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FdSc

Visual Effects Production Technology

students
100%
  • UCAS code(s): I700
  • Level(s) of study: Foundation degree
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Confetti at Creative Quarter Campus
  • Starting: September
  • Course duration: Two years, full-time

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Visual effects has become an integral part of the production process for film, television and advertising and is one of the most creative and technical aspects of modern media production.

On this course, you’ll explore the Visual effects industry for film and television while developing the artistic and technical skills expected of a VFX artist, across a range of disciplines, applications and technology.

You will have the opportunity to explore a wide array of processes and workflows associated with VFX production through studio practice, technical workshops, as well as academic research and study.

By the end of the course you’ll have developed a strong portfolio of both 2D and 3D  VFX work, tailored to your own career aspirations.

On this course you’ll be working on industry-standard software, such as Nuke, Maya and will have access to a wealth of high end camera and studio technology.

On this course, you'll study in our brand new £9.1 million digital media hub - Confetti HQ - and have access to:

Industry Spec Workstation PCs
Industry-standard digital film cameras and lights
Bookable Green Screen studio space
Professional Studio facilities
Specialist Software including:

  • Nuke,
  • Mari,
  • Autodesk Suite (Maya, 3DS Max, Mudbox)
  • Houdini,
  • Adobe Creative Suite,
  • Zbrush,
  • Unreal Engine
  • Wacom Cintiq graphics Tablets
  • Mocap Facility

*

100% of our undergraduate students are satisfied with the quality of this course (National Student Survey 2020).

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Degree Showcase Showreel - 2018
A showreel of work from our undergraduate degree-level students exhibiting at 2018’s showcase

What you'll study

This degree explores the role of VFX and post-production in film and television and will enable you to develop the skills required for the creation of a wide range of dynamic and creative content for VFX and 3D Animation.

You’ll have the opportunity to explore the different techniques and processes used by industry artists and will develop a diverse portfolio of VFX work across 2D and 3D disciplines.

You’ll also develop the skills to design and implement workflows and pipelines for your own larger productions and engage in more complex sequences.

Alongside this, you’ll engage in a number of work-based opportunities and enrichment trips designed to further develop your understanding of both the industry’s expectations of graduate artists and how to improve your own employability in respects to your showreel and specific skill sets.

  • Year One

    Asset Production for VFX Sequencing (20 Credit Points)

    This module introduces you to the assets you’ll be working with in VFX productions. You’ll develop your skills operating a range of digital technologies in the acquisition of video assets for VFX sequences.

    By understanding the mechanisms and technologies involved in image and data origination and manipulation you’ll develop an understanding of the relationship between principal photography and the VFX post production professional.

    Creating 3D Content for VFX (40 Credit Points)

    This module introduces you to the main principles of creating 3D content and integrating created 3D content with another source (typically a digital film camera) and making it conform or fit into that environment.

    The module also introduces the important notion of the virtual camera, and how the 3D software camera needs to match and replicate the qualities of the physical or real film camera.

    Foundation in VFX Compositing and Matte Production (40 Credit Points)

    This module develops your skills in compositing when working with and manipulating 2D Graphics and footage. You’ll be introduced to 2D image basics, including layering, masking, keying, and notions of colour space, project set-ups and the creation of flexible, reusable templates.

    You’ll also spend time exploring the history of compositing and its roots in cinema. The module also examines different methods by which mattes can be created and how they might be manipulated in the compositing of complex VFX Sequences.

    Matte Painting and Environments (20 Credit Points)

    This module examines the art of matte painting and the role of the environment technical director.

    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 what is often phrased as 2.5D.

    You’ll explore traditional painting techniques and their role in creating environments whilst developing skills in photo real paint artistry, camera projection and the integration complex 3D content.

  • Final year

    3D Matchmoving and Rig Removal (20 Credit Points)

    This module concentrates on the process of achieving an accurate camera solve and matched object geometry for plates shot with moving film cameras.

    You’ll explore the application of camera movement within an image and the difference between object tracking and camera tracking.

    You’ll develop skills in the creation of more realistic and professional VFX sequences as well as learning the important process of plate clean up and shot restoration.

    Rigging, Digital Sculpture and Creature Effects (40 Credit Points)

    Explore the role of the Creature Technical director and explore how complex creatures and characters are created for Visual effects Sequences. You will explore character design, digital sculpting, optimising topology for animation and the construction of complex character rigs for animation.

    You will also extend and advance your skills in modelling as the module complements and builds on your existing hard surface modelling skills with soft surface modelling aimed at creating organic forms to technical and aesthetic specifications.

    Effects Animation (40 Credit Points)

    In this module you’ll learn about making particle systems, structures, cloth, fluids and crowds move under the forces of physics. Within the VFX industry these are the jobs of an effects animator or effects technical director.

