About AC's VFX Program


LEARN VFX

Produce amazing and engaging visuals for film, television, gaming, and more.

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Production by Semkhor


Amarillo College’s Visual Effects program prepares students for success in this fast-growing industry with flexible online classes and trained industry instructors and mentors to guide you every step of the way.

Whether you want to learn the ins and outs of the technical side of VFX or are looking for a top-level overview of how to plan for VFX in your work, a certificate or associate of applied science degree in VFX from Amarillo College can help you build a successful career. 


Graduate with a professional demo reel and the ability to author and deliver custom advanced compositing and 3D digital animation workflow, including concept, texturing, modeling, rigging, animation, effects and simulations, plate prep, tracking, lighting and rendering and compositing.

Scores of global visual effects, motion design and film studios are looking to hire artists and filmmakers who can exhibit and prove their proficiency in industry best-practices and techniques. Successful graduates can pursue career opportunities in the VFX industry such as VFX digital artists, CG supervisors, VFX supervisors, directors, producers and studio leads. 


Amarillo College’s unique partnership with David Shapiro, owner of development and production company Semkhor Productions, gives students access to industry experts and the opportunity to work on real-life productions. Learn from the experts without leaving your home.

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Degrees & Certificates

Visual Effects Degree (A.A.S.)

Prepares students for project supervisor positions in the VFX industry with additional general education course work necessary for an associate of applied science degree.

*All Associate (AA, AS) degrees and Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degrees have a 1 credit hour institutional requirement of EDUC 1100: First Year Seminar.

 General Education Requirements (15 Semester Hours)
 Major Course Requirements (45 Semester Hours)

  Total (60 Semester Hours)

ENGL 1301 - Composition I

Prerequisites / Corequisite

Corequisite: INRW 0303
Prerequisite: Scores on a state-approved test indicating college-level reading and writing skills

Intensive study of and practice in writing processes, from invention and researching to drafting, revising and editing, both individually and collaboratively. Emphasis on effective rhetorical choices, including audience, purpose, arrangement and style. Focus on writing the academic essay as a vehicle for learning, communicating and critical analysis.

Texas Common Course Number: ENGL 1301 

Course Options
CRIJ 1301 - Introduction to Criminal Justice
CRIJ 1307 - Crime in America
ECON 2301 - Principles of Macroeconomics
ECON 2302 - Principles of Microeconomics
GEOG 1303 - World Regional Geography
PHED 1301 - Foundations of Kinesiology
PSYC 2301 - General Psychology
PSYC 2308 - Child Psychology
PSYC 2314 - Lifespan Growth & Development
PSYC 2315 - Psychology of Adjustment
PSYC 2319 - Social Psychology
SOCI 1301 - Introduction to Sociology
SOCI 1306 - Social Problems

Course Options

SPCH 1315 - Public Speaking
SPCH 1318 - Interpersonal Communication
SPCH 1321 - Business and Professional Speaking

Course Options

MATH 1314 - College Algebra
MATH 1316 - Trigonometry
MATH 1324 - Mathematics for Business & Social Sciences
MATH 1325 - Calculus for Business & Social Sciences
MATH 1332 - Contemporary Mathematics
MATH 1342 - Statistics
MATH 1414 - College Algebra for STEM Majors
MATH 2413 - Calculus I
MATH 2414 - Calculus II

COMM 1307 - Introduction to Mass Communication
Survey of basic content and structural elements of mass media and their functions and influences on society.

Texas Common Course Number: COMM 1307

Three-dimensional (3-D) modeling and rendering techniques including lighting, staging, camera and special effects. Emphasizes 3-D modeling building blocks using primitives to create simple and complex objects.

Prerequisites / Corequisite
Prerequisite: ARTV 1303

Techniques of three-dimensional (3-D) modeling utilizing industry standard software. Includes the creation and modification of 3-D geometric shapes, use of a variety of rendering techniques, camera, light sources, texture, and surface mapping.

Prerequisites / Corequisite
Prerequisites: Successful completion of 12 hrs of ARTC coursework and 9 hrs of ARTV coursework or instructor consent.

A course in the development of a professional portfolio to showcase the student’s skills in animation. Includes self-promotion, resumes, portfolio distribution and interview techniques.

Prerequisites / Corequisite
Prerequisite: ARTV1351 or instructor consent

Instruction in the use of advanced digital video techniques for post-production. Emphasis on generation and integration of special effects, 2-D animation and 3-D animation for film, video, CD-ROM and the internet. Exploration of new and emerging compression and video streaming technologies.

A studio course focused on advanced 3-D modeling and rendering techniques using industry standard software, modeling techniques, camera settings, lighting, and surfacing to develop detailed environments. 

Exploration of global surface properties and how they react to light. Shader creation for photorealistic results in various rendering engines using PBR, node-based material editor workflows. 2D and 3D paint programs will be explored in-depth.

Prerequisites / Corequisite
Prerequisite: ARTC 1341

Skill development in three-dimensional modeling and rendering techniques using lighting, staging and special effects for digital output. Emphasis on the production of three-dimensional (3-D) animation as final digital outputting using modeling, rendering and animation software.

Advanced work in 3D-Animation. Emphasis on character modeling, rigging, and animation. 

