Visual Effects HE Certificate

Carve your future identity as a visual effects artist


Turn wonder into reality and stories into enhanced visual experiences while exploring the future of technological arts. Learn to create both the real and surreal as you explore cutting edge industry practices both on-set and digitally. It’s time to let your imagination run wild and take over reality. 

Our course is an intensive year of whirlwind hands on collaborations and a deep end dive into the tools of the trade. You’ll become adept at navigating visual effects solutions for film and media, from practical visual effects to digital compositing and everything in between. More importantly, you’ll find out which approach best suits your style, so you can best judge the unique needs of incoming projects.

During this course, you’ll get a taste of nearly every subject in the broad territory of VFX providing you with a solid foundation and practical experience in the tools and methods used every day in the industry.

Course details

This one year VFX course dives into nearly every subject in the broad territory of VFX in order to provide a solid foundation and hands on, practical experience in the tools and methodologies used in today's VFX industry.

Master the latest, cutting-edge digital and physical working environments whilst immersing yourself in classic techniques as old as time.

Train your eye, explore a variety of techniques and approaches to visual effects, create and mix elements in a final image by shooting practical effects and live action footage with real actors (in collaboration with our Acting, Film & Music Production Schools!), take photos and references, supervise on set and in a green screen studio, create and animate 2D graphic elements, compose matte paintings, sketch, and bring 3D assets to life. 

During the year you will complete:

  • 15+ concept shots/installations
  • 1 or 2 master shots
  • Countless collaborations with our Film Production students 

The digital portfolio you walk away with will not only contain your original work and projects. It’ll also serve as a certification of the software and technical skills you’ve developed. You can also include sketches and concepts, case analyses, and project-based learning descriptions and outcomes.

Study areas to look forward to:

  • Shoot live action, including fundamentals of cinematography and lighting
  • On-set effects supervision
  • Practical effects
  • Creating and refining elements
  • Green screen and on set VFX supervising
  • Create and animate 2D assets and environments
  • Digital compositing and 3D animation
  • Projection mapping and digital art installations
  • Creative coding and programming
  • Miniatures and optic effects
  • Matte painting and image retouching
  • Post production and colour grading
  • Physics, light and the science of visuals
  • Fundamentals of fine art and storytelling
  • Future of tools including artificial intelligence, robotics and other realities
  • Training your eye
  • The visual effects pipeline
  • Filmmaking, camerawork and working on sets
  • Collaboration, giving and receiving critical feedback, and introspection

Some of the software you’ll use includes:

    Main : Adobe After Effects
    Intro : PFTrack (or similar), Mocha, Fusion
    Main : Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects
    Intro : Blender, ZBrush, Substance Painter
  • MATTE PAINTING : Adobe Photoshop
  • COLOR GRADING : DaVinci Resolve
  • OTHER: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Premier, Touchdesigner, Maya & 3DS Max, Unreal and/or Unity
  • GENERAL : Editing and presentation tools, advanced understanding of layers and node based interfaces
Live VFX demo with Anton Egorov on 19/11/2020

Join us online!

Learn more about our Visual Effects programme with VFX specialist Anton Egorov. Join us online on the 19th of November for a Live demonstration of Visual Effects solutions for a better understanding of what it means to study and become a visual effects artist and a technological arts specialist.

A safe space to dream big

Maximise your hands-on access to state-of-the-art visual effects facilities and equipment.


Your success depends entirely on you – what you bring to the course, your approach to learning, and the grit, passion and sheer determination with which you complete the course and start to build your future.

Your initial progression choice will be whether to make your first foray into the visual effects industry or to continue your self development and opt for further specialised study.

There are many progression routes into the industry and it often makes sense to develop a portfolio of roles.


After your year with us, you’ll be eligible for many positions in the industry, including:

Entry level positions in visual effects studios

  • Junior rotoscoping artist
  • Junior matchmover
  • Junior compositor
  • Digital preparation artist
  • Assistant animator

Positions at production companies and visual effects studios

  • On-set VFX supervisor
  • On-set DIT (digital imaging technician)
  • Junior color grading artist
  • Junior post-production supervisor

General jobs in small and mid level productions (music video, short films, artistic installations, etc)

  • Visual effects artist
  • Visual effects supervisor
  • VFX producer

Warning! This list of positions is not exhaustive! There is an endless catalogue of level entry or trainee position in the various industries concerned with visual effects and animation, and more new positions are created every day. From there, the only limit is that of your determination and grit.

Our tutors are industry experienced with a passion for passing on their knowledge to others. Here are a few of the experienced and friendly tutors that will be supporting you throughout your learning process.

Structured Play

Engage and adapt to the industry of today and the future by collaborating on projects with film production, screen acting and music production students. By learning how to apply these tools and methods used you will define your own artistic approach and style as you gain first-hand experience and start to build a unique portfolio of your own work and from other collaborations and real-life projects. 

Student work

In the end it doesn’t matter what we say or do. What matters is what our students are doing during their time with us. Take a look at a selection of our favourite work by our filmmakers and screen actors.

Essential info

Academic qualifications equivalent to ‘A’ level, Baccalaureate or Abitur are normally required to enter our Creative Audio Production & Sound Engineering degree programme. These may be waived if students are able to provide proof of capability via a portfolio of work. More details can be found here.

For those students who have the capability but no proof of appropriate qualifications or portfolio we have also designed a new accelerated access course (primer workshops) which runs as part of our short course programme.

The most important prerequisite for attending any course at Catalyst is that you must be passionate about building and developing your skills as a practising electronic music artist, producer or performer.

For more information please contact a member of the team. We love to chat!

More detail

This course runs 13.09.2021 - 21.05.2022

Application deadline: 30th of April 2021 for priority/ VISA applications

More info

From € 975 a month

More detail

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