View Full Version : Seneca College in Toronto Canada

03 March 2009, 10:31 PM
Hey Guys,

I coordinate the post graduate 3D Animation course at Seneca College. I'll post some information here about the course, as well I'll answer any questions you may have.

If you're interested, have a look at our webpage here: Seneca 3D Animation (

You can take a look at our facebook page, which has some more recent work on it here: Link (

Thanks for reading!


Sean Craig.

03 March 2009, 10:43 PM
Here is a series of questions that I've had over the years from potential students. If you don't see an answer to a question you may have, post it here and I'll do my best to answer it for you.



Q. My aim is primarily 3d modelling, though I also want a solid foundation in
3d animation. What program, if there is one at your school would be best for this?

A. Digital Animation would be the program that you are looking for. We cover the basics in everything first semester with the exception of M.E.L and Dynamics (which you get second semester). We offer a modeling class in the first semester only, but allow you to focus your demo reel during second semester on whatever aspect of the course you like. You will also take a Life Drawing class during first and second semester, which will help you train your eye for visual art. Most people think of life drawing as making pretty pictures, while in fact its main purpose it to help you "see".

Q. Who are your instructors? Who does, or have, the instructors worked for, in what capacity? How long, what and where have they taught? Are there any especially notable faculty?

A. All of our instructors currently work in the animation industry accross various studios in Toronto. The studio's range from CORE Digital Pictures, Soho VFX, Yowza, Hatch, Starz Animation, George Elliot Animation, and Autodesk. (Those are the one's I can recall at the moment.) Some of the Film work that I can name would be -The Incredible Hulk, X-Men II, Silent Hill, Curios George, Shane Ackers9, The Chronicles or Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Resident Evil, Midnight Club 3, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Blades of Glory, X-Men: the Last Stand, Final Destination 3, Fantastic Four, Fire House Dog. Our faculty also have extensive experience in commercial, and television work. You will be working with some very talented teachers. I teach the animation curriculum, and my last studio job was Animation Director for Chris Landreth’s “The Spine” (to be released this year)

Q. Is it possible to speak with professors and program heads, to get a first hand appraisal of the program and what it's best suited for?

A. You are currently speaking with the program head. This program lends itself extremely well to the film, television, and commercial industry, but is not limited to
only that. Many people end up freelancing with the skills they've gained while being here. You can work in Visualization for architecture, or product design. You work in the Motion Graphics industry to make station identifications, lower thirds for television programming or flying logos.

Q. What evidence do you have that graduates find success? Can you point out
successful graduates? Do you have statistics on how many students out of the total number of students have been hired by what companies in different years of your program? Are there any especially notable alumni?

A. This is a question that I get often, and its a good one to ask. Other than putting you in contact with our successful grads, (which is possible) I don't have any other way of pointing out the successful ones. The question of percentage of successful grads is tricky. I can say that the rough percentage of each class that is hired into the animation industry is about 60 - 70 percent over the course of the first year out of school. This number will fluctuate with what is happening around town, and what kind of projects are coming into the city. The animation industry is fuelled by projects, so the need for artists is based on when the companies have the work. Pretty much all of the work is contract. Full time positions are available, but usually go to senior staff who have contributed to the studio for a few years on contract. Sometimes there is a big need for employees when April comes, and sometimes not. I have seen almost entire classes hired, and on the flip side, entire classes waiting for months before anyone gets a job. What I say to individuals, is if you work smart, and work hard, you will be in a good place to find a job at the end of the school year. There are no guarantees in this industry, but I can tell you that when you finish, you will have all the necessary tools to go out and find a job.

Q. What international/industry recognition can you show? Are there articles about your school I should read, awards you've received, etc?

A. If you google "Ryan" and "Seneca" you'll find a whole bunch of articles that outline our participation in the Academy award winning animated short Ryan. Here is one link I found on the first page of google.

Q. How long has the program been running?

A. This program used to be a four month program at an older Seneca campus, and I'm not sure how long is was running. We've been in our new location, with our revised curriculum for 6 years now.

