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Digital Matte Painting Diploma

DigitalMattePainting VANAS 288x337

The Digital Matte Painting Diploma program provides aspiring artists with the necessary foundation tools and the skills to become successful Matte Painters. 

Type: Online Diploma
Level: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced
Duration: 12 months
Start Dates: Sep, Jan, Apr, Jul;
Admission Requirements: See below.

Program Description

Welcome to the exciting world of Digital Matte Painting.  In this Digital Matte Painting online course you will learn why Matte Painters play such an important role in the Animation and Visual Effects industries. Their mission is to create and to make people believe that what they see on the screen is real. Matte Painters are key to the studio and its pipeline; they are planning, creating and designing the visuals of what could be the next blockbuster visual effects and animated movie.


Fully Accredited

This program is accredited by the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB), designated under the British Columbia Education Quality Assurance (BCEQA), the Ministry of Advanced Education and listed under the Canadian Information Center for International Credentials (CICIC).


What does accreditation mean?

Accreditation is meant to protect students, schools, and employers. It ensures that a school is educating its students and meeting quality standards.   If you choose a school that isn’t accredited, it may be difficult to use your academic credentials.  Few employers will take your education seriously. Additionally, you may not be able to transfer your credit hours or degree to an accredited school.

If you are learning for personal enjoyment, accreditation may not be important to you. However, if you want to use your academic credential in the workplace or plan on furthering your education at a later date, accreditation is essential.


Program Duration

The Digital Matte Painting Diploma at Vancouver Animation School is a 4 term intensive. The Program consists of 20 hours of instruction consisting of 2 hours of live sessions plus activities per week. A total duration of 990 hours is delivered in 12 months.


Study and Work in Canada

This full-time online program meets the Ministry of Education requirements to Study and Work in Canada.  Students may study from their home countries or in Vancouver, Canada.  When studying in Vancouver, Canada,  all classes are conducted online and 20 hours per week of on-site lab access is available for students to interact with one another.  Students will need to apply for a Student Visa and are permitted to work for up to 20 hours per week for the duration of the program.  Citizen and Immigration Canada reserves the right to grant student visas and work permits on an individual basis.  In order to apply for a Student Visa, students must be accepted into the program.


Who should attend this program?

Aspiring visual effects artists, people that demonstrate problem solving skills, people that like to create, entertain and have a wild imagination.  Artists with the ability to convey their thoughts through computer compositing software.


Who is our target student?

Aspiring Matte Painters who are deeply passionate about visual effects, film, set extensions, compositing.  Artists who already recognize and understand their strengths of what they can be best at, and can build a rewarding career throughout their life in the Animation, Visual Effects and Video Game industries.   At VANAS, we believe in the power of simplicity to succeed, focusing on your strengths is our philosophy.


Who is not our target student?

Artists looking for general education, undecided or unknowledgeable about career paths.  We recommend taking our other short introductory courses to find and recognize their strengths.


Admission Requirements

  • High school graduate (with transcript), or 19 years of age or older
  • Must pass general assessment test and submit a portfolio. If no portfolio is submitted, student must successfully pass the Introduction to Matte Painting course.
  • International students with English as a second language must demonstrate a good oral and written level of English. A telephone, Skype, or in-person interview may be required to verify this.


Program Outline

Year TermCode Name of CourseCreditsDuration
1Term 1
DIMP-1002D Foundations (Still Images)
63 Months
  COOL-100Online collaboration and activities3 
1Term 2
DIMP-200 3D Software Foundations for matte painters (Nuke, Maya)
63 Months
  COOL-200Online collaboration and activities3 
1Term 3
DIMP-300 Advanced 2.5D Matte Painting
63 Months
  COOL-300Online collaboration and activities3 
1Term 4
DIMP-400 Portfolio Development63 Months
  BUSI-400Business and Job Development
3612 Months 



The curriculum for the Digital Matte painting online program has been carefully designed in extensive consultation with the Moving Picture Company (Guardians of the Galaxy, Godzilla, Spiderman) in Vancouver, Canada.

mpc logo


Download Matte Painting Curriculum


Required Materials

Webcam and Headphones are essential tools for Online Programs.

Internet broadband / High Speed connection.

Software and Hardware

Students are responsible for supplying their own Computer Hardware and Software. Academic discounts are available to our enrolled students.


Recommended Books

The Invisible Art - by Mark Cotta Vaz (Currently out of print)

The Digital Matte Painting Handbook - by David B. Mattingly



System Requirements


     Windows: XP, Vista Vista 64 bit
     Processor: 2 GHZ or higher
     4 GB RAM (8 GB recommended)
     Internet browser (Firefox, Chrome recommended)
     Flash Player
     Acrobat Reader
     QuickTime Pro


     Mac OSX Tiger or newer                    
     Processor: G5 / Intel
     4 GB RAM (8 GB recommended)
     Internet browser (Firefox, Chrome recommended)
     Flash Player
     Acrobat Reader
     Quick Time Pro


Digital Pen

wacom-logoA digital pen is an input device which captures the handwriting or brush strokes of an artist directly into the computer.

Wacom is committed to developing technology to meet the needs of specific professions and industries that can benefit from a more natural and efficient way to work.

Software Requirements


Autodesk Maya 2010 App Icon

Adobe Creative CloudAutodesk Creation SuiteNuke
(Production Collective)
Academic discounts are available to our enrolled students

Additional Information

Students must complete every assignment in the program and obtain a minimum average of letter B- (73%) per term to graduate successfully.

Matte Painters develop visuals for Animation and Visual Effects. These professionals typically work in computer animation and visual effects studios producing feature films and television series.


University Degrees

This program is eligible for university pathways.


Transfer Credits

This program is listed under the BC Transfer Guide as block transfer.


Tuition in Canadian Dollars

See Tuition and Fees breakdown


Your Tuition is Protected

The Student Training Completion Fund is established under the Private Training Act, and provides consumer protection to students enrolled in programs at institutions registered with the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB). Read More


Graduation in Vancouver, Canada




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