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BSc (Hons) in Visual Effects for Film, TV and Animation

Course Code: LC506


Level

08

Duration

4 Years

Department

Art & Design


CAO Points

New for 2021 (Portfolio Required)

Course Type

Undergraduate - CAO

Location

Clonmel

In this programme you will learn how to create and develop high quality digital content for the visual effects and 3D animation industry. You will develop your artistic and technical ability to produce world-class 3D content.                                             

This course has been developed by ex-industry professionals who have worked for internationally renowned studios like Double Negative (Inception, The Dark Knight, and Blade Runner), Brown Bag Films and Screen Scene and will prepare you for an exciting career in the industry both nationally and internationally.

What are the entry requirements?

Leaving Certificate

A minimum of 2 H5 & 4 O6/H7 grades in six Leaving Certificate subjects, including English or Irish and a minimum of an O4 in Mathematics.

Mature Applicants

Candidates applying as mature applicants may be required to attend an interview and may be requested to take an aptitude test to prove their suitability for a place on this programme.

International Applicants

Non-EU applicants should apply directly to the International Office at LIT allowing plenty of time for completing the visa process. Applications for September start should be made by July 1st at the latest.
Contact: International@LIT.ie   

Portfolio

As well as meeting the Leaving Certificate/QQI FET/FETAC requirement, students will also need to pass a portfolio assessment. The portfolio is scored out of 600 with a minimum score of 240 required to pass.

Click here for further portfolio information

Who can I contact?

What modules will I study?


 

  • Year 1

    Title: 3D Animation: Introduction to 3D Animation

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    Using industry standard CG software learners apply the fundamentals of animation through simple exercises with a focus is on the application of the 12 principles of animation. Once familiar with these basic techniques, Learners begin to explore basic character locomotion.  


    Title: 3D Modelling I - Introduction to Modelling for Animation

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    This module will focus on developing the learner's understanding of the technical requirements to successful model a real-world hard surface objects. The learner will be introduced to the technical and aesthetic considerations required for the creation of high quality 3d models for use in the entertainment industries.  

    The ultimate goal of this module is to introduce methods by which modellers can create topologically efficient and aesthetically pleasing 3d models.  
     


    Title: 3D Modelling II - Characters and Creatures

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    Having learnt the fundamental of building hard surface models the learner will be introduced to the technical and aesthetic considerations required for the creation of high detailed and realistic 3d character models for use in the entertainment industries.  

    This module aims to:  

    • Complement and build on the students existing hard surface modelling skills with soft surface modelling aimed at creating organic forms to technical specifications.  
    • Support and encourage the student's continuing exploration of anatomy and musculature  
    • Enable the student to confidently and efficiently clean-up or re-topologise assets.  
       

    Title: Animation I Fundamentals

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    This module will introduce learners to the principles of animation and how to apply them to classical, 3D and 2D Traditional animation processes. Using traditional animation drawing techniques, complemented by 2D Traditional skills, learners apply the basic principles of animation and drawing through simple, object-oriented assignments. Focus is on the fundamentals of the physics of motion and how they apply to simple objects in the 'real' world.  


    Title: Compositing I: Fundamentals

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    This module is an introduction to 2D compositing of images. Compositing is where a variety of disparate elements are brought together into a visually cohesive whole. As such the composite is the destination of a range of assets and great precision is needed to enable the viewer to suspend disbelief. Even when the result is not intended to be photoreal, it is vital that the final image is cohesive and seamless, so evidence of its construction does not detract from story or meaning.  


    Title: Concept Art I

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    This module examines the role of the concept artist within the context of industry. With visual effects and CG animation now crossing multiple new platforms and genres, the role of the concept artist has become very varied and complex. In a very crowded and competitive sector, companies strive for original thinking and distinctive visual content.  

    In this module, the student explores digital drawing and painting techniques in the creation of concept art, ranging across environments, characters and props. They will explore the process of thumbnailing, speed painting and iteration based on feedback as well as the final production of high quality concept art, with a focus on both the visual communication of relevant information for use by other artists i.e. the 3D modeler, and a high level of artistic ability in the rendering of marketing assets.  


    Title: Digital Photography

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    The aim of this module is to introduce learners to digital photographic theory, equipment and software and to provide them with the skills necessary to undertake a series of photographic projects in the context of digital image capture.  