Q. What type of equipment do students of your program and school have access to? What programs and what version of those programs? What other facilities? How many work stations per student, will there be enough to avoid my having to wait for equipment? Will I have my own work station and what would that include if so? Will I have 24/7 access to the facilities?

A. We are currently running Sun workstations. I don't have the stats in front of me right now, but they 4 dual processors, 2.5 gigs of ram, nVidia quadro cards and we run windows xp. All of our monitors are 20 inch lcd. Between each pair of workstations is a slave monitor, which shows what the teacher is doing up at the front on his/her computer. We also have a projector which also shows what the teacher is doing, so following along isn't a problem. We're running the latest version of Maya. Currently our group is working on Maya 2009. The classroom can accommodate twenty students, but our classes are usually around 12 - 15 students. In the fall, you will have the station to yourself. We also have an intake in January, so we bring in another group of students so we do share the workstations for second semester, but I have not seen students waiting to have a computer free based on the numbers we actually let in. The facility is 24/7 with the exception of a week or two during the Christmas break, and stat holidays like Easter Monday.

Q. How is time balanced between art foundations and 3d modeling and animation?
How is the teaching of art foundations handled? What areas are covered, and to what depth? Are other, non art/3d related classes required? If so how is this handled?

A. We don't have separate classes for teaching the art foundations. (although you will take a 4 hour life drawing class once a week) We expect that you will have a solid understanding of the basics, which you will show in the portfolio that you submit for consideration into the program.

Q. What is the location of your school, and more specifically, the location in which the program I would be attending? Does your school offer any assistance in finding living accommodations? Is on campus accommodation available?

A. We are located in the Seneca@York campus which is up at York University on Keele, between Finch and Steeles. Our mailing address is 88 The Pond Rd. Toronto On. M3J 3M6. There is a Seneca housing website at;jsessionid=8883616723DB2B35592D5DD8EAF1BEC0

Q. I plan on focusing solely on school while in the program, and strongly prefer not to have to work while in the program. Does the school provide services to help me find loans?

A. We also prefer that you do not have a job while you study Digital Animation. You can take a look at to see if you qualify for Grants or Bursaries.

Q. What scholarships or bursaries are available for this program? Does the school provide any support in finding financial support for me?

A. See answer above.

Q. How long is the course? Why is your program that length?

A. The course is 8 months. It runs from the first week of September, until the third week of April. Our program is that length for a couple of reasons. The first is that by the end of 8 months, you should be able to continue your learning on your own. (You will never stop learning in this field) The second is that anything longer would be more than is needed. (We don't make films, we make demo reels)

Q. What periods of study are available?

A. September - April, and January - August.

Q. What do I graduate with?

A. Certificate.

Q. Does the program offer a co-op program? What contacts within the industry do you have? What other help with finding a job does the school supply?

A. We do not offer a co-op program. Once again, the industry you will be training for is very contract driven, so setting up a co-op with a studio isn't easy. We have many great contacts in the industry, through our staff who work in the studios, and our grads who continue to work. We will have a few studio's over the course of the year come in and talk to our prospective grads about the work they do, the up coming opportunities and what they are looking for in an employee.

Q. Does your school work or cooperate with particular companies in regards to the program in any way? What companies and how?

A. Each year we have an advisory committee meeting, which consists of studio reps coming together to discuss what we've done over the year, and what we want to do in the following year. They advise us on changes we want to make. We also run a summer program for graduates called the summer institute. We collaborate with major animation studios in town. Last year we worked on a short with Chris Landreth down at CORE Digital Pictures (I can't name the film yet), supporting animation modeling and lighting. This year we're working with Starz Animation on an in house short they're developing.

Q. How does the program help me create my portfolio?

A. The whole point of our program is the demo reel. We don't make films here during the course, because it is too much work to try and make a film, while learning the art and the software. We want you to have a demo in hand when you leave. Our curriculum is designed to help you create your demo at the end of the year. The digital tools class is all about compositing and reel construction. Portfolio and Presentation focuses on resume and cover letter writing, interview skills, networking etc.

