Computer Animation and Visual Effects BSc (Hons)

Overview

Ready to make your mark on the computer animation and visual effects industry and get stuck into a career packed with creative potential?

On this professionally accredited BSc (Hons) Computer Animation and Visual Effects degree course, you'll use our fantastic animation and VFX facilities to unleash your ideas. You’ll build a portfolio of work to showcase your abilities and learn how to get it in front of potential employers.

The course sets you up for an exciting career in areas such as 3D animation, visual effects (VFX) for film and TV, and the computer games industry.

What you'll experience

On this Computer Animation and Visual Effects degree course you’ll:

  • Learn from professionals who are currently working in the animation and visual effects (VFX) industry
  • Build your skills in key areas such as concept drawing, 3D animation, physics-based simulation and compositing
  • Get your hands on professional software that’s used in the industry, including NUKEX, Maya, 3DS Max, ZBrush, Houdini, Katana and Mari
  • Put our motion capture facilities to use and learn in our virtual reality lab
  • Get the chance to be involved with the University’s computer-generated imagery (CGI) film, Stina and the Wolf
  • Develop games and get involved in the annual Game Jam Portsmouth with fellow students
  • Make the most of our industry links, including guest speakers, work placements and sponsored prizes for your final year project
  • Tailor your studies to match your interests and ambitions

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job with your freshly developed skills, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies.

What you'll study 

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Year 1

Core modules

Eportfolio – 20 credits - In this module, you'll develop an online portfolio where you provide evidence of your skills and abilities in relation to your preferred career path.

Foundation in 3D Modelling – 20 credits - This module covers 3D modelling theory and specialised modelling and animation techniques.

Foundations in Graphics – 20 credits - The module introduces you to the principles of still and moving graphics, using industry-standard software and techniques to create and manipulate images.

Skills And Principles For Animation – 20 credits - On this module, you'll study the basic principles of animation.

Tools for Animation – 20 credits - This module introduces you to the fundamental computer programming concepts commonly used in computer animation production.

Visual Communication – 20 credits - On this module, you'll explore the communication of ideas and develop computer animation visualisation skills.

Year 2

Core modules

CGI Lighting and Look Development – 20 credits - CGI Lighting is a fundamental skill required by CG generalists who cover more than one role in the global VFX (visual effects) industry. Look Development is the process of balancing CGI texturing, shader development, lighting and rendering to match a reference image.

Engaged Citizenship Through Interdisciplinary Practice – 20 credits - On this module, you'll develop your creative, intellectual and interpersonal attributes.

Project Initiation and Career Management – 20 credits - This module prepares you for your final year independent study projects and further develops your career management skills. 

Optional modules

Creative Technologies Study Exchange – 60 credits - This module gives you the opportunity to do a study placement in a Higher Education institution outside of the UK. It allows you to enhance your learning experience by adding a global dimension to your studies.

CCI Self-Employed Placement – Full Year – 40 credits - This optional year-long module gives you experience in setting up and running a small business during the placement year of a sandwich degree.

CCI Work Placement – Full Year – 40 credits - This optional year-long placement module gives you relevant industrial or commercial experience during the placement year of a sandwich degree.

Commerical Asset Production for Real Time – 40 credits - On this module, you'll develop real-time asset production skills – including character and environment visualisation – appropriate for industrial commercial applications.

Animation Programming and Scripting – 20 credits - On this module, you'll learn how to apply Python language programming and scripting for computer animation using 3D software such as Maya.

Design and Visual Research for Cinema and Game – 20 credits - This module allows you to develop skills and knowledge in visual research, design and production methodologies associated with the film and game industries.

Designing for Animation – 20 credits - On this module, you'll develop skills and knowledge in 3D modelling, texturing and character animation. 

Image Preparation for VFX – 20 credits - On this module, you'll develop the VFX (visual effects) core skills needed for the role of the image (or plate) preparation artist – an essential skill for 2D VFX industry entry-level jobs or industry placements.

Introduction to Visual Effects – 20 credits - This module introduces you to digital visual effects, as well as simulation-based and procedurally-generated artwork, in relation to the role of an effects animator or effects technical director for the VFX (visual effects) industry.

Matchmoving for VFX – 20 credits - This module explores the VFX (visual effects) core skills that constitute and surround the role of the Matchmover – an essential skill for 3D VFX industry entry-level jobs and placements.

Previsualisation and Motion Capture – 20 credits - In this module, you'll explore the role of previsualisation (previs) artists within film, TV and game productions.

Professional Experience – 20 credits - This module gives you the opportunity to gain credit towards your degree from paid/unpaid work, volunteering, research placements, internships and other work-related learning.

Sculpting and Rigging for Film – 20 credits - On this module, you'll study the foundations of computer animation focusing on digital sculpting and rigging.

Student Enterprise – 20 credits - This module is a problem-based learning module, which will introduce you to the basics and reality of setting up and running a small business.

Year 3

Core modules

Eportfolio – 20 credits - In this module, you'll develop an online portfolio where you provide evidence of your skills and abilities in relation to your preferred career path.

Foundation in 3D Modelling – 20 credits - This module covers 3D modelling theory and specialised modelling and animation techniques.

Foundations in Graphics – 20 credits - The module introduces you to the principles of still and moving graphics, using industry-standard software and techniques to create and manipulate images.

Skills And Principles For Animation – 20 credits - On this module, you'll study the basic principles of animation.

Tools for Animation – 20 credits - This module introduces you to the fundamental computer programming concepts commonly used in computer animation production.

Visual Communication – 20 credits - On this module, you'll explore the communication of ideas and develop computer animation visualisation skills.

Optional modules

Advanced Compositing for VFX – 20 credits - This module explores the VFX (visual effects) core skills that compositing artists need to understand and use, which are essential skills in the industry, from entry to mid-level 2D VFX jobs.

Advanced Creature FX and Rigging – 20 credits - On this module you'll explore the role of a rigger and creature FX artist within the VFX (visual effects) pipeline and look at their working relationship and interactions with animators and modellers.

Advanced Visual Effects and Environments – 20 credits - This module examines dynamic simulations of 3D digital environments and their interaction with particle systems, structure dynamics, cloth, fluids and crowd simulations that are influenced by the laws of physics.

Animation and Setup for Computer Animation – 20 credits - On this module, you'll develop skills and knowledge in technical aspects of animation and rigging.

Motion Capture Applications – 20 credits - The module introduces you to the principles of performance capture techniques focusing on current industry standards and applications.

Real-Time Interactive Group Project – 40 credits - In a group, you'll develop and deliver a real-time interactive product responding to a client brief.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • digital lab sessions
  • e-learning
  • projects
  • seminars
  • one-on-one tutorials

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • practical projects
  • work portfolios
  • academic and evaluative essays
  • multiple choice tests
  • oral presentations
  • examinations
  • case studies

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Careers and opportunities

This course mirrors many industrial processes and creative practices, setting you up for some of the most exciting jobs in today’s media industries.

Potential employers include computer animation and visual effects companies for film and TV, computer games and visualisation industries.

BSc (Hons), BSc (Hons), BSc (Hons) Award
September Start
Full-time, Sandwich Study Mode
3 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent. 

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

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