The Concept Art Diploma Program has been developed to meet the increasing level of proficiency required by the video game and animation industries.

This program offers a rigorous, in-depth curriculum based on suggestions and portfolio requirements from major video game producers and animation companies.

This unique four-year diploma program includes a mix of fine art, illustration, animation, and cartooning courses, as well as concept courses and instruction in all necessary computer software from Photoshop to Maya. Our former graduates are employed by many video game companies, including 4 who are currently concept artists for UbiSoft in Toronto.

Students in Year 4 work on a “real time” assignment for a hypothetical client.


In order to graduate, students must pass all of the following courses.

Note that, due to scheduling requirements, courses will sometimes be offered in terms or years different from the schedule below. For complete course descriptions, please consult our course calendar or contact the school.

Year 1

First Term Second Term

Beginning Life Drawing 1

Perspective 1

Design & Composition

Colour Theory & Background Painting

Representational Painting 1

Principles of Drawing 1

History of Animation & Animation Production Process

Beginning Life Drawing 2

Perspective 2

Structural Drawing 1

Representational Painting 2

Principles of Drawing 2

Introduction to Concept Art

Year 2

First Term Second Term

Intermediate Life Drawing 1

Digital Background Painting

Environment Visualization

Artistic Anatomy

Drawing Heads & Features

Drawing Props & Objects

Introduction for Storyboarding & Film Language

Intermediate Life Drawing 2

Cartooning 1

Portrait Painting in Oils

Advanced Environment Design & Painting in Photoshop

Drawing Hands & Feet


Year 3

First Term Second Term

Advanced Life Drawing 1

3D for Concept Art


Cartooning 2

Animal Drawing

Advanced Props & Objects Design

Advanced Life Drawing 2

Figurative Drawing: The Sustained Pose

Character Design for Animation & Video Games

Figurative Painting in Oils

3D Modelling for Game Assets

Year 4

First Term Second Term

Painting the Costumed Model

Mentored Life Drawing

Conceptual Art Final Project Part 1

Traditional & Computer Graphic Design 1

Creature Design

Matte Painting for VFX Part 1

Portfolio Development

Mentored Life Drawing

Conceptual Art Final Project Part 2

Traditional & Computer Graphic Design 2

Matte Painting for VFX Part 2


Tuition at public universities and colleges in Ontario is subsidized by the provincial government for local students, with universities receiving almost the same amount from subsidies as they do from tuition.

As Max the Mutt is a private career college, we do not receive any tuition assistance from the government, and our fees reflect the full cost of delivering our high-quality programs. Tuition for international students is slightly higher as it goes toward the increased cost of visa processing and marketing outside of Canada.

At this time Max the Mutt students are not eligible for OSAP student loans. We do, however, provide financial assistance to some qualifying students.

Max the Mutt Animation School is eligible to receive payment from RESPs and all diploma and certificate program students receive T2202A Tax Receipts for tuition paid.

  • Year 1: $11,850 ($14,000 International)
  • Year 2: $11,850 ($14,000 International)
  • Year 3: $11,850 ($14,000 International)
  • Year 4: $11,850 ($14,000 International)

In need of financial assistance?

Max the Mutt offers many options for students who are unable to pay all or part of their tuition due to financial hardship. We are also able to provide contacts at financial institutions for a student line of credit.

For New Students

New students will need to submit the following items to the admissions department in order to be considered for one of our 1st-year scholarships:

Note: if you currently reside outside the Greater Toronto Area you may submit items electronically. Please ensure all image files are in JPG or PNG format in a single zipped file.

  • Entire package from your application review (additional items can be included).
  • One additional character reference.
  • An additional essay of no more than 1 page (about 300 words) outlining why you need financial assistance, and any special considerations that are relevant to your financial situation.
  • A link to your online portfolio, if available.
  • An expected budget for the school year including your anticipated monthly costs for rent, transportation, food, and living expenses.
  • Evidence of financial need: copies of the Notice of Assessment for the previous tax year both you and your parents.
  • A completed application form

Please Note: This aid is Not Available to International Students.

