If you’ve ever enjoyed the 3D art and animation on a video game, feature film or animated movie, have you ever wondered who gets to earn their living making that?
The answer is that at least some of them are graduates of BCIT’s 3D Modeling, Art & Animation certificate program.
This program was created specifically at the request of industry employers who are constantly searching for skilled, qualified 3D artists and animators for a growing industry of animation and 3D art in visual effects, games, film, TV, and more. The need for 3D artists and animators is larger than ever before and BCIT gives you the creative, design, and technical skills you need to take your passion for art and animation and mould it into a successful, exciting career
About the program
12 months, full time
Prepares you to work in gaming, film, and TV
Earn hands-on industry experience
Optional continuing study to earn bachelor’s degree upon completion
Learn more about how BCIT prepares you for your career success at the Program Details.
Who should complete the 3D Modeling, Art & Animation Certificate?
We have many students enter the program directly from high school, as well as many who are working and looking to return to study to prepare for a new career.
This program might be a perfect fit for your career goals if you:
Have strong problem-solving skills
Have an interest in the combination of art, technology, and research
Are excited to learn new skills in creating 3D assets and animations
Have computer knowledge in PC and MAC environment
Are intrigued by the creative opportunities in design for games and visual effects
If any of these sound like you, apply today through the Program Entry page.
What grads can do
By preparing your own demo reel while training with working industry professionals, you’ll be building the essential know-how and resume for a successful career in animation and 3D art.
With the technical and applicable skills like storyboarding, creating film-quality computer graphics, and creating 2D and 3D animations, you’ll be prepared to begin a new career immediately after graduation. And whether you choose to enter the workforce right away or not, you also have the option of continuing your education to complete a bachelor’s degree through full-time or part-time study.
The work of some of our graduates could be found in productions of game and films studios such as Electronic Arts, Radical, Microsoft game studios, Bioware, Nerd-Corps, The Embassy, A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. Games, Capcom, Rainmaker, Eidos, and Pixar.
Applications will be reviewed and assessed by the program area when the entrance requirements are complete. Applicants will be contacted for the following:
Portfolio review session with the Digital Arts department*
*Applicants must bring their portfolio to the portfolio review session. The portfolio should consist of 6 - 10 pieces, one of which must be a sketchbook which includes some Life Drawing or other artwork such as painting, 2D or 3D design, sculpting, photography etc.)
Within two business days of submitting your completed application, BCIT will send a message to your personal and myBCIT e-mail addresses. All correspondence regarding your application will be posted to your online myCommunication account at my.bcit.ca. We'll send you an e-mail when a new message is posted. It's important to watch for these e-mails or regularly check your account online.
You can expect to receive communication concerning the status of your application within four weeks.
The courses in the 3D Modeling, Art & Animation certificate program were chosen and designed by working industry professionals so you receive the most up-to-date, applicable training on today’s methods and software. You’ll have access to our computer labs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help with your studies in courses like modelling 3D assets and characters, 3D Animation, Character Rigging, Game Design Pipeline, and more.
Courses will be scheduled either during the day, in the evenings or during the day on weekends for a maximum of 25.0 hours per week.
This course introduces students to the principals and terminologies used in Digital Compositing and Visual Effects. Along with the Compositing 2 & 3 courses, students will practice variant methods and techniques currently utilized in 3D productions. The course is taught using Adobe After Effects, one of the leading applications in the field of motion graphics. Students explore different digital output formats (such as HD and film), create new compositions and import different types of media into a project. They will animate layers across time and space, and utilize animation curves to control a layer’s movements. Variant shortcuts are explored to allow for an efficient production and a better control of timing. Students will create titles and credits for a demo reel using Text Animators, create a digital storyboard and time it’s shots correctly, use QuickTime compression and render their final files. Previous graduates' demo reels will be studied as examples of the sequence of compositing and editing in a successful demo reel.
This course introduces students to image creation and editing software and how it specifically applies to texturing 3D objects. Students will create and prepare textures for 3D objects using industry standard image editing software. Students will explore different methods of photo manipulation and texture creation, alongside the basics of applying those textures in 3D animation and modeling software applications with minimal stretching or visible seams. Students will be introduced to unwrapping the UVs of various organic (animals, human and creatures) and hard surface models early on and its importance will be reinforced in most assignments and tests.
