Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions, eligibility, program information, and more.

Vancouver Animation School is a leading Canadian school offering programs for the Animation, VFX, VR, and Video Game Industries.

Diploma programs questions

Do you offer personalized learning?

Our school has a personalized learning and student centric structure, while each student follows the program curriculum, yet they do create and submit individual and original projects throughout the year.

Their teachers will review each student individually on their own project during the live sessions. In the past we had video recorded critiques, however we moved on to live critiques based on student's feedback so they could interact with their teachers and ask more questions during the critiques sessions.

In every assignment,  your teachers will give you a grade based on a series of criteria based for that week.

And while there are recorded videos, our school is 90% live and interactive.  We have been revolutionizing online education since 2009, and we are pretty good at it.

Can I transfer my academic credits from VANAS to other universities?

Yes, we are an accredited online school, please review our academic partners.

Can I take VANAS courses online?

Yes, you can. We offer online and combined programs. Our online programs are delivered via our online VANAS campus. You can take our programs from anywhere in the world as long as you have a high-speed internet connection.

I’m 19 years old, can I apply for a Diploma program?

Yes, you can. You must be 19 years of age or older OR have a high school diploma.

I don’t have a high school diploma can I still apply for the program?

Yes, you can. You must be 19 years of age or older OR have a high school diploma. Please see your program of interest for specific requirements for each diploma program.

When is the next intake for the diploma program?

Our diploma programs have 4 intakes per year as follow:

Winter Term: opens in January
Spring Term: opens in April
Summer Term: opens in July
Fall Term: opens in September/October

Certificate courses Questions

Can I take VANAS introductory courses online?

Yes, you can. All our introduction courses are delivered online via our VANAS campus website. You can take our programs from anywhere in the world as long as you have a high-speed internet connection.

Do you offer any scholarships for introductory and certificate courses?

Our scholarships are only available for the diploma programs. However, there are incentives for teams enrolling in our introductory programs.

I don’t have a high school diploma can I still apply for the intro course?

Yes, our introductory programs are 14+. For applicants under the age of 19, you must have your parent or guardian compete and sign your student enrolment contract and schedule a time to speak with our admissions representative

When is the next intake for the introductory courses?

Our Introductory courses have 4 intakes for application:

Winter Term: opens in January
Spring Term: opens in April
Summer Term: opens in July
Fall Term: opens in September/October

Scholarships and portfolios questions

I'm a professional looking to switch careers, is this relevant for a scholarship

If you are already a working professional artist and are looking for more training or a career change, your experience will be considered as an additional credential when applying for a scholarship.

Do I have to maintain the scholarship during my studies?

Yes, students with awarded scholarships must:

  • Maintain a minimum of a letter B+ grade throughout their course of studies, otherwise the scholarship will be withdrawn.
  • Be committed to complete their studies during the duration of the program and won't be eligible to take a leave of absence.

Which programs are eligible for scholarships?

Scholarships apply only to the online and combined diploma programs

  • 2D Computer Animation Diploma
  • 3D Computer Character Animation Diploma (Full time and part time)
  • Animated Short Films
  • Advanced 3D Modeling
  • Concept Art Diploma (Full time and part time)
  • Digital Matte Painting Diploma
  • Effects Technical Director Diploma
  • Esports Diploma
  • Video Game Design Diploma
  • Virtual Reality Diploma

What is the eligibility criteria and process

  • Applicant must complete an application form before applying for a scholarship
  • Scholarships are only valid for diploma applicants.
  • VANAS enrolled students who have signed their student contract can not apply for a scholarship.
  • Scholarships are competitive, your submission will be competing against other submissions.  Submit your best work
  • Applicants must meet the admission criteria per program
  • Applicants must prove the ability to afford the remaining balance of the program tuition

What are the scholarship values?

Scholarships values will be determined by our faculty and will be awarded within a 5% to 20% range of the total tuition cost. Here are some examples:

Example a) 5% discount of the total program tuition
Example b) 20% discount of the total program tuition

  • (Example a: Concept Art Diploma tuition minus 5% scholarship.   $18,500 - $925 = $17,575)
  • (Example b: Concept Art Diploma tuition minus 20% scholarship.   $18,500 - $3,700 = $14,800)

How many scholarships are available?

