How to create a strong portfolio for Animation

Animation - student work

If you’ve been invited for an interview on our BA Animation (2D and Stop-Motion) degree you will need to bring with you a portfolio of work. So what should you include?

“A passion for your subject and a willingness to explore, create and learn practical fundamental skills for the Animation Industry,” say the Animation teaching team.

Organisation is key to any interview so please make sure you take the time to consider your portfolio, as this is your opportunity to express who you are. It helps to put your most recent and relevant work at the front where you will demonstrate a range of drawing skills and design projects.

Be prepared to talk these projects through with clarity, confidence and enthusiasm.


Build a well-rounded portfolio that shows competence in a range of key areas such as:

  • Drawing; including observational, life drawing, concept sketching, characters and storyboards.
  • If your interest is in stop-motion bring any designs including model making or sculpture. These can be photographed or documented in the portfolio if too large to bring in.
  • Work completed in different mediums such as pencils, charcoal, chalks, pastels, ink, paint, or mixed medium media demonstrating an understanding of colour, shape and form. Also show any digital painting skills you may have.
  • Bring sketchbooks which support your ideas and show evidence of working through the design processes of research, design development and concept sketches.

Include any projects you have done in your spare time, e.g. character designs, working with other people on projects, workshops outside of school or college, dance or theatre projects if you feel they are relevant to the subject. 

Maybe you have made a short animation. Talk about how these associated experiences have influenced your design ideas. 

We also want to see that you have investigated the industry you want to join. Show how familiar you are with animation, for instance what does an Animation Director do as opposed to an Animator? Also you could discuss the types of roles that are available in the Animation Industry.


At interview we want to see a selection from the following:

  • Life drawing
  • Sketchbook work
  • Concept art
  • Traditional and digital artwork
  • Photography, knowledge of camera work and framing through photography or video
  • Any medium where you display creative flair and enthusiasm for the arts


Research Animation styles and animators you like and admire and who inspire you, discuss why?

Look at Animation: Films, series, commercials, games; what attracts you to the style of these. Look at how animation is used in non-traditional ways, for instance Music videos, VJ loops, video projection.

Watch the ‘Making of...' DVDs and read the accompanying books.