Duration
8 months (2 trimesters)
Locations
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane
Fees
Intake Dates

February, June, September

Apply now →

International

CRICOS 058464M

JMC welcomes from all over the world.
Find out more

Underpinned by a strong understanding of design and image-making, the Diploma provides a hands-on introduction to the process of animation in film, design and games through art and practice.

Get hands-on with the design and development of characters and worlds – from concept to finished art – and create arresting graphical motion and believable character performances with a Diploma of Creative Arts (Animation). Be introduced to drawing and visualization techniques, learn traditional techniques and cutting-edge motion design and acquire the core skills and tools required for 3D modeling and animation.

Students are given the opportunity to plan, execute and deliver a mentored project based on their specialization.

Why Study Animation at JMC?

Course designed in consultation with Pixar & Animal Logic Artists
Take advantage of our 18 camera dedicated motion capture suites
Study abroad in Japan or the Netherlands

Technology & Facilities

During this course you will be able to access the Full Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, Autodesk Maya, Wacom Intuos Pro and Cintiq tablets, Animation lightboxes + line testers, ball and socket stop-motion rigs, Dragonframe stop-motion software, 18-camera motion-capture suites, VR facilities, green-screen studios, renderers (Redshift, Pixar RenderMan, Arnold), Substance Painter for texturing, Zbrush for sculpting, Compositing tools (After Effects, Nuke), Katana for Look Development and Shotgun Studio for Project Planning and Management.

Duration

When undertaken full-time, the Diploma of Creative Arts (Animation) can be completed in 8 months (2 trimesters).

Upon successful completion of the Diploma qualification, students are eligible to continue their studies into the Bachelor Degree with advanced standing of two trimesters.

Students who have successfully completed 4 trimesters of the Bachelor programme may successfully graduate with an Associate Degree qualification.

Connect with us

Curriculum

Students will have the opportunity to investigate widely used design processes, specifically the British Design Council’s “Double Diamond”, human-centred design practices, and “Agile” project management. This is the first of two units that take students through the full life span of a project, from brief to implementation. This first part covers the “first diamond”, from challenging the brief and discovery to conducting research, and developing insights - right through to identifying opportunity areas.

This unit introduces students to practices, processes, and tools utilised in animation, games and VFX. Students will work through a series of self-contained exercises, with mentoring support from lecturers, which will provide entry-level practical experience. These will primarily be completed during class time. Areas of focus may include design research, design sketching and visualisation, concept ideation, 3D modelling, surfacing, texturing, basic rigging, simple animation, rendering, colour grading, editing, game mechanics, simple programming, and delivery to different platforms. While students are not expected to achieve full competence in these skills, they will gain a practical grasp of the steps and thinking required to produce animation, games, and VFX. At the conclusion of this unit, students will be supported to make an informed decision regarding the focus streams they will choose in Trimester 2.

This unit introduces students to practices, processes, and tools utilised in animation, games and VFX. Students will work through a series of self-contained exercises, with mentoring support from lecturers, which will provide entry-level practical experience. These will primarily be completed during class time. Areas of focus may include design research, design sketching and visualisation, concept ideation, 3D modelling, surfacing, texturing, basic rigging, simple animation, rendering, colour grading, editing, game mechanics, simple programming, and delivery to different platforms. While students are not expected to achieve full competence in these skills, they will gain a practical grasp of the steps and thinking required to produce animation, games, and VFX. At the conclusion of this unit, students will be supported to make an informed decision regarding the focus streams they will choose in Trimester 2.

A Design unit that introduces students to basic concepts in visual design. With a mix of foundation concepts, hands-on exploratory creative exercises, and an introduction to important ideas and people in various visual design disciplines, it will provide a sound basis for students to build their individual specialisations on.

Games and Animation in Context provides students with a formal and contextual framework to discuss games and animation. Beginning with journalistic responses, and developing through to in-depth presentations, students will consider the context, express the experience, and identify the structural elements of a variety of contemporary and historical works. This unit also requires on and off-campus participation in contemporary exhibitions, screenings, and events.

In Lab I students are presented with the opportunity to develop and execute a small individual project utilizing the key skills they are focusing on in their streams. They must log required hours in the lab environment, and meet weekly with an assigned project supervisor who will act as a mentor and support person. A range of creative briefs will be provided covering potential projects in areas such as art and design, modelling, animation, game development, or hybrids of these. In addition to the creative work, students will be guided through planning, documenting, reporting, and reflecting on their work. Additional workshops may be provided where required to extend technical knowledge. Finished projects will form the basis of a portfolio to be built upon in successive trimesters.

