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Bachelor of Digital Media (3D Design & Animation)

Like the idea of bringing worlds, stories and characters to life?

With this degree, you’ll gain the essential knowledge and skills to launch a career in 3D design or animation for film, TV, games, advertising and beyond.

In your final year, you can apply for an internship with a professional 3D design and animation studio for the chance to work on a live project for a real-world client.

Have a question or ready to enrol?

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At a glance

Study mode

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Blended

Provider

Billy Blue College of Design at Torrens University Australia
Career Opportunities
  • 3D Animator
  • 3D Concept Artist
  • 3D Generalist
  • 3D Specialist
  • 3D Visualisation Artist
  • 3D Tracker/Matchmover
Recognition

Nationally recognised - meets Australian Qualifications Framework standards.

Prerequisites

Year 12 ATAR of 60 or equivalent, OR demonstrated ability/work experience

Location

NSW - Sydney

QLD - Brisbane

VIC - Melbourne

Work placement

Internships are available

Course length
Full time: 3 years standard (or 2 years accelerated) | Part time: 4-6 years
Study mode

Blended


Online

Study from anywhere, when it suits you best and graduate with the identical qualification as an on-campus student.

Blended

Study part of the course online. Combine your online learning with classes or practical sessions on-campus at a college or university.

In-class

Attend classes on-campus at a university, TAFE or college and interact face-to-face with teachers and fellow students.

Assessment
Practical assignments, research projects & presentations
Start date

Six start dates per year.

Contact us about enrolling.
Provider
Billy Blue College of Design at Torrens University Australia

Founded by industry professionals, Billy Blue College of Design is renowned for producing creative and successful designers.

With smaller class sizes, Billy Blue courses focus on providing you with industry-required design knowledge, skills and practical experience. You will be mentored by industry practitioners and treated like a designer from day one so you graduate job ready - with a portfolio that will impress employers.

Torrens University Australia Ltd, trading as Billy Blue College of Design at Torrens University Australia (RTO 41343)

Payment options

Study now pay later – FEE-HELP

Upfront payment

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Price
Why isn't the course price shown?

Why isn't the course price shown?

The cost of a course can vary depending on a few factors, including:

  • Whether you are an Australian resident
  • How you pay for the course (via a government loan, via a payment plan, or upfront)

To work out how much this course would cost you,
contact a SEEK Learning consultant.

Prerequisites

  • Year 12 ATAR score of 60 or equivalent, OR
  • a completed diploma level course, OR
  • demonstrated ability, including work experience or formal/informal study

What you'll learn

You’ll acquire broad skills in modelling, rigging, animation, texturing, lighting and compositing.

You will also explore design and animation theory to enrich your storytelling, while working through briefs and creative processes used by industry.

Work placement

In your final year you can apply for an internship at a professional motion design studio or production house.

This industry experience is a chance to gain invaluable skills by working on projects for real clients.

Course structure

24 units

Level 100

  1. Design fundamentals


    This unit introduces students to the fundamental concepts within visual language and the relevant software tools for the digital production of graphic and visual communication. It explores methods for the digital production of visual messages and requires students to practically apply and theoretically understand the fundamental grammar that underpins any graphic language. 

    Students will develop skills in expressing the grammar of visual language, working with design software and creating digital visual outcomes through a combination of theoretical studies, practical workshops, guided demonstrations and exercises. The language of design will be analysed through an examination of historical influences and technological developments. 

    Students will create outcomes that are informed by the language of visual grammar and contextualised within contemporary digital design technology.

  2. Design exploration


    This unit encourages students to observe, analyse and document the world around them in order to expand their visual design vocabulary. The playful exploration of a variety of fundamental research methods will expand students' practical and critical skill sets, enabling them to transform their observations into potential design outcomes and evaluate their engagement with the design process. 

    Students will undertake a series of observational research experiments; recording and analysing each case through a range of media and materials including: drawing, photography, sound, static and time-based media as well as two and three dimensional forms. Students will also be challenged to critically reflect upon their interaction with and response to the cultural context of design.

  3. Experience, interface, interaction


    This unit provides an introduction to the fundamental theory and practice of interaction design. Key concepts including experience, interface and interaction are explored, along with fundamental technologies, services and platforms pertinent to the design and production of interactive digital media. 

