FOUNDATION VISUAL ART + DESIGN

Build a foundation in traditional art techniques combined with training in modern visual media.

You are passionate about art and design. You know you have a future in visual media but need to develop a body of work that will reveal your potential. Whether you're inspired by film, design, or animation, you are driven to explore your creative identity and discover exciting new possibilities. You are an artist.

An Education in FOUNDATION VISUAL ART + DESIGN

Foundation student making preliminary sketches

Develop Skills

Develop fundamental skills in visual communication, colour theory, composition, and storytelling. Solve problems with creative design.

Develop Skills

Foundation class. Life drawing.

Know the Industry

Discover industry-standard software and production processes. Hone your life drawing skills while establishing the script and visual style for a short film.

Know the Industry

Students set up the camera for a shoot

Specialize

Commit to a specialized stream, then pitch and complete your final project under faculty mentorship. Define your artistic vision through real-world production challenges.

Specialize

Program Breakdown

Explore your drawing and lens-based skills as a basis for creative development. Gain hands-on experience with 2D composition, investigate the history of media, and explore filmmaking, with emphasis on documentaries.

Broaden your creative skillset through extensive visual art work. Delve into the psychology of art and media history alongside classes that develop your writing and drawing skills.

Demonstrate a growing understanding of creative communication and expression. Apply media production principles in motion graphics, video, and animation.

Complete a personal project that draws upon the creative skills you've developed in previous terms. Select your specialization for your final project in filmmaking, animation, or design.

Define concept development and fully commit to the creation of your final project. Prepare for the production challenges of your chosen stream with specialized courses that will help direct your work.

Complete your final project and assemble your portfolio, website, or show reel to prepare for graduation. Present your completed work to a faculty panel for final critique and grading.

  • Program Length

    12 Months

  • Time spent with instructors

    1000+ Hours

Specializations

Animation / Film / Digital Design

See program breakdown and full course descriptions for more information.
  • A Diploma in Foundation Visual Art + Design
  • A portfolio showcasing your work
  • Access to the VFS Alumni Directory and job board

Key Faculty

All VFS 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 Foundation Visual Art and Design Shane Rees first photo
Head of Foundation Visual Art and Design Shane Rees second photo

Shane Rees

Head of Department

Prior to VFS, Shane served as Head Engineer at Western Post Production. Shane has been recognized with a Leo Award for his film work and three additional nominations for television work, from his own ADR recording company.

Foundation Visual Art and Design Senior Instructor David Leith

David Leith

Senior Instructor

David is a Fine Art photographer and digital artist with a background in music composition and performance. His work has been exhibited and published for over 20 years in North America and Europe.

Foundation Visual Art and Design Instructor Chad Costen first photo
Foundation Visual Art and Design Instructor Chad Costen second photo

Chad Costen

Instructor

Chad's background is in illustration and props production. His talent—in costume design, creature effects, and puppetry—is also evident in his storytelling, from his feature film, The Coming (2009), to his web series, GAIA(2013-14).

Art and Creativity/Art History Instructor Jeremy Todd

Jeremy Todd

Instructor – Art and Creativity (Art History)

Jeremy is an interdisciplinary artist, teacher, writer, and curator. His work focuses on the construction of cultural memory and its socio-political effects. He has taught undergraduate studio, art history, and critical theory.

Life Drawing Instructor Ryan Peter

Ryan Peter

Instructor – Life Drawing

Ryan has participated in recent exhibitions at Or Gallery, Vancouver and Susan Hobbs, Toronto. He was a finalist for the 11th annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition, which exhibited at the Musée d'art Contemporain de Montréal.

Instructor Jay Senetchko photo

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

Smallville poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design staff credits

Smallville

Shane Rees — ADR Recordist

Charlotte's Song poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design staff credits

Charlotte's Song

Chad Costen — Head Puppeteer

The Dead Zone poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design staff credits

The Dead Zone

Shane Rees — ADR Recordist

Sharpe Sound Studios logo, Foundation Visual Art and Design staff credits

Sharpe Sound Studios

Shane Rees 

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design staff credits

Honey, I shrunk the Kids (TV)

Chad Costen — Prop Builder

Gaia, The Series poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design staff credits

Gaia, The Series

Chad Costen — Writer, Director

Death Wish poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design staff credits

Death Wish

Chad Costen — Writer, Director

Death and Objects II Exhibit photo, Foundation Visual Art and Design staff credits

Death and Objects II

Ryan Peter — Artist

Sediment Exhibit photo, Foundation Visual Art and Design staff credits

Sediment

Ryan Peter — Artist

3 Gates of the Dead poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design staff credits

3 Gates of the Dead

Chad Costen — Director

Campus Life

Your year inside Foundation Visual Art + Design will put you in close contact with students in a host of other VFS programs, from animators and filmmakers to designers and actors. This downtown training facility features near round-the-clock access to computers, work space, and production resources. You'll also be surrounded by the city's best cafes, restaurants, and cultural attractions – not to mention some of the leading animation studios, film productions, and design agencies.

