3D Computer Animation and Modelling BA (Hons)
About the course
You study your first year in the 3D Digital Animation and Modelling degree in common with students on the 2D Animation and Character Modelling and 3D Games Art & Design. Whilst still focusing on your chosen digital degree study you will experience high levels and intensive engagement with the latest software and animation techniques. First year study also concentrates on essential skills needed throughout your degree study such as design of character, narrative and drawing. Animation and games histories will add context to your study. As you gain experience in your chosen area of study during this year, you have the opportunity to switch to either of the other two degree routes.
Today's 3D CGI is informed by the best film, animation and cinematographic practices. Second year studies enable you to engage and use film language, illusion of life character animation, and the power of post production for integrating and compositing 3D-SFX. To complete year two study you will also take a self initiated project, with professional help, from planning stages and storyboarding through to completion.
The final year of study is about engaging in real world practices and preparing for employment. You will make a final short film project, taking it from pre-production, storyboard, animatic through production and post-production. You will also prepare a showreel, and a professional website in preparation for work in the industry.
Why choose this course?
- The 3D Digital Animation and Modelling degree equips you with the high level of skills needed to succeed in today's 3D animation industry.
- Emphasis is on creativity, character design, story, cinematography, SFX and compositing.
- Develop character animation skills and digital modelling, virtual lighting and virtual camera work.
- You will create a final film with sound: commissioning, buying or writing the music, actors' voice work and sound effects.
- Find out for yourself and watch our video!
- Watch our Animation Showreel to see the great work of our students.
280 points from GCE A Levels (or equivalent) including a qualification in an art related subject plus GCSE Maths at a grade D or above and English Language at grade C or above; Key skills are accepted as equivalent. Selection is based on a portfolio interview, after which you may be required to complete a Foundation Year or Foundation Diploma before progressing to the degree course.
The University also accepts a number of other equivalent qualifications including BTEC, IB and Access courses – to find out more about the requirements for these and other equivalent qualifications please go to: http://www.ucas.com/how-it-all-works/explore-your-options/entry-requirements/tariff-tables
Our offer for the International Baccalaureate (IB) is made outside of the UCAS Tariff and is calculated by dividing our tariff point offer by 10 i.e. 280 UCAS points equals 28 IB points.
- Full Time, 3 Years
- Sandwich, 4 Years
- University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
Employment opportunities include computer animation companies, work with games, TV and film special effects companies. Our graduates work and freelance with some of the worlds best known production and post production houses.
The course uses mixed teaching methods but the majority of undergraduate time is spent on project work and software and art based workshops and lectures.
The Digital Animation courses are assessed through project work both individually and group; there is also a contextual element that requires submitted essay, and there are regular assessed presentations and professional juries.
Placements are a valuable means of establishing industrial contacts and gaining an insight into the commercial reality of a chosen discipline. We have a long history of students working with industry supplementing the taught university curriculum with real life on the job experience.
This has seen students working right across the creative industries sector: in graphic, product and interior design consultancies, working as artist in residence in galleries, producing props and sets for the film & TV industry, shadowing teachers in education, working with commercial photographers through to students working right across the Music industry.
We expect students interested in obtaining a work placement; to be proactive, to self-initiate this interest and to communicate and work with programme staff in their identification of companies and organisations that are able to provide the appropriate range of experiences and opportunities.
We value the opportunity and benefits of the placement experience highly and as such, we encourage all students to consider obtaining a placement as part of their course. However, we recognise that this may not be a viable option for a number of reasons. In addition, we are not able to guarantee that all students will undertake a work placement as part of their studies.
Animated Thinking: histories, theories, contexts
Understanding how animation, in its many forms and contexts, works to communicate stories, spectacle, ideas, and feelings, is crucial to effective creative practice within the field. Animated Thinking extends knowledge and understanding of the position of animation as a fundamental aspect of contemporary culture. It approaches this through a mapping of animation and related media histories, traditions and processes, and an exploration of its role in the emergence of the modern world. Focusing on theories drawn from film, art, communication and cultural studies, and applying these to specific and varied examples of animated practice, the module enables students to develop informed and systematic approaches to analytical thinking, together with an ability to communicate critical responses clearly and accurately in a variety of forms. The module is structured around a core series of lectures and seminars, with assessment based on the demonstration of skills in enquiry, information handling, analysis, and argument.
CG Practices and Techniques
This module introduces and develops an understanding of the underlying concepts of computer animation both 3D and 2D. It addresses particular aspects of digital animation in both practical and knowledge based domains.