* indicates elective stream unit (2D Animation Stream)

Students are introduced to the conventions and common principles that have developed over animation’s rich hundred-year history. Students will explore traditional frame-by-frame techniques including cut-out, stop-motion, and drawn animation underpinning and developing an understanding of principles of movement and the animation process. Work will be undertaken using both traditional hand-made and photographed techniques and newer digital versions of these.

* indicates elective stream unit (3D Animation Stream)

3D Animation I guides students through the analysis and application of key principles of animation in a 3D context at a basic level. Technical workflow and animation mechanics are illustrated through lectures, and ongoing practical exercises build foundational knowledge and skills.

* indicates elective stream unit (Production Art Stream)

Character Design introduces key design principles for the creation of memorable animation and game characters in a range of styles. Students will be introduced to fundamentals of form and construction, basics of anatomy and gesture through life drawing, and the visual development of characters from story contexts. Artwork workflow and finishing styles will be covered, along with unified approaches to developing a full cast. Industry practice in documentation and presentation will also be covered.

* indicates elective stream unit (CG Art Stream)

The unit focuses on general 3D art creation with an emphasis on process. Block-outs, low poly modelling in 3D, mesh optimisation, unwrapping, rendering to texturing, and project management, are all covered using a low poly diorama as a vehicle for the project. The final project is uploaded to an online real-time WebGL 3D viewer. The course begins with an introduction to the pipeline through the creation of simple prop objects such as telephone poles and signs. A scene block-out is then created and students work through the elements. For houses, a modular texturing approach is introduced along with stencils to reduce the number of textures. Finally, vegetation is created. Post-processing effects and lighting are added in the online viewer.

* indicates elective stream unit (Game Development Stream)

This unit provides a broad introduction to working within game editor systems, integrating art elements into projects. The use of 2D graphics programs will be developed in conjunction with 2D & 3D features in the engine. Students will be provided with a template for gameplay and will apply principles of design and technical art skills to develop a playable project. This will provide an overview of a range of core engine features and practical experience integrating content.

Student Showcase

Our Lecturers

Peter Botev

Animation & Game Design Lecturer

Peter is a 2D animator, rigger and supervisor, working for studios across Australia and the EU. Notable credits include 20th Century’s Bob’s Burgers: The Movie, Netflix’s The Cuphead Show, Warner Bros' Jellystone, Nickelodeon’s Rise of the TMNT and Disney XD’s Space Chickens in Space

Peter Botev

Animation & Game Design Lecturer

Peter is a 2D animator, rigger and supervisor, working for studios across Australia and the EU. Notable credits include 20th Century’s Bob’s Burgers: The Movie, Netflix’s The Cuphead Show, Warner Bros' Jellystone, Nickelodeon’s Rise of the TMNT and Disney XD’s Space Chickens in Space

Tim McEwen

Animation, Game + Design Lecturer

Tim McEwen draws on his broad experience in feature film storyboards and concept art (Happy Feet Two, Blinky Bill, Wolf Creek 2), as well as comic books, illustration and cartooning. He's also an art director and graphic designer with 25+ years experience. He’s taught at all levels of education, including preschool, primary and secondary school, privately and in workshops, as well university and tertiary colleges.

Tim's been published professionally since he was 17, and his internationally distributed, award winning comic series ‘Greener Pastures’ has featured in nine exhibitions nationally and internationally. He continues to work in his chosen professions.

Tim McEwen

Animation, Game + Design Lecturer

Tim McEwen draws on his broad experience in feature film storyboards and concept art (Happy Feet Two, Blinky Bill, Wolf Creek 2), as well as comic books, illustration and cartooning. He's also an art director and graphic designer with 25+ years experience. He’s taught at all levels of education, including preschool, primary and secondary school, privately and in workshops, as well university and tertiary colleges.

Tim's been published professionally since he was 17, and his internationally distributed, award winning comic series ‘Greener Pastures’ has featured in nine exhibitions nationally and internationally. He continues to work in his chosen professions.

Sean Callinan

Head of Animation + Game Design (Sydney)

The essence of Sean’s career has been a broad-ranging interest in all aspects of design for film, television and other screen media. His career prior to teaching spans a wealth of experience, beginning as co-founder of his own production company, Meaningful Eye Contact (MEC), with Alex Proyas and Peter Miller. Sean quickly garnered a reputation for eye-catching visuals and inventive concepts. While producing music video clips for high profile acts such as INXS, Crowded House, and Fleetwood Mac, Sean developed a passion for the disciplines of production design, art direction, graphics and animation that would become instrumental in his future career.

