With the 3D Modeling Art and Animation diploma program, you will develop the skills necessary to enter the game, film, and television industries as a 3D Artist. You will get hands on experience with the entire 3D workflow including modeling, animating, texturing, rigging, lighting, rendering, and compositing. You will be trained by working industry professionals from the game, film, and television industries providing the most up to date methods and techniques used today. In the last term, you will apply all of these learned skills, alongside direction and feedback from your instructors, to produce a marketable and appealing demo reel to get you a job in your chosen career path.
About the program
15 consecutive months, full time
Applied, hands-on education that is based on industry demands and standards
Prepares you to work in gaming, film, and TV
Learn more about how BCIT prepares you for your career success on the Program Details page.
Who should complete the 3D Modeling, Art and Animation Diploma?
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.
The 3D Modeling Art and Animation diploma program is right for you if:
You have a passion for 3D
You have a broad overview of how 3D works and want to gain the technical skills
You want to translate your 2D art skills into 3D art skills
You have a strong work ethic and the self-discipline to work many hours independently
By creating a standardized demo reel that showcases your abilities, graduates of the 3D Modeling Art and Animation program are prepared to enter a variety of 3D related jobs. The work of our graduates can be found in productions from such studios as Electronic Arts, The Coalition, Bioware, Ubisoft, DHX, Rainmaker, Bron, ICON Creative, and MPC.
Applications will be reviewed and assessed by the program area when the entrance requirements are complete. Applicants will be contacted for the following:
Art portfolio review session with the Digital Arts department*
*Applicants can send their digital portfolio (if applicable) via email or bring it to the portfolio review session. The portfolio should support the applicant's artistic background and could consist of 4 - 7 pieces of the applicant's best work. This artwork may come in a variety of forms such as drawings, paintings, photography, 3D artwork, graphic design, or video of your dance or acting performance.
BCIT graduates of the Certificate in 3D Modeling, Art & Animation (formerly Digital Animation) program are eligible to apply for direct entry to Level 4 of the Diploma in 3D Modeling, Art & Animation program. There are two opportunities for direct entry:
Option 1: Completion of BCIT’s 3D Modeling, Art & Animation or Digital Animation certificate program within the past four years.
Option 2: Completion of BCIT’s 3D Modeling, Art & Animation or Digital Animation certificate program more than four years prior to application and continuous work in the film, animation and gaming industry.
Successful completion of the entrance requirements does not guarantee acceptance into this program. Due to the popularity of this program, not all eligible applicants will be able to obtain a seat.
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 and Animation diploma program were designed by working industry professionals to ensure you are trained in the latest software and techniques that industry is using today. You will gain experience in each step of the 3D workflow, from modeling and animation, to high poly sculpting and texturing, to rendering and compositing. This guided experience allows you to find where your true talents lie so you can focus your final demo reel on that subject. You will have access to the 3D Modeling, Art and Animation computer labs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to work on your projects, assignments, and final demo reel.
Courses will be scheduled during the day, in the evenings or during the day on weekends for a maximum of 28.0 hours per week.
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.
This course covers fundamentals of drawing and painting for both paper based and digital format. Through this course students will practice the procedures and elements involved in life drawing and painting workflow. Students develop and practice their skills in traditional paper based drawing and painting while learning the principles of lines, space, point, color and key elements of the digital painting environment. During the course students will be engaged in the studio procedures for the creation of a professional digital art work. Each assignment will focus on the core skills needed to be successful in the traditional and digital industry.
In this course, students will be introduced to applying the principles of light, shades and rendering essentials. The course focuses on different lighting methods in real life and virtual environment while explaining different types of lights, shadows, intensity and colour. Through hands-on practice, students analyze the role of light in different art forms (classic to modern) and practice creating the real life experience in a virtual environment. This course also examines the basics of rendering a 3D environment using industry standard applications.
This course will introduce students to using three dimensional space, concepts and objects. Creating 3D objects is a fundamental skill in the digital and animation industry. Students will create basic objects, and develop their skills in 3D modelling production pipeline. This course covers the basics of 3D applications including navigation, objects and components, how to coordinate systems and polygon modelling techniques for modelling simple objects.
