3D ANIMATION + VISUAL EFFECTS

Study art, animation, and storytelling in a studio setting.

Gain experience with traditional arts, computer animation, and cinematic storytelling skills in a professional, studio environment.

You are creative and passionate about animation, and enjoy creating stories that are inspired by your life experiences. You see computer animation as an instrument for telling your stories. You have the ability to evolve high-level concepts and still dive into the granular aspects of 3D design. You’re working to build a rock-solid art foundation that includes cinematic and technological training. You are a production artist.

An Education in 3D ANIMATION + VISUAL EFFECTS

Animation students in the render farm

Production

Work on the production and post-production of your film in a dedicated workspace, with advice from seasoned instructors.

Production

Animation student. Preproduction artwork.

Pre-Production

Dig into the research, design and asset building, as you narrow your focus and start pre-production for your film.

Pre-Production

Animation + Visual Effects Pipeline Class in Theatre

Animation + Visual Effects Pipeline

Explore the overall 3D animation and visual effects pipeline, and experiment with the different disciplines of 3D.

Animation + Visual Effects Pipeline

Program Breakdown

Study traditional arts and computer animation and build the foundation to work within the 3D computer animation environment.

Advance your 2D and 3D animation skills as you start to delve into the art of Life Drawing. Complete courses in 3D lighting, texturing, and visual storytelling.

Determine the focus for your final project. Prepare for, and pitch, your final project ideas. Dive into the pre-production of your project.

Moving into the studio, review your work weekly with mentors and instructors. Begin advanced courses in your chosen field.

Having completed, to deadline, all 3D pre-production requirements, get started on production of your project, maintaining a full production schedule under the guidance of your project supervisor.

Finalize everything and produce the final cut of your reel. Examine industry practices and ethics, and the steps to getting your start in the industry.

  • program length

    12 months

  • Time spent with instructors

    1000+ Hours

  • 3D Animation + Visual Effects alumni on Film and TV

    2672+ credits

Specializations

3D Animation / Modelling / Visual Effects

 

See program breakdown and full course descriptions for more information.
  • A Diploma in 3D Animation
  • A mastered demo reel of your final project
  • Access to the VFS Alumni Directory and Job Board

Key Faculty

Our Animation instructors come right from the industry, and offer an unparalleled education based on decades of real-world experience, designed to give students the skills, contacts and confidence to kick start their careers.

Head of Animation and Visual Effects Vanessa Jacobsen first photo
Head of Animation and Visual Effects Vanessa Jacobsen second photo

Vanessa Jacobsen

Head of Department

Over the years, Vanessa has built strong partnerships in the entertainment arts industry to enhance the student experience and to support graduates transitioning into their careers.

Animation and Visual Effects Creative Director Casey Kwan first photo
Animation and Visual Effects Creative Director Casey Kwan second photo

Casey Kwan

Creative Director

Casey has devoted himself to the computer animation industry for 20 years. For the last five years at VFS, he has focused his experience as a Production Designer, CG Supervisor, and Art Director, to shape VFS's industry-focused curriculum.

Modelling Senior Instructor Michael Monks first photo
Modelling Senior Instructor Michael Monks second photo

Mike Monks

Senior Instructor – Modelling

Mike comes to VFS with over 15 years' experience as a production artist with studios such as Mainframe, Nerdcorps, Nexon and Nitrogen. He has been a Lead Technical Director and Modelling  Supervisor on projects ranging from episodic television to mobile gaming.

VFX Senior Instructor Melissa Best first photo
VFX Senior Instructor Melissa Best second photo

Melissa Best

Senior Instructor - VFX

Melissa brings 14 years of industry experience to VFS. She started her career in motion graphics, which led to a visual effects job at Frantic Films (Prime Focus). She has since gone on to work as a senior compositor and compositing supervisor on films such as Pan, Hunger Games Mocking Jay Part 2, Insurgent, Jupiter Ascending, Godzilla, Maleficent and Guardians of the Galaxy. Melissa finds a passion for teaching and mentoring, and has taught at various studios in LA, San Francisco, Vancouver and Mumbai, and is currently a Visual Effects Sr. Instructor at VFS.

Mentorship and Industry Relations Lead Sarah Von Fersen first photo
Mentorship and Industry Relations Lead Sarah Von Fersen second photo

Sarah Von Fersen

Mentorship + Industry Relations Lead

Sarah has over 17 years experience working in the VFX, animation, and games industry. She started her career working as a modeller for The Jim Henson's Creature Shop and, before coming to VFS, was the Sets and Characters Lead for Pixar Canada. Other studios include Electronic Arts and Framestore.

