Best Visual Effects Schools in the World 2021
2021 Update! The Best Visual Effects Schools and Colleges in the World. Learn how to start your career today with a degree from the best visual effects colleges.
The 2021 Best Visual Effects Schools and Colleges in the World rankings is something we take very seriously and no external influences or payments are entered into at any point. Our rankings focus on the quality of students portfolios that are submitted to our judging panel which best reflect the recruitment interview process.
We feel that traditional school rankings that include peer and employer reviews, faculty to student ratio, citations and other data are not adequate when ranking the best creative schools. For a complete breakdown of how we rank the best schools for 2021 please read how we rank the best schools and how we analyse the data in the sections located at the bottom of this page.
The Rookies World School Rankings® are not like other education based ranking systems. They are driven and judged by industry professionals without the interference of paid advertising dollars that cloud the judgement of other ranking sites.
• Scott Thompson, founder of Think Tank Training Centre.
What is Visual Effects
At its core, Visual Effects (abbreviated VFX) is the process by which digital imagery is created to manipulate or enhance real world footage that has been filmed with a video camera.
Visual effects involve the integration of video camera footage and generated imagery to create environments which look realistic, but would be dangerous, expensive, impractical, time consuming or impossible to capture on film.
Visual Effects are not just limited to big block buster films, they are commonly seen in television commercials, broadcast series, architecture, advertising and more.
Why would you want to work in Visual Effects?
Maybe because it's a career that involves the perfect mix of story telling, cutting-edge technology and creativity. It could also be because you love films and want to hang out on set surrounded by movie stars. Maybe you want a career that allows you to travel the world or even work remotely from home. Or maybe it's because you love drawing and building things with your hands and on the computer. There are so many reasons why you would want to work in Visual Effects and there are dozen of possible career paths open to you across multiple industries.
Top Visual Effects Schools and Colleges in 2021
The official rankings for 2021 have been calculated based on the performance of students work submitted to our industry panel. Full details can be found further down the page about how we calculate and rank schools.
Learn more about how we rank schools.
|1||SF Film School||Korea||92.11|
|3||Think Tank Training Centre||Canada, Online||86.48|
|4||Lost Boys | School of Visual Effects||Canada||77.40|
|5||Gnomon||Online, United States||70.09|
|6||PIXL VISN | media arts academy||Germany||68.49|
|7||Netherlands Film Academy||Netherlands||64.07|
|8||3dsense Media School||Singapore||58.39|
|9||Animum Creativity Advanced School||Spain||57.34|
|10||FX ANIMATION Barcelona 3D and Film School||Spain||55.68|
|11||Savannah College of Art and Design||United States, France, Online||55.55|
|12||The Animation Workshop/ VIA University College||Denmark||53.93|
|16||The One Academy of Communication Design||Malaysia||41.41|
|17||Flinders University / CDW Studios||Australia, Online||41.11|
|18||UniSA / Rising Sun Pictures||Australia||34.21|
Choosing the right education is one of the hardest decisions you will ever make.
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Top entries submitted by Visual Effects students from these schools and colleges
Follow these links below to view some of the incredible entries that our judging panel were tasked with reviewing. These entries showcase the quality of work created by students which helped rank their schools.
Detailed information about the top schools and colleges for Visual Effects
The following schools are the top Visual Effects educational facilities for 2021 and offer great courses and curriculum that produces students that are ready for the challenges faced by professional artists working in Visual Effects. Follow the links below to find out more about these schools, their facilities, team, success stories, student artwork and more.
1. SF Film School
We are a professional education institution specifically for CG and VFX (Visual Effects). Our branches are in Seoul and Busan of South Korea. A lot of our graduates are currently working for the top VFX and 3D animation companies in the world. We welcome all the students regardless of the amount of experience that they have. Our systematic education curriculum guides any students who have no previous experience into a CG and VFX professional. If a student already has previous experience, we focus on providing a specialised education of the area that they want. Despite the level of skills that they come with when they enter the school, we want our students to learn practical and comprehensive skills of the CG and VFX field after the programme. SFFS is a perfect school for both beginners and people who already have experience in the field....
