Visual Effect Live Production in Catalyst's Film Production studio

VFX, Digital Arts & Animation HE Certificate

Get the skills, find your style, build a portfolio


Embark on a journey of exploration through visual fx and digital art design through professional workflows in a fast paced ‘real world’, hands on, production environment. Develop your skills and knowledge of industry standard hardware and software whilst producing a minimum of 25 finalised works ranging through concept design, matte paintings, 2D and 3D animations, VFX master shots and practical on-set effects.

Gain the essential industry-relevant skills needed to excel in whichever direction you decide to pursue in your career as an artist and technologist. Our project-based curriculum allows you to build a portfolio while you shape your academic projects towards your professional goals and interests. Whether you're interested in gaming, animation, immersive installations or on-set VFX, this programme provides you with the knowledge, gear, facilities and guidance to realise your creative and professional goals.


Through countless collaborations, get experience in a range of creative and technical roles both on-set and in post production.

Ongoing feedback and mentorship from our tutor team will equip you to design and produce digital images and visual effects for a range of incoming briefs. Start exploring your creative identity on your journey to becoming a visual effects and digital arts professional.

To support this practical learning you will have access to industry equipment and facilities including a modern film studio with a green screen, work stations, motion sensors, professional gear, countless filmmaking accessories, sound equipment, and everything you could think of when it comes to a professional set-up. 

Course details

Undergraduate | HE Certificate - 1 Year

Train your eye, explore a variety of techniques and approaches to visual effects and digital art. Create and mix elements in a final image by shooting practical effects and live action footage with real actors (in collaboration with our Acting, Film & Music Production Schools!). Take photos and references, supervise on set and in a green screen studio, create and animate 2D graphic elements, compose matte paintings, sketch, and bring 3D assets to life.

This one year VFX, Digital Arts & Animation course dives into nearly every subject in the broad territory of technological arts in order to provide a solid foundation and hands on, practical experience in the tools and methodologies used in today's creative industry.

During the year you will complete:

  • 15+ concept shots/installations
  • 1 short film as a VFX artist/supervisor
  • Countless collaborations on set and postproduction with our Film Production students

The digital portfolio you walk away with will not only contain your original work and projects. It’ll also serve as a certification of the software and technical skills you’ve developed. You can also include sketches and concepts, case analyses, and project-based learning descriptions and outcomes.

  • Live Action & Practical FX
  • Post Production & Color Grading
  • 2D and 3D Assets 
  • Image Composition, Visual Storytelling and Workflows
  • Development
  • Roundtable Discussions
  • More details here.

Study areas to look forward to:

  • Shoot live action, including fundamentals of cinematography and lighting
  • On-set visual effects supervision
  • Practical effects including in camera effects, vfx make up, animatronics etc…
  • Stop motion and miniatures
  • Green screen and 3d tracking
  • 2D assets creation and animation
  • 3D assets and animation, including modeling, texturing and lighting
  • Digital Compositing and camera projection
  • Matte painting and image retouching
  • Post production and colour grading
  • Character Design
  • Image composition and visual narrative
  • Physics, light and the science of visuals
  • Fundamentals of fine art and storytelling
  • Training your eye
  • The visual effects pipeline
  • Filmmaking, camerawork and working on sets
  • Collaboration, giving and receiving critical feedback, and introspection

During the Visual Effects HE Certificate course you will also have full access to a curated selection of 50+ online classes around every topic approached in our workshops, including membership access to Skillshare’s extended catalogue of resources.

A selection of the bonus online courses available to Catalyst Berlin Visual Effects students

Learn more
Visual artist Paulina Greta tries out a VR game at Catalyst Berlin Visual Effects student installation exhibition

A safe space to dream big

Maximise your hands-on access to state-of-the-art visual effects facilities and equipment.


Your initial progression choice will be whether to take your first steps into the industry or to continue your development by completing our Visual FX, Digital Arts & Animation BA Hons degree.

There is no right and wrong answer here. It will depend on the skillset you have already developed and what you are planning to do in the visual fx and digital arts industry.

Your success in either depends entirely on you – what you bring, your approach, and the grit, passion and sheer determination with which you take the next course or start your first project in the creative industry.