Here are some stats of previous years:

VANAS Scholarships are offered year round in any of our terms: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer.

  • 11 scholarships per term

  • A total of 42 scholarships are given per calendar year

What types of pieces should my portfolio include?

Keep it simple, your portfolio should include 5 images of what you consider to be your best work. If you have a video demonstrating animation, that works too, however it's not necessary. If you are applying for the Video Game Design or Esports Diploma, portfolios are not needed. These diplomas require a letter of intent.

Can I get a scholarship that will cover 100% of my tuition?

The amount of awarded scholarships depends on your portfolio level, work experience and previous education.VANAS Scholarships range from 5% - 20%.

When is the scholarships submission due date?

There is no due date for the scholarships, it works on a first come first serve basis.

How can I apply for a scholarship?

Anyone who has a portfolio can apply for a VANAS Scholarship. If you have any sketches, animation designs, drawings or other art work pieces, please select 5 that represent it best and apply for a scholarship. The application for VANAS scholarships are after you have been accepted into your program, and not before. Meaning, you won't be awarded a scholarship until you are successfully accepted in the Diploma program of your interest.

Taxes questions

Where can I get some help with questions about my T2202 to declare my taxes?

VANAS does not provide tax related support.  We recommend you talk to your personal accountant for more information about deductions and taxes related to T2202 forms.

What fees are not eligible for T2202 forms?

Any fee that is not tuition will not be eligible for tax deductions. Some examples are: Administration fees, late payment fees, student association fees, health and dental insurance, transportation and parking, meals and lodging, etc.

I received my T2202 but the address in incorrect, do I need a new T2202?

Update your address in your VANAS Student account, and download again your T2202a, it will reflect your address changes automatically.

I am enrolled in a Diploma program however my T2202 is not available, why is that?

Tax forms are available a year after your date of student enrolment.  For example, if you enrolled in January 4th, 2016;  you will see your T2202A in January 2017.

Where can I find my T2202?

Current students and alumni can find their tax forms in our online campus.  Login to your account, find the payment history menu, and scroll to the bottom of the page to find your tax forms.

Will my application fee show in the T2202?

No, it won't show since this is an administration fee. It is not considered tuition. By Canada Revenue Agency guidelines, only tuition can be tax deductible.

What VANAS courses are not eligible for a T2202?

By Canada Revenue Agency regulations, all continuing education courses are not eligible for tax form receipts.   Continuing Education courses are classified as personal development and not necessarily lead to employment.  All our Introductory courses fall under the Continuing Education category.

What VANAS courses qualify for a T2202?

By Canada Revenue Agency regulations, all courses that lead to employment are eligible for a Tax form, typically all Diplomas and Certificates over 6 months of duration.

Will the tax forms be sent to me without requesting them

No, current students and alumni will need to login to their account to retrieve their T2202 forms.  This way, you will have your tax forms available and ready when you need them.

What is a T2202 tax form?

It stands for Tuition, Education and Textbook Amounts Certificate.  It is an income tax form that is issued one time per year, typically in the following year of your enrolled date as a student.

Digital Entertainment industry questions

How good is India's animation technology compared to that of other nations?

In reality, all animation studios around the world use more less the same software and tools (It wasn’t the case in the 70’s when there was no off the shelf software), because these tools now are standard, and available for everybody, any one or any studio can develop their own animation productions without a lack of tools.

If you are asking who is developing these tools and who is the leading country, that would be mostly USA, since they have acquired other tools (mainly developed in Canada). There are a couple of great tools coming from Japan and France for 2d animation.

There are other startups developing new tools or add-ons or plugins that are great, however the adoption is slow.

Will traditional animation ever come back?

It has never left! There’s a lot of 2D animation production happening around the globe, and it is one of the most beloved forms of animation for the majority of true artists!

If you mean that would you like to see it in the big screen, that is totally a budget decision, just like any other industry, they have to find ways for a faster and more efficient production that brings more revenue. There’s nothing wrong with that.

And if you look around the globe, 2D animation production is booming, in particular in development countries, where there are more traditional artists creating their own intellectual properties.

Can we learn animation in 6 months?

