About us

Digital Matte Painting Diploma

The Digital Matte Painting Diploma program provides aspiring artists with the necessary foundation tools and the skills to become successful Matte Painters. 

Accredited. Trusted. Respected.

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Quick facts

Online and Combined Diploma
12 months
4 terms

Student profile

Artistic ability60%
Technical ability40%

How it works:

Watch video (3 min)

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Built for the industry. Built for your trust.

Program designed in consulation with major studios in
the Animation, VFX and Video Game industries.

10 Years of delivering excellence in online education, pioneering online learning since 2009.

Summer Term Starts on:
Monday, July 5th, 2021.


Summer Term Application Deadlines

Round 1: May 3rd, 2021 (20% scholarships available if eligible)
Round 2: June 7th, 2021 (10% Scholarships available if eligible)
Round 3: June 27th, 2021 (No Scholarships available)

Note: Applications submitted after the deadline posted on our school website will be reviewed. However, they are subject to a late processing.


Live Classes on:
Mondays & Wednesdays 7:00 PM
Pacific Time

There are morning classes and evening classes to include students in the northern and southern hemispheres. The class schedule is subject to change depending on faculty availability.

Need immediate help?
Click to call: +1 833-437-3872


Diploma Program Description
Digital Matte Painting

Digital Matte Painting is a painted representation of a set or location used to create a seemingly present environment in a film or movie. It is used by an artist or matte painters to create an illusion of a present location in the movie.

Through a series of assignments, VANAS students will learn how to apply the principles of perspective, 2D foundations, 3D foundations, and 2.5D processes to their own digital matte painting shots.

Students can choose between two delivery options. Study Digital Matte Painting online or within Vancouver, Canada.

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Click to call: +1 833-437-3872

We are a fully accredited Studio School designed to give students practical skills in workplace environments

Choose from our 2-Delivery options, design your education around your values and lifestyle

1) Live 100% Face-to-Face Online

Offers the flexibility and freedom for parents and students to shape their education, learning from industry experts and from a trusted Canadian Accredited Education internationally recognized.

Expand your local network

Join your regional chapter while experiencing a live, focused and extraordinary program.  We partner with your institution to deliver high quality education in your home country.

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2) Combined (Online + Onsite)

Time is divided between online and onsite learning. Every week students spend 3 hours with in-person sessions and interacting with their peers and Industry professionals.

Experience Vancouver Canada

Outside the weekly in person sessions, access course content and weekly communication online, while experiencing Hollywood North in Vancouver, one of most livable cities in the world.

Need immediate help?
Click to call: +1 833-437-3872

Who Should
Attend this program

Aspiring visual effects artists, people that demonstrate problem solving skills, people that like to create, entertain and have a wild imagination.

Artists with the ability to convey their thoughts through computer compositing software.

Target Student

Aspiring Matte Painters who are deeply passionate about visual effects, film, set extensions, compositing.

Artists who already recognize and understand their strengths of what they can be best at, and can build a rewarding career throughout their life in the Animation, Visual Effects and Video Game industries.

Not Our
Target Student

Artists looking for general education, undecided or unknowledgeable about career paths.

We recommend taking our other short introductory courses to find and recognize their strengths.

Admission Requirements


High school graduate (with transcript), or 19 years of age or older

Assessment Test

Successfully pass general
assessment test that includes
a computer knowledge assessment,
Internet knowledge assessment,
English reading and writing skills


If no portfolio is submitted,
student must successfully
pass the corresponding
Introductory course.
Click here to check your eligibility

English Proficiency

International students with English as a second language must demonstrate a good oral and written level of English. A telephone, Skype, or in-person interview may be required to verify this.

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Click to call: +1 833-437-3872

Program Duration

Number of
per week
Number of

Study and Work in Canada

International Students have the option to study from their
home countries or within Canada.

Designated Learning Institution

This full-time online program meets the Ministry of Education requirements to Study and Work in Canada.  Students may study from their home countries or in Vancouver, Canada.  When studying in Vancouver, Canada,  all classes are conducted online and 20 hours per week of on-site lab access is available for students to interact with one another.


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Program Outline

Digital Matte Painting Diploma

Term 1

This course introduces students to two-dimensional drawing and digital painting by focusing on learning the basic principles and techniques required to produce the preliminary sketches; the digital photography as the foundation for production quality digital matte paintings. Assignments will emphasize studies on how to create images that are realistic, including the assessment of perspective quality and how to apply classical painting techniques to the digital painting medium.

