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

Develop Skills

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

Develop Skills

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

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

    1008 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

Our instructors are professionals with decades of experience as filmmakers, sound designers, visual artists, and graphic designers. They are dedicated to sharing their extensive knowledge and industry expertise to help you thrive in your future creative training. 

Head of Foundation Visual Art and Design Shane Rees first 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

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.

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.

Grad Career Highlights

Jurrasic World poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Jurassic World

Dean Mangion — Matchmove Artist
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

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

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

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

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

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

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

The Interview poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

The Interview

Natalie Van Hest — Art Department Coordinator

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

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

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

The Expendables 3 poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

The Expendables 3

Joao Bogossian — Compositor
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

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

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

Guardians of the Galaxy poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Guardians of the Galaxy

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

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

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

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Alex Berson — Senior Digital Paint Artist
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

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

Transformers: Age of Extinction poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Joao Bogossian — Compositor
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

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

Edge of Tomorrow poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Edge of Tomorrow

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

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

X-Men: Days of Future Past poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

X-Men: Days of Future Past

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

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

Godzilla poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Godzilla

Alex Berson — Senior Digital Paint Artist
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

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

Dustin Shea — Production Assistant
Also a grad of 3D Animation + VFX

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

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

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

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

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

Captain America: The Winter Soldier poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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

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

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

300: Rise of an Empire poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

300: Rise of an Empire

Alican Sesli — Compositor
Also a grad of Classical Animation and 3D Animation + VFX

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

Sheena Johnson — Production Management
Also a grad of Classical Animation

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

Thor: The Dark World poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Thor: The Dark World

Thomas Nugent — Compositor

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

Ender's Game poster, Foundation Visual Art and Design alumni credits

Ender's Game

Bradey Strong — Lighting Lead

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

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

Thomas Nugent — Compositor

Admissions Info

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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.

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: 

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