This Master's degree in Visual Effects (3D) provides the perfect opportunity for those looking to gain an advanced role in the VFX industry.
You'll learn a vast range of VFX skills, gain a fully accredited MA qualification and get to research the latest techniques within the industry. Mentored by world-famous VFX studio and an Industry Parter- Framestore, you'll receive intensive software training whilst learning advanced skills in VFX.
This course is designed to give you practical, vocational training and a fully-accredited MA qualification, so you won't just graduate, you'll graduate as a highly-skilled, highly-creative VFX professional.
Giving you advanced, up-to-date skills in state-of-the-art 3D VFX technologies and techniques, you'll be taught by an industry-trained tutor, and specialise in software recommended by industry including: Autodesk Maya, ZBrush, 3DEqualizer and NUKE.
We've teamed up with the University of Kent to bring you a programme that goes beyond our regular 3D for VFX courses, with an in-depth understanding of how to take your classroom-studio skills and use them in real-world production environments.
If you're joining this course and starting on 16th January 2017, you'll benefit from:
- A visit to Framestore on your first day, where they will tell you about the mentoring scheme they’ll be providing for this course
- Three classroom feedback and mentoring sessions provided by a 3D Artist from Framestore
- A final review session with Framestore recruiters and recruiters from other post-production companies, so you can present your showreel and receive feedback
- An evening feedback and mentoring session with a Houdini Artist from Framestore, held at Escape Studios
- We’ll also offer you the opportunity to take a supplementary Houdini Dynamics (5 weeks, 2 evenings each week) and a Houdini Tools (5 weeks, 2 evenings each week) course at no extra cost, so you’ll be able to really get to grips with Houdini ahead of working in industry
You'll graduate with a degree from the University of Kent. Known as the UK’s European University, the University of Kent is ranked 23rd in The Guardian University Guide 2017, it is also ranked 17th in the UK for research intensity out of 122 multi-faculty universities in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and has the fifth equal highest score for overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2015, out of 115 multi-faculty institutions. It has also been voted one of the top five universities for teaching in the UK, according to the Times Higher Education (THE).
*subject to approval
Why Escape Studios, Pearson College London?
- Learn from award-winning industry professionals and experienced industry-focused tutors; our tutors have not only been behind some of the best new talent in their field, but have an impressive array of achievements from their time practicing what they preach
- All graduates produce an industry-standard showreel as an output of their course
- State-of-the-art, studio-style facilities in a great London location
- Ongoing alumni support following graduation - our 4000+ alumni are spread far and wide enjoying careers at the best studios in the business
- Free online primer course - bring your foundation skills up to speed before you start
- Access Escape's Virtual Learning Environment for free extra resources to support your training - throughout your course and for 12 months after you graduate
- Get help and advice on your CV, showreel and job applications
- Our small class sizes ensure that we deliver a personalised, student-led approach to learning
- Sign up for free Autodesk software when you join our Autodesk Education Community
- Enjoy flexible learning with 18 weeks of classroom study, 12 weeks of online learning with a mentor and a 15 week final project, completed online with a mentor.
What you'll learn
You'll study six key modules including:
- 3D Foundation
- Visual Effects
- Advanced 3D for Visual Effects
- Visual Effects Project
- Visual Effects Production Project
We'll also give you software training in:
- Autodesk Maya
- Adobe Photoshop
- Autodesk Mudbox/ZBrush
What kind of VFX roles will this programme prepare you for?
Here are just some of the roles you'll be ready for:
- VFX Generalist
- Effects Technical Director (TD)
- Lighting Technical Director (TD)
- Matchmove Artist/Technical Director (TD)
Module 1: 3D Foundation
For these assignments you will be required to produce a final piece of project work and a supporting logbook which documents the work you have done on the project.
Assignment 1 will require you to decide on a subject for your project and research suitable reference material. Your subject should be a realistic (ideally real-world) object which you will then model, texture, light, render and composite into a still image or photograph that you have taken or acquired or suitable simple CG scene. To ensure your project is achievable and meets the requirements of the assignment we recommend you choose a subject for which you can obtain good reference material for example a car or an aeroplane would work well. However we also expect you to push yourself and you should consider choosing a relatively complex object with complex curved surfaces and a range of surface materials and textures. You tutor will be able to offer guidance on this when you come to decide on your project.
Assignment 2 will require you to create a logbook of your progress through the project. This logbook should be in the form of an online blog and as well as containing written elements (2000 words) should also contain images and video to help describe the development of your project. The aim is to provide detailed insight into the tools and techniques you are learning as well as the creative and technical decisions you make. It is expected that you provide some critical analysis of your own work and draw some conclusions from it.
Module 2: Visual Effects
For these assignments you will be required to produce a final piece of project work and a supporting report which documents the work you have done on the project.
