MA Visual Effects Production (3D)

Escape Studios
Course summary
Postgraduate Education
1 year
15,450 - 17,995 GBP
Full time
Postgraduate Education
Course Dates
Online courses
15,450 GBP

17,995 GBP
MA Visual Effects Production (3D)

Course description

MA Visual Effects Production (3D)

Master the art of 3D VFX and take your skills to the highest level with our postgraduate course.

The MA Visual Effects Production (3D) programme is designed to give you both the practical training and a globally recognised postgraduate qualification.

You’ll study at our state of the art studios for 18 weeks, understanding the key 3D modules and advancing your skills exploring techniques such as particle movement, hair and fluids. The remainder of the course is working on two major projects, where you will apply the techniques you have learnt to a brief. You will receive regular contact with your tutors and have two great resources to add to your showreel.

We work with industry professionals to keep our courses relevant. We partner with leading studios on all of our daytime courses (full-time) and we have regular industry events and talks so you hear directly from successful VFX Artists.

Our talented 3D tutors have worked within the industry so you get to learn from the inside out! Plus, we work with industry professionals on all of our postgraduate courses so you'll hear directly from someone who's working in the industry and get feedback on your work from a pro.

Suitability - Who should attend?

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

If your first language is not English you may need to complete an English language test, such as a Pearson English language test (PTE Academic) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test, to demonstrate you have the language skills needed to complete your degree. All our courses are taught in English.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the institute website.

Training Course Content

Module 1 - 3D Foundation

Week 1: Introduction to Maya

  • The user interface
  • Introduction to modelling
  • Introduction to textures
  • Introduction to lighting, shading and rendering

Week 2: Modelling

  • NURBS curves and surfaces
  • NURBS surfaces to polygons
  • Polygonal modelling
  • Topological rules

Week 3: Modelling continued

  • Polygonal modelling continued
  • Organic modelling
  • Non-linear modelling
  • UV mapping techniques (organic and hard surface)

Week 4: Colour and lighting

  • Lighting - traditional cinematographic and photographic techniques
  • Colour theory, three point lighting
  • Natural lighting
  • Indirect lighting techniques
  • Image based lighting
  • Matching lighting
  • Advanced lighting

Week 5: Basic texturing

  • Hypershade
  • Texturing masterclass
  • Image manipulation with Photoshop
  • Texture distressing with Photoshop
  • Non-destructive texturing workflows
  • Camera projection mapping

Week 6: Shading and rendering

  • Displacement mapping
  • Maya nodes
  • Raytracing (reflections, refractions and shadows)
  • Shaders
  • Material properties and case studies (MIA shaders)

Module 2 - Visual Effects

Week 7: Tracking and integration

  • Introduction to cameras
  • Camera tracking with 3D equalizer
  • Manual tracking techniques
  • Advanced matchmoving techniques
  • Lens distortion
  • Camera lineup

Week 8: Digital sculpting and 3D painting

  • Texturing
  • Sculpting/detailing
  • Import/export workflow

Week 9: Advanced shading and lighting

  • Mia material
  • Advanced MentalRay nodes
  • Advanced lighting theory
  • Lighting effects

Week 10: Render layers and compositing

  • Render layers and passes
  • Introduction to Linux
  • Introduction to compositing
  • Compositing with Nuke (CG layers)
  • Rotoscoping and keying with Nuke

Week 11: Animation and rigging

  • Keyframe animation
  • Path animation
  • Constraints and rigging

Week 12: Project week

  • Presentation

Module 3 - Advanced 3D for Visual Effects

Week 13: Particles and expressions

  • Maya rigid bodies
  • Constraints
  • Introduction to particles
  • Rendering particles
  • Emitters
  • Emission properties
  • Fields
  • Bullet dynamics
  • Expressions and particle expressions
  • Basic MEL scripting

Week 14: Houdini fundamentals

  • Introduction
  • Procedural modelling
  • Digital assets
  • Mantra
  • Dynamics
  • Shading

Week 15: Fur and hair

  • Fur basics, grooming, lighting and rendering
  • Hair basics, simulation and styling
  • Different uses of hair
  • Dynamic fur

Week 16: Fluids

  • 2D/3D containers
  • Fluid contents and simulations
  • Texturing and rendering fluids
  • Fluid caches
  • Bifröst

Week 17: Cloth

  • Overview of Nucleus
  • Introduction to NCloth
  • NCloth solving and collisions
  • NParticle overview
  • Constraints
  • Caching Nucleus solvers

Week 18: Project week

  • Presentation

Module 4 - Visual Effects Collaborative Project

Module 5 - Visual Effects Production Project.

Why choose Escape Studios

In 2020 over 80% of VFX, 100% of Animation and over 80% of their Game Art undergraduate students have had their student projects nominated for awards.

36 Escapees (alumni) worked on No Time to Die, 47 worked on Avengers: Endgame, and 24 worked on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

In 2021, they hosted over 70 mock interviews with the likes of MPC, DNEG, Aardman, Blue Zoo and Creative Assembly.


  • Tuition fees for on-campus: £17,995 per year
  • Tuition fees for live online: £15,450 per year

Continuing Studies

On completion of the course you will graduate with a postgraduate qualification validated by the University of Kent and the technical skills required by the Industry, helping you break into the VFX world and make an impact.

3D artists often start out in junior roles, but can rise to become mid-level and senior role such as 3D generalists and Technical directors. From here the path is open to becoming a VFX supervisor.

Escapees from our 3D VFX courses have gone on to work at companies including: Framestore, DNEG, MPC, Milk VFX, Electric Theatre Collective, Jellyfish Pictures and many more.

Get Inspired! Watch the Video

About provider

Escape Studios

Escape Studios offers undergraduate, postgraduate and short courses in Visual Effects (VFX), Game Art, Animation and Motion Graphics. Whether you are looking to take your first step into the Creative industries, develop your professional skills or give you that much...

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Escape Studios

190 High Holborn
WC1V 7BH London

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