Vancouver Film School: Production, Animation, Game Design, Acting and more

Curriculum

Learn how to apply your artistic vision to the widest spectrum of digital experience for web, mobile, and tablet platforms, from gaming to broadcast mediums. Your focus is on creating big ideas, executing successful projects that consider current trends, technology, and consumer mindshare. You'll collaborate with thought leaders, work directly with clients, and partner with industry mentors to envision new design directions, emulating a digital agency experience.

The following is an in-depth breakdown of the Digital Design program given by Term and Subjects Covered. To get a sense of a typical week for a Digital Design student, visit What You Will Learn.

Program & Term Overview

Creating a Design Core – Terms 1-3 (6 months)

In the first half of the year, we provide you with a strong foundation in the ABC's of Digital Design. You learn why it is important to understand the core motivations of your Audience, and to create desirable products that meet both their current and future needs. You learn to navigate and manage the technical constraints of a project while considering business and Brands. You also learn the latest design tools, techniques and approaches that increase your capacity for design and your ability to execute larger more complex projects.

Weeks 1-8 (Term 1): Understanding Fundamental Design Approaches

Storytelling and problem solving are the core competencies of a designer. In Term 1 you will leverage your understanding of current tools to tell simple, powerful stories. In addition you are exposed to Human centered Innovation where your resourcefulness, and design process are put to the test.

By the end of term students understand fundamental communication design, and how simplicity, intent and storytelling are the foundation for great projects. Core competencies are built for identifying target audiences, pitching concepts, pre-visualization, composition, storytelling and post-production workflows. You develop a solid understanding of the tools, approaches and career opportunities available within our industry.

Subjects Covered

  • Career Opportunities
  • Presentation & Team Dynamics
  • User Experience & Human Centred Innovation
  • Creative & Art Direction
  • Photoshop
  • Interface Principles
  • Stop Motion & Post-Production Fundamentals
  • HTML & CSS

Weeks 9-16 (Term 2) Managing More Complex Technical Projects

In Term 2, you will leverage a strategy to create beautiful projects that focus on humanizing information, typography, and cross screen media. You will learn how branding and aspirational design choices are core strategic approaches to developing compelling emotional and aspirational projects.

You are exposed to responsive design while creating and interpreting wireframes, producing interface designs reflective of the tone, language and style of your project. In addition are able to consider more sophisticated technical constraints by expanding your understanding of HTML and CSS, along with a more advanced emphasis on lighting, chroma keying and advanced animation techniques for motion design.

By the end of term you will have further insight into your creative capacity as you are exposed to traditional production frameworks that consider your current abilities and execution of a solid project plan. Here, you'll produce your first portfolio pieces and participate in your first Digital Design Slam, working with teams made up of students from all levels of the program to produce exceptional results within a tight, focused timeframe.

Subjects Covered

  • Traditional Project Management Frameworks
  • Brand Strategy
  • Typography
  • Illustrator
  • Interaction Design
  • Information Architecture for Web
  • Motion Broadcast Design
  • Modeling & Materials in C4D
  • Advanced HTML & CSS - Responsive (elective)

Weeks 17-24 (Term 3) Creating Big Ideas Within Design Constraints

In Term 3, you delve into more advanced topics using increasingly more sophisticated tools and design processes. This term you will learn to engage a target audience by understanding the marketing and social media landscape while learning how to communicate information design across portable and cloud based media devices. The leverage these skills to develop a compelling strategy and campaign focused on creating social change. You learn to manage these projects through the use of agile project management techniques and scrum management.

In addition you venture into theoretical approaches and brand identities where you explore historical, ethical and philosophical design decisions that provide you alternative viewpoints for tackling today’s tough design challenges. You also pay visits to various local design agencies and have your first exposure to creative talent recruiters.

By the end of term mid waypoint you have enough exposure to creative approaches, industry roles, and production environments to understand your own design manifesto and make key decisions as you specialize in the second half of the year.

Subjects Covered

  • Networking & Production Environments
  • Agile Project Management
  • Historical Campaigns & InDesign
  • Theoretical Approaches
  • What's the Big Idea?
  • Branding & Identities
  • Data Visualization
  • Information Architecture for Mobile Devices (elective)
  • Experimental Practices in After Effects and Cinema 4D (elective)

Master Classes in Design – Terms 4-6 (6 months)

In the second half of the year, you are in the drivers seat and you get amplify what you love. Digital Design provides Master Classes and you create portfolio pieces in areas you are most passionate about. You tackle more sophisticated and technically complex projects, while defining and executing your graduate project. We round-out the year with a 5-week Employment Boot Camp, where you are exposed to a number of influential industry members as you focus on preparing and networking your way into your dream job.

Weeks 25-32 (Term 4) Specialization & Expanding Your Portfolio

Term 4 concentrates on master classes emphasizing core concepts while enabling you to create more sophisticated work for your portfolio. You have the option of extending your knowledge in design, through the transformation of brand strategies into beautiful packaging projects; creating mixed media title sequences or traveling deeper into the z-space with Cinema 4D. Interactive designers will be able to consider complex systems and identify contextual design opportunities as your interactive mind grows to consider the macro level.

There are optional opportunities to build entrepreneurial skills in our venture studio where you we look at writing business plans, funding, advanced marketing and launching IP, products or services In addition, you partner with the Head of Department (HOD) to identify portfolio gaps. While refining your pitching skills, eventually, you're paired with an industry mentor to help tackle your graduate project, which will serve as the cornerstone to your Digital Design portfolio.

Subjects Covered

  • Graduate Project Strategy
  • Graphic Design on Trend
  • Venture Studio Boot Camp
  • Advanced Design Principles
  • Designing for Lifestyle
  • JQuery & JavaScript (elective)
  • Motion Imagineering Boot Camp
  • Motion Title Sequence
  • Dynamics & Mo graph in C4D

Weeks 33-40 (Term 5) Building & Refining Graduate Projects

Term 5 is dedicated to the execution of the cornerstone project that best matches your chosen career profile. You work one-on-one each week with your industry or faculty mentor to bring your graduate project to completion. By executing a comprehensive design brief, you are exposed to the intricacies of studio-scale production.

Electives in this term give you the advanced techniques to shine in the industry while also affording you the chance to get additional assistance with your graduate project. Course content includes integration of 2D & 3D motion mediums to create more dynamic and emotional experiences and experimentation within core design tools to aid in defining personal styles.

Subjects Covered

  • Graduate Project Management
  • Graduate Project Development
  • Experimental Practices (elective)
  • Packaging Design (elective)
  • Persuasive Design/Gamification
  • Emerging Tools & Developmental Prototypes
  • Compositing & Motion Integration

Weeks 41-48 (Term 6) Building an Employment Launchpad

Your final term focuses on you and your professional status in the industry. Working with experts in portfolio development, employment strategy, and the business, law, and ethics of design, you develop and create your own unique professional identity, and begin a dialogue with outside companies.

You work directly with outside industry experts to refine both your portfolio and your communications strategy, giving you the best possible launch pad for your design career. Your student journey culminates with Appetizers, our networking event, which brings you face to face with the design professionals that are eager to meet you.

Subjects Covered

  • Building Your Professional Profile
  • Business, Law, and Ethics
  • Developing Personal Brands & Portfolios
  • Emerging Media Technologies (elective)