3D Animation Visual Effects and Animation with Maya and V-Ray

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Registration for January 2020 intake NOW OPEN!

Programme Description/Overview

This high impact 3D Animation and Visual Effects programme is for students who are interested to work in the film, TV or visual effects industry. It is a practical programme designed to give students the best technical training to work as 3D artists using the popular Maya 3D software as well as the latest state-of-the-art technology and processes. Students will be exposed to all aspects of 3D modelling, animation principles and compositing techniques with the help of Autodesk Maya & Mudbox, Adobe Photoshop After-Effects and V-Ray.

You will also work with Virtual Reality technology using your Goggles VR headset, and other VR Technologies such as Unity (Review the VR Lab block below)

Features and Benefits

  • Learn industry critical software and technology platforms such as Unity, V-Ray, Autodesk Maya, Adobe Photoshop and After Effects and more to the value of thousands of Rands, a critically advantageous consideration for any employer when considering.
  • Learn how to sell your skills with our “Freelancing for Creatives, Designers and Digital Artists, Making Money in the Gig Economy” module
  • Students will receive no cost student licenses of all software programs used during the programme.
  • During the program, students will prepare and write the Autodesk Maya User and Autodesk Maya Professional certification.
  • Students will receive no cost student licenses of all software programs used during the programme.
  • Industry exposure through our industry contacts and online recruitment portal.
  • Showcase of student work at our annual internal Job Fair for exposure to potential employers as well as the popular Rage Expo or Comicon

    This programme incorporates the use of Virtual Reality and may include topics such as Introduction to Virtual and Augmented Reality using your Goggles VR Headset, Introduction to the 3D Environment using Virtual Reality, Modelling for Virtual Reality, Preparing your 3D Data for Virtualization and Full Immersion, Design Validation through Virtual Reality, Presenting your data in Virtual Reality.

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Admission Requirements

  • National Senior Certificate (Grade 12) with Foundational Mathematics and English as your home/first language.
  • Computer literacy (hardware functions; operating systems; file management)


Full Time

  • 10 months  (5 days a week from 8:30 to 16:00)
  • All learning hours are achieved via your study duration at the academy, studio time and project-based assignments.
Sessions will be grouped together to lower cost of traveling, however, in some cases classes may not follow this convention and schedules are subject to change.

Online & Part Time

  • Part Time = 10 months (2 x evening classes, 18:00 to 21:00, Mon & Wed OR Tues & Thur)
  • Online = 10 Months (Online live classes, twice/week, 17:00 - 18:00, Mon & Wed OR Tues & Thurs)
  • All learning hours are obtained through a combination of live virtual classes, pre-recorded video lectures and project-based tasks.

Study Kit

Your study kit is included in your fees and will contain:

  • Free WIFI (3GB/Month, On Campus only).
  • Autodesk student licenses valid for three years.
  • Stationary including, Notepad, Sketchpad, A4 & A3 Paper and Tracing Paper.
  • Electronic Study Guides.
  • Orientation kit including: Student Card, Welcome Letter, Getting Started Guide.
  • Access to myAcademy student portal and student support team via phone, email and tickets. 
  • USB 64GB with all required software applications.
  • Goggles VR Headset

Career Options

  • Game 3D Asset Creator/Modeller
  • Environment building
  • Texture artist
  • Game Content Creator
  • 3D Animator
  • 3D Asset Creator (VR)
  • Product Modelling
  • Virtual Reality Specialist Consultant

Other fields where game developers are finding work

  • Film- rapid visualisation and shot planning
  • Automobile - Design visualisation
  • Architectural - Design visualisation, interactive presentation, virtual reality presentation
  • Product and Industrial Design- visualisation and realtime simulation

Marketing and Commercial

  • Gamification of marketing and client experience
  • Training and simulation systems development

Price & Payment Options

From *R p/m (T&C) Payment Options
  • Registration & Deposit R8,000.00
  • Include Laptop R18,000.00
  • Full and Part Time
    Installment (9 Months) R7,185.14
    Installment (12 Months) R5,635.83
    Installment (18 Months) R4,086.53
    Full Upfront Fee (Less deposit and registration fee) R59,077.00
  • Online
    Installment (9 Months) R5,907.36
    Installment (12 Months) R4,635.83
    Installment (18 Months) R3,364.31
    Full Upfront Fee (Less deposit and registration fee) R59,077.00

Articulation Options

On successful completion of this qualification, you can articulate into the following:

  • Games Design and Development with C# & Unity
  • National Certificate: Multi Disciplinary Draughting (MDDOP N4/5)

Mode of Delivery

Full Time / Part Time / Online

What you get

After finishing this course, you will have a complete understanding of the different pieces of software and the work-flow required to use them successfully.

