12 Month Full Time - Computer Animation, Visual Effects and Game Design Diploma

Think Tank Training Centre

Program Description

12 Month Full Time - Computer Animation, Visual Effects and Game Design Diploma

Think Tank Training Centre

The Computer Animation, Visual Effects and Game Design Program at Think Tank Training Centre in Toronto Canada is an intensive one-year program that specializes in the latest software, techniques and technologies to cater to the needs of the current film, television and gaming industries. The program consists of respected industry professionals as instructors teaching current curriculum, a mentorship program, and small class sizes offering extensive hands-on training. The program is divided into three 15 week semesters, with course integration to allow assignments to overlap and support one another. Upon successful completion of the program and demo reel the students will be awarded a diploma in Computer Animation, Visual Effects and Game Design.

12 Month Diploma Program

Shawn“I really just want to say that Think Tank is a special school. I was hired by Bioware with the demo reel I made, and after being hired I found out that I beat out a few senior guys from other studios for the position.”
Shawn Kassian - Environment Artist - Bioware

“Being a student at Think Tank made me feel like I was in an exclusive school for artists seeking to achieve the highest of standards in CG creation.”


Adar Bronstein - Senior 3D Modeling & Texturing Artist - ICON Creative Studio

Liam“It was a family more than a school, really. A great, supportive family that was always there to help out if I was having trouble with anything, and one that was dedicated to seeing me succeed.”


Liam Jones - Technical Animator - MPC

Tanner“At Think Tank the school not only cared about my success but also did everything in their power to make sure I had the tools and skills required to succeed in the industry.”


Tanner Roberts - Environment Artist - EA Popcap

Emily“Think Tank surpassed my expectations of what I thought a good vfx school would be. Not only do they provide the academic foundations and resources for artists to learn and grow, Scott and Joe make it their priority to ensure a safe, comfortable, and welcoming environment for students to work in.”

Emily Luk - Jr Texture Artist - Image Engine Design Inc

Semester 1

3D Animation

3D Animation This course begins with a brief history of animation. Students will then explore the different methods of key-frame animating: keying pose to pose, straight ahead, path animation, and how to edit the animation using the f-curve editor. Students will also explore simple walks and runs for biped and quadruped characters.

3D Modeling

3D Modeling
Modeling 100 will introduce the students to the concepts and processes of creating three dimensional objects within a virtual environment. They will learn all aspects of polygon modeling as they create a variety of objects, including environments and sets, vehicles, and organic characters. Introduction to Brush based modeling using Mudbox will also be covered during the latter half of the course.

classflash

Classsical & Flash Animation
Students develop drawing skills while learning the principles of squash and stretch, follow-through and overlapping action, anticipation, timing, key frames, and in-between-ing. Lessons in character animation and storyboarding explore the elements necessary to bring an animation to life. This course builds a foundation for 3D classes to follow.

Digital Imaging 100

Digital Imaging 100
This module provides an in-depth exploration of Adobe Photoshop, the industry standard for digital imaging. Students work on the basics of image editing, color correction, color management, preparing files for print and exporting images. Once the basics of Photoshop are covered, students will begin to use these tools to texture a variety of objects, thus preparing them for more advanced 3D texturing software. Exercises prepare students for a real-world production environment.

Maya 100

Maya 100
Maya 100 will introduce students to Autodesk Maya, an advanced 3D animation and content creation software package. The course is taught in Autodesk Maya, but focuses on 3D principles and workflow. Everything from Materials and UVs to Shaders, Rigging, Overrides and Passes is covered in detail. This course prepares students for other classes and brings many different industry components together.

Texturing 100

Texturing 100
In this course students are introduced to the world of texturing. Tools such as photoshop, ndo and Marmoset will be used to provide real-time feedback when texturing props, environments and characters. This course will prepare students for their more advanced texturing course in semester 2.

Semester 2

3D Animation 200

3D Animation 200
From simple mechanical animations the students will now focus on the basics of character animation. Giving a synthetic character “life” is the goal. Using Maya, students will study acting to dialogue, facial animation, timing, editing animations with F-curves, and all the principles that make an animation great. Using Forward and Inverse Kinematics to pose and animate characters, students will tackle a variety of situations that they will face in the real world of production as a character animator. Students will also learn the significant impact rigging plays in successful animation and what factors make a good or bad character rig. Video Rotoscoping will be used as a visual aid to the animator.

3D Modeling 200

3D Modeling 200
In this second (more advanced) modeling module, students will build upon their skills founded in Modeling 100. Attention to detail will be key as students learn to build an “animation- proficient” character with proper topology. Additional techniques will be introduced to add realistic detail to models and speed up modeling times. Efficient yet impressive sets and props will be incorporated with other production pipeline classes to achieve a realistic look. This class also includes learning supplementary tools and software to support a variety of modeling and creation pipelines.

