3D Animation & VFX Production Diploma

This second term of training will take you to another level (level up!) It’s now time to face every imaginable obstacle we can conjure in individual production. We couple this intermediate training with your first team-based full cycle production project.

Imagine yourself guided by not one, not two but six of the most experience production gurus on the continent. In this environment it is impossible not to absorb the wisdom, philosophy and knowledge of professionals. This second Term of training will take you to a level beyond the training available anywhere else. We couple this intermediate training with your first practicum production project.

First, you will learn to model and paint more complex, organic objects. You will learn about great polygon flow and how to keep it as simple as possible. Rigging and animation of these organic objects is more complex as well, and you will delve into dynamic simulations of cloth, hair and fluids. Lighting and Shading will be all about mood, style, colour and composition as you learn to express yourself with light, shadow and hue.

Second semester compositing will hone and develop the various practical skills you need to actually work in the industry. But that sure isn’t the end of it. In each class, the models you build, texture, paint, rig, animate and render will be part of a team project, just like in real production pipelines. You will learn to communicate between departments, leads and supervisors. You will learn how to estimate tasks (a skill that is very rare) and how to prioritize them (equally rare).

You will learn all about team hierarchy and communication. You will learn the rules of dailies. These rules ensure that every time you walk out of the daily review, your work will move always toward final and never away from it. Don’t think this will be all roses and sunshine. Learning to work in a production team for the first time is a big challenge, maybe the biggest you’ve faced.

You will probably be frustrated from time to time, but we are there to guide you through every step. You will limp your way across the finish line, take a deep breath and be delighted with the work that has been generated by your team; the great shots you can put on your demo reel, along with your own personal work.

With this experience under your belt, just imagine what you could pull off in the term 3 practicum!

3D Production class. Ah yes. This is where, as they say, the Rubbah meets the road. This is the centre of all your other second semester classes. Students will be supervised and directed through a team project calling on each discipline. You will be asked to commit to one or more disciplines for the duration of the project. Don’t worry, you can change again for 3rd Term to try something new out, and we will either give you special mentor-ship or switch you out if you are struggling. Remember we have a responsibility to educate you and the best way to do that is to finish the project. There is something amazing that happens about half way through a project. First, people get frustrated. Then they start to learn how to think through their problems. Then they start to learn how to work together. Then they discover the power behind real, co-creative teamwork. It is a beautiful thing. This is your first opportunity to experience production. You will begin to understand your place in a CG team and your team will create imagery far better than you might have imagined on your own.

Learning Outcomes The successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • perform assigned production tasks within a team environment
  • receive critique and address notes quickly and accurately
  • display personal workflow efficiency and professional behavior

3D modeling is almost the most fun you can have at a computer. Like creatures? Monsters? Characters? You’ll love this class. our Master modeler Rocks. You w.ill get into detailed organic models and finely detailed sculpting. If you are detail oriented, if you love the idea of creating creatures from your imagination, maybe you should consider specializing in modeling. Get assigned as a modeler for you Term 2 project and you’ll have more modeling than you can handle. It will be busy…intense even. It will be a great opportunity to grow as an artist. Building on the skills and knowledge from the previous semester, artists will create more complex geometry including organic shapes using advanced techniques and digital sculpting tools like ZBrush or Mudbox. Students will learn to create final textures in multiple layers for use in their lighting and shading class. Student models will be assigned to coordinate with the class project in Production II.

If you have both an artistic and a technical bent, then 3D Rigging 2 will probably be of great interest to you. Not only do you get to build a skeleton that will permit the animation of some sort of monster or funny character, the way you rig it will inform the personality behind the character. You are much more than just a technician. You are an active participant in determining the final animation performance. In fact, the very best animators are skilled riggers. It’s easier that way too. Animators and riggers are always complaining to each other, so if you do both jobs, you’ll have nobody to blame but yourself. This class builds on the skills and knowledge from the previous semester. You will begin working with organic shapes such as a plant, a human body and a face. You will move along to character and creatures. The complexities of rigging an object for natural, realistic deformation will be covered in detail. Skeletons, blend shapes and deformers will be used for rigging. Students will begin to use scripting to optimize and automate their rigging workflow.