Rigging is the process of preparing and setting up 3D models for animation. In this course, students are taken through the steps of specific 3D modelling techniques to setup and prepare a basic 3D object for animation. The course will focus on the rigging of basic characters and props. Students will create a skeleton for different 3D model types and prepare and setup a rig for different 3D models, bind structures to geometry and work with meshes and skeletons.
Modeling clean animate-able meshes is an essential skill in the 3D Industry. 3D Design 1 will focus on instilling proper modeling workflow including concept development and reference gathering. Through lectures, in class demonstrations and assignments, students will learn tools and techniques to model non organic objects and environments. Design 1 begins with a thorough introduction to Maya's interface. Students will then continue to learn about NURBS mesh types and the tools needed to create clean well layed out NURBS surfaces. Polygon modeling will be introduced and all tools will be covered in depth. Focus will then shift to modeling non organic environments (closed and open) with the final few weeks dedicated to creating a larger environment for the main term assignment. In modeling, repetition and practice is essential, therefore Design 1 contains a heavy workload of assignments.
This course explores the fundamentals of animation using cutting edge 3D software. Students will cover a mixture of topics such as posing, timing, key-framing, interpolation, transformations and rendering. Through assignments and exercises, the students will build experience, setting the stage for more advanced topics and exercises in the second semester.
In the first term of production students will explore the roles, responsibilities and tasks in the creation of 3D graphics. Students will work with production tools and focus on the skills and positions to create finished works. The first half of the term will focus on digital concepts, story and design, There will also be a focus on UV unwrapping, 2D imaging and texturing, Students will spend time weighting and rigging models for animation. The last half of the semester students will focus on camera work and editing, lighting and rendering.
This course will cover fundamental concepts involved in traditional 2D animation. Students will be developing their animation skills in timing and acting while learning the principles of animation. During the course students will learn the studio procedures for the creation of a professional piece of animation. Each assignment will focus on the core skills needed to be successful in the traditional and digital animation industry. In the second half of the term students will learn basic storyboarding and character design techniques necessary to create a short film.
This course builds upon the skills and knowledge gained in Compositing 1 with advanced topics and techniques in the fields of Visual Effects and Digital Compositing. Students also will integrate these skills in their projects for other courses taught throughout the term. Vector and Raster based masking will be introduced with special emphasis on the process of Rotoscoping. Students will use Expressions to create dynamic Camera-shakes as well as advanced animation with audio-sync and filters. Color correction will be explored in depth with emphasis on Levels and how it impacts lighting of a scene and editing the final demo reel. Students will also use Stabilizing, and 2D Tracking and its applications. Previous graduates demo reels will be studied as examples of the sequence of compositing and editing a successful demo reel. Prerequisites: MDIA 1182
In this course students will build upon the principles of texturing from Term 1, using specific techniques to create believable and stylized surfaces. Texturing will be explored in more depth with an emphasis placed on details. Students will use photographic reference images to enhance the believability of their work. Through working with industry standard sculpting applications, students will create color and detail textures for organic and solid objects. Prerequisites: MDIA 1183
In this course students will produce materials and employ techniques to enhance their effectiveness in finding a job and performing well in the creative electronic media work place. Emphasis will be placed on professional business communication, résumé/cover letter preparation, interview/networking techniques, presentation skills and effective teamwork. Students will hone these essential skills to industry standards in a workshop setting that encourages self-evaluation, constructive feedback and collaborative group work.
