This program is available in Vancouver and Calgary.
Our 3D Modeling Animation Art and Design diploma program teaches you the skills you'll need to successfully compete in the computer generated animation industry. The program harnesses the talent of industry-leading professionals to teach the theory and techniques used in three-dimensional animation art and design.
The program focuses on game development, including staging scenes, game environments, using storyboards, and designing and animating 3D characters using industry-standard software.
Graduates of this program will have a strong portfolio to showcase their animation work to find employment in roles such as character modeler, technical artist or junior production designer. 3D animation job opportunities exist in CGI-based industries such as game development companies, computer animation studios, post-production, and special effects studios.
Upon successful completion of this program, you will be able to:
- Produce computer-generated images
- Shape a model
- Develop a storyboard
- Stage a scene
- Design characters
- Design environments
- Produce 3D models of props and characters
- Represent movements in three dimensions
- Animate characters
- Create digital visual effects
- Understand the latest trends in the visual and graphic arts
- Use critical thinking and creativity to enhance visual expression
- Draw a character and its environment
- Analyze and critique a production
The program consists of six 12-week terms. Most courses are worth three credits. 90 credits are required to complete this diploma program.
Admissions Requirements in BC
- High school graduation or equivalent (from an English language teaching institution) OR
- Mature student status (19 years of age upon starting classes and pass the college's admission test).
This program has been approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.
MA101 - Colour & Design
The purpose of this course is to introduce the students to the fundamental principles of design and color theory, such as layout, composition, and balance as well as the theories of color and how to use color creatively. These concepts will be presented in theory as well as reinforced through specific practical exercises and activities that will serve to demonstrate how each of the concepts is integrated into good design. Topical coverage includes terminology of design, composition, negative space, colour systems and theory, colour and light, tone, hue, saturation and value of colour, human element of colour.
MA102 - Life Drawing IThis course is an introductory level course that prepares the student to draw anatomically correct structures of the human body. Students will learn to draw the human figure in correct anatomic detail based on the observation of live models. This course will emphasize the anatomically correct proportions of the human body and the accurate portrayal of muscles and other landmarks by applying various techniques of shading and lighting, views and perspective. Topical coverage includes the basic shapes comprising the figure, anatomic positioning and parts, human proportions, drawing of various anatomic parts, light source and shading.
MA103 - Photoshop IThis course introduces the students to the popular image-editing software Adobe Photoshop. The main objective of this course is to teach the student graphical image production using Adobe Photoshop. Through this ‘hands-on’ course, the student will learn the fundamentals of design, as well as advanced features and tips, to prepare images for the Web and for print. By the end of this course, the student will be able to create and enhance sophisticated images using Adobe Photoshop’s tools and features. They will learn how to correct and modify print as well as Web images using various techniques and organizational tools. They will also learn how to apply special effects to original and composite images.
MA104 - 2D Animation FoundationsIn this course students will be learning the basic principles of animation. Students will participate in several practical projects designed to illustrate the fundamental processes of animation. The course will explore the traditional techniques of animation and how they apply in the modern world of CG animations. The course will explore the different types of animation including stop-motion, visual effects, traditional animation, and CG.
MA105 - Drawing I
This class will cover the fundamentals of drawing including the key concept of perspective. The students will work in both traditional and digital mediums to enhance their drawing and communication skills. Students will not only learn how to develop aesthetically pleasing drawings from a construction approach but will also learn the key aspect of drawing as a communication and development tool.
MA201 - Maya IThis is an intensive introduction to the complexities of working in a 3D application. The first portion of the class will focus primarily on the tools in Maya with navigation and the interface as a key element. Students will learn through simple and intermediate projects how to work in 3D. Time will then be spent introducing modeling in both nurbs and polygons. Students will then cover simple unwrapping procedures while learning about the complexities of UVs. Basic lighting tools will be covered to ensure that the projects developed in this term can be presented in a professional manner.
MA202 - Life Drawing IIThis course is dedicated in large part to the drawing and representation of the skeletal structure and musculature of the human body. Students will learn the anatomical names of the skeletal elements, landmarks and muscle groups. Students will learn how to draw the structures of the human skeleton and then add the surface muscle groups and features appropriate to the skeletal sub-structure. The course will also explore the differences in the portrayal of male and female musculoskeletal features. Students will also be introduced to the drawing of animal forms and basic animal surface coverings.