For Returning Students

Returning Students will need to submit the following to the registrar’s office by the submission deadline:

  • An additional essay of no more than 1 page (about 300 words) outlining why you need financial assistance, and any special considerations that are relevant to your financial situation.
  • An expected budget for the school year including your anticipated monthly costs for rent, transportation, food, and living expenses.
  • Portfolio of work of your choosing.
  • A link to your online portfolio, if available.
  • Life drawing sketchbook(s).
  • Two references from current instructors.
  • Evidence of financial need: copies of the Notice of Assessment for the previous tax year both you and your parents.
  • A completed application form

Career Opportunities

Max the Mutt graduates are employed and in-demand. Industry representatives have told us they are impressed by the uniformly high level of quality in our graduate’s work. We assist employers on a regular basis by connecting them with qualified students. We also keep in touch with our graduates and regularly inform them about job openings.

Possible careers

  • Concept Artist for Video Games
  • Character Designer
  • Environment Designer for Video Games
  • Digital Background Painter
  • Color Key Artist
  • Pre Viz Artist for Animation
  • Matte Painting Artist
  • Game Character Artist: Character Design, Sculpting, and Texturing
  • Location Designer for Animation
  • Background Painter (for animation)
  • Environment Design, Modeling, and Texturing for Games
  • Layout Artist for Animation
  • Prop Designer for Video Games and/or animation

Here are just some of the companies are graduates have been hired at:

  • Warner Bros Games
  • UbiSoft Toronto
  • Corus / Nelvana
  • Guru
  • Yowza Animation
  • Portfolio Entertainment

Application Requirements


  • Completed Application Form and Portfolio Review Fee (Contact your Admissions officer for more details).
  • A copy of your secondary and/or post-secondary school transcripts. Please provide transcripts from any institution attended in the last five years.
  • A written character reference from a current or past instructor or employer. This should be sent to or delivered to us in a sealed envelope. International applicants are also required to submit one character reference.
  • A drawing of your own hand.
  • 2 still life drawings: 2 objects in an environment.
  • A drawing of a room (interior).
  • A drawing of a neighborhood (exterior).
  • Pages from your sketchbook.

Program specific requirements

  • Three additional drawings (for a total of five) of objects in an environment. For example an apple and bottle on a table, or a toy truck and a toy car on the floor.
  • Five painting studies in watercolor, acrylic, gouache, or oil.
  • A drawing of an imaginary environment (in Photoshop or by hand).
  • A character appropriate for the environment. Please include thumbnails and process drawings as well as the completed design.
  • A prop appropriate for the environment or the character. Include process drawings as well as a completed prop.
  • A drawing of a simple object from three different points of view.
  • Optional: Examples of digital painting.
  • Optional: Life drawing (figure drawing).
  • Optional: Photoshop paintings.

Written essay

A 2-3 page essay about yourself and why you want to attend this program. Your essay must include:

  • Which animated films and/or video games have a concept design that has inspired you? Why?
  • Which fine artists do you admire? Why?
  • What are your favorite books?
  • Have you had any team or group experiences?

Students who live at a distance can apply by submitting documents and portfolios through attachments to emails and arranging a skype interview.

Additional requirements for international students

Before deciding to apply, please be aware:

  • Upon acceptance, you will have to apply for a Study Permit. Therefore, before you begin the application process and invest your time and energy, we suggest that you take the time to be sure that you meet Canadian Immigration guidelines!

To qualify for a study permit, you will need the following:

  • An IELTS General test overall score of 6.0 or greater.
  • Proof of funds to study and support yourself while in Canada.
  • A valid Passport of more than 6 months.
  • Notarized Copies of transcripts.

If you feel that you meet the above criteria and you have decided to apply, please contact the Admissions Counselor at

Incomplete portfolio review applications will not be processed. Please review all the requirements carefully. If you are mailing in your application package, please send it via courier, registered mail, or by e-mail.

Program taught in:
  • English

See 2 more programs offered by Max the Mutt College of Animation, Art & Design »

Last updated July 3, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2020
4 years
47,400 CAD
$56,000 International
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