Howest University of Applied Sciences - Digital Arts and Entertainment

Howest University of Applied Sciences - Digital Arts and Entertainment

DAE is a three-year full-time Bachelor degree programme designed by and developed for creative, ambitious, passionate and exceptional individuals, ready to push the limits of tomorrow’s interactive or pre-rendered 3D.

About School

Digital Arts and Entertainment (DAE) is a state-of-the-art, yet accessible, English-taught Bachelor’s degree. Fully accredited, 3 years, amounting to 180 ECTS credits. DAE is taught at Howest, a modern and unconventional university of applied sciences, situated in a small but beautiful historic city in Flanders, Belgium, in the heart of Western Europe. At DAE you can choose between 6 study majors: Game Graphics Production, Game Development, Independent Game Production, Interactive Sound Production, 3D Animation or Visual Effects (VFX). It is an industry-approved and award-winning curriculum, with alumni in leading companies and studios all over the world, such as Blizzard, Bungie, Ubisoft, DICE, Rocksteady, Guerrilla Games, Larian, Unity, Studio Gobo, Sumo Digital, ILM, MPC, DNeg and many more.

General Info


Digital Arts and Entertainment has its own campus building, The Level, which clearly reflects our and our students’ ambitions. When entering The Level, the link to a first-person shooter or action-adventure game is easily made. The raw materials, the level differences, the ‘peculiar’ staircase, the overview of the space, the mystical light coming through the atrium – it all contributes to the overall atmosphere. The Level is also a multifunctional building, where everything revolves around (interactive) 3D. So what exactly goes on here?

The Level has an extensive green key with Mocap and state-of-the-art equipment. Our students learn to work with these materials and in this environment, so they are familiar with the latest technology in their field. Our knowledge and competence center also comprise an audio studio, editing studio and a multi-purpose meeting and conference room.

Regular classes are held in the classrooms for either 30 or 60 students. There are always two teachers present if you have classes in a big classroom: one who teaches the content and another who assists and helps students out. More theoretic lectures are held in bigger auditoriums. We regularly invite guest lecturers to talk to our students in the seminar room. Third year students do their group projects in "the Hive".

One day in the week the Level is open in the evening so students can use the classrooms to work, study and help each other out. It is also a chance to get together and work on group projects.  Of course, after the hard work a drink is in order and socialize with your fellow students.

During one week in the year we skip regular classes and organize a whole series of workshops that will stimulate your creativity. During this week you can follow classes and workshops on graphic design, sculpting with clay, landscape painting, street dance, photogrammetry, game jam, petcha kucha's...


Our staff is a mix of lecturers with lots of didactical experience and lecturers with lots of industry and technical experience. We organize in-house workshops for our staff done by experts on the technology in question, or by our own staff. There is always a lecturer that has taught himself something new that he’s willing to share. We make sure that there is an ever-present atmosphere of life-long learning, as that is fundamental to our industry and vision of the program.

Student Showcase

Take a look at some of the traditional and digital artwork Howest University of Applied Sciences - Digital Arts and Entertainment students produce during their education.

Silke Van Der Smissen

When I was younger, one of my favorite things to do when I got home from school was play Crash Bandicoot on our PS1 with my sister and my dad. We'd each take turns and pass around the controller.

João Desager

I'm very interested in pipelines and procedural workflows. Eventually I'd love to work as a pipeline TD or environment artist.

Noah Baumann

I've always been interested in 3D art. Ever since I was a little child I enjoyed watching animated movies or playing video games. At age 13 I started to learn graphic design and during that time I moved more and more into 3D.

Leo Newman

I want to become an environment artist for games, or a level designer.

