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Production Excellence - 2D Animation

School and College Rankings

2023 Top Creative Schools
Production Excellence - 2D Animation

Results based on over 5,500 students participants. Projects reviewed by 180 Judges that completed 58,000 reviews.

Rookies Global School Rankings

Official Rankings

Production Excellence in 2D Animation is a prestigious recognition bestowed upon schools that not only excel in teaching the intricate art of two-dimensional animation but also shine in nurturing a collaborative team environment, particularly evident in the exceptional results achieved by their students in the creation of compelling short films.

To formulate these rankings, we engaged industry-leading professionals to review student art portfolios based on criteria that encompass creative skills, technical proficiency, presentation quality, diversity of skills, project complexity, raw talent, and employment potential. Learn More.

Global School Rankings 2023

6. Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah College of Art and Design prepares talented students for creative professions through engaged teaching and learning in a positively oriented university environment. SCAD is continually recognized for educational and professional excellence, affirming our commitment to the highest standards of achievement in art and design in the U.S. SCAD constantly researches and reimagines programs to instill the critical skills and knowledge students need to succeed in their chosen careers. SCAD consults industry leaders, gathers data on business and design needs and collects student feedback to inform the genesis and evolution of every degree taught at the university. SCAD offers more programs and specializations than any other art and design university in the U.S., with 40 undergraduate, and 61 graduate degree programs. SCAD is one university and offering degrees in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia, and online via eLearning, with additional study abroad opportunities in Lacoste, France. Each SCAD location provides a new experience, and students can choose to study in any location, at any quarter during their education. At every location and online, in every discipline, SCAD students are educated through comprehensive curricula and sophisticated technology so that they may create their most ambitious visions. Designed to exceed the leading-edge resources found in top design firms and global headquarters, SCAD resources instill in-demand technological agility. With licensure for more than 100 software packages and remote access to next-gen programs.
France, United States Online Campus
Certified School

9. U-tad | University of Technology, Arts and Design

U-tad is a higher education institution that was founded in 2011 by pioneering entrepreneurs in the technology and digital art sectors, who identified there was an urgent need in the industry to serve the existing demand for highly qualified professionals in the digital economy. In years prior, U-tad’s founders had created Pyro Studios (Videogame Studio that created world famous ‘Commandos’) and Ilion Animation Studios (which premiered succesful landmarks of Spanish animation such as the international launch ‘Planet 51’).   U-tad offers official Undergraduate Degrees, Vocational Education and Masters in Animation, VFX, Digital Design, Videogames (Art, Design and Engineering), Computer Science, Physics and Mathematics, AR/VR and Cybersecurity. It counts over 1,900 students and a faculty of over 320 professors of which 80% are active professionals in the industry.  U-tad is rated among the top 10 International Universities for Videogame studies in the ‘Game Schools Ranking’ (by GAMEducation), among the best 25 universities in which to study Animation (by ‘Animation Magazine’), and Top 10 Computer Science Excellence University (by ‘SEDEA Excellence Ranking’). U-tad was the first Spanish education institution to develop study programs in which students work on real, multidisciplinary projects that emulate the industry work dynamics. This practical ‘learning by doing’ teaching methodology and project-based learning means that U-tad’s students develop reels and projects which will become their presentation portfolio to companies upon completion of their studies. Being able to achieve job opportunities in major companies worldwide and to win important international awards.
Spain Online Campus
Certified School

16. The DAVE School

The Digital Animation & Visual Effects (DAVE) School, was founded on June 8, 2000, by two Industry executives looking to create #CareerReady artists with practical animation skills. They created a school that offered specialized training in Visual Effects with extensive practice under industry level supervision. The Game Production program followed 13 years later in September of 2014, making it the second program to be offered by the school. At the end of 2017, The DAVE School introduced fully online bachelor programs in Motion Graphics, as well as the additional Bachelor's Degrees in Visual Effects and Game Production for Diploma students seeking to enhance their educational experience. The DAVE School is located on the backlot of Universal Studios Florida™. Our 18,000 square foot facility includes learning and interactive labs, a dedicated Virtual and Real-Time production stage, a Vicon motion capture system, 3D printing and VR/AR labs. Students have access to our facilities 7 days a week. Today, The DAVE School consistently produces skilled graduates who are uniquely prepared for industry positions. DAVE graduates have worked on Oscars and Emmy nominated and/or winning projects, and have won other prestigious awards. The school continues to grow in the traditions of its founders by keeping in tune with industry trends and changes. This affords the school the means to adapt its educational programs to meet the needs of the always advancing fields of digital entertainment and interactive media.
United States Online Campus
Certified School