Pipeline Supervisor Craig Shiells photo

Craig Shiells

Pipeline Supervisor

See more Instructors and staff

Faculty Career Highlights

Alice Through the Looking Glass poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Oded Granot  — Digital Compositor

Pan poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

Pan

Melissa Best — Stereo Compositing Supervisor

Pixar logo, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

Pixar

Sarah von Fersen — Character and Sets Lead

Furious 7 poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credit

Furious 7

Oded Granot — Furious 7

Inusrgent poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

Insurgent

Melissa Best — Stereo Compositing Supervisor

San Andreas poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

San Andreas

Lia Ioanniti — Compositor

Hotel Transylvania 2 poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

Hotel Transylvania 2

Eric Luhta — Animator

Chappie poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

Chappie

Eric Luhta — Animator

The Amazing Spider-man 2 poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Wesley Chandler — Animator

Guardians of the Galaxy poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

Guardians of the Galaxy

Melissa Best — Stereo Compositing Supervisor

The Interview poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

The Interview

Oded Granot — Digital Compositor

Divergent poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

Divergent

Lia Ioanniti — Compositor

Maleficent poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

Maleficent

Melissa Best — Stereo Compositing Supervisor

Fury poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

Fury

Oded Granot — Digital Compositor

Godzilla poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

Godzilla

Melissa Best — Stereo Compositing Supervisor

Captain America: The Winter Soldier poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Melissa Best — Stereo Compositing Supervisor
Lia Ioanniti — Compositor

Edge of Tomorrow poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

Edge of Tomorrow

Oded Granot — Senior Compositor

300: Rise of an Empire poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

300: Rise of an Empire

Melissa Best — Stereo Compositing Supervisor
Lia Ioanniti — Digital Compositor

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Wesley Chandler — Animator

Family Guy Online poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

Family Guy Online

Mike Monks  — Lead Artist

Dragon Booster poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

Dragon Booster

Casey Kwan  — Environment Designer
Mike Monks  — Modellg Supervisor / Lead Technical Director

Thomas and Friends poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

Thomas & Friends

Colin Giles — Lead Animator

Skate 2 Poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

Skate 2

Craig Shiells  — Lighter
Sarah von Fersen — Character Artist

Space Chimps poster, Animation and Visual Effects staff credits

Space Chimps

Vanessa Jacobsen — Facilities Administrator

Campus Life

We’ve designed our new campus to mirror the professional studios that surround us in Gastown, among the coffee shops, restaurants, and beautiful brick buildings. You’ll create with our custom-built character rig (built by Long Winter Studios), and render through the Qube! render farm, as you collaborate with artists from other disciplines, such as filmmakers and sound designers.

Student walking the corridors of the Animation and Visual Effects campus

CAREERS IN 3D ANIMATION + VFX

As an Animation + Visual Effects graduate, you’ll leave VFS as a well-rounded artist with specific skillsets. Depending on the size and style of the animation studio you work in, you may specialize in one field or work in many. 

Visual Effects Artist

As an Effects Artist, you’ll be responsible for the creation of natural and supernatural phenomena and compositing them into a finished image. Effects range from the subtleties, like the removal of wires, to extremely complex effects, like water or explosions.

Character Animator

You’ll create animatics and reference, and use that material to create an authentic character performance. Animators are "actors" and you’ll need to have an intuitive understanding of physical and emotional performance. Whether for film, television, or games, animators breathe life into a wide range of characters.

Modeller

Using a Designer's conceptual drawings, you’ll create the 3D geometry that Animators later use to create motion. A team of multiple Modellers may be broken up into different positions, including Character Modeller, Prop Modeller, and environment Modeller.

ALUMNI SUCCESS

Vancouver Film School grads are some of the most successful professionals in the 3D Animation and VFX industries. Take a moment to browse some of their accomplishments and achievements. The Alumni Success Stories feature tales of triumph and fame, and will open in another window to take you to the VFS Blog page. Grad Career Highlights offers a glimpse at some of our amazing alumni credits and contributions to the industry.

Alumni Success Stories

Grad Career Highlights

Star Wars Episode VII poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

Ryan Clarke — Senior Compositor
Maximilian - Gordon Vogt — Character Modeler
Shivas Anthikkat — Digital Paint Artist

Spectre poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

Spectre

Shivas Anthikkat — Digital Paint Lead
David Skorepa — Texture Artist
Raphael Santos — Digital Compositor
Saptarshi Chakraborty — Compositor
Seok Jang — Digital Compositor
Maximilian - Gordon Vogt — Digital Modeler

Halo 5: Guardian poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

Halo 5: Guardians

Andrew Bosold — 3D Environment Artist

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

Paul Copeland — Asset Supervisor
Marcela Silva — Compositor
Michelle Skrzyniarz — Compositor
Vikram Mohan — Animator / Matchmove Artist
David Skorepa — Texture Artist
Remo Wieland — Visual Effects Artist
Daphne De Jesus — Digital Modeler
Saptarshi Chakraborty — Compositor

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip

Angelo De Witt — Senior Digital Paint Artist

In the Heart of the Sea poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

In the Heart of the Sea

13 grads from 3D Animation + Visual Effects worked on In the Heart of the Sea.