In 6 months you’ll learn the animation foundations for sure. However, since animation is an intangible art, you’ll take a bit more time to develop. And like everything else, passing from good to great, and from great to excellent will take you a bit more time!

I plan on getting a degree in Film and Media Arts. When I graduate, can I use that degree to get a job in Graphic Design?

Degrees are not as important as the quality of your portfolio, this is what will get you the interview, and eventually the job.

The only time I’ve seen degrees being important, is to work overseas, where the consulate officer will ask you for your academic credentials (they don’t care about the portfolio), and also if you decide to go into teaching, you’ll need a bachelors degree/master degree.

How hard is it for one person to create their own animated short film?

"I have created single-handedly 17 short films and loved every minute of it. Short films are what will define you as a Film Maker as opposed to an animator, they will sharpen your story-telling skills, your connection with your audience and your ability to see the Full Picture.

Most of the Film Makers out there create their own Short Films because they have something to say to the world. They typically are very determined, have great stamina to not only to finish the short film, but to finish in first place.

Go for it, start with 1 min short film, then create a second one with 2 min in length, then 3, 5, 10, etc."

Mario Pochat, CEO at Vancouver Animation School.

Is Animation still a viable career path today considering the amount of competition, unstable jobs and low compensation?

Now more than ever, Animation has plenty of platforms. In the past, the platforms were newspapers, then film, then TV. Today, we have mobile devices, the internet, Netflix, etc. And the content is being consumed at an exponential rate. Therefore more content needs to be produced by animators.

For the second part of your question:

Any field has and will have competition, it drives prices/wages to be competitive. However, as in any industry; you have to always keep evolving and innovating, picking your clients based on the quality you are delivering. Competition will make you better and you will find your unique selling proposition.

Is it worth switching from Premier Pro to After Effects?

These 2 softwares have completely different purposes. AE is for compositing layers, Premier is for Video Editing. You can technically achieve both tasks in either software however, it will be more difficult and time consuming, so choose your software accordingly.

Is there a program that you can make 2D animation with by creating characters with "joints"?

Yes, joints have been implemented in 2D animation software for a long time, check out Toon boom animation software, and recently Animate CC (previously flash). Now, the joints in 2D animation are still kind of tricky, and many of the 2D animators still don’t get use to their functionality.

What are the 3D animations that look like 2D?

The 3D animation that have a 2D visual look, is basically a 3D model (character) that has a toon-shader as a material. This material will render the edges of the 3D model as if they were made with pencil, and the polygonal faces of the object will be rendered with a flat color.

This is a great technique, however nothing beats real 2D animation or its look.

What kind of computers do large studio animators use?

You’ll typically find workstations that are fully equipped with Graphic Cards to support 3D animation, High End Compositing Software and Render capabilities. Windows is a good operative system, however many of the large studios have been migrating to Linux as an OS, it’s more robust, reliable and secure. All of these stations are connected in an internal network to share assets.

The only Mac’s you’ll see, are typically in the Video Editing department called “Editorial”. In 2D animation studios perhaps you’ll see more Mac’s, however it’s not the first choice in large studios.

What are the best sources from which to learn animation?

Have a look atFAME, all courses for the Digital Entertainment industries (Animation, Visual Effects, Video Games) by artists that make the movies and video games you love. It’s free.

What should I do after architecture if I want to be a set designer?

Most of the architects that come to our school, we channel them to Digital Matte Painting. Architects have the sense of space and scale, and in the Animation, Visual Effects and Video Game industries, we are building sets, locations and environments every single day. These positions need the Architect’s technical mind, with their sensitivity of design.

What is the best present that students can give to teachers when they have no money to spend?

A thank you card signed by every student mentioning an “aha” moment of what they learned with that teacher. Nice and simple and very meaningful, your teacher will cry.

What exactly is the difference between a 2D/3D animation and video game design? Does it overlap each other? Can I be a game designer from being an animator?

These are two completely different disciplines, I will explain them very briefly and as a broad concept down here for simplicity:

a) 2D Animation, is typically hand drawn, it comes from traditional animation and now evolving into 2D digital animation. The main focus is on movement and bringing life to 2D characters.

b) 3D Animation has many sub-branches, in essence and the proper way to describe it will be that is focusing on movement as well. (3D modeling, lighting, rendering are other disciplines frequently confused as animation).

c) Video Game Design means designing the game strategy, there’s no drawing skills or draftsmanship involved at all. Video Game Designers (the real ones) are thinking about strategies, player phycology, game balance, progression, monetization, etc. Some of these game designers also design board games, since again, they deal with game rules and how to engage the players throughout a game.

