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Columbia College Hollywood Launches New VFX B.F.A. Program

Program is the first in the country to include widely used Perception Neuron, Maker Bot, Formlab and Houdini 3D software technologies in its curriculum.

Columbia College Hollywood, ranked by Niche as the #8 Best College for Film and Photography in America, has unveiled its new B.F.A. program in Visual Effects.  The program, just introduced for the Fall 2018 semester, is the first in the country to integrate three of the VFX industry’s most widely used technologies into its curriculum.

“To get hired as a VFX professional, it’s important to have expertise with the tools that are used by the top production houses and studios,” says Peter Gend, interim dean at Columbia College Hollywood. “CCH’s new VFX B.F.A. degree prepares our students by combining those in-demand skills with a robust liberal arts curriculum that’s taught by our world class faculty.”

The three technologies included in the Columbia College Hollywood program are:

  • Perception Neuron motion capture system – Students work with Noitom’s Perception Neuron’s motion capture suits, which can be used indoors, outdoors, on location, and aren’t tied to the studio environment.  “While other schools may have motion capture available for their VFX students, they most likely aren’t integrating them into both their cinema as well as their VFX departments,” Gend notes.
  • MakerBot and Formlabs rapid 3D prototyping – Students use MakerBot printers for fused filament printing and Formlabs printers for resin-based stereolithography printing.  “Our VFX B.F.A. students use the printers for character design courses and product design in order to learn toy design, puppet construction, digitally designed makeup prosthetics, and more,” Gend says.
  • Houdini 3D animation software – Houdini is heavily integrated into the VFX B.F.A. curriculum.  “Houdini is used by the largest VFX houses across the globe and is taught at very few schools,” Gend explains.  “Our students are gaining tremendous experience with Houdini, and this will open many job possibilities for them.”

Gend believes that graduates of Columbia College Hollywood’s VFX B.F.A. program will have a significant competitive advantage in the marketplace. “By gaining mastery of the latest VFX technology tools and solutions, our grads will be able to seek out job opportunities that many of their peers from other schools aren’t qualified to pursue,” he adds. “They’ll have the insights, knowledge, and employment-ready capabilities that today’s top VFX companies are looking for.”

The B.F.A. in Visual Effects provides immersive, project-based experience with professional, industry-standard technology, creative skills, and collaborative workflow used to create professional quality visual effects for film, television, and interactive media. The program helps students learn the essential practical skills, experience, and knowledge they’ll need to create their own entrepreneurial career path. They can customize their education by selecting one of three Emphases that allow focus on the area of greatest interest: animation, compositing or modeling.

Founded in 1952, Columbia College Hollywood is a nonprofit, regionally accredited liberal arts college with a focus on creative media. The school educates students in the art and science of communications and the diverse media of contemporary storytelling within an exploration of the liberal arts, and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) to offer Bachelor of Fine Arts and Associate of Fine Arts degree programs in Cinema with an emphasis in acting, cinematography, directing, editing and visual effects, new media, producing, sound, and writing.

Complete information on the new program can be found at

Source: Columbia College Hollywood