To date, Malaysia has over 400 companies that engage in animation, visual effects (VFX), games and interactive media as well as new media platforms. While the vibrant digital content industry in Malaysia continues to grow, there’s still plenty of room to sharpen expertise and talents.
One stop destination for animation expertise
If animation is something you’re interested in, APU’s School of Media Arts and Design (SoMAD) offers courses and programmes in animation and VFX at Diploma and Bachelor Degree levels. These courses allow you to specialise in modelling, animation and composite-based applications in the creation of character filmmaking.
Not to mention, the university also works closely with creative industry leaders and hires specialist lecturers to ensure you get quality and industry-relevant lessons during your studies. To boot, you’ll also get access to the Executive VFX Studios, powered by industry-relevant software that allows you to have a seamless experience in both physical and virtual learning.
APU’s SoMAD is one of the first institutions that was granted the status of Toon Boom Centre of Excellence in Malaysia. This status is specially awarded to institutions that offer exceptional academic programmes for animation and storyboarding using Toon Boom software.
According to SoMAD Academic Manager Edwin Pio Rufus, students who study the animation and VFX programmes at APU can further specialise in either field by undertaking a dual-award degree in partnership with De Montfort University, UK.
“At SoMAD, students get an overview of both animation and VFX at diploma level and can further specialise in either field by studying for a dual degree, Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Animation or Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Visual Effects, jointly offered by APU and De Montfort University (DMU), UK,” he said.
APU’s partnership with De Montfort University (DMU) awards students with a dual award where you’ll receive two degree certificates and transcripts upon graduation. This enhances not just the student’s learning experience but also their career prospects.
Animation and VFX — best of both worlds
There have been misconceptions that both animation and VFX are similar but Edwin and animation programme leader Jack Lai clarified that both programmes are different specialties altogether.
“Both animation and VFX are under the umbrella of the creative industry, but we would rather see it as a different specialism. Animation focuses on in-depth knowledge and methodology in animation, while VFX focuses on digital video production and post-production,” he explained. He also added that both these programmes prop each other in production, hence why the career pathways could overlap.
The animation degree programme teaches students different animation techniques ranging from traditional 2D to computer-generated animation, development of animated content, character creation, character performance, motion design, rigging, effects and simulation.
Both Lai and Edwin stated that the teaching staff from the animation and VFX programmes are experienced in both academic and industry level which enable the school to have strong links with industries through their Industry Advisory Board.
On top of securing 3 awards at the United Nations SDGFilmfest 2021, APU animation and VFX students have also bagged winning positions at film festivals both locally and internationally. This is proof that their learning outcomes are meeting industry standards.
APU producing high quality learning experience with advanced facilities
Prioritising industrial learning experience, APU has invested in sophisticated and industry-relevant tools such as Nuke, Substance Painter, Houdini, Toon Boom Harmony and ZBrush for students to complete their courseworks and assignments easily.
The studio labs also have a professional green screen production floor that’s equipped with high-end computers for endless rendering and a dual display screen that enables students to work efficiently. Lai also highlights the Cintiq Lab that allows students to work on their drawing skills. Best of all, students can access these facilities at all times through the seamless virtual and remote lab access.
To date, over 50,000 alumni have embarked on their careers worldwide. The employability strength of APU’s graduates has been officially endorsed in the latest annual Graduate Tracer Study by the Higher Education Ministry where 100% of APU graduates were employed upon graduation. This is a significant symbol of APU’s success and pride in nurturing professionals for global careers.