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Games Modelling, Animation and Effects - BSc (Hons)

Why study this course?

This cutting-edge, innovative undergraduate degree will develop your computer graphics skills, both artistically and technically in areas including modelling, rigging, animation, texturing, lights/cameras, visual effects (VFX) and rendering. The course will prepare you for a range of positions from concept, technical, texture and VFX artists to character/model builders, animators and graphic designers.

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This undergraduate degree in games modelling, animation and effects will enable you to gain an excellent education in the area of games development, with an emphasis on computer graphics (CG). As well as exploring concept concept artwork, 2D/3D assets, character models, animation, textures, VFX and rendering, you'll also develop problem solving, teamwork and communications skills, and an awareness of the ethical responsibilities that a technical artist must consider.

Each module has been designed with your career in mind. You’ll gain a solid knowledge of CG and a high level of appropriate techniques and relevant tools so that you can design and build computer games. The course also allows you to specialise and explore areas of personal interest, for example those used by modellers, animators, texture and visual effects artists, and build up a significant portfolio of work.

Opportunities exist to work on projects that simulate real industry team work while working on industry assignments and you can also collaborate with Computer Games Programming BSc (Hons) students on various projects.

There are also many placement opportunities and we have a strong list of professionals from games companies who visit us to share their tips, techniques and knowledge. The World of Work (WOW) Agency gives students and graduates the opportunity to enhance employment skills, gain real experience and earn while you learn through placements into real client driven projects.

Visit our website for creative technology, Think Make Play, to see some fantastic work from our students.

Assessment

You're assessed via written reports, demonstrated artefact designs and solutions, individual/group assignment work and a final project with regular supportive feedback.

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • for entry in the 2017-18 academic year: a minimum of grades CCD in three A levels, one of which must be from a relevant subject (or a minimum of 88 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/Diploma; or Advanced Diploma; or Progression Diploma; or Access to HE Diploma of 60 credits)
  • GCSE English and Mathematics at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent)

Applicants with relevant professional qualifications or extensive professional experience will also be considered on a case by case basis.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2016/17 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    This module is designed to give students a solid introduction to the underlying concepts and principles of Computer Graphics (CG) and images as well as some practical experience of applying relevant techniques and tools. Students are introduced to the 2D/3D computer graphics and images, production workflow, relevant documents (concept art, sketches, model sheets, etc), main modelling and animation concepts and techniques, use and apply appropriate techniques and tools to produce an artefact and develop a communication style in the subject topic. No prior learning is required for this module.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday afternoon

    This module provides an introduction to designing visual images and to the creation of vector and bitmaped images. Students will learn how to design, create and prepare images for use in animation and interactive applications, utilising industry stadard software and the working methods of a visual designer.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    This module is an introduction to Animation production practices with reference to related areas such as Cinematics, Effects, Modelling for Games and Tangible Media.

    1. The module introduces concepts, production methods and techniques from within history and contemporary industry practice from the Animation and related industry areas.

    2. An introduction to skills in 2D, 3D, Stop Motion, Collage, Effects and integrated styles will focus on research for drawing and modelling for character, environments, props and effects. Concepts, techniques and principles that enhance the design and production of narrative – linear and interactive, character and environmental design are introduced. Both tangible and digital stylistic techniques and effects to enhance emotion, movement and narrative devices are introduced.

    Principles may be introduced through mini - lectures or demos and participative sessions with practical techniques explored in workshops.

    Teaching period: Year

    Required prior learning:

    Assessment:

    1. Individual and team in-class presentations and supporting documents or online links
    2. Moving graphic collage and effects - Small portfolio of drawing and preparation (15 pages) and short 2D animation project -10 seconds
    3. Stop Motion - Small portfolio of preparation work (3D tangible models documented by either video/ photos/ or 15 pages of design workbook or similar) and short animation project -10 seconds
    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    This module provides an introduction to the topic of computer games from a variety of perspectives.

    It is designed to help students understand and appreciate many of the different technical and psychological approaches games designers and developers use in their work.

    It will also facilitate the development of the skills needed when developing gaming applications for Internet distribution using a contemporary scripting language within a multimedia framework.

    Students will also start to develop a rolling CV and web-based portfolio.

    Read full details.

Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    This module is designed to give students a solid theoretical background and the underlying concepts for the advanced 3D Modelling and Animation. The main focus is on the 3D game assets/environment (hereafter referred to as “game assets”) and character design, modelling, and animation using the appropriate workflow, tools and techniques.

    In the first part of the module students will be introduced to the main concepts and techniques used to design, model, and texture game assets as well as model, rig, and implement basic game character animations using high-end modelling and animation industry standard software tools.

    Students develop fundamental modelling and animation skills, also apply these to create various 3D game assets, characters, and relevant basic animations for a game (prototype).

    In the second half of the module students will be introduced to the advanced techniques and will have to develop more advanced skills by creating much more complex variety of 3D character animations and behaviours (for example, interaction with or manipulating other game assets in the scene or animation of character’s facial expressions). They will have to apply the theoretical concepts, creativity, skills and techniques to build more advanced 3D character animations for various applications (video clips, games, commercials, movies).