This course introduces students to the principles 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 the leading application in node based compositing. Students explore different digital output formats (such as HD and film), create new compositions and import different types of media into a project. Students will animate layers across time and space, and utilize animation curves to control a layer’s movements. Various 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 its shots correctly, use appropriate 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.
Building on the techniques of the skills developed in the traditional 2D animation class, students will be introduced to the skills used in 3D software and key framing techniques in 3D animation, including animating props, lights and camera. In the course, students will explore the fundamentals of animation using specialized 3D software, and will be introduced to posing, timing, key framing, interpolation, transformations and rendering techniques and how they are applied in 3D animation. Through assignments and exercises, in this class students will practice with industry standard software to develop rudimentary animation for models and props that will help them develop advanced skills for advanced topics and exercises in term 3. Prerequisites: MDIA 1315 and MDIA 1642
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. Prerequisite: Completion of all term 1 courses
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. Prerequisite: Completion of all term 1 courses
In this course, students focus on using an industry standard sculpting program to build both organic and hard surface forms. Students examine human anatomy and the ways that skeletal structure affects form. Students also examine the muscular system, exploring how muscles connect and what their functions are. The digital sculpting interface and tools utilized in this course allow students to develop a solid understanding for their potential uses. Students demonstrate how to correctly incorporate the digital sculpting program into their 3D workflow and by the end of the course, students produce a high poly sculpt ready to be exported to another 3D application for retopology and baking. Prerequisite: All Term 1 courses
This course looks at the effects of lights and surface interactions. This includes lighting techniques in 3D, different render engines and camera settings in the 3D environment. Through this course students will assign shaders to a surface based on the scene lighting to achieve the required quality. Students will also setup cameras and camera effects and create a shading network for a high quality 3D scene that is optimized for efficient rendering. Prerequisite: Completion of all term 1 courses
Modeling clean animate-able meshes is an essential skill in the 3D Industry. 3D modeling 1 will focus on instilling proper modeling work flow including concept development and reference gathering. Through lectures, in class demonstrations and assignments, students will use tools and practice techniques to model non-organic objects and environments. Following the Introduction to 3D Modeling course, this course continues with a thorough introduction to the 3D modeling production pipeline and interface of a select industry standard 3D modeling software application. Students will continue exploring polygon and nurbs mesh types and the tools needed to create clean well laid out 3D objects. Polygon modeling will be introduced and necessary tools will be covered in depth. Students will focus on modeling non- organic environments (closed and open) and create a larger environment for the main term assignment. Students will be provided with multiple opportunities in-class and through assignments to practice 3D modeling and develop their skills according to industry standards. Prerequisite: Completion of all term 1 courses
Node based compositing is an essential skill in digital animation and video production. This course builds on the previous node based compositing courses by introducing advanced topics and techniques. Students will integrate these skills in their projects throughout the course. 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 levels impact lighting of a scene and the editing of the final demo reel. Students will also practice stabilizing, 2D tracking. Demo reels will be studied as examples of the sequence of compositing and editing a successful demo reel. Prerequisite: Completion of all term 1 courses
This course builds on the core principles of animation learned in 3D Animation 1. Animation exercises covering weight lifts, speech and full body acting, and two character interactions allow the student to develop further acting skills while building a workflow for dealing with a variety of acting situations. The course delves deeper into the creative / technical world of character setup. Students will practice methods and techniques for creating highly interactive spines, simulation of a forearm’s ulna –radii skin deformation. 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. Finally, students will begin to think about their final portfolios, and in consultation with their instructor, they will work on three projects to submit by the end of the term for their final portfolio. Prerequisites: MDIA 2315 and MDIA 2335 and MDIA 2642
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. Prerequisite: Completion of all term 1 and 2 courses
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. Prerequisite: Completion of all term 1 and 2 courses
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. Prerequisite: Completion of all term 1 and 2 courses
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 all term 1, 2 and 3 courses