    Title: Drawing Principles I

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    Introduces drawing fundamentals through visual observation, communication and expression. Learners will get an introduction to anatomy, proportion, gesture and form through life drawing. They will also get an introduction to drawing principles such as perspective, form, structure, composition, line and value through both observational drawing and research based design projects  


    Title: Interactive Programming I

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    Interactive Programming I introduces programming concepts to students. This module utilises graphical objects to contextualise the application of programming in a digital media environment.  


    Title: Interpersonal Development

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    Interpersonal Development is an interactive, workshop-style module that helps students develop their personal effectiveness. Core components include; learning styles, interpersonal psychology, effective communication and professional presentations.  


    Title: Materials & Lighting for Animation

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    The aim of this module is to introduce the learner to the core techniques and terminology required for the texturing, lighting, shading and rendering of high quality 3d scenes for use in the entertainment industries. The learner will be introduced to the technical and aesthetic considerations required for the texturing, shading, lighting and rendering of 3d scenes and models for use in the entertainment industries.  


    Title: Visual Communications I

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    The aim of this module is to introduce the learner to the elements within Visual Communications.  


  • Year 2

    Title: 3D Animation II

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    This module allows learner to further develop their knowledge of animation, by focusing on the technical and aesthetic factors central to the creation of convincing character animation beginning with body mechanics. Studies include animation of more complex actions as well as character driven performances. Body mechanics and performance analysis are emphasized to raise the learners' observation skills and understanding of movement and character.  

    Motion capture will be utilized to further the learners understanding of body mechanics with an emphasis on realistic movement. Emphasis will be placed on creating believable human character performances.  
     


    Title: Compositing II: Mattes & Motion Graphics

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    This module examines different methods by which mattes can be created and how they might be manipulated and used in compositing. It also examines different image restoration techniques.  

    The integrity of the matte is vital for seamless composited work and it must be rigorously examined and tested throughout its creation and implementation. This module examines roto scoping (mattes created by hand), keying (mattes made by colour or pixel range) and several variants such as mattes created by math operations.

    A secondary aim of this module is to explore the foundations of motion graphics. Design for screen, effective use of typography, graphical elements, sound, video, and motion are covered with simple animations, logo and shape motion, and environmental visual effects.  


    Title: Effective Teamwork

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    Effective Teamwork is an interactive module designed to provide students with core theory/concepts central to understanding how to create effective teams and will challenge them to put that theory into practice. Students will gain an understanding of themselves as team workers, learn how teams develop via central concepts in social psychology and increase their skill in intervening to increase team effectiveness.  


    Title: Film Studies I

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    This module considers animated short form - such as television episodes, animated shorts and art-house shorts. It elaborates aspects such as historical contextualisation, authorship, aesthetics, technology, genre and interpretive critique. A range of examples are used to illustrate, ranging from popular television shows such as; The Simpsons and; South park to more art-house styles such as shorts created by Jan Svankmajer. Paul Wells broad 'theory of animation' is introduced, as a model that helps to locate animated shorts in terms of style, theme, content etc. Various interpretive critiques from sociocultural, historical, religious etc orientations are also applied. An inter-modular, context-based and design-oriented style of learning is deployed.  


    Title: Interactive Programming II

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    Interactive Programming II advances the programming abilities of students. The emphasis of this module is on developing complex event-driven interactive applications that can be deployed to a range of devices (e.g. PC, mobile, tablet, TV) and utilise audio and visual components.  


    Title: Matchmove

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    Matchmove is the department where client data gets ingested into the Visual effects pipeline from here it is disseminated to the other departments. Emphasis is placed on how matchmove is a key department. Data generated here needs to be clean and correct, as mistakes here will affect many other departments downstream. Emphasis is placed on how 3D matchmove has become the cornerstone of career progression within Visual Effects (especially within 3D departments) and how accurate 3D matchmoving is crucial for the production of believable CGI.  


    Title: Mattes & Motion Graphics

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    Title: Media Capture and Editing

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    The aim of this module is to develop the learners creative and technical skills in producing original digital photographic and video material applying best principles of capture. Its secondary aim is to give learners an understanding of the procedures involved in digital asset editing and postproduction to create high quality content for digital media.  


