You enjoy the spectacular, you are artistically gifted and your hearts beats digitally? Than your talent lies in the Visual FX & 3D Animation department!


BA/BSc (Hons) Visual Effects Animation



As a graduate of our professional educational paths in the department of Visual FX & 3D Animation you are expected a career in compositing, 3D Animation, rendering or concept art.

Combining the technical with the artistic you will graduate with a strong portfolio and the confidence to forge your own path to your dream job in the games industry.

The study programme consists of two courses, the SAE Visual FX & 3D Animation Diploma and the Bachelor level course that provides you with additional skill sets and understanding of the creative industries, project management, intellectual property and specialised game development technique, leading to an internationally recognised BA/BSc (Hons) Visual Effects Animation* degree, validated by Middlesex University, London.

Full Time

The course is delivered full time where the standard duration is 96 weeks (24 months). This compact, fast-track study allows you to graduate quicker, and start your career earlier.

By studying this mode the the Diploma modules are taught in parallel with the Bachelor-level lectures.

If you do not meet the entry requirements for full time studies, you can start with the Digital Film Making and VFX Diploma.± Following successful completion of the SAE Diploma, students may be eligible to enrol in a programme validated by Middlesex University and study towards an Honours degree.

Part Time

In case of part time studies, there are 2 options available. Option one comprises a standard period of 120 weeks (30 months). Option 2 covers 168 weeks (42 months).

The main difference between the two options is in the weekly workload, giving you the choice to enrol on a course that suits your personal circumstance, whether you are working full time, or looking to take an easier pace of study. 




Acquin Siegel

In Partnership with Middlesex University

* This programme was developed and is delivered and assessed by SAE Institute, awarded by and quality assured by Middlesex University.
The programme is delivered in a blended flexible mode across all campuses in Germany. Ressources at the local campuses can be used for project work.


Fundamentals of 2D

  • Principles of Design
  • Thumbnailing
  • Perspective Drawing
  • Still Life Drawing
  • Technical Drawing
  • Industrial Design
  • Graphic File Formats
  • Digital Imaging (Photoshop)
  • Digital Imaging (Illustrator)
  • Digital Imaging (InDesign)
  • Professional Photo Imaging

Fundamentals of 3D

  • Principles of 3D
  • Modelling Techniques
  • UV Mapping
  • Classic Texturing
  • Modular Workflow
  • Topology and Optimization
  • Highpoly Modeling
  • Render to Texture
  • Export Pipeline

Rendering and Animation Basics

  • History of Animation
  • Storyboarding
  • 2D Animation
  • 3D Animation & Rigging
  • Principles of Lighting
  • Camera
  • Material Theorie & Shader
  • Rendering

Introduction to VFX

  • VFX Production Pipeline
  • Compositing fundamentals
  • Photography
  • Live Shot Visual Properties
  • Aesthetics in Cinema
  • Colour Grading
  • Lighting setups for live action
  • Shading

Dynamics for Visual Effects

  • Dynamic Simulations overview
  • Rigid/Soft body Dynamics and Forces
  • Particle Dynamics
  • Cloth Simulations
  • Hair Systems
  • Fluid Dynamics
  • Simulation Data Exporting and Exchanging

Advanced Compositing and Motion Graphics Applications

  • Advanced layer based compositing
  • Motion graphics
  • Planning and supervising VFX projects
  • Matchmoving
  • Node based compositing
  • Scripting applications (Expressions / Extended Script)

Creative Media Production

This module aims to position the discipline specific knowledge and skills acquired during the SAE Diploma within a wider industry, business and cultural context. The structure and operations of the culture industries are examined together with the meanings produced in the interplay between culture, cultural products and the consumer. The resulting implications for the pitching of creative media ideas and the marketing of creative media products are also considered. Students take their existing skills and adapt them for a range of markets, cultures and platforms, requiring students to understand other cultures and assimilate other disciplines into their practice.

  • Structure and operation of the culture industries
  • Interplay between culture, cultural product and consumer:
  • Pitching and marketing of creative products
  • Related disciplines and their application to creative media practice:
  • Legal, contractual and ethical issues of creative media practice
  • Marketing and business studies
  • Music production
  • Basic principles of broadcasting
  • The potential of computer programming for advanced audio applications.
  • Practical research
  • Analytical essay
  • Business presentation

Advanced Environment and Game Engine Rendering

  • Strategies for continuing professional development:
  • Industry specific pipeline
  • Applying practical work base on theoretical research
  • Researching opportunities with focus to a specific industry local, regional, global
  • Advanced interactive animation applications:
  • VFX and compositing pipelines
  • Creating believable CG with live video
  • Advanced light rigs techniques
  • Project development and management:
  • Deals and negotiations
  • Models of project management
  • Workflows, pipelines, productivity 
quality assurance & quality management
  • Professional development analysis
  • Advanced Animation, VFX and Compositing
  • Production Analysis

Major Project

This module is the culmination of the degree programme, enabling students to demonstrate the full range of their technical, creative and academic skills. The major project is self-generated and may take one of many different forms. The project is intended to demonstrate a range of advanced skills in accordance with the requirements of a substantial Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science project. Through successful completion the student will also exhibit their capacity to conduct independent research and manage a large-scale venture.

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements

  • University entrance qualifaction (Abitur or similar)
  • Alternatively: minimum age of 18 years plus intermediate educational qualification and aptitude test
  • Own notebook computer for office work, theory tests and own notes from lectures
  • Language skills: students whose first language is not English will need a qualification that demonstrates competence in English; at least Level B2
Fees & Funding

Payment Plans Full Time

  • Upfront: 4 payments, each at the beginnig of next semester
  • Standard: 24 payments, each at the beginning of month

Payment Plans Part Time

  • Upfront: 5/7 payments, each at the beginnig of next semester
  • Standard: 30/42 payments, each at the beginning of month

Financing Options

There are several options that may be available to you to help you finance your studies, such as;

  • STANDARD and UPFRONT payment plans
  • Student loans
  • Educational funds

Request a brochure for further information


Ask A Question to get help from one of our Career Advisors.


Career Options:

  • 3D/2D Animator
  • CG Generalist
  • Rigger
  • Look Dev Artist
  • Rendering Artist
  • Lighting TD
  • Roto/Paint Artist
  • VFX Coordinator
  • Match Mover
* Applicants who meet certain entry requirements may apply on the full time mode of study. ± Not applicable for Non-EU residents SAE Institute reserves the right to make revisions and changes to the information presented, in line with continuous improvement actions and stakeholder feedback.