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 the BCIT 3D Modeling, Art and Animation program.
The 3D Modeling, Art and Animation diploma program was created based on the former 3D Modeling, Art and Animation certificate and 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 the new BCIT 3D Modeling, Art and Animation diploma gives you the creative, design, and technical skills you need to take your passion for art and animation and mold it into a successful, exciting career.
About the program
15 months, full time
Prepares you to work in gaming, film, and TV
Experience applied, hands-on education that is based on industry demands and standards
Learn more about how BCIT prepares you for your career success at the Program Details.
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.
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 3D models, and creating 2D and 3D animations, you’ll be prepared to create a quality demo reel based on industry demand and begin a new career after graduation.
The work of some of our graduates from the previous certificate program can 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:
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 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, traditional or digital sculpting, photography, etc.
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.
Note: The April 2017 intake is now closed for new applications. Applications for the September 2017 intake are currently being accepted. Applications for the April 2018 intake will be accepted starting June 1, 2017.
BCIT accepts only complete applications. In order to apply:
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 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 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.
In the first part of this course students will be introduced to the principles of 2D animation, including the history of traditional animation, the use of storyboarding and paper based animation. Students will sequence images and frames that simulate motion; and develop their animation skills in timing and acting for the creation of a professional animation piece. Assignments will allow students to practice the core skills needed to be successful in the traditional and digital animation industry. In addition, students apply basic storyboarding and character design techniques necessary to create a short film.
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
This course takes students into the world of modern techniques in digital animation. Students will create a digital story board and characters and use industry standard applications for digital animation. Students expand their traditional animation skills into modern digital animation while going through hands on practice based on studio procedures and pipeline for an animation piece. At the end of this course, students deliver a short digital 2D animation as their final project. Prerequisite: Completion of 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 is built on the foundations of its two predecessors and takes the lighting and rendering into the world of visual effects and run-time rendering for games. Students will experiment with different lighting techniques and methodologies, shading for games and VFX, cinematic camera movement and effects in a 3D environment to create a VFX lighting, shading or a real time rendering project. Prerequisite: Completion of all term 1 and 2 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
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
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
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
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 and 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.
15 months, full-time.
All program requirements must be completed within five years.
The minimum passing grade for each course in this program is 65%.
Your diploma in 3D Modeling, Art and 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 diploma 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.
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.