Q. How would I find out if any of my course credits from University of Manitoba and Red River College are transferable?

A. You can contact the registration office at

Q. What benefits will I have as an alumni?


Q. What is the cost of the programs you would suggest for me, are there extra costs I would be expected to pay? If there are extra costs outside of the tuition, how much would those be?

A. The course tuition is $9937.58 for Canadian students, and $12 922.20 (these are last years numbers, the course may be a little bit more – I’ll update when I get more info) for international students, and we have a $200 life drawing fee (covers all the model costs for the year, and include extra life drawing every night mon-fri) You will need newsprint and conte/charcoal for the drawing class, which should run no more than $100 for the year. I recommend that you have a portable hard drive, which should cost no more than $100 - $200 dollars. You will also want dvd's to back up your work.

03 March 2009, 05:47 AM
How does your program compare to Sheridan College's program?Moreover, it is my experience that most fine art training takes time! How can a one year program adequently prepare students for the field and provide enough time for development of a "Killer" demo reel?

03 March 2009, 08:06 PM
Hello TaxGuy, thanks for the questions.

I can't really speak specifics of Sheridan's programs, as I'm not really familiar with what they do. I do know that they also run a one year post graduate 3D animation program, with the option of continuing a second year with a focus on character animation. They of course also offer a four year degree program in classical animation. We also offer a longer course which is our three year classical animation course. The program that I have written about is post graduate, and in order to get in, you must submit our required portfolio. We only accept those with a solid traditional arts background.

I can say that we did the animation for Ryan (Chris Landreth 2005 Oscar for best animated short) which was also made at Seneca. We just finished working on his latest film (I can't name it yet). Our grads find work all over the city, from television to feature film studios.

Our course is 8 months long, which is long enough to learn the software enough to have a solid grounding in the foundations, as well as a specialization. We teach not only software, but the fundamentals and theories behind animation in all its aspects. Our staff is very experienced, and all work in the animation industry here in Toronto. We have specialized instructors for each class (meaning they teach what they do for a living, as opposed to teaching a whole bunch of classes that they aren't as familiar with)

As far as a killer demo, that all depends on the student and what they put into it. We don't make films at Seneca, we focus on getting jobs. The second semester has a drop in assignments across the classes so that the students can focus more on what they want to specialize in.

If you're in the area, and you'd like to come see what we do, you can make an appointment with Isabelle Babici at 416 491 5050 ext 3850. She is our assistant to the Animation Arts Centre, and will be able arrange a tour for you.

Sean Craig.

03 March 2009, 03:22 AM
Hey all,

Thanks Sean for starting up this thread!

We also offer a Game Art and Animation program at Seneca's AAC which focuses on training post-graduate level applicants in the art and technique of 3D modeling for video games.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or check out our latest work here:

Dan Stopnicki
Game Art and Animation
Program Coordinator

03 March 2009, 01:41 PM
How does your program compare to Sheridan College's program?Moreover, it is my experience that most fine art training takes time! How can a one year program adequently prepare students for the field and provide enough time for development of a "Killer" demo reel?
Please refrain from using dark text as it is illegible.

03 March 2009, 02:35 PM
Hi Kanga, sorry for the blue script. I am NOT the Cg person on our house. In fact, I am a bit of an idiot regarding computer useage. Thus, I, at first, couldn't figure out how to change the color of my post,which is why it was in that dark blue color.Since then I got some help, as you can see, and have a better color. Sorry for the confusion.

04 April 2009, 03:39 AM
You may want to add the Animation Arts Program (ANI) to this ;)

05 May 2009, 05:39 PM

05 May 2009, 05:46 PM
Hey guys,

Here is a clip of our recent involvement on Chris Landreth's new short film titled The Spine.

Link (


06 June 2009, 11:00 AM
Hey Guys,

Just an update for all of you. The Spine premiered at Annecy last week, and is currently playing through its North American debut at the Toronto World Wide Short Film Festival. If you're in the city, you can check it out at 7 pm tonight at the Cumberland Theatre.

