Bachelor of Creative Arts (3D Animation)

Unleash your creative side with a career in digital animation.

JMC Academy offers bachelor degrees in 3D Animation and allows you to train in state of the art facilities and work with experts in the field. Train in web design, video game development and digital animation techniques and build up a professional portfolio throughout your degree.

Upon completion of your degree explore careers in everything from web design to video game development and film production.

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At a glance

Study mode



JMC Academy
Career Opportunities
  • 3D or 2D Animator
  • Concept Artist
  • Video Effects Artist
  • Storyboard Artist

Nationally recognised - meets Australian Qualifications Framework standards.

  • Year 12 or equivalent
  • ATAR score of 65 or above or OP score of 16 or below
  • Written application
  • Minimum of 17 years of age
  • Interview

NSW - Sydney

QLD - Brisbane

VIC - Melbourne

Work placement

No placement; practical skills are gained through Industry Integration Program

Course length
Full-time: 2 years
Study mode



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


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


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

Assignments & exams
Start date

3 start dates per year.

JMC Academy

JMC Academy is Australia's leading educator in the entertainment industry.

You will learn from a dedicated team of industry professionals, and you’ll gain hands-on skills in a supportive environment.

All campuses have the latest professional facilities – such as digital media and 3D animation labs, recording studios, digital television studios and editing suites.

Read more about
JMC Academy

The course price can vary depending on a few factors, including whether you are an Australian resident or your chosen payment option. To find out more, contact the course provider.


Year 12 or equivalent, with:

  • ATAR score of 65 or above or OP score of 16 or below
  • Written application
  • Minimum of 17 years of age
  • Interview

What you'll learn

Become trained in:

  • Special effects
  • 2D and 3D animations
  • Digital animation techniques
  • Interactive games
  • Interactive video development
  • Web page production
  • Software packaging

Industry Integration Program

You will gain hands-on skills through JMC Academy's Industry Integration Program, which replicates the way the entertainment industry operates.

The program involves students from different departments working together to achieve a final result.

Course structure

16 units


  1. Production art I

    This unit seeks to provide some of the fundamental skills needed to help visualise ideas and to translate them into representations in 2D and 3D. 

    The unit does not assume any level of existing skill but instead starts from the most basic elements of design and drawing with the belief that any able person can learn to draw competently. Imaginative interpretation, visual conceptualising of story and story elements, and the representation of narrative moments, form the primary thrust of the unit. Exercises will be directed toward an art direction project and the visualisation of character and story.

  2. Traditional animation

    Traditional animation is defined as predominately 'in-camera' where the computer is secondary to the process of animating. Students are introduced to conventions and common principles that have developed in animation's rich hundred year history. Students explore traditional frame-by-frame techniques including cut-out, stop-motion, and drawn animation underpinning and developing an understanding of principles of movement and the animation process. Game characters and 3d animation are simply digital analogues of these fundamental techniques.

  3. Introduction to 3D

    This first year course teaches the practical operation of a 3D graphics program used throughout the degree. Technical skills are conveyed through set video exercises to be completed independently of the class and two creative assignments developed under the direction of your lecturer.

  4. Creative process

    The aim of this unit is to build in students an awareness of a reliable and thorough creative process. It aims to instil commitment, individual and group, to that process, and to provide working tools for the origination and development of creative projects. Students will work in small groups, through 3 distinct stages, towards a Prototype Proposal that deals with the challenge of approaching a creative career. This research exploration will include student backgrounds, interests, aspirations and expectations, then explore the links, similarities and differences between the group members. 

    Creative outcomes will include both individual and group generated content as the result of a design-thinking based structure or information framework that links the research findings. The final outcome of the 3 stages is a Prototype Proposal that will contain evidence of the creative process applied to the development of a proposed design project. This proposal could be an animated film, a game, a digital interactive work, web site or similar.

