Learn Video Game Animation & VFX Fundamentals

Online VFX & Game Animation Classes Taught by Industry Pros

Student work by Alexander Murdoch


From Guardians of the Galaxy and Game of Thrones, to Assassin's Creed and Halo, VFX and game animation is everywhere and growing at a rapid pace. The need for highly-skilled, talented artists who are willing to train hard and take their skills to the next level has never been greater.

With new techniques and complex software being used to create ever-increasing detailed work, it can be daunting even know where to begin. Learning the craft through online tutorials can leave you with even more questions and many schools that teach visual effects and game animation are expensive and require you to be on campus for classes. Enter CG Spectrum....

CG Spectrum's online VFX and game animation training is unique in that our courses are taught by award-winning industry artists who are excited to share the tips and tricks they have learned from their years of experience so that you'll be more prepared and more connected for a career in the industry.

Every week, your mentor will work through and give you feedback on your project files while you watch live. This creates a very personalized curriculum and helps to enhance your strengths as an artist.

In just 10 months, you will learn the foundations of 3D modeling, 3D animation, visual effects, and game animation so you have a solid understanding of where you want to specialize.

The skills learned in the VFX and Game Animation Diploma set students up for the Advanced Diplomas we offer in multiple disciplines. 


"This is the school you're looking for! The mentors are awesome, the course is well designed, you have the best of the best teaching you, whats not to like! I have done both one on one mentoring and the group class and I have to say, no other online school can compare to the amount of time you get with the mentor working on your own projects as this school. It's fantastic!"

Tommy Hansen


Next Intake
September 3rd, 2018

10 Months

Course Delivery

Course Load
20 hrs/week

Skill Level
Beginner - Intermediate

A computer that meets the minimum recommended specifications

What You Get

  • Access to world-class mentors
  • Live weekly classes
  • Weekly recorded critiques 
  • Custom built curriculum
  • Original video content
  • Free educational software
  • Access to online Learning Portal


Study Period 01 - Animation & 3D Modeling Foundations



During the VFX & game design course students will focus on building strong foundations in 3D modeling, animation, VFX and game design using Maya, Substance Painter, Unreal Engine 4 and Houdini software. 

First up, students dive into Maya and navigating it's user interface so students can get comfortable with all the tools and start learning how to set up a professional workflow. 

From there you'll build your animation chops by learning all about the 12 principals of animation and how they help make your animations look more realistic. Students will also produce basic 3D props and models to get a handle on proper 3D modeling techniques that are needed to move on to more complex exercises. 

Students finish the study period with portfolio pieces ranging from animation walk cycles, character jumps to 3D models such as a stylised prop or weapon, a space rover and a cool robot model to be used later in the course.

  1. Get familiar with the industry standard software Autodesk Maya and learn important tools used for animation and modeling
  1. Work through simple animation and modeling pieces in order to build strong foundations and techniques 
  1. Learn the 12 principals of animation to get a better understanding of how to create believable motion in your animation
  1. Understand what topology is, best practices and how to retopolgize a hi-res object for clean line flow
  1. Create a high-resolution 3D model and learn how to "down-res" it so it's suitable to import in to Unreal Engine 4
  1. Get an in-depth introduction to texturing in Substance Painter to learn the basics tools and methodologies to move forward texturing a complex hard surface object

Study Period 02 - Intermediate Animation & Modeling



In Study Period 2 students will build on their animation and 3D modeling foundation knowledge and start getting into some awesome projects. You'll get a bit more creative freedom to explore your own concepts and master more complex skills.

Students start animating characters interacting with their surrounding environment and learn how characters deal with physical forces such as lifting heavy objects and animating combat actions for video games. You'll also get to build your very own animation rig from scratch. 

Next, you'll learn all about human anatomy and create your very own 3D character, complete with clothing, accessories and hair. After your character is complete you'll be adding an animation rig to it so you can start animating it.

To round things out students will learn how to model a 3D environment and all the assets that populate it including buildings, trees, rocks and some cool props.  Students will be given an environment concept design and work through the process of building a 3D environment from start to finish. 

  1. Understand how physical forces are applied and convey realistic weight by animating a character lifting a heavy object
  1. Learn how to animate combat actions and the differences between animation for film and video games
  1. Build your own character rig and learn important skills that will help you problem solve technical issues you may encounter when animating
  1. Learn the fundamentals of character modeling as well as how to get started with orthographic character sheets, model breakdown, and anatomy blocking.
  1. Learn the basics of 3D environment modeling and create an environment from scratch. This will include blocking, sculpting, procedural instancing, organic and hard surface modeling
  1. Texture your 3D assets and learn how to present it with lighting and rendering techniques for your portfolio

Study Period 03 - VFX & Game Production



Study Period 3 will allow students to begin focusing on either game design in Unreal Engine 4 or producing stunning visual effects for film in Houdini and NUKE.

If students choose the Game Design stream they will be creating and implementing assets and animations to build their own playable game. You'll learn professional game industry workflows using Unreal, setting up characters, implementing animation, AI interaction and populating a game environment for your character to interact with. By the end of the study period, you'll have a fully executable game that you created and can play.

By choosing the VFX Production stream students will learn what it takes to create a visual effects shot from start to finish using the industry standard software Houdini and NUKE. Students will learn how to create dynamic particle effects and seamlessly implement them into a scene using lighting and rendering techniques then bring it all together in a final composition using NUKE.

The VFX and Game Design Diploma will give you a taste of everything so you can decide what interests you the most and what direction you want to take in your journey to becoming a film or game artist.

  1. Choose between the Game Design and VFX pathway in order to start specializing your skills
  1. Implement assets into Unreal Game Engine and build your very own game using the props, characters and environments you've previously created or build some new ones
  1. Add FX, lighting and cinematics to your game then package it all up into a fully executable game
  1. If you choose the VFX pathway you'll be learning Houdini to create a visual effects shot using simulation and particle techniques
  1. Learn to light and composite your shot within NUKE and create a fully integrated VFX shot for your portfolio 
  1. The skills learned in the VFX and Game Design course set students up for the Advanced Diplomas we offer in multiple disciplines



Jeremy Chinn
Mentor of 3D Modelling

Known for
Guardians of the Galaxy

Simon Warwick
Mentor of 3D Animation

Known for
Batman: Arkham City

Steve Hubbard
Mentor of 3D Modelling

Known for
Alien: Covenant

Student Testimonials


"It’s your career success that matters. I applied to some companies with my updated reel and get the chance to be hired by a small studio named Dwarf-Labs where I did some animations for a CG commercial. Then I was hired by Ubisoft where I worked for the last release of one of their big franchise, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate!"

Sebastien Muller


“CG Spectrum has been an instrumental part of my growth. The mentors at CG Spectrum are amazing and have helped me sharpen my skills, acquire new ones and strengthen my abilities. This is an invaluable experience for anyone looking to learn 3D Animation & VFX or take their skills to the next level. Highly recommended!"

Phil Minter

Graduate Placement



Group Class

At CG Spectrum you're never just a number. We cap our class sizes at 5 students so you get the most attention possible at a more affordable price. 



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1-On-1 Class

By choosing the 1-on-1 option you will get more individual attention from your mentor while having the flexibility to work within your busy schedule.



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Do you have questions about one of our courses? Contact us and we'll get right back to you.