Entry level positions in large scale visual effects studios

  • Rotoscoping artist
  • Junior Matchmover
  • Junior compositing artist
  • Digital preparation artist
  • Assistant animator
  • Junior Matte painting artist

Positions in production companies

  • On-set VFX supervisor
  • On-set DIT (digital imaging technician)
  • 3d junior animator
  • Junior color grading artist
  • Junior post-production supervisor
  • Motion designer

General jobs in small and mid level productions (music video, short films, artistic installations, etc)

  • Visual effects artist
  • Visual effects supervisor
  • VFX producer

Warning! This list of positions is not exhaustive! There is an endless catalogue of level entry or trainee position in the various industries concerned with visual effects and animation, and more new positions are created every day. From there, the only limit is that of your determination and grit.

However you measure it and whatever artistic realm you are working in, most creatives would like to achieve success with their creative endeavour. There are many types of success an individual may want to achieve. From successful completion of an artistic exploration all the way through to financial security and a global audience

There are many skills required to develop these dreams into real and practical futures. Our optional course in self-development and leadership is the ‘rocket fuel’ which will provide you with the frameworks, the focus and the drive to help realise your future.

Self development to better understand how to take decisive action, to communicate powerfully with others and take an honest look at how you limit yourself. Leadership to complete your creative project, to bring your work into the external world and to attract an audience to share, appreciate and follow your work. 


Our tutors are industry experienced with a passion for passing on their knowledge to others. We have a rotating list of guest tutors for specific specialties and a permanent team of visual effects tutors that will be supporting you throughout your learning process.


All applicants will be asked to provide: personal and educational information, documentation of their education experience, a portfolio or audition tape, and a personal introduction (which can be submitted as a written statement of motivation or a video/audio clip). 


- Standard entry: graduation from high school at a level which would normally permit entry to university in the country where it was gained. This would be A-Levels in the UK and the Abitur in Germany, for example.

- Non-standard entry: We recognise that not all education happens in the classroom and it may be possible to admit you through a non-standard access route. If you do not possess the required formal qualification, but have acquired relevant professional or life experience, please contact our Admissions team.

If neither of the two categories above describe your situation, you'll most likely need to complete a short course to gain access to our 1 and 3-year HE degree courses.


The language of instruction in all our courses is English and applicants must demonstrate a level equal to IELTS 6. We do not ask for official exam results, but we will assess the standard of English in your application and support materials.

For more information please contact our Admissions team and we’d be happy to discuss your opportunities to come study with us.

More detail

Course start: mid-September 2023

Application deadlines

  • Round 1 - International (non-EU) and EU students - 31 March, 2023*
    * Non-EU students will need to apply for a student visa to live in Germany. The application process for this takes several months and you can only begin this process after you have been offered a place and enrolled on the course.
  • Final deadline - EU students only - 31 May 2023
More info

We offer 2 ways to pay:

  • Single Payment Option:
    Enrolment Fee* €895 + Tuition Fee €10,855 = €11,750 per year
  • Instalment Payment Option:
    Enrolment Fee* €895 + 10 instalments x €1,185.50 = €12,750 per year

* Note- Enrolment fee is non-refundable. It is due every year as part of the total annual fee.

If you decide to enrol in both a 4-week short course and HE degree course (1 or 3-years long) with us, you will receive a discount of 500€ on the total tuition.

More detail

Get a feel for our school from the comfort of your home with our Virtual Open Days and skill-focussed Taster Workshops.

Hosted by our team and students, these online events will give you a sense of what it's like to come and study with us in Berlin.

We look forward to meeting you online soon!

Learn more

Explore more Catalyst courses

Visual Effects BA Hons Degree

Engage and adapt to the industry of today whilst exploring the future of technological arts, new realities, artificial intelligence and human/machine interfacing. 

Studying Visual Effects at Catalyst

Learn more about our VFX learning programme.

Catalyst Berlin Visual Effects workshop Paulina Greta projection

Access to Higher Education

For those wishing to join our main VFX courses, but lacking either practical experience in VFX or the formal education requirements to apply through standard entry, we offer an additional primer workshop to run alongside any 4 week summer short course.

Film Production HE Certificate

Our 'hands on' 1 year film production course. Learn by doing. And doing. And doing.

Creative Production Film MA Masters

Celebrate, explore, develop, innovate and magnify your capabilities as a filmmaker, director, cinematographer, editor, writer, producer, sound designer or audiovisual artist.