    Students will also investigate the social, cultural and technological frameworks that inform interaction design and identify the relationships between each.

  4. Time, space, motion


    This unit provides an introduction to the fundamental theory and practice of moving image and 3D design and production. Students will be familiarised with a basic set of tools and techniques for creating moving image sequences and 3D visualisations. Fundamental moving image, screen language and spatial design concepts are introduced, and students will use these concepts in conjunction with basic production techniques to communicate and convey narrative. 

    The unit also introduces concept development techniques and materials specific to the development of motion and 3D design outcomes.

  5. Drawing for concept development


    This unit develops foundational skills in drawing, visual perception and exploration. Students engage with the practice and theory of various drawing modes, including life and environmental drawing, in order to enrich the concept development process. In addition to developing general visualisation skills students will also work in concept development forms specific to specialist areas of digital media practice.

  6. Interaction design


    This unit continues the exploration of the theory and practice of interaction design for digital media. The unit covers core research and concept development methods for interaction design. Students will focus on interpreting and structuring information content for interactive non-linear presentation and delivery, and will also focus on visual aspects of interface design and the ways in which visual design affects end-user experience.

  7. Motion design


    This unit introduces the foundational theory and practice of motion graphic design and live action camera production. The unit introduces basic skills in concept development, asset creation, 2D animation and compositing suitable for motion graphic production. The process of developing a live action video piece is also introduced, from pre-production through to post-production, and including fundamental sound design principles. Students will gain basic skills in camera-based production including basics of lighting, sound recording and editing.

  8. 3D design & animation


    This unit develops foundational skills in 3D design and animation. Students will undertake character and set design and development exercises, and will generate animated 3D graphic elements. In this way students will develop foundational skills in the principles and techniques of modelling, texturing, lighting and animation required to produce digital 3D characters, environments and props. The unit also explores key concept development stages typical to common 3D design briefs and projects.

Level 200

  1. Digital studio 1


    This unit explores current interdisciplinary topics in digital media design. The unit introduces notions of disciplinarity in relation to digital media design, and develops students' awareness of interdisciplinary aspects of their own digital media design practice. 

    In this unit students will develop practical and conceptual skills and knowledge of current relevance across all digital media design specialisations. Students will also be required to reflect on their own developing body of knowledge as a means of guiding their own ongoing learning and development. This unit may explore a range of interdisciplinary topics such as sound design, authorship, ownership, copyright and intellectual property in digital content creation.

  2. Character modelling


    This unit focuses on the design and modelling of characters suitable for 3D visualisation and animation. The unit explores organic and inorganic modelling principles and techniques for character body and face creation. Students learn how to create surface and subcutaneous anatomy, and how to create 3D textures by manipulating original source imagery. 

    Throughout the unit, students learn how to apply concepts and principles of character creation to visualise personality, emotion and affect in 3D virtual characters.

  3. Character animation 1


    This unit introduces the core theory and practice of 3D character animation. Students learn the creative and technical skills needed to rig props and characters for keyframe and performance capture animation. Fundamental character animation theory concepts and principles including character design, narrative, weight and timing are explored in order to inform animation design and development. The unit also introduces particle and rigid body dynamics as means of creating and augmenting animated sequences and content.

  4. Digital studio 2


    This unit continues the exploration of current interdisciplinary topics in digital media design. The unit requires students to collaborate in small teams to produce an interdisciplinary project. As part of this project, students will explore concepts of brand creation, brand identity and brand experience. Students also explore modes of storytelling and narrative creation, and the connections between story and brand creation. 

    Through a group work project approach, the subject introduces typical organisational structures of interdisciplinary design teams and workplaces, and the influence of these structures on professional practice. Students continue their development of practical and conceptual skills and knowledge of current relevance across all digital media design specialisations, and are again required to reflect on their own developing body of knowledge as a means of positioning their practice and guiding their own ongoing learning and development.

  5. Modelling & visualisation


    This unit focuses on the development of modelling and 3D design skills suitable for the creation of photorealistic and animated visualisations. Students will learn 3D design principles and techniques specific to the creation of photorealistic 3D imagery, including texture creation, lighting and photo-real rendering toolsets. In addition to learning about photorealist approaches, students will also have the opportunity to design and develop bespoke stylistic visual approaches as alternatives to photorealism. 

