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Short courses
Art & Design

Digital Skills for Growth (Making Movie Magic)*
University Certificate in Professional Development


Course overview

Designed for beginners, you are introduced to the world of digital visual effects (VFX) - the techniques and processes used to make the magical and fantastical come to life in film and TV.

You apply existing graphical understanding to compositing different layers of action and effects together to create a limited portfolio of VFX imagery or video.

You explore techniques required to produce visual imagery using industry-standard software. You learn core skills in creating composited static, or motion sequences integrating live action, CG content, or photographed elements.You need access to a PC or laptop, Internet with the following software being available from Teesside University, Procreate and Adobe software.To apply for this course you need to be employed by a company of any size or sector in Darlington, Durham, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar or Stockton-on-Tees.

* Subject to University approval


Course details

What you study

You develop an understanding of VFX principles, theory and main pipeline, in line with current industry practice. You illustrate the processes to produce seamless and believable composited images and visual effects imagery or sequences, and gain theoretical and practical skills to create a range of compositing and visual effects artefacts. You combine visual effects artefacts that incorporate computer-generated or photographic content into live-action footage or static imagery.

How you learn

• Apply the historical and theoretical concepts of visual effects and digital compositing for the VFX pipeline, used in film and TV.
• Use your existing graphical skills to a digital VFX platform to respond to a series of briefed tasks.
• Undertake a series of supported tutorial tasks, which combine to create a portfolio of visual effects images and sequences.
• Develop skills outside of class time through drawing in a sketchbook and researching available industry work.

How you are assessed

You are assessed in two ways on a pass/fail basis:

Element 1 (70%): Production of a limited VFX portfolio demonstrating a range of skills such as procedural matte creation and 2D tracking, compositing and clean-up, with a visual breakdown.

Element 2 (30%): A reflective presentation, discussing planning and design decisions of how the theory is applied, as well as technical considerations and evaluating outcomes of the portfolio.


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Must work for a company of any size or sector in Durham, excluding Darlington, including Public Sector.



Career opportunities

• Support career change
• Retraining opportunity



2021/22 entry

  • Length: Credits: 20, Level 4, Fully funded support * eligibility applies
  • Wednesdays 1.00pm - 4.30pm. 10 weeks.
  • Start date: Starts Wednesday 3 March. Applications close 6 February, 5.00pm.

Apply online