In this course students will build on the essential rigging techniques learned in the previous term and advance their skills in 3D character setup. Students will create a proper skeleton for a human or creature character based on the expected motions, setup character rigs for that skeleton, and skin, and bind the structures to the mesh. In addition, students will utilize the inverse and forward kinematics controls for complex animation. Creating facial rigs for human or non-human characters to present different facial expressions and lip movement is also discussed. Students will practice scripting for rigging to enhance the overall performance of a character rig. Prerequisites: MDIA 1335
Building on the foundations of Design 1, we will focus on modeling the human head using a variety of techniques. Students will come to understand the typology of the human head, its underlying structure and how these play a role in modeling the head. Modeling the body will also be taught with focus on the hands and feet. The creation of hair will be discussed and a variety of methods for different hair styles will be demonstrated. The ZBUSH software package will be introduced and how it interacts with Maya. Students will be taught what is known as the "ZBRUSH Pass", importing their models into ZBRUSH and adding a displacement map. Higher Poly smoothing methods will be discussed, allowing the students to move to a more polished finished product. Another major theme in this term is the ability to present one's ideas in a clear format. Throughout the term, student will learn to focus their ideas and present them on paper through a well designed, well referenced character concept. This term will culminate in the modeling of that character, the end result of which will be placed on the students demo reel. Prerequisites: MDIA 1630
This course continues to build on the core principles of animation the student has taken in MDIA 1640. Animation exercises covering weight lifts, dialogue, full body acting, and 2 character interactions allow the student to develop further acting skills. The course delves deeper into the creative and technical world of character setup. Methods and techniques for creating highly interactive spines, simulation of a forearm's ulna and radius skin deformation will be explored. Students will create control splines to manage deformations in a highly intuitive manner. Foot Roll effects, breathing controls and tails will all be covered in the character setup component. By the end of the term students will submit 3 possible final animation proposals. Prerequisites: MDIA 1640
In the second term of production students will work with lighting and surfacing in greater depth. Students will practice lighting scenes with final gathering, global illumination, and ambient occlusion. Time will be spent on how to split up scenes into separately rendered passes, and then composite renders into final footage. Students will work on their final demo reel concepts and there will be a peer review of student work. There will be an emphasis on efficiency and the creation of a reasonable workload for the student to create a demo reel. In the last half of the semester we will study particle, rigid-body and soft-body simulations. The semester will conclude with a peer review class of the work done throughout the semester. Prerequisites: MDIA 1660
This course is based on optimizing 3d models, animations and textures created by students in terms 1,& 2 for the purpose of integrating them into the game engine. In this course students will be assigned to teams based on their skillsets and abilities. Each team will be creating a game level concept based on the 3D assets they created in the previous terms. They will be taught how to optimize their environmental models, Characters, Props and texture for the game engine. Then, students will be setting up lights, environments, mood and atmosphere and animations based on their game concept. The final project of this course will be a working high quality and playable game level that is properly designed and setup based on current industry standards. Prerequisites: MDIA 2630 and MDIA 2640 and MDIA 2660
Students build on skills and knowledge gained in Compositing 1 and 2, and explore more advanced topics and techniques in the fields of Visual Effects and Digital Compositing. Editing the final demo reel and proper online delivery is the focus. Students examine 3D camera tracking and its applications in compositing live and CG footage, set extensions, as well as a method for achieving planner tracking. They also explore keying green or blue screen shots and how to render a CG scene in passes in order to successfully integrate it with keyed shots. Variant useful Effects are used to achieve the desired final look for demo reels. Editing and colour correcting demo reels are examined, as well as final output formats for successful online delivery (such as to Vimeo or Youtube). Prerequisites: MDIA 2182
In this course students will continue to build upon the principles of texturing from level 1 and 2, using specific techniques to create believable and stylized surfaces. Texturing will be explored in more depth with an emphasis placed on details. Students will use photographic reference images to enhance the believability of their work. Advanced shading networks will be explained. Finally the students will be introduced to Zbrush and how this effective tool can be used for texturing. Prerequisites: MDIA 1183 and MDIA 2183
This course emphasizes the importance of team work. Students will apply the work flow techniques and will organize their work and get their assets together before making their portfolio presentations to the class and to the industry. Students will be encouraged to problem solve while receiving and taking critique of their work. Based on feedback given by classmates and industry professionals students will revise their portfolio. Students will then present their projects to faculty and industry for critiques and feedback. In the final 4 weeks of Portfolio Production the students will discuss their final presentation for their industry night. Prerequisite: Completion of Term 2 courses.
