3D Computer Animation BA

Course Overview

The BA 3D Computer Animation programme is ideal for any potential student wishing to pursue their passion and interest within the digital creative industries and animation.

This course is well suited for those students who are interested in the modern and highly creative world of 3D animated characters, scenes and scenarios. Potential students would be those candidates that may have already dabbled in the design and planning of stories and characters and now want to take these skills further.

We welcome students of all ages and backgrounds. You may have an interest in the history or animation techniques. You may want to do more work in conceptual design or dabble in 2D digital animation. If you want to learn more on how to bring your 3D illusions to life, to see them in action on a digital stage, then develop your models and visuals and animations with us. Previous software experience and artistic skills are an advantage - but not essential. We want to attract applicants to study 3D design and animation but your interest and skills could be really diverse e.g. traditional modelling, digital drawing/painting, 2D animation, photography, etc.

Key Features

An animation candidate/student has a passion to learn and practice how to develop better models, better movements and visuals. On our BA 3DCA programme we will accept entrants with a wide range of backgrounds who want to become proficient in 3D modelling, animation, character animation (etc.) and have an ability to combine these elements into high quality animation reels, to communicate time-based ideas and conjure (e)motions effectively.

Time is taken to ensure students are given enough guidance to learn methods in planning shots, designing characters and environments, trying out digital forms - including 2D - of animating.

Staff and students all enjoy animated design and there will be a lot of encouragement to develop the strongest portfolio of model/character sheets, storyboards, animation studies, new 3D figures, creatures and locations - and more. At its best animation encapsulates all the best elements of design, illustration and film making. It can transcend all barriers of communication through its universal cinematic language. This Degree may be a turning point in your life for targeting your 3D knowledge and animation skills.

Modules

Level 4

Upon enrolment, students are introduced to the core skills, theories and techniques whilst developing their understanding of professional working practices. Students begin with an introduction to a variety of 3D terms, methods and principles in 3D design, modelling and animation. Students learn the foundations and principles of how to animate, plan/design shots and sequences, produce effective pre-production, animatics and pre-visualisations. Another class considers the anatomy of the human form and muscle structures - and how to incorporate this into organic modelling. The first year is that preliminary step in the analysis of motion, computer animation and production methods.

Level 5

The BA 3DCA degree will provide optional modules for three distinct areas of study that are tailored to key areas of CGI and 3D design and animation:

3D Story and Character-based modules
3D Visual Effects and Compositing module
3D Motion Capture modules

Modules here are catering for the art direction and narrative directives in short animated film production (3D Story), to retain the quality of work produced from 3D visual effects (3D Visual Effects) and to access the emerging trends in motion capture animation. Whichever route you take all of the students do the module 'Character and Creature Animation' advancing the animation level from Level 4, raising the quality of the visuals and motions, developing better character models and animations. Level 5 students will have opportunities to extend their research and referencing, to extend these methods so how it can be applied to their own study via Creative Practice and Contextual Studies modules.

Level 6

In the third year students create work for a portfolio or a showreel piece that highlights their best modelling, design and/or animation work. This third year culminates in the production of a major piece of innovative 3D computer animation, whether story/narrative in nature or effects-based. Throughout the three years (four years on the MArts) we want encourage good design principles, in the look development, in strong framing and composition, art direction and concept design for animation. In keeping with industry practices the final digital elements (character models, shots, progression reels) are the realisation of these plans. It all begins with an idea and design and the third years have a lot of time to dedicate to this final piece.

International

Erasmus

During your time with us you will have the opportunity to study abroad with the Erasmus exchange programmes currently running with Universities in Norway, Barcelona and Sweden.

Study Abroad

Students can also take up the opportunity to study a semester in the USA and Canada.

For more information please click here.

Course Tutor(s)

  • Phil Organ
  • Rob Jones
  • Al Kang

Assessment

Coursework within the 3D animation content takes the notion that the art and craft of digital communication is all-important, its visual design, empathy, storytelling power, etc. Students will learn methods in how to immerse the audience in their very own interpretation or representation of their subject area. Although skills gained at Swansea lean towards 3D we are keen to stress the importance of holding to a visual style and will continually reference the methods of digital designers and animators, conceptual artists, etc. throughout the course of study.

Software is really only the means of producing these designs and the strengths in the production - the modelling designs, the production design, the look development - is as equally important as the final images.

All assessment is 100% coursework.

Career Opportunities

Through dialogue with industry the best graduates from this programme are suitably equipped to enter the media and digital filmmaking industry as practitioners. Job opportunities can often depend on the quality and potential of your animation in the selection of your work. The best MArts 3D Computer Animation students at Swansea gain a lot of the necessary industrial insight, 3D knowledge and animation skills that enable them to pursue the right path in the creative industries and in 3D computer generated imagery.

Companies may provide a successful graduate with a breaking-in period, to acclimatise them to the company's methods, in a relatively short time. They may not have as much freedom to train someone to animate or become a good 3D designer. Those skills - or that potential - often needs to be there from the start of the job and this programme provides the expertise and resources to allow this creativity to grow.

Graduate success stories have included positions at a lot of the UK's leading production houses (e.g. MPC, Framestore, Double Negative, etc.) working in junior TD (Technical Director) roles to begin and then progressing further. The list of credits on feature films - within the CG/3D roles - would be a long one, dating back to the first graduates in 2003. It is also important to note that graduates are not only working in modelling, pre-vis, environments and animations in visual effects companies. They have also gained employment as animators on Games titles, in 3D visualisation (including one graduate setting up his own studio in Swansea), in advertising, on commercials, TV idents and title sequences, freelance and more.

Related Courses

  • MArts 3D Computer Animation
  • BA Creative Computer Games Design
  • BA Film and Visual Culture
  • Foundation Diploma in Art & Design
  • MArts Creative Computer Games Design
  • MArts Digital Arts

Additional Costs

Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources, which in most cases are sufficient to complete their programme of study. We provide the basic materials necessary for students to develop their practical work within our extensive workshop and studio facilities. However, it is likely that art and design students will incur some additional costs to extend their investigation of their personal practice. For example, purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, joining in optional study trips, and printing.

BA, MART, MART Award
Full-time, Part-time Study Mode
3 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

Entry Criteria

We are interested in creative people that demonstrate a strong commitment to art and/or design and therefore we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. To assess student suitability for their chosen course we arrange interviews for all applicants at which your skills, achievements and life experience will be considered as well as your portfolio of work.

Our standard offer for a degree course is 120 UCAS tariff points. We expect applicants to have a grade C or above in English Language (or Welsh) at GCSE level, together with passes in another four subjects. Plus we accept a range of Level 3 qualifications including:

  • Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, plus one GCE A-Level in a relevant academic subject
  • Three GCE A-Levels or equivalent
  • BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject, with minimum grades of Merit
  • International Baccalaureate score of 32
  • Other relevant qualifications can be considered on an individual basis

Qualifications are important, however our offers are not solely based on academic results. If you don't have the required UCAS points then please contact the courses admissions tutor or email artanddesign@uwtsd.ac.uk as we can consider offers to applicants based on individual merit, exceptional work, and/or practical experience.

See our Interview Guide for more information.

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