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Digital FX are everywhere – from low budget independent movies and online digital content, to commercials, television programmes, games and Hollywood blockbusters. Read more
Digital FX are everywhere – from low budget independent movies and online digital content, to commercials, television programmes, games and Hollywood blockbusters.

Quick Facts:

2 Year Course
Full-time
Course runs Jan-Dec each year
Next intake: January 2017
NFTS Scholarships available for UK Students

Visit the website https://nfts.co.uk/our-courses/masters/digital-effects

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 07 JUL 2016

COURSE OVERVIEW

- Extensive, practical training on set, in a vfx and animation studio and in cutting-edge digital post suites.
- Work with the latest software applications and digital camera technology.
- Tutored by artists, technicians and supervisors currently working in the Industry.
- Shared modules during Year 1 across essential 2D and 3D vfx/sfx techniques.
- Specialise in Year 2 in either Compositing - Design and produce digital vfx for multiple projects or Colour - Online and colour grade multiple projects or CG 3D - Design and create 3D cg vfx for multiple projects.
- A unique bridge to the post production and vfx industries.
- A Creative Skillset-supported course.
- Unlike other schools, all production costs are met by the School.

This course commences in January each year. During this extremely practical modular course, you will spend a lot of time learning techniques “on set”, in addition to learning in front of a computer. You will work closely with students from all the other NFTS MA disciplines, creating 2D/3D VFX, CG 3D FX or Colour Grading and Onlining the entire production, on a diverse range of NFTS film and television projects – many of which go on to become international award-winners.

This course shares a common first year, allowing you to specialise in the second year in one of three areas:

COLOUR: For those who aspire to be:
Digital Film Colourists (Baselight/Nucoda/Scratch)
and/or Online Editors (AVID|DS/Symphony/Smoke)

COMPOSITING: For those who aspire to be:
VFX Artists/ 2D/3D Compositors (Nuke/Flame/Adobe CS6)

CG: For those who aspire to be:
CG 3D Artists or CG TDs (Maya modelling/lighting/texturing/rendering)

Ultimately the course will provide the backbone for a career in 2D VFX or 3D VFX or Colour Grading/Online editing.

The NFTS holds a unique position within the film and television industries, whereby it can offer an invaluable “Bridge to Industry” that attempts to help graduates establish themselves in a new career. At the time of writing, all the previous Digital FX graduates are in employment from Soho to São Paulo. Some are 3D CG TDs at Framestore, Double Negative and MPC in London, others SFX producers at Millennium FX, others 2D/3D compositors at The Mill, Cinesite and The Senate, others working in software development and as product specialists at Filmlight, Image Systems, Assimilate and The Foundry, and others as freelance conform editors and colourists.

ALUMNI

Graduate credits include: CG VFX on projects such as The First Avenger, Kick-Ass, Doctor Who, 2012, Harry Potter, Inception, Captain America and Avatar, Compositing VFX on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Tree of Life, John Carter, Paul, Iron Man 2, War Horse, Sherlock Holmes, The Dark Knight Rises, Clash of the Titans 2 and The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, conform/grading on Generation Kill, The Chronicles of Narnia, & Jack and the Giant Killer, as well as SFX on Being Human, Torchwood, Prometheus and Frankenweenie.

CURRICULUM

This unique modular course has been designed to keep pace with changes in technology and Industry practice.

You’ll control many of your own projects from start to finish. You learn by ‘doing’ as well as understanding theory, developing a variety of practical and creative skills from planning, budgeting, storyboarding and pre-visualisation through filming, CGI creation, VFX creation and finally post production and delivery.

Several modules are shared with other departments within the NFTS - such as the popular Take One Painting project - and the Digital FX students participate individually, or as teams, on many of the other NFTS students’ film and TV projects.

You learn what to do and then get a chance to do it for real. Problem solving is paramount.