A broad exploration of various 3D rigging techniques for VFX and animation. Explore advanced rigging techniques to enforce the importance of paint weighting methods and distortion of models organically. A focus on joint creation, IF/FK workflows, blend shapes, facial rigs, and professional control schemes.

A historical perspective of two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) animation.

Exploration of contemporary and historical approaches to Visual Effects as used in film and television. Digital and traditional methodologies will be examined, identifying and analyzing the artistry of VFX, with a concentration on the processes, history, and milestones of the industry and art form. Introduction to vocabulary and the technical terminology using in VFX production.

Fundamentals of lighting techniques for film or video production with respect to lighting tools, composition, and camera motion to support dynamic storytelling.

A course in the applications of computers for video production. Design of computer graphic workstations and development of rationale for selecting software, hardware, and peripherals.

Introduction to fundamental principles of motion through the exploration of traditional animation processes, including key framing and graph editor animation techniques. Emphasis will be on creating expressive movement with meaning through the principles of animation.

Topics address recently identified current events, skills, knowledge, and/or attitudes and behaviors pertinent to the technology or occupation and relevant to the professional development of the student. This course was designed to be repeated multiple times to improve student proficiency.

Students will gain knowledge of using Houdini - a pillar of VFX creation - starting with particle generation. A focus on creation a fully-featured particle system from scratch, rendering simulations, and incorporating the elements into larger scenes.

Students work on a set with a professional crew to create a student film that will form their initial reel.

Writing, directing, and producing film-style productions.

Advanced concepts of designing vector and raster graphics, executing rendering techniques, designing and producing three-dimensional (3D) materials, and selecting hardware, software, and peripherals for video production.

An advanced course of VFX digital composting techniques to bring media-disparate elements into a professional-quality composition. Topics include working with multi-channel workflows (Arbitrary Output Variables) and 3D integration objects into scripts.

Advanced application of lighting, shading, and texture techniques to increase system performance for digital games and simulation models.

Students dive deeper in shader creation for photo-realistic results in various rendering engines using PBR (Physically-Based Rendering), node-based material editor workflows, including procedural shader creation.

 

Visual Effects Certificate

Prepares students for project assistant supervisor positions in the VFX industry without the additional course work necessary for an associates of applied science degree. Students completing the VFX Level 1 certificate will be eligible for production-level positions in the VFX industry.

Total (30 Semester hours) 

*Students should select 30 semester hours from the courses below.

Three-dimensional (3-D) modeling and rendering techniques including lighting, staging, camera and special effects. Emphasizes 3-D modeling building blocks using primitives to create simple and complex objects

Prerequisites / Corequisite

Prerequisite: ARTV 1303

Techniques of three-dimensional (3-D) modeling utilizing industry standard software. Includes the creation and modification of 3-D geometric shapes, use of a variety of rendering techniques, camera, light sources, texture, and surface mapping.

Prerequisites / Corequisite

Prerequisites: Successful completion of 12 hrs of ARTC coursework and 9 hrs of ARTV coursework or instructor consent.

A course in the development of a professional portfolio to showcase the student’s skills in animation. Includes self-promotion, resumes, portfolio distribution and interview techniques.

A studio course focused on advanced 3-D modeling and rendering techniques using industry standard software, modeling techniques, camera settings, lighting, and surfacing to develop detailed environments. 

Exploration of global surface properties and how they react to light. Shader creation for photorealistic results in various rendering engines using PBR, node-based material editor workflows. 2D and 3D paint programs will be explored in-depth.

Prerequisites / Corequisite

Prerequisite: ARTC 1341

Skill development in three-dimensional modeling and rendering techniques using lighting, staging and special effects for digital output. Emphasis on the production of three-dimensional (3-D) animation as final digital outputting using modeling, rendering and animation software.

Advanced work in 3D-Animation. Emphasis on character modeling, rigging, and animation. 

A broad exploration of various 3D rigging techniques for VFX and animation. Explore advanced rigging techniques to enforce the importance of paint weighting methods and distortion of models organically. A focus on joint creation, IF/FK workflows, blend shapes, facial rigs, and professional control schemes.

A historical perspective of two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) animation.

Exploration of contemporary and historical approaches to Visual Effects as used in film and television. Digital and traditional methodologies will be examined, identifying and analyzing the artistry of VFX, with a concentration on the processes, history, and milestones of the industry and art form. Introduction to vocabulary and the technical terminology using in VFX production.

Fundamentals of lighting techniques for film or video production with respect to lighting tools, composition, and camera motion to support dynamic storytelling.

A course in the applications of computers for video production. Design of computer graphic workstations and development of rationale for selecting software, hardware, and peripherals.

Introduction to fundamental principles of motion through the exploration of traditional animation processes, including key framing and graph editor animation techniques. Emphasis will be on creating expressive movement with meaning through the principles of animation.

Advanced concepts of designing vector and raster graphics, executing rendering techniques, designing and producing three-dimensional (3D) materials, and selecting hardware, software, and peripherals for video production.

An advanced course of VFX digital composting techniques to bring media-disparate elements into a professional-quality composition. Topics include working with multi-channel workflows (Arbitrary Output Variables) and 3D integration objects into scripts.