Course Location
Sydney On-Campus and Online
2018 Advanced Diploma in 3D Animation and Visual Effects
Undergraduate (AQF Level 6)
Delivery Mode
32 weeks / 2 semesters. Semester starts week commencing February 26, 2018
Course Fee
Compulsory on campus Orientation week commencing Monday February 19. Further details will be provided post enrolment
Attendance Pattern
On campus workshops Monday and Wednesday evenings. A one week industry placement in Semester 2


Visual Effects involves complex, multi-faceted processes that draws on a range of technical and artistic skills. The Advanced Diploma in 3D Animation & Visual Effects aims to demystify the digital visual effects process by introducing you to 3D animation principles, rendering process and compositing principles and techniques. You will be using industry tools Maya (3D animation) and Nuke (compositing) whilst gaining an understanding of the art of visual effects.

A one-week placement will help you make industry connections, while gaining an understanding of VFX workflows and practices in a professional setting.

Delivered across two semesters, through evening workshops, supplemented by online learning, this course offers the flexibility to allow you to maintain employment while studying.


This course is suitable for those seeking an understanding of the visual effects pipeline and animation principles from a storyboard to final composited shot. You will develop 2D skills in tracking, rotoscoping, compositing and matte painting; 3D skills in modelling, animating, lighting and rendering; and foundational skills in industry standard software, Maya and Nuke.

This course is after hours, approximately 7.5 hours a week (for 32 weeks) of course work with additional time for assessments and course related practice activities.


For details of help to pay for your fees, please refer to the Study Assist website​.


To complete the course you will need access to:

  • A computer with an internet connection.


Foundation Diploma graduates from 2009-2014 are automatically accepted into this course and need only to register by providing their name and the date of graduation. The link to register as a Foundation Diploma graduate is available here.

Foundation Diploma graduates have until December 1, 2017 to register. Further details will be provided about enrolment after that date.

Contact our Student Centre​ or call 1300 131 461 or (02) 9805 6444 with any questions or to learn more about your study options. You can also contact the Indigenous Unit​

Changes in circumstances may impact upon the accuracy or currency of information. While AFTRS takes all due care to ensure that the information is accurate, it reserves the right to vary any information described here without notice.

Last updated May 17, 2017



On campus workshops Monday and Wednesday evenings (6.00-9.00pm).

A one week industry placement in Semester 2, dates to be determined based on availability of industry placements and students.

Semester 1 Subjects: Art of VFX and Compositing and CGI 1.
Semester 2 Subjects: Compositing and CGI 2 and VFX Placement.

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Explain the VFX pipeline and the VFX roles and their responsibilities.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to meet deadlines in delivering assets to meet a brief.
  3. Apply software knowledge to perform a range of VFX skills.

Admission Requirements

Places in this course are competitive and are based on merit selection.

Candidates are required to submit the following:

1. Application Task

1.1 Use Photoshop to create a multi-layered (minimum 2 layers) Photoshop file that combines these images with a background providing context for why this group of characters would be together. You may keep the characters walking in a line or manipulate the images (submit an unlocked Photoshop file).

1.2 Prepare a personal statement outlining your previous experience and why you want to do this course. This statement can be a video file (2 minutes - submit as MP4) or written (300 words - submit as PDF).

2. Uploading your Documents and Media File

You will be able to upload your media file/s as part of the application process. Ensure you conform to the required file type and size specified as follows.

Each document has a maximum of 10MB in size, and 50MB for media file. Contact the Student Centre on (02) 9805 6444, if you having any problems in uploading your media file.

Go to this link for information on media files.

3. Resume and Educational Qualifications

Provide a one-page list of your achievements, educational qualifications and work experience.

You must also provide a certified copy​ of your highest education level as detailed on the How and When to Apply​ page on the AFTRS website. Use the link provided for information on how to certify documents.

4. Proof of Residency

Ensure you submit a certified copy​ of your birth certificate or passport as detailed on the How and When to Apply​ page on the AFTRS website. Use the link provided for information on how to certify documents.

Selection Criteria

Places in this course are competitive and are based on merit selection. The selection criteria are:

  • Evidence of a commitment to a career in the creative industries

  • Evidence of original creative thinking.

  • Evidence of ability to complete complex tasks.


Subject 1: Art of VFX

The aim of this subject is to give students an overview of the role and evolution of VFX. Students will develop an understanding of and ability to apply the fundamental principles of VFX.

Subject 2: Compositing and CGI 1

The aim of this subject is for students develop skills in the initial stages of the VFX pipeline.

Subject 3: Compositing and CGI 2

The aim of this subject is for students to develop skills in the final stages of the VFX pipeline.

Subject 4: VFX Placement

The aim of this subject is to immerse students in a VFX industry context to gain an understanding of industry expectations and opportunities.


The Australian Film Television and Radio School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.