Start Learning Animation & Visual Effects


3D Foundations Certificate

a 12-week Introduction to 3D concepts


VFX school student in class
2 Students taking photograph
Observational Drawing Class with students and instructor
Study and learn LIVE with our Masters from anywhere in the world!

The 3D Foundations Online Certificate program is a 12-week commitment that will introduce you some basic animation and visual effects skills and therefore is the perfect beginner course for students looking to study vfx or animation. The program will include an introduction to 3D modeling, texture creation and basic animation, art theory, photography, cinematography, rendering, particle and dynamic FX and compositing. The program also includes observational and communication drawing (story boards).

This program may be for you if you:

  • Are interested in 3D animation or visual effects for film, games, tv or other industries but you are not ready to make the investment for a year of professional training.
  • Have no background in 2D or 3D tools and want a good head start before beginning an intensive training program for industry
  • Are just looking for a short term program that will introduce you to the basics of 3D design and creation.

If you have previous experience, you may be interested in our career development 48-week 3D Animation & VFX Production Diploma program.  To get more details about this program click HERE.  Any students who want to continue learning with our one-year 3D Animation & VFX Production Diploma, we will offer a special tuition rate for returning students!

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



  • A good, relatively modern computer workstation.  Dual monitors recommended.  Wacom medium tablet recommended.
  • A reliable internet connection
  • A reasonably quiet place to work, listen and speak while you are in live training sessions.
  • Software installed on your workstation.  Free student versions of all software is available to you. We can help you get set up.
  • A decent headset with a microphone.  A webcam is recommended.  Speakers and a free standing mic WILL NOT WORK.
  • A great learning attitude.  We love teaching, so we hope you love learning.
3D Essentials

3D Essentials is an introduction to Maya, an industry standard 3D application used to create visual effects, animation and video games. The course will familiarize students with the fundamentals of 3D Maya interface, objects, hierarchy and animation. In addition, these four topics will translate into most 3D software applications and provide a foundation for using 3D software.

Observational Drawing

The purpose of this course is to develop the observational skills needed in the other disciplines.  For example, students will conduct a detailed study of shape, shadow and light utilizing objects from simple geometry to complex organics with emphasis on learning to observe subtleties.

Communication Drawing

Commercial artists must be able to convey instructions simply and visually using basic sketching skills.  Above all, Communication Drawing is about sketching simplified images that convey specific information for use in storyboards and concept art.

Art Theory

This class provides an essential foundation in the history and psychology of art by studying known master works. Students will discuss the concepts of art, beauty and critique, focusing on how to articulate interpretation. Verbal articulation of visual ideas is essential to the success of the commercial artist.


Students will learn to use Photoshop, a primary still media development tool across many industries.


In this course, students will  create digital still images using correct exposure and focus techniques. Students will learn the optical and mechanical properties of the camera needed to manipulate a virtual camera in a 3D animation program.

Intro to Cinematography

The goal of this course is to introduce each student to the basic fundamentals of motion picture cinematography, to include both technical knowledge and artistic application. Special focus will be placed on the specific camera and lighting equipment to be used throughout the duration of the course. Topics will include, but are not limited to: camera operation, composition and framing, lens choice, camera movement, setting proper exposure, lighting, blocking and continuity.

Intro to Dynamic FX

In the Intro to Dynamic FX, students will learn the fundamentals of procedurally generated dynamic simulations such as the collision of rigid bodies, fire and fluid simulations and simulated destruction using Houdini. Houdini is the current industry standard for dynamic simulations. CG Masters is a certified Houdini training centre.

Intro to Compositing

This course is an introduction to compositing using Nuke. Students will learn to navigate the nuke environment and to manipulate image sequences, pull keys, track and composite layers.

Intro to 3D Rendering

An introduction to 3D rendering will involve using an industry standard renderer such as Arnold or VRay. Students will learn to generate fully lit, textured images from the 3D environment.

Our Admin Team are happy to answer your questions!