Game Art & Design

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The video game industry earns $100 billion annually. Console, virtual reality, mobile, and PC gaming studios all welcome new talent. A strong portfolio and desire to work on a team are key assets for your career in the game industry.


This program may be taken in person at our Vancouver campus, or 100% online from anywhere in the world.

Check out our video of the latest student work from the program..

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Student Success

From VanArts to Fortnite

Game Art & Design graduate Vivek Manu turned his passion for games into a powerhouse career—all from his home in Calgary!

Mastering his craft online, Vivek gained a world-class education at VanArts without stepping outside his door, and saving a bundle in the process.

Today he is crushing it at Roarty Digital working on Fortnite. In this video, Vivek talks about the advantages of studying online and how he landed his first job.

Meet Nick D’Amico: Professional Game Developer

After graduation from VanArts, along with his fellow classmates, Nick co-founded Digital Cannoli Games. This VanArts dream team is now channeling their talents and passion into building their very own gaming empire.

Listen to his story in the video below, and also check out this story about how Nick took his studies online to save costs, all while getting the same world-class education and mentorship.

Recent Credits for VanArts Graduates

Graduates in Game Art & Design at VanArts are working at major studios all over the world, on everything from mobile games to AAA console titles.

…and it doesn’t end with video games. The skills they learn cross over into animation & visual effects companies as well!

Studios that hire our grads include Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Animal Logic, Digital Domain, IGG Canada, Kabam, Rogue Factor, Koolhaus Games, Next Level Games, ICON Creative, Waterproof Studios, Cyberconnect2, & many more.



Term 1

The Game Art & Design program begins by teaching the fundamentals of traditional and digital art forms. Within traditional art, life drawing, anatomy, perspective, color theory and composition are the roots of observational skills applying to all forms of art. Simultaneously, we teach the core fundamentals of current digital art programs such as Maya, Zbrush and Photoshop. This combination of balanced instruction in both the traditional and digital art forms lays the foundation for your success as a well-rounded digital artist, including introductions to game engines and mobile gaming.

Artistic Photography

3D Fundamentals Analytical Figure Drawing 1 Animation for Games Art Foundation Game Engines 1 High Rez Modeling 1 Photoshop 1 Production History & Game Analysis

Term 2

With a foundation in traditional and digital art from Term 1, the focus in Term 2 turns to more advanced techniques and how they apply specifically to the video game industry. You will advance your 3D skills and apply them from concept development to modeling, through to a final professional art asset. Term 2 becomes a vital first run pass through the Game Art Pipeline, and also advances into concept development for mobile games.

In Term 2, you will also embark on a 6-week “comic book assignment” where you create a game level based on a popular comic character entirely on your own. This exercise helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses as a game artist, and prepares you for a group project in the upcoming Term 3.

VanArts Game Art Industry Night

Analytical Figure Drawing 2 Character Modeling 1 Digital Concept Art Environment Modeling 1 Game Engines 2 Hard Surface Modeling 1 High Rez Modeling 2 Texture Painting 1

Term 3

Term 3 is focused on “combining disciplines” and “bringing it all together”. In this term you will learn more advanced techniques for pre-production and be introduced to the industry production-pipeline and work-flow concepts. Working in a studio-like environment, you begin the term by pitching your project idea for your final demo reel. Once approved, your project is moved through the production pipeline. Industry-style weeklies are introduced where your work is critiqued by the instructors, and constructive criticism is given to ensure quality and to keep you on schedule.

Students also work as a team in Term 3 to produce a fully-fledged video game demo in 8 weeks, and smaller teams can group up to pitch mobile and console game concepts.

Art Direction 1 & Concept Development Character Modeling 2 Digital Concept Art 2 Environment Modeling 2 Game Engines 3 Hard Surface Modeling 2 High Rez Modeling 3 Shading for Games 1

Term 4

The final term is dedicated to the production of an industry-grade demo reel to show potential employers. Under the guidance of our industry-pro faculty, you will apply the knowledge and experience you have gained throughout the year. Post-production techniques such as compositing are introduced, while weeklies and tech support ensure the final quality of your reel, the most important asset and foundation for your entry into the industry. Visit us on YouTube to view samples of student demo reels.

