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5 Hands-On Schools for Earning a Degree in VFX

5 Hands-On Schools for Earning a Degree in VFX

These schools can pave the road for the VFX career you have always dreamed about!

Whether you’re considering a career in the visual effects industry, or you're looking to further your development as a VFX artist, there are mountains of resources online to help you grow. 

If you’re looking for something more substantial, like hands-on classroom training or graduate certifications in various disciplines within the VFX world, there are great schools that offer everything from graduate programs to condensed courses to help achieve your goals.

Here are five great schools worth checking out to help you excel in your VFX career.

1. Gnomon | Hollywood, CA 

Without a doubt, one of the most innovative and prestigious VFX schools in existence is Gnomon. They offer a BFA program that focuses on Digital Production, where you will be trained on Maya, ZBrush, Photoshop, After Effects, Nuke, V-Ray, and more. 

At the end of their program, you’ll be equipped for just about any VFX job in the TV, film, and video game industries. They also feature a two-year Digital Production certification program, and a one-year introductory Foundation in Art & Design program.

What’s so exciting about their approach is their faculty is comprised of working VFX artists, which allows the students to get the most practical, real-world insight in the industry. Also, they are taught the very latest visual effects techniques and software used in Hollywood blockbusters.

2. Lost Boys Studios | Vancouver/Montreal, British Columbia 

If you’re looking for top-notch VFX training from an established institute with over twenty years of experience, Lost Boys Studios is perhaps your best choice. Their alumni have worked on almost every major blockbuster currently in theaters, and offer a slew of accelerated programs that let you earn your diploma at a lightning pace. 

They offer everything from foundational four and five month certifications in Digital Lighting and Effects, to Advanced Visual Compositing and Effects Technical Director (FXTD) diplomas in only twelve months.

If you’re outside of Canada, it’s obviously a big decision to move out of your country. Moving expenses aside, you’ll also be looking at substantial tuition fees to attend one of the best VFX schools in the world.

One of the reasons Lost Boys Studios is strongly worth your consideration is their 99% placement rate, all but guaranteeing a successful career in VFX for those who are dedicated to their craft.

There are a lot of VFX artists who earn four-year degrees at general universities, and struggle for a long time to break into the industry, assuming they ever land the job they went to school for. Having the opportunity to earn your certification or diploma in a fraction of the time at such a highly-coveted institute should give you a major incentive to pursue an education from Lost Boys Studios.

Vancouver - Land of Movie Magic from Lost Boys | School of VFX on Vimeo.

We recently had Lost Boys Studios share their experience with using ActionVFX products in the classroom, and you can check out that video right here!

3. Full Sail University | Winter Park, Florida 

For years, Full Sail University has been known as one of the leading universities to pioneer training in not only visual effects, but just about any other media-driven field you can imagine.

If you’re looking for more of a well-rounded school where you can develop more than just your visual effects skills, Full Sail University could be a great pick for you. Along with visual effects, this university can add cinematography, directing, producing, writing, art, game design, music production, and much more to your skill set.

Full Sail University features not only a gorgeous campus, but also hands-on training in the entertainment and media industries to give you a clear vision of where you would like to focus your career.  

Maybe you’re interested in visual effects now, but would like the opportunity to explore other related fields in case you decide to shift your career path in the future. Full Sail University would probably suit you perfectly!

4. Savannah College of Art & Design | Savannah, GA

The Savannah College of Art & Design (known as SCAD), is attractive to growing VFX artists for a number of reasons. Not only do they offer accredited B.F.A., M.A., and M.F.A. visual effects programs (in addition to other numerous media production trainings), but they’re also located in one of the best regions for film production in the United States.  

They have made some major investments in training the next generation of creatives, and they’re well worth a look!

5. Vancouver Film School | Vancouver, British Columbia

Last but not least, Vancouver Film School has an outstanding reputation for seeing successful careers in their alumni. 

According to their website, alumni from this school are among the leading professionals in the industry. 
Vancouver Film School grads are some of the most successful and sought-after professionals in the entire Animation and VFX industries. You will find our alumni working all over the globe, pushing boundaries, discovering new frontiers, winning all kinds of awards and honours, and leading today’s creative economy.” — Vancouver Film School 
They offer 12-month diplomas in 3D Animation, Visual Effects, and Modeling, as well as access to their alumni directory and job board for exciting opportunities as you begin your career. 
The hands-on training to become a VFX artist has never been more accessible than it is now, and it’s a great time to break into a flourishing industry. Don’t sit idly by while excuses hold you back from the career you’re passionate about. Do some research, and put in the effort to be prepared for the job you’ve always wanted!

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