Program Duration12 Months
Next Start DatesSeptember 5, 2017 March 12, 2018 September 4, 2018 March 11, 2019
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. Courses are designed and taught by industry leaders to prepare you for work in 2D/3D environments, character modeling, lighting, texturing, interface design and concept development.
What You'll Learn
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.
3D Fundamentals Analytical Figure Drawing 1 Art Foundation Game Engines 1 High Rez Modeling 1 Intro to Mobile Games Photoshop 1 Production History & Game Analysis
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.
Analytical Figure Drawing 2 Character Modeling 1 Concept Development for Mobile Games Digital Concept Art Environment Modeling 1 Game Engines 2 Hard Surface Modeling 1 High Rez Modeling 2
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.
Intro to Python Scripting Art Direction 1 & Concept Development Character Modeling 2 Digital Concept Art 2 Environment Modeling 2 Game Engines for VR Hard Surface Modeling 2 High Rez Modeling 3 Shading for Games 1 Texture Painting 1
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 HowieHead of Visual Effects and Head of Game Art & Design
Head of Visual Effects and Head of Game Art & Design
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 & Rhythms.com Data Dancers, and Prix Pixel/INA, CGX: Pepsi Japan Pepsiman campaign.
Bob holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Animation from the Emily Carr University of Art & Design, and a Diploma in Digital Animation. Since 1999, he has worked as a Cinematic Director, Lead Character Modeler, Technical Artist and Animator, and a Maya and Zbrush instructor for the Art Institute of Vancouver, BCIT, Emily Carr University of Art & Design, Radical Entertainment and VanArts.
Jun Huang is a fine-arts painter, sculptor, model maker, 3d modeller/texture artist, prop builder, and concept artist for games, movies, and television. His professional experience includes work on permanent displays for The Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina, video games such asFIFA, The Bigs (Baseball), Dead Rising series, and card games including Reign of Dragons and Lord of Dragons to name a few. He has also been teaching and mentoring at 3D animation schools for the past 7 years while also creating a number of successful art products. He has lived in Regina (Saskatchewan), Vancouver, and Shanghai, and he sometimes works overseas for freelance projects. He returned to Vancouver to kick-start his own series of animal anatomy sculptures.
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 Canada, Mass Effect 1 at Bioware, and most recently at Vancouver’s Capcom Games Studio on Dead Rising 2, Dead 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.
Julio is a 3D Modeler, 2D Texture and Concept Artist at local social gaming company FunPlus, and co-owner of a model painting company Static Grass Creations, reflecting his love of colour, texture and design into all his work. He has many years of experience in Maya, Photoshop, ZBrush and other digital painting softwares, and has won awards for his Beasts of War concept art.
Nicholas Tay is a 14-year veteran of the video gaming industry. He studied illustration at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, which prepared him for a lack of sleep and his career as an Art Director and Artist on such notable videogame franchises as Need for Speed, NBA Street and SSX. Recently, Nicholas has added gallery shows, toy design and advertising illustration to his area of play. His client list includes: Electronic Arts, Ubisoft,Hasbro, Cossette, Stuff Magazine, East Side Games and the Vancouver Canucks.
Kevin started his industry career at Blue Castle Games when he transitioned from freelance artist. Currently, Kevin is an Environment Modeler with Capcom Game Studio in Vancouver creating models, textures and lighting. He has had experience with games such as The Bigs 2, Dead Rising 2 and Dead Rising 2: Off the Record. He is also a past graduate of VanArts Game Art & Design program in 2008.
Joe Crawford is an experienced teacher, computer animator and fx artist. With over 18 years experience in 3D software packages, Joe is a wealth of knowledge. Previously, Joe worked at Mainframe Entertainment where he produced animation and special fx for several television series including Reboot, Beast Machines and Action Man. Joe owns his own company which produces educational media and offers technical support.
From Diploma to Degree
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:
Meet Ken Ha
Coming from the Vancouver mainland, Ken studied at Simon Fraser University and had a background in marketing & communications. Not entirely happy with this line of work, he came to VanArts to pursue his dream of working in the gaming industry.
Creating a Professional Demo Reel
At VanArts, Ken worked hard to produce the best quality demo reel he could, with the support of his instructors and classmates.
Leading the Way in the Industry
Close to graduation, Ken’s work was reviewed by industry reps from Archiact Interactive, a new mobile games company who came to VanArts scouting for new talent. Ken was hired to work for them as a Concept Artist, and made the suggestion of converting their game into VR. This project was so successful, they launched a sequel, and the company has grown as a result.
Ken is now an Art Lead at Archiact. Watch this video to hear his story!
Get Into the Game
If Ken’s story has inspired you, get in touch with us today to apply for Game Art & Design at VanArts.
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)