Online VFX & Game Design Classes Taught by Industry Pros

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VFX & Game Design Course Overview

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.

Next Intake

September 2nd, 2019


10 Months

Course Delivery


Course Load

20 hrs/ week




Basic computer skills and a computer that meets the minimum recommended specifications

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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, the 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.


Animation Foundations

  1. Intro to 3D Animation
  2. Intro to Animations Rigs
  3. Posing a Character
  4. Timing and Spacing
  5. Squash and Stretch
  6. Overlap and Follow Through
  7. Poses anTransitionsns
  8. Flour Sac Jump
  9. Lower Body Walk Cycle
  10. Upper Body Walk Cycle
  11. Adding a Prop
  12. Polish and Presentation
3D Modeling Foundations

  1. Introduction to Modeling
  2. Blocking a Model with Reference
  3. Model Finalizing and Cleanup
  4. Re-Topology Basics
  5. Using Deformers
  6. Lighting and Rendering
  7. High Poly Modeling for Film
  8. Low Poly Modeling for Games
  9. UV Theory
  10. UV Layout and Texture Preparation
  11. Introduction to Substance Painter
  12. Texturing and Presentation
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.



Intermediate Animation

  1. Lower Body Run Cycle
  2. Full Body Ryn Cycle
  3. Forces & Weight
  4. Weight Lift
  5. Combat Actions
  6. Fight Scene
  7. Intro to Rigging
  8. Rigging the Spine
  9. Rigging the Arms
  10. Rigging the Hands
  11. Facial Rigging
  12. UI Setup and Presentation
Intermediate 3D Modeling

  1. Introduction to Character Modeling
  2. Character Modeling Techniques
  3. Clothing and Accessories
  4. Character UV and Texturing
  5. Hair in Maya
  6. Character Presentation
  7. Intro to Environment Modeling
  8. Environment Basics – Modeling
  9. Environment Basics – Texturing
  10. Organic Modeling
  11. Hard Surface Modeling
  12. Texturing and Presentation
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 the 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 effect 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.



Game Production

  1. Learning Game Editors
  2. Game Industry Workflows
  3. Exporting Into the Editor
  4. Working with Materials
  5. Setting Up Characters
  6. Implementing Animation
  7. Whiteboxing
  8. Populating Environments
  9. Lighting Environments
  10. Creating VFX
  11. Implementing Cinematics
  12. Implementing AI

VFX Production

  1. Introduction to Houdini
  2. Using Surface Operators
  3. Exploring Visual Operators
  4. VEX and Copy Tools
  5. Lighting and Materials
  6. Intro to Particle FX
  7. Surface Concepts
  8. Intermediate Lighting Concepts
  9. Intermediate Surface Concepts
  10. VFX Production 01
  11. NUKE Compositing Tools
  12. Polish and Presentation
VFX & Game Design Foundations

What you get

  • Access to world-class mentors
  • Live weekly classes
  • Weekly recorded critiques
  • Custom built curriculum
  • Original video content
  • Free student software licenses
  • Access to online learning portal

Meet Your Mentors

Simon Warwick

Mentor of 3D Animation

Known for Batman: Arkham City

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Jeremy Chinn

Mentor of 3D Modeling

Known for Big Hero 6

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Steve Hubbard

Mentor of 3D Modeling

Known for Teenage Mutants Ninja Turtles

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Mark Pullyblank

Mentor of 3D Animation

Known for Avatar

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Tommy Hansen

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!

Phil Minter

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!

Katina Fimmel

I legitimately love this school! I had a bit of a rocky start due to having a bit of a crazy working schedule, but after talking to Steve and the team they managed to help me work out a way that would allow me to still pursue my dreams while dealing with my crazy lifestyle. Thanks for everything guys!

Chris Ely

At CG Spectrum I'm learning so much and loving every minute of it! They take your lesson file, open it and give a video critique while they work on your file showing you options and different approaches to improve your workflow. It's not about just finishing the assignment and moving on to the next lesson, it's about fully understanding why and when, not just how.

Course Tuition

Small Class

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


$995 USD

10 x Payments


$2985 USD

3 x Payments

(Save 10%)


$7795 USD

1 x Payment

(Save 20%)

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.


$1195 USD

10 x Payments


$3595 USD

3 x Payments

(Save 10%)


$9995 USD

1 x Payment

(Save 20%)


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