About us

Effects Animation Diploma

This Effects Animation (Houdini) program is designed to enable aspiring effects animators to learn the process of creating 3D technical effects using various 3D computer software including Houdini 3D animation tools.

Accredited. Trusted. Respected.

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Quick facts

Online and Combined Diploma
12 months
4 terms

Student profile

Artistic ability40%
Technical ability60%

Video: 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:
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 8:00 am
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.

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Click to call: +1 833-437-3872


Diploma Program Description
Effects Animation, Effects Technical Director (FX-TD)

Through a series of assignments students will learn how to create different types of effects simulations. Students will learn how to create both Expressions and procedural geometry generation in Houdini software by Sidefx. Students will choose either online or combined delivery to create their own technical effects for their final projects.

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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.

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Who Should
Attend this program

Aspiring effects animators, people that demonstrate problem solving skills, people that like to re-create natural phenonema, enjoy using computer software simulation and have a wild imagination.

People with the technical ability to convey their ideas through computer simulation software.

Target Student

Aspiring effects animators who are deeply passionate about how the physics of natural phenomena works.

People 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 Entertainment 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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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

Effects Animation Diploma (FX-TD)

Term 1
Effects Software

This course introduces students to the fundamentals for creating computer generated visual effects. Various aspects and functionality of the high-end 3D effects software Houdini, Pyro and Mantra are reviewed. This results in learning the basics of 3D modeling, animation, rendering and compositing. The final outcome is learning how to incorporate the foundations of visual effects simulations in Houdini.

Duration: 3 months

Term 2

This course provides an introduction on how to technically manage a 3D visual effects project. The focus of the course is on learning how to ingest an asset and build a reusable technical effects rig. Students will learn how to create technical effects such as bullet shots in order to produce muzzle flash, tracer streaks and wall impacts.

Duration: 3 months

Term 3
Effects Production &
Studio Pipeline

This course provides an introduction to Expressions in Houdini. The focus of the course is on learning how to create procedural effects simulations. Students will learn how to edit Expressions within Houdini, in order to create complex simulations and procedural generation of clouds and forest.

Duration: 3 months

Term 4
Portfolio &
Final Effects Projects

This course is a continuation of production techniques used in the technical effects pipeline. This final term advances the students’ knowledge and ability to create realistic technical effects. Students will learn through a series of milestones, how to complete two industry level effects shots, in order to achieve a finished demo reel.

Duration: 3 months

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

Course codes: FXTD-100,  FXTD-200,  FXTD-300,  FXTD-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.



Free for VANAS Students

Adobe Creative Cloud Software


VANAS Students save 60%



Free for VANAS Students

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 VES Handbook of Visual Effects: Industry Standard VFX Practices and Procedures 2nd Edition

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 Effects Animation FXTD 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

Watch our Graduation Video

Watch video (3 min)

Student Showcase

Effects Animation Diploma

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 Effects Animation

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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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