Start Dates

  • September 03, 2024
  • January 09, 2025


Program Delivery

  • In Class
Tuition & Fees

Domestic: CAD $40,622
International: CAD $68,409


Program Description

Advanced VFX (Virtual Production) is a full-time, two-year Centre for Entertainment Arts (CEA) program focused on the fundamentals of Visual Effects and the integration of Virtual Production workflows and pipelines. Students will study numerous specializations in VFX, such as modeling, sculpting, texturing/surfacing, lighting, compositing, and FX. The program also integrates Virtual Production workflows into these departments and courses, by introducing Unreal. Unreal and other Virtual Production software and tools are used in the preparation, modification, and filming of VFX assets, in-camera. By replicating real-world fundamentals of Virtual Production and its fast-paced work environment of real-time rendering, artists are trained to be equipped both artistically, and technically in the realm of quick problem solving, teamwork and collaboration.

The fundamentals of cinematography, data acquisition, match move, photography and real-world lighting are also explored before they are taken into the 3D, virtual space. In advance studies, 3D matte painting is introduced as a hybrid of 2D and 3D images for set extensions, for use in both traditional VFX and VFX for Virtual Production. Basic scripting is used in various software packages, such as Unreal, Nuke, Houdini and other industry leading software to optimize artists’ workflows. The program also teaches students the fundamentals of pre and post production, critical analysis and review, realistic production schedules, teamwork and soft skills. It also teaches students how to interact with other VFX departments, both on set and in studio.

A wide range of industry standard software and tools, processes, and workflows are taught to the students for both traditional VFX and VFX for Virtual Production. Students will create a portfolio of VFX shots in the form of a demo reel. Demo reel shots may be solely the student’s own creations, or the result of a collaborative group project(s).

The Advanced VFX (Virtual Production) program is best suited for students that display an artistic or creative background. A foundation in technical and or software skills is also beneficial. These artistic, creative and technical skills serve as a foundation for the challenging roles in VFX, and Games industries.

Software and hardware taught and provided to students during this program:

  • Maya
  • zBrush
  • Substance Designer
  • Substance Painter
  • Houdini
  • VRay
  • Arnold
  • Mari
  • Nuke
  • Shotgun
  • Unreal Engine
  • QuixelMegascans
  • Davinci Resolve
  • Python
  • Deadline Renderfarm
  • 3DEqualizer
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Premiere
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Microsoft Office 365
Course Listings Request More Information Applying FAQ

Domestic Applicants

Welcome Centre
South Campus – Main Floor

International Learner Applicants

International Education
North Campus – Third Floor

Admission Requirements

  • High School Diploma or equivalent 


  • English 30-1, English 30-2 or equivalent



  • Portfolio submission of 15-20 pieces of artistic work (e.g. sketches, renderings, design variations) in digital format. Successful portfolios reflect a broad range of techniques, influences, styles, and subject matter. Submissions must represent the original work of the applicant; if an item is a collaborative piece, list all contributors and describe your contribution.

    If you have questions or would like an informal pre-assessment of your portfolio, please email ceaportfolio@bowvalleycollege.ca. Watch this video for more information.


English language proficiency requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, please review English language proficiency requirements.

Domestic Applicants

Welcome Centre
South Campus – Main Floor

International Learner Applicants

International Education
South Campus – Main Floor

Course Listing

Full course outlines are available here.

Curriculum subject to change.

Term 1

Required CoursesCredit

This entry-level course covers the basics of photography as they apply to Digital SLR cameras. Covering traditional aspects such as exposure, depth-of-field, and composition, the course also delves into basic digital controls such as white balance, histograms, and elemental workflow.

Students will learn the entire production pipeline from story idea and development to recording animations to tape. The language, processes and equipment of digital animation and its production environment are discussed. The focus of this course is on titling, image processing, compositing and 3D animation.

Cinematics focuses on language and techniques of filmmaking particularly how it relates to Animation and Visual Effects. The course covers such areas as story, shooting, editing as well as how to critically analyze film content as an education tool. Students will board, shoot, and edit a film as well as analyze examples of film production to understand why choices in filmmaking are made.

This survey course provides the foundation for all future animation studies by introducing students to principles of animation through the art of experimental and stop motion animation. Students will gain hands-on experience with techniques including the media of clay, paper cutouts, found objects, pixilation, and stop motion puppets.

Term 2

Required CoursesCredit

This course introduces editing theory and practice through the editing of a film on a technical level while making informed editing decisions. Students learn to competently edit digital video and audio files using industry tools and prepare the results for delivery.

This course will provide students with an introduction to professional preproduction with an emphasis on idea generation, concept design, visual development, and storyboarding. The latest techniques of preproduction as used in animation and VFX will be introduced to students.

This course covers the basic concepts of 3D Modeling and animation as it pertains to VFX. Fluids, nParticles, nCloth, hair, fur, and soft/rigid bodies are introduced in a production setting toward the goal of developing a portfolio project.