You will also get:

  • Internationally recognized Autodesk Certificates for all software modules.
  • Internationally recognized V-Ray Certificate
  • Autodesk Maya Certified Professional Certification (upon successful completion of the certification)
  • Portfolio of Evidence, Show-reel stills and Animation


Modelling and Sculpting

This module will introduce the student to the process of creating content in Autodesk Maya.

The following topics are covered in this module:

  • Understanding the software interface
  • Setting up a project,
  • Basic modelling Techniques and Principles using Maya
  • Advanced modelling and sculpting techniques
  • Project and Asset management

Lighting and Cinematic Colour Theory

The student will be introduced to the theory of light and how to use it with cinematic principles. Following this the student will learn how to apply these principles in the Unity game engine This module will cover the following:

The module will cover the following topics:

  • Basic properties of Light (Reflection, Refraction, Diffusion),
  • Attenuation,
  • Colour balancing.
  • Cinematic lighting setups,
  • colour as focal point and contrast,
  • telling story with light.
  • Cinematic colour theory:, cool/warm colours, emotion of colour, colour as focal point, colour for depth.
  • Creating lights in Unity for game environments.

Textures, Maps and UVW Mapping

Students will be exposed to the basic principles and workflows of texturing for games using 3DsMax or Maya.

This module will cover:

  • Properties of Materials in Unity
  • Creating textures with Adobe Photoshop

Rigging and animation

Students will be exposed to the principles and workflows of creating rigging and animation for games using 3DsMax or Maya as well as creating cinematic camera movement in a game engine.

  • Rigging and Animation in Autodesk Maya.
  • Theory and Principles of animation and motion.
  • Camera movement and setup.

Dynamics and Simulation

Students will be taught how to create dynamic simulations in Unity as well as employ particle system for special effects in their scenes

The module will cover:

  • Simulation of Physics and Particles using Autodesk Maya.

Virtual Reality

With Virtual Reality becoming one of the fastest growing fields in the game industry we believe no gaming course would be complete without introducing the student to the specific requirements and nuances of designing for this interface. Our VR module is a standalone course that will not only introduce the basic concepts of VR but also expose the student to some of the fields beyond gaming where this is being applied and the specific needs of working in those industries.

This module will cover the following topics:

    Introduction to Virtual and Augmented Reality:

  • This topic will cover the basics of Virtual Reality, the concepts and ready to use VR environments. Learners will use their Goggles VR Headset and experience various VR environments both static and interactive.

Introduction to the 3D Environment using Virtual Reality:

  • A topic to introduce students to the concept of 3D using virtual reality. By using VR, learners will conceptualize the 3D environment much quicker.

Modelling for Virtual Reality

  • Guidelines and tips for ensuring correct modelling techniques are followed to ensure the best experience.

Preparing your 3D Data for Virtualization and Immersion

  • This topic will cover how to prepare your data for the virtual reality environment. It will explore the conversion of your data through various channel, using applicable software so that it is VR ready.

Design Validation through Virtual Reality

  • Use VR for design validation.

Presenting your data in Virtual Reality

  • Using VR platforms, learn how to present and use your data in various VR scenarios, from basic stereo images to full immersive experiences.

Composition, Presentation and Storyboards

This module will introduce the students to the principles and techniques of rendering, composition and post-production of rendered content.

This module will cover the following topics:

  • Rendering,
  • Cinematic Composition and blocking principles.
  • Composite Rendering and Post Production (Adobe PS and AE).
  • Effective Storyboard and pacing principles

Portfolio Project

The world is changing and with the traditional degree not being a guarantee for employment anymore students need to show that they don’t just have the knowledge, but that they can be innovative and apply the knowledge it as well. Employers are increasingly looking for proof of application and competence, especially in the creative fields and the portfolio has become a standard requirement for any job application.

Our course is based around the building of a complete portfolio that will allow the student to showcase skills and abilities at the end of the programme.

Freelancing for Creatives, Designers and Digital Artists, Making Money in the Gig Economy

This module will introduce the student to the exciting, tumultuous and ever changing world of freelancing in the creative industry and the burgeoning gig economy.

The module will cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to freelancing and exploring different freelancing services
  • Exploring freelancing supporting sites and finding the right one for your skillset
  • Explore crowdsourcing and finding the right one for your skillset
  • The importance of a High-Quality Portfolio Website
  • The Importance of a professional online personal and social profile and building of your PERSONAL BRAND
  • International Job Hunting/Jobs Hunting, your market is bigger than you think.

Course Regulatory Information

AIE (Academic Institute of Excellence) has been granted provisional registration as a private college in terms of Section 31(3) of the CET Act and Regulation 12(4), with registration number 2018/FE07/003 for a period of three years.

Learn3D is accredited by the Canadian company Toonboom, accredited by the American company Autodesk to teach 3D animation for design/visualization, character animation and visual effects, accredited by the Bulgarian company Chaos Group to teach V-Ray, the 3ds Max and Maya lighting plug-in.

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