2. ArtFX School
ArtFX is a private digital arts college, training its students in CGI, VFX, 3D Animation and Video Games. Located in Montpellier (France), the school was created by professionals of the film, video games and visual effects industries.As the only school in Europe specializing in compositing CGI into live-action footage, ArtFX is a reference for CGI and CG animation training. At ArtFx you will develop professional level skills and build a solid network of contacts thanks to our close partnerships with professional artists. Thanks to these connections our graduates also have a 99% placement rate in major post-production studios within France and around the world.As a private establishment of higher education technical training, ArtFx is a member and co-founder of the Network of French Film An...
3. Think Tank Training Centre
Founded in 2005 in Vancouver BC, Think Tank Training Centre specializes in the latest software, techniques and technologies used by 3D artists working in the film, television and video game industries. In 2018 we ranked #1 in Canada (#4 worldwide) for Game Development, and #2 in Canada (#3 worldwide) for Visual Effects, and have consistently placed in the top four in previous years. Think Tank's campus is an inspirational place of learning, delivering a one-of-a-kind mentorship program which gives our students the edge as they transition into fully-fledged working professionals....
4. Lost Boys | School of Visual Effects
Complete your training in Effects, Lighting, or Compositing.The award-winning Lost Boys Studios operates this extraordinary school of visual effects. With its roots as an internationally renowned VFX boutique with 20+ years of excellence. Lost Boys has both pioneered and mastered craft-centric specialized Diploma & Certificate Programs for feature film VFX production delivered from within a studio environment. Focused & specialized training sets a solid foundation for growth, puts you in demand, and maximizes your career potential. Alumni enjoy a combined placement rate of 99% at jobs found within their field of study. Lost Boys is your best chance at a career in VFX....
For over twenty years, Gnomon has educated many of the world’s best digital artists. Called “the MIT of visual effects” by Fast Company magazine, Gnomon offers a variety of educational options to help students reach their goals in the entertainment industry, with both degree and vocational certificate programs, specialized courses for high school students and over 100 individual courses for professional enrichment. Visual effects artists launched Gnomon with the support of the entertainment industry to help meet the demand for well-trained creative talent in the growing field of digital entertainment. Our graduates are professionals working on the latest blockbuster films and games, and have positions at film and video game studios around the world....
6. PIXL VISN | media arts academy
PIXL VISN was founded in 2010 by industry professionals Andrei Stirbu and Robb Innes. We offer an accelerated 15-month 3D Animation and Visual Effects training program in a modern facility equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, located in the heart of Cologne, Germany. Instructors at PIXL VISN are a part of the industry: They work in relevant positions at major studios around the world helping to create major Hollywood feature films, hit television series and blockbuster video games. Our graduates have worked on productions like “Avengers: Endgame”, “Game of Thrones” and “Disney’s Dumbo”. In the official “World School Rankings® 2019” at “The Rookies”, PIXL VISN ranked 3rd in the ranking of the best Animation schools in the world and 10th in the ranking of the world's best Visual Effects schools....
7. Netherlands Film Academy
The academy is the only recognised institute in the Netherlands that offers training to prepare for the work in the various crew disciplines. Specialisation is possible in fiction directing, documentary directing, screenwriting, editing, producing, sounddesign, cinematography, production design, and interactive multimedia/visual effects. ...
8. 3dsense Media School
3dsense Media School is a pioneering digital arts school in Asia, preparing students for careers in the media and entertainment industry for over 13 years. Dedicated to providing a real-world education, 3dsense aims to mold the next generation of elite digital artists and designers for the global industry. Some of the properties her alumni have worked on include Interstellar, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Avengers, The Hunger Games series, Assassin’s Creed, Game of Thrones and many more. 3dsense was recently ranked top 20 in the world and 1st in Asia in the CG Student Awards 2015, School of the Year category.Besides education, the school also plays a major role in fostering a vibrant arts & design industry through its events and masterclasses...
