Film, Animation, and Visual Effects
Blend your creativity with emerging technologies and learn how to bring stories to life through film, animation, and visual effects.
Film, Animation, and Visual Effects (VFX) merges technical and aesthetic craft to push the boundaries of time-based and interactive media. Research in this dynamic and expressive field ranges from traditional 2D and 3D filmmaking techniques, to mixed media and experimental work, to cutting-edge interactive media and virtual/augmented/extended realities.
With a diverse range of industry experience and creative practice, our Film, Animation, and VFX research group is built on a foundation of narrative craft and visual design for motion. Researchers have more than 50 years of combined experience as senior creatives at world-renowned film and animation studios, including Weta Digital, Disney Feature Animation, DreamWorks, Buck Design, ShadowMachine, and the Mill. Our work leverages technical craft as a tool for storytelling, art direction, world building, and conceptual development.
Film, Animation, and VFX welcomes a range of research interests as broad as the field itself. These include filmmaking and film theory, storytelling through visual effects, interactive media, game art and animation, design for motion, and experimental practice in any of the above.
|Research topic||Staff who can supervise research in this area|
|3D animation||Byron Mallett|
|Doug Easterly, Zach Challies|
|Raqi Syed, Areito Echevarria, Leon Gurevitch, Zach Challies|
Narrative and experimental filmmaking
Raqi Syed, Areito Echevarria
Byron Mallett, Raqi Syed, Areito Echevarria, Leon Gurevitch, Heli Salomaa
Media archeology, film and feminist studies
Raqi Syed, Leon Gurevitch
Raqi Syed, Rosie Scott
|Effects and simulation||Areito Echevarria|
|Filmmaking||Tuakana Metuarau, Areito Echevarria|
|Animation||Tuakana Metuarau, Leon Gurevitch|
|Character design and digital costumes||Heli Salomaa|
|Cloth simulation and digital textiles||Heli Salomaa|
Design Research Labs
Virtual Worlds Lab
New developments with virtual reality technology highlight a vast territory for immersive storytelling, gaming, and many other forms of interactive experiences such as simulated education, medical therapy, and scientific visualisation.
While Sony, Samsung, and Oculus Rift (Facebook) have delivered the hardware, start-ups and research labs are playing catch-up with the development of content. Local Wellington company 8i, for example, has received over 20 million dollars in seed funding, and Weta Digital is also investing in this new domain.
At the lab, Design staff and students will research new methods for storytelling, interaction, and immersive experience, presented via emerging technologies like head-mounted displays.
For more see Virtual Worlds Lab.
The following postgraduate programmes allow you to pursue research in the area of film, animation, and visual effects:
Master of Design (MDes)
The MDes allows you to further develop your critical thinking and discussion skills, increase your understanding of design, and learn to express your own ideas and conclusions within a theoretical framework.
Find out more about the Master of Design (MDes).
Master of Design Innovation (MDI)
The MDI delves deep into the process of innovation, from conception to design to construction. Through independent research, you'll gain the specialist skills and knowledge you need to be a successful professional in the design industry.
Find out more about the Master of Design Innovation (MDI).
Master of Design Technology (MDT)
The MDT builds on the existing digital media skills acquired in an undergraduate degree in design. It prepares you for highly technical design professions such as game design, visual effects (VFX), exhibition design, and multimedia design.
Find out more about the Master of Design Technology (MDT).
On our PhD programme, you'll produce an original body of research that expands the design discipline. Your work will be largely independently driven, with two supervisors available to advise you. Typically the PhD is studied on-site, but in suitable cases it may be studied by distance.
Find out more about the PhD.