Year One begins with a series of core modules shared by all three Digital FX disciplines (Compositing, Colour, CG 3D) which the whole cohort of students undertake:
The Common Agenda; The Fundamentals (inc. Motion Graphics);3D CG (Maya); Introduction to Tracking /Match Move; Take One Painting (Maya & Nuke); 2D/3D Compositing (Nuke); Previsualisation; Physical and Practical SFX.

After 9 months of common tuition, students would then choose to specialise further in one of three areas:

Compositing or Colour or CG 3D
To cement students’ choice of specialisation and to prepare them for their second year of MA studies, students would undertake one further common module on ‘Transmedia Storytelling’ and then three units related to their specialisation:

Compositing
Year 1: Motion Capture/Adv. Maya + Nuke; Transmedia storytelling; Green Screen Module (with Prod. Design)
Year 2: Compositing + Prosthetics shoot/post; Compositing + MoCo Workshop/Models/Miniatures

Colour
Year 1: Colour Management on set and in post; Transmedia storytelling; Colour Grading
Year 2: Colour Grading Prosthetics project; Online Editing and deliverables

CG 3D
Year 1: Motion Capture/Adv. Maya + Nuke; Transmedia storytelling; Prosthetics and SFX Make-Up
Year 2: CG + Prosthetics shoot/post; CG + MoCo Workshop/Models/Miniatures

As with all other MA specialisations at the NFTS the Digital FX students would complete a dissertation over the period of the course informing and reflecting on their practice, and work on the 2nd Year Graduate Film and TV Productions.

For the duration of the course, every Digital FX student has a dedicated computer workstation loaded with the latest 2D and 3D software applications including Maya, Nuke, PF Track, After Effects/Photoshop and many other specialist applications.

Working closely with Industry partners, students will also benefit from a wide range of workshops and masterclasses run by Industry professionals. Carefully selected practical work placements may also be available.
Unlike other schools, all production costs are met by the School. In addition you will be given a cash Production Budget. NFTS students are engaged in more productions as part of the curriculum than any of our competitors.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

The course covers such a diverse range of subjects that there is no typical candidate. Your background may be in the arts or other media or you may be a recent graduate or Industry professional looking to fast-track or switch your career.

Although not strictly necessary, you are likely to have some Industry experience or training in your chosen field and you must already understand the basic technical and operational use of computers.

An ideal candidate should have a mixture of creative and technical skills. Communication, people and management skills are also desirable.

Your application should be supported by a brief outline of your particular interests in the Compositing, Colour Grading or CG 3D fields including any relevant experience, either academic or practical.

You must indicate in your application which specialism you wish to study during the second year:

either Compositing or CG 3D or Colour.

APPLY WITH

- A critical analysis of the use of visual effects or colour grading in a film or television programme of your choice, no more than two sides A4 typed.

- A brief outline of your particular interests in the Compositing, Colour Grading or CG 3D fields including any relevant experience, either academic or practical. One side A4 maximum.

- A DVD or portfolio containing samples of your work. This need not demonstrate experience in effects. For applicants not from a film or television background, this item is optional.

HOW TO APPLY

You can apply directly to us at the NFTS by clicking on the link below:

APPLY FOR DIGITAL EFFECTS COURSE - https://nfts.co.uk/user/login?destination=node/9%3Fnid%3D5

You can apply online, or download a word document of the application form to submit via email
When selecting your course, please ensure that you have read the entry requirements and details of the supporting materials that should accompany your application.

TIMING YOUR APPLICATION

We are happy to receive applications 24/7 and 365 days a year up until the deadline. That said, there is no particular advantage to submitting your application very early. The important thing is that your application shows us your latest work and tell us about your most recent filmmaking experiences.

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Our MA Animation course builds on our long history of providing highly regarded animation education at UCA Farnham, and will provide you with a strong interdisciplinary approach to the animated form. Read more
Our MA Animation course builds on our long history of providing highly regarded animation education at UCA Farnham, and will provide you with a strong interdisciplinary approach to the animated form. We offer a dynamic environment in which you'll be able to engage with the animated form in traditional 2D and 3D stop motion, as well as the theoretical aspects of the discipline.

