March 11, 2019

Training exceptional Canadians in animation, filmmaking, and digital design

Canadian talent took centre stage at the 91st Academy Awards as Sheridan College graduate Domee Shi took home the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for her film Bao, telling the story of an aging Chinese-Canadian mother who gets a second chance at motherhood when one of her dumplings comes to life as a little boy. In addition to her Oscar win, Shi is the first woman ever to direct a Pixar short film! Also nominated in the Best Animated Short Film category was fellow Pixar story artist and Sheridan College alumnus Trevor Jimenez, nominated for his film, WeekendsGraduates from Algonquin CollegeSeneca College and Sheridan College were also part of the team behind the film named Best Animated Feature, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-VerseCongratulations to all!

These outstanding alumni are evidence of the incredible training opportunities available across the country. In fact, colleges and institutes in nearly every province boast cutting-edge program offerings in areas such as digital animation, filmmaking, and video game design. For example:

  • Capilano University’s School of Motion Picture Arts offers a two-year 3D Animation for Film & Games diploma program that provides students the necessary training to develop 3D computer-generated characters and environments, including technical direction and character rigging. CapU also offers a unique Indigenous Independent Digital Filmmaking diploma studying scriptwriting, shooting and post-production;
  • NAIT’s Digital Media and Information Technology (DMIT) offers students the choice of specialization between Animation, Digital Cinema, Game Design, Game Programming, Visual Communications, and Web Design & Development, preparing students for jobs in film, gaming, architectural visualization, industrial simulations, concept design and illustration;
  • The Interactive Design and Technology program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic combines new media communications and digital graphic design programs to teach students techniques in interactive media, website design, animation, and computer graphics, building skills using the latest industry-standard software and hardware;
  • Red River College’s suite of Creative Arts programs includes an eight-month advanced certificate in 3D Computer Graphics (3DCG) which aims to build skills in areas such as modeling, rendering, compositing, animation, and motion capture for use in digital media, fine arts, and architecture;
  • Known as the “Harvard of Animation,” Sheridan College draws students from around the world to its Honours Bachelor of Animation program to learn all aspects of animation filmmaking, from story pitch to finished film. Impressively, the program is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year!
  • Elsewhere in Ontario, Algonquin CollegeCambrian CollegeConestoga CollegeFanshawe CollegeGeorge Brown CollegeMohawk College, and Seneca College are among the institutions offering programs in 3D animation and character design, visual effects, game design, and interactive media development. In French, students can also study 3D animation and digital arts at Collège La Cité;
  • In Quebec, students can learn to create and design characters, backgrounds, and visual effects with the 3D Animation and Imaging (Animation 3D et synthèse d’images) program offered by both the Cégep de Vieux Montréal and the Cégep Limoilou. The Institut Grasset, a campus of Collège André-Grasset also offers an Attestation d’études collégiales (AEC) in 3D Production for Video Games (Production 3D pour jeux vidéo); and,
  • In the Atlantic region animation training includes NSCC’s Digital Animation program, Holland College’s Video Game Art & Animation program, and NBCC’s Animation & Graphics

With so many opportunities spread so widely across the country, colleges and institutes help ensure that Canadians with differing and unique stories learn skills that help them contribute to Canada’s artistic and cultural heritage.