VFX Grad Living Her Dream Career
Carina Lotecki was the first student in her class to land a job after graduating in 2021. Today she is a CFX (cloth effects) artist on major feature films.
Fresh out of the gate she was hired by Cinesite to work on THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2 and is now at Digital Domain working on SHE-HULK.
In her own words, “I am doing hair, cloth, and muscles all in Houdini and getting really good shots assigned to me which is awesome. It really put me at an advantage learning Houdini at VanArts because a lot of CFX artists only know CFX in Maya. I’ve even been able to share Houdini tips with other artists, which is pretty cool.“
Meet Imaobong Udofa
Soon after graduating in fall 2020, VFX graduate Imaobong Udofa was hired at Sony Pictures Imageworks in Vancouver, as a matte painting/environment artist on Hotel Transylvania 4.
Listen to his story of how VanArts gave him the tools for success.
A Message from our Department Head
Wade Howie is a VFX industry pioneer with over 30 years of experience at Industrial Light & Magic, Electronic Arts, and award-winning work in features, games, and commercials.
Watch this important message from Wade explaining how our classes are running in a blended delivery method for local students during the pandemic, and how students outside Vancouver can opt to take the entire program online.
VanArts’ Visual Effects program is designed to familiarize you with the fundamentals of visual effects production. In the first 3-month term you will learn the basics of 3D Modeling, Animation & Rendering, 2D Image Manipulation & Compositing, and the history of visual effects techniques. The goal for Term 1 is to build a strong understanding of the building blocks of FX production as it applies to feature films, TV series or video games & cinematics.
3D Fundamentals Art Foundation Compositing 1 Photoshop 1 VFX History VFX Production 1
During the second term you will begin to master the concepts and tools learned in Term 1, plus introductions to industry-standard software HOUDINI for dynamic visual effects. Intermediate FX topics such as Dynamic Simulations and Character Rigging will be studied with an emphasis on how and why things work the way they do. The goal for Term 2 is for you to understand the process of VFX production on an abstract level.
Compositing 2 Concept Development Houdini 1 Maya for VFX 1 Photoshop 2 VFX Production 2
In Term 3, you begin “colouring outside the lines” as you are required to apply your skills in inventive and innovative ways to solve a variety of production requirements. Advanced topics such as Procedural Modeling and Destruction will emphasize creative solutions to complex production problems. You will also begin specializing in areas of particular interest for your final demo reel, and be introduced to Matte Painting. The goal for Term 3 is for you to demonstrate innovative and analytical thinking as well as artistic and technical expertise.
Intro to Python Scripting Compositing 3 Houdini 2 Matte Painting 1 Maya for VFX 2 Pre-production Shading for VFX 1 VFX Production 3 VFX Workshop
The final term at VanArts is dedicated to the production of an industry grade demo reel for showing to potential employers. Working under the guidance of industry-pro faculty, you will create a showcase for your particular skills and talent and polish it using industry-standard softwares. 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 in VFX!
Compositing 4 Houdini 3 Matte Painting 2 Maya for VFX 3 Shading for VFX 2 VFX Production 4 VFX Weeklies
Wade HowieHead of Visual Effects and Head of Game Art & Design
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 & Rhythms.com Data Dancers, and Prix Pixel/INA, CGX: Pepsi Japan Pepsiman campaign. IMDB
Graduated from Vanarts, Esdras has nearly a decade of experience in the movie industry on over 30 feature film & TV credits including iZombie, The Magicians, Doctor Strange, Hunger Games, X-Men, and many others. Esdras has worked as Roto Lead and Digital Compositor at Method Studios Vancouver and is now starting up his own Visual Effects Studio – Wezarts Studios Vancouver. He is passionate about movies, games, magic and helping anyone willing to hear from him.
Graduated from VanArts, Johnson started out in the industry as a matchmove artist, and later switched to FX. He has worked at Image Engine, Digital Domain, and Method Studios, and is credited in over 30 films such as Avengers Infinity War, Pokemon Detective Pikachu, and Maze Runner. His favourite part about teaching FX is that it is both technical and artistic-driven. He has a M.Sc. in computer science and a passion for all things CG!
Martin BastianInstructor - Maya
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.
Michael is a matte painter and environment concept artist. Currently Michael is at Zoic Studios doing matte painting in episodics (the Hundred, Falling Skies and the upcoming Wayward Pines among others). Previous studios include MPC (Malificent) and Gener8. Prior to visual effects, he was in the games industry in environments at Electronic Arts. His base is in the traditional arts, having studied at Emily Carr prior to getting into digital world.
Pete McGowanInstructor - 3D Fundamentals
Instructor - 3D Fundamentals
Pete has worked in the VFX industry for close to 10 years, many of those at Digital Domain. Specializing in photorealistic live-action CG integration for AAA features, episodics and commercials, Pete has worked a variety of roles including integration artist, compositor, on set supervisor, and freelance architectural visualization. He currently works as a CG Supervisor at Track VFX, a specialized tracking facility.
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.
Program Duration12 Months
Next Start DatesMarch 13, 2023 September 5, 2023 March 11, 2024 September 3, 2024
VanArts' diploma program in Visual Effects for Film & Television is the leading destination for training in a rapidly growing and booming work force.
We have been recognized by SideFX Software as a certified Houdini Training Partner. In addition to HOUDINI, our Visual Effects program instructs students in other leading industry tools, such as MAYA and NUKE.
Instructors in this program teach in-person at our Vancouver campus as much as possible, but some instructors may also teach remotely. Remote instructors still teach lessons to all students at once, whether they be on-campus or off-campus.
As a certified Houdini training program, all Visual Effects students receive a free commercial license of Houdini from SideFX Software ($2,000 value) upon graduation.
The Rookies is a highly respected resource for aspiring creatives to grow their skills, connect with mentors, and find schools that will help them become the digital professionals of tomorrow.
This program has been approved by the Registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.
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 Visual Effects 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)