Animation Concept Art

Gain the skills, knowledge, and industry expertise needed to create visual concepts that capture the emotional core of your story.

You are passionate about the look and appeal of characters, environments, and animation.  You imagine new worlds, full of characters, vehicles, props and environment. You dream of designing the creative blue-prints for entertainment properties, the thematic brain-food that artist teams need to fully visualize stories for the film, TV, and game industries. You are a Concept Artist.

An Education in Animation Concept Art

Animation Concept Art: The Program

Creative Directors Colin Giles and Casey Kwan from the Vancouver Film School (VFS) chat with Head of Department Vanessa Jacobsen about the merits of the film school’s Animation Concept Art program.

Animation Concept Art: The Program

Animation Concept Art: The Philosophy

Casey Kwan and Colin Giles, Creative Directors for the Animation Concept Art program at Vancouver Film School (VFS), give insight into the structure and overarching philosophy of the one-year diploma course.

Animation Concept Art: The Philosophy

Animation Concept Art: The Students

Vancouver Film School (VFS) Animation Concept Art Creative Directors Colin Giles and Casey Kwan talk to Head of Department Vanessa Jacobsen about the program’s students and what they’ll experience at the film school.

Animation Concept Art: The Students

Program Breakdown

Explore the fundamentals of drawing, painting and animation and learn how to communicate visually.

Expand your fundamental skills through the exploration of creating new and exciting worlds.

Learn the fundamentals of translating words and ideas into compelling visual stories.

Collaborate and combine talents with a team and challenge yourself to create stories the world has never seen. Create increasingly sophisticated concepts and designs.

Dedicate your time and energy to your Final Project, a high quality pitch package that will form the backbone of your professional portfolio.

Focus on assembling your portfolio and prepare for your professional career and to unleash your creations on the world via your website.

  • program length

    12 Months

  • Time spent with instructors

    1000+ HOURS

  • Time Creating

    24/7

  • You Graduate with
  • A Diploma in Animation Concept Art
  • A professional-level portfolio
  • 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 Colin Giles first photo
Animation and Visual Effects Creative Director Colin Giles second photo

Colin Giles

Creative Director

Colin has over 17 years' experience as a Character Animator, Animation Director, and Designer, with credits in traditional and computer animation. His credits include work for Cartoon Network, Disney Interactive, and HBO.

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.

Animation and Concept Art Senior Instructor Jesse Winchester Schmidt first photo
Animation and Concept Art Senior Instructor Jesse Winchester Schmidt second photo

Jesse Winchester Schmidt

Senior Instructor

Jesse has a decade of experience as a director, designer, and concept artist in film and games. Positivity and determination follow him from the industry to the classroom!

Animation and Concept Art Instructor Jay Senetchko

Jay Senetchko

Instructor

Jay apprenticed with Gideon Flitt and Odd Nerdrum. He received an honourable mention in the 2013 Kingston Portrait Competition, was shortlisted for the Kurt Beers 100 Painters of Tomorrow, and was published in The Nerdrum School.

See more Instructors and staff

Faculty Career Highlights

Robot Boy poster, Animation and Concept Art staff credits

Robot Boy

Colin Giles — Timing Director

Ren & Stimpy poster, Animation and Concept Art staff credits

Ren & Stimpy

Colin Giles — Animator / Timing Director

Mickey's Phonic Quest poster, Animation and Concept Art staff credits

Mickey’s Phonic Quest

Colin Giles — Animator

A Little Curious poster, Animation and Concept Art staff credits

A Little Curious

Colin Giles — Animation Director

Reboot! poster, Animation and Concept Art staff credits

Reboot!

Casey Kwan — Supervising Animator

Everyone I've Ever Known poster, Animation and Concept Art staff credits

Everyone I’ve Never Known

Jay Senetchko — Artist

Dan Vs. poster, Animation and Concept Art staff credits

Dan Vs.

Colin Giles — Animator

Transformer: Battle Tactics poster, Animation and Concept Art staff credits

Transformers: Battle Tactics

Jesse Winchester Schmidt — Animation Director

Thomas and Friends poster, Animation and Concept Art staff credits

Thomas and Friends

Jesse Winchester Schmidt — Designer

BBC Focus Magazine logo, Animation and Concept Art staff credits

BBC's Focus Magazine

Jesse Winchester Schmidt — Freelance Illustrator

Campus Life

We’ve designed our campus to mirror the professional studios that surround us in Gastown, among the coffee shops, restaurants, and beautiful brick buildings. Using the latest digital drawing tools, in your own dedicated design studio, you'll collaborate with artists from other disciplines, such as filmmakers and sound designers.

Students walking the hallways of the Animation and Visual Effects campus

CAREERS IN ANIMATION CONCEPT ART

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

Storyboard Artist

A storyboard is a series of drawings that outline each scene and sequence in a given production. You’ll start as a storyboard revision artist or storyboard assistant. Layout artists take the production to the next stage, creating a detailed blueprint and staging for each scene.

Colour Artist

Colour Artists apply a lighting scheme to the characters and environments within a production’s environment to match the mood of the story. You may apply lighting schemes to characters, scenes, or entire sequences.

Character Designer

A Character Designer is instrumental in creating the look, composition, and personality of a character. The templates you’ll provide—model sheets, expressions, gestures—will serve as crucial references for productions with many artists involved.

Admissions Info

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

Tuition

Select Your Region

Start Dates

Select Your Region

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 us samples of your work that can include still-life drawings, life drawings, character or environment sketches, and computer artwork (e.g., Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.). Maximum 12 pieces.

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

We’re here to help you submit an application that best reflects your abilities, and gives you the best chance of being accepted. We've helped thousands of people complete a successful year at VFS by answering questions like these: 

APPLICATION TIPS

  • What does VFS look for in an application?
  • Can I apply if I haven't met all the requirements yet?
  • What does this part of the application form mean?

EXPENSES

  • How much does my program cost?
  • Can I pay in installments?
  • How much will I need for living expenses in Vancouver?

LOGISTICS

  • How do I get to Vancouver?
  • Where will I live in Vancouver?
  • Do I need a visa?