3D Animation and Games BA Honours | Middlesex University London
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3D Animation and Games BA Honours

Learn about the course below
Code
WP15
Start
October 2018
EU/International induction: September 2018
Duration
3 years full-time
Attendance
Full-time
Fees
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£12,500 (INT) *
Course leader
Alex Charnley
Ben Wheele

BA 3D Animation and Games provides the artistic and technical skills you will need to build a career in either the Animation or Games Industry, with a specialist focus in the fields of Virtual Reality, Character Art / Environment Art, 3D Animation and Game Development. It is a multi-disciplinary programme focused on cutting edge artistic developments in CGI.

Why study BA 3D Animation and Games at Middlesex University?

You will operate in an active studio environment using the latest industry standard software and techniques. With close proximity to Central London, there are many exciting opportunities at your fingertips. You will benefit from industry links and real-world briefs set by industry practitioners.

The course is well resourced with fantastic facilities - you will have access to over 60 workstations equipped with the latest software including Maya, Z-Brush, Unreal Engine, Unity, Substance Painter, 3D Coat, Cinema 4D, Arnold, V-Ray and Abobe Suite. It also has comprehensive Virtual Reality support with access to HTC Vive Headsets, Oculus Rift Consumer Version, Playstation VR and Gear VR, as well as the dedicated use of a Vicon Motion Capture Suite

We focus on individual talents to ensure your portfolio is exceptional and unique. Graduates from the course have found employment in high profile Games studios such as Cloud Imperium Games and Rockstar, animation boutiques such as Treat Studios and Blue Zoo, as well as 3D pre-visualization studios such as Red and Grey Ltd.

Course highlights

  • Unlike many equivalent degrees at other universities, we focus on improving your draughtsmanship alongside technical training, an important skill for 3D artists. Life drawing is a weekly part of the course.
  • You will be taught and assessed by award-winning practitioners as well as academics with research interests in 3D graphics and games
  • A four week live project, where industry practitioners set briefs that reflect the most contemporary and emergent practices in the field
  • At the end of your degree, you will exhibit your work at our Degree Show and have the opportunity to showcase your talents to creative industry employers at Motion Picture Company, Soho
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module

What will you study on the BA 3D Animation and Games?

On our course you will develop as an artist working with 3D software. The course framework includes project based collaborations and integrated workshops that are designed to develop observational drawing and technological skills essential to 3D computer animation production and computer games. This interdisciplinary approach combines a critical arts education with specialist knowledge in 3D technology and workflows.

In the first year you will attend lectures and workshops in the fundamental principles of animation and storytelling, alongside intensive workshops in Environment and Character design, Virtual Reality design, Z-Brush sculpting and even 3-D printing.

The second year uses this interdisciplinary foundation to explore specialist workflows while retaining an experimental, playful and collaborative atmosphere. This includes a series of short intensive projects where you will be introduced to the latest industry standard techniques (e.g. modern asset workflows, Physically Based Shading, GPU Rendering, Dynamics). Briefs are studio orientated and supported by both your lecturers and specialist technical tutors. This practical curriculum is interwoven with lectures and seminars that address the historical and cultural background to animation, games and digital culture.

In the final year of study, students are given the opportunity to specialise in a wide variety of disciplines such as Character Art, Environment Art, Game Development, 3D Character Animation, Rigging, Lighting / Rendering and Concept Art . There is a strong focus on producing an outstanding portfolio of work, tailored to your individual strengths and artistic temperament.

Modules

  • Year 1

    • From Pencil to Pixel (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module will introduce you to the core issues in the history of animation and computer graphics. It will survey the changing practices, aesthetics and accompanying theories and enable you to develop research skills and engage critically with the topic.

    • Introduction to Animation and Creative Workshops (90 credits) – Compulsory

      This module gives you an exciting foundation in the 12 Principles of Animation and Computer Generated Imagery. You look at visual storytelling in detail and how storytelling applies to Game Environments, character design and Virtual Reality. You will be methodically taken through the technical principles of 3D software, in a way that is accessible, creative and rewarding. The module is a substantive foundation in these principles. Alongside the core teaching, there are four very exciting intensive workshops involving collaboration with students from BA Animation and BA Games Design.

  • Year 2

    • Animation Practice and Creative Workshops (90 credits) – Compulsory

      This module investigates contemporary workflows in commercial animation and games pipelines through a series of intensive workshops, including individual and group work. This includes using the concept of the Diorama as a way of exploring artistic approaches to environmental modelling, such as hand painted, vertex painted (‘low poly’ and Cel Shaded) and physically based rendering workflows; experimentation with abstract dynamics in Cinema 4D; character animation in Maya; and Virtual Reality development using Unreal and Unity. As the year progresses you will collate and present your investigations online in the form of a professional portfolio. This curriculum aims to be varied and surprising, encouraging the flourishing of individual art practices and group working. Through this succession of technical and artistic experimentation's, you will gain the confidence to begin approaching studios while establishing your own collectives and professional networks.

    • Animation and Digital Cultures (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce a range of theories and concepts relating to games and play. It will further develop an understanding of academic research methods and will include an examination of psychological and cultural aspects of computer games.

