The Complete Guide to Studying Digital Animation in Malaysia

2D or 3D animation? Explore the many digital animation courses in Malaysia and learn more about its entry requirements, modules and more with this guide.


Did you know that the menacing tiger in Life of Pi was not a real life tiger, but was instead masterfully created through digital animation? Or how about in X-Men: First Class when Emma Frost transforms into her magnificent diamond form? That was created digitally too!

Even more remarkable is that both the tiger in Life of Pi and Emma Frost's crystallisation were actually created by Malaysians, right here in Malaysia!

If you have always wanted to create animated cartoons, visually stunning movies or even video games, a course in digital animation could be the path for you!

This guide explores everything you need to know about studying a Digital Animation course in Malaysia, from what it's all about and what you'll learn, to career options and opportunities!

Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU)

BA (Hons) in Animation

Dual-award degree – one from De Montfort University (UK) and one from APU

#1. The Basics of Digital Animation

What is Digital Animation

Digital Animation - What is Digital AnimationDigital Animation is the process of creating moving, animated visuals using computer programmesIt's about bringing static visuals and objects to life through movement, expression and personality.

Digital animation isn't only used in animated cartoons like Toy Story, How To Train Your Dragon and our very own homegrown animated series BoBoiBoy — it's also widely used in advertisements, films as well as games!

From quirky, loveable cartoon characters to terrifying dinosaurs a la Jurassic World, Digital Animation has enabled many people turn fantasy into a reality by creating characters and stories that they can share them with the world.

And the best part? With the huge technological advancements that we're experiencing today, it's only going to get better!

What Are the Various Fields of Digital Animation?

Digital Animation - Various Fields of Digital AnimationThere are various fields where Digital Animation can be practised. Here are some of the major ones in Malaysia.

Field What It Is All About
TV Series & Movies Animators in this industry often work on animated TV series / movies, or create realistic scenes (e.g. fight scenes) for non-animated feature films
Commercials & Ads Animators in this field work with advertising agencies to produce 3D animations for commercials, and may also work on 3D visualisations of products
Video Games Video game animators bring characters and scenarios in games to life, creating characters and ensuring that they move realistically & convincingly
Educational Videos Animators create animated instructional videos & interactive tutorials to make learning interesting, whether it's for school children or corporate employees!

#2. Studying a Digital Animation Course

What Qualifications Do You Need?

In order to pursue a Degree in Digital Animation, you will generally need:

(1) SPM / O-Level Qualification

  • Minimum of 5 credits


(2) Pre-University Qualification

Entry requirements may vary depending on university, so make sure you do your research before you decide which institution to study at!

Alternatively, you could also choose to do a Diploma in Digital Animation right after SPM.

Since Digital Animation emphasises on practical skills and creativity, it may make sense to do a Diploma as opposed to a Pre-University course after SPM. After completing your Diploma, you can still choose to pursue a Degree in Digital Animation.

In general, entry requirements for a Diploma is typically 3 credits at SPM level.

Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU)

APU Foundation Programme (Design)

Direct pathway to dual-award design degrees at APU such as industrial design, visual effects and animation

How Long Is a Digital Animation course?

A Degree in Digital Animation is generally 3 years long.

However if you decide to do a Diploma instead, it is usually 2 to 2.5 years long. Upon successful completion of your Diploma, you can choose to either start working, or enter directly into Year 2 of a Degree in Digital Animation.


Make sure you keep a portfolio of all your animated works while applying for jobs. Showcasing your assignments and projects will give your CV a big boost!

What Will You Study in a Digital Animation Course?

A Digital Animation course will help you to understand the principles of design, animation and storytelling. You will also gain technical skills in using various tools and software, such as Illustrator, Maya and After Effects, to help you produce animations.

