At the New York Film Academy’s film school, faculty members and curriculum are focused on providing students with the real world know-how to help them achieve their goals. These achievements are the result of their hard work, perseverance, talent and circumstances. Below are some of the positions and networks in which our alumni have worked:
Hands-On Degrees, Programs, and Workshops at NYFA
At NYFA’s 3D Animation & Visual Effects (VFX) School, students learn to create 3D art, animation, and visual effects for use in film, TV, games, and virtual reality. During their time at NYFA, students study in professional facilities using state-of-the-art equipment and industry-standard software, which may include Autodesk’s 3D Maya, MotionBuilder, Motion Capture, Unreal Game Engine, Pixologic’s ZBrush digital sculptor, SideFX’s Houdini FX, Chaos Group’s V-Ray, and Foundry’s Nuke compositing and editing program.
From short-term intensives to our highly specialized Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program, we set ourselves apart with an emphasis on the practical, technical and artistic skills required to bring CG-enhanced stories to life. During their time in our programs, students learn through a rigorous progression of real-world projects that actively prepare them for the rigors of a professional studio.
Depending on the workshop or program in which students choose to enroll, they can expect to take animation courses in Screenwriting, UV Mapping, Lighting and rendering with V-Ray and Arnold, Storyboard & Animatic, Animation, MEL and Python scripting, Maya Polygonal modeling, Acting for Animation, Particle Dynamics and Visual Effects in Maya, Concepting with ZBrush, Advanced Rigging, Professional Development in Animation, Character Design, Compositing with Nuke, and Lighting & Cameras.
NYFA strives to make education in 3D Animation, VFX, and the visual arts accessible to the most diverse, international, and broadest community of students. Students work under the guidance and instruction of industry professionals who actively work in the film, television, and entertainment industries, collaborating with peers from all over the world as they build confidence in their unique artistic voice and style. Please note that 3D animation and visual effects software may vary based on program duration and current industry practices.
3D Animation & VFX Degrees
NYFA’s 3D Animation & VFX degree programs are designed to give prospective animators and storytellers the tools needed to become creative leaders. Students gain hands-on training and experience, exploring every facet of the animation and visual effects process.
Throughout the degree programs, students complete a variety of projects for their reel, advancing their skills in modeling, texturing, lighting, rigging, animating, compositing, and learning essential motion capture and pipeline practices. The MFA and BFA in 3D Animation & VFX are offered, and NYFA Los Angeles and the BFA in Entertainment Media is offered at NYFA New York City.
1-Year 3D Animation & VFX Certificate Program
In the 1-Year 3D Animation & VFX Certificate, students develop the technical and artistic skills needed to create 3D animation and visual effects for film and video. During these full-time certificate programs, students learn fundamental storyboarding, modeling, texturing, animation, VFX and lighting skills and techniques, gradually building a strong body of work.
Our 1-Year 3D Animation & VFX Certificate is available at NYFA New York City and Los Angeles. A 1-Year Diploma program is also offered at NYFA Australia.
3D Animation & VFX
NYFA’s 3D Animation & VFX School offers short-term workshops for students who wish to build introductory animation skills. In these workshops, aspiring visual artists are introduced to the professional software, Maya, and create their own original 3D computer animated content. There are currently a selection of in-person and online programs available.
3D Animation & VFX
The 3D Animation & VFX School at the New York Film Academy is home to a distinguished and accomplished faculty of professional 3D animators and visual effects artists, many who have worked on Academy Award, Emmy, or Game of the Year teams. Our faculty bring years of experience working on groundbreaking films, television shows, and games at leading animation studios, cable networks, streaming platforms, and production companies that include, but are not limited to, Disney Animation, Disney Channel, Disney Parks, Netflix, Dreamworks, Apple, HBO, Comedy Central, SyFy, SideFX, Laika, Digital Domain, NFL, Microsoft, Starburns, Atomic Cartoons, Film44, and Tau Films.
Faculty credits include films, television shows, and games such as Jurassic Park (1993), Shark Tale (2004), The Incredibles (2004), Robot Chicken (2005), Coraline (2009), Inception (2010), How to Train Your Dragon (2010), Life of Pi (2012), Spider Man 2 (2014), Anomalisa (2015), Frozen II (2019), Naughty Dog’s Last of Us II (2020), Last of Us (2021), Raya and the Last Dragon (2021), Black Widow (2021), The Boss Baby: Family Business (2021), and Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio (2021).
Our award-winning faculty possesses a wealth of practical knowledge that supports students to pursue their interests in 3D animation & VFX.
Chair of 3D Animation & Visual Effects
Craig Caton Chair of 3D Animation & Visual Effects
Craig started out by doing makeup effects and animatronic puppets on movies such as Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, Tremors, and Ghostbusters. Moving into the digital era, he worked as a character technical director for Disney Feature Animation and for DreamWorks Animation as a layout artist. Working for Stan Winston, Craig supervised the creation of a network of Silicon Graphics workstations that would later become a core piece of the Digital Domain when Stan partnered with James Cameron and Scott Ross. He is credited as one of the eight co-founders of Digital Domain.
Frederic Durand graduated from the Ecole Nationale des Arts Decoratifs and studied for a year at NYC’s Cooper Union while earning his Master’s degree. He has worked on both animated and feature films in addition to his commercial work for over 20 years and has served at such companies as Disney Animation, Sony Imageworks, DreamWorks, Jim Henson’s Workshop, MPC, the Mill, and Digital Domain. He also co-founded Noroc Studio and is the lighting and shading supervisor at the Los Angeles company Mousetrappe. His prior film work includes Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Tomb Raider 1 and 2, SharkTales, Speed Racer, 2012, Beowulf, Monster House, Chicken Little, and many more.
Having authored a number of educational DVDs that instructed viewers in the subject of computer-generated illumination, Durand is an expert lighting artist employing a methodology that is as creative as it is technical and utilizes core elements of cinematography. In addition to teaching at NYFA, Durand also serves on the faculty the Gnomon School of Visual Effects, the Global Cinematography Institute, the Otis College of Design, and the University of Southern California.
The 3D Animation & Visual Effects School at the NYFA strives to offer an intensive and focused education that provides practical training and hands-on experience. The achievements of any NYFA alumni are the result of their hard work, perseverance, talent and circumstances, and we’re proud of our alumni who work in diverse industries such as animated films, animated series, VFX work, video games, and much more. Our alumni credits include an array of blockbuster and commercial productions from Game of Thrones, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Thor, and Captain America: Winter Soldier to Lipton Tea and Samsung’s Galaxy S8, fulfilling roles including, but not limited to Character Animator, Character Designer, Visual Effects Artist, Animator, Motion Graphics Artist, and more.
Please note: Equipment, curriculum, and projects are subject to change and may vary depending on location. Students should consult the most recently published campus catalog for the most up-to-date curriculum.