9. Animum Creativity Advanced School
We constantly network and advise with Industry Stakeholders and academic partners globally to ensure we are constantly industry relevant. We network with Epic Games, Unity 3D, Rokoko, Reallusion, GSU, NYU, Southern Institute of Technology, Ara Institute, Yoobee Colleges, and more.Students are regularly hired by Epic Games, Weta Group, Eleven FX, Graphic Monk, Geo AR....
10. FX ANIMATION Barcelona 3D and Film School
FX ANIMATION Barcelona ArchViz School, pioneer in the field of architectural visualisation training and with 14 years of experience, offers you the possibility to complete your professional profile as an interior designer or architect thanks to its high performance training. Our specialised training and live online methodology (for English or Spanish speaking students) will allow you to master the leading software in the sector with great technical and visual depth, which will allow you to carry out any type of space visualisation project with great quality....
11. Savannah College of Art and Design
Savannah College of Art and Design prepares talented students for creative professions through engaged teaching and learning in a positively oriented university environment. SCAD is continually recognized for educational and professional excellence, affirming our commitment to the highest standards of achievement in art and design in the U.S.
SCAD constantly researches and reimagines programs to instill the critical skills and knowledge students need to succeed in their chosen careers. SCAD consults industry leaders, gathers data on business and design needs and collects student feedback to inform the genesis and evolution of every degree taught at the university. SCAD offers more programs and specializations than any other art and design university in the U.S., with 40 undergraduate, and 61 graduate degree programs.
SCAD is one university — offering degrees in Atl...
12. The Animation Workshop/ VIA University College
The Animation Workshop/VIA University College (TAW) enjoys a strong and wide reputation due to the top educations we provide for the international film industry, yet we are much more than a school. The Animation Workshop is located in Viborg, Denmark. It is a part of VIA University College’s School of Business, Technology and Creative Industries and has expertise in the areas of education, culture, communication, and business development. To this effect, it benefits from a strong international network of artists, professionals, companies, funding institutions, and partner schools....
New3dge, located in Paris, is a private school of higher education specialized in the fields of Game Art, 3D Animation&VFX and Concept Art. We have tailored our student program and our teaching methods alongside some of the major players in these fields. We recruit our educators from our network of respected professionals around the globe. At New3gde, we give our students the opportunity to learn skills and work with cutting edge technology in an ever-evolving environment, guaranteeing their integration in the video game, 3D animation/VFX field and Concept Art. Our current placement rate is 92% More infos at : www.new3dge.com...
14. CG Spectrum
CG Spectrum was founded on the principle that students learn best through personalized, hands-on education taught by industry professionals who specialize in the discipline they are teaching. By giving students access to the most talented artists in the industry as their mentors, this helps ensure that CG Spectrum students are the best connected, best trained and best prepared for life beyond school in their respective fields. Our mentors meet students from around the world online for small classes or 1-on-1 specialised industry diploma courses. This personalised education gives our students an advantage, by allowing them to network with artists of major studios, regardless of their geographic location.
In addition to the unique 1-on-1 approach to training, CG Spectrum mentors spend a majority of their time working within the student files to show them how they would approach t...
ESMA CG School is a hiher education institution located in Montpellier, Toulouse, Nante, Lyon and Montreal, with more than 25 years of experience.Recognized for the quality and richness of its artistic teachings, the school offers two courses related to CG Animation and FX: a Prépa Entertainment and a Professional Cycle CG Animation & FX.Our ambition: to offer a teaching in adequacy with the professional environment in order to prepare our students for the various artistic professions and to facilitate their insertion and their success in the world of work....
