New York Film Academy
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New York Film Academy Animation

3D Animation & Visual Effects School at the New York Film Academy

NYFA 3D Animation Grad Alexandra LoRusso Still from a NYFA 1-year animation student project, with a purple alien character with one eye waving from a city sidewalk clutching a stuffed animal. NYFA 3D Animation student work collage of storm trooper, pumpkin magician, and iron horse. NYFA 3D Animation Grad Francesco Panzieri worked on Star Wars Still from a NYFA 1-year animation student project, with a character in a pink hard hat standing in front of an industrial light board. Still from a NYFA 1-year animation student project, a mechanical invention hovers against the sky.

3D Animation & Visual Effects School

Within the past few decades the fields of 3D animation and visual effects have exploded. Improved tools have made animators more sought after than ever, marking this as a great time to learn 3D animation and visual effects (VFX). The New York Film Academy’s 3D Animation & Visual Effects School is designed to not only teach you the theory that every great animator needs to know, but equips you with the professional skills that will help you excel in competitive VFX jobs.

The role of the animator in the entertainment industry has radically expanded over the past several decades and the Animation School at the New York Film Academy reflects these changes. Like other top animation schools, the New York Film Academy focuses on teaching the basic theory required to become a visual effects artist. But we set ourselves apart with an emphasis on the practical, career-making skills that actively prepare students for life after the Academy. The New York Film Academy’s award-winning faculty is composed of professional animators and visual artists with years of experience. They have designed an intensive, hands-on VFX curriculum to prepare the next generation of animators and visual effects artists for an ever-growing and competitive industry.

As a top animation school, New York Film Academy provides its students with professional facilities and equipment. While studying 3D animation and visual effects, students will gain hands-on experience with the industry standard Maya, ZBrush, Mudbox, Motion Builder, and Nuke software as well as learn to use professional-grade equipment.

Animation Courses

Students interested in learning about 3D animation and visual effects can enroll in a number of different VFX programs and workshops at the New York Film Academy’s 3D Animation School. Students can expect to take many of the below animation courses depending on the workshop or program in which they choose to enroll.

Modeling Rigging Introduction to Shaders
Lighting & Cameras Screenwriting Materials and Textures
Storyboard Character Design Introduction to Animation
3D Computer Modeling UV Mapping Rendering, Editing & Compositing
Animation Lighting Hard Surface Nurbs Modeling
Acting for Animation MEL and Python Particle Dynamics and Visual Effects
ZBrush Mental Ray Professional Development in Animation
Compositing with Nuke Advanced Rigging Storyboard & Animatic

3D Animation Classes

Aspiring animators interested in taking an animation program at NYFA’s 3D Animation & Visual Effects School can enroll in one throughout the year. To learn more about the start dates and tuition rates for the animation classes, please click here.

Animation Degrees

Students who wish to obtain an animation degree can complete a one-year program at the Academy’s NYC campus and apply for advanced standing in the BFA animation degree program offered at our Los Angeles campus.

Animation Workshops

The animation school at the New York Film Academy offers two short-term workshops designed for students who wish to obtain a working knowledge of the fundamentals of 3D animation and VFX. In addition, the Academy also offers eight-week VR workshops at the NYC campus to introduce students to the world of virtual reality.

Animation Programs

Designed to accommodate students looking to make a longer time commitment to their studies, the 3D Animation & Visual Effects School at the New York Film Academy offers the following animation program.

Animation Faculty

In addition to its top-notch curriculum and facilities, the animation school at the New York Film Academy is home to a distinguished and accomplished faculty of professional 3D animators and visual effects artists. Each faculty member possesses a unique skill set that helps to create well-rounded students who are comfortable with the numerous aspects of the 3D animation pipeline. Some of the faculty members at the 3D Animation & Visual Effects School include:
Phoebe Elefante Phoebe Elefante, Chair NYC: Ms. Elefante joined New York Film Academy as a Narrative Design instructor in 2014. She has a Masters in Media & Creative Management from Indiana University, and has been working across media platforms as a Writer, Designer & Producer since 2003.

