2D FX Animation | CG Master Academy

2021 | Spring Registration - Only 1 Week Left!

Registration for our Spring Term closes in 1 week. Enroll Now!

2D FX Animation

An 8 week course where students will learn the basic physics of elements to create appealing FX designs and more dynamic animations.

Course overview Course overview

Course Overview

Style the Action

In this course we will go in depth into what handdrawn FX is and what it can be used for today. We will be going over the basic physics of elements such as fire, lightning, water, smoke, magic and push them further and add appeal. In each chapter we will talk about how to get inspiration, how to breakdown references, how to create interesting designs, but mainly how to make your animations feel dynamic and more appealing. 
By the end of this course you will have solid knowledge on: creating appealing shapes and dynamic designs. How to add unique styles from stylized, illustrative to realistic/organic.Understand the basic physics of elements and how to take them and push them further in your animation. Hand drawn techniques from roughs to clean animation. Creating cycles. Planning and rendering your FX.
NOTE: Understanding 2D animation is a long learning curve and this course is here to help you push your basic knowledge further. It is recommended that you know the basics of FX prior to enrolling in this course. This course is to help you boost up your skills and understanding for how to make your 2DFX have a higher quality so that you can feel more confident in your work or to help you have a showreel to apply for getting that 2DFX job you wanted.


Course Format:   Standard
Lecture Type:   Pre-recorded
Feedback:   Individual recordings
Duration:   8 weeks
Assignment:   Due each week. Expect to spend 8-10 hrs/wk viewing lectures, q&a, and time on assignments.
Q&A:   Once a week
Materials:   ToonBoom Harmony or Adobe Animate are recommended; for Harmony, free version is enough but premium is recommended as this will let you use their nodes(not a must for this course) | drawing tablet or cintiq.
Skills level:   Intermediate
Prerequisites:   Basic knowledge of 2D animation. basics knowledge of FX recommended. Course recommendations: Foundations of Modern 2D Animation, 2D Animation Essentials.


What you'll learn

The more you know, the better.

expand all
collapse all
How did the FX industry evolve and what can it be used for today. Importance of reference gathering and how to read references properly.
In-depth look at how important design is for FX. By following the three pillars : Line, Shape and Color. We will go over how to adapt your FX to different show styles(from illustrative, stylized to more realistic/organic looks) and how important creating appealing shapes and dynamic designs is.
Electricity and Energy is all about that dynamic timing, so we will spend this chapter focusing on how to capture the pure energy and how we can push the shape to create different timings and level of intensity to it.
Fire is very free flowing and to create unique looks this will be very time consuming so while working on how to get interesting shapes and feel to our fire we will also spend time on how to create clever cycles that can be reused as fire is often used as a constant source.
In this chapter I will share some techniques on how to go about planning your FX especially when it can at times be overwhelming and detailed. Smoke is known to have more screen time and smoother movements, so it normally needs more inbetweens so keeping a clean look is important here, so we will focus on not just how to tighten up our drawings but also how to show interesting shapes and depth with few colors and how to still keep it organic and appealing within tight deadlines.
Appeal and pushing shapes and frames is important to get more intensity and style to your FX, so in this chapter we will focus on this doing some fun liquid exploration and discussing how to capture different speeds in your animation depending on on how dense your liquid is.
The basics are important as they are most used in everything FX related but there are also the wild cards. How do we go about adding appeal and interesting shapes to things we might not be able to find reference for. What can we bring in from the basics to push our more random FX that we all will need to master as well.
After exploring the main elements on their own we want to focus on how they act together and how to make sure all their physics have a nice harmony to one another. As an FX artist it is also important to be able to show your vision on how it will all be treated in the final comp so we will go over some techniques on how to do your own pre comp. We will also discuss on how you can add all your elements together to a reel and how to appeal recruiters with your work.

Unleashing your creativity

Helén Ahlberg is a 2DFX artist, who emerged from the ruins of Gotland. At the moment she is designing FX for one of Netflix’s unannounced Feature Films. Working for games, tv shows and animated features, gives her a wide range of experience. She believes that exploring and expanding your knowledge is key to a solid base for your work. Some of the studios Helén has worked for are Bron Animation, Pearl Studio, Titmouse, ICON Creative, Ludosity Interactive and Zoink.


July 10th!

Spring TERM Registration

Feb 8, 2021 - Apr 26, 2021




July 10th!

Pricing & Schedule

Even though our courses are the most affordable for the quality of education.

These Finance Options allow you to focus on your goals instead of the barriers that keep you from reaching them.

Employer Reimbursement

Animation Guild CSATTF

Payment Plan

Companies that hire our students

  • Naughty Dog
  • Luma Pictures
  • Google
  • EA Games
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • Blizzard Entertainment

environment design Benefits


What makes this learning experience unique?

Personal Feedback

Receive personal individual feedback on all submitted assignments from the industries best artist.

1+ Year Access

Enjoy over 365 days of full course access. This includes all lectures, feedback, and Live Q&A recordings.

Certificate of Completion

Earn a Certificate of Completion when you complete and turn in 80% of course assignments.

Flexible Learning

Learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace with our online courses.

Speak to an advisor

Need guidance or course recommendations? Let us help!

Have you taken a course with us before?

Show us your skills

Not sure if you have the skills, or are you proving you do? Show us.

Have you taken a course with us before?