20. California College of the Arts

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) educates students to shape culture and society through the practice and critical study of art, architecture, design, and writing. Benefitting from its San Francisco Bay Area location, the college prepares students for lifelong creative work by cultivating innovation, community engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. CCA offers a rich curriculum of 21 undergraduate and 11 graduate programs in art, design, architecture, and writing taught by a faculty of expert practitioners. Attracting promising students from across the nation and around the world, CCA is one of the 10 most diverse colleges in the U.S. Graduates are highly sought-after by companies such as Pixar/Disney, Apple, Intel, Facebook, Gensler, Google, IDEO, Autodesk, Mattel, and Nike, and many have launched their own successful businesses. Alumni and faculty are often recognized with the highest honors in their fields, including Academy Awards, AIGA Medals, Fulbright Scholarships, Guggenheim Fellowships, MacArthur Fellowships, National Medal of Arts, and the Rome Prize, among others. CCA is creating a new, expanded college campus at its current site in San Francisco, spearheaded by the architectural firm Studio Gang. The new campus design, scheduled to open in the fall of 2022, will be a model of sustainable construction and practice; will unite the college’s programs in art, crafts, design, architecture, and writing in one location to create new adjacencies and interactions; and will provide more student housing than ever before.
United States Campus

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Andrew McDonald - Co-founder @ The Rookies

We believe that schools emulating a production studio experience offer a significant advantage to students by fostering teamwork, fostering a deep understanding of production pipelines, honing scheduling expertise, managing resources effectively, and cultivating problem-solving abilities

The Rookies

Frequent Questions

What distinguishes our ranking system from conventional methods?

Unlike many other ranking systems that rely on traditional metrics like school size or faculty-to-student ratios, we take a unique approach. Our rankings are driven and judged by hundreds of industry professionals who review students' digital art portfolios. This provides an accurate and industry-relevant evaluation of students' skills, making our rankings especially meaningful for creative fields. We believe that for creative industries, traditional metrics always fall short, which is why our system prioritises the most critical aspect — how well schools prepare their students for entry level jobs.

How do you rank schools?

We employ a rigorous and equitable process to assess and rank creative and technical schools worldwide. Our rankings primarily rely on the individual performance of students representing each institution. Students undergo meticulous reviews, and their work is assigned a performance score, capped at 100 points. To determine a school's overall standing, we calculate the median student score, a fair measure that represents the middle point in a set of scores. We then reward excellence by granting bonus points to students designated as finalists, highly commended, runners-up, or winners in each category. This approach guarantees that our rankings are rooted in student skills and talents rather than school size or other biases, providing a transparent and impartial assessment of creative institutions.

Can schools pay to influence their rankings?

No, schools cannot pay to influence their rankings. We do not accept advertising money for any aspects related to rankings, ensuring that our assessments remain unbiased and fair. Additionally, entries submitted by students to the Rookie Awards are entirely free of charge, eliminating any potential favoritism related to social or economic factors.

What criteria are used to assess student work in the rankings?

The assessment of student work in our rankings is based on a multi-faceted approach. We consider various criteria, including creative skills, technical proficiency, presentation quality, the diversity of skills demonstrated, project complexity, raw talent, and employment potential. This comprehensive evaluation ensures that the rankings provide a well-rounded perspective on students' readiness for creative and technical roles in their respective fields.

Do schools need to apply to be included in the rankings?

No, schools do not need to apply to be considered for the rankings. We automatically evaluate schools based on the performance of their students in our annual Rookie Awards, making our rankings open and inclusive.

Do the rankings favour schools with more students?

Our rankings do not favour schools with larger student populations. Our ranking system is designed to be impartial and fair, regardless of school size. The rankings are based on objective criteria, such as the Median Student Scores, which reflects the capabilities of students, not the size of the school. Additionally, our use of carefully balanced bonus points ensures that recognition is fairly distributed among all schools, regardless of their student population. Our commitment is to provide a level playing field where every school has an equal opportunity to excel and be recognised for its students' achievements.

How many students from each school need to enter?

The number of students required from each school to enter varies depending on the category. On average, we require around 12 students to participate from each school, for each category. Our goal is to ensure a fair representation of student work across all disciplines, and we encourage schools to engage a suitable number of students based on the specific category requirements.

Can schools cheat by selecting only their best students?

Our ranking system is designed to be fair and transparent. We encourage and incentivise all students to participate, making it extremely challenging for schools to limit their participation. Additionally, we only accept entries directly from students, ensuring that administrators or faculty members cannot submit entries on their behalf.

A student made a mistake, will their score impact their rankings?

If a student makes a mistake in their submission, it typically won't significantly impact the overall results. We take into account the quality of each submission as a whole and consider various factors in our evaluation. Additionally, we exclude outliers, such as entries with broken content or obvious errors, to ensure fairness.

Do the rankings include online schools?

We embrace all types of educational facilities, including online schools, campus-based institutions, and hybrid models. Our rankings encompass a diverse range of education providers from across the globe.

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