This course attracts students from around the world and has a rich cultural mix. You'll approach animation as a broad discipline and be encouraged to engage with experimental and speculative approaches to making through a range of projects, which will culminate in the production of a high quality animated film.

MA Animation at our Farnham campus has a long history of nurturing creative, innovative and challenging animators and has an incomparable alumni. This course will support you in developing practical skills while fostering a high standard of diverse critical approaches.

On this course you'll be encouraged to take risks, explore and develop your interests, and exchange, debate and discuss your ideas. You'll be expected to produce original and exciting films during your time with us, and explore the wide range of creative possibilities of frame-by -frame filmmaking. We'll encourage you to be open to these possibilities and to develop new skills, as well as building on your existing ones.

Your studies will be supported by internationally renowned staff on a course that is proud to have no house style. We'll encourage you to explore your own natural inclinations - whether narrative, experimental, documentary or fiction. This will enable you to establish yourself as a rounded professional who can formulate ideas in a sophisticated framework.

Our course uses a wide range of technical resources that cover the whole spectrum of contemporary animation practice, from traditional drawn and stop motion animation to the latest digitally generated imagery.

Part-time students are normally taught on a Wednesday but sometimes field trips, study visits or other events take place on other days of the week. You should check before enrolling if you have concerns about the days your course will be taught on.

Industry Partners

Our course actively encourages you to gain industry experience through a wide variety of approaches. These include work experience, internships, studio visits, commissions and competitions and entry into major film festivals.

We've built an extensive network of industry connections, giving us access to high-profile visiting lecturers, and to commissions, competitions and exciting work placement opportunities.

Our industry links include:
-Aardman Animations
-STUDIO AKA
-Passion Pictures
-Mackinnon & Saunders
-Nexus
-Framestore
-Cinesite
-The Mill
-ustwo
-Stylorouge
-Blink Productions
-ITV

Careers

Animation is one of the most significant and rapidly expanding media fields. An enormous range of career opportunities exist in animation. These range from the traditional techniques of animation storytelling, drawn to model and CGI animation.

Typical careers in the industry include:
-Directors
-Producers
-Animators (in commercials, films, broadcast, online media and games)
-Editors
-Character designers
-Production designers
-Pre-vis artists
-Compositors
-Storyboard artists
-Post-production

As one of the pre-eminent animation courses in the world, our sought after alumni have landed many exciting, high-profile roles across the industry - including positions as:
-Animators
-Directors
-Producers
-Designers
-Model makers
-Storyboard artists
-CG animators
-CG riggers

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Practitioners from Bristol's leading animation studios support both the development and delivery of this course, offering professional advice and guidance through workshops and master classes. Read more
Practitioners from Bristol's leading animation studios support both the development and delivery of this course, offering professional advice and guidance through workshops and master classes. You will also have the opportunity to be mentored one-to-one by industry professionals.

You will learn from the best in the business, gaining industry insight as well as work experience opportunities and the chance to attend networking events and screenings.

A strong focus on long term employability, ensures you graduate as a multi-skilled lifelong learner, with confidence, connections and a desire to further develop and enhance your practice.

Key benefits

Learn your craft from internationally renowned practitioners. We have partnerships with the region’s animation industry - including Aardman Aanimations, A Productions and Arthur Cox - and students have the opportunity to get feedback on their films from leading industry professionals.

Course detail

The course is based at Bower Ashton Campus, part of City Campus, where exceptional facilities and resources include state-of-the-art digital media, production and fabrication workshops offer a combination of traditional tools and the latest technology.
Based in Bristol, a global centre of excellence in animation, film and television production, it attracts students from around the world. Bristol is the place to study animation, home to Aardman Animations, A Productions, Arthur Cox and other internationally renowned animation companies.

