This course is now mentored by award winning studio The Mill. Let's craft beautiful things.
Master the technical ability needed with our MA Compositing for VFX course. Over the last decade, the use of computer-based imagery in film, television, interactive entertainment and computer games has expanded rapidly. In fact, almost all visual media produced today has involved a computer at some point in its creation. That means there's a real need for well-qualified, creative professionals to lead, inspire, develop and exploit the potential of new and existing computer graphics technologies, now and in the future.
If you're joining this course and starting on 27th February 2017, you'll benefit from:
- a visit to The Mill on your first day, where they will tell you about the mentoring scheme they’ll be providing for this course
- one classroom feedback and mentoring session provided by 2D Artist from The Mill
- a final review session with The Mill recruiters and recruiters from other post-production companies, so you can present your showreel and receive feedback.
The Mill is a world-leading global content creation studio with a talented, which for over 26 years has collaborated with clients to bring brave ideas to life across VFX, digital and design projects for the advertising, games and music industries.
The Mill prides itself on forming partnerships with the world’s best agencies, ground-breaking directors, creative companies and visionary brands built on creative excellence and cutting-edge technologies.
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).
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 2000+ 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 startAccess 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:
- Compositing 1
- Compositing 2
- Advanced Compositing for Visual Effects
- 2D VFX Tools and Technology
- Visual Effects Project
- Visual Effects Production Project
We'll also give you software training in:
Here are just some of the roles you'll be ready for:
- Rotoscope Artist
- Paint and Prep Artist - procedural and paint rig removal
- Junior Compositor
Module 1: Compositing 1
For these assignments you will be required to present a shot(s) which demonstrate a range of compositing techniques and a supporting report which documents the work you have done on the projects. Each shot length should be about 80-150 frames depending on its difficulty.
Assignment 1 will require you to utilise a number of varied rotoscoping techniques in preferably ONE shot. You will need to rotoscope TWO complex moving characters or objects. Ideally one element should be a normal moving organic character, like a human. The second element should be an inanimate object, like a moving car, boat, mechanical object, complex object held by the person, etc. An alternative could be the second object is another complex organic character with different movement than the first one, like an animal. Do not use a slow motion, or high shutter speed plate. Be careful of choosing a character with a lot of fur or hair detail since this will be very time consuming. At least one object must have natural motion blur.
The second part of the module, Assignment 2, will require you to create a logbook of your progress through the projects. This logbook should be in the form of an on-line blog. As well as containing written elements (2000 words), it should also contain images and video to help describe the work on your projects. It is best to create regular, perhaps weekly, entries to your blog of your progress and thoughts on your processes. 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 insightful conclusions from your process.
Module 2: Compositing 2
For these assignments you will be required to present a number of different shots which demonstrate a range of compositing techniques and a supporting report which documents the work you have done on the projects. Each shot length should be about 80-150 frames depending on its difficulty.
Assignment 3 will require you to utilise a number of different complex compositing techniques in ideally one shot, maximum 2 different shots. The first technique will demonstrate rig removal techniques and incorporate colour correction processes to seamlessly integrate your patches. The second technique will be to composite a chroma key plate into a background and incorporate appropriate despill techniques as well as colour correction processes to seamlessly integrate your elements.
The Keying techniques must demonstrate:
- Detailed matte creation using multiple keying nodes
- Edge treatment
- Integration with the BG is essential which might include grading, depth cueing, defocus and other techniques if needed
The second part of the module, Assignment 4, will require you to create a logbook of your progress through the projects. This logbook should be in the form of an on-line blog. As well as containing written elements (2000 words), it should also contain images and video to help describe the work on your projects. It is best to submit weekly entries to your blog of your progress and thoughts on your processes. 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 insightful conclusions from your process.
Module 3: Advanced Compositing 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. Each shot length should be about 80-150 frames depending on its difficulty.
Assignment 5 will require you to conceive and create ONE short visual effect shot that incorporates three or more of the advanced techniques that you have covered in this module. You must include these 2 tasks: Advanced 3D projections & CG Compositing. This will comprise of a piece of live action footage that you have either shot yourself or acquired from our library or an external source. The main objective is to demonstrate skills that will be recognised as those used in professional VFX production. You should try and demonstrate creative flair and an artistic eye with an attention to detail to create a VFX shot to a high standard.
- Must utilise a live action plate with a (non-nodal) camera move that has parallax
- Must incorporate three or more of the advanced techniques that you have learned in this module
- Must demonstrate advancing your 3D projection skillsCan demonstrate advance projection clean up and/or creating 3D projected environments seamlessly integrated into the BG plate
- Must integrate CG element(s) render passes into your shot by balancing the passes and integrating them seamlessly into the BG plate.
We can provide CG render passes, or you can source your own getting prior approval from the Course Leader to assure 3D quality control to create a final shot to a high standard. It is highly recommended that these techniques are combined into ONE SHOT. For example, your BG is a live action plate which includes 3D projection clean up techniques, and then photo-realistically composited with CG rendered elements. Assignment 6 will require you to create a logbook of your progress through the projects. This logbook should be in the form of an on-line blog. As well as containing written elements (2000 words), it should also contain images and video to help describe the work on your projects. It is best to submit weekly entries to your blog of your progress and thoughts on your processes. 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 insightful conclusions from your process.
Module 4: 2D Visual Effects 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 7 should demonstrate advanced knowledge of one or more 2D 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 8, 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 you have undertaken, a summary of your findings and any insightful conclusions you have drawn. The presentation should be 20 minutes long plus 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 visual effects shot that incorporates the techniques that you have covered in programme. You will be provided with the live footage that might be combined with CG content to meet the brief requirements. When logistically possible, the scope of this project might mean that you will be working with another vfx artist to complete all the requirements of the brief. For example, you might pair with a 3D artist from another course using his/her complex CG renders to integrate them seamlessly. 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 techniques from the range that you have studied and manage 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 footage from our library, an external source or plates you shoot yourself. 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 of visual effects. The implementation of your chosen material will allow you to demonstrate the high level of skills that you have developed. It will be your choice to include or not, CG rendered elements from another artist or that you create to a high industry standard. When logistically possible, the scope of this project might mean that you will be working with a 3D artist to complete your shot imitating industry VFX pipeline methodologies.
Assignment 11 is a 5000 word reflective report that will show that the design and production process 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. The report should also reflect on your process and your final result to identify its strengths and weaknesses. This is your opportunity to demonstrate the depth of 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
27 February 2017 - this course is mentored by The Mill
2 October 2017
- MODE OF STUDY
Full time, Mon-Fri
- PROGRAMME DURATION