Art Direction 2 Character Modeling 3 Environment Modeling 3 Game Art Weeklies Hard Surface Modeling 3 Post-Production Support Shading for Games 2 Texture Painting 2


Wade Howie

Head of Visual Effects and Head of Game Art & Design

Wade Howie

Head of Visual Effects and Head of Game Art & Design

A pioneering artist in digital visual effects, Wade Howie’s production career spanning 3 decades has included 12 years with George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic as VFX Supervisor/Director, Head of Modelling and Animation, & Creative Director for animated TV and commercials.  His other roles include Art Director for games at Electronic Arts, on-set Supervisor for various CG/live action hybrid productions, and journeyman FX and lighting artist for film & TV. His feature credits include Terminator 2, Hook, Star Trek VI, Jurassic Park, The Mask, Casper, The Wild, Watchmen, TRON:Legacy and The Thing. As well as training and mentoring new CG artists in industrial settings across Europe, US, Canada and Africa, Wade has worked as a college professor and consultant for new studios bringing CG artists online. Wade has also contributed at software development firms Alias Research Inc. (Maya) and Side Effects Software Inc. (Houdini), and has a background in traditional art and design as well as filmmaking. Wade has received many awards for the commercials he has supervised, Clio (Animation): Star Wars Pepsi (Marfalump), Clio (VFX): Dodge 1997 campaign, Animation Magazine Awards: Hefty GingerBread Man & Data Dancers, and Prix Pixel/INA, CGX: Pepsi Japan Pepsiman campaign. IMDB

Wade Credits

Izmeth Siddeek


Izmeth Siddeek


Izmeth Siddeek has over a decade of professional experience in the film & video game industry as a Lead Character Artist, Visual Development Artist, and Modeler. He has worked on Fifa 2007 at Electronic Arts CanadaMass Effect 1 at Bioware, and most recently at Vancouver’s Capcom Games Studio on Dead Rising 2Dead Rising: Case Zero and The Bigs at 2k Sports. He is proficient in several software packages and has presented his work at the Game Developers’ Conference (GDC) in San Francisco. Izmeth has also worked on the films Superman Returns and Scooby Doo 2. IMdB Game Developers’ Conference

Izmeth Credits

Lisa Griffiths


Lisa Griffiths


Lisa has 8 years of professional experience in a variety of creative roles including 3D Modeler, Sculptor, Texture Artist, Animator, 2D Concept Artist, Animator and Illustrator. After graduating from Digital and Classical Animation at Capilano University she worked as a freelance artist on children’s TV show pitches and educational games. She gained her first studio experience at Blue Castle Games where she learned the pipeline for realistic console games such as The Bigs 2 and MLB Manger, then transitioned onto the action adventure title Dead Rising 2 at Capcom. She later made the shift into mobile games where she worked on Sky Punks, a children’s title, at Fathom Interactive and a currently unannounced title at IGG. Lisa also has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a keen interest in human development. She is fascinated by the ways in which people overcome challenges and evolve as learners.

Martin Bastian

Instructor - Maya

Martin Bastian

Instructor - Maya

Martin Bastian has more than 15 years of professional experience in the animation industry. He has worked in various roles of production, from 3D Generalist and 3D Character Animator to Lighting & Composting Artist and CG Supervisor. Major companies he’s worked at in Vancouver include Mainframe Studios, Bardel Entertainment, Atomic Cartoons & Arcana Studios. He is currently working for some major animation shows in production.

Gilberto Jimenez


Gilberto Jimenez


Gilberto graduated from VanArts and has over three years experience as a VFX Environment Artist and CG Generalist for film and TV, game trailers and cinematics, and animation in Vancouver studios such as MPC, Bardel, LUX Vfx, and IGG Inc. A fast learner who is always willing to try different things, acquire new techniques and work with the shared disciplines of the creative CG craft, he’s also made short films, some of which were exhibited at international film festivals such as Short Shorts, Short Shorts Asia & Japan, CutOut Fest, and Monterrey International Film Festival. Currently developing new artistic projects for future distribution, he works full time as an Environment CG Generalist at IGG Vancouver on the cinematics team.