Assignment 3 will require you to conceive and create a short visual effects shot to demonstrate a range of skills applied in a typical visual effects pipeline. The work you do will comprise of the selection of a piece of live action footage that you have either shot yourself or acquired from our library, or andexternal source. This footage will then be camera tracked to enable you to integrate a CG element into the shot. This CG element will need to be modelled, textured, lit and rendered appropriately to enable the seamless compositing of the object into the live action footage.The shot should be around 5 seconds long and contain a complex three dimensional camera move. The aim is to integrate a realistic CG object or environment (set) extension into the plate seamlessly so it is difficult to distinguish these elements from the live action footage. The key is to demonstrate skills that will be recognised as those used in professional VFX production. There is no requirement for a narrative however you should try and demonstrate creative flair and an artistic eye to add impact and polish to the piece.
Assignment 4 will require you to create a logbook of your progress through the project. This logbook should be in the form of an online blog and as well as containing written elements (2000 words) should also contain images and video to help describe the development of your project. The aim is to provide detailed insight into the tools and techniques you are learning as well as the creative and technical decisions you make. It is expected that you provide some critical analysis of your own work and draw some conclusions from it.
Module 3: Advanced 3D for Visual Effects
For these assignments you will be required to produce a final piece of project work and a supporting report which documents the work you have done on the project.
Assignment 5 will require you to conceive and create a short visual effects shot that incorporates one or more of the advanced techniques that you have covered in the module. This will comprise of a piece of live action footage that you have either shot yourself or acquired from our library or and external source.You will then generate CG elements using one of more techniques covered in the module (e.g. particle effects, procedural elements, fluids, etc.) that will then be integrated into the shot. This CG element will need to be rendered appropriately to enable the seamless compositing into the live action footage.The shot should be around 10 seconds long. The aim is to integrate realistic complex CG effects into the plate seamlessly so it is difficult to disguise these elements from the live action footage. The key is to demonstrate skills that will be recognised as those used in professional VFX production. There is no requirement for a narrative however you should try and demonstrate creative flair and an artistic eye to add impact and polish to the piece.
Assignment 6 will require you to create a logbook of your progress through the project. This logbook should be in the form of an online blog and as well as containing written elements (2000 words) should also contain images and video to help describe the development of your project. The aim is to provide detailed insight into the tools and techniques you are learning as well as the creative and technical decisions you make. It is expected that you provide some critical analysis of your own work and draw some conclusions from it.
Module 4: 3D VFX Tools and Technology
For these assignments you are required to write a 3000 word report on a subject of your choosing and then present the report and its findings.The research report for Assignment 5 should demonstrate advanced knowledge of one or more 3D Visual Effects production technologies and there use in a production environment.The report is an opportunity to show your ability to not only understand the technical use of a particular tool or technology but an awareness of potential advancements and their impact on the production process. Once you have identified a specific subject area for your report you should obtain suitable reference and research material. Through the analysis and presentation of this material your aim should be to draw insightful conclusions as to future developments or trends in the use of these tools or technology.
For the second part of the module, Assignment 6, you will present your research project. This presentation should cover a brief overview of the report and its aims, some contextual information about current tools and technologies used in the area covered by the report, an overview of the research youhave undertaken, a summary of your findings and any conclusions you have drawn. The presentation should be 20 minutes long including some time for questions.
Module 5: Visual Effects Project
For this module you will be required to produce a project that demonstrates your ability to choose correct techniques and approaches and to apply these to meet a specified professional brief.
For Assignment 9 you will be given a brief for a short visual effects shot that incorporates the techniques that you have covered in programme. You will be provided with the live footage that will be combined with CG content to meet the brief requirements. The CG elements will need to be rendered appropriately and the seamlessly composited into the live action footage. The scope of this project means that you will typically be working with others in team to complete all the requirements of the brief. The aim is to integrate complex CG elements into the supplied footage seamlessly so it is difficult to distinguish these elements from the live action. The key is to demonstrate skills that will be recognised as those used in professional VFX production. This project will demonstrate that you can select the correct the techniques from the range that you have studied and managing your time and resources to deliver a professional standard project to a given deadline.
Module 6: Visual Effects Production Project
This is the major project that will allow you to demonstrate that you have reached the level appropriate for the award of a Masters degree. You will specify, refine and produce a substantial visual effects project that will show that you have an in-depth critical awareness of the area and the highly developed practical skills to deliver a complex project on time.
For Assignment 10 you will specify your own project brief in discussion with your tutors that will involve a complex visual effects shot that uses the advanced techniques that you have studied. It will use live action from our library, an external source or that you shoot yourself, and will allow you to incorporate high quality CG material in a way that shows your mastery of the subject area. The decisions that you make in developing the material and creating the shot will demonstrate the extent of your knowledge and understanding of the current state-of-the-art, and the implementation will allow you to demonstrate the high level of skills that you have.