    You’ll learn to use VFX software to simulate complex behaviours and phenomena (fires, breaking glass, fluids etc.) and be able to understand and communicate using the language of Newtonian mechanics.

    Industry Practice (20 Credit Points)

    During this module you’ll undertake appropriate self-directed projects, working collaboratively on creative work, allowing you to directly apply the knowledge and skills learnt throughout the programme in the context of the workplace. This module aims to develop your overall professionalism and provide you with the knowledge and resources to begin a career in the creative industries.

    The nature of creative industries is increasingly defined by freelance and self-employed models of work. Consequently, individuals seeking work in industry need to appreciate the pressures of working on multiple projects to strict deadlines and the subsequent demands this place on time and resources. Similarly, an understanding of professional practice and the legal and economic imperatives in industry is important, as is effective communication, self-efficacy and autonomy. This module aims to develop these skills and knowledge by challenging you to develop a range of self-directed projects.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

Explore the disciplines and processes of different roles within VFX and provide a vehicle to frame the territory of VFX skills

How you’re taught

Designed to prepare you for a career in the global VFX industry, this course focuses on developing the technological disciplines involved in the production and post-production of professional VFX content with a particular focus on software training and developing a working knowledge of key production workflows and pipelines.

Employability will be an integral element of the course and you’ll receive training on the latest industry software (including Nuke, Maya, Mari and ZBrush) and specialised advanced studio hardware, combined with ample opportunities to undertake appropriate work-based learning and develop your professional showreel content.

You’ll learn through lectures, seminars, software training workshops, tutorials, working in small production teams, independent learning, industry talks and enrichment trips.

Assessment

Depending on the module, you may be assessed through:

  • 3D development work
  • video sequence production
  • design and research tasks
  • case studies
  • portfolio work
  • reports and evaluations
  • lab reports
  • essays
  • visual and verbal presentations.

To progress through the course you must achieve 120 credit points each year. Your final degree mark will be based on your final year work.

Industry Week

You'll also take part in Confetti’s annual Industry Week where you’ll be able to meet a range of professionals within your field of interest as well as other areas of the creative industries. Past guests have included the likes of Framestore, Industrial Light and Magic, The Mill, Access VFX and Aardman Animations.

Degree Show

In your final year you will exhibit your work as part of Confetti's Degree Show. This event includes all final year students across Confetti's courses and is a great platform for you to showcase your work to key influencers across the creative industries.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (100%).
  • Year 2 coursework (100%).

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (30%), independent study (70%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (27%), independent study (73%).

On this course you’ll be working on industry-standard software, such as NUKE – which has been used throughout the development of award-winning movies like Star Wars and The Avengers.

Careers and employability

Each case will be considered individually, but upon completion you’re automatically entitled to enter into the 3rd year of Confetti’s BSc (Hons) Visual Effects Production Technology to gain a full BSc qualification.

Employability is a key focus of this course, with modules including initiatives such as live projects and the opportunity to exhibit your work, to help enhance your future career.

This course will prepare you to work in creative industries in specialist technical roles, in areas such as feature films, television, and advertising.

You’ll also develop transferable skills for alternative careers in teaching, media, and freelance visual effects design.

Connecting with industry

Industry professionals will visit the course to guest lecture and share their experiences. Live projects will help you to gain real experience of the industry, make contacts, and build your portfolio and CV.

You will also take part in Confetti’s annual Industry Week where you will be able to meet a range of professionals within your field of interest as well as other areas of the creative industries.

Through the Confetti Media Group Head of Talent Development you will be offered a range of opportunities within the industry.

Work placement and internship opportunities

You will be actively encouraged and supported to undertake informal work experience and professional practice in addition to your studies.

Our teaching staff, including part-time lecturers who are professionally active, help and support students in directing them towards work placement and professional practice opportunities.

Previous students have been working with companies, such as Framestore, Double Negative and Pinewood Studios.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels - DDE; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - MPP; or
  • 64 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs - two at grade C, including English and Maths.

This course is not suitable for tier 4 visa applicants.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our International Team for advice.

How to apply

Application for this course is through the UCAS application form.

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Selection for this course takes place through UCAS application form.

Application deadline

This course starts in September and applications should be submitted by the UCAS deadline, 15 January.

Applications received after this date will only be considered if places are still available, after all applications received by the deadline have been assessed.

Mature students

We welcome applications from mature students (over the age of 21) for this course. We will assess applicants of this nature on an individual basis.

If you are a mature student, you will still need to apply to us by UCAS form, but you don't necessarily need to meet our minimum entry requirements.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades,

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It's your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You've got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you're applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

This course is not suitable for tier 4 visa applicants.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our International Team for advice.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

Please see our applying and fees section.

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

We advise you to budget between £50 - £250 for an external hard drive and SD cards. Whilst you will be provided with storage for your work on the servers it is also good practice to back up your digital files to an external source.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418