Track 3: Traditional Animation

The basic philosophy of the world-famous UCLA Animation Workshop is "one person, one film." One individual animates their own film. This philosophy allows each filmmaker complete control over his or her film. In this track, students and aspiring animators learn to write and draw their animated movies, from conceptualization to post-production. No drawing experience required, just limitless imagination.

In the exclusive Summer Institute Symposium, students from all tracks meet and listen to some of Hollywood’s most accomplished professionals. High-wattage guests have included Meg LeFauve (writer, Inside Out); Jared Bush (writer/director, Zootopia, Moana); Raymond Persi (writer/director/animator, The Simpsons); high-level executives, visual development artists, and artists from the biggest animation creators like, Marvel Animation, Sony Pictures Animation, Illumination, Warner Animation, Adult Swim; and many others.

Hollywood & Networking
During the weekly Summer Institute Mixer, students network with alumni and students from other UCLA Film and Television Summer Institute tracks. Students also tour a major Hollywood Studio. The Film and Television Summer Institute finishes with a closing ceremony and a networking mixer for students and alumni of our program. Friends and family are welcome!

This program carries 12 quarter units of UC credit. Students in this track are enrolled in the following classes:

  • FTV 101A Symposium (1)
    In this weekly seminar prominent guests from the industry share their experiences and answer student questions about their career and working in Hollywood today.
  • FTV 180A Introduction to Animation (5)
    Participants will learn the fundamentals of animation through exercises and preparation of a short animated film. Each student will make a 10-second film in one of the traditional techniques (non-computer), with music and/or sound effects; no dialog.
  • FTV 180B Writing for Animation (4)
    Research and practice in creative writing and planning for animated film. Visual writing, editing and animatic production will be taught through a sequence of storyboard assignments (the second board and animatic will be used for the 180A film).
  • FTV 178 Film and Television Laboratory (2)
    Lab work each week will cover basic sound (working with pre-recorded sound effects, music and recording Foley); non-linear editing (turning the animatic into a complete film); weeks 1-5 will include life drawing sessions. Week 6 will be devoted to final output of picture and sound


This track is open to highly motivated high school students aged 15+, college students, and aspiring filmmakers, including international students.

View the program layout for Traditional Animation (June 22 - July 31, 2020).

Register Online. In order to secure your spot, a $150 nonrefundable deposit is due upon completion of your application for the program. You may pay by credit or debit card using our secure online credit card form. Your $150 deposit is nonrefundable and will be applied towards your balance once enrolled in the program.

Grades and Transcripts
Program participants will earn units of credit on a letter grading basis and will be recorded on an official University of California transcript. Please note that official transcripts are not automatically sent to students. To request a transcript, please contact the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Housing is available in the UCLA Residence Halls. To apply for summer accomadations, please select from the following housing options and rates and submit the application directly to UCLA Housing. It is highly recommended that you apply for housing early, as applications are approved on a first-come-first-served basis.

Financial Aid
Financial aid for Summer Sessions is available to qualified UCLA students. All other students should inquire about financial aid at their home institution. For details about the UCLA financial aid application process, please visit the Financial Aid section of

Summer Scholars Support
Scholarship support may be available for continuing California high school students with a family annual adjusted gross income of $115,000 or less. For deadlines, eligibility requirements and application information, please visit the Summer Scholars Support page.

Student Quotes
"The UCLA Traditional Animation program gave me hands-on experience, direction (in terms of which animation pipeline to pursue) and a strong network of talented professors as well as classmates. It was the perfect program to learn the expectations of the animation industry and I'm grateful to have been a part of it."
— Melody Guivi, Traditional Animation 2018

"Though this program gave me the opportunity to talk to my professors on a more intimate level, create work on desks once owned by Disney, and listen to stories and advice from people in the film industry, what really made this a memorable experience are the friends I made. It was such a small and intimate setting that we all got to know each other quite well. Everyone was so passionate, welcoming, open-minded, and kind and encouraging towards one another. Today, we still talk and keep in touch, sharing our work, hoping, to one day create something beautiful and valuable."
— Esmeralda Yepez, Traditional Animation 2018

"I made some of my best friends there! And the professors were all super knowledgeable and were always willing to answer any questions we had about animating, about the industry, and about life! Doug especially was always there after hours helping all the students fix a certain scene or figure out poses for their animations. Every professor was super passionate and it definitely motivated me and the other students. I really do love how the classes are small and you get to know each other really well."
— Traditional Animation Student 2017

"Loved it! Everyone from class still talks and encourages each other to practice our work. We just set up where we're going to show our work to each other every two weeks to keep each other accountable."
— Traditional Animation Student 2018

Contact Us
UCLA Summer Institutes
1332 Murphy Hall
Box 951418
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1418
Tel: (310) 825-4101
Fax: (310) 825-1528