3D Modelling Animation

Art and Design
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  • Program Credential


  • Program Duration

    72 Weeks

  • Program Location

    vancouver Campus

Program Overview

Our 3D Modelling Animation Art and Design diploma program teaches you the knowledge and skills you 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 portfolio to showcase their animation work to find employment in CGI-based industries such as game development companies, computer animation studios, post-production and special effects studios.

Please check with the campus for availability.


  • Computer Animation Studios Computer Animation Studios generate and produce digital imagery and media products for various forms of entertainment.
  • Game Development Companies Game Development Companies generate and produce 3D digital imagery and media products for game design and development.
  • Post-Production Post-Production involves editing content for final production through colour grading, building and improving upon animation and visual effects for optimal visuals. 
  • Special Effects Studios Special Effects Studios or SFX / FX are visual illusions for various entertainment industries, including gaming, film, animation, and other applications.
  • Industrial Design Firms Industrial Design Firms or product design agencies use 3D software and designers to produce mockups, instructions, or builds in product design.
  • Software Producers Software Producers create internal software for professional usage.
  • 3D Graphics Companies 3D Graphics Companies are responsible for curating 3D graphics for entertainment, game, video, animation and product design. 


  • 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
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Courses Timeline

Your program begins with teaching you the fundamental skills necessary for your future as an artist. These traditional, digital and informational skills give you a strong foundation — all are focused on building your skills and knowledge to succeed in the media industry.

You expand your skills and understanding of the production pipeline by focusing on the foundations of storytelling, character development and planning.

Get hands-on digital techniques and training to understand the next steps in development and how to bring your visions into reality utilizing current software and methodologies.

Expand your previous skillset and learn to visualize and conceptualize digital concepts. Through a series of projects and assignments, learn to synthesize your creativity with industry standards and subject matter experts.

Delving into more advanced techniques and bringing ideas to life, you learn various critical workflows and focus on developmental aspects which showcase your accumulated skills.

In preparation for graduation, you will hone your skills and continue to advance as you focus on your portfolio pieces and projects. These pieces and projects will showcase and demonstrate all your acquired knowledge and skills, ensuring industry success.

  • Colour & Design

    This course will build students’ understanding of colour and design principles through exploration and application across media, visual, and applied practice. This course will introduce students to the fundamental principles of colour theory through design, such as layout, composition, balance, colour science and theory and teach them how to apply these principles. These concepts will be reinforced through specific practical exercises and activities that will...

  • Photoshop I

    In this course, students will gain an understanding of the application and importance of image editing and construction as a universal skill in across diverse design genres. This course introduces students to raster image-editing software, Adobe Photoshop. Through this 'hands-on' course, students will acquire skills with workflow fundamentals, as well as advanced features, and tips, and acquire the skills to prepare images for digital output and print. Emph...

  • Life Drawing I

    This is an introductory level course that prepares students 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...

  • Intro to 3D Software

    This course focuses on the basics of 3D computer software graphics, using Autodesk Maya. Students are introduced to the interface, the workflow of 3D modelling, texturing, animation, lighting, and rendering, as a precursor to delving into more advanced methodologies. Familiarization with these introductory elements, will lend to those beginning in 3D the ability to demonstrate a required level of skills.

  • Drawing I

    This course will focus on the development of perceptual and descriptive skills through an introduction to a variety of drawing media, techniques, and subject matter. Through this course, students will acquire a thorough understanding of the elements of art and the principles of organization as related to drawing. Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of contour lines, positive and negative space, perspective, sighting of angles, and measurements of...

  • 3D Production Basics

    This 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 modelling in both NURBS and polygons. Students will then cover simple unwrapping procedures while understanding the complexities of UVs. Basic...

  • Life Drawing II

    This course is dedicated in large part to drawing and representing 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 mu...

  • Character Design

    This 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 expressive, well-developed, appealing characters. By the end of this course, students should be able to work with a variety of...

  • Storyboarding

    This course introduces students to the 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,...

  • Environmental Modelling I

    This course continues the coverage of modelling techniques. A key focus of this course is the exploration of modelling techniques using a low polygon count and the effective use of this technique. Students will learn to identify situations where a low poly count is appropriate versus situations where a higher count is required. Students will learn to design and model both organic surfaces and hard surface objects. Students will learn to produce models using polygon...

  • Life Drawing III

    This course builds on the material delivered in Life Drawing II and continues strengthening the student’s knowledge of the human form. Students 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 student’s own time researching and developing these techniques. Props, drapery, and clothing will be introduced to the students. In the final weeks of...

  • Character Modelling I

    This course continues the study of character design principles and the conceptualization stage of 3D character production. It then contextualizes this process by continuing the production of a 3D character through to a complete textured, rigged, posed, and rendered character. Building upon previous character design courses the aim is to have students produce an appealing, stylized character with unrealistic yet believable anatomical exaggeration. It will also build...

  • Animation I

    This 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.

  • Lighting and Texture I

    This course addresses the creation of multilayer textures for environments and high-resolution textures for character and environmental models. It also seeks to provide students with the various production contexts in which the techniques are applicable, from texturing characters faces for film and games, to developing environment textures for next-gen game environments. In addition, the course seeks to provide students with an in-depth look at various direct light...

  • Environmental Modelling II

    This advanced studio course explores the design and development of 3D environmental modelling and design. Students will work with a developed concept and follow the required specifications 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 ad...

