eight self-paced courses, each with 1-15 modules. These modules cover topics like lighting, level layout, game feature creation, and third-person characters.

Participants learn to make games from scratch. They get practice adding features like movement, jetpacks, animations, and cameras. The bootcamp also covers Blueprints, C++, and reusable game components.

  • Cost: Free
  • Format: Online; self-paced
  • CIRR Member: No

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School of Motion


This online art school offers training and in-depth critique from professional artists. Alumni live and work around the world.

Animation Bootcamp

School of Motion's animation bootcamp teaches the principles and applications of animation. Students learn to use After Effects software to make animated videos to add to their professional portfolio. The 12-week online course features cohort-based learning. Participants receive exercises and project files for every lesson.

The curriculum explores topics like timing and space, anticipation and overshooting, and adding visual appeal. The last four weeks of the program are an extended critique that gives students time to finish their final projects.

  • Cost: $1,197
  • Format: Online; part-time
  • Length: 12 weeks
  • CIRR Member: No

Other Courses Offered by School of Motion

  • Photoshop and Illustrator Unleashed
  • After Effects Kickstart
  • Design Bootcamp
  • Advanced Motion Methods
  • Cinema 4D Basecamp
  • Cinema 4D Ascent
  • Illustration for Motion

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Unity Learn


Unity Learn is an online platform that offers various types of tech education and learning resources. Users can access tutorials, projects, and courses.

Creative Core

Unity Learn's creative core bootcamp can help participants gain some of the skills they need to become Unity creators. Designed for beginners, the 10-week program includes an introduction to Unity Editor. Students learn creative production techniques and develop lighting, animation, VFX, and audio skills. The course does not require any programming.

Students can take part in live sessions that support their learning. They can join a Unity learners community with more than 19,000 members.

  • Cost: Free
  • Format: Online; self-paced
  • Length: 10 weeks
  • CIRR Member: No

Other Courses Offered by Unity Learn

  • VR Development
  • Junior Programmer
  • Unity Essentials

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Vertex School


Founded by a game industry veteran, Vertex School offers in-depth online training programs that prepare participants to pursue new careers in creative technical fields.

3D Animation Bootcamp

Vertex School's part-time, online animation bootcamp lasts 14 weeks and includes instruction from professional animators. Students create body mechanic animations they can use for a demo reel to show potential employers.

Classes take place twice a week with six hours of live instructor time. The program resembles an actual production pipeline. The course covers key animation fundamentals like walk and run cycles and advanced body mechanics using Unreal Engine.

  • Cost: $2,000
  • Format: Online; part-time
  • Length: 14 weeks
  • CIRR Member: No

Other Courses Offered by Vertex School

  • Game Artist

Vertex School's Job Placement Assistance

Students get career prep from mentors during and after the program.

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Common Questions About Animation

How do I become an animator without a degree?

Animation bootcamps can help students develop the skills they need to get some jobs in animation. However, animators typically need at least a bachelor's degree to qualify for most positions.

Are animation bootcamps worth it?

Animation bootcamps can help participants develop the skills and expertise necessary to apply for various jobs. To determine whether a bootcamp is right for you, calculate your return on investment and other less tangible benefits you may gain.

Is animating easy to learn?

Like all fields, animation requires dedication to master. Animation bootcamps can help develop the skills needed to excel in this field.

What are the skills required for animation?

The skills required for animation include an understanding of basic animation principles, including movement, lighting, and storyboarding/storytelling. Other important skills include 2D and 3D animation, post-production, and design.

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