  • Year 3

    • Major Projects and Professional Portfolio Development (90 credits) – Compulsory

      This module aims to build on the artistic tendencies that you become aware of during the first two years. Specialist pathways into professional practice are discussed and a final major project (individual or collaborative) is negotiated alongside a four week live project, where industry practitioners set briefs that reflect the most contemporary and emergent practices in the field. Past visitors have included Sydney Padua, senior animator on Clash of the Titans and Jungle Book; Alex Robinson and Daniel Boyle of the award winning Treat studio; and the prestigious artist, Alan Warburton, who is breaking new ground with his investigative CGI films and essays. The aim is to see you graduate with an outstanding portfolio and professional network that gives you the confidence and skills to be thoughtful innovators in this exciting field.

    • Critical and Contextual Research Proposition Essay (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module aims to enable you to identify and deliver a research project that is the product of sustained and creative engagement both with a range of research resources and an area of studio-practice. The module will consolidate skills of project identification, research organisation and development, time management, written and visual analysis and the presentation of a critical argument/thesis. The module further consolidates the development of skills required for autonomous learning.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Interviews and portfolios
  4. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International

Have a play with the 3D Models below designed by our students.


Scroll through the images below to see examples of student work. For even more examples, visit the 3D Animation and Games showcase website.



How can the BA 3D Animation and Games support your career?

This degree will prepare you for an animation career focusing on 3D Animation and animation roles within the computer games industry.

Middlesex has strong links with art and design employers. Our industry partners sponsor final year students and give visiting lectures, and hundreds of art and design agencies, organisations and other employers attend our final year degree show each year.

Our facilities are second to none and include:

  • Industry standard software including Maya, Cinema 4D, VRay, Octane Render, Arnold, Zbrush, Mudbox, Substance Painter, 3D Coat, Topogun, Unreal Engine, Unity and the Adobe Creative Suite
  • A brand new suite of 30 high-spec workstation specialists computers, 15 ‘Overclocked’ Alienware Machines and an 80+ workstation ‘digital media workshop’
  • Over 20 VR Devices, including Oculus Rift Consumer Version with Oculus Touch, HTC Vive, Gear VR and PS VR
  • A £100k Motion Capture studio
  • An art and design library with over 75,000 books
  • A state-of-the-art 3D printing studio
  • Traditional darkrooms
  • Professional Sound Recording Studio and Mixing Desk
  • Digital Media Labs
  • 3D Workshops

You can also hire specialised equipment for your assignments and there is a wealth of specialist technical help in our workshops from professionals who are dedicated to helping you achieve excellence.

Sophie Mobbs
Joint Programme Leader of 3D Animation and Games BA

Sophie Mobbs is a computer animator with 10 years' experience working as an animator in the games industry. She has worked on eight published games for PCs, consoles and handhelds, specialising in 3D in-game animation and Full Motion Video. Games she has contributed to include: Alien vs Predator (Rebellion), Chill, Dogs of War, Lego Island 2, Lego Island 3, Xtreme Stunts, Urban Freestyle (Silicon Dreams) Formula 1 2004, and Formula 1 2005 (Sony).

Sophie also has a published graphic novel and draws comics under a pseudonym for anthologies within the British Small Press. She teaches Maya and Flash and she is currently conducting PhD research in Body Language with Animation.

Alex Charnley
Joint Programme Leader of 3D Animation and Games BA

Alex graduated from the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) before organising in radical media networks and now writes on animation, cybernetics, politics and digital culture. Editor and artist working as part of the media collective behind Occupied Times and Base Publication. His current post-doctoral research investigates "animation in the expanded field" after the crisis of political economy.

Suzanne Buchan
Professor of Animation Aesthetics

Before joining Middlesex, Suzanne Buchan was Professor of Animation Aesthetics and Director of the Animation Research Centre, University for the Creative Arts, UK and she also taught at the University of Zurich and the Zurich University of the Arts.

She is Founding Editor of animation: an interdisciplinary journal, a member of the AHRC Peer Review College and is active as a curator and a consultant for international film festivals, museums and broadcast media.

  • Constantinos Panayi

    3D Animation and Games BA graduate

    My teacher at college advised me that Middlesex is one of the best universities in the country for studying 3D Animation and Games. It has all the latest software, technology and VR equipment which I was able to use while studying. My tutors were also a tremendous help - if I needed advice or help with things like coding I could ask them.

    I used the skills I developed on the course to design virtual reality projects that help young patients stay relaxed and informed during their time in hospital. My projects included creating an animated VR experience of an MRI scan, which helps patients to have better awareness about the process they’re due to undergo, as well as a virtual garden which brings an escape for patients in isolation wards to a relaxing, peaceful environment.

Other courses

Animation BA Honours

Start: October 2018

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: W615

Games Design BA/BSc Honours

Start: October 2018, EU/International induction: September 2018

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: BA: W24Z, BSc: W24X

Visual Effects BA Honours

Start: October 2018, International induction: September 2018

Duration: 3 years full-time, Normally 5 years part-time

Code: W614

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