Digital Visual Effects Diploma

Faculty of Fine & Applied Arts
School of Motion Picture Arts


Program Highlights

Learn to create mind-boggling digital visual effects for film and television – in small classes with fantastic instructors. Sound good so far? Picture this ...

Your instructors will be pros from high-end film, broadcast and software companies who are passionate about passing on their craft to the next generation of filmmakers.

You'll collaborate with students in film, documentary, animation, costuming and cinematography programs for an even richer experience. You'll take on a second-year practicum at a local studio where you’ll be mentored by a professional, learn on-the-job skills and expand your network.

So when you graduate the question won’t be are you ready, but is the world ready for you?

  • Work with complex computer graphics technologies applicable to the visual effects industry, including writing computer code to control advanced effects software.
  • Be proficient in a range of visual effects skills and have the ability to analyze the appropriate technology use for the specific creative needs of a production pipeline.
  • Be motivated and engaged in on-going and self-directed learning in the technology, development and creative processes of visual effects and future technologies relevant to their industries.
  • Create and develop their own creative content and intellectual properties, with the potential to produce these projects independently and to evaluate the strategic and appropriate market potential for independent or studio projects.
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the visual effects industry, as well as its organizations, production companies and cultural communities.
  • Engage in the growth of community and partnership within the field.
  • To analyze and implement the technical, conceptual and artistic processes necessary to produce high quality work as independent filmmakers, or as part of the production pipeline for a production company or studio visual effects team.
  • Demonstrate a professional and collaborative attitude, excellence in interpersonal skills and communications, and will understand the roles, responsibilities and relationships within a production team.


CampusTermsFull/Part Time
North VancouverFallFull-Time

Tuition and Fees Per Year

Domestic Students
Year Tuition Fees Total
Year 1$19,036 $1,269 $20,305
Year 2$19,036 $1,269 $20,305
Total$38,072 $2,538 $40,610

Note: Fees are subject to change. Some programs have fees for supplies and equipment that aren’t included in the estimate. To get an idea of what you’ll pay to study at CapU, try out our Tuition & Fees Estimator.

First Term

Total credits: 15.00

VFX 100Visual Effects Foundation I3.00 credits
VFX 110Digital Compositing I3.00 credits
VFX 120Visual Effects Modelling and Texturing I3.00 credits
VFX 130Visual Effects Animation I3.00 credits
VFX 140Digital Matte Painting I3.00 credits


Second Term

Total credits: 15.00

ENGL 100University Writing Strategies3.00 credits
VFX 101Visual Effects Foundation II3.00 credits
VFX 111Digital Compositing II3.00 credits
VFX 121Visual Effects Modelling and Texturing II3.00 credits
VFX 131Visual Effects Animation II3.00 credits


Third Term

Total credits: 15.00

VFX 200Visual Effects Lighting and Rendering3.00 credits
VFX 205Visual Effects Production I3.00 credits
VFX 210Digital Compositing III3.00 credits
VFX 231Visual Effects Animation III3.00 credits
VFX 240Digital Matte Painting II3.00 credits


Fourth Term

Total credits: 15.00

CMNS 133Business Writing for Digital Visual Effects3.00 credits
VFX 215Visual Effects Production II6.00 credits
VFX 220Visual Effects Demo Reel3.00 credits
VFX 230Visual Effects Work Project3.00 credits


Total program credits: 60.00

Important Dates

Application Dates

May 1, 2018 - May 7, 2019

Course Registration & Waitlisting Starts

Jul 8, 2019

Fee Payment Deadline

Aug 19, 2019 4:00 PM

Note: Dates are subject to change.

Admission Requirements

BC Secondary School graduation (Grade 12) or equivalent; or Mature Student status

Capilano English Language Requirement for students whose primary language is not English: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): paper=560, internet=83, or English Language Assessment (ELA)=145, or International English Language Testing System (Academic IELTS)=6.5 overall, and no one score less than 6, or Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL)=70, or Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic)=56 or Capilano University EAP 100 and 101 with a minimum B+ grade in each course.

Interview, and portfolio and/or demo reel of relevant work. Please visit for portfolio requirements and submission advice.

Applicants will be expected to provide the following: A letter of intent indicating their interest in the visual effects field and any previous related experience (if applicable).

For the official publication of programs, course descriptions and admission requirements please view the Capilano University 2018-2019 Calendar (pdf).

Portfolio Requirements

Applicants to the program must submit: 

  1. A personal statement or letter of intent
    Why are you interested in the Visual Effects Program? What are your career goals? Past achievements, influences? Explain if you have work experience in any field of media arts including film, photography, animation, web design, video editing etc…

An online portfolio should be easy for us to access and view. A blog with good quality imagery, all on one page (not hidden in numerous pages/folders) is preferred so that we can simply scroll down and see all your work at once. The easier you make it for us to see your work the better it will be for both of us. 

All images should be posted online; good, reliable and free hosting for your portfolio is readily available, take a look at or Keep the design of the portfolio as simple as we are interested in your artwork more than your web-design skills.

Remember to remove any password requirement to your portfolio before you submit your link.

Your portfolio should include 5 to 10 images. These 5 to 10 images could consist of the following: Scans or photographs of artwork (drawings, paintings, sculptures), photography, videos, animations, website designs, graphic designs.

The portfolio should simply reflect a passion for image making, be it digital or traditional. Solid knowledge of photography/cinematography, with a strong background in computer skills, is an asset.

Portfolios submitted prior to the deadline can continue to be updated until the deadline.

High school and post-secondary transcripts are required. Applicants now in high school must have interim transcripts issued and submit these by the portfolio deadline. The BC Ministry download of high school grades will not reach us in time for our selection process.

An interview might be requested if more information is required and the applicants we wish to interview will be contacted by email. In person interviews are preferred; however, phone interviews can be arranged.

Important Dates and Deadlines

FALL 2019

  • Apply to Capilano University prior to submitting your portfolio link.
  • Portfolio submission deadlines and instructions are currently being updated. Please check back by the end of June for the updated information.

If possible, applicants should attend one of our free open house sessions before they apply, in order to see the facilities, talk to students, observe their work and ask questions.

Apply to CapU


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Have questions about this program?

School of Motion Picture Arts

604 983 7516
Bosa Centre for Film and Animation

Digital Visual Effects

Adam Sale, Program Coordinator
604 986 7516

Student Information Services

604 984 4900
604 984 1798 (fax)
Birch Building, room BR230