This course will introduce learners to compositing within the world of VFX. Students will work with industry-recognized tools to learn node-based compositing and how to compose an image using a proper VFX pipeline. Students will work on the basics of rotoscoping, tracking and keying.

Term 3

Required CoursesCredit

Students have an opportunity to step back and survey the body of their work. The student and faculty analyze and identify strengths, weaknesses and interests to set a course towards a clear and committed emphasis. This class is the first step in portfolio development to meet current standards in the industry.

In this course, the business of pre-production management in feature animation, game and post-production visual effects entertainment project workflows will be introduced. Students will be trained in the professional practices entailed in the start-to-finish cultivation and delivery of entertainment projects. Students will receive hands-on training by selecting and producing several commercial projects during the semester.

Students are exposed to intermediate concepts needed for successful compositing. Class projects include bluescreen removal, traveling mattes, image correction and an introduction to the production pipeline used in professional film and TV work.

This course grounds students in the artistic and technical fundamentals of texturing and lighting, providing a solid foundation for further study in the field.

Term 4

Required CoursesCredit

This course is designed to give students the tools they need to understand the role of the Director of Photography during visual effects filming. Students will learn the basics of lighting and videotaping for the bluescreen. The course also deals with the differences and similarities of live acting lighting and CG lighting.

This course offers a full overview of post visual-effects procedures for television and film production, including such topics as wire removal and image rotoscoping. Emphasis is placed on the use of film background plates and the ability of the student to break down effects shots effectively.

This course will present a comprehensive overview of 3D camera tracking on live action. Students will learn how to prepare for a matchmove in a live action set, through measurements of the environment, camera information, and applying tracking markers.

In this course, students will learn the basics of FX in Houdini. Through the use of optimization, students will be introduced to proceduralism, including randomization, particle velocity, and position, the basics of
Houdini's scripting language VEX, RBD simulations, and basic output render attributes.

Term 5

Required CoursesCredit

This course gives students a solid foundation in scripting and basic programming skills using Mel and Python. The course expands the skills of visual effects artists who aim to pursue a career in technical direction, VFX look development, and effects animation.

This course offers further exploration of the texturing and lighting process using advanced techniques. Topics include subsurface scattering, image-based lighting, render passes, and texture hierarchy construction. Our class project will focus on texturing and lighting a human character and integrating them into feature scene lighting.

In this class, students will explore, render, and light realistic water and fluid simulations using Real Flow 4 software. Students will determine when to use Real Flow vs. Maya Fluids. Intense rendering problems caused by complex lighting schemes and machine limitations will allow students to analyze and improve their skills.

This course covers advanced compositing techniques including image projection, basic plug-in creation, mesh warping, and advanced colour correction. Students will continue to further their keying skills and overall approach to a shot. Attention to detail, efficiency of workflow and protecting image quality will be continually monitored. The 3D camera will be explored.

Term 6

Required CoursesCredit

The first of four sequential final project courses for 3ADP, the goal of this class is to begin developing a professionally marketable reel comprised of the student's best work. The student will select an appropriate framework for their assembly and will work with the instructor to tailor their portfolio toward employment opportunities. As in all final project courses, the student will hone client/artist relationships by practicing the art of presentation and behavioral skills, and will develop consistent identity, resumé, reel packaging and stationary systems.

The second of four sequential final project courses for 3ADP, the goal of this class is to establish and adhere to a portfolio production schedule akin to industry standards. In the continued aim of developing a professionally marketable reel, the student will create effective employment outreach and promotional materials. As in all final project courses, the student will hone client/artist relationships by practicing the art of presentation and behavioral skills, and will develop consistent identity, resumé, reel packaging and stationary systems.

The third of four sequential final project courses for 3ADP, the goal of this class is to enhance the student's professional communication skills with a particular focus on resumés, networking, and giving presentations. As in all final project courses, the student will hone client/artist relationships by practicing the art of presentation and behavioral skills, and will develop consistent identity, resumé, reel packaging and stationary systems.

The last of four sequential final project-based courses for 3ADP, the goals of this class are to synthesize outcomes from the previous final project courses to create their final version of a professionally marketable reel and to finalize preparations for job applications. The course also covers such pertinent topics as labour law, creating a professional website, and marketing oneself to prospective employers. Throughout this course students will engage with an industry partner to create a marketable version of a professional reel that meets their needs.

Related Programs

Digital Design Diploma

Get the skills you need to design and create websites, e-publications, applications, and interactive multimedia products.

Post-Diploma Certificate

Digital Marketing Post-Diploma Certificate

Enhance your existing diploma or degree. Add vital marketing and communication skills in the area of digital marketing.

Your cart is currently empty.

Browse Available Courses


  • If you are currently studying in a post-secondary program at BVC, please register for your courses via mybvc to ensure your enrolments and fees are processed appropriately.
  • Cart total based on domestic tuition rates. For information about International Tuition rates please see Additional Fees Apply
  • If you anticipate applying for a student loan, your payment will be refunded to you based on your loan award once your funding has been received by BVC.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Learn more in our privacy policy