Vehicle modeling will be the main theme at the start of Term 3. The students will learn all the essential tools and methods needed to create low and high-resolution vehicles. Focus will then shift to the creation of models for inclusion in the student's demo reel. The students will create a shot list and production schedule which will resemble a real life work environment where the slippage of delivery dates will mean that some content will have to be cut from the final product (demo reel.)This is the final term so students will be expected to use all the knowledge and experience they have gained throughout the program to assemble very high quality demo reel material. The last segment of the term will be made up of mostly LAB time designed to maximize the student/ instructor interaction. As this time is the most valuable and essential in the outcome of the demo reel, students are encouraged to make an extra effort to attend all classes during this time. Coincidentally, attendance is worth 20% of the term mark. Prerequisites: MDIA 2630
Third Term is primarily a demo reel term where the instructor takes on the role of a technical and creative director and helps each student with his or her final demo reel. The first four weeks of the third semester comprise a group project dealing with animation FX. Students will work together to create a storm using particle effects, cloth, rigid body simulations, practical animated effects, volumetric effects. Each group will create one master scene file incorporating all elements of the storm. Each student in each group will then be responsible for animating a character of their choosing through this environment. At the end of week 13, each student will be responsible for handing to the instructor a DivX AVI at 720 * 540 comprising their work on their demo reel. Prerequisites: MDIA 2640
The focus of the third term production class is the creation of a demo reel. Students will assemble an animatic and use it as the framework for their final demo. The animatic will be reviewed through the term. The final term will give the students an opportunity to practice everything learned over the first two production terms. The goal of the final production term is a 1-2 minute demo reel showcasing their specific talents. Students should focus on their strengths and interests such as modelling and texturing or animation. Students will also create an animated logo for the beginning of their demo reel. Prerequisites: MDIA 2660
Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if
they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's
Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.
The 3D Modeling, Art & Animation program helps you train your artistry and creativity by focusing on character and environment modeling as well as animation, while learning industry-specific software skills using high-end and industry standard 3D applications, techniques, and equipment.
This program offers intense training to prepare you quickly and effectively with today’s most current techniques and software while also encouraging a friendly, collaborative environment you can grow your creativity and develop with other students.
In preparation for a rewarding career in an exciting industry, you’ll learn necessary skills for a job as an animator or artist like conceptualizing characters and props, creating realistic textures, and sculpting high-detail models. Through your process, you’ll also develop your job-finding skills like resume-writing and interviewing, along with creating a personal demo reel as your final project that can lead to gaming, film and animation industries locally and abroad.
1 year, full-time.
All program requirements must be completed within five years.
Your certificate in 3D Modeling, Art & Animation gives you the technical skills, knowledge, and confidence to begin a career that blends traditional art with high-end technology.
Organizations from gaming studios to film production companies to advertising agencies need artists more than ever, and qualified candidates are finding more, and more exciting, job offerings.
Some career opportunities include:
3D Asset Modeller
Visual Effects Compositor
Texture and Shader Creator
Earning your certificate gives you skills you can use to begin your new career upon graduation. In fact, many students have job offers in-hand from their practicum in the program before they even graduation.
So you may choose to begin your career in just one year after joining the program or you might continue your education for more, broader training, to earn your bachelor’s degree through full-time or part-time studies.
Graduate employment outcomes
The BCIT student outcomes reports present summary findings from the annual survey of former students administered by
BC Stats one to two years after graduation. These reports combine the last three years of available results for the
2013-2015 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2012-2014 graduates and for Degree 2010-2012 graduates. The reports are organized
into three-page summaries containing information on graduates' labour market experiences and opinions regarding their
education. More detailed information can be accessed at the
BC Student Outcomes website.
Students who successfully complete all courses are eligible to attend convocation.
Faculty, Advisors & Staff
Our instructors are active animation professionals, who are able to give you current and first-hand knowledge of your career because they live it. The business and technical knowledge you gain in the classroom, mixed with hands-on training in field, prepares you with the foundation for a successful career.
An advisory industry team and some of BC’s top gaming companies helps to keep the digital animation program up to date with the latest software and industry trends.