Students brainstorming for a mural at the VFS Foundation Visual Art and Design Campus

AFTER FOUNDATION

As a graduate of Foundation Visual Art + Design, you'll have a high-quality portfolio and hands-on visual media experience that will allow you thrive as a creative talent. The skills and confidence you develop will equip you for success in related VFS programs.

Film + Television

20% of students who graduate from Foundation Visual Art + Design go on to advanced VFS programs that focus on the Film + Television industry.

 

Animation + Visual Effects

After completing Foundation Visual Art + Design, 28% of graduates continue to specialize in VFS's Animation and/or Visual effects programs.

GAMES, DESIGN + TECHNOLOGY

17% of Foundation Visual Art + Design graduates further their studies in either Game Design, Digital Design, or Programming for Games, Web + Mobile.

ALUMNI SUCCESS

Vancouver Film School grads are some of the most successful professionals in the entertainment and creative arts 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

Spectre poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Spectre

Seok Jang — Digital Compositor
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Game of Thrones poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Game of Thrones

Chung-Yin Hsieh — BG Plate Prep
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Halo 5: Guardians poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Halo 5: Guardians

Robbie Elias — Lead Audio Implementer
Also a grad of Sound Design for Visual Media

Jurrasic World poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Jurassic World

Dean Mangion — Matchmove Artist
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Point Break poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Point Break

Dean Mangion — Matchmove Artist
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

Daphne De Jesus — Digital Compositor
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

The Last Witch Hunter poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

The Last Witch Hunter

Dean Mangion — Matchmove Artist
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Priya Ayengar — Compositor
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Alex Berson — Digital Compositor
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX 

Hotel Transylvania 2 poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Hotel Transylvania 2

Dhruv Govil — Pipeline TD
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX and Classical Animation

Fantastic Four poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Fantastic Four

Priya Ayengar — Compositor
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Goosebumps poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Goosebumps

Seok Jang — Digital Compositor
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Taylor Lenton — Lighting TD
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Pixels poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Pixels

Oliver Seemann — Matte Painter
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Timothy Chou — Stereo Supervisor
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Samson Wong — Environment Artist
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Pan poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Pan

Chun-Ping Chao — Digital Compositor
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Chung-Yin Hsieh — Senior Prep Artist
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Bradley Strong — Lighting Artist

Ant-Man poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Ant-Man

Jesus Yapor — Compositor
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Avengers: Age of Ultron poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

The Avengers: Age of Ultron

Jen Kuan (Kevin) Wang — Elements Artist
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

San Andreas poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

San Andreas

Thomas Nugent — Compositor

Chun-Ping Chao — Compositor
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Chung-Yin Hsieh — Senior Prep Artist
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Gursimran Khalsa — Visual Effects Coordinator

Fast and Furious 7 poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Fast & Furious 7

Oliver Seeman — Matte Painter
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Taylor Lenton — Look Development
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Chung-Yin Hsieh — Senior Prep Artist
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Alex Berson — Digital Compositor
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX 

Dead Rising: Watchtower poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Dead Rising: Watchtower

Christian Foss — Production Manager, Line Producer
Also a grad of Game Design

Seventh Son poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Seventh Son

Jocelyne Ward — Witness Camera Operator

Priya Ayengar — Stereoscopic Paint Artist
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Taylor Lenton — Lighting TD
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Insurgent poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Insurgent

Timothy Chou — Stereo Supervisor
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

Chappie poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Chappie

Dean Mangion — Matchmove TD
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

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.

The Foundation Visual Art + Design program is ideal for those needing to develop a portfolio required to enter one of VFS's professional programs, or for those that enjoy more than one entertainment arts discipline and are unsure of what they wish to pursue as a career. There are no program-specific entrance requirements.

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

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