Diploma in Computer Animation & Visual Effects

VFX-cover02

This course has an emphasis on the production and technical implementation of digital assets and software relevant to animation and film effects production. The Diploma will produce graduates able to work in a range of environments including film, television, computer games, advertising and product visualisation. Career opportunities for a Computer Animation and Visual Effects graduate include 3D modeler, 2D/3D animator, 3D visualiser, VFX technician and compositor as well as individual entrepreneurship.

Features & benefits of the course

  • We have state-of-the-art computing laboratories and facilities, including specialist, with industry-standard software
  • You will study a curriculum designed in conjunction with industry to equip you with the range of skills and strengths that employers demand
  • The two year program gives you the opportunity to step into industrial placement boosting your employment prospects after completion of the program [completion of FINAL PORTFOLIO]
  • You will experience what it’s like to work as part of a professional team finding solutions to complex problems via group projects. You can also get involved with extracurricular work to further apply your skills, for example, gaming events and the student computing society

Placement options

The full-time two year program provides the opportunity to step into the industry through an internship program. The School offers help with finding suitable placements and experience has shown that taking a placement year can lead to improved performance to move ahead in your career after graduation.

Units you will study

Year 1

You will learn a core set of skills in the creation of digital assets in 2D and 3D environments for output of computer-generated imaging across different platforms.

List the units for this year

  • Core Units

Digital Asset Production

This unit will enable you to understand how a range of digital assets are created, represented, edited, compressed, and delivered. Assets will include photographic images, 2D animations, 2D texture images for use within CGI, as well as video and sound data.

List the units for this year

  • Core Units

3D Character Development

This unit will cover techniques for digital character production and development, including: techniques for polygon box modeling, NURBS patch modeling and associated workflow to produce a 3D asset for character designs, breaking down a 3D model for 2D texture application, digitally painting a UV map template for application and implementing dynamic systems.

Dynamic Animation for Special Effects

This unit will cover techniques for digital character production and development, including: techniques for polygon box modeling, NURBS patch modeling and associated workflow to produce a 3D asset for character designs, breaking down a 3D model for 2D texture application, digitally painting a UV map template for application and implementing dynamic systems.

Production and Compositing Techniques

This unit covers a range of techniques for production and post-production for the film industry, including:

  • How to create 2D and 3D effects and composite them with real film footage
  • Filming for 2D and 3D productions
  • Compositing techniques, including – keying, tracking, color matching, stabilization, lighting and light effects, and incorporating 3D animation elements into live action
  • Layering and separation of 3D elements to add value and flexibility to the post-production pipeline
  • Technical aspects of images, such as alpha channels and color correction

Year 2

The second taught year will develop your skills in post-production and compositing, integrating computer generated visual effects with real-world footage. Cinematic techniques will be explored in both the real and virtual environment. Digital character animation techniques will be developed, applying the principles of animation to a custom built character control rig. Manual animation techniques as well as motion capture technologies will be explored. In this final year, you will embark upon a self-directed project bringing your knowledge and skills together.

List the units for Second Year

  • Core Units

Character Animation Techniques

This unit introduces character rigging, animation and motion capture. You will gain experience of using the various technologies for capturing motion from a subject as well as the processing of the data and its application onto a virtual character for a variety of digital applications. These include:

  • The creation of skeletal systems and mesh deformation systems for digital animation
  • Development and implementation of control systems for forward and inverse kinematic animation
  • Calibration and operation of motion capture equipment for capture of human motion
  • Application, retargeting and manipulation of motion capture data

Dynamic Systems and VFX Integration

This unit teaches you how to simulate natural phenomena within a virtual environment for the purpose of generating visually conceivable special effects. You will cover:

  • Particles – particles and emitters, particles and rigid bodies, particle collisions, rendering particles, compositing
  • Fluids – Maya fluid containers, 3D fluid effects, reactive fluids, texturing and shading fluids, open water effects and render layer separation
  • Post-production compositing and post-production effects

Post-production Techniques for Film, Games and TV

This unit develops your knowledge and skills in advanced post-production techniques used in industry to integrate visual effects with live action footage and the application of audio principles and recording techniques to provide Foley and narrative.

Project

Provides experience in the critical review of literature and the design, implementation, evaluation and writing up. Working with your supervisor, students develop their project description and specify aims, objectives, methodology and timetable for completion. Final year projects are normally pathway-specific. For group projects, individual and collective aims, objectives and plans are specified.