During this period Sean received an AFI nomination for “Best Art Direction” for his work on Alex Proyas’ post-apocalyptic gothic fantasy feature Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds. MEC were also the recipients of a number of music video awards through the eighties.

Having turned freelance, Sean continued to work on numerous television commercials, music videos, television productions and several more feature films. Animation and motion graphics had always been an important part of his practice, but in 2001 Sean made the decision to leave Production Design and focus on these areas whilst undertaking a Masters in Design at UTS.

Since then he has undertaken a range of work including infographic animation, screen graphics, museum interactives, collaborations on broadband and mobile platform content, and personal projects. Prior to accepting the role as Head of Animation and Game Development at JMC Academy, Sean taught animation, video design and screen-based media at UTS for over twenty years.

Sean Callinan

Head of Animation + Game Design (Sydney)

The essence of Sean’s career has been a broad-ranging interest in all aspects of design for film, television and other screen media. His career prior to teaching spans a wealth of experience, beginning as co-founder of his own production company, Meaningful Eye Contact (MEC), with Alex Proyas and Peter Miller. Sean quickly garnered a reputation for eye-catching visuals and inventive concepts. While producing music video clips for high profile acts such as INXS, Crowded House, and Fleetwood Mac, Sean developed a passion for the disciplines of production design, art direction, graphics and animation that would become instrumental in his future career.

During this period Sean received an AFI nomination for “Best Art Direction” for his work on Alex Proyas’ post-apocalyptic gothic fantasy feature Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds. MEC were also the recipients of a number of music video awards through the eighties.

Having turned freelance, Sean continued to work on numerous television commercials, music videos, television productions and several more feature films. Animation and motion graphics had always been an important part of his practice, but in 2001 Sean made the decision to leave Production Design and focus on these areas whilst undertaking a Masters in Design at UTS.

Since then he has undertaken a range of work including infographic animation, screen graphics, museum interactives, collaborations on broadband and mobile platform content, and personal projects. Prior to accepting the role as Head of Animation and Game Development at JMC Academy, Sean taught animation, video design and screen-based media at UTS for over twenty years.

Lance Balchin

Head of Animation & Game Design (Brisbane)

Lance is an educator in the creative industries, with over 15 years hands-on experience teaching Photoshop. Lance’s relationship with Photoshop started in 1991 with Version 2.5 (pre layers!) and he has built a substantial understanding of the software over 25 years. Lance currently lives in Brisbane, Australia and was admitted to practice law two years ago.

Lance Balchin is also a children’s illustrator and author who has internationally published two books in the ‘Mechanica’ series with the Five Mile Press, Simon & Schuster, Little Bee Books and Bonnier Publishing. There are a further seven picture books to follow as well as a set of four novels. The books carry a strong environmental message and are written for children aged from 8 to 14.

Lance Balchin

Head of Animation & Game Design (Brisbane)

Lance is an educator in the creative industries, with over 15 years hands-on experience teaching Photoshop. Lance’s relationship with Photoshop started in 1991 with Version 2.5 (pre layers!) and he has built a substantial understanding of the software over 25 years. Lance currently lives in Brisbane, Australia and was admitted to practice law two years ago.

Lance Balchin is also a children’s illustrator and author who has internationally published two books in the ‘Mechanica’ series with the Five Mile Press, Simon & Schuster, Little Bee Books and Bonnier Publishing. There are a further seven picture books to follow as well as a set of four novels. The books carry a strong environmental message and are written for children aged from 8 to 14.

Kim Edwards

Head of Animation & Game Design (Melbourne)

Kim is a technologist, educator and animator with over a decade of experience working in media education.
From Sultans to Festivals, Health organisations to studios, he has maintained an active practice working with
a broad range of clients in animation. Kim believes animation and interactive media is a product, comment and forecaster of our global society.

Media dynamically shifts into new territories, requiring new perspectives and Kim sees the responsibility of education is to enable active creatives in this dynamic space.

Kim Edwards

Head of Animation & Game Design (Melbourne)

Kim is a technologist, educator and animator with over a decade of experience working in media education.
From Sultans to Festivals, Health organisations to studios, he has maintained an active practice working with
a broad range of clients in animation. Kim believes animation and interactive media is a product, comment and forecaster of our global society.