Acting For Animation 200

Acting For Animation 200
This course introduces students to the fundamental principles of acting for the purpose of creating animation. The exercises will teach students how to perform actions differently for various characters and personalities: how to properly do anticipations and reactions for each action; how to do verbal and non-verbal acting, acting between two characters, increasing imagination and creativity and how to act with body language first and facial acting second.

Advanced Lighting 200

Advanced Lighting 200
This course focuses on lighting and shading in a way that will enable artists to better understand how to use any rendering application. Using Maya/Vray, students will have their minds blown when they learn how limited their perception of materials, light and shadow has been all of their lives. When they apply this new understanding to lighting and shading in CG, they will find themselves ahead of the pack in any software. The second half of this course is designed to get students up to speed with the 3D painting package from The Foundry. Emphases are on the integration of Mari into the student’s demo reel workflow and the development of photorealistic textures.

Advanced Texturing 200

Advanced Texturing 200
This course is an in-depth exploration of Texture Painting for Visual Effects. Students will learn the ins-and-outs of the latest 3D painting packages and utilize the programs to create photo-realistic textures using a combination of photo projections and hand painting techniques. The course will take an in-depth look at a variety of materials and surfaces such as metals, skin, glass and wet surfaces and how to use a combination of texturing and shading in V-ray for Maya to replicate these materials. Students in this course will take their models to the next level, and will be able to integrate them into live action footage and games seamlessly!

CompositingVisual Effects 200

Compositing & Visual Effects 200
In this course, students are introduced to the world of the visual effects artist and the skills and techniques that are used in the field. We discuss how effects are created and how they are integrated into live-action and CG plates. Our goal is to give the students a good understanding of how movie magic is achieved. Particles, mattes, color keying, camera tracking, stabilization, and using simple yet effective effects such as glows, flares, depth of field, and color correction to achieve a “photo-real” look will be covered. This course is essential to the understanding of various methods of compositing in order to achieve esthetically beautiful and believable imagery.

Digital Sculpting 200

Digital Sculpting 200
The purpose of Digital sculpting 200 is to teach students the necessary tools to be able to function effectively in a professional working pipeline. This course introduces students to the new techniques and possibilities that Zbrush provides. Students will develop strong fundamentals of pose / proportion. Students will also learn all the necessary techniques to effectively finish sculpting a model and prepare it for pipeline production. Students will also learn how to work between Zbrush and other major 3D applications (such as Mudbox) for superior results.

Game Design 200

Game Design 200
Throughout this course, students learn how to work with art assets in the CryEngine game engine and apply what they learn to a class project. While working on the project, students get to focus on and learn what they want to pursue as a career. Topics covered include normal map generation and painting, advanced UV techniques, importing geometry, collision meshes, animation systems, and more. Students will feel more than comfortable within the CryEngine, have the knowledge to adapt to any realtime/game work environment, and know how to keep their digital assets efficient and of high quality.

Maya 200

Maya 200
In Maya 200, you will learn the basics of modeling, lighting, texturing and animating a scene using Maya. Students gain an understanding of the interface and workflow of Maya and how to interpret tools and principals learned in Softimage to this alternate platform. The emphasis is placed on the technical aspects of Maya with rigging being a major focus.

Mentored Lab 200

Mentored Lab 200
During a Monitored Lab you will be reviewing your progress on current running projects assigned in various classes throughout the week. Each class is structured to provide individual coaching for each student in order to ensure goals and timelines are met on all assignments. A senior academic advisor or TA is made available during Monitored Lab to coach, critique and troubleshoot as needed any problems that arise. Monitored Lab ensures each student gets the necessary help needed in between classes.

Production Pipeline 200

Production Pipeline 200
Production 200 allows students the time needed to develop and deploy their final demo reel concepts. The class will also focus on developing the relationship the student will need to get started in the industry after graduation. Outings to mainstream studios in Vancouver and visits from top industry professionals will serve to inspire and guide students to create viable demo reels that will get them hired by the employer of their choice.

Traditional Sculpting 200

Traditional Sculpting 200
Our Sculpture class is a chance for students to get their hands dirty. Taught by Gideon Hay, an industry veteran for sculpts, maquettes, and props in Vancouver, in this class students are introduced to the basics of building character maquettes, armatures and the use of scalpel as a modelling tool. Anatomy, texture, proportion, and character design will be discussed as well as how they are used in a real production situation. It's also a chance for students to change gears and enjoy making cool art without a computer.

Character Creation 20

Character Creation 200
In this 7 week extended workshop students will learn how to go from a sculpted model to a production ready and efficient game model. Emphasis will be on workflow and problem solving so that when students are finished the course, they will have a production ready model. Confidence is essential when entering the final demo reel semester, and this course will solidify student's knowledge base on all things character creation.

Semester 3

Advanced ShadingRendering 300

Advanced Shading & Rendering 300
Advanced Rendering and Engines supports students in their demo reel semester with regard to rendering and outputting their created content. Students will feel comfortable rendering in VRay and have the knowledge to create complex materials and lighting situations while keeping their renders efficient. Students will also learn how to utilize a render farm for maximum efficiency and pipeline experience.

