Academics Visual Effects BFA in Visual Effects



This is no longer a field limited to cartoons and action films. Virtually every industry is using motion graphics, animation, modeling and special effects to engage consumers and build their brands. Digital artists shape our everyday experiences, from games and apps, to motion graphics for television and film, to models and simulations essential to product development, urban planning, and so much more.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Effects will introduce you to the basics of design, entrepreneurship, production, media and motion. In addition to your general education courses, specialized visual effects coursework provides training in 2D and 3D digital art, animation, and traditional art skills.

Our B.F.A. in Visual Effects is also available 100% online. You can benefit from the same unique and effective curriculum but work towards your degree on a schedule that best fits your lifestyle.

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Are you the type of person who:
  • Has an active imagination, and dreams of bringing your creations to life in a VFX or game studio?
  • Has passion for creativity, and drawing or sculpting characters or environments?
  • Is inspired by the possibilities of combining art with advanced computer graphics technology to tell stories?
  • Looks forward to learning about composition, color, value and texture, and how to use sophisticated software to create visually engaging experiences?
  • Is ready to be an active learner in an intense, collaborative environment that will have you quickly working on real-world projects?

Career Paths

  • Character Animator
  • Character Modeler
  • Environmental Modeler
  • Simulations FX Technical Director
  • Lighting Technical Director
  • Rigger
  • Motion Capture Technical Director
  • Digital Compositor
  • VFX Supervisor
  • Motion Graphics Designer

What You Can Learn

This comprehensive Visual Effects degree goes beyond the bounds of a traditional animation program by also teaching skills in special effects, motion graphics, interactive design, and more. The online and on-campus degree program covers:

  • Fundamentals of design and interactive media
  • Critical foundational skills such as figure drawing and perspective
  • Digital art and design software, including the Adobe Creative Suite, Maya, Zbrush, Houdini, Cinema4D, Arnold, RenderMan, and more
  • Advanced modeling, rigging, texturizing, animating, lighting, compositing, and rendering techniques
  • Advanced motion graphics
  • Simulations, motion capture, and other special effects techniques

Courses Include

  • Computer Technology
  • Perspective and Still Life Drawing
  • Flashpoint Studios
  • 2D Image Manipulation
  • Introduction to 3D Modeling
  • Advanced Topics: 3D Modeling II
  • Introduction to 3D Animation
  • Lighting and Rendering I
  • Introduction to Compositing
  • Advanced Topics: 3D Animation II
  • Digital Sculpting
  • Lighting and Rendering II
  • Portfolio Development
  • Simulations
  • Production Studio I
  • Production Studio II
  • Elective 1
  • Elective 2
  • Elective 3
  • Elective 4
  • Elective 5
  • Elective 6
  • Composition I
  • Composition II
  • Design
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Simulations/Production-in-Action
  • Introduction to Media and Motion
  • First Year Experience
  • World Cultures
  • Western Civilization
  • Art History
  • Language, Symbols, and Society
  • The Hero’s Journey
  • General Math
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Astronomy
  • The Biology of Humans
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Oral Communication
  • Motion Graphics I
  • Elective 1
Critical Studies

Flashpoint Chicago Critical Studies Program aims to educate students in the art and science of communications and the diverse media of contemporary storytelling within an exploration of the liberal arts. Our rigorous course of study and practice prepares graduates to be analytical thinkers and effective communicators who are creative, knowledgeable, and responsible contributors to advancing a curious, thoughtful, and compassionate global community. Flashpoint strives to assess student learning and achievement to the core competencies of critical studies that are intended to capture the broad spirit of a well-rounded liberal arts education. Learn more about our Critical Studies Department here.


Project-based curriculum. Classes are designed to put you to work collaboratively in teams on real-world projects. You’ll learn drawing and design fundamentals, advanced modeling and animation, motion graphics and so much more. All while you build your confidence and a professional portfolio.

Cross-disciplinary experience. Unlike traditional digital art schools, Flashpoint joins students from different programs in a capstone course each year to work on a project alongside those who are fulfilling the various roles in the marketing and creative process. This reflects the on-the-job reality that may become your career, and starts here in your first year.

High-tech campus. The Flashpoint campus is loaded with world-class environments and equipment. Featuring a professional screening room, film and recording studios, sound design suites, visual effects labs and more—this is the place to get prepared for your career.

Practicing professionals as your instructors. Faculty at Flashpoint don’t just teach—they mentor. In our focused, personalized environment you’ll get maximum attention and support from instructors who know you, and will guide every step of your education.

Deep industry connections. With the endorsements and support of some of the industry’s top players, Flashpoint offers incredible opportunities to meet your future employer through career services workshops, speaker events, portfolio shows and more.

Support every step of the way. With financial aid options for those who qualify, seamless transfer credit assistance, academic support workshops, and so much more—the Flashpoint community has a deep commitment to the success of every student from the first day of class to graduation and beyond.

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