The design industry is booming and rapidly changing, requiring innovators and creative thinkers who are adept in the use of technology to come up with experimental new methods.
For those who have found their creative niche in Animation and Visual Effects, there are infinite possibilities to create imaginative worlds and multisensory experiences in the film and gaming worlds with the help of advanced technology.
According to CareerLever, “Films and video games have always been about presenting illusions to the audience. What has changed over the years is the nature and level of illusions that cinema and gaming can include in their narrative.
“This has been possible only due to the great rise of the Animation and Visual Effects industry. In films initially, visual effects would have to be painted directly on to the film reel, which was extremely difficult and risky.
“But with the coming of the digital age and the boom in the IT industry, Animation and Visual Effects have become an integral part of films and taken the gaming industry to a new high.”
That’s why it’s important to choose a university that provides you with the ideal education in the field to ensure you’re up-to-date on utilising the latest software and key trends in the field.
At Victoria University of Wellington School of Design Innovation, you will blend your creative ingenuity with emerging technologies, learning from faculty experts how to bring stories to life through engaging animation and impactful visual effects.
The staff have nearly 100 years of combined experience as senior creative professionals at world-renowned production studios including Weta Digital, Disney Feature Animation, DreamWorks, Framestore, and the Mill.
You’ll learn how to hone your artistic flair while learning the technical skills needed to launch your career in the dynamic industry.
Specialised majors and advanced studies in Animation and Visual Effects
Students looking for undergraduate study in the field can major in Animation and Visual Effects under the Bachelor of Design Innovation degree programme – a three-year course designed to prepare students for careers in design-related fields.
While the focus is on animation and visual effects for film, the knowledge and experience you’ll gain is transferrable—especially to the newly emerging virtual reality and augmented reality design careers, game design, web broadcasting, and other forms of new media.
Students gain transferrable skills such as teamwork, adaptability, innovative thinking and creativity that will come in useful should they choose to branch out in different areas of design, such as game design, web broadcasting, and other forms of new media.
Courses under the school often link with several other disciplines including Computer Science, Architecture, Music, Theatre and Marketing, giving you a broad study experience and offering a well-rounded education.
In the first year, students develop a strong foundation in essential design ideas, principles, histories, theories and practices so they’re able to challenge traditional ideas about design.
In the second year, students focus more on their chosen major. Those in Animation and Visual Effects delve further into screen-based technology such as web app design and gaming effects.
In their final year, students ground their understanding in design and confidently use their skills in their respective majors, learning how to solve complex design problems.
For those looking to deepen their knowledge and gain advanced skills in Animation and Visual Effects, there’s also the Master of Design Technology graduate programme.
In this course, students gain practical skills to work in visual effects, game design, exhibition design, and multimedia design.
They also work in teams on a professional portfolio to produce a short narrative piece of work such as a game or animated short film under the guidance of industry mentors.
The course is taught at the university’s Miramar Creative Centre, a multimillion dollar complex, integrally connected to New Zealand’s internationally recognised film, gaming, and visual effects community. There, students learn how to use the latest industry standard technology, and gain first-hand experience in the software, hardware, and professional practices common to the leading creative tech industries.
Maurizio Vanolo, a graduate of the Master’s programme, has landed his dream career as a Visual Effects Artist at Park Road Post Production, where he worked during his studies.
He said, “I’m loving it. In the past year my skills in compositing have grown exponentially and I feel very confident. Nevertheless, I’m still learning every day and I’m aware that there is still a lot of work to do. I would be happy to pass to a senior position within five years. These opportunities wouldn’t have been possible without what I’ve learned during the MDT.
“My key project was creating a short film, starting from scratch—from pre-production, to filming, to post-production. Because there were just five of us in the class, everyone had multiple roles. I have been director of photography, visual effects supervisor, and compositor.”
World-class facilities and real-world experience
Through cutting-edge technology in state-of-the-art facilities, students become versatile and creative designers, developing collaboration and hands-on learning skills through project work, problem-based learning and case study analysis.
Another major benefit to students in Animation and Visual Effects is that the university is situated in Wellington, where New Zealand’s award-winning film and visual effects industry is centred.
This has enabled the university to develop strong industry links so students can gain practical experience and learn from experts and industry frontrunners.
Through an interdisciplinary approach, students learn to think innovatively about the world of design. This university is undoubtedly developing future experts in Animation and Visual Effects.