Modules

• Developing Practice in Animation (30 credits)
• Pre-Production for Animation (30 credits)
• Production for Animation (45 credits)
• Professional Practice in Animation 1 (15 credits)
• Post Production for Animation (45 credits)
• Professional Practice in Animation 2 (15 credits)

Structure

The full Master's course comprises of 180 credits divided into three 60 credits stages: Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, and Masters. Students work incrementally through the three stages and must pass all modules at each stage in order to progress to the next.

Format

The course is taught via practical workshops, a rolling programme of guest lecturers and industry speakers and there are opportunities for work experience within the industry.

Assessment

You will be assessed through a combination of practical work, presentations and written assignments.

Careers / Further study

This postgraduate course will allow you to return to industry with enhanced skills and further experience or start afresh in the diverse field of animation. The course content and structure enables you to pursue your interests and specialisms whether in 2D/drawn, CG, stop motion or other forms of animation in a range of roles including direction, production, storyboarding, model-making, layout, design and teaching.

Past students have gained employment and worked on productions throughout the worldwith companies such as: Aardman Animations, A Productions, Wonky, Rumpus and Sun and Moon.

How to apply

Information on applications can be found at the following link: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/study/applyingtouwebristol/postgraduateapplications.aspx

Funding

- New Postgraduate Master's loans for 2016/17 academic year –

The government are introducing a master’s loan scheme, whereby master’s students under 60 can access a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of their study. This is part of the government’s long-term commitment to enhance support for postgraduate study.

Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

More information can be found here: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/feesandfunding/fundingandscholarships/postgraduatefunding.aspx

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The landscape of visual effects is changing at a lightning speed. Read more
The landscape of visual effects is changing at a lightning speed. The technological advances over the last decade have brought us fast communication links that are enabling global, cloud-based and remote workflow, opening the possibilities of a looser, more flexible network of artists based in different countries creatively collaborating on visual effects projects. This, combined with the ever increasing demand for both film and video content means that there is a growing need not just for VFX artists but also VFX producers, post-production coordinators and project managers that have a deep understanding of the whole workflow in the creation of visual effects and the post-production in general.

Ravensbourne’s course reflects these changes and follows Skillset guidance on the entry skills required to meet VFX industry’s needs that encompass not only specialised industry skills but also soft skills required for a successful career in the VFX and post-production industry be it in the creative or project management spectrum.

In addition six modules in the form of group tutorials are given on the whole process in the creation of VFX including pre-production meetings, VFX acquisition, scheduling, budgeting, organisation and shoot supervision. These modules also place VFX in the wider context of post-production and give an overview of the post-production workflow from brief to delivery that includes transcoding, editing and deliverables.

Ravensbourne gives students access to all the necessary equipment, including cameras, the use of green screen studios with complete lighting rigs and the relevant software.

Students will have the opportunity to visit a major post-production facility through Ravensbourne’s many industry partnerships. Entrants are likely to have previously studied arts, media, public relations, marketing, editing, post-production, motion graphics or 3D animation at undergraduate level.

Course structure

1. Technology Issues – Within the Technology Issues unit, students will engage with 3 5-week project cycles that will allow them to explore CG, compositing and finishing. These units are structured to encourage students to engage collaboratively with fellow students.

2. Business and Innovation – Taught during the term prior to the Major Project Unit this unit helps students develop and understanding of business and innovative practices in the creative industries. It supports visual effects students in turning their ideas and skills into viable market propositions and long term business plans.

3. Research Process – This unit provides the grounding for research and development skills needed for students’ individual projects.

4. Concept and Prototyping – allows students to further develop their skills, to identify a specialist area related to visual effects and to pursue a single line of inquiry, idea or theory embedded in visual effects and research and develop (investigate, challenge and test) the concept.

5. Major project - The Major Project represents the culmination of students’ investigation and the final stage of the research strategy. This is a substantial piece of self-managed work that is underpinned by advanced practice-based methodologies and processes.

