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Visual Effects module details

First yearSecond yearThird year

First year

Block 1: Film and Photography Capture

Introduces the basics of image capture using stills and video production technologies. You will learn filmmaking and photographic techniques, from recording initial assets to editing, digitisation, compression and storage.

Lecture: 18 hours 
Tutorial: 30 hours 
Studio/lab: 60 hours 
Self-directed study: 130 hours 
Assessment: 62 hours 

Block 2: Introduction to VFX

This module provides a broad introductory experience across several different disciplines that contribute to visual effects and combines theory and practice in the creation, and evaluation, of your first projects. The module is intended to prepare students for the development of academic writing and presentation for documentation at a level suitable for Higher Education.

Lecture: 18 hours 
Tutorial: 30 hours 
Studio/lab: 60 hours 
Self-directed study: 130 hours 
Assessment: 62 hours 

Block 3: 3D Modelling and Animation

This module examines the basics of 3D workflow and introduces students to platforms such as Autodesk Maya. This module introduces a range of 3D modelling and animation techniques, and introduces the principles of 3D and the 3D technology used in the VFX industry to create artefacts for film, television, video production, and computer games. You will study topics including: the creation of 3D graphics using different editing techniques, the use of materials, shaders, bump maps and textures; lighting and illuminating your scenes; renderers and rendering; and basic principles of animation.

Lecture: 18 hours 
Tutorial: 30 hours 
Studio/lab: 60 hours 
Self-directed study: 130 hours 
Assessment: 62 hours

Block 4: Commercial Content Production

Introduces the practices of the media industry by presenting students with a practical creative brief to which they must respond with a commercial content idea. By looking at processes such as industry research, consumer insight and the work of media agencies, students will gain an understanding of industry practice and see how ideas are taking from initial responses through to campaign design, content production and/or creative execution.

Lecture: 18 hours 
Tutorial: 30 hours 
Studio/lab: 60 hours 
Self-directed study: 130 hours 
Assessment: 62 hours 

Second year

Block 1: Film and Photography Techniques

Introduction to studio techniques, post-production and after effects, as well as advanced techniques in narrative for the still and moving image. Designed to provide students with the opportunity to further develop skills and learn new techniques and practices associated with lens-based media and motion graphics.

Lectur: 18 hours 
Tutorial: 30 hours 
Studio/lab: 60 hours 
Self-directed study: 130 hours 
Assessment: 62 hours 

Block 2: Compositing and Matte Painting

During this module students will explore the use of studio environments and cameras to produce content for use during post production. Students will script, plan, shoot and post produce visual effects sequences and breakdowns. A range of key post production and compositing theories and practices will be introduced and techniques such as the use of mattes, colour channels, rotoscopes, keying and software used in the industry will be explored.

Lecture: 18 hours 
Tutorial: 30 hours 
Studio/lab: 60 hours 
Self-directed study: 130 hours 
Assessment: 62 hours

Block 3: Character Animation and MoCap

This module develops the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired during the 3D Modelling and Animation module and advances the application of these areas through the introduction of Character Development, Rigging, Animation and Motion Capture. Animation Methods will include key-frame animation, walk cycle development, Motion Capture and Animation editing, and this will be supported through advancement in camera, lighting, rendering and sound for Animation and VFX.

Lecture: 18 hours 
Tutorial: 30 hours 
Studio/lab: 60 hours 
Self-directed study: 130 hours 
Assessment: 62 hours 

Block 4: Creative Enterprise

Learn how to develop your own creative business from how to pitch for funding to how to produce mock-ups and sizzle reels for clients. Students will have the opportunity to develop business and management skills and learn how to be entrepreneurial in the working world, the changing media economies, and its impact on the job market.

Lectur: 18 hours 
Tutorial: 30 hours 
Studio/lab: 60 hours 
Self-directed study: 130 hours 
Assessment: 62 hours 

Third year

Block 1: Short Film Production

The module focuses on the creative challenge of making interesting and effective short films, covering the process and creation of the short fiction film format. It serves to solidify technical knowledge from previous modules into establishing a filmmaking practice. Students will take part in the production of a short film project that they research, pitch, develop and execute individually or in a small production team whilst being encouraged to assist each other in the creation of their short film to mimic industry working practices.

OR

Post-production and Editing

Post-production forms an increasingly large part of modern video and film production. This module will examine a range of techniques and issues associated with post-production including digital compositing, special effects, motion graphics and titling. The module will also focus on finishing skills used in post-production such as colourisation, lighting, and grading. Practical work will typically be based on video production assignments, supported by a series of laboratory workshops, and technical lectures and demonstrations.

OR

Virtual Production and Immersive Technology

This module builds upon previously developed skills in areas such as 3D, video post-production, compositing and interactive design and explores areas of opportunity for creative development employing combinations of emergent and convergent technology. Students will explore theories, concept and working practices involving emerging areas such as: virtual production with 3D applications, motion capture and real-time games engines, 3D scanning and photogrammetry, volumetric capture, 360 filming, immersive technology and VR, innovations in narrative, and engage in innovative practice working in transdisciplinary teams to explore experimental practice.

Lecture: 18 hours 
Tutorial: 30 hours 
Studio/lab: 60 hours 
Self-directed study: 130 hours 
Assessment: 62 hours 

Block 2: Compositing for Film and Broadcast

This module builds upon the skills, knowledge and understanding gained on the Compositing and Matte Painting module and develops compositing abilities to meet industry requirements. Students will be introduced to the use of 3D environments in compositing, extracting camera moves from live action plates and applying these to composites, and the incorporation of live action and still 2D, 3D and library assets following an industry-based production pipeline, to create a realistic environment and perspective.

Lecture: 18 hours 
Tutorial: 30 hours 
Studio/lab: 60 hours 
Self-directed study: 130 hours 
Assessment: 62 hours

Block 3: 3D for Film and Animation

This module follows directly on from Character Animation and MoCap and consolidates these skills whilst developing advanced 3D modelling and animation techniques for set design, architecture, environments and introducing advanced systems for simulation and the creation of Visual Effects. Students will undertake projects that involve the design and development of Architectural models and digital sets for sophisticated animation, and advanced lighting and simulation in the creation of Animation and Visual Effects Sequences. The module also examines Lighting and Photorealism, Photogrammetry, Procedural Techniques, Simulation and Fluid Dynamics, and advanced rendering and assembly of 3D render passes for compositing in the VFX industry.

Lecture: 18 hours 
Tutorial: 30 hours 
Studio/lab: 60 hours 
Self-directed study: 130 hours 
Assessment: 62 hours 

Block 4: Portfolio Project

As well as freelancing and portfolio working skills, this final project includes building your portfolio and how to develop a final practice-based major project that will appeal to external partners balancing contemporary industry research with creative media production.