Learning outcomes Upon completion of this course the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • rig an organic object like a tree or flower
  • rig a humanoid character or an animal
  • rig a human face for speech and expression

With 3D animation basics under your belt, you will begin to focus on creating a believable and engaging performance both with a character and with a camera. In this class you might be faced with a funny character, a terrifying monster or a bizarre alien creature to animate, depending on the Term 2 team project that you will be tackling with your classmates. You might be assigned the job of Digital D.P. (Director of Photography). That means it will be your job to place and animate the camera to bring life to each and every shot no matter the point of view or motion needed. Camera moves are trickier than they might sound at first. Because everybody is accustomed to seeing camera moves with real cameras that have to obey certain physical laws and the limitations of their tripods, trucks or armatures, it is important to try and keep the camera within these rules of reality if you are trying to keep it realistic. Of course your virtual camera has no such limitations so there will be opportunities to experiment endlessly with camera moves that have always been impossible for real cameras. It is a new world with new technologies and you, the next generation of film-maker, have better tools at your command. Use your imagination to break new ground in film photography. Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of this course the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • deliver a believable physical character performance.
  • show an understanding of body mechanics.
  • show an understanding of sub-text driven emotion through character performance.
  • animate a vehicle
  • animate a camera

Learn Katana, the industry’s most powerful lighting and LookDev tool.  Be taught by one of the world’s foremost experts in CG lighting and LookDev.  This course takes theoretical lighting out of the box and lets it loose in a real production environment. Taking 3D Lighting and shading to the next level in Term 2, you will be exposed to colour theory, design and composition. You will learn about mood created by light colour, intensity, size, shape, motion and position, each a powerful aspect of light. Learning the human psychological reaction to each aspect will give you a great understanding of light. Learning how to wield each one individually and how to combine them will make you a powerful lighting artist and designer. You will learn to understand the visual nature of complex materials and lighting and you will learn to design CG lighting for mood, context and power. You will learn to mimic real-world lighting for use in visual effects shots. And most importantly, you will receive practical lighting experience as you light and shade scenes and objects that are part of the Production II team project.

Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of this course the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • create and implement a lighting design with a specific intent
  • create and implement Visual Effects lighting to match CG elements to a photographic plate.
  • create valid and visually correct materials and lighting for both full CG and Visual Effects shots.

Love your first semester 3D Particles course? Dig deeper into the powerful world of Houdini. Build on your experiences from first term. Explore more advanced fluid dynamics, hair, cloth and combinations of these. Accomplish more with further integration of Rigid Body Dynamics and particles. Have you wondered how they create fire and smoke in feature films? What about digital water, lava, slime or blood. Ever wanted to try creating natural-looking cloth for a character? Ever wanted to make hair or fur cascade over a shoulder or blow in the wind? That’s what this class is all about. 3D Particles and Dynamics are not for the timid. If you are more of a visual artist with less of a technical outlook on the world, the 3d particles and dynamics demands on you will be appropriate for you. If, on the other hand you are a math whiz, have a coding background and just love engineering procedural processes, you are going to fall in love. Just like all the other classes, your 3D Particle and dynamics class will be used to accomplish the tasks for the Production 2 project. You will receive your training from one of the finest particle effects / dynamics TDs available. CG Masters is also Houdini Certified School for Visual Effects by SideFX

Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • create a variety of effects involving simulations
  • integrate different simulation techniques
  • understand and be able to implement production requirements such as caching for efficiency and automation of procedures

Compositing is about much more than using the tools to layer together rendered or photographed elements. Subtlety of eye is critical to a great composite. A deep understanding of highlight and shadow, of lighting and material interaction is critical. In this course, you will learn advanced digital compositing techniques. Lessons including the importance of shot breakdowns for effective digital compositing. You will also learn how and when to use mattes, incorporating 2D and 3D visual elements, colour space and grading, motion tracking and rotoscoping techniques. Shot assignments in this course will be based upon the requirements of the Production II project. If you have been reading through all the course descriptions, you will know that the Production II project is the centerpiece of this semester. All courses, including digital compositing, revolve around the production project. In this way you will learn more than just the tools, but the practical use of the tools on a realistic project. Nothing will prepare you for employment better than this!


Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • identify and resolve compositing issues with poor quality footage
  • understanding CG render passes
  • composing a CG shot for maximum visual appeal and impact
  • apply rotoscoping techniques to add and remove elements from a visual effects shot
  • work collaboratively on production project