    The unit also explores the creation of animated 3D simulations in order to visualise processes and systems.

  6. Character animation 2


    This unit further develops creative and technical knowledge and skills in character animation. The unit covers the creation and application of custom character rigs along with facial, muscle and deformation systems to enable complex character animation. Traditional acting and directing concepts and principles are explored as a means of informing the character animation process and enriching animated performances. 

    The unit also explores the use of nonlinear and procedural animation techniques as part of an animation production pipeline.

Level 200 Electives

  1. Live action production


    This unit explores the theory and practice of live action camerabased moving image production. The unit introduces an expanded set of production planning concepts and techniques for video production. Creative and technical aspects of working with cameras, lighting and sound are explored in greater detail. The investigation of film, TV and media theory and history is continued with an emphasis on enrichment of the idea generation and concept development process. Students will also explore the use of video editing and post-production techniques to communicate mood, narrative and information.

  2. Story & cinematography


    This unit develops and extends skills in live action camera-based video production, with a focus on storytelling and cinematography. Concept development and preproduction techniques such as scriptwriting and storyboarding are emphasised as crucial components of moving image story development. At the same time students develop skills in pitch preparation and presentation for video projects. Cinematography principles and techniques including moving camera shots are explored, along with lighting and sound design, in order to enrich students' moving image storytelling vocabulary.

  3. Motion graphic design 1


    This unit explores the theory and practice of motion graphic design. Idea generation and concept development techniques for motion graphic sequences are explored and practical and conceptual skills in asset creation, kinetic typography, 2D animation and compositing are developed. The history of motion graphic traditions such as broadcast and film title design are investigated as a means of enriching the design process.

  4. Compositing & visual effects 1


    This unit introduces the theory and practice of compositing and visual effects (VFX). A history of visual and special effects in film and TV production is covered as a means of exploring both the technical developments in this field and the new storytelling possibilities accompanying these developments. Students develop practical skills in fundamental compositing techniques such as chromakeying, rotoscoping, tracking, stabilisation and matchmoving. Students are also introduced to the challenges of balancing the creative and technical aspects of visual effects work by undertaking a project in response to a brief.

  5. Interface development 1


    This unit introduces the practical and conceptual skills and knowledge required to design and produce online user interfaces. Students learn how to use compliant standards-based markup and scripting language to develop interfaces. The unit covers concept development, prototyping, development, testing and troubleshooting concepts and techniques typical to interface development. Students also learn how to produce animated elements suitable for online interactive media.

  6. Content & technology systems


    This unit covers the use and customisation of content and technology systems for the delivery of online content. Students learn how to generate flexible design solutions to present and manage complex and variable content. 

    The unit introduces online content management systems and specialist development tools, and students will learn how to use and customize these systems and tools to meet specific design and project requirements. Students will also learn about hosting platforms, performance measurement and metrics systems for online content.

Level 300

  1. Digital studio 3


    The unit explores models for structuring and managing interdisciplinary design projects, teams and workplaces, building on models used within specific digital media specialisations. 

    Students will conceive and manage an interdisciplinary project that synthesises concepts and methods from their major area of study with concepts and methods from other digital media specialisations. At the same time students will contribute as a team member working on design and production tasks within a project managed by another student. As part of this process, project and production management methodologies from different disciplines are explored and compared. 

    Students continue their development of practical and conceptual skills and knowledge of current relevance across all digital media design specialisations, and are again required to reflect on their own developing body of knowledge as a means of positioning their practice and guiding their own ongoing learning and development.

  2. 3D visualisation, compositing & effects


    This unit covers the design and creation of 3D environments suitable for integration with live action and photographic imagery, and the fundamental knowledge and skills required in order to create successful composites of 3D and live action elements. Students will learn the essential compositing techniques required by 3D artists and animators, including tracking techniques for integrating 3D elements into moving camera shots. Students also learn how to prepare, render and deliver 3D design and animation assets in formats suitable for a range of compositing and visual effects uses and applications.

  3. Animation production


    This unit covers the principles, methods and structures required for collaborative team-based 3D animation production. Students will develop nonlinear, team-based pipelines to coordinate the production of projects with multiple characters, sets, props and assets. Pipeline planning and scripting will be introduced as a way to optimize workflow. 