MA203 - Character DesignThis course explores the design and production of characters for the animation and video game industry. Students will learn the principles of good character design, from research to final detailing, while focusing on character development, style, and personality. Students will apply principles and techniques of design and anatomy to achieve the expressive, well developed, appealing characters. By the end of this course, students should be able to work with a variety of styles, archetypes and body structures to construct their characters.
MA204 - Storyboarding
This course introduces students to concept of storyboarding for modellers and animators. Students will learn how to create clear, concise storyboards. Students will explore the elements that contribute to the final production of industry standard storyboards, including everything from a 30 second commercial, a television show, computer games, and feature films. Topics will include concept and production boards, thumbnail sketches, the role of character design, character staging, model sheets, art direction, background (layout) design, and camera positioning.
MA301 - Environmental Modeling IIThis course explores the design and development of 3D environmental modeling. Students will learn how to observe real world environments and then translate their observations into producing interior and exterior environments. Students will also learn to consider staging and environmental mood into the design and structure of the environment. Topical coverage includes effective environment design, interior environments, exterior environments, creating illusions of depth, matte painting (fundamentals) camera action and displacement prop, effects, and strategies for creating mood and atmosphere.
MA302 - Life Drawing IIIThis course builds on the material delivered in Life Drawing II and continues strengthening the student’s knowledge of the human form. The student will work with life drawing samples and reference material to add appeal and strengthen their own personal style. Time will be spent both in class and during the students own time researching and developing these techniques. Props, drapery and clothing will be introduced to the students.
MA303 - Character Modeling IIThe key focus of this course is being able to think like a character modeler Simple characters will be lit, unwrapped and textured to ensure that existing designs are accurately presented. Professional design methods will be followed. Assignments and designs will be pre determined to ensure efficiency and the understanding of the techniques and process.
MA304 - Animation IIThis course will explore the basic techniques of 3D animation. Using industry standard software students will take their first steps to animating a basic character. Using a hands on approach, students will learn the techniques of basic animation. Topical coverage includes animation software tools and functions, key framing, modifiers, basic morphing techniques and linear and non-linear animation.
MA305 - RiggingThis course explores the advanced process of preparing the setup of a character model for advanced animation of characters. The course will take the students through the steps of character modeling and animation with a focus on the rigging of the characters. Students will learn how to prepare and setup character rigs, bind structures to geometry and work with meshes and armature. Students will learn to rig facial expressions and lip movement as well as rigging and animating armature Topical coverage includes joint orientation and preparing skeletons, rigs, inverse kinematics, facial rigging, armature, binding structures to geometry and meshes.
MA403 - Environmental Modeling IIIThis advanced studio course explores the design and development of 3D environmental modeling and design. Students will work with a pre developed concept and follow the required specifications and concept are to develop professional environments and then translate their research into producing dynamic environments. Students will also learn to consider staging, atmosphere and environmental mood to enhance the professional look of the environment. Topical coverage includes effective advanced environment design, composition, matte painting (fundamentals) action and strategies for creating a professional demo presentation. The final goal of this course is to explore environmental demo reel options.
MA402 - SculptureThis course teaches introductory sculpture for modellers and animators. In this course, students will transfer their knowledge of anatomy, drawing of anatomical features, and character design, in developing a 3-dimensional sculpture. This course explores the materials, tools, and industry production techniques used in producing sculptures called ‘maquettes’. The end result will be a finished painted ‘maquette’ of their design.
MA401 - Character Modeling IIIThis course explores more advanced designs and human anatomy in the development of male and female character models. Students will work with the available tools to add realism to these designs. Time is spent developing low poly models that are well built and dynamic. Students will work with pre-designed characters and real life reference material to ensure that the models are to proportion and have proper anatomy.
MA404 - Animation III
This course focuses on acting and intermediate animation techniques, students will improve on their skills from term one and push their timing, anticipation, follow through secondary action and cycles. Students will use live reference to enhance their animation. Students will improve both technical and acting techniques to prepare the students for advanced animation and portfolio development.