Media dynamically shifts into new territories, requiring new perspectives and Kim sees the responsibility of education is to enable active creatives in this dynamic space.

Dr Katharine Buljan

Animation Lecturer

Katharine Buljan is a Sydney-based artist, independent scholar and lecturer. She has exhibited her paintings in Australia, Italy, Hong Kong and Sweden and has received a number of awards. In 2016 she was been a finalist at the 39th Alice Prize and in 2015 a finalist at the Mosman Art Prize. In 2015 she was an artist in residence at the University of Tasmania (Launceston), and an artist in residence in Sydney (A. R. P. Artist Residency Program). In 2013, she was selected as a finalist for the 62nd Blake Prize for Religious Art. In 1995, Katharine was awarded a European Parchment at the XV Review of Contemporary Art in Galleria Forum Interart in Rome. She also does stop-motion animation.

Katharine’s theoretical training and research strongly underpin and complement her art practice. She is very passionate about teaching and was a sessional academic at the University of Technology, Sydney, and guest lecturer at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS). She is the co-author of the book on Japanese animation titled Anime, Religion and Spirituality: Profane and Sacred Worlds in Contemporary Japan (Equinox, 2015).

Dr Katharine Buljan

Animation Lecturer

Katharine Buljan is a Sydney-based artist, independent scholar and lecturer. She has exhibited her paintings in Australia, Italy, Hong Kong and Sweden and has received a number of awards. In 2016 she was been a finalist at the 39th Alice Prize and in 2015 a finalist at the Mosman Art Prize. In 2015 she was an artist in residence at the University of Tasmania (Launceston), and an artist in residence in Sydney (A. R. P. Artist Residency Program). In 2013, she was selected as a finalist for the 62nd Blake Prize for Religious Art. In 1995, Katharine was awarded a European Parchment at the XV Review of Contemporary Art in Galleria Forum Interart in Rome. She also does stop-motion animation.

Katharine’s theoretical training and research strongly underpin and complement her art practice. She is very passionate about teaching and was a sessional academic at the University of Technology, Sydney, and guest lecturer at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS). She is the co-author of the book on Japanese animation titled Anime, Religion and Spirituality: Profane and Sacred Worlds in Contemporary Japan (Equinox, 2015).

JMC gave me the opportunity to meet like-minded people and grow as a creative. The lecturers are fantastic! Their passion for the industry was infectious making me strive for my best
Rachael Tannous - VFX Supervisor, Sony Pictures
Animation Alumni
The selection of lecturers who were industry-based and able to impart a lot of impressive knowledge allowed me to get a foothold within the entertainment industry.
Mitchell Pasquini - Senior Character Rigger, Kapow Pictures
Animation Alumni
My favourite aspect of the degree was engaging with industry professionals. Picking the brains of the JMC lecturers who have broad and relevant experience.
Thomas Fisher - Digital Resources Administrator, Animal Logic
Animation Alumni

ARE YOU READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP TOWARD YOUR CAREER IN ANIMATION?

FAQs

Yes. We offer multiple pathways into the course regardless of your current drawing abilities and art is one of these pathways. If you don’t feel all too comfortable drawing, we offer pathways in technical and conceptual skills.

A portfolio essentially relates to samples of your work. If you have nice finished artwork, that’s fantastic, but not essential. What we’re looking for is that you have a drive to create things and are passionate about the field, so show us that in your portfolio. Things like sketches or drawings, notes, ideas and characters you’ve invented are all great.

Building your network with like-minded people and meeting people in the industry is really important. We encourage you to attend industry talks and events (many of which are held on campus) and introduce yourself to people. Amazing opportunities often arise through those connections so be open to new experiences. Create your own opportunities as well. If there’s nothing else happening, keep working. Work on your own projects and set yourself tasks to enhance and refine your skills so you not only have great content to add to your showreel, but when an opportunity does come up, you’re ready to seize it.

In the course of completing the Bachelor degree you will complete multiple key creative projects, both solo and in teams, as well as a host of smaller exercises. You will build your portfolio with polished work from your second trimester onwards and your last two trimesters will be devoted to a major project that will showcase your talent and abilities.

Yes. The JMC Academy is registered and regulated by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) which is Australia’s independent national regulator of the higher education sector, both public and private.

No, our courses are hands on and practical. Students are required to attend classes to receive ongoing mentorship, learn new skills and work with the equipment provided. We do encourage our students to use online study resources, however our courses would not be as immersive as they are without the practical component.