T2 Electives

  1. Production art II

    Builds on Production Art I to take the design and concepting process to a much more detailed and exhaustive level. Students will create an in-depth art direction workbook for an animation or game concept, and learn to refine and present art and design concepts in industry standard formats. This unit is an elective choice.

  2. Motion design

    This unit builds on the design principles and animation technique that students have been introduced to in Production Art I, Traditional Animation and Creative Process. 

    Basic design principles will be re-visited in the context of motion and timeline, and further concepts, including colour, light, motion, depth and time, will be introduced and explored. Students will also be introduced to some of the origins, history and current practice of motion graphics and hybrid digital 2D and 2.5D animation through screenings and analysis of recent and current work, both purely graphic, and character and narrative based. 

    Students will be introduced to technique and workflow in After Effects and its integration with other graphic packages including Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash. These techniques will be applied across a series of exercises addressing basic technique, communication challenges, and the creative possibilities of the medium. This unit is an elective choice.

  3. 3D animation I

    Animation 1 analyses and applies key principles of animation within 3D software. Technical workflow and mechanics are illustrated through lectures and ongoing practical exercises building foundation knowledge and skills.

  4. 3D modelling I

    All productions require worlds to inhabit. The first specialist modelling unit focusses on the creation of props, sets and environments using standard tools inside Autodesk Maya to bring your ideas to life. Modelling I continues topic introduced within Trimester 1 3D unit. General topics expanding on materials, textures, lighting and rendering are undertaken in relation to the presentation of models and sets examined within the course.

  5. Design subject

    Students have the option of taking one of several units offered in the Digital Design course. This may include such areas as Design Software competency or User Experience Design.

T3 Electives

  1. Visual storytelling I

    This unit introduces students to the conception and development of screen stories, with an emphasis on short form animation. As the written story takes shape, students will also learn to design and construct visual narrative structures in the form of sequential still images for a comic and storyboard. 

    The unit strengthens students' writing and drawing skills, which are both fundamental to the professional practice toolkit, while introducing key principles of continuity, visual story elements, expressive composition and layout, and cinematic values. 

    The ongoing, staged project will also focus students on project planning and developing material to deadlines. It will give students an excellent opportunity to explore their own creativity and see it realised in a short story told in pictures. The project is developed further in Visual Storytelling II.

  2. 3D animation II

    This unit reinforces fundamental concepts from Animation I utilizing a more sophisticated full body rig. Walk, run, and jump animations for the first two assignments are generic and short, solidifying principles of posing, weight, timing and spacing, arcs, antics, overlaps and appeal. 

    The final assignment is lift exercise providing the creative freedom to conceive a situation for a pantomime animation involving lifting.

  3. 3D modelling II

    This subject aims primarily at developing and encouraging you to use digital sculpture to further your understanding of the figure, explore 3d dimensional ideas and be able to comfortably realise characters for future productions. Assessments focus on developing your own sculpted and textured character with staggered submission stages relating to different aspects of the workflow.

  4. Animation lab

    This unit picks up from Motion Design and takes hybrid digital 2D, 2.5D, illustration and art-based animation into a more narrative and expressive area. The unit encourages the inventive exploration of a wide range of image-making approaches and their application to expressively communicating a story or emotional scenario, musical piece or other creative figurative sequence.

  5. Rigging

    This unit covers how to set up a skeleton and rig for a character mesh, how to skin the mesh and weight it properly, how to add controls to the rig, user interface options, blend shapes, and testing of rigs. The unit provides the technical knowledge for creating a fully controllable character for use in animation or game productions.

T4 Electives

  1. Visual storytelling II

    This unit continues the development begun in Visual Storytelling I. The story outlines and script begun in the previous unit will be refined and polished into a final draft screenplay. The concurrent visual development will take the storyboard you have created and bring it into the medium of the digital editing timeline using Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects to create an Animatic. This is a semi-animated time-based mockup of the finished work. Finally the 2D process will be translated into the 3D environment with the creation of a Pre-vis story reel in Maya. Throughout this process you will be encouraged to critically assess the story structure, timing and staging, and gain insight into the way in which these translations impact the visual story.