Building on the foundations of 3D Modeling 1, this course will focus on modeling a human character using a variety of techniques. Students will examine the typology of the human head, torso, arms and legs and their underlying structure and how they play a role in modeling a human character. The creation of hair will be discussed and a variety of methods for creating different hairstyles will be demonstrated. Students will begin to use industry standard digital sculpting software packages and explore how they interact with a 3D modeling application in a 3D production pipeline. Students will study what is known as the "sculpting Pass", import their models into a digital sculpting application and add a displacement map. Higher Poly smoothing methods will be discussed, allowing the students to create a more polished finished product. Throughout the term, students focus their ideas and present them on paper through a well-designed, well referenced character concept. This course will culminate in the modeling of that character, the end result of which could be included in students’ demo reel. Prerequisite: Completion of all term 1 and 2 courses
Students build on skills and knowledge gained in Node Based Compositing 1 and 2, and practice 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 will practice 3D camera tracking and its applications in compositing live and computer generated image sequence, set extensions, as well as a method for achieving planner tracking. They also explore keying green/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). Prerequisite: Completion of all term 1 and 2 courses
The ability to animate life-like characters whether human or creature through the use of realistic facial animation, hand gestures, body language and emotions is a foundational skill in the world of animation and digital art. This course primarily examines the advanced techniques and details of character animations. Through this course students will be implementing the acting in animation techniques on to 3D characters. Students will create a motion capture that will be imported into the scene and under the instructor’s supervision, clean up and apply motion capture animation to their characters. Prerequisite: Completion of all term 1 and 2 courses
This course covers the essentials of acting and characteristics to create 3D characters. Through this course students will examine the acting techniques for body language, facial animation, lip-sync, eye direction, emotions and expressions for animating 3D characters. Students will practice the art of body mechanics, pose and actions and performance. Under the instructor’s supervision students will shoot reference videos and pictures from different poses and performances and then create a sequence of thumbnail sketches. At the end of this course students will create an animation piece for 2D characters. Prerequisite: Completion of all term 1, 2 and 3 courses
This course is built on the previous character rigging and rigging essentials courses in terms 1 and 2. Students will practice advanced rigging techniques, starting with creating modular rigs for 3D characters to achieve flexibility and speed. They will create and utilize custom tools for a more efficient rigging process. In addition, students will create character rigs that are compatible across several characters to save time during the production work flow. By the end of this course students are expected to have a solid grasp of 3D character rigging for multipurpose use including, but not limited to game, animation, and visual effects. Prerequisite: Completion of all term 1, 2 and 3 courses
The emphasis of this course is to mirror as much as possible the real life, deadline oriented, team based environment of industry. Students will be placed in groups based on their field of interest to deliver a game asset design, a visual effects piece or an animation project. Students will experiment with advanced modeling and animation techniques and implement their 3D modelling, animation, texturing and compositing skills specific to the project they are producing. Teams must meet deadlines for each milestone and present each stage of their work to their instructor and mentor to receive sign off on each step of the in progress project. Each week teams will discuss their progress with their instructor/mentor and receive feedback through team meeting sessions face to face or online. Students will be assessed based on the process, planning, prototypes and drafts, progress and final prototype. Prerequisites: Completion of all term 1, 2 and 3 courses
This course focuses on the techniques and methodology for drafting and prototyping a 3D art form and demo reel creation. Under the direct supervision of their instructor, students will create a rough draft piece that shows the alignment of their demo reel to their story board with proxy placement and animations. Students will present their storyboard to their instructor and receive feedback and guidelines for the pre-visualization and ultimately their capstone project. This course also cross-collaborates and shares some assignments with the portfolio production course. Prerequisites: Completion of all term 1, 2 and 3 courses
In this course students build on the skills developed in Game Design Pipeline 1. Students create complex materials that can be configured for multiple purposes within a game engine for both meshes and terrains. Students create animated camera moves for creating non interactive sequences. Students develop skills to add extra visual impact to environments and characters using the particle system. Students also learn to create modular games assets to build out an optimized environment and setup animations to use in the game engine. In groups, students create a working game demo incorporating assets developed throughout this course. Prerequisite: All Term 3 courses
In the world of 3D Arts, industry professionals need to keep up with the evolving changes and progression on technology. In this course, students are introduced to methods of incorporating emerging hardware and software into 3D workflows through in class demonstrations. Students are guided on how to research these new and emerging trends in the industry and are shown how 3D can also be used outside of games, television, and film. Students explore different tools and plugins for VFX, Game Engines, and 3D Software Packages. Students are given assignments during the course that allow them to try new approaches to common workflows to increase work efficiency and produce a higher quality product. Prerequisite: All Term 3 courses
