Digital Visual Effects - MSc
This programme develops at an advanced level the skills, knowledge and understanding within the field of high definition digital effects, equipping you to become a highly skilled technical director (TD) in the visual effects industry.
It covers 3D model building, texturing, lighting, rendering, procedural animation (cloth, hair, fur, dynamics), advanced compositing and high-definition digital effects. Each module is delivered by means of lectures, demonstrations and workshops.
About the School of Engineering and Digital Arts
The School successfully combines modern engineering and technology with the exciting field of digital media. Established over 40 years ago, the School has developed a top-quality teaching and research base, receiving excellent ratings in both research and teaching assessments.
We undertake high-quality research that has had significant national and international impact, and our spread of expertise allows us to respond rapidly to new developments. Our 30 academic staff and over 130 postgraduate students and research staff provide an ideal focus to effectively support a high level of research activity. There is a thriving student population studying for postgraduate degrees in a friendly and supportive teaching and research environment.
We have research funding from the Research Councils UK, European research programmes, a number of industrial and commercial companies and government agencies including the Ministry of Defence. Our Electronic Systems Design Centre and Digital Media Hub provide training and consultancy for a wide range of companies. Many of our research projects are collaborative, and we have well-developed links with institutions worldwide.
Most recent Research Assessment Exercise: 40% of our research was rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, with a further 45% judged as ‘internationally recognised’.
The School of Engineering and Digital Arts was ranked 7th in The Guardian University Guide 2014, with 100% student satisfaction.
The course is designed to train digital effects artists to work in industry. Our successful former students are working in London and for international companies in areas ranging from television graphics to architectural visualisation. Although the thrust of the course is towards high end film special effects and animation, the standards and techniques you learn allow you to work in numerous other areas of digital effects.
The primary industry jobs the course is oriented towards include: technical directors in assistant, creature development, lighting effects, look development roles, compositors in compositing, digital paint and roto roles, modellers and trackers/matchmovers. For a smaller project or company roles would include that of a 3D generalist, 3D artist, effects artist or compositor. These are not easy to achieve, as global competition is fierce and success depends on much better than average concentration and constant practise to grasp the essence and modern techniques of digital visual effects.
We want you to succeed and work constantly to make sure our course delivers everything you need to know.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.
Each module is assessed by practical assignments. The project work is assessed
on the outcome of the project itself.
This programme aims to:
- enable you to develop your knowledge and understanding within the field of digital visual effects, which will equip you to become a professional in the animation and visual effects Industry
- train you in the requirements and skills needed for work in high definition
- produce professionally-trained technical directors who are highly skilled in using state of the art 3D modelling and visual effects software
- provide you with proper academic guidance and welfare support
- create an atmosphere of co-operation and partnership between staff and students, and offer you an environment where you can develop your potential.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the computer animation production process and pipeline roles
- the principles and practices of animated film development
- the technical terms and methods used in film editing
- the fundamental concepts of digital video technology
- current developments in the visual effects industry and related market sectors
- the relevance of visual effects within the contemporary television and film industries
contemporary business practice in the visual effects industry
You develop intellectual skills in:
- the analysis and interpretation of animation issues
- the ability to work within an animation process and to contribute to this
- the ability to identify and solve complex problems and issues in the generation of a complex visual effect
- the ability to identify ideas for enhancing a production’s aesthetic quality by the use of complex video effect
- the ability to demonstrate independence and creative and critical thinking
- the ability to evaluate creatively evidence to support conclusions.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- the use of appropriate software tools, techniques and packages to produce and develop complex visual effects
- the ability to use drawing as a way of planning, visualising and explaining work in a time-based medium
- the ability to read and make storyboards and animatics at a professional level
- the ability to apply management techniques to the planning, resource allocation and execution of a visual effects project
- the ability to prepare reports and presentations relevant to the design and production of visual effects.
You gain the following transferable skills:
- the ability to generate, analyse, present and interpret data
- use of information and communications technology
- personal and interpersonal skills, the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility as an individual and as a member of a team
- an ability to communicate effectively in writing, verbally and through drawings
- the ability for critical thinking, reasoning and reflection
- the ability to manage time and resources within an individual and group project
- the ability to learn effectively for the purpose of continuing professional development.
Careers and employability
We have developed the programme with a number of industrial organisations, which means that successful students will be in a strong position to build long-term careers in this important discipline.