    The unit also covers animation production and production design concepts and techniques in order to equip students with strategies for the consistent direction of visual style, staging, acting and performance across a collaborative team-based production.

  4. Emerging practice in 3D design & animation


    This unit addresses new and emerging technologies, methods and practice within the 3D design and animation field. Students investigate specific current examples of emerging practice within the field, assess their potential applications and appraise their creative and commercial potential. Students gain practical experience in the adoption of new concepts, processes and techniques through the completion of a research project. 

    The unit also requires students to critically reflect on, document and communicate a research process and findings to a 3D design and animation community of practice.

  5. Portfolio development


    In this unit students will research and develop self-promotion materials in preparation for employment. Students will be expected in this unit to review, revise and edit their existing body of design work. They will be expected to frame and deliver this work with an emphasis on self-reflection and identification of a personal brand and value proposition in relation to a chosen design industry sector.

  6. 3D design & animation internship (competitive entry)


    This unit offers students the opportunity to work within a professional 3D design and animation studio for an extended period of time. Students will be offered internship placements that allow them to spend time working in a professional environment. 

    Students benefit from a professional mentorship that enables them to build long-term relationships with industry and increase their employment potential. Students are exposed to the rigour of professional 3D design and animation practice while building their confidence in adapting to new environments. It also provides a context in which to enhance their communication skills and work collaboratively in a professional arena. 

    Students will undertake a series of research tasks, conducting interviews and gathering data as a means of critically reflecting on their internship experience in relation to the skills and knowledge gained during their studies.

  7. Major project in 3D design & animation (optional for students taking 3D design and animation internship)


    This unit offers students the opportunity to undertake a major project for an external client, working as part of a project team that aligns to a professional 3D design and animation studio structure and environment. 

    Under the mentorship of the unit lecturer, students will increase their employment potential by gaining experience in producing professional work for a real client with a live project. Students are exposed to the rigour of professional 3D design and animation practice while building their confidence in adapting to the demands of a live brief. T

    he project also provides a context in which to enhance their communication skills and work collaboratively in a professional arena. Students will also be required to document and critically reflect on their project experience in relation to skills and knowledge gained during their studies, in relation to their own personal contribution and in relation to teamwork dynamics.

Level 300 Electives

  1. Compositing & visual effects 2


    This unit develops practical and conceptual skills in compositing and visual effects. The unit focuses on managing and working within a small visual effects production team. Students are required to design and manage the production of their own original effects sequence, and also to contribute as a team member to a project led by another student. The unit also expands on compositing methodologies suitable for the integration of live action and computer-generated 3D imagery.

  2. Motion graphic design 2


    This unit develops further practical and conceptual skills in motion graphics, reinforcing and extending skills in idea generation, asset creation, kinetic typography, animation, compositing and sound integration for motion graphic design. 

    The unit also focuses on the design and development of 3D assets and animation for motion graphics, and the integration of motion graphics elements with live action footage, as a means of expanding students' motion design vocabulary.

  3. Interface development 2


    This unit covers the use of scripting to develop more complex interface techniques and features, including page logic, programmatic animation and dynamic content delivery. Students will explore these and other techniques for data capture, manipulation and display through the development of prototypes, and also learn how to develop interface solutions suitable for a range of devices and delivery modes. 

    The unit also introduces the theory and practice of data visualisation, exploring design theory, data capture and programmatic animation methods relevant to real-time data representation.

  4. Experience design 1


    This unit develops conceptual and practical knowledge and skills in experience design for interactive and online media. Students will use common experience design research methods to analyse audience and content requirements. Students will work through concept development, prototyping, validation and testing phases to improve and refine a user experience design in relation to the requirements of a specific client brief. Throughout students will develop their knowledge and skillset in terms of creating usable and user-centred interactive design experiences.

You will need to complete 4 elective units throughout the course.

Payment options

There are 2 ways you can pay for this course:

1. Study now pay later – FEE-HELP

This course can be paid for through the FEE-HELP government loan scheme.

This means you don’t need to pay upfront for the course if you:

2. Upfront payment

You can pay for this course upfront via credit card or bank transfer.

Have a question or ready to enrol?

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