  • Character Modelling II

    This course continues the study of modelling techniques with a focus on the design and modelling of a 3D character from an original idea, to a finished textured and rendered final 3D model. Students will need to develop and complete an original model to a standard suitable for film or television. Moreover, unlike previous character modelling projects thus far, which have had lower polygon counts and have been more suitable for interactive gaming, students will inst...

  • Animation II

    Animation II focuses on acting and intermediate animation techniques, students will improve on their skills from Animation I and push their timing, anticipation, follow through secondary action and cycles. Students will use live reference to enhance their animation. Time will be spent improving both technical and acting techniques to prepare the students for advanced animation and portfolio development. Students will have time to explore professional animation samp...

  • Lighting and Texture II

    This course builds upon the previously covered topics of lighting and textures. It will take the students beyond the basic light sources and shadows and explore lighting and texturing as an art. Students will learn advanced lighting and texturing skills and techniques and how to apply them to their final modelling 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 te...

  • Rigging

    This course explores the process of preparing the setup of a character model for advanced animation. The course will take the students through the steps of character modelling and animation, with a focus on the rigging of the characters. Students will learn how to prepare and set up character rigs, bind structures to geometry, and work with meshes and armature. Students will learn how to rig facial expressions and lip movement and how to rig and animate armature. T...

  • Character Modelling III

    In this advanced character modelling class, students will develop high poly models working between both Maya and Zbrush with a special focus on digital sculpting and texturing. Students will learn the interface and tools in Zbrush while designing and modelling their own characters. By the end of this course, students will understand the industry approach to developing character models and begin to assess if this is the creative direction they would like to explore...

  • Maya Scripting

    This course focuses on teaching required programming fundamentals of Python and MEL for Maya. Knowledge in these languages will assist students in the practice of writing custom expressions and scripts for the purpose of creating toolsets, expression applications, problem solving, visualization, design, process methodologies, data organization and much more within current industry production pipelines.

  • Production & Rendering

    This course explores production and rendering techniques for the purpose of showcasing scenes in a professional manner, be it animated sequences, turntables, look development scenes, moving cameras through a 3D environment or any other visual products that can be made with a physically based renderer. This course will examine what samples are, what path tracing is, what a linear workflow is and why it is important. After understanding 3D render theory, students wil...

  • Animation III

    This is an advanced animation course. Students will deepen their understanding of the twelve principles of animation as originally described by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas. Students will further develop their observation skills so that they will be able to apply key principles from film and life to apply to their animation, Students will learn to apply advanced software techniques while pushing their creative boundaries in the context of design problems that wi...

  • Portfolio I

    Portfolio I is a conceptualizing and planning course for the development of the final student demo reel and portfolio. Students will discuss, create a plan, and consider their individual options while developing designs and storyboards. The development of two pre-visual animatics will be completed along with a production proposal focusing on design, colour, and composition. Time will be spent considering the timing of the final presentation and the overall aestheti...

  • Compositing and Editing

    This 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 first six sessions of the course will focus on small projects that will help the student understand the complexities and tools of compositing and editing. The final 6 sessions will be the creation of the final edit with the assistance of the Portfolio and Compositing and Editing inst...

  • Effects Animation

    Students will explore the basics of digital effects animation and work with particles and effects tools with Maya. Students will work with 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 key components to ensu...

  • Sculpture

    This 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. Maquettes are used any time a studio (game, visual effects, 2D/3D feature films) wants to visualize a c...

  • Portfolio II

    The emphasis of this course is to prepare students for graduation and final portfolio development. Time will be 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 modelling. T...

Costs & Requirements

  • High school graduation or equivalent (from an English language teaching institution) OR 
  • Mature student status (19 years of age upon starting classes and passing the college's admission test).

For tuition prices and costs, fill out the request info form to speak with an admissions representative.


VCAD's Refund Policy abides by the Private Training Regulation of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) Private Training Act.
For more information, click here.

Check out and connect with some Alumni on LinkedIn.

  • Alumni 1 Noel Gabriel Ambrosio 2020
  • Alumni 2 Nikki Katouzian 2022
  • Alumni 4 Dryden Sereda 2022
  • Alumni 4 Madison Prangnell 2020
  • Alumni 5 Tuong Kim Thuy Nguyen 2020

Student Testimonials

  • If it wasn't for VCAD I don't think I would be where I am today. I've had some amazing opportunities, I've met some wonderful people - amazing connections, and I'll be forever grateful.

    - Sabrina Laprise
  • The most important thing that I learned at VCAD was how to use software - graphic design software.

    - Ewa Wawryszuk
  • What drew me to the interior design program was that it was a creative industry and also that it's business oriented.

    - Luc Kwan
  • I chose VCAD because of all the options and programs that they offered, and I wanted to succeed and through not just my classes but also making like really cool things that I'm proud of.

    - Luke Johnston
  • The instructors are really helpful, even outside school projects. They gave me a lot of advice about improving my skills as a graphic designer.

    - Maricel Benjamin
  • The most valuable part of the program is the one on one time with the teachers. They are always willing to go out of their way to make sure you understand what you are doing.

    - Katrina Selkirk


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Meet our Instructors

  • Varghese Chandy

    3D Modelling Animation Art and Design

  • Ljubomir Milic

    3D Modelling Animation Art and Design

  • Stephen Pearce

    3D Modelling Animation Art and Design

  • Miles Herrington

    3D Modelling Animation Art and Design

  • Eron Carruth

    3D Modelling Animation Art and Design

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