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday morning

    Students work in teams to to fulfil a toy-design exercise, and provide a prototype solution.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module is designed to broaden student understanding of modelling and texturing up to the advanced level, including modelling and texturing characters and assets for computer games. The processes of modeling and texturing usually are interlinked and because of that optimizing the geometry will make changes to the texturing and vice versa. Therefore this module will teach relevant techniques for matching (and optimizing) the geometry of the models, UV layouts, creating material/texture maps and mapping them on to the geometry models while keeping the number of textures needed to a minimum and at the same time without loosing extra details that give a personality to (game) character or assets. Students will have to create relevant artefacts using an industry standard modelling/texturing package. The creation of models and textures for computer games is presented from the technical artist's perspective and demonstrates to the students the design (problem solving) and relevant workflow using appropriate techniques and tools.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    In this module students are introduced to the aesthetics and conventions of digital moving image making, as well as the processes of pre-production, production and post-production for digital video and VFX work. Students will collaborate in small production teams to make digital videos, they will also work independently on visual effects projects.

    Read full details.

Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    This module is designed to give students the responsibility for working together as a large team, in order to design and build a Windows-based game.

    Students will work in smaller sub-teams focusing on design and asset production.

    The module provides students with the opportunity to take masterclasses in a variety of disciplines related to their chosen sphere of expertise, closely supervised by specialists from relevant industries.

    Students will be expected to develop professional quality work to a specialist brief.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon

    The module enables students to undertake an appropriate period of professional activity, related to their course at level 6, with a business or community organisation and to gain credit for their achievements. The activity can be a professional training, volunteering activity, employment activity, an activity within the Faculty of Computing Virtual Business Environment (VBE), placement, or business start-up activity.

    It is expected student should demonstrate 300 learning hours which should be recorded clearly (in a learning log for instance) in the portfolio. The 300 hours can be completed in 50 working days in a FT mode (likely in the summer period), or spread over two semesters.

    Students should register with the module leader to be briefed on the module, undergo induction and Work related Learning planning and to have the Work Related Learning plan approved before taking up the opportunity. It is essential that students are made aware that both the “Work Related Learning agreement” and relevant “health and safety checklist” where applicable need to be approved before starting the placement. Please note that “health and safety checklist” is relevant if students carry out learning activities externally.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon

    The module enables students to demonstrate their acquired knowledge and skills through a systematic and creative investigation of a project work, either individually or as part of a group, in accordance with their course requirements. The topic of investigation will cover a broad spectrum of various analysis and techniques and will lead to a comprehensive and concise academic/industry-related report. Students will be assisted in exploring areas that may be unfamiliar to them and encouraged to develop innovative ideas and techniques. Students will be able to choose a project that may require the solution to a specific problem, creation of an artefact in a real-world environment or an investigation of innovative ideas and techniques related to an area within their field of study. Collaboration with outside agencies and projects with industrial, business or research partners/ sponsors will be encouraged.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    The module is designed to broaden student understanding up to the advanced level with the focus on creating, animating and rendering various visual effects (VFX) using industry standard authoring software tool(s). The creation of VFX is presented from the technical artists perspective and demonstrates to the students concepts of a variety of VFX, the design and relevant workflow using appropriate techniques and tools as well as developing problem solving skills.

    This module requires a successful completion of Level 5, i.e. relevant knoweledge and practical skills of the 2D/3D modelling, materials/textures, character rigging, animation, lights and cameras.

    Assessment will consist of the 3 coursework assignments, all pass on agregate.

    Read full details.

If you're studying full-time, each year (level) is worth 120 credits.

Year 1 (Level 4) modules include:

  • Drawing and Character Design
  • Digital Design and Image Making
  • Game Design
  • 3D Modelling

Year 2 (Level 5) modules include:

  • Moving Image and VFX
  • Advanced 3D Modelling and Animation
  • Modelling and Texturing
  • Digital Toy Design

Year 3 (Level 6) modules include:

  • Project
  • Games Asset Development
  • Long Work Related Learning
  • Visual Effects for Computer Graphics and Games

"The biggest surprise was that the course prepared me so well for other roles in the digital media industry other than just animator. It prepared me unexpectedly for work in the visual special effects industry where knowledge and skills in digital animation are so important. I gained skills and knowledge that would allow me to take on roles and responsibilities that I would never have gained exposure to had I just worked strictly as a junior animator and had not gone on to do this degree." Garvey Harris

"The course helped me develop crucial skills and techniques that I went on and use in my career. Perhaps the most notable skillset I was taught was the strong fundamentals of animation, both traditional and on a computer…" James Dower

The design of this course takes into account industry demand for computer graphics skills, both creative and technical, including modelling, rigging, animation, texturing, lights/cameras, visual effects (VFX) and rendering.

This degree provides career opportunities in the computer games industry and professional practice in a range of positions from concept, technical, texture, environment, VFX and technical asset artists, to graphics designers, character/model builders and character animators.

Our graduates have taken positions as programmers, artists, animators, designers and game testers at a variety of companies including BBC, ITV, Sky, Rocksteady Studios, Rare, Sega, Lionheart, Media Molecule (Sony), Sports Interactive, Framestore, The Mill and the Moving Picture Company (MPC). Some have also started their own small games studios.

The programme also provides excellent preparation for further research or study.

Dr Nigel Medhurst
School of Computing and Digital Media
Email: n.medhurst@londonmet.ac.uk

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2017. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Unistats is the official site that allows you to search for and compare data and information on university and college courses from across the UK. The widget(s) below draw data from the corresponding course on the Unistats website. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, one widget for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

All applicants applying to begin a course starting in January must apply direct to the University.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

Fees and key information

Undergraduate
G400

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