Career Management 300

Career Management 300
Once a student leaves the nest and lands that first job they are faced with a myriad of financial decisions. This course is designed to take the mystery out of topics like: - Getting your foot in the door of the company of your choice - Giving a great interview (or “how to sell yourself”) - Managing your student loan - RSPs and how they are a benefit - Mortgages and why they are easier than you think - How to invest in stocks, GICs and mutual funds and why they make good sense - Freelancing and/or starting your own company.

Demo Reel Authoring 300

Demo Reel Authoring 300
This course is the last step to getting your demo reel into a format that properly showcases your work. Outputting to video as well as putting together your own online portfolio will be covered. Understanding Interface design, compression, formats, editing and sound engineering will enable students to make a knockout original presentation that sells your skills and talents. Packaging and overall presentation will also be a focus of this course.

Mentoring 300

Mentoring 300
During third semester, the students will be paired up with a personal mentor who is currently working in the industry. The mentor will coach the student one-on-one through the demo reel process and will provide feedback, advice and critiques. The students will meet with the mentor once a week, and will be given goals and timelines in order to properly structure their very intense final semester.

Monitored Lab

Monitored Lab
During a Monitored Lab you will be reviewing your progress on current running projects assigned in various classes throughout the week. Each class is structured to provide individual coaching for each student in order to ensure goals and timelines are met on all assignments. A senior academic advisor or TA is made available during Monitored Lab to coach, critique and troubleshoot as needed any problems that arise. Monitored Lab ensures each student gets the necessary help needed in between classes.

Production 300

Production 300
Production 300 is designed to monitor the progress of the students throughout their final (mentorship) semester. Students are interviewed every two weeks to insure mentors are effective, time is managed well, and resources are accessed and utilized in an efficient manner. This is a good forum for students to discuss new concepts and technical hurdles.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Entry Requirements

At Think Tank we only accept 12 students per term. We are always sold out. We are always sold out in advance. Our Graduates placement rate is over 95%. We choose the best 12 candidates we can find. Great in equals great out. Knowing this, here are a few points to help in your decision and application process;

1. Do your Homework.

We like students who have researched other schools and ended up at Think Tank because it’s the right choice for them. Talk to instructors. Talk to graduates and current students. Don’t always believe what recruiters tell you. They are often paid by the number of students they recruit.

2. Don’t be scared off due to inability to draw.

We accept students based on a lot of different qualities. We have trained countless artists over the years so we know that the best traditional artists don’t always translate to the best “artists” in this industry . If you’re willing to work hard and do what it takes, you can be successful.

3. Be conscientious of your submitted portfolio.

Don’t include everything you’ve ever considered “art” since your early childhood. In this industry you’re judged by the best AND worst work you submit. Carefully choose your pieces and only submit your best work. You only get one chance for a first impression.

4. Apply Early.

We are often sold out 8 to 12 months in advance. If you know the semester you want to attend, please contact us early. Even if you don’t apply right away, let us know what you’re thinking so we can best accommodate your plans.

5. Get your paperwork started.

If you are a Canadian citizen outside the lower mainland, you need to look into funding sources and housing options. If you are coming from out of country, figure out your study permit and visa situation as soon as possible so you avoid any surprises. We’d hate for you to have to give up your seat because you applied for a study permit too late!!

Requirements

  • A completed online Think Tank application form (Apply Now). Please specify the semester to which you are applying, and which Program, Fulltime or Mentorship.
  • Proof that you are over 19 years of age OR you have graduated from high school.
  • If you are under 19/about to graduate, please submit a copy of a recent transcript or report card.
  • If you have already graduated: please submit proof of graduation (transcript, report card or copy of diploma).
  • A non-refundable $100.00 application fee (payable when completing the applicaton form).
  • A copy of your government-issued photo id (valid passport required for non-Canadian citizens, driver’s licence-type card OK for Canadian citizens).
  • Transcripts from any other secondary or post-secondary institutions attended in the last five (5) years (ONLY if you have studied in the past five years).
  • A two to three paragraph statement outlining your motivation for applying to our program.
  • A visual art portfolio* of your work that includes drawings or paintings and any relevant 2D or 3D computer work: 5 to 10 different pieces. (Please only send us your best work.)

*Your portfolio may be sent via internet. If you have a website or blog link or want to send your portfolio attached to an email as .jpg files, that is acceptable. There is a place to fill in your link on the application form. You may mail other items, or email to info@tttc.ca attn: application package materials. Please do not send in originals as your work will not be returned.



Last updated March 8, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Oct., 2016
Duration
Duration
1 year
Full time
Price
Price
39,400 CAD
Information
Deadline
Start date Oct., 2016
Place
Canada North Vancouver, British Columbia
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 year
Price 39,400 CAD
Videos

Alexey Vasilyev - Modeling and Texture Reel 2015

Simone Urbano - Environment Reel 2015

Ray Le - Character Modeling Reel 2015

Daniel Rodrigues - Modeling Reel 2015