07 July 2009, 05:19 AM
Hi! im a grad of the sheridan animation degree program, and i am considering taking this course to upgrade some skills and get into the game design side of things (as making the game fun is something appeals to me). would you mind sharing with me how much this course costs for the one year 8 month program starting in jan 2010?

07 July 2009, 01:44 PM
GAA (Game Arts animation) is 5660.41 (semester 1) and 5630.41 (semester 2)
DAN (3d animation) is also 5660.41 (semester 1) and 5630.41 (semester 2)

Those are the 2009/10 fees (so subject to change)

Seneca's Tuition Fee Page (

07 July 2009, 09:30 PM
This is correct, but be mindful that you also need to consider other costs such as life drawing fees (200 bucks), tablet, removable storage device and any other college related costs which can add up to $400-$500 dollars.

Dan Stopnicki
Seneca College
Game Art and Animation coordinator

GAA (Game Arts animation) is 5660.41 (semester 1) and 5630.41 (semester 2)
DAN (3d animation) is also 5660.41 (semester 1) and 5630.41 (semester 2)

Those are the 2009/10 fees (so subject to change)

Seneca's Tuition Fee Page (

07 July 2009, 02:57 AM
Hey Guys,

Check out this article about The Spine ( winning at Melbourne International Animation Festival.

07 July 2009, 10:43 AM
i m from india..
i have completed my course and now working as a junior compositing artist in india..
i have 1 yr epxerience in 3d compositing..
now i want to study further in visual effects in films..
so can u tell me whether i m eligible for the course ..
what else i should have for the course..
and what is the fees of the course..
it will be great if u can send me the brochure of the course..

thank u..

07 July 2009, 01:42 PM
Hello Sahiltandial,

You will need to speak with the program coordinator. His name is Joe Raasch, and you can email him at

Good luck!

07 July 2009, 07:04 PM
Hey .. Sean

i would like to do a course in digital animation from ur college. i also mailed u my details but received a reply that u away from college..
i really want a suggestion from u what program shoud i take in order to enhance my Character animation skills.
i am a graduate from india and acquire a diploma in 3d animation from a school in india . also have about an years of experience an a junior animator.
is it possible that i could get admission in fall2009.

08 August 2009, 05:13 AM
Hello, i wanted to ask some thing, i am also from india, and looking for a 2 year post grad course, after my graduation. Do u offer any such course whose period is of 2 yrs and a PG course. |Or if u know of any other PG course of 2 years. plz help

08 August 2009, 03:34 PM
Hi Supriya3D,

You don't need to have professional animation skills to get into the course, we'll teach you that! What you need to focus on is drawing fundamentals. Life drawing, perspective, still life are all really important to our portfolio evaluation. Once we see that you have the skills in those area's we'll admit you to the course.

Right now we're full for September 2009, but are accepting applications for January 2010.

Varun9t - Our post grad programs are 8 months long (September to April and January to August). I'm not sure what a PG course is, could you please specify?

08 August 2009, 03:40 PM
PG would be post-graduate so the DAN and GAA as opposed to ANI

10 October 2009, 11:27 PM
Hey Guys,

Its been a while since I've posted, and I just wanted to say hello to everyone checking out the threads. If you have any questions about Seneca College, please post away and I'll do my best to answer any questions you may have!


10 October 2009, 12:21 AM
It really all depends. I've lived in Toronto for my entire life, and not as a landed immigrant. And I've meet numerous people who have gone to Seneca and Sheridan schools some have come away with something others have come away with nothing, great. It all depends on your passion and drive which doesn't always mean you have to have the education behind you, I've heard of many who haven't had all the education or none at all and still have landed a Job starting some where and can build from that.

Schools are businesses, sure they crank out hundreds a year at those schools but what happens in the end who knows. The Studios in Toronto do hire, but I've noticed a trend whereas they're looking for those who know the city and a few other common things. Toronto is not as big as Montreal as there is a little more IT more type work in Toronto, but even if you land in a IT job you still can find your way into animation just may take a little longer. As a True Canadian there are many new comers to this City, and compared to Montreal, Toronto does have less but watch it in Toronto you can get lost and confused very quick it's that type of City.