MA405 - Lighting & TextureThis course is an introductory level course in texturing and lighting. Students will be introduced to the use of various Adobe Photoshop painting and editing tools and techniques, in conjunction with the Autodesk Maya UV and material toolset to create a wide variety of textures, ranging from basic surfaces such as wood and fabric, to photo-realistic textures based on photographs, and techniques used for texturing game and film environments. Students will also become familiar working with the hypershade and shader networks to develop aesthetically pleasing textures. The UV texture editor and its tools will be a key component to the development of material in texturing and lighting.
MA501 - Character Modeling IVIn this advanced character modeling class students will develop high poly models working between both Maya and Zbrush. Digital sculpting and texturing will be a key focus of this class. Students will learn the interface and tools in Zbrush while designing and modeling their own characters. By the end of this course students will have an understanding of the industry approach to develop character models and begin to assess if this is the creative direction they would like to explore for their portfolios.
MA503 - Maya ScriptingThis course introduces the student to 3D scripting using Maya Embedded Language or MEL scripting. Students will learn the various features and functions of the language that will add advanced capabilities to the animations. Students will learn how to use the MEL scripting language and its capabilities to streamline and automate the character rigging process. The course will then explore the use of MEL scripting to create a character animation.
MA505 - Production and RenderingThis course explores production and rendering techniques for the purpose of showcasing models, textures and scenes in a professional manner. Production and rendering examines practical solutions challenges, such as night time lighting, indoor lighting, outdoor lighting, and advanced rendering features available in Mental Ray for Maya. Students will make informed choices about which light rigs and rendering features make the most sense for their scenes.
MA504 - Animation IV
Advanced 3D concepts will be taught. Students will work with advanced Maya tools to develop aesthetically pleasing environments and characters that can be used in game engines. Students will also learn how to create normal maps in both Maya and Photoshop, that present and blend colour in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Advanced lighting techniques will be introduced, as well as the preparation process for rending 3D content to video.
MA502 - Portfolio I
This course is aimed at preparing the students’ transition to the professional world. The focus of this course is to prepare students for job interviews by helping them compile and defend a first draft of their portfolio. The portfolio will contain pieces produced by the students that demonstrate their skills in conceptualization, design, modeling and animation. This will be the first step in assisting students to identify a preferred skill set and to select distinguishing portfolio pieces that showcase this skill. This will then provide them with a focus for polishing their technique and developing a unique style. Feedback will come in the form of industry, instructor and peer critique.
MA601 - Compositing & EditingThis course focuses on the video presentation aspects of the final demo reel. Students will work with compositing and editing tools to add the final touches to their presentations. The course will focus on small projects that will help the student understand the complexities and tools of compositing and editing and then students will create their final edit with the assistance of the portfolio and compositing and editing instructors.
MA602 - Effects AnimationStudents will explore the basics of digital effects animation and work with particles and effects tools with Maya. You will work with the digital tools to develop simple dynamic animations while considering effects elements to add life and atmosphere to their reels. Students will cover the basic forces and elements such as fire and water and discuss lighting mood and atmosphere created by these effects. Timing physics and design will be a key component to ensure that the effects developed in this class will have a natural look and are believable.
MA603 - Advanced Lighting & Texture
This course builds upon the previously covered topics of lighting and textures. It takes the students beyond the basic light sources and shadows and explores lighting and texturing as an art. Students will learn advanced lighting and texturing skills and techniques and how to apply them to their final modeling and animation projects. Students will learn to select the appropriate light type for a particular situation as well as the correct material 2D and 3D textures. Topical coverage includes lighting colour and composition, Maya light types, High quality shadows and effects, Raytracing, 3D textures and projections.
MA606 - Portfolio II
The emphasis of this course is to prepare the student for graduation and final portfolio development. Time is spent developing a final demo reel to showcase the strengths and talents of each student in a branded visually appealing presentation. Students will have the option to develop a demo reel that focuses on their interests and skills within the 3D industry. Time will be spent focusing on content that showcases primary skills such as animation or modeling. There will also be an opportunity to plan and showcase secondary abilities to increase the potential opportunity of employment. Planning and production pipelines will be followed and deadlines will be achieved. Students will be critical of their work and change their artistic material if necessary.