In George Brown College's Visual Effects graduate certificate program, students will expand upon concepts and techniques in 3D animation, motion graphics, or audio/video editing for film and television.

Female student in the Visual Effect program is drawing an image on her touch screen computer while looking at the camera and smiling.


Program name
Visual Effects
1 year (3 semesters)
Starting month
Ontario College Graduate Certificate
Method of study

Year of Study

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Program Availability

Domestic students
Sept. 2019 Closed
Jan. 2020 N/A
May 2020 N/A
International students
Sept. 2019 Closed
Jan. 2020 N/A
May 2020 N/A

Full Description

In this three-semester Visual Effects graduate certificate program, students will expand upon concepts and techniques in 3D animation, motion graphics, or audio/video editing for film and television. Preparing for a career in the postproduction industry, visual effects artists combine the skills of a programmer with the creativity of a designer. As members of film and television production teams, visual effects artists turn concepts into visual representation.

Houdini badge

Visual effects artists hone their visual storytelling capabilities through the use of elements such as digital lighting, surface attribute design and camera composition. While learning the procedures for planning visual effects for film, students cover the techniques of procedural modeling and animation used in visual effects films.

The George Brown College School of Media & Performing Arts is certified by SideFX to teach Houdini on an academic level. 

Program Standards and Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Design visual effects sequences using storyboarding and pre-visualization that meet production requirements.
  2. Use filmmaking and game terminology to communicate effectively throughout all stages of production.
  3. Complete the production of live action plates for use in visual effects.
  4. Manage the production of visual effects projects to meet production schedules.
  5. Identify hardware and software protocols specific to the field of visual effects.
  6. Analyze images and physical sets to digitally re-create lights, cameras, locations and objects.
  7. Create photo-real images to match live action footage.
  8. Recreate natural phenomena by using appropriate particle or dynamic effects.
  9. Integrate 2D and/or 3D computer generated imagery and live action elements.
  10. Create customized tools through software or scripting to allow for more advanced application of visual effects techniques.
  11. Work collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams on the production of visual effects.

Required Courses


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
VSFX1001Digital Visual Effects
VSFX1002Digital Compositing
VSFX1003Photorealistic Modeling
VSFX1004Procedural Modeling and Animation
VSFX1005Immersive Environments
VSFX1006Visual Effects Project I
VSFX1007Visual Effects Models and Shaders


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
VSFX1013Photorealistic Rendering
VSFX1014Particle System Effects
VSFX1015Cinematography For Visual Effects
VSFX1016Visual Effects Project II
VSFX1018Visual Effects Rendering
VSFX1019Matte Painting


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
VSFX2020Experiential Thesis

Detailed course outlines

The Industry

The visual effects field in Toronto is a strong and well established industry. With a long history of providing cutting edge work to an international market, Toronto is a beacon not only for companies that film within Canada but also around the world.

Career Options

Visual effects artists are able to move across multiple platforms including film, television, interaction storytelling, gaming and animation. Potential job titles include:

  • 3D Animator
  • Texture Artist
  • Technical Artist
  • Environment Modeler
  • Character Modeler
  • Object Modeler
  • Stop Motion Animator
  • Visual Effects Artist
Visual Effects



Additional Cost

* Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials, student service and ancillary fees for the three semesters of programs starting in Fall 2018. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in Fall 2019 and at later dates.

International students: Visit the International Fees and Related Costs page for more information.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts OR Diploma/Advanced Diploma in Game, Graphics or Arts field
  • Portfolio* (digital portfolio accepted)
  • Applicant Questionnaire
  • Resume
  • Interview**

*Instructions for submitting the portfolio will be provided to successful applicants during the application process. Please also see Special Requirements below.

** An opportunity to interview will be offered to select applicants only, upon review of the portfolio.

English Proficiency

Applicants with international transcripts who do not provide English proficiency test results must test at the College level in the George Brown College English assessment to be considered for admission.

Please visit for more details.

Course Exemptions

College or university credits may qualify you for course exemptions. Please visit for more information.

International Students

Visit the International Admissions page for more information.

Special Requirements

Portfolio Requirements

This program requires a portfolio of at least 15 pieces, built on visual techniques within the modeling and animation areas.

Health Policy

How Do I Apply to the Program

Apply To

Domestic students should apply through Ontario Colleges

Contact Us

School of Media & Performing Arts

Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 2015


For more information about George Brown College, you may also call the Contact Centre at 416-415-2000 (TTY 1-877-515-5559) or long distance 1-800-265-2002.

Visit Our Campus

This program is offered through our School of Media and Performing Arts and classes take place at our St. James Campus, mainly at 230 Richmond Street East, and 341 King St. East., Toronto, ON, Canada.


On-campus information sessions are available. Come and have your questions answered. Learn about the program content and career options, meet your friendly professors and staff, and experience what it is like to be in a George Brown College classroom. Sign up for an upcoming session.


Campus tours are offered on a regular basis. Sign up today! You can also check out our virtual tour.

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    George Brown College is continually striving to improve its programs and their delivery. The information contained in this calendar is subject to change without notice. It should not be viewed as a representation, offer or warranty. Students are responsible for verifying George Brown College admission, graduation, and fee requirements as well as any requirements of outside institutions, industry associations, or other bodies that may award additional designations concurrently with, or after completion of, a George Brown College program.