Creativity, Concept and Story
Effective communication in the digital animation industries requires an understanding of factors such as narrative construction, composition, colour and character and environment design. This understanding is developed during the module via practical activities that focus on skills of creativity, observation and expression across a range of visual media. These practical skills are used in the creation of concept artwork and short visual narratives that inform, entertain and communicate ideas. The whole process is underpinned by the development of research skills and an awareness of the importance of research into visual and aesthetic traditions, practitioners and audiences.
This module provides students with an introduction to a variety of two and three dimensional digital and traditional art techniques that are relevant to the animation, games and visual effects fields. It helps students to develop an understanding of a range of digital and traditional image generation techniques via lectures and practical workshop-based activities. The module teaches the students to work creatively and imaginatively while providing the technical training required to create their work. The students learn to apply concepts such as composition, proportion, anatomy, perspective and colour theory to their art, whether it is static or animated, traditional or digital. The students are also taught how to analyse the world around them visually in order to create work based on it successfully.
Time based digital media technologies and compositing are explored and applied to practical outcomes in the field of animation, games art and visual effects. Film practices such as editing and sound are engaged with, both theoretically and practically, within the context of narrative ideas. Students will gain an understanding of group dynamics, collaboration and organisational strategies required to enable them to function in a professional working environment. This module extends the student experience of digital animation and includes film, animation, visual effects and game showings from an historical perspective that could inform current digital practices.
3D Professional Practices
This module supports activities that take place concurrently with the Creative Projects module. This module explores digital directorial roles, the importance of sound and music in animation, pre visualisation and live action, and pre-production issues as supporting production. Employment patterns demand knowledge of this production pipeline and of current practice. This leads on to identifying employment aspirations and placement within studio practices and pipelines.
Advanced Specialisms for 3D
The module offers a period of sustained practice which consolidates and extends digital animation skills covered in Level 4. This award covers a variety of practices and the module allows the student to start to develop specialist interests or maintain a generalist overview. There are a series of short skills workshops that the student can elect to attend and outcomes for the student to explore their interests.
Concept Art and Cinematography for 3D
The Planning and Post Production for 3D module explores and develops the student's understanding of the digital animation processes’ use of film languages, their simulation and use of post-production in digital animation. These practices include colour use and planning, production planning, editing, compositing for storytelling and emotion, mise en scene, lighting, camera work and composition. Digital lighting and lighting theory and rendering of images is looked at in detail. Compositing as an essential means of simulating film practices in Digital Animation from depth of field to motion blur to multi layering. Colour theory and practice is looked at, as are design and narrative considerations for colour and lighting.
This module offers a period of sustained practice which consolidates and extends digital animation, visual effects and games art skills established and developed earlier in the course. It enables the student to see through the production cycle of a whole group project, or projects which may be used as part of locating or pinpointing their employment or professional aspirations. The project will usually be within a large group and could be a live project in collaboration with third-parties, work experience, faculty projects or combined projects with students on other years or on other programmes. The experience gained is then used to pinpoint and enter into a planning cycle for a potential small group project. This is a pre-production cycle in smaller groups that could be preparation for level 6 studies or used as a stand-alone pre-production unit. Use of live action footage as reference may be an important part of both projects which should also include attention to sound design. The use of motion capture should be considered for Games Art and Visual Effects. Anatomy studies accompanies this module, alongside film, games, and animation showings, and discussions and debates around digital issues inform and accompany this module.
Moving Visions: perspectives on digital animation
Building on learning in the Animated Thinking module at Level 4, Moving Visions further develops knowledge and critical understanding of the contemporary uses of animated forms. Requiring students to identify their own areas of critical interest in relation to both the long traditions and contemporary contexts of the discipline area, the module is crucial as an introduction to the kind of ‘open’ critical enquiry that will characterise Level 6 contextual study. A core series of ‘catalyst’ lectures and seminars introduces new critical, theoretical and contextual ideas, while supporting students in a reflective exploration of both the broad field of animation and their specific practices of 2D, 3D, Games Art or Visual Effects. Undertaking a detailed survey of traditions, locations, and perspectives, students define a topic of study, formulate a research question or title, and carry out a carefully documented enquiry leading to the submission of an ‘essay’-style outcome in an appropriate form.
Professional Work Experience 30: Screen
Students may identify a work experience opportunity or have a work experience suggested to them. Before starting students meet with the Programme Leader or their nominated tutor, to discuss the impending placement. All aspects of the intended experience are addressed from health and safety to client confidentiality and students are given guidance on behaviour and how to manage expectations. Proposals need to identify an outline work programme, the number of days in placement and the main learning outcomes; and are subject to agreement of the Programme Leader.
Fees & funding
Other financial support
Living costs / accommodation
The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.
Key course information
- Institution code: H36
- UCAS code: W617 BA (Hons) 3D Animation and Modelling
- Course code: CTDANM
- Course length:
- Full Time, 3 Years
- Sandwich, 4 Years