Duration: 3 months

Term 2
Software Foundations

This course introduces students to three-dimensional software foundations by focusing on learning the software and tools required to produce professional quality Digital Matte Paintings. Students learn how to create realistic environments to produce digital matte painting set extensions and how to apply classical painting techniques.

Duration: 3 months

Term 3
Advanced 2.5D
Matte Painting

This course provides an introduction into Advanced 2.5D Matte Painting. The focus is on learning advanced workflow techniques required in a visual effects studio and its Digital Matte Painting department. Students will learn how to digitally manipulate images of existing interior and exterior locations. How to judge image manipulation and painting quality will be demonstrated by applying key workflow concepts from classical painting.

Duration: 3 months

Term 4
Portfolio &
Demo Reel

This course provides an introduction to matte painting portfolios and the development process to create them. The focus of this course is on creating a Digital Matte Painter’s portfolio. Students will learn how to assemble a portfolio with a diversity of artwork, so that it will have greater appeal to a variety of Digital Matte Painting studios. Learning on how to judge the quality of portfolios and demo reels, with emphasis on the digital painting of environments.

Duration: 3 months

Students must obtain a minimum grade of a B- to successfully pass.

Course codes: DIMP-100,  DIMP-200,  DIMP-300,  DIMP-400.

Vancouver Animation School reserves the right to review and change without notice the curriculum design to meet the industry requirements.

Onsite + Online
Live Classes

  • Small class sizes
  • 2 live session per week, one hour per session - Full time
  • 1 live support classes per week, one hour per session


  • Weekly assignments comprised by milestones and deadlines
  • Online activities
  • Assignments workload 20 - 25 hours per week


  • Class times are listed at the top of this website page
  • Class times are also visible on the application form
  • Flexible times for you to work and study at the same time

Need immediate help?
Click to call: +1 833-437-3872

Software Requirements

Students are responsible for supplying their own Computer Software.
Academic discounts are available to our students.

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System Requirements

Students are responsible for supplying their own Computer Hardware.

Windows System

Windows System

12 GB RAM (16 GB recommended)
Firefox or Chrome internet browsers

Windows System

Apple Mac OSX

12 GB RAM (16 GB recommended)
Firefox or Chrome internet browsers

Windows System


Broadband, High Speed connection
10 Mbps Download (Recommended)
1 Mbps Upload (Recommended)

Windows System

Webcam & Headset with built-in mic

Students must keep their computer cameras on at all times unless directed otherwise. Students must be on-screen, visible, and present throughout each class. Students who do not or cannot turn their cameras on will be marked absent.

Additional Requirements

Recommended Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB or better.

Monitor with a 1920 X 1080 display. 2 monitors are better.

Recommended Books

The Invisible Art - by Mark Cotta Vaz
The Digital Matte Painting Handbook - by David B. Mattingly

Canadian Designation

An official transcript is the VANAS' certified statement of your academic record. The official paper transcript is printed on security sensitive paper and contains the Institution seal and signature of the Institution Registrar.


The Education Quality Assurance (EQA) designation is British Columbia’s brand for quality post- secondary education.


The Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education administers associated regulations.


A joint initiative of the provinces and territories, through the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC),


Established in 1990 to fulfill Canada’s obligations under the UNESCO Convention on the Recognition of Studies.

The Digital Matte Painting Diploma program has been approved by the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training.

Degree Pathways


Post-Graduation Work Permit

While VANAS programs do not qualify for the post-graduation work permit, some of our educational partners do.

The post-graduation work permit through Citizenship and Immigration Canada allows students who have graduated from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution to gain valuable Canadian work experience. For more information, visit: cic.gc.ca/english/study/work-postgrad.asp

Need immediate help?
Click to call: +1 833-437-3872

Watch our Graduation Video

Watch video (3 min)

Meet your next industry teachers

Some of the Studios VANAS alumni work at


“I wanted to move to the next level in my career, for a long time I wanted to learn
character animation because I love movement and the possibility to make a
digital 3d character come to life, make feelings believable!”

Career Pathway

1 year

VANAS Digital Matte
Painting Diploma

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1 year

2nd Year Option

Portfolio Polishing
& Production Experience

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4 weeks

VANAS Professional Career
Development for Artists

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4 weeks

Welcome to the

Vantastics Family

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