Course Description

Summer Animation Residency is an immersive experience led by CalArts faculty and industry professionals. The three areas of study within the course are life drawing, design, and story, which are intended to work together to build a solid foundation for aspiring animators.

Course Outline

Life Drawing develops a student’s observation, expression, and unique style. Students will draw subjects in motion and in short poses to capture the feeling of movement and life, as well as in longer poses to explore how to express drama and personality.

Design for Film is a story-driven approach to designing a world in which characters can live. This course explores the use of light, shape, value, line, balance, and contrast as design elements.

In Story, students will develop their ideas for animation filmmaking both visually and through screenwriting. They will create believable and interesting characters, and will learn the basics of storyboarding--staging, cutting, and continuity.

Learner Outcomes

Life Drawing- Through intensive drawing sessions and instructor guidance, students develop a body of work that can be used as reference for future design and illustration work, and may be included in professional or college application portfolios.

Design- By the end of this course, students will have the skillset to break down any story to its strongest visual statement and translate it into a strong layout design.

Story- At the end of the program students will have created a storyboard portfolio that they will "pitch" to their peers just as one would in a studio environment.

Application Instructions

Enrollment in the Summer Animation Residency is based on submission of the online application form and the instructors' review of:

  • A 1-2 minute video statement addressing the following:      

    • What film has most inspired you to want to be an animator?

    • What artist is your animation role model?

    • What do you hope to gain from being in this program?    

  • 5 digital images of original artwork, consisting of:     

    • 3 life drawings of people or animals (not from photographs)

    • 1 self-portrait (from looking in a mirror; not from a photograph)

    • 1 character design

When we say “life drawing” we mean that you are drawing from life. In other words, you need to look closely at the person, place or thing as it exists in the real world and draw it as your eye sees it while you are observing it, not from memory. For more information on Life Drawing, click here.

Applications must be accompanied by a $25 fee.


Open to artists age 18 and up.

Acquiring a Student Visa

International Students looking to acquire a student visa, please review the International Applicant section on the Registration Information page.

Any student wanting to participate in an on campus course will need to comply with our immunization policy. You can see this information here: Immunization Policies



Application for Summer Animation

Applications Open: November 1st, 2023

Application Deadline: April 16th, 2024

Enrollment/Payment Deadline: April 23rd, 2024

Applications are reviewed weekly. Once you are notified of your acceptance, you will have two (2) weeks to enroll, by paying for the course in full or making a deposit of $500. An approved application does not guarantee a seat. Enrollment in the course is available on a first-come, first-served basis. This program is very popular and likely to fill up well in advance of the application deadline, so we advise you to apply as early as possible.

Regardless of whether tuition is paid in full or a deposit is made, $250 of the tuition is non-refundable. Student-initiated drops are subject to a partial refund according to the posted Refund Policy.

Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Section Title
Summer Animation Residency
On Campus
May 20, 2024 to Jun 20, 2024
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Lecture / Practice  
Course Fee(s)
Tuition credit (6 units) $5,562.00 or $500.00 deposit Click here to get more information
Section Fees
Summer Housing Fee $1,314.00 Optional
Eligible Installment Plan
Available for Credit
6 units
Section Notes
Click here to view a sample syllabus for Summer Animation Residency.