While all of the 3 may be happening at once in the same studio, these should and must be different departments.

What are the uses of animation in movies?

The use of animation in movies is to bring worlds that don’t exist in real life. It has been and it will be the purpose of true animation studios (Disney, Pixar, etc.), to create stories that will engage their audiences, bringing believably (not reality or photo realism)

As for Visual Effects in movies, the use is to supplement the real life world with computer generated elements (explosions, water effects, natural phenomena), these will share the screen with the actors to enhance their scenes or make them believable.

And there’s also Digital Matte Painting, which is directly involved to create real life environments (backgrounds, set extensions, etc.) that will be safe for the actors and their performances (i.e. the impression of jumping off a cliff), and also will cut down significantly the budget. For instance, to build a real world set will take time and money, a Matte Painter can reproduce that in weeks and with a significantly lower budget than building it in real life.

Do you have an open-door event?

We have multiple live online webinars. Please visit our events page for all our upcoming webinars.

Tuition Fees questions

Student Support Package Fee

Students can register for our Student Support Package for the duration of their program (1 Year). This includes an additional weekly personalized live support class as well as email or phone technical support.

Leave of Absence Fee

If a student applies for a Leave of Absence from their program, a fee will be assessed for each term they are applying for to a maximum of 2 terms. These fees will cover the administrative costs associated with the changes and to maintain their student account.

Contract amendments, updates, or changes

If a student requests any updates or changes to their contract after signing, there will be a fee to cover the administrative costs and student record updates.

T2202 Replacement Fee

An additional processing fee will apply If a student requests to have a T2202 form prepared and sent to them. To avoid this fee, students can find these forms from their student account.

Tuition late payment fee

Any student whose fees have passed the payment deadline will be assessed a late fee penalty. As well, an interest charge of 5% for every 15 days will be added to the outstanding principle amount.

Tuition Fee Extension Request

Students may be eligible to extend their tuition fee due date if they submits in writing and with a minimum of 5 days prior to the due date for the payment. This request is based on unusual circumstances that impede a student from meeting the payment deadline. For students that have been awarded Financial Aid or funding from a 3rd party, they can submit a Tuition Deferral Request form to waive the late fee penalty until the funding has been released.

Request to defer or Change of Start Date Fees

Students can submit a Deferred Admission Request form to change the start date of their program after they have signed the student enrolment contract. There are fees to cover the student contract updates and administrative costs involved in changing the start date.

Official Transcripts Fees

Students requesting an electronic copy of their transcript must do so in writing with the shipping address listed in their student accounts. For multiple copies, please see Official Transcripts for more details.

Unofficial Transcripts Fees

Students can request an electronic copy of their unofficial transcripts as proof of enrollment and academic progress.

What is the Confirmation of Enrolment Letter?

Students requiring a Confirmation of Enrolment letter must submit a request via email. Once payment has been received the letter will be sent directly to the student through our campus email or to the 3rd party that is requesting the letter such as a government body, university, or other.

What are the FAME learning materials fees?

Our FAME resources is an essential tool for all students to be successful. The FAME library contains a vast number of tutorials and additional lessons to help supplement a student’s learning. The FAME resources is required for all students in our diploma programs.

Portfolio Assessment Fee

A strong portfolio is an essential requirement for admission to our diploma programs. Portfolios are reviewed by industry professionals. The portfolio assessment allows us to evaluate if a student obtains the skills and knowledge required to be successful in our programs. This fee is only applied if an external applicant requests a portfolio review and has not applied to any of our diploma programs.

What is a late registration fee?

Students that miss submitting a completed application prior to the registration deadline posted on the school website, will be subject to a late fee. The reason is because the required documentation has to be prepared in a short notice.

What is the application fee?

For students applying to our programs, a non-refundable application fee must be submitted prior to registering for a program. This fee covers administrative costs involved in creating the student accounts and preparing documentation required for the ministry of education.