Diploma in 2D & 3D Character Animation


Vancouver Institute of Media Arts

Vancouver, Canada

About Course

Key information
: 1 Year
Study Type
: Full Time
Tuition fees
: 33.00 CAD / Total
Exam Accepted
: IELTS 6.0/9 | TOEFL 80/120 | PTE 60/90
Exam Intake
: Sep | Mar
Conditional Scholarship
: NA
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  • Diploma in 2D & 3D Character Animation

  • For 25 years VanArts has been a top tier animation school, most recently ranked #2 in Canada by Animation Career Review for its' 2020 rankings. Our highly experienced faculty members are passionate about teaching the craft of character animation. Learn how to animate believable character performances with Maya for 3D or Harmony and hand drawn classical animation for the 2D program.

    Check out our video highlights of our favorite animation student films & reels from 2019-2020

  • The first term of the year begins with the principles of animation: Initiating Force, Path of Action, Lead/Follow, Timing/Spacing, Physics and Body Mechanics. The aesthetics of a shot, psychology of line, shape, composition, lighting and colour are covered in Story/Visual LanguageLife Drawing is essential for all animation students, as strong drawing skills build confidence and all animators benefit from simplified structural drawing for planning animation. 3D animators learn Maya Fundamentals in animation interface, preferences and file management, and basic modeling is introduced for creating props and environments. Photoshop is introduced to support assignments, presentations, and texturing, and the History of Animation is offered for an in-depth look at how the art form has evolved.

  • Term 2 advances the study of animation through more detailed body mechanics and introduces acting, character awareness, thinking and dealing with the environment to strengthen content believability. Story/Visual Language advances to deal with the psychology of cinematic image, acting and story structure while storyboarding assignments prepare you for Term 3 assignments and Term 4 demo projects. Life Drawing continues, advancing body construction awareness and dynamic posing. In Maya class, organic modeling is taught using existing character models, building clothing, hair and props that will support your storytelling efforts through character animation.

  • Acting and Performance is the focus of Term 3 animation assignments. The course takes an innovative look at ‘the animator as actor’ role. You will observe students from our Acting Department, studying their body language, timing and interaction. Dialogue, sound FX and music are introduced. In Story/Visual Language you will develop, storyboard and create assets for your Term 4 demo project. Workshops in Adobe Premiere prepare you for creating, editing and adding audio to story reels and final projects. Life Drawing advances body construction awareness and dynamic posing. The application of techniques learned in Maya 1 and 2 aid in the building of sets and character assets for the short story project.

  • The term is for honing Character Animation skills while creating your Character Animation demo reel. You have a choice of completing a short film, as designed and story boarded in Term 3, or completing a sequence of assignments to strengthen your skills as a character animator. Harmony classes introduce software components specific to your film project. Lighting and rendering are taught in the Maya course to help enhance the visual presentation of your demo reel project, as well as providing visual polish on previous animation assignments. Life Drawing advances body construction awareness and dynamic posing to help strengthen your animation poses. You also explore artistic expression through line and proportion.

    Check out our Animation Playlist on YouTube for samples of student films & demo reels.


Entry Requirement

  • Applicants must be high school passed.

Application Process

  • More than half of our student body are international students who contribute greatly to the multi-cultural environment at VanArts, coming from countries all over the world. We are proud of all our graduates who have made their mark in their respective industries worldwide

  • Students from all countries outside Canada must apply for these documents in advance at the Canadian Embassy office designated for your country. If you are not sure where to apply for your visa, visit the Government of Canada website and search for the specific website for your country’s visa office.

    Please plan ahead and apply for your visa immediately upon receiving your Acceptance or Conditional Acceptance Letter. You must have your student visa and study permit approved no later than 3 weeks before your program starts, or else we may need to defer your enrollment to the next start date. Please keep us informed as to the status of your visa application processing.

    Some countries may also require you to have a medical, police check or other documents before your visa is approved. Failure to submit all of these documents and evidences may result in your visa being rejected, often with little chance of appeal. Before applying for your visa, please read all details carefully on the official Citizen and Immigration Canada website.

    Required Documents

    There is a nominal fee for the Student Authorization/Visa which is paid to Citizen and Immigration Canada. When you apply for your study permit, you will likely require the following for submission:

  • A letter of acceptance for your program of study from VanArts.
  • Evidence of financial support during your study period, i.e., a notarized letter or affidavit from your bank or parents, or student loan documents.
  • Evidence of intentions to return to your country of origin after your studies are complete.
  • Evidence of prepaid tuition fees, your tuition receipt or a certified cheque or bank draft payable to VanArts.
  • Proof of citizenship, i.e., passport or birth certificate.
  • Include the Designated Learning Institution (DLI) number O19331363352 on your study permit application.

Vancouver Institute of Media Arts

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