3D Animation & VFX for Film

Visual effects artists, animators and compositors create the fantastic worlds, superhuman feats and spectacular imagery that you see on the big (and small) screen. AIE's 3D Animation and Visual Effects for Film program runs over two years, full-time and is designed to get you into these industries. It is a practical course designed to give the best technical training using the latest, state-of-the-art technology.

This course has been written in consultation with leading film and visual effects studios, enabling you to complete impressive film projects that showcase your skills and create a professional show-reel to impress potential employers.

INTAKES Feb 2020
Jul 2020

Course Content

Stage One

Students develop their skills in 3D modelling, texturing, UVW unwrapping, rigging, animation, lighting, using cameras, rendering and compositing. Students will concept, model and animate character, design game levels, create high-detail creatures, build realistic environments and craft a short animated movie.

Stage Two

In year two, you’ll be set up to work in team-led structures much like real-world Industry workplaces. In addition to learning advanced high polygon modelling, realistic lighting, texturing and advanced realistic character animation, the course incorporates skills in organisation, time and project management.

The course trains you to articulate and present your ideas to peers. It will give you experience and tools for production, management and scriptwriting, essential skills for a number of career development and progression.

Short Film Production

This subject is the culmination of your studies at AIE where you will be working on a group project utilising the skills and knowledge you have developed through the course. You'll work with other students on a multi-disciplinary project. The project may be a Short Animation or a Visual Effects sequence.

You will be demonstrating knowledge of team collaboration, scheduling, and project development while leveraging the skills you have learned throughout the course to complete and deliver the film or Visual Effects project with your team.


Subjects you will study

Stage One

  • 3D Art Pipeline
  • Health and Safety in the Office
  • Principles of Animation
  • Modelling and Texturing
  • Character Pipeline
  • Character Animation
  • Digital Lighting and Compositing
  • Storyboards
  • Production Planning
  • Production

Stage Two

  • Visual Effects
  • Specialisation
  • Story Development
  • Short Film Production
  • Online Portfolio

Software You Will USe

Students utilize industry standard software and resources such as:

  • Maya — Modeling, rigging, animation & rendering
  • ZBrush — High detail sculpting
  • Photoshop — Concept art and texturing
  • Nuke — Compositing and match-moving
  • Premiere — Video editing
  • Renderman — Rendering

Your Career Opportunities

  • Character Animator
  • Environment Modeler
  • Technical Director
  • Fur/Feathers FX Artist
  • Water FX Artist
  • Modeler
  • 3D Tracker/Match Mover
  • Digital/Matte Painter
  • Surfacing/Texture Painter

Graduates can be found working in the film, advertising and TV sectors. Common positions secured by graduates include animator, technical director, surfacing artist and modeller.

Some graduates also move into other fields including medical visualisation and simulations.


Entry Requirements

Entry for this course is based on:

  1. Interview - In the interview we are assessing your suitability for the course including any specific requirements you may have.
  2. Portfolio - we are looking for evidence of creativity which is demonstrated through a collection of works in a medium of your choosing.
  3. Copy of your Year 12 Certificate OR by achieving an Exit Level 3 score within the Australian Core Skills Framework assessments in reading and numeracy.


An Exit Level 3 score within the Australian Core Skills Framework assessments in reading and numeracy will show that you have the capability to be successful in this course. AIE can assist you with this assessment process if required and results will be reported to you as soon as practicable. As per the Department of Education and Training guidelines, assessment results are also available to the Department Secretary on request.


For more information on the interview and portfolio visit www.aie.edu.au/StudentInformation/InterviewPortfolio


Units of Competency

Stage One

CUAIND502 Maintain and apply creative arts industry knowledge
CUAPPR505 Establish and maintain safe creative practice
BSBCRT501 Originate and develop concepts
CUAANM302 Create 3D Digital animations
CUAANM501 Create 3D Digital character animation
CUAPPM502 Realise productions
CUAANM303 Create 3D Digital models
CUAANM401 Create Advanced 3D digital models
CUAPPM407 Create Storyboards
BSBCMM401 Make a presentation
BSBDES501 Implement design solutions
BSBPMG522 Undertake project work
BSBDES402 Interpret and respond to a design brief
CUAACD301 Produce drawings to communicate ideas
ICTGAM531 Complete compositing to create elements for the 3-D and digital effects environment

