Bachelor of Applied Arts in 3D Animation

SAQA ID: 83227 | NQF Level: 7 | Credits: 370 | Course Duration: 3 Years


3D animation and design is one of the most rapidly expanding areas of creativity and technical development. Animated films, television and advertising graphics, computer games design and architectural modelling are some of the most visible products of this industry. The explosive growth of digital media and the computer arts industries have created global demand for designers and animators, and suitably qualified professionals in this field are in high demand in the South Africa and abroad. This programme deals with the technical and aesthetic aspects of 3D design and animation. It successfully combines traditional art and design principles such as observational drawing and modelling, with the possibilities of computing and digital media.

In the first academic year students will gain the foundational knowledge about 3D Design and Animation. The programme will equip students with the knowledge and practical skills concerning 3D animation principles, designing and modelling in a 3D environment with architectural visualisation and animation feature films in mind. Students will also accumulate foundational knowledge about the pre-production process for animation story telling as far as lighting design, scene set-up and animation is concerned.

In the second year, students sharpen their skills with a specially designed curriculum that builds on the basic knowledge gained in the first year. They will go through the pre-production process of Character Design and learn how to model their characters, including shading models and materials, UV layout, texture painting, rendering techniques and troubleshooting.

They go through specific principles and practical techniques of both rigging and animation for CG Characters, including principles of animation, blocking and smoothing, timing and facial animation with lip sync.

At the end of their second year, students will produce a 3D Animation short film project aimed at honing their skills and enabling them to showcase their proficiency in 3D Animation including post production techniques such as film editing, final soundtrack creation with music and sound effects, and compositing in Adobe After Effects.

Students will also learn how to market themselves through the creation of a portfolio website where their best work will be showcased.

The BA 3D Animation degree students will progress to their third year where they will acquire the skills necessary to perform in the upper creative divisions of the animation Industry. They will learn techniques related to script writing for animation films, directing and producing animation feature films.

Curriculum For The Bachelor of Applied Arts in 3D Animation

First Year
  • Philosophy and History of Animation
  • Foundations of Drawing
  • 3D Computer Graphics
  • 3D Animation
  • Drawing
  • Design in Context
  • Presentation Skills
  • Contextual Info Design
  • Creative Thinking
  • Statistical Methods
Second Year
  • 3D Computer Graphics
  • 3D Animation
  • Drawing for Animation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Contextual Info Design
  • Academic Literacy
Third Year
  • Script Writing for Animation
  • 3D Computer Graphics
  • 3D Animation
  • Contextual Info Design
  • Research Methodology
  • Work-integrated Learning


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Future Careers – What will you become?

Animation Film Director
Post Production Artist & Supervisor
Animated Character Supervisor
3D Modeller • Colour Key Artist
Cartoonist • Concept Artist
Forensic Animator • Render Wrangler
Visual Development Artist
3D Designer
3D Texture Artist


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