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Traditional Animation

Session A (June 24 – August 2, 2024)

Program Overview

Make your own animated film and meet Hollywood’s most accomplished professionals at the world-famous UCLA Animation Workshop. The Traditional Animation track teaches students how to write, storyboard, and draw their own animation film. No drawing experience required, just limitless imagination!

The Traditional Animation Summer Institute will be offered as an online program with synchronous course meetings, practical exercises, and guest speakers. Students will learn traditional hand-drawn animation methods using a Wacom tablet/mouse, and utilize Pencil2D and Adobe Premiere to complete their animated projects. Under the supervision of UCLA faculty, students will complete a series of exercises and learn the animation process from storyboard to post-production. Throughout the course, students will learn about the history of animation as well as contemporary industry practices, and prominent guests from the industry will visit the classroom to share their experiences and answer student questions about their career and working in Hollywood today. Each student will create an animated short film with sound and these final projects will be screened at the conclusion of the 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 104 Film and Television 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.

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.

FTV 179 Digital Film and Television Production (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.

Due to the intensive nature of the program, a maximum of two program absences are permitted.


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 such as Marvel Animation, Sony Pictures Animation, Illumination, Warner Animation, Adult Swim, and many others.

Closing Ceremony & Networking

The Film and Television Summer Institute culminates with a virtual final project screening, closing night ceremony, and a networking mixer for students of our program. Friends and family are welcome!


This track is open to highly motivated high school students enrolled in 9th-12th grade in Spring 2024, college students, and aspiring filmmakers, including international students.

Online Registration

Registration opens February 15, 2024.

Please visit the Summer Sessions website for more information.

Eligible applicants who successfully submit all requirements will be reviewed and notified via email of an admission decision within two weeks. Early application is strongly encouraged.

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.”

— Traditional Animation Student
Traditional Animation, 2018

Supply List

  • Wacom Intuos Creative Pen Tablet (minimum 4”x6”) or similar
  • Computer mouse (Logitech M100 or equivalent)
  • Free hard drive space (50GB minimum free for coursework). An external hard drive for backing up your data is highly recommended.
  • Microphone (built-in, USB, or wireless Bluetooth)
  • Webcam (built-in or USB).
  • Internet connection – broadband with a minimum bandwidth of 600kbps (up/ down); 1.5 Mbps (up/down) or higher is recommended.
Art Supplies
  • Sketchbook – at least 6 x 8 inches. A standard sketchbook is fine; if you want to experiment with different mediums, choose the appropriate paper type.
  • Pens – any type the student is comfortable drawing with or interested in experimenting with (ballpoint, India ink, watercolor, sharpie, etc.)
  • Pencils – no. 2 or any other type (graphite, charcoal, watercolor, etc.)
  • Erasers – rubber eraser (optional)

Additional Details


Traditional Animation Session A(June 24 – August 2, 2024)

NOTE: All course meeting times are in Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). The program schedule is subject to change.


Film and Television Summer Institute – Traditional Animation Program will be conducted virtually (online). All meeting times will take place in Pacific Daylight Time (PDT), unless otherwise noted on program schedule and syllabus. Participants must log-in to virtual sessions at the times indicated on the program schedule.

Financial Aid

Financial aid for Summer Sessions is available for qualified UC students. UCLA students can find more details about the UCLA financial aid application process by visiting the Financial Aid section of UC and visiting (non-UC) students should inquire about financial aid at their home institution.

Qualified students attending grades 8th – 11th in Spring 2024 in the state of California may be eligible for Summer Scholars Support, a need- and merit-based scholarship offered by the UCLA Summer Sessions Office. A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available to support enrollment in SCIP/eSCIP, one Summer Course, or a Precollege Summer Institute. Summer 2024 deadline to apply: March 15.

Contact Summer Sessions

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