16. The One Academy of Communication Design
For over 25 years of creative education excellence, The One Academy has been renowned as one of the best art and design colleges in Asia with over 2,500 existing students in two of our main campuses. We are committed to our role as a world-class education provider by nurturing creative pioneers who can brace and surpass international standards.To achieve this, we provide comprehensive courses, for instance, Film Visual Effects and Digital Animation with Game Development, in collaboration with industry masters such as Andrew Gordon, Pixar animation director, Eduardo Pena, concept artist of The Hobbit trilogies, and also Ubisoft, to name a few....
17. Flinders University / CDW Studios
In partnership Flinders University and CDW Studios have created a very unique study environment where you are being taught by an instructor who currently works as a professional in that industry. Our instructors are world class, and have experience freelancing and working for some of the world’s top entertainment providers and creators, such as Blizzard Entertainment, Rising Sun Pictures, Disney, Warner Brothers and Lego just to name a few. By employing industry professionals CDW Studios and Flinders University ensure that students receive an intensive industry relevant education along with the critical thinking, analysis and structure that a Flinders University degree provides....
18. UniSA / Rising Sun Pictures
Rising Sun Pictures (RSP) and the University of South Australia (UniSA) have partnered to deliver accredited courses in visual effects. In classrooms set up to mirror real-world production environments, and with instructors who are working professionals, the award-winning visual effects studio rigorously trains students in the technologies and techniques they’ll need to succeed in an expanding global film industry.
There are three UniSA degrees which provide a pathway to a career in visual effects - an under-graduate degree – Bachelor of Film and Television (visual effects specialisation), and two post-graduate degrees - Compositing & Tracking, and Dynamic Effects & Lighting.
Students gain exposure to professional practice standards through learning in a production studio, and using industry standard software under the supervision of experienced visua...
How we calculate the school rankings
Data is based on the quality and performance of student work that is submitted to our judging panel for the Rookie Awards.
We feel that traditional school rankings – that include peer and employer reviews, faculty-to-student ratio, citations and other data – are not adequate when ranking the best creative schools. This might work in industries with more traditional career paths, however, when it comes to technical and creative roles, such as Visual Effects, Feature Animation and Games, it’s a lot more complicated.
Why our rankings are more accurate than others
School Rankings systems used by other websites focus on Incoming Student Skills. schools rank higher based on how selective they are. In other words, schools are rewarded by only accepting students with straight A's. This is like ranking hospitals by how sick their patients are when they arrive!
What we do at The Rookies, is rank school based on Outgoing Student Skills. We focus on how well a school has prepared a student for the job they've been training for. This the real sign of a top school and it can only be achieved by reviewing every single entry multiple times by highly respected people working in the industry.
The Judging Process
Each entrant is reviewed by members of the official Judging Panel which includes over 150 highly influential and respected industry veterans. The Judges were asked to score entries based on criteria including — creative skills, technical skills, presentation, variety of skills, complexity, raw talent, and employment potential.
Based on the results of student submissions we received this year we have released the following in-depth breakdowns about the best schools.
Each school is awarded a final score based on the performance of each student representing their academic facility.
When analysing the average scores of each student per school there are three possible data formulas available to use: mean, median and mode.
The Rookies uses median. The median is the middle point of a number set, in which half the numbers are above the median and half are below. A median is intrinsically understandable. It is the middle number when the values are put in order.
- Schools with < 8 student entries are excluded from ranking.
- Incomplete student entries are removed from calculations. No penalties.
- Each student receives a performance score. Max 100 points.
- Median students score calculated per school. Max 100 points.
- Each category finalist receives 10 bonus points toward School Score.
- Each category runner up receives 15 bonus points toward School Score.
- Each category winner receives 20 bonus points toward School Score.
Is your school missing from this global ranking?
Over 4,000 international students represented their school by submitting their work to the Rookie Awards 2021 and were reviewed by industry professionals.