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Digital Animation - 3D Concentration (year 2)

Focus on 3D animation and bring objects to life using computer graphics.

A woman in a striped shirt looks at a computer screen.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
2 Years


The 3D Animation concentration is an option of the Digital Animation diploma program. You start this concentration in the second term of your first year.

This concentration develops advanced 3D modelling and animation skills. The primary focus is 3D animation and storytelling through acting, posing and scene setup. Throughout this process you learn to transform a 2D character concept to a finished 3D model and rig it ready for animation. This includes setting up environments with lighting, texturing and compositing, all to enhance the storyline.

You can expect to experience different 3D workflow processes needed for storytelling while still developing your traditional artistic skills. Finally, you learn how to combine these skills to produce a short 3D piece to add to your online portfolio.

You learn how to transform a character concept to a finished 3D model ready for rigging (creation of a digital skeleton with joints and bones required for animation). You use image-based modelling to develop a 3D sculpture and demonstrate the different stages of workflow while you create and complete a realistically-rendered 3D model. You also focus on intermediate texturing and lighting techniques for 3D environments and various levels of animation. In addition, you learn how to combine these skills to create and produce a short 3D animated film, and leave with a polished portfolio of your work.

September 2024

Campus Full time/part time Delivery
Truro Campus
Full time In person
Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements.

Admission requirements

  • Successful completion of Digital Animation – Year 1 or advanced standing.
  • Advanced standing – To be considered, you must apply to and meet the admission requirements for the Digital Animation program. Advanced standing is based on academic credits (certificate/diploma/degree) completed from a recognized public institution within the past ten years that meet the academic requirements of the full first year of the program. Advanced standing is subject to seat availability.

Program requirements

  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition amounts are for the 2023-24 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for College services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Upon graduation, you're qualified for entry-level positions such as 3D animator, 3D modeler, 3D rigger and 3D texture artist.
  • Self-employment and entrepreneurial career paths are also opportunities, as graduates benefit from a hands-on, project-based learning approach and exposure to the business.

Future study options

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

DATD 1002 - Sculpture
Learners will experience and create 3D forms with their hands through the process of building models with a variety of materials.

DATD 1015 - Digital Painting I
This course introduces learners to painting with digital software. A variety of tools and painting techniques will be covered, as well as some art aesthetics and design principles. Learners will discuss the merits of their paintings and how they can be improved.

DATD 1500 - Animation Production I
In this course learners will work on an animation production. The importance of setting realistic goals, creating a schedule and following it to meet deadlines will be emphasized. Strong communication skills are crucial to keep all stakeholders informed and to avoid costly mistakes.

DATD 2000 - Life Drawing II
A hands on in studio and on location life drawing course which expands the learners’ fundamental drawing skills developed in Life Drawing I, which are the foundation required to pursue a career as a 2D or 3D Animator. By working as a team to critique, mount and exhibit their work in a public exhibition space learners will develop their team and interpersonal skills, while presenting and speaking about their work in a professional manner.

DATD 3030 - 3D Production and Rigging
This course develops the skills and knowledge required for rigging a character in a 3D environment. Rigging prepares a character for animation and is an integral part of the process pipeline of 3D animation. Learners will animate their rigs to analyze problems trying to achieve humanistic motion. The course also continues to develop analytical skills associated with performance and storytelling.

DATD 3035 - 3D Sculpting I
This course explores digital modelling, sculpting and painting techniques for today’s 3D artists. Learners will create their own basic 3D models and develop them into detailed 3D sculptures by understand the workflow through the different stages of development. Upon completion of this course learners will have conceptualized, created and completed a realistically rendered 3D model.

DATD 3039 - Clay Sculpting I
This course emphasis is on sculpting realistic human anatomy in clay. Through image presentations, demonstration and hands-on exercises, learners will explore the artistic fundamentals and workflow techniques of figure sculpture. Over the duration of this course students will make their own modelling clay and apply fundamental sculpting techniques to their models.

DATD 4035 - 3D Sculpting II
This course builds upon what was learned in 3D Sculpting I. Learners will create proportionately correct 3D organic models and develop them into realistically detailed 3D sculptures. Through presentations, demonstration and hands-on exercises, learners will learn improved techniques of realistic organic sculpturing using a standard 3D modelling application.

Digital Animation - 3D Prescribed elective course requirement. 1.5 credits

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