A Message from our Department Head
Wade Howie is a VFX industry pioneer with decades 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 during the pandemic, and how international students can start the program online until the time is right to enter Canada for in-person classes.
Meet Vikas Ganer
VanArts welcomes dozens of visual effects students each year from India. Since graduating, Vikas Ganer‘s career has given him credits on over 40 productions, and taken him into studios such as Method, MPC, Scanline, Double Negative (DNeg), Gener8, Atmosphere and Zoic.
Hear his own story here:
Helping the MCU reach the ENDGAME
The biggest movie of all-time, AVENGERS: ENDGAME, required nearly 2,500 VFX shots. Working for some of the most prestigious studios in the world were eight VanArts grads.
VanArts VFX grads work around the world delivering high quality animation and visual effects. From AVATAR to IRON MAN, and from THE EXPANSE to STAR TREK: DISCOVERY on television, our alumni are helping create the fantastic worlds and breathtaking visuals you see on the screen.
Is our one-year VFX program intense? You bet it is – but the results are worth every minute spent learning.
An Ocean of Alumni bring AQUAMAN to the Screen
If you’ve seen AQUAMAN, you’ve seen the work of 37 graduates from VanArts who brought their talents to the film.
Much of the work was done right in our own backyard, as Vancouver is the world’s #1 Hub for Animation & Visual Effects. Dozens of studios make their home here, and our program draws from local industry to make sure our students are job-ready.
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
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.
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!
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.
Weverton Alves is a digital artist with experience working for Marvel, DC, Warner Bros, TNT and other studios. His credit list creating visual effects includes Batman vs. Superman, Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Captain America: Civil War, R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour, Spooksville, and many other features, TV movies, and short films. IMDB
Program Duration12 Months
Next Start DatesSeptember 8, 2020 March 15, 2021 September 7, 2021 March 14, 2022
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.
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.
Your journey as a visual effects artist at VanArts is simple: master the tools, specialize in achieving visual and technical quality, and produce a professional demo reel based on what studio supervisors and recruiters want to see.
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)