Track 4: Traditional Animation

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.



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.



This track is open to highly motivated high school students enrolled in 9th – 12th grade in Spring 2023, college students, and aspiring filmmakers, including international students.



View the program layout for Traditional Animation (June 26 - July August 4, 2023).

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



Registration opens February 15, 2023. Please check back for more updates or visit the Summer Sessions website for more information.


Supply List


  • Wacom Intuos Creative Pen Tablet (Small, Black)
  • Logitech M100 Mouse


You will need a computer with the following:

  • microphone (built-in to your computer or USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth)
  • webcam (one which is built-in to your computer or one that connects to your computer via USB).
  • minimum 500GB Storage Capacity
  • internet connection – broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE). Minimum bandwidth is 600kbps (up/down) and recommended is 1.5 Mbps (up/down).
  • Students will need access to an Adobe Premiere license for the duration of the program.


USB Flash Drive

  • 16GB USB Flash Drive


Art Supplies  

  • Sketchbook – at least 6 x 8 inches
  • Pens – any type the student is comfortable drawing with or interested in experimenting with. (Ballpoint, ink, watercolor, sharpie, india ink, etc.)
  • Pencils – no. 2 or any other type (graphite, charcoal, watercolor, etc.)
  • Erasers – (optional) rubber eraser


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.


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.


Summer Scholars Support

Scholarship support may be available for continuing California high school students with a family annual adjusted gross income of $100,000 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