South and City is the only college in Birmingham to offer this NextGen course for skills in the Visual Effects (VFX) and Games industries. The uniqueness of this course, and something that we are very excited about, is that it has been created by and for the Animation, VFX and Games industry.
This course has been developed by NextGen Academy, which is supported by companies including Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, Microsoft, Ubisoft Reflections, Framestore, Double Negative, Blue Zoo, The Imaginarium, Playground Games, Centroid 3D, Rebellion and Creative Assembly.
You will develop a fusion of creative and technical skills and understanding of these 3 related areas, one of the fastest growing and most exciting in the media, film and digital industries. You will learn everything needed to work in the visual effects sector for TV, film and games design/development.
Because it’s industry-led, you will gain more technical skills, industry working practice, project and production management, including Agile and Scrum techniques, as well as researching the emerging technology or commercial trends of this fast-paced, evolving industry. At the same time, through conducting research, completing presentations, essay writing and controlled assessments ensure you will acquire the study skills for independent learning in HE.
‘Students studying games art use industry-standard software and develop appropriate technical skills to create a 3D treasure chest for an online game.’ Ofsted, 2018
Learn how the Animation, VFX and Games industries work in practice and experience the opportunity of working to a specific industry brief that replicates industry methods.
This course covers all the fundamental skills required in art, animation, visual effects, games design, principles of 3D design, maths and product programming and knowledge of the ecosystem of the industries.
The course is run in two parts. In your first year, you will study for a Foundation Diploma and if successful you can progress onto the second year to gain the full Extended Diploma. You will develop the skills required by the computer games industry through hands-on use of industry standard software, technologies and techniques, such as 3ds Max 2016, Unreal4 Engine, Gamemaker, Adobe Flash, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Audition. You will produce 2D and 3D games, digital art, concept art, 3D modelling together with animation and game sound. You will also learn about the games industry as a whole, story development and games platforms, as well as developing your drawing skills to learn how to visually communicate your ideas.
We are now including virtual reality (VR) into our exploration of games technology with Oculus Rift, this with our brand new suite of gaming PC's will allow for a rich and vibrant learning experience.
You will also have the opportunity to get involved with the college's twice yearly gaming event - The Gameathon. Tutors have games and media industry experience and are highly skilled with software, this includes a Certified 3ds Max Professional. You will learn in the heart of Birmingham’s creative district in Digbeth and have the chance to get involved in exciting projects and work experience opportunities both within the college and for external organisation.
What areas will I study?
The complete course is made up of the following subject areas:
- The games, animation and VFX industries
- Maths and logic fundamentals for the games, animation and VFX industries
- Fundamental project planning skills
- Art fundamentals for the games, animation and VFX industries
- Fundamental animation skills for the games, animation and VFX industries
- VFX fundamentals for the games, animation and VFX industries
- 3D tools: principles and practice
- Core principles of games design
- Images and sounds for imagined worlds
- Business and common working practice
- Emerging technologies/trends in the creative and 3d modelling story/playboarding
You will be assessed by completing portfolios, reflective blogs, research report, synoptic project and written assignments, maths and programming assessments.
Assessment is by: Two internally set and written examinations which are externally approved; portfolio evidence, which is internally set and externally moderated
What are the entry requirements?
You will need five GCSEs at pass grade (grade C or 4 and above) including English GCSE and maths GCSE. An equivalent full Level 2 Diploma with GCSE English and GCSE maths (grade C or 4 and above) will also be considered.
Where can I progress to next?
On successful completion of this course you could find employment in games design, games development, animation or 3D design. Most progress to a higher education course at university or the HND in Games Development at this college.