As an integral part of the multibillion-pound film and television industry, studying the creative and technical skills used in visual effects can open up extensive career prospects.
This course also encourages you to develop your creative flair and understanding of industry-standard software to create your own 3D content for use in film and television projects.
Our graduates have gone on to work in roles such as compositors and matte painters, as well as wider media-based roles such as colourists and finishers.
- On this course, you will study a range of topics including VFX and compositing basics, 3D modelling and animation, match-moving and MOCAP (motion capture), and tracking rigging and compositing.
- Benefit from our specialist facilities, featuring audio recording studios, broadcast-standard radio production studios and management systems, standalone film studios equipped with multi-cameras, as well as green screen facilities.
- Our VFX facilities include high-definition mixed media workstations, using industry-standard software such as 3ds Max, Maya, Nuke, After Effects and DaVinci Resolve.
- Our DMU Global programme offers students the opportunity to have a valuable international experience as part of their studies. During a trip to Berlin, VFX students were able to explore the historical, social and cultural context of animated content, visual effects and film.
- Gain valuable hands-on experience by joining a range of student societies such as the award-winning Demon Media group, with opportunities to contribute to its magazine, radio station, TV station and website.
Structure and assessment
Image Capture and Processing – introduces image capture using a range of stills and video production technologies. Students will learn filmmaking and photographic techniques, from recording initial assets to editing.
Foundation 3D – examines the basics of 3D workflow and introduces students to platforms such as Maya.
VFX and Compositing Basics – students learn how to use a range of software packages from Adobe Photoshop to After Effects. The module is designed to examine the fundamental basics of compositing still and moving images, text, and 3D content.
Critical Studies 1 – explores the basic contextual dimensions of animation and VFX. Students will attend a series of lectures and workshops covering themes such as animation, the history of VFX, and film theory.
Video and Imaging Techniques – enables students to expand their knowledge of using still and moving images for the purposes of set extensions, using greenscreens, and creating mattes.
3D Modelling and Animation – the second 3D module explores creating characters for use in film and video productions. Students will develop their skills in Maya and learn how to integrate 3D assets with live-action footage.
Tracking Rigging and Compositing – explores the use of studio environments to prepare content for use during post production. The module will consider the tracking of objects, and the removal of rigs using programmes such as After Effects and Nuke.
Critical Studies 2 – the second critical studies module explores further critical dimensions of VFX. Students will attend a series of lectures and workshops to develop their underpinning knowledge of animation and VFX production.
- Technology Project
The third year technology project is a faculty-wide module, in which students will negotiate their own production brief and research agenda. Students will be expected to experiment with new techniques, or undertake professional quality work for collaborative clients.
- Match-moving and MOCAP
During this third year module, students will experiment with motion capture and the use of 3D content in live action footage. Motion capture will be used to map movements onto 3D characters, whereas, match-moving techniques will appropriately place 3D assets into existing footage.
- Post-production for Video and Film
In this final year module, students will use programmes such as Da Vinci Resolve to enhance the look and finish of film and video footage. Students will learn how to emulate different film stocks using Look Up Tables (LUT’s), and will develop unique aesthetic styles of their own.
- Advanced 3D Modelling and Animation
In this concluding 3D module, students will focus on the creation of assets such as sets, architecture, and lighting for VFX. This module allows students to identify the wider application of 3D skills in the creative sector.
Facilities and features
We have 1,600 study places and more than 700 computer workstations across all library locations on campus. These give access to more than 500,000 print publications, thousands of e-books and e-journals and a huge range of DVDs, plus a host of research databases.
The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year (other than in exceptional circumstances).
The library is run by dedicated staff who offer additional support to students, including academic writing, research strategies, literature searching and reference management.
There is also a Just Ask service for help and advice, available via email or telephone.
Our multi-million pound Creative Technology Studios feature a host of industry standard video, audio and radio production suites and two fully equipped recording studios featuring analogue and digital recording systems and surround sound monitoring.
Creative Technology Studios (CTS)
Our multi-million pound Creative Technology Studios offer a host of industry standard video, audio and radio production suites as well as two fully equipped recording studios featuring analogue and digital recording systems and surround sound monitoring. Our VFX and media facilities also include:
- Over 20 High-Definition mixed media workstations, using the very latest industry-standard software such as 3Ds Max, Maya, Nuke, After Effects, and Da Vinci Resolve
- Fused-media and Motion-capture studios for the teaching and research of 3D image capture, modelling and display
- Industry-standard video and audio production suites
- Television studios with HD video cameras, green-screen and virtual-studio capabilities
- Two fully-equipped recording studios, featuring analogue and digital recording systems and surround sound monitoring
- A high-speed, high-definition, data backbone, enabling the integration of audio, video and computer-generated media projects
- Hybrid technologies, using the best of current analogue and digital media
- Film studios with multi-camera, blue screen and green screen facilities, enabling you to create videos that take advantage of colour keying to merge video with computer graphics, stock video and still images
Our comfortable and well-equipped study areas provide a range of environments to suit your needs.
Our Learning Zones and The Greenhouse provide flexible spaces, whether you are working as a group, practising a presentation or working quietly on your own.
They feature workstations with power supplies for laptops, plus bookable syndicate rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities. Wi-Fi is available across all campus locations.
Opportunities and careers
Work placements are offered as part of this course and they are one of the best ways to boost your skills and experience while studying, as well as improving your chances of gaining a graduate level job and can often lead to an offer of employment for when you graduate.
We have numerous links with organisations both in the UK and internationally, and the placements team will help you find a placement to suit your and you interests and aspirations.
This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons — helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.
Students recently visited Hungary, where they learned about historical techniques and approaches to media production, as well as state-run media production during the Cold War era of Eastern Europe. During their visit to the Korda Film Park, home of Hungarian cinema, students discovered film sets for Hollywood blockbusters such as superhero movie Hellboy II and Oscar-nominated The Martian. They also learned about the history of the moving image and discovered different post-production techniques for visual effects.
Graduates from this course could go on to roles such as compositors and matte painters, as well as wider media based roles such as colourists and finishers. During the final year most students will decide which area they wish to forge a career in and will begin to specialise in that field, some examples of this are in motion capture, set design, lighting and grading. Students will also have the opportunity to apply for one of our specialist Postgraduate courses if they wish to continue studying. We offer a diverse range of masters programmes to develop specific career paths in close partnership with industry, like our International Film Production, which is run in affiliation with Pinewood Studios
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