    Title: Modelling Texturing and Lighting Scenes

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    This module builds on the knowledge acquired in Materials and Lighting and 3D Modelling modules to facilitate learners in the creation of industry standard modelled textured and lit scenes that showcase both the technical and creative factors central to the creation of convincing and artistically pleasing shots and sequences.  


    Title: Pre-Visualization and Layout

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    The filmmaking process of pre-visualization is an essential tool that seeks to resolve both creative and production issues and helps to tell a story economically while maximizing visual scale. 3D pre-visualization requires a wide range of software skills and a solid understanding of filmmaking craft.  

    During this module students will learn the filmmaking practices of cinematic staging and composition, and the iterative steps to create and complete their own pre-visualized sequence. Through demonstrations and exercises, students learn to utilize animation and modeling to stage and art direct complex sequences.  


    Title: Rigging I Creatures and Characters

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    This module looks at Rigging 3D models for further animation. This module will provide learners with fundamental skills and knowledge in the processes and techniques used for the creation of rigs for driving animated models for use in the entertainment industries.  

    The goal of this module is to introduce methods by which riggers can create flexible, efficient and aesthetically pleasing rigging setups.  


    Title: Short Film/CG Project I

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    The aim of this module is to develop the learner's creative and technical skills in producing a complete CG project. Its secondary aim is to give learners applied guidance pre-production, production and delivery. It will allow students to apply the principles of a CG pipeline on a live project. We expect that a substantial amount of project proposal will be animated CG projects in the form of 3D animated shorts or Visual Effects projects. However, there will also be scope to propose CG projects that fall outside of these categories such as CG tool development, AR/VR projects, CG based installations etc.  


  • Year 3

    Title: Compositing III - Advanced Comp

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    This module will focus on allowing learners to further develop their understanding of 2D compositing workflow and methodologies. Compositing work is often complex, requiring a keen artistic eye and technical problem-solving skills. Learners will develop their understanding of Image manipulation math, and multi pass lighting. They will further develop their ability to code and automate systems and tackle more complex compositing setups such as 2D effects work and motion graphics.  


    Title: Effects I Fundamentals

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    To provide learners with fundamental skills and knowledge in the processes and techniques used for the creation of effects setup for recreating natural phenomena for use in the entertainment industries. While the main focus will be an 3D techniques this will also look at 2D techniques where appropriate.  

    This module will focus on developing the learner's understanding of the artistic and technical requirements to create flexible and efficient effects setups. The learner will be introduced to the technical and aesthetic considerations required for effects creation.  


    Title: Concept Art II, Digital Sculpting

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    This module examines the role of the concept artist within the context of the television and film industry. The role of the concept artist has become very varied and complex.  

    In a very crowded and competitive sector, entertainment companies strive for original thinking and distinctive visual content. This should be derived from the script and aid in the vision of the director, but should also consider traditional marketing, branding and pitching aids  

    In this module, the student continues to explore digital drawing and painting techniques combined with Digital sculpting in the creation of concept art, ranging across environments, characters and props, generated from a script or Director/Client notes.  
     


    Title: Employment Placement

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    The duration of this module equates to 200 hours of student effort. Students will engage in work placement for this element and as a result an 80% attendance is required to fulfil the requirements of the module.  


    Title: Matte Painting & Environments

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    This module examines the art of matte painting and the role of the environment TD. With the advent of 3D CGI, the matte painter's job has increasingly moved away from creating 2D backdrops of landscape and cityscape to include working with geometry in a 2.5D space and creating set enhancements and extensions. In this module the student explores painting techniques and their role in creating environments.  


    Title: Portfolio

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    The aim of this module is to introduce to the learner the concept and techniques of planning, designing, organising and preparing their work for insertion into an entry level, industry standard portfolio. The learner will use the capabilities of other modules as well as the integration properties of each to achieve this aim.  


    Title: Professional Development

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    This module is designed to enable students to develop skills that will help them plan and manage their career. This module focuses on 4 key career skills; MBTI, Career Planning, creating a Professional CV, and Effective Interviewing. 


    Title: Project Management for Animation

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    This module will introduce the student to the concepts and tools of Project Management for Digital Projects. Topics include Project Management Methodologies, Project Lifecycle; Scoping and preparing a Project Proposal; Project planning, scheduling, and tracking of Digital Media Projects; Project Risks; Team Management; Testing and Archiving.  


