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Why LISAA should be your top choice for studying 2D animation in Paris

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It’s easy to romanticize studying in Paris. Whether it be the world-class cultural institutions like the Louvre, the relentlessly impeccable detail of the architecture or fantasies of bicycles and baguettes, it’s no wonder why the City of Lights shines as one of the best cities to be a student. For those pursuing a 2D animation education, there is one Parisian school in particular with a certain je ne sais quoi: L'Institut Supérieur des Arts Appliqués (LISAA).

Founded in 1986, the school has a focus on applied arts education, new technology and connecting pupils with the professional world. LISAA’s animation and video games program was launched in 1999 and is based in central Paris, with satellite campuses in Toulouse and Bordeaux. It ranks among the top 11 French schools on the “Animation Career Review” 2018 Top 100 International Animation School Rankings, though it is decidedly unpretentious.

LISAA offers its programs in both French and English, allowing more international students to experience studying in Paris — the heart of France’s booming industry. The school has bachelor’s degrees in 2D Animation, 2D/3D Animation, 2D/3D Video Games, as well as a Masters: Supervisor and Director Animation and Special Effects among others.

The 2D animation program’s popularity has surged in the last three years, reflecting the international demand for trained talent. Additionally, many of today’s youth are inspired to pursue the medium by motion design, online videos and anime, plus the ease of learning it compared to 3D. Currently, there are 140 students in 2D animation spread across two classes, though LISAA is looking to open a third next year.

“We are one of the very rare schools in France that still invests a lot in 2D and we are well-known for it,” says Joan da Silva, director of animation, video games and VFX at LISAA. “Now, we have more students in 2D than in 3D. Almost 99 percent of students in 2D get a job in the industry within six months of graduation.”

All animation students begin with a foundation year focused on academics, art history and traditional fundamentals like drawing and painting. In their second year, they can specialize in 2D animation. While LISAA has been teaching Storyboard Pro for years —and recently added the program to its video game program— it only transitioned from TV Paint to Toon Boom Harmony last year to reflect the industry’s changing demands.

“The reality of the job market is it’s all Toon Boom software and students need to learn Harmony to get hired,” says da Silva.

LISAA_animation_graduation_toon_boomSource: LISAA.

In LISAA’s new course structure, there is one class for storyboard layout and animatics in Storyboard Pro and another for animation in Harmony. For the moment, the latter is focused largely on key frame and traditional styles. Next, da Silva would like to integrate rigging and puppet animation though finding Harmony-trained instructors not occupied by studio work is a challenge.

One advantage to being in Paris is LISAA is just a few metro stops away from the city’s top studios like MAC GUFF Animation and Mikros Animation, meaning the school is able to hire many of its instructors straight from the industry. These pedagogical-professional partnerships also give it access to the latest trends, feedback and direction on what skill sets will help students get hired after graduation. This also made becoming a Toon Boom Centre of Excellence the obvious choice.

“Becoming a Centre of Excellence makes sense, especially in France where the connection between the studios and schools is very strong. When a school decides to work with one software, it’s really a partnership because it has a huge effect on the market demand,” says da Silva.

LiSAA_animation_class_toon_boomSource: LISAA.

He continues, “The fact is when we have almost 100 students learning one piece of software or technology, it changes the way they will produce and work in the studios afterwards.”

As a Toon Boom Centre of Excellence (COE) with concrete connections to studios, LISAA was the natural choice to host the Paris Toon Boom Animation Career Camp (May 05 to 06, 2018). Professional animators of all skill levels can learn future-proofed skills, steps and strategies to increase their job opportunities and earnings today and safeguard their career for tomorrow.

If you are student already thinking about future-proofing your career by learning Toon Boom’s world-leading, industry standard 2D animation software, explore LISAA’s program offerings here.

Where did you learn to use Toon Boom? Let us know in the comments below!

Banner image source: LISAA.