Auckland / Wellington / Christchurch
Duration 40 weeks

23 July 2018 – 5 July 2019

Domestic Students: $7,866.27

International students: $19,000 and $2,000 resource fee
Course fees subject to change.

NZQA Level 6

Course information

Full of brilliant, crazy ideas? Then make sure the world sees them! Combine artistry with the latest technology and carve a career in 3D production. This diploma gives you the skills you need to turn your creative concepts into compelling images, capturing the essence of movement to bring characters and scenes to life.

Learn techniques in character modelling, rigging and character animation. Use dynamics and particles with cloth and fluid simulations to achieve impressive visual effects. Together with sophisticated lighting and rendering techniques, you’ll create work that has professional polish. You’ll use industry based processes throughout the year, from creating conceptual artwork and storyboards, to building a showreel that truly reflects your talent and skills.

For international students, please read our application process page.

Course highlights

Strap yourself in and hold on tight, because this 40 weeks will change your life. You’ll develop cutting-edge technical skills, complete projects to a commercial standard, and develop your own unique design style. Want a career in 3D production? This is where it starts.

Here are some of the topics you’ll cover:

  • Modelling and Texturing – use multiple tools and procedures to model hard surface and organic models, and apply those techniques to rigging, animation and interactive games. Learn to use shading and texturing to achieve different looks and styles.
  • Technical Studio – master the fundamentals of lighting, rendering and rigging, and explore how they apply to modelling, animation, interactive games and compositing. Learn how to optimise scene file to achieve a lower render time frame.
  • Animation – nail the essentials of animation using multiple tools and procedures and discover how to apply these techniques to other areas. Hone your audio and acting skills to achieve better character performance.
  • Visual Effects – this module is epic and you’ll cover a huge range of content. From visual effects design, analysis of real-world physical phenomena, pre-visualisation and animatics, to scripting and math for VFX, dynamic effects and working with footage. Not to mention 3D and camera tracking, 3D software integration, render passes in compositing software and software introduction.

Where could this take you?

SHADER TD (TECHNICAL DIRECTOR) – write and adjust shaders to determine the appearance of models and prepare objects to be painted by texture painters.

2D ANIMATOR – create characters, storyboards and backgrounds for animation in a two-dimensional space.

3D ANIMATOR – work with computer technology to digitally model and manipulate computer images to give them life.

COMPOSITOR – construct the final image by combining layers of previously created material including rendered computer animation, special effects, graphics, 2D animation and live action.

Student Work and Success

Originally from India, Mohit Batta moved to New Zealand to further his 3D graphics and animation career. After graduating from Yoobee, he was snapped up as a modelling intern for Huhu Studios, an independent animation studio specialising in international co-productions. One of the projects he has been working on is an animated kids’ comedy adventure series, Sindbad and the 7 Galaxies. Mohit loves forging a career in the creative industries, coming up with ideas and then bringing those ideas to life. A passionate gamer, he eventually hopes to get into the gaming industry, and says landing a job at somewhere like 343 Industries or Rockstar Games would be a dream come true!

Entry Requirements close

In order to gain entry into this diploma, you must have successfully completed Yoobee’s Level 5 Diploma in Digital Design - Animation and Film Production, or have your portfolio assessed by the Head of Faculty.

You’ll need to provide an application letter (written in your own words and in English) that covers the following:

  •          A brief introduction of yourself
  •          Your academic/work background
  •          Your software skills
  •          Your reasons for wanting to enrol in this programme
  •          Your future aspirations in this field.

If English isn't your first language, you'll need an IELTS score of 6.0 Academic (no subtests lower than 5.5) or equivalent.

Portfolio Requirements

You will need to provide a portfolio of original creative works containing 7–10 examples that demonstrate an understanding of the fundamentals of 3D modelling and animation. Ideas for what you may want to put in your portfolio could include previous examples of 3D modelling, lighting, or rigging that you have created in software such as Blender, Sculptris, ZBrush, or Maya. 

We would expect you have basic fundamental understanding of Maya for entry to this programme.

Any portfolio submitted for a Level 6 diploma must be of the following industry-level standard:

  •          Each piece of creative work must be clearly labelled with the intention of the piece and a brief description.
  •          If you are applying for a programme that specialises in visual effects, 3D or motion graphics, we would expect you would provide a show reel.
  •          All work provided must be original and your own work. Where group work is shown, you must detail your involvement in the project.

You may also be provided with a simple task sheet that demonstrates your proficiency 3D Animation.

Course Components close
  • Modelling and Texturing - Learn how to model hard-surface and organic models using multiple tools and procedures – and discover how those techniques apply to other skills like rigging, animation and interactive games. Gain the fundamental skills of shading and texturing to achieve the right looks and styles for different projects.

  • Technical Studio - Master the key concepts and fundamentals of lighting, rendering and rigging. Focus not just on the techniques, but also how they apply to other skills such as modelling, animation, interactive games and compositing. Develop the fundamental skills of optimising scene file to achieve a lower render time frame to meet client needs.

  • Animation - Nail the fundamentals of animation using multiple tools and procedures. Learn how these techniques can be applied to a broad range of other areas. Hone your skills of working with audio and acting to achieve a better character performance to meet project scenarios.

  • Visual Effects - A wide range of content is covered here, from visual effects design, analysis of real-world physical phenomena, pre-visualisation and animatics, to scripting and math for VFX, dynamic effects, and working with footage. You’ll also cover 3D tracking, camera tracking, 3D software integration; render passes in industry leading compositing software and software introduction.

Course content is subject to change to ensure continued industry relevance.


We use a graded form of assessment, and standards reflect what’s required in the animation industry. There are no exams, but all projects are expected to be of a commercial standard. You’re encouraged to develop technical skills and your own design style.

A limited number of reassessment opportunities are available. Minimum 80% attendance is required.

Start Dates close

23 July 2018 – 5 July 2019

Fees close


Domestic Students: $7,866.27

International students:  $19,000 and $2,000 resource fee
Course fees subject to change.


Some of these costs might vary depending on the brand you buy and your individual needs. Have a chat with your tutor before you go shopping.

Items provided by ACG Yoobee

  • 1 visual diary
  • 300 print credits
  • Monthly internet quota

Essential items to purchase

  • External Firewire/USB hard drive - up to $200
  • Wacom tablet – approx. $150 - $300
  • Headphones – approx. $60

Other stuff you might need

  • Digital cameras
  • SD Cards
  • Pens & pencils

Recommended textbook

The Animator's Survival Kit - A Manual of Methods, Principles, and Formulas for Classical, Computer, Games, Stop Motion, and Internet Animators by Richard Williams.
Publisher: Faber & Faber (January 7, 2002). ISBN: 0571202284

Equipment & Software close


  • High spec PC
  • Green screen studio
  • Chrome/grey sphere
  • Cinema production cameras
  • DSLR still cameras
  • Wacom tablet


  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • Maya
  • ZBrush
  • Mudbox Polypainting
  • Mari
  • Substance Painter/Designer

Enquire About This Course