    Title: Rigging II Character Performance

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    This module will focus on developing the learner's understanding of the more demanding aspects of rigging such as rigging for performance needs, rigging for crowds, muscle deformation, rigging for costume and hair etc.  

    Creating rigs capable of believable performance requires both an artistic understanding of the animation needs of a scene and the technical understanding of how to create efficient and reusable rigs. Learners are introduced to more complex performance briefs and required to create rigs that solve these performance issues in technically innovative ways.
     


    Title: Short Film/CG Project II

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    Working as a designated part of a team the learner will produce a substantial CG project in response to a self-initiated team brief. 

    Learners will be expected to work as part of a team to develop a substantial CG project.  

    The aim of this module is to broaden learners creative and technical skills in producing an ambitious CG project. They will engage with advanced procedures involved in pre-production, production and postproduction. It allows learner the opportunity to explore working in a specific role within a team environment.  


  • Year 4

    Title: Effects II Technical Direction

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    Effects work is often complex and requires creative problem solving. This work can be computationally heavy, so learners will develop strategies to manage resources and time and schedule efficiently. Effects are often used across a variety of different shots, developing learners understanding of reusability, scalability, coding and pipeline efficiency is important. The ultimate goal of this module is to allow learners to develop methods by which they can create aesthetically pleasing technically efficient, art direct able effects scenes. 


    Title: Emerging Technologies and Trends in Digital Media

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    Deriving inspiration from futurists and deep thinkers, this module challenges learners to consider their future in a world increasingly dependent on digital technologies.  


    Title: Entertainment Media Industry

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    In this module we take a critical look at the animation, visual effects and broader media industries and examine how digital media companies operate and how animation and visual effects are created manufactured and distributed. As the global entertainment and media industry becomes increasingly globalised, the production publishing and distribution ecosystem can be confusing for the new content creators.  

    We will look at funding models and how projects are bid for and budgeted, the growth of a global entertainment market, work conditions, freelance or contract, tax subsidies outsourcing and other issues that are relevant in the industry currently. We look at, the ways to pitch your or fund potential projects, and look at case studies of successful individuals/studios.


    Title: Major VFX Project

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    This module is the culmination of the learner's four years of study. It is designed to allow the learner to specialise in particular areas of interest while producing an industry standard final project.  

    The learner will create a substantial and original CG project in response to his or her own self-initiated brief. These will be pitched and reviewed by the programme board to ensure that the project scope is tightly defined and focuses on quality over quantity. It is important that the learners produce focused work of an industry standard. The purpose here is to not limit students but to set a realistic framework for what can be achieved.  


    Title: Portfolio II

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    The aim of this module is to help the learner polish and refine an industry standard portfolio. The module explores planning techniques, designing, organising and preparing their work for insertion into an entry level, industry standard portfolio. It also looks at online presence and branding.  

    The learner will prepare various versions of their demoreel aimed at specific job descriptions/characteristics. The learner will use the capabilities of other modules as well as the integration properties of each to achieve this aim.  


    Title: Scripting & Digital Tool Creation for Technical Directors

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    Scripting & Digital tool creation for Technical Artists will introduce the learner to production scripting within the context of a content creation tool.  

    It will provide the learner with the scripting skills required to automate the content creation process and produce graphical interfaces to allow distribution to a team of artists.  

    It will examine digital tool creation for production with a focus on automating repetitive tasks. The learner will be introduced to the concept of digital assets and how these can be designed to enhance workflows and pipelines. and to put these into practice using an industry standard content creation tool.  


    Title: Virtual Reality

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    The Virtual Reality module exposes artists to the practicalities of developing content for virtual reality environments and experiences. The module will utilise appropriate software and virtual reality hardware to support learning.  


Are there opportunities for further study?

Successful graduates of this course are eligible for a wide range of taught and research, Level 9, Masters programmes in Ireland and abroad.

What are the career prospects?

Graduates will have a range of industry ready skills that make them highly employable across the television, feature film, media and creative technology industries, including a variety of roles such as: Creature/Character Animators, Matchmove, Lighting, Rigging, Effects, Look Development, Texture Artist, Layout, Compositing, Production Management, Creature Modeller, VFX Editing, Character Designer, Matte Painting, Concept Art, Technical Director, FX artists.‚Äč