Point Break poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

Point Break

Freddy Chavez Olmos — Senior Visual Effects Compositor
Ehsan Shokrgozar — Technical Director
Jeff Tetzlaff — Lead CG Modeler
Teh-Wei Yeh — Lighting Technical Director
Dean Mangion — Matchmove Artist

The Last Witch Hunter poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

The Last Witch Hunter

Ehsan Shokrgozar — Technical Director
Alan Fregtman — Pipeline Engineer
Jeremy Ezekiel — Digital Compositor
Dean Mangion — Matchmove Artist
Michael Miller — Digital Modeler
Rene Allegretti — Matchmove Artist
Shawn Sahara — Roto & Paint Artist
Jagdeep Saggu — Roto & Paint Artist
Werner ten Hoeve — Compositor
Manley Gage — Digital Compositor
Priya Ayengar — Compositor

Maze Runner: Scorch Trials poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Angelo De Witt — Senior Digital Paint Artist
Armando Velazquez — Digital Compositor
Alex Berson — Digital Compositor

Hotel Transylvania 2 poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

Hotel Transylvania 2

Jordan Catracchia — Senior Production Services Technician
David Wesch — Animator
Dhruv Govil — Pipeline TD

Goosebumps poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

Goosebumps

11 grads from 3D Animation + Visual Effects worked on Goosebumps. Read more on our blog.

Fantastic 4 poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

Fantastic 4

Derek Rein — Compositor
Alan Fregtman — Pipeline TD
Jeffrey Struthers — Animator
Priya Ayengar — Compositor
Denny Ertanto — Digital Compositor

Straight Outta Compton poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

Straight Outta Compton

Ehsan Shokrgozar — Pipeline Developer
Bernhard Kimbacher — Visual Effects Supervisor
Dean Mangion — Matchmove Artist

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Vikram Mohan — Matchmove Lead
Allen Holbrook — Senior Animator
Vivek Karmarkar — Compositor

Ant-Man poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

Ant-Man

Jamie Bowers — Visual Effects Artist
Raphael Santos — Compositor
Maximilian - Gordon Vogt — Digital Modeler
Jesus Yapor — Compositor
Shawn Sahara — Roto & Paint Artist

Terminator Genisys poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

Terminator Genisys

Brian Fukushima — Lighting/Lookdev TD
Veronica Marino — Compositor
Josephus Van Eenbergen — Software Developer
Xin Guo — Layout TD
Vivek Karmarkar — Compositor
Allen Holbrook — Senior Animator
David Skorepa — Texture Artist
Vikram Mohan — Matchmove Artist

Pan poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

Pan

21 grads from 3D Animation + Visual Effects worked on Pan.

Pixels poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

Pixels

15 grads from 3D Animation + Visual Effects worked on Pixels. Read more on our blog.

Jurassic World poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

Jurassic World

Leon Li — Digital Artist
Kaelen Cohen — Digital Compositor
Jeff Tetzlaff — Lead CG Modeler
Ehsan Shokrgozar — Pipeline Developer
Keith Turner — Animator
Alberto Landeros — Digital Compositor
Teh-Wei Yeh — Lighting Technical Director
John Iskandar — Senior Lighting Technical Director
Dean Mangion — Matchmove Artist
Shing Wai Law — 3D Generalist
Ryan Clarke — Senior Compositor

Mad Max: Fury Road poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

Mad Max: Fury Road

William Towie — Digital Compositor

Frozen poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

Frozen

Maia Neubig — Character TD
John Wong — Animator
Lino DiSalvo — Head of Animation 

Game of Thrones poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

Game of Thrones

24 grads from 3D Animation + Visual Effects worked on Game of Thrones.

Big Hero 6 poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

Big Hero 6

Maia Neubig — Character Technical Director

The Last of Us poster, Animation and Visual Effects alumni credits

The Last of Us

Ana Cho — Shader / Texture Artist

Admissions Info

To make sure you have accurate admissions information please select your region based on country of citizenship.

Tuition

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Start Dates

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Requirements

You will be asked to submit one of the following along with your application. Your advisor can help with selecting the best option.

Send samples of your work that include life (preferred), still, or character drawings, and 3D computer work (maximum 12 pieces total). When you apply to the 3D Animation + Visual Effects program, we expect that you have some 3D experience. If you don’t have sufficient 3D experience you may be given conditional acceptance based on the strength of a combination of your other computer artwork (e.g. Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.) and your drawing skills. You'll find information on how to send your portfolio in the application form, or you can ask your Advisor.

When you talk to your Advisor, let them know that you've completed the Foundation program and they will put a copy of your diploma in your file for you.

For more about language requirements and other information for international students, visit the International Students page.

We Can Help

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