Associate of Occupational Studies in Screen & Media-3D Animation and VFX for Film


Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media: 3D Animation VFX for Film

3D Animation and VFX for Film - CIP Code 10.0304

Visual effects artists, animators and compositors create the fantastic worlds, superhuman feats and spectacular imagery that you see on the big (and small) screen. AIE's 3D Animation and Visual Effects for Film program runs over two years, full-time and is designed to get you into these industries. It is a practical course designed to give the best technical training using the latest, state-of-the-art technology.

This course has been written in consultation with leading film and visual effects studios, enabling you to complete impressive film projects that showcase your skills and create a professional show-reel to impress potential employers.

The Associate Degree program runs over two an a half years or five semesters for 80 semester credits. This program is approved by the Council on Occupational Education and US Department of Education.

The Associate of Occupational Studies in 3D Animation and Visual FX adds an academic component with the goal of producing graduates exposed to basic academic principles in addition to the technological aspects of the Avanced Diploma program.

General Education Courses required: 15 semester credit hours

  • English Composition
  • College Algebra
  • Introduction to Physical Science
  • Introduction to Visual Arts
  • Introduction to Sociology

“The transfer of credits that a student earns at AIE Lafayette is at the complete discretion of the institution to which he/she may seek to transfer. For this reason, the student should make certain that his/her attendance at AIE will meet his/her educational goals. AIE Lafayette does not imply, promise or guarantee that any credits earned will transfer or be accepted by any other institution. It is the student’s responsibility to find out in advance of enrollment whether the receiving institution will recognize/accept any credits/courses earned at AIE”

Course Content

Stage One

Students develop their skills in 3D modelling, texturing, UVW unwrapping, rigging, animation, lighting, using cameras, rendering and compositing. Students will concept, model and animate character, design game levels, create high-detail creatures, build realistic environments and craft a short animated movie.

Stage Two

In year two, you’ll be set up to work in team-led structures much like real-world Industry workplaces. In addition to learning advanced high polygon modelling, realistic lighting, texturing and advanced realistic character animation, the course incorporates skills in organisation, time and project management.

The course trains you to articulate and present your ideas to peers. It will give you experience and tools for production, management, scriptwriting and essential skills for a number of career development and progression.

Short Film Production

This subject is the culmination of your studies at AIE where you will be working on a group project utilising the skills and knowledge you have developed through the course. You'll work with other students on a multi-disciplinary project. The project may be a Short Animation or a Visual Effects sequence.

You will be demonstrating knowledge of team collaboration, scheduling, and project development while leveraging the skills you have learned throughout the course to complete and deliver the film or Visual Effects project with your team.

Subjects you will study

Stage One

  • 3D Art Pipeline
  • Health and Safety in the Office
  • Principles of Animation
  • Modelling and Texturing
  • Character Pipeline
  • Character Animation
  • Digital Lighting and Compositing
  • Storyboards
  • Production Planning
  • Production

Stage Two

  • Visual Effects
  • Specialisation
  • Story Development
  • Short Film Production
  • Online Portfolio

Software You Will USe

Students utilize industry standard software and resources such as:

  • Maya — 3D Modelling, rigging, animating, lighting and rendering
  • ZBrush — High-detail sculpting and texturing
  • Adobe Photoshop - Concept art and texture maps
  • Nuke and 3D Equalizer - Compositing and match-moving
  • DaVinci Resolve - Video editing
  • Renderman — Rendering
  • Deadline — Render farm management
  • Substance Suite — High detail materials and texturing

Your Career Opportunities

  • Character Animator
  • Environment Modeler
  • Technical Director
  • Fur/Feathers FX Artist
  • Water FX Artist
  • Modeler
  • 3D Tracker/Match Mover
  • Digital/Matte Painter
  • Surfacing/Texture Painter

Graduates can be found working in the film, advertising and TV sectors. Common positions secured by graduates include animator, technical director, surfacing artist and modeller.

Some graduates also move into other fields including medical visualisation and simulations.

Portfolio Requirements

Your portfolio is your evidence of creative ability. If you have explored animation and/or visual effects, do provide your best examples. If you have a strong interest in the area, but do not have previous experience, use your portfolio to demonstrate your ability to imagine and realize a creative piece of work in media that you are more familiar with.

Provide at least one drawing from life (still, gesture, environment, etc.). Portfolios can include short animations, gesture drawings, poster designs, sculptures, concept art and character designs. We will ask you about your creative process from concept to presentation during the portfolio review. We will accept either digital (e-mail/DropBox/Flash Drive/etc) or physical copies. Please contact us directly with questions.

Students Will:

  • Demonstrate entry-level proficiency using industry standard software and resources such as: Maya, ZBrush, Photoshop, After-Effects, Nuke, and Premiere to design, create and render digital visual effects. (Performance, Problem Solving, Responsibility)
  • Demonstrate appropriate project management skills, such as scheduling, and maintaining deadlines, for entry into the 3D Animation and VFX industry. (Collaboration, Communication, Performance, Problem Solving, Responsibility)
  • Demonstrate a holistic approach to see the entire scope of a project and how each individual’s roles interface and impact others. (Collaboration, Performance, Responsibility)
  • Develop the ability to adapt to team diversity, varying timetables, art styles and processes. (Collaboration, Communication, Problem Solving, Responsibility)
  • Use analytical thinking skills to design, develop and troubleshoot. (Communication, Performance, Problem Solving, Responsibility)
  • Analyze and interpret user requirements to design and develop appropriate solutions. (Communication, Performance, Problem Solving, Responsibility)
  • Interpret information received from a variety of sources; including reference manuals, the Internet, computerized help systems and colleagues. (Collaboration, Communication, Performance, Problem Solving)
  • Identify own skills and abilities and develop strategies for effectively using them in group settings. (Communication, Problem Solving)
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate both verbally and in writing and through a visual medium. (Communication, Performance, Responsibility)
  • Prepare an employment portfolio including a resume, cover letter, letters of reference and Show Reel/work samples and pitch a concept. (Collaboration, Communication, Performance, Responsibility)

Our Fees

Cohort Commencing 2023
Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media - 3D Animation & VFX for Film $49,200

For more information on our tuition fees please visit our FEES page

Payment Plans

AIE appreciates that for many students payment of fees in full prior to the commencement of study can be difficult. For this reason, students may be offered the option of paying fees via a payment plan, which allows for students to pay their fees via installments. Please contact an AIE Campus for more information about Payment Plans.


AIE offers scholarships to students. For more information, visit the Scholarships page.

Financial Aid

Students studying at AIE may be eligible for Financial Aid. Please visit the Financial Aid page or call the appropriate campus for more information

Meet The Teachers

Meet The Teachers | 3D Animatiion and VFX for Film

Student Work

Student Work | 3D Animatiion and VFX for Film Course

Student Work

Student Work | 3D Animatiion and VFX for Film Course