Assignment 11 is a 5000 word reflective report that will show that the design and production process that you have carried out in this project is one that exhibits the required characteristics for a Masters degree.It should discuss the decisions that you have made and place them in the context of current industry practice and research in the area, and it should reflect on the process and the final video to identify its strengths and weaknesses. This is your opportunity to demonstrate the depth your critical understanding of the field and to show that you can objectively analyse your own work.
We believe that when companies and higher education work in tandem they become a powerful engine for innovation and economic growth.
We work with industry to push the frontiers of knowledge and every aspect of your study will be shaped by the employers we work with. As a business ourselves, we have close relationships with an impressive array of organisations and you’ll be able to learn directly from them. So you’ll not only discover academic knowledge, but how to put that knowledge into practice, in the real world.
We're very proud that Industry Partner and industry pioneers Framestore will be our course mentor for this programme- giving you exclusive showreel feedback, software training and exclusive contact time with industry professionals.
How we work with employers
Many aspects of your degree will be delivered directly by our industry partners. You’ll also be invited to visit their workplaces, giving you an amazing insight into all kinds of work environments.
Employers are closely involved in developing individual modules and the learning resources that go with them. That means you’ll learn directly from experienced practitioners, as well as leading academics. It also helps to make sure your learning is relevant to industry and full of real-world experience and ideas.
Escape Studios Alumni
Our Escape Studio's Alumni (Escapee's) can be found throughout the industry's most iconic studios and Industry Partners, including The Mill, Double Negative and ILM.
Fees and funding
- Free online primer course before you start studying - so your foundation skills are up to speed
- Access to Escape's VLE system where you will be able to access additional resources to supplement your training throughout the duration of the course and 12 months of free access after completing the course.
- Escapee Aftercare and career support
- Help and advice on your CV, showreel and job applications
- Free Autodesk Software upon registration to the Autodesk Education Community - full details included with course welcome information.
- 18 weeks of classroom study followed by 12 weeks of remotely directed learning and a 15 week remotely directed final project
Our postgraduate fees are payable at the beginning of each academic year, or at each stage of your programme.
Please note, we review our fees every year.
Onsite Money Advice
Our Student Finance Manager is on hand to answer all your questions and help you with money matters, to make sure your time as a student here goes as smoothly as possible.
Funding for UK students
You may be able to get funding to help cover the cost of the course. For independent advice, and to find out more about your options, visit gov.uk or call the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900.
If you’re a UK student, you can apply for a Professional Career Development Loan (PCDL). PCDLs are bank loans to pay for courses and training that help with your career. You may be able to borrow between £300 and £10,000. Loans are usually offered at a reduced interest rate and the government pays the interest while you’re studying. It’s best to apply at least three months before starting your course, to give your bank time to process your application.
To be eligible for a PCDL, you must be 18 or over, have been living in the UK for at least three years before your course starts and planning to work in the UK, European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) after you graduate.
To apply, find out which banks offer the loan and order an application pack by calling the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900. Complete and return the application form to your bank and they’ll decide if you qualify for a loan.
Get in Touch
We can help with any problems or questions you have with course fees and funding. Speak to one of our Applicant Advisors via phone or email today! Call us on 0207 348 1920 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
An undergraduate honours degree in Art and Design, Architecture, Computing or Engineering-related subjects.
We're also happy to consider applicants without a degree if you have significant industry experience in VFX or related fields.
We'll ask suitable applicants to submit a creative portfolio and attend an interview.
English language requirements:
IELTS 6.0 or equivalent.
Get In Touch
Get all the information you need at an Escape Studios Open Day.
You can meet our Applicant Advisors, find out more about the course and meet your future lecturers.
Simply fill in the form on the Open Days page and we’ll be in touch to confirm your booking. We’ll also send you more information about what to expect on the day, and how to get here.
How to apply
There's no formal application deadline for the majority of our programmes, but it's best to apply as early as possible to avoid disappointment. If we think you have the potential to succeed on the programme, we'll email you shortly after you apply with details of your interview and how to submit your creative portfolio.
Disabled and dyslexic students
It's our policy to consider all applicants on merit, but please let us know if you have any additional needs on your application form, so we can let you know what facilities and support arrangements are available to you. (Including long-term medical conditions, sensory disabilities, physical disabilities including mobility issues, mental health conditions and additional learning needs such as dyslexia.
If you have any queries regarding the application process for this course, please contact our Admissions team for assistance.
- PROGRAMME TUTOR
Escape Studios West
- COURSE START DATES
2 October 2017
- MODE OF STUDY
Full time, Mon-Fri
- PROGRAMME DURATION
Dr Ian PalmerDeputy Vice Principal, Escape Studios
“These programmes are unique because they immerse the students in a team-based learning experience that closely mirrors that of the workplace from day one. This is combined with developing a professional skillset and in-depth knowledge of their chosen specialisation. The students feel like part of their industry from the start, and by the time they graduate they’ll be ready to help shape its future.”