Visual Effects for Film & TV

Learn how to make visual effects for movies, television and web series in VanArts' one-year intensive program. Our instructors have worked on some of the industry's biggest blockbusters and will mentor you all of the way through the program.

See student work, read grad success stories and much more below!

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Student Success

Avengers Endgame vfx students from VanArts

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.

 

Star Wars Rise Skywalker visual effects VanArts

The Will of the Force

VanArts grads are working right now on the final chapter in the Skywalker family story, EPISODE IX: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER.

Ever since the 2015 return of STAR WARS movies, our visual effects graduates have worked on THE FORCE AWAKENS, THE LAST JEDI, SOLO and ROGUE ONE. And we have grads working on the first STAR WARS TV series too, THE MANDALORIAN.

And as more STAR WARS entries move into production we hope to see more familiar names in the credits…

 

Aquaman visual effects animation workers VanArts

An Ocean of Alumni bring AQUAMAN to the Screen

If you’ve seen AQUAMAN, you’ve seen the work of 36 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.

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:

Curriculum

Term 1

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

Term 2

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

Term 3

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

Term 4

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

Faculty

Wade Howie

Head of Visual Effects and Head of Game Art & Design

About
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 & Rhythms.com Data Dancers, and Prix Pixel/INA, CGX: Pepsi Japan Pepsiman campaign. IMDB

Bob McAfee

Instructor

About
Bob McAfee

Instructor

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.

Esdras Prudente

Instructor

About
Esdras Prudente

Instructor

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.

Michael Pilling

Instructor

About
Michael Pilling

Instructor

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

Instructor

About
Weverton Alves

Instructor

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

Overview

Program Duration

12 Months

Next Start Dates

March 9, 2020 September 8, 2020 March 15, 2021 September 7, 2021

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

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.

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 Visual Effects at VanArts:

Tuition Costs

Canadian

$30,750.00 CAD

International

$37,750.00 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
  • Art Eraser
  • Large Sketchbook (16×20 or larger)
  • Hardcover Sketchbook (8-1/2×11)
  • 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)
  • Wacom Tablet Intuos Pro 8×10
  • External Hard Drive (1TB minimum to back up files)
  • Graph Paper
  • course related textbooks

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

Interested in Visual Effects for Film & TV?

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