Ferdinand Donessa

Instructor - Environment

Ferdinand Donessa

Instructor - Environment

After graduating from VanArts, Ferdinand worked as a Teacher’s Assitant for the Game Art and Design Program. In the last few years, he has garnered experience as a technical artist, modeler, surfacer, and look-dev artist. Playing a role in a wide variety of projects, he has been able to expand his knowledge and adapt to the different work environments for mobile gaming and animation. He has worked in several Vancouver studios including Koolhaus Games, Wildbrain Studios, and Bardel Entertainment.


Program Duration

12 Months

Next Start Dates

September 3, 2024 March 10, 2025 September 2, 2025 March 9, 2026

The Game Art & Design diploma program is a hybrid of traditional and digital art, right from foundation to specialization. Here you get to focus your craft in creating concept art and assets for the film, game and television industries, with an equal emphasis on art development for mobile gaming and 3D console games and creating fully play-able video game levels in Unreal Engine.

Through individual assignments and group projects, you are taken through the entire pipeline for video game production. Your final demo reel can focus on character modeling, environment modeling, concept art, or specialized tasks such as rigging, level design, or VR game development.

Skills You Will Learn:

• Training in Maya, ZBrush, Python
• Game development in Unreal engine
• 3D modeling & figure drawing
• Surface, shading & texture design
• Mobile & VR game development
• Motion capture

Career Opportunities:

• Game Designer or Developer
• 3D Modeler (Characters or Environments)
• Concept Artist
• Texture Artist
• Rigging Artist

Industry-professional instructors in this program teach in-person at our Vancouver campus as much as possible, while some instructors may also teach remotely. Remote instructors still teach lessons to all students at once, whether they be on-campus or off-campus.

PTIB Approved

This program has been approved by the Registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

Degree Pathways

VanArts has articulation agreements in place with several well established universities/colleges in Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. These degree pathways allow you to complete your bachelor’s degree in as little as one year after your studies at VanArts. This gives you the advantage of two credentials; a professional diploma and an undergraduate degree. These partnerships may not only save you money in tuition cost, but allows you to transition easily from VanArts to the partner institution while continuing your educational pathway in your chosen field of study. For international students, completing your BA degree in as little as two years of additional study with our local university partners provides you with the option to apply for a Canadian work permit, which may lead to permanent residency or Canadian citizenship. This list represents the pathways, universities and specific degrees available for graduates of Game Art & Design at VanArts:

Tuition Costs


$34,750.00 CAD


$41,750.00 CAD

Additional Information

Payment Schedule

10% deposit upon acceptance to hold your seat
40% six weeks prior to start date
50% by end of Term 1 (3 months into studies)

Supplies and Equipment
In addition to tuition, most programs have some costs related to supplies and equipment.

  • Pencils (2B – 6B, Blue Col-Erase) (Blue Pencils must not be “non-photo blue”!)
  • Art Erasers
  • Notebook for taking notes during lectures
  • 3-Ring Binder (for handouts and notes) (the best habit is to get several binders, each in a different color, one for each class)
  • 12-inch ruler (in inches and centimeters)
  • External Hard Drive (1TB minimum to back up files)
  • Wacom Tablet Intuos Pro 8×10
  • Pastel Canson Paper Pad (14 x 16)
  • Set of 12 soft pastels
  • Exacto Knife
  • 6 cool gray Tria markers (values: 2,4,6,8,10,black)
  • Pilot pens (01,03,05)
  • Brushes (size: 000,1,6)
  • Life Drawing supplies:
    • 1 Pad of plain newsprint (16 x 20 or larger)
    • 1 Sketchbook (for when it gets nice outside, not too small but easy to carry)
    • Pencils (graphite, conte, whatever suits your fancy)
    • Peel-off China marker
    • Staedtler mars graphic 3000 brush pen
    • Faber Castell duro gel .05 black ink pen
    • Stick charcoal and a charcoal pencil (*note: packs of stick charcoal go a long way, instead of buying 1 pack each, split the coast among 3 of you and that will last you fine)
    • 1 kneaded eraser
    • 1 sharpener or exacto knife
    • Sandpaper (optional- for sharpening)
    • An anatomy reference book (optional)

Estimated cost: $630* *These are estimates only and assume that no required supplies or equipment are currently owned.

Interested in Game Art & Design?

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