Animate 2D Short Film

Classic Skills, Modern Tales: The Len Simon Animation Experience

16. 9. - . 27. 9. 2024
10 / 15 participants New
10 days
Litomysl, Czech Republic


per artist

1 100€

per artist

Registration Open
* Discounted price for Czech artists after a deduction of 82% from government funds.
** Price applies to all non-Czech artists without funding opportunities from the Czech Government.
21% VAT is deductible for VAT payers in the EU.

The course is an intensive, hands-on lab focused on teaching 2D animation from start to finish. It revolves around the creation of a short animation titled “Nifty,” which features a unique sea creature interacting with humans. Participants will engage in various aspects of animation production, from storyboarding and character development to executing detailed animation principles in a collaborative environment.

On completion of this course, you will

  • Gain practical skills and techniques needed to produce high-quality 2D animations.
  • Deepen understanding of animation principles, mainly acting and character portrayals, without relying on dialogue.
  • Enhance your portfolio, showcasing your skills and creative capacity to potential employers or clients.

About the course


Lesson plan

  1. Storyboarding and Planning: Understanding how to visually plan and storyboard animation, ensuring that narrative elements are clearly conveyed.
  2. Character Design and Development: Skills in designing and developing distinctive characters that are not only visually appealing but also capable of conveying emotion and personality through movement.
  3. Animation Techniques: Mastery of traditional 2D animation techniques, including frame-by-frame drawing, in-betweening, and clean-up.
  4. Pantomime and Silhouette Animation: Ability to animate characters effectively without dialogue, focusing on body language and silhouettes to express emotions and actions.
  5. Industry Insight: A thorough understanding of the animation industry’s standards, workflows, and expectations, particularly in the realm of 2D animation.
  6. Project Management: Experience in managing an animation project from start to finish, including timing, pacing, and the coordination of various stages of production.
  7. Collaborative Skills: Improved ability to work effectively in teams, an essential skill in most creative industries where large projects require collaboration across different disciplines.
  8. Portfolio Enhancement: Completion of a short animation project to add to one’s portfolio, showcasing individual skills and creative capacity to potential employers or clients.

How it works

The course offers a structured learning environment where participants will:

  • Receive direct mentorship from Len Simon, an industry veteran with extensive experience in major animated films.
  • Learn through daily lectures, practical exercises, and detailed walkthroughs of animation principles.
  • Work on a live project (“Nifty”) to apply learned concepts in real time, culminating in a tangible piece of animation work.

Who is it for

  1. Young Animators: Budding animators who are early in their careers and looking to deepen their understanding of 2D animation.
  2. Students of Animation: Individuals currently studying animation who wish to supplement their education with hands-on, practical experience.
  3. Professional Animators: Animators who are already in the field but primarily work with different 2D styles of animation or other forms and wish to expand or refresh their character animation 2D skills in so-called Disney style.

Where will this get you

Skill Enhancement

  • Improved Technical Skills: Participants will have a refined grasp of 2D animation techniques, including storyboarding, character design, and the nuances of animation principles like posing and silhouette acting.
  • Hands-On Experience: Working on the “Nifty” short will provide practical experience in managing a project from concept to completion, simulating real-world animation production environments.
  • Increased Creative Expression: The course’s focus on acting and emotion in animation without dialogue will help animators improve their ability to convey stories and character emotions more effectively.

Career Development

  • Portfolio Building: The work produced during the course can serve as a valuable addition to the animators’ portfolios, showcasing their skills to potential employers or clients.
  • Networking Opportunities: Interacting with an industry veteran like Len Simon and collaborating with peers from various backgrounds can lead to lasting professional relationships and potential job leads.
  • Market Readiness: The comprehensive nature of the course will prepare animators to meet the demands of the animation industry, making them competitive candidates for jobs in studios that still cherish traditional 2D animation techniques.

Industry Impact

  • Cultural and Artistic Contribution: Participants will be better equipped to contribute creatively to the animation industry, possibly influencing styles or starting new trends in 2D animation.
  • Potential Teaching Roles: With the in-depth knowledge acquired, some may go on to teach and pass on the classical animation techniques to future generations, helping to preserve these skills.
  • Freelance Opportunities: Enhanced skills and a strong portfolio may also open up freelance opportunities, allowing animators to work independently on a variety of projects.

Fees and funding


Czech artists: 200€
All other artists: 1 111€
21% VAT (VAT is deductible for VAT payers in the EU countries)

The fee covers participation in the course. It doesn’t cover accommodation, meals, and travel.

Approximate living costs during your stay in the Czech Republic:

  • Accommodation at the venue: 20 EUR / night
  • Breakfast at the hotel – 7 EUR
  • Restaurant meal between 10 – 15 EUR
  • Grocery in general – 50 EUR per person a week

Funding for Czech employees and freelancers

Czech Labour Office (Úřad práce) offers to cover up to 85% of the course fee within the so-called POVEZ II project (Support of Vocational Training for Employees II). See the details and conditions here.

Cancellation Policy

  • In the case of cancellation 6 weeks or more before the course starting date, the whole fee (course fee, or course fee + accommodation) will be refunded minus 150€ admin fee.
  • With less than 6 weeks‘ notice, 50% of the total course fee will be refunded.
  • If cancellation occurs in the final 30 working days before the starting date, no refund will be given.
  • However, we will consider transferring the fees to another course (conditional upon vacancies) but a 20% cancellation fee will be charged if this change will be made in less than 4 weeks before the course starting date.
  • We reserve the right to cancel a course if fewer than 4 people are enrolled. In this case we can transfer your fees to any future course or refund the fees you have paid in full.
  • Refunds will be paid within 2 weeks after receiving your full bank details.

Direct interaction
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mentors from top

Our Mentors

More than
800 students from
32 countries

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The Houdini course is lead by a real-life professional working on a daily basis with the world leading VFX projects, such as Hollywood movies or Netflix shows. The teaching center is located in historical and beautiful Cesky Krumlov, South of Czech Republic. The conditions are excellent and two weeks are a substantial dose of training to get you stareted with Houdini. Keep in mind it's still only the beginning of a much longer learning process.
The Houdini course is great way to get general knowledge of FX in Houdini and to set you on the path of deeper understanding how things work under the hood(ini).
A nice place to start with Houdini, which gave me the basics to continue on my own to develop my knowledge and skills in Houdini.


per artist

1 100€

per artist

Registration Open
* Discounted price for Czech artists after a deduction of 82% from government funds.
** Price applies to all non-Czech artists without funding opportunities from the Czech Government.
21% VAT is deductible for VAT payers in the EU.
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