Diploma of Creative Arts (3D Animation)

With the use of 3D animation becoming more and more popular, this diploma will help you get your career started in this growing field.

The course is hands on and practical and will train you in everything from drawing and colours to operating 3D graphics programs and developing your skills in animation design.

With this course you can work behind the scenes in digital video effects or special effects animation. Learn and be supported by industry experts and get the training you need to jump into the 3D animation field.

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At a glance

Study mode



JMC Academy
Career Opportunities
  • 2D and 3D Animation
  • Game Creation and Authoring
  • Digital Video Effects
  • Special Effects Animation

Nationally recognised - meets Australian Qualifications Framework standards.


At least 17 years of age, a written application & interview


NSW - Sydney

QLD - Brisbane

VIC - Melbourne

Course length
Full-time: 1 year
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.

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.


  • Written application
  • Minimum of 17 years of age
  • Interview
  • Basic drawing skills

What you'll learn

Become trained in:

  • 2D and 3D animation
  • Special effects
  • Web and graphic design
  • Project management
  • Integration of sound and vision for the web, CD roms and DVDs

Course structure

8 units


  1. Production art 1

    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.


  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.

Choose 4 elective units.

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