Programme Aims

All postgraduate courses at Ravensbourne provide students with the opportunity to develop advanced skills in the conceptualisation and practical realisation of innovative creative projects in their discipline area and provide them with the entrepreneurial skills to realise their commercial potential. These courses share the following common aims:

- to develop advanced creative practitioners with the potential to originate, innovate or influence practice in their discipline area;

- to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of the core principles and technology underpinning their creative project and the theoretical frameworks within which to locate it;

- to underpin students’ creative practice with the entrepreneurial skills and business awareness necessary to turn concepts into commercially viable realities;

- to develop students’ skills in independent learning, self-reflection and research skills necessary to sustain advanced creative practice and scholarship;

- to offer a stimulating environment for postgraduate students which is both supportive and flexible in relation to their learning needs and a creative space in which to incubate their ideas.

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The MA Animation Production enables students to develop themselves and their work by focusing on Practice, Theory and Professionalism and the ‘critical dialogue’ between them. Read more
The MA Animation Production enables students to develop themselves and their work by focusing on Practice, Theory and Professionalism and the ‘critical dialogue’ between them.

More specifically, the MA Animation Production will draw upon our institutional and team strengths to allow students to explore their practice in a postgraduate context. The AUB Animation philosophy sees observation, drawing and an understanding of the traditional principles of animation as fundamental, but these are critically contextualised in relation to technology, history, theory and professional/studio practice. The course team are regularly augmented by Visiting Tutors and specialists from industry – visitors to date include award-winning animators Bill Plympton, Barry Purves, Joanna Quinn and Suzie Templeton.

The overall aim of the MA course is to enable students to pursue their interests and specialism – whether 2D/drawn, CG, stop motion or other forms of animation – and produce excellent work that synthesises the ‘strands’ of theory, practice and professionalism. What marks out AUB in this field is the range of skills and interests of our staff (and potential specialisms offered) and how these are holistically ‘framed’ within the cutting edge context of Animation Studies as a discipline.

You will be a graduate of a BA Animation course or have a related degree such as Digital Media, Graphics, or Illustration. Although we will consider good graduates from other disciplines, you must have some understanding of the animation production process in order to prosper on this course.

AUB Animation has achieved alumni success with our graduates going on to work at Aardman, Framestore, Pixar, EA Games and the Moving Picture Company and many other companies. Our BA films have won awards and recognition in the British Animation Awards and Royal Television Society Awards and at festivals around the world. We are proud of the network of AUB graduates who are now employed in Animation – many of whom return to talk to current students.

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The Master in Animation Design aims first of all to consolidate and upgrade skills in animation concept design with a focus on the topics, contents and styles that characterize the current production. Read more
The Master in Animation Design aims first of all to consolidate and upgrade skills in animation concept design with a focus on the topics, contents and styles that characterize the current production. It identifies some points that focuses on the evolution of the production work flow, presented by larger studies that are currently introducing new artistic solutions and techniques (Emerging Tools) for the production of series and feature films: 2D/3D integration, Cut-out (Puppet Animation), Frame-by-Frame Paperless Animation, Post-production, VFX.

On these "nodes" students will find also the search for style, as a synthesis between the premises of the concept - expressive and aesthetic intents - and the choices of realization.

Teaching methodology is divided into three main areas: design, technical and instrumental and production-marketing.

The programme initially provides some useful modules to examine and specialize expertise within the concept design, pre-production (from the subject to the storyboard) and animation, alongside the courses that provide the necessary expertise on the technical instrumental perspective.

The course covers subjects such as Concept Design for animation (at the base of the short film), Ambient Design (study set design applied to the different animation techniques), Character Design (screenplay), pre-visualization techniques (from videoboard to lay out Settings Set 3D), Director, Soundtrack, development of interactive digital content.

Teachers follow personally the formulation and implementation of various projects. The students make a dossier of the project, individual or in team, to be presented to the pitch of the most important festivals worldwide (Appel à Projects in Annecy; Pitch Me! At Cartoons on the Bay).

There will be then a communication project (in simulation purchasing) on social issues or education and the creation of a personal show reel (self-presentation) updated to the latest projects.

The final Project may be a short film, a pilot for a TV series or a cross-media project, done individually or in team.

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