Arvid Van Thorre

My goal is to perfect my skills, so I can be the best in helping to make people's ideas come to live

Pablo Sanchez | Concept Artist, Sumo Digital

DAE has relationships with many international studios due to the relationships we maintain with our Alumni. We have a very close relationship with Larian Studios, located in Gent, whom you may know from Divinity: Original Sin 2. We have a couple of internships running there every year. Next to that we maintain close contact with studios like Ubisoft Massive, Airborn Studios, Elite3D, Epic Games, Guerilla Games, Electric Square, Bungie, Double Negative, MPC and ILM, to make sure our program and focus stays up to date with the current industry. DAE’s graduates, that we lovingly call “Veterans”, find their place in a wide and diversified range of companies, ranging from triple-A to mobile to local industry and serious games.


The DAE curriculum educates you to become an entry-level technical artist for the international games or VFX industry. It is a three-year full-time Bachelor programme. During these studies, we try to reflect as closely as possible the working conditions and methods from the industry. Hence our strong focus on the production pipeline and on being productive as one of many people in a larger team.

At DAE, you can choose from 6 majors, depending on your individual skills and interests:

  • Visual Effects
  • 3D Animation
  • Game Graphics Production
  • Game Development
  • Independent Game Production
  • Interactive Sound Production

Your choice depends on the kind of job and industry you want to end up in. If you want to develop games and program gameplay, tools and engines, then Game Development is the path to choose. If, on the other hand, you want to focus on making worlds, creating objects, levels and characters for games, then Game Graphics Production will be your preferred playground. If you dream of making complete games by yourself or in small teams, producing the graphics and code as well as taking care of the business side of your game, then you will do well in Independent Game Production. And if games are not your thing, but you want to create stunning VFX for movies, TV series, ads or other 3D productions, then the Visual Effects major will be your perfect match.

Visual Effects

The process of film magic starts with rotoscoping, tracking, matchmoving and compositing. We dive into the greenkey studio or we film on location with a green screen. You will be given a solid technical foundation at the start of the course math and programming, after which we pull open all registers of SideFx Houdini to show you how all the visual effects are made and what's needed to bring them all to life.

3D Animation

We start with the visual storytelling in a storyboard: evolving from a 2D animatic to a 3D block-out to the final scene. In this pipeline, *you* are the "puppet master". Let virtual beings jump, run, fly, talk, cry, fight, fall in love... There are no limits. Within animation, the boundaries are endlessly.

Game Graphics Production

A graduate from Game Graphics Production is an expert in creating graphical assets for AAA games. Starting from a concept, you translate the vision of your art director into breathtaking graphics. Just like a game developer you own a thorough understanding of the production pipeline and you are able to find a balance between quality and production speed. You master a wide set of 2D, 3D and technical skills. Moreover, you know which tool is best suited for a specific situation.

Game Development

In this specialisation you will immerse yourself in the full production process of AAA games. You become an all-in developer, who learns to conjure with game graphics and gameplay programming. In addition, the student learns breathtaking real time productions such as games, AR and VR simulations. Art and game design are controlled by code that leads to a sensational gaming experience.

As an accomplished juggler, you keep the many elements that lead to a game in balance. They're in the center of a game's radar work, be it in the engine, the artificial intelligence, the game play, the UI, the 3D visuals...

Interactive Sound Production

Sound is an indispensable and crucial part in audiovisual media and games; its importance can hardly be overstated in modern-day game productions. With this DAE-major in Sound Design, we initially aim at imparting our students with an attuned set of programming skills. This part of the program enables students to fully grasp and function in various roles of a game development team (e.g. basic programming skills, knowledge of audiovisual language, math, physics, 2D & 3D, game engines, level editing, procedure and pipeline).

Independent Game Production

Making games is not a game but serious business. Independent Game Production takes you through the full production of a game. During your training it introduces you to the game engine within which you bring a world to life. You learn also the ins and outs of the content creation tools that you design them with. We focus on the knowledge needed to take the lead in the development of new projects. Supplemented with a solid portion of game design knowledge you are ready to play 3D and games like your favorite medium. As a student in IGP, we will provide you with the necessary knowledge to make your own game to develop within a pipeline that is suitable for smaller productions.

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