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Diploma of 3D Animation PDF Print E-mail

Course description:

Our Diploma of 3D Animation is New Zealand’s top 3D animation course. For over a decade our students have gone on to win prestigious awards and work in some of the top animation companies in the world.

During your 40-week course you’ll learn all the essentials of 3D Computer Graphics – these include organic and inorganic modeling, texture mapping and shaders, animation and rigging, and lighting and rendering.

You’ll also learn how to master the tools-of-the-trade such as Maya and Photoshop, producing beautiful work that will form your end-of-year show reel. And you’ll be guided by your tutors every step of the way – they don’t just teach, they mentor and will introduce you to all the latest industry techniques.

Included in our 3D animation course is a helpful four-week introduction into the fundamentals of photography and lighting, tutorials and exercises using After Effects, and Life Drawing classes. This will create a great foundation for your career to come.

By the second part of the course you’ll be ready to bring the skills you’ve learnt to life in a major 12-week 3D production project. The direction your end-of-year project takes – such as modeling and texturing or animation and rigging – is usually determined by what fits your creative style, skill set and interests best. It’s up to you what you want to focus on.

Career paths:

While we recommend moving on to our Graduate Diploma of Advanced 3D Productions, or specialising as a Game Artist through our Graduate Diploma of Game Development (Game Art stream), graduates of 3D Animation may finish with the skills and ability to start their career as a:

  • 3D Animator (Entry Level)
  • 3D Modeler (Entry Level)

Career breakdown:

Intro and Modelling Weeks 1-9

You’ll begin your course by getting used to the tools of the trade, including both practical and theory components for Maya, Photoshop, After Effects and practical Photography. Then in week 5 you’ll move onto organic and inorganic modelling, a core skill for 3D animation.

Rigging and Animation Weeks 10-19

Starting with your first Pre-Production (relating to your final 12-week end of year project) in week 10, you’ll then move through the principles and practical techniques of both rigging and animation. Including: Rigging techniques (covering goals and ideas), principles of animation, blocking and smoothing, timing and facial animation.

Texture, Lighting and Rendering Weeks 20-27

Week 20 starts with your second Pre-Production session, then learn the skills behind texturing, lighting and rendering – including: storyboarding, lighting techniques and practices, shading models and materials, UV layout, texture painting, rendering techniques and troubleshooting

Final Production Weeks 28-40

Week 28 starts with your final Pre-Production week, before launching into the production for your 12-week, end-of-year 3D project itself that will hone and showcase the skills you’ve learnt. You’ve got until week 40 to meet the deadline!

Entry requirements:


17 (domestic), 18 (international)

To take our 3D Animation course you must have a creative mind, strong artistic skills and an intermediate level of computing knowledge in a graphical software such as Photoshop. Experience with 3D software is advantageous but not essential.

Portfolio Requirements:

The portfolio must consist of sketches, paintings, illustrations or drawings, as well as digital imagery such as animations or other computer generated artwork.



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