Some of the subjects you may learn include:

  • 2D Animation
  • 3D Modelling
  • 3D Animation
  • Conceptual Rendering
  • Film Studies
  • Visual Effects & Compositing

Most Digital Animation courses will require you to showcase a project during your final semester. Some courses may also have a semester of internship / practical training, which is crucial to help you gain industry knowledge and experience to prepare you for the working world!


Courses at certain universities may cover several types of media, such as Web Design & Photography in addition to Digital Animation, while others only focus on 3D Animation. Make sure you read through the course syllabus before making a decision!

#3. Why Should You Study Digital Animation?

Digital Animation - Why Digital AnimationDigital Animation can be gruelling and demanding, but can be extremely rewarding, especially if you have a creative mind and a wild imagination!

Here are some of the top reasons why you should study Digital Animation.

(1) You want to apply your imaginative and creative skills

As a Digital Animation student, you will be required to generate new and creative ideas all the time to complete coursework and projects. If you've always been inspired by works of animation, whether it's classics like Doraemon or Pixar's award-winning films, and have always wanted to turn your wildest ideas into a reality, Digital Animation might be just the thing for you!

Fun Fact: Being able to draw is NOT a critical skill required in 3D Animation! While understanding how bodies move is key and being able to draw is a major plus, you don't have to be the next Michaelangelo in order to venture into 3D Animation.

(2) Allows you to work in various creative industries

Digital Animation doesn't limit you to just producing animated cartoons, although there are opportunities if it's what you want to do. You can always venture into advertising to create animated commercials for companies, game animation to bring gaming characters to life, visual effects for non-animated films, or even educational videos for both young and old alike!

(3) You want to experience a fun, creative and rewarding career

This is an industry where you get the opportunity to turn all those doodles and drawings in your sketch pad into real characters. Imagine being the creator, or a part of the animation team, that produces your children's favourite childhood cartoons! It's a feeling unlike any other when you hear them act out or recite lines from a scene that you had a hand in.

Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU)

BA (Hons) in Animation

Dual-award degree – one from De Montfort University (UK) and one from APU

#4. What Skills Do You Need to Study Digital Animation?

Digital Animation - Key Skills

Here are some of the key qualities and skills that you will need to develop in order to do well in Digital Animation.

(1) Dedication and the drive to push boundaries

This is a course that is heavily based on practical work — expect LOTS of assignments and projects that may take you into the wee hours of the morning. Many Digital Animation students work tirelessly on honing their art and creatives because of their huge passion for the field and the determination to push creative boundaries.

(2) Creativity and unlimited imagination

Digital Animation students are often imaginative and wildly creative, bringing ideas to life. Some people may look at the Petronas Twin Towers and see it as one of our national landmarks, but an animator might imagine it to be a superhero's headquarters! As an animator, your mind needs to be able to think creatively, and often, in very wild ways!

(3) A keen eye for detail

How will a character look like with a small twitch around the mouth? Or a twinkle in his eye? Whether you're animating emotions and movements, creating great atmospheric effects through lighting, or designing the textures of a character's superhero costume, you need to have a keen eye for detail. Animating can be extremely tedious, since you're analysing and staring at the smallest of detail, but it can be extremely rewarding and satisfying to see the fruits of your labour!

Don’t worry if you haven't mastered all these skills yet. A course in Digital Animation will help you hone and develop these skills! Just make sure you're mentally prepared for the demands and challenges of this course.

#5. Career Options For a Digital Animation Graduate

After completing a course in Digital Animation, here are some of your career options:

  • 3D Animator
  • 3D Modeler
  • Art Director
  • Concept Artist
  • Design Director
  • Film & Video Editor
  • Motion Designer
  • Storyboard Artist
  • Texture Artist
  • Video Game Designer
  • Visual Effects Artist

#6. Where Can You Study Digital Animation in Malaysia

Here are some of the popular institutions Digital Animation schools in Malaysia.

Where else can you study Digital Animation in Malaysia? Check out our comprehensive comparison table for Digital Animation degrees! You can also compare institutions for Digital Animation diplomas and Foundation in Arts.