The School of Engineering and Digital Arts has an excellent record of student employability. We are committed to enhancing the employability of all our students, to equip you with the skills and knowledge to succeed in a competitive, fast-moving, knowledge-based economy.
Graduates who can show that they have developed transferable skills and valuable experience are better prepared to start their careers and are more attractive to potential employers. Within the School of Engineering and Digital Arts, you can develop the skills and capabilities that employers seek. These include problem solving, independent thought, report-writing, time management, leadership skills, team-working and good communication.
Building on Kent’s success as the region’s leading institution for student employability, we offer many opportunities for you to gain worthwhile experience and develop the specific skills and aptitudes that employers value.
Students on the programmes in Architectural Visualisation, Computer Animation and Digital Visual Effects work in a dedicated, state-of-the-art suite, equipped with leading-edge PC workstations running Alias™ Maya and Foundry Nuke. There is also a photographic studio and a production studio with green screen and motion capture facilities. The School is also equipped with a 3D body scanner – one of only two in the UK.
As a postgraduate student, you are part of a thriving research community and receive support through a wide-ranging programme of individual supervision, specialised research seminars, general skills training programmes, and general departmental colloquia, usually with external speakers. We encourage you to attend and present your work at major conferences, as well as taking part in our internal conference and seminar programmes.
Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Recent contributions include: IEEE Transactions; IET Journals; Electronics Letters; Applied Physics; Computers in Human Behaviour.
A 2.2 or higher honours degree in multimedia, art or design or a related subject. All applicants must present a portfolio.
General entry requirements
Please also see our general entry requirements.
English language entry requirements
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
The Digital Media group is a multidisciplinary group with interests in many areas including social computing (eg, social networking, computer mediated communication), mobile/ubiquitous computing, human-computer interaction and digital arts (eg, computer games, 3D animation, digital film). Our work is applied across a wide range of domains including e-health, cultural heritage and cyber influence/identity.
Current research themes include:
- interface/interaction design and human-computer interaction
- cyber behaviour/influence
- social computing and sociability design
- natural user interfaces
- virtual worlds
- online communities and computer-mediated communication
- mobile applications
- digital film-making and post-production.
Staff research interests
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
Dr Jim Ang: Lecturer in Multimedia/Digital Systems
Human computer interaction; usability and playability design; computer game studies and interactive narrative; social computing and sociability design; virtual worlds; online communities and computer-mediated communication.Profile
Ania Bobrowicz: Senior Lecturer in Digital Arts
Human-computer interaction; computer-mediated communication; feminism and art history.Profile
David Byers Brown: Senior Lecturer
Animation; digital visual effects; directing.Profile
Stephen Kelly: Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering
Medical electronics, including: electrocardiology; speech assessment; telemedicine and computerbased assessment of clinical conditions.Profile
Dr Richard Misek: Lecturer in Digital Media
Screen technologies and aesthetics; postproduction; remix cinema; digital spacetime; urban space; video art.Profile
Enquire or order a prospectus
Download a prospectus (PDF - 2MB) or order one below.
T: +44 (0)1227 827272
T: +44 (0)1227 827535
F: +44 (0)1227 456084
Download a subject leaflet (pdf)
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We hold regular Open Events at our Canterbury and Medway campuses. You will be able to talk to specialist academics and admissions staff, find out about our competitive fees, discuss funding opportunities and tour the campuses.
You can also discuss the programmes we run at our specialist centres in Brussels, Athens, Rome and Paris at the Canterbury Open Events. If you can't attend but would like to find out more you can come for an informal visit, contact our information team or find out more on our website.
Please check which of our locations offers the courses you are interested in before choosing which event to attend.
- Advanced Electronic Systems Engineering MSc, PDip
- Architectural Visualisation MA
- Broadband and Mobile Communication Networks MSc, PDip
- Computer Animation MSc
- Digital Arts MSc, MPhil, PhD
- Electronic Engineering MSc, MPhil, PhD, EngD
- Embedded Systems and Instrumentation MSc, PDip
- Engineering with Finance MSc
- Information Security and Biometrics MSc, PDip
- Mobile Application Design MSc
- Wireless Communications and Signal Processing MSc, PDip
As a guide only, the 2015/16 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
|Digital Visual Effects - MSc at Canterbury:|
|Digital Visual Effects - PDip at Canterbury:|
Exceptions may apply. If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact firstname.lastname@example.org