10 October 2009, 01:35 PM
Hello TalentBear,

Do you have a question for me, or are you just making a statement? This thread is for inquiries into our program. I would appreciate it if you could keep the comments to that.


10 October 2009, 01:17 PM
I did have some questions about Seneca. I saw your 6 semester offering for animation and it looked very good.

1. Do kids with prior degrees get waived out of most gen eds such as English if already taken at an accredited US School?
2. What are the tuition and total fees for the year for an international student (US)? I've seen several figures of around $5,400- $7,500 per semester. Is that currently correct?I must be an idiot. I can't seem to find the latest tuition and fees easily on your web site.
3. How expensive are accomodations near Seneca, if a student wants to be within walking distance of the school?
4. I have been downtown on Young Street. Where in Toronto are you?
5. Do any of your student get internships with studios?
6. I see from the curriculum that you have life drawing classes. Does this include gesture and facial drawing and anatomy?
7. I see that you have a 6 semester program in animation arts but a one-year program in 3d animation. Does the animation arts program cover everything in the 3d? If not, what is left out?

11 November 2009, 02:01 AM
Hi taxguy,

I'll try to answer your questions as best as possible.

1. Most credits are transferable, and in most cases advanced standing can be applied.

2. Here are the tuition costs for a semester for the Post Graduate program for International students.

Program Name: 3D Animation

Program Code: DAN

Campus: Seneca@York


Here is a semester for the 3 year animation course

Program Name: Animation

Program Code: ANI

Campus: Seneca@York


These are in CDN dollars, but right now that is almost par with the American $. If you would like to see the breakdown for all courses offered by Seneca, please visit this link. (

3. Typical housing within walking distance (if shared accomodation) is around $500 - $600 per month plus utilities.

4. We are located on the Campus of York University at Keele and Steeles. We are further north from downtown, but accessible by transit.

5. We have a great relationship with local studios in the city. Many do get internships, although at the moment we don't have a formal internship set up. We run our Summer Institute which houses students in a studio for a production, but that is a whole other conversation. If you like I can send you some more information about that. In the mean time, check out Check out the new generation video. It showcases our students working with Chris Landreth.

6. Our life drawing courses are very comprehensive and cover everything from the basics to advanced techniques.

7. The third year of ANI and the one year of DAN are very similar. The benefit of the post graduate course is that you are only focusing on the 3D portion and don't need to take the full 3 years.

11 November 2009, 04:36 AM
hi iam from india doing bsc in animation i am interested in the game art course , can you give me some more info about the course , is there any placement assistance after the completion of the course with a standard showreel

11 November 2009, 01:05 PM
Thanks for the information , SenecaAnimation. I will forward it to my daughter.

12 December 2009, 05:08 PM
Hey Guys,

Just to let you know that we still have a few spots left for our January intake. Questions are welcome!

11 November 2010, 11:59 PM
How long does it take the reviewing of a portfolio for the 3d animation program?

12 December 2010, 06:10 PM
Hi Ronalith,

It usually takes about a week once we receive the portfolio here at the college. The result would then be posted on the student's SIRIS account and would be accessible within 14 days of the review.

10 October 2011, 04:01 AM
Hey Guys,

Just wanted to post a short we were apart of that took place at Arc (formerly Starz Animation) in Toronto. We're really proud of all the work our students did on it!

You can take a look here:


10 October 2011, 04:25 PM

I'm Fady, I'm an Egyptian.
I would like to attend digital animation course in Seneca, but I have some questions which are…

1- What exactly I will study in these 8 months?

2- How many hours I will study per week? And from when till when?

3- Is it possible to pay with installments and what is the required down payment? And how I will pay?

4- What is the possibility to work during the course?
I know it's not prefer to work during the course as u said before, but does Canada Visa's student is allowed to work ?

5- Is there any organization or the Canadian government can participate or share me in paying the course expenses?

Thank you and waiting your response

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