  2. 3D animation III

    This unit continues to develop core principles while also introducing acting and dialogue theory and practice. The assessments are no longer generic, encouraging you to animate your own ideas, characters and stories, adding your own personality and style in the process.

  3. Motion capture

    Motion capture systems are an increasingly important tool in the creation of film and game animation, but to produce high quality work requires knowledge and skill. 

    This unit will introduce students to the technology and techniques for designing, setting-up, capturing and working with motion capture data. Students will examine examples of motion capture work good and bad, and analyse where and how it is most effective. You will work with actors or other performers in the studio, to direct performance and motion for capture. You will learn how to set up and use the equipment and how to acquire and manage the data produced. Most importantly students will spend a substantial part of the unit developing an understanding of how the data is utilised, and the place of the animator's skillset in refining, cleaning up and completing the action captured. You will begin to acquire these skills through the practical work undertaken in the unit.

  4. Screen literacy I

    Screen Literacy I provides students with an immersive study of the history of animation as an art form and media type. It involves critical examination of animations as historical trends, film analysis breakdowns of animations, and a mix of theoretical and practical knowledge around the fundamental creative and technical skills of film theory. Students are introduced to film structure, cinematography, editing, design and mise-en-scene.

  5. Compositing

    The manipulation of film integrating additional live action and fabricated elements is pervasive across all 21st century western media. Compositing is the process of combining visual elements into cohesive pieces and is an integral role or department in any post production facility. 

    This unit introduces compositing through enjoyable hands on class exercises preparing you to create your own small visual effects projects in the latter stages of the unit. The unit employs After Effects, Fusion and a range of supplementary software and techniques.

  6. Integration

    This unit brings together students from Animation, Game Development and Digital Design (and potentially other courses) to work on creative projects that seek to look outside the mainstream production areas normally focussed on. Students will develop, plan and execute innovative projects that may involve elements such as location-based gaming, interactivity, projection mapping, web and device-based storytelling, transmedia and other forms that flow from the intersection of animation, game technologies and interactive digital design.

  7. Major project part A

    In this unit students commence the development and pre-production of a short animation film project. Idea development, pitching and the formation of production teams, leads on to the preparation of logistical planning, story development, and design and art direction work. By the end of the trimester students will have fully developed story and art, plus a detailed production schedule, and will be embarking on the creation of assets for the film. This is a double credit value unit.

  8. Screen literacy II

    Screen Literacy II continues the immersive study of the history of animation as an art form and media type, covering later periods and styles. It further builds on the theoretical and practical skills of film as commenced in Screen Literacy I. Students apply their understanding of animation history, film theory and practice, and film analysis, to a sophisticated critical study of a major animation work.

  9. Professional development

    This unit is aimed at giving the student the tools and skills needed to seek employment upon completion of the program. Preparation of showreels and portfolios, letter writing and interview skills, and the promotion of oneself as a unique 'brand' in a creative industry all form part of the content. 

    Students will have the opportunity to test their presentation skills in both mock and real environments. They will draw on the work completed during the course as well as charting a direction for the future, to prepare a set of materials to take with them into their job-seeking. Students may, as a part of this unit, have the opportunity to connect with industry representatives at site visits, 'speed-dating' interviews, and other events.

  10. Major project part B

    The production teams bring their projects from part A into full production mode. With creative and technical support they will carry through the finalising of assets, animation, refinement, output, editing and finishing, to produce a short animated film. 

    The unit is structured like a professional project with regular production meetings, and the logistical and personnel management of the project is an important component of it. Finished films will have the opportunity to compete in JMC's Martini Awards and in festivals and competitions further afield, and will form an important part of the participants' showreels for future job-seeking. This is a triple credit value unit.

You will need to complete 12 elective units throughout the course.

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