Learn the personal and team skills desired by the world’s top gaming developers. You’ll learn from instructors with deep experience in gaming, and they will push you to hone your skills and creativity. Make a fully realized working game level and gain incredibly valuable experience.
Our next full-time program begins March 2020 and will fill up quickly. Get your application in early and secure your seat in our next class!
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Game Art & Design Alumni Bring DESCEND to Kickstarter
Five graduates from our program have formed their own studio and launched a Kickstarter campaign for their own video game, and it looks incredible!
SOULS OF TORRINE: A Video Game Created in 8 Weeks!
In the third term, each student group at VanArts bands together to produce a full game from start to finish. Our most recent group, operating under the team name Digital Nomad Games, students from different cultures, beliefs, backgrounds and skills successfully created a brand new medieval fantasy hack-and-slash game entitled Souls of Torrine, under the direction of Lead Instructor Izmeth Siddeek.
View it here, and click here for the full story and peek behind-the-scenes. >>
VanArts Grads Deliver on Gears 5
One of 2019’s biggest titles, Gears 5 met with high critical acclaim and sales. To create this latest addition to the franchise, Microsoft Game Studios and The Coalition needed to set the bar higher in gameplay, graphics and storytelling.
Eight VanArts graduates got to work on this AAA title including character artist Alex Bobylev, marketing artist Ken Ha, and senior character artist Fernando Acosta.
Bringing EA’s Sports Games to Life
Video game studios all over the world have hired graduates from VanArts, including Vancouver’s own Electronic Arts. Over the years, dozens of VanArts grads have been hired to work at Electronic Arts. The release of NHL 20 features the work of four VanArts alumni.
Other studios that have hired our graduates include Koolhaus Games, Archiact VR, Next Level Games, Radical Entertainment, Disney Interactive, Microsoft’s Coalition, and many more!
The Game Art & Design program begins by teaching the fundamentals of traditional and digital art forms. Within traditional art, life drawing, anatomy, perspective, color theory and composition are the roots of observational skills applying to all forms of art. Simultaneously, we teach the core fundamentals of current digital art programs such as Maya, Zbrush and Photoshop. This combination of balanced instruction in both the traditional and digital art forms lays the foundation for your success as a well-rounded digital artist, including introductions to game engines and mobile gaming.
Analytical Figure Drawing 1
Game Engines 1
High Rez Modeling 1
Intro to Mobile Games
Production History & Game Analysis
With a foundation in traditional and digital art from Term 1, the focus in Term 2 turns to more advanced techniques and how they apply specifically to the video game industry. You will advance your 3D skills and apply them from concept development to modeling, through to a final professional art asset. Term 2 becomes a vital first run pass through the Game Art Pipeline, and also advances into concept development for mobile games.
In Term 2, you will also embark on a 6-week “comic book assignment” where you create a game level based on a popular comic character entirely on your own. This exercise helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses as a game artist, and prepares you for a group project in the upcoming Term 3.
Analytical Figure Drawing 2
Character Modeling 1
Concept Development for Mobile Games
Digital Concept Art
Environment Modeling 1
Game Engines 2
Hard Surface Modeling 1
High Rez Modeling 2
Term 3 is focused on “combining disciplines” and “bringing it all together”. In this term you will learn more advanced techniques for pre-production and be introduced to the industry production-pipeline and work-flow concepts. Working in a studio-like environment, you begin the term by pitching your project idea for your final demo reel. Once approved, your project is moved through the production pipeline. Industry-style weeklies are introduced where your work is critiqued by the instructors, and constructive criticism is given to ensure quality and to keep you on schedule.
Students also work as a team in Term 3 to produce a fully-fledged video game demo in 8 weeks, and smaller teams can group up to pitch mobile and console game concepts.
Intro to Python Scripting
Art Direction 1 & Concept Development
Character Modeling 2
Digital Concept Art 2
Environment Modeling 2
Game Engines for VR
Hard Surface Modeling 2
High Rez Modeling 3
Shading for Games 1
Texture Painting 1
The final term is dedicated to the production of an industry-grade demo reel to show potential employers. Under the guidance of our industry-pro faculty, you will apply the knowledge and experience you have gained throughout the year. Post-production techniques such as compositing are introduced, while weeklies and tech support ensure the final quality of your reel, the most important asset and foundation for your entry into the industry. Visit us on YouTube to view samples of student demo reels.
Art Direction 2
Character Modeling 3
Environment Modeling 3
Game Art Weeklies
Hard Surface Modeling 3
Shading for Games 2
Texture Painting 2
Head of Visual Effects and Head of Game Art & Design
Next Start Dates
March 9, 2020
September 8, 2020
March 15, 2021
September 7, 2021
The Game Art & Design diploma program is a hybrid of traditional and digital art, right from foundation to specialization. Here you get to focus your craft in creating concept art and assets for the film, game and television industries, with an equal emphasis on art development for mobile gaming and 3D console games.
The instructors in our game design courses are industry leaders who will educate you on best practices. They will prepare you for work in 2D/3D environments, character modeling, lighting, texturing, interface design and concept development. Get valuable feedback from and make connections with guest speakers and industry VIPs.
This program has been approved by the Registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.
VanArts has articulation agreements in place with several well established universities/colleges in Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. These degree pathways allow you to complete your bachelor’s degree in as little as one year after your studies at VanArts. This gives you the advantage of two credentials; a professional diploma and an undergraduate degree. These partnerships may not only save you money in tuition cost, but allows you to transition easily from VanArts to the partner institution while continuing your educational pathway in your chosen field of study. For international students, completing your BA degree in as little as two years of additional study with our local university partners provides you with the option to apply for a Canadian work permit, which may lead to permanent residency or Canadian citizenship. This list represents the pathways, universities and specific degrees available for graduates of Game Art & Design at VanArts:
10% deposit upon acceptance to hold your seat 40% six weeks prior to start date 50% by end of Term 1 (3 months into studies)
Supplies and Equipment
In addition to tuition, most programs have some costs related to supplies and equipment.
- Pencils (2B – 6B, Blue Col-Erase) (Blue Pencils must not be “non-photo blue”!)
- Art Erasers
- Notebook for taking notes during lectures
- 3-Ring Binder (for handouts and notes) (the best habit is to get several binders, each in a different color, one for each class)
- 12-inch ruler (in inches and centimeters)
- External Hard Drive (1TB minimum to back up files)
- Wacom Tablet Intuos Pro 8×10
- Pastel Canson Paper Pad (14 x 16)
- Set of 12 soft pastels
- Exacto Knife
- 6 cool gray Tria markers (values: 2,4,6,8,10,black)
- Pilot pens (01,03,05)
- Brushes (size: 000,1,6)
- Life Drawing supplies:
- 1 Pad of plain newsprint (16 x 20 or larger)
- 1 Sketchbook (for when it gets nice outside, not too small but easy to carry)
- Pencils (graphite, conte, whatever suits your fancy)
- Peel-off China marker
- Staedtler mars graphic 3000 brush pen
- Faber Castell duro gel .05 black ink pen
- Stick charcoal and a charcoal pencil (*note: packs of stick charcoal go a long way, instead of buying 1 pack each, split the coast among 3 of you and that will last you fine)
- 1 kneaded eraser
- 1 sharpener or exacto knife
- Sandpaper (optional- for sharpening)
- An anatomy reference book (optional)
Estimated cost: $630* *These are estimates only and assume that no required supplies or equipment are currently owned.