Diploma in Applied Animation 3D

NZQA Accredited, level 6 programme. 

3D animation (or computer-generated imagery) uses three-dimensional computer models to animate characters by combining several styles of animation; these include 2D techniques of keys and breaks, the stop-motion process of sculpting a character as a model, and the puppeteer control system of articulated points of movement. These are more commonly known as key-framing, modelling and rigging.  

*Please note updates to this programme in 2018

Other 3D techniques such as texturing and lighting allow 3D animators to skin and light their character or create backgrounds that simulate real life environments. Students adopt these methods using Autodesk Maya as their principle software, but also learn Adobe Photoshop.

The techniques learned can be applied in TV advertising, TV series production, visual fx for film, AAA gaming for PC, Xbox and Playstation, architecture modelling and 3D visualisation.

Using the latest software, students concentrate on the principles of animation and are taught to consider weight, timing and mass, while combining 3D techniques such as: design, modelling, lighting, texturing, rigging and animating, in addition to camera work concept art and compositing.

Additionally, students concentrate on developing their human and animal life drawing skills, character design and basic drawing skills. This takes place both in class and on field trips. There are also theory lessons on technical and production knowledge, legal requirements (copyright law) and the history of animation (both locally and globally).

Each skill learnt along the way contributes to the student’s animated short film which is the focus of the final term.


3D animation builds on the techniques learnt during the first year. Students gain a thorough knowledge of moving holds, walks, runs, jumps, leaps and advanced character rigging, texturing, and modelling. In addition, students learn to draw storyboards and work with modern editing and compositing software so they have the knowledge and professional skills required to complete a full production.


After completing your two-year Diploma in Applied Animation, you can choose to take your skills to a higher level with our Diploma in Digital Media. This intensive year helps to refine your fundamental animation skills by exposing you to the entire production pipeline encountered in a real working studio environment.


Course code: PC9832
Duration: 2 years
Prerequisite: Level 1 NCEA and complete Portfolio
Credits: Year 1: 120 Year 2: 120 (NZQA Accredited)
Level: 6
Fulltime: 32 weeks per year
$9,299 per annum (Domestic) $18,950 (International)
*Please note updates to this programme in 2018

The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education Act 1989, and Animation College New Zealand Limited is accredited to teach it.

Kua Whakamanahia tēnei akoranga e Te Mana Tohu Mātauranga o Aotearoa i raro i te wāhanga 249 o te Ture Mātauranga 1989, ā, kua whakamanahia a Animation College New Zealand Limited ki te whakarato i taua akoranga i raro i te wāhanga 250 o te Ture.



facebook.jpg  youtube.jpg 

book an interview today