Craig Caton-Largent Craig Caton-Largent, Chair LA: Craig Caton-Largent has been creating VFX for the motion picture industry for over 37 years and has contributed to over 100 films. He has created animatronic puppets and worked as a puppeteer on movies such as “Jurassic Park,” “Terminator 2,” “Tremors,” “Batman Returns,” “Ghostbusters,” and “Return of the Living Dead.” Craig has maintained and puppeteered E.T., The Extraterrestrial, for commercials and public appearances since 1992. Craig has also worked as a technical director/visual effects artist on many films, including “Apollo 13,” “How To Train Your Dragon 2,” “Rise of the Guardians,” “Tangled,” “Total Recall” and “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.” He is one of the eight co-founders of Digital Domain.

Robert Appleton Robert Appleton: Mr. Appleton has previously worked as an acclaimed professor of 3D animation and visual effects at a number of institutions including the Ecole Superieure de Realisation Audiovisuelle, Pratt Institute, New York University, and Bloomberg L.P. London, UK.

NYFA animation school faculty member Boaz Livny Boaz Livny: An instructor in Advanced Lighting and Shaders, Livny is a CG/VFX supervisor for various post-production companies in the NYC area, including Elementary and Recom Farmhouse. Furthermore, he runs his own company called Vision Animations that provides production services, consultancy, and in-house training for studios around the world. He is also the author of Mental Ray for Maya, 3ds Max, and XSI: A 3D Artist’s Guide to Rendering.

Gavin Guerra Gavin Guerra: A 23-year veteran in the creation of award-winning visual entertainment, Mr. Guerra’s work has spanned many formats, including film, television, theatre, and interactive. He has worked on such projects as X2: X-Men United, Vertical Limit, Radio City Musical Hall’s Christmas Spectacular, and much more. He currently owns and operates Vram FX studios in Astoria, NY.

Matt Galuppo Matt Galuppo: Matt Galuppo has been working in entertainment for over 10 years and has worked on 15 films as a pre-vis artist, including “The Amazing Spider Man II,” “Warcraft,” “Poltergeist,” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Matt recently began his directing career, making commercials for fortune 500 companies including Toyota, Fiat, Netflix, and Nintendo. His company, The Cinema Floor Inc., has been featured on UpWorthy and its content have garnered millions of views across Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram. In addition to his four-year tenure at NYFA, Matt has guest-lectured at the University of Southern California and serves on the ORT advisory board for digital media.

Frederic Durand Frederic Durand: 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 over 20 years of commercial work. He has served at such companies as Disney Animation, Sony Imageworks, DreamWorks, Jim Henson’s Workshop, MPC, the Mill, and Digital Domain.

Frederic 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,” “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life,” “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, Frederic is an expert lighting artist. 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.

Animation Alumni

The 3D Animation & Visual Effects School at the New York Film Academy regularly graduates successful alumni who go on to find employment in such diverse industries as animated films, animated series, VFX work, video games, and much more.

Career Opportunities

Students who graduate from the Animation School at the New York Film Academy have a number of career paths open to them, many of which are listed in the table below. Furthermore, past graduates have gone on to work for a number of companies and organizations that include the following beneath the below table.

Animator Character Development Art Direction
Storyboard Artist Architectural Modeling Layout Artist
Visual Effects Artist Character Rigger Key Animator
Lighting Technician Video Game Designer Stop Motion Animator
Title Designer Junior Compositor Texture Artist
Color Key Artist Compositing Artist Mathematical Modeler
Render Wrangler Cartoonist Junior Match Mover

Rhythm and Hues Studios logo

DreamWorks Animation logo

Blue Sky Animation Studios logo


Disney Toon Studios logo

Gearbox Software logo

Vicious Cycle Software logo Tyler Perry Studios logo Digital Domain logo

Contact Us

To learn more about the 3D Animation & Visual Effects School at the New York Film Academy, prospective students are encouraged to call us at +1 (212) 674-4300 and follow the links below to download more information.

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