High detail modeling will be the main theme in this course. Students will explore the essential tools and methods needed to create low and high-resolution 3D Objects. The 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.) Students will be expected to use all the knowledge, skills and experience they have gained throughout the program to assemble very high quality demo reel. The last segment of the term will be made up of mostly in class practice 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. Prerequisites: Completion of all term 1, 2 and 3 courses
This is a directed study course designed to guide students to the latest information about the techniques, industry trends, methodology and standards in their field of interest as it applies to their capstone project. At the start of the course, students will meet with their instructor and present their draft and pre-visualization project. Based on field of interest and specialty, students will be directed to learning materials to help them apply the best approaches and techniques for their capstone project. Throughout the term students will meet with their instructor in person or online to present their progress and receive feedback. Prerequisites: Completion of all term 1, 2, 3 and 4 courses
Following the portfolio production and demo reel pre-visualization courses, in this course students will work on developing their 3D modelling or animation demo reel based on their proposal and planning created in the previous term and in the 3D Arts Directed study course. Based on the type of reel, students will be introduced to industry mentors from the same fields. Under the supervision and direction of the instructor, students create, test, revise and deliver their final professional demo reel based on industry standards. Students meet with the instructor (in person or online) and review the progress, receive feedback and implement any revision necessary for creating an industry standard demo reel. Projects vary for each student and relate to current 3D modelling, Animation, Visual effects standards. Prerequisites: Completion of all term 1, 2, 3 and 4 courses
In this course, students will practice job search techniques that will assist them in finding employment. They will design a résumé and cover letter to suit their field of interest. They will practice responding to a variety of commonly used interview questions, explain the appropriate business methods used to contact prospective employers, practice networking, and apply their new knowledge and skills in the fields of animation, 3D art and film. The workshop setting will model and encourage self-reflection, constructive feedback and collaborative group work Prerequisites: Completion of all term 1, 2, 3 and 4 courses
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The 3D Modeling Art and Animation diploma program is an intense 15 month program designed to get you the skills you need to be successful in the game, film, and television industries. You will be trained by industry professionals on the latest software and techniques used every day in the studio. You will gain experience on every part of the 3D workflow as you discover where your talents and interest lie, ultimately culminating in a focused final demo reel designed to get you a job in your chosen career.
Working in 3D requires a large time commitment to hone your skills to the level that the industry requires. The entry bar into this industry gets higher and higher each year as the technology gets better and better. Your final demo reel is a self-directed project guided by industry professionals. The students who are most successful in this program are the ones who have the self-discipline to commit the time and effort required to push their work to the high level that industry expects.
Upon successful completion of the Diploma in 3D Modeling, Art and Animation, you will be able to:
Design and create concept art for 3D models to be used in games and visual effects
Develop a storyboard for animation
Model and texture 3D characters and environments based on industry practice
Stage a virtual environment and scene
Create animator friendly rigs for 3D models
Sculpt and create high detail models
Composite video and CGI in a node based application
Create 3D animations
Design and produce textures for character and props
Apply lighting techniques based on industry practice
Apply 3D tracking and match-moving techniques for CGI and live footage composition
Optimize textures and 3D assets for production
Create and setup a game level in industry standard engines
Apply a broad range of software techniques and methodologies used by studios
Create 3D assets and animations following the production pipeline practiced in game and visual effects industries
Demonstrate effective teamwork and problem solving skills
Demonstrate a professional work ethic
Render and composite an industry standard professional demo reel
15 consecutive months, full-time.
All program requirements must be completed within five years.
The minimum passing grade for each course in this program is 65%. Students must pass all courses in a given term before proceeding to the next term.
Students who successfully complete all courses are eligible to attend convocation.
Faculty, Advisors & Staff
Our instructors are active industry professionals who provide current and first-hand knowledge on their area of expertise. The material covered in the classroom directly relates to work that you will be performing in your future careers. This hands-on training with industry level tools and resources provides you with an accurate representation of what work in a studio is like.
Courses are reviewed frequently to ensure new tools and programs are implemented into the curriculum. If the industry is using it, you will find it being used and taught in this program.