Stage Two

CUAPPR603 Engage in the business of creative practice
CUAPPR505 Establish and maintain safe creative practice
CUAPPR605 Evolve ideas for professional creative work
BSBCRT501 Originate and develop concepts
CUAPPR502 Develop own sustainable professional practice
ICTGAM531 Complete compositing to create elements for the 3-D and digital effects environment
BSBPMG522 Undertake project work
CUAPPM502 Realise productions
BSBDES501 Implement design solutions
CUAANM501 Create 3D digital character animation
CUAWRT502 Develop storylines and treatments
CUAWRT601 Write scripts
CUAANM402 Create digital visual effects
CUAANM503 Design animation and digital visual effects
CUADRT601 Establish the creative vision for screen productions
CUAPPR606 Extend expertise in a specialised art form to professional level


The VET Student Loans program allows eligible students enrolled in AIE's approved Diploma, Advanced Diploma and Graduate Diploma courses to defer part of the cost of their tuition fees. Courses are subject to maximum loan caps and students will be required to pay any fee over and above that cap.

Maximum tuition fees for the intake commencing February 2020

Stage 1 - CUA51015 Diploma of Screen & Media $20,300 (2020)
Stage 2 - CUA60615 Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media $21,500 (2021)

For more information please visit our VET Student Loans page
For more information on our tuition fees please visit our FEES page

VET student loans will not be approved for students who do not meet eligibility requirements and a VET student loan gives rise to a HELP debt that continues to be a debt due to the Commonwealth until it is repaid.

More information on VET Student Loans and eligibility requirements can be found at www.education.gov.au/vet-student-loans
Please note:

  • For current 2017 stage 1 students continuing into stage 2 in 2018, the maximum tuition fee for CUA60615 Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media is $18,000.
  • On successful completion of stage 1 of 3D Animation and VFX program, students will be awarded recognition of prior learning or credit transfer towards Stage 2 of the Advanced Diploma of Professional Game Development.


This two-year, full-time program has been developed with industry and is delivered through the following qualifications:

  • Stage 1 - Diploma of Screen & Media CUA51015. CRICOS CODE 096612M.
  • Stage 2 - Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media CUA60615. CRICOS CODE 095767M.

Meet the teachers

Film and VFX | Meet the teachers

Student Work

Film and VFX | Student Work

Student Work

Film and VFX | Student Work

Industry Experts

Ryan Ware

Senior Visual Effects Teacher
Ryan Ware | AIE Online Teacher
The Hobbit | AIE Teacher Work
The Hobbit
Penguins of Madagascar

Ali Wetherell

3D Art Teacher
Ali Wetherell | AIE Online Teacher
Scooby Doo | AIE Teacher Work

Fall Out Tactics
Scooby Doo
Little Mermaid

Craig Bentick

Design Teacher
Craig Bentick | AIE Online Teacher
The Dark Knight Rises | AIE Teacher Work

Destroy All Humans
The Dark Knight Rises
London 2012 Olympics

Masha Juergens

Animation Teacher
Masha Juergens | AIE Online Teacher
Legend Of The Guardians | AIE Teacher Work

Chronicles Of Narnia
Walking With Dinosaurs
Legend Of The Guardians

Hear from our students

Luke Connelly

AIE Online is great! The online courses allow me to work full time and having the recordings is very handy. The teachers are great and it's nice being in the classroom with likeminded people.

Ryan Giles

I've recently completed my first year, and my skill set has improved greatly. The lecturers are very helpful, and they are always encouraging me and give me advice whenever I need it. The staff are always willing to help and give you advice on your assignments and other projects. The course has been challenging while being enjoyable.

Richard Conroy

I started out at AIE with a Certificate III in media and now I am studying an advanced diploma with teachers that have worked on Hollywood blockbusters. Having an amazing time and have learnt so much, cannot wait to make my mark in the industry.


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