Want to tell interesting stories using time-based digital media?
Our Master of Design Technology (MDT), delivered by Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Design, is an intensive programme designed to build upon the existing digital media skills you’ve acquired in an undergraduate degree. Learn industry leading software and techniques from our experienced lecturers to tell stories with visual effects (VFX), gaming, animation, and extended reality (XR). It’s taught at the Miramar Creative Centre (a partnership with Miramar Creative) among the Weta group buildings on Park Road and offers unrivalled access to work experience and professional connections.
Miramar Creative Centre
Who can apply and how to apply
Our Master of Design Technology is open to those who already have some basic understanding in digital design technologies and who wish to build further relevant skills appropriate for the visual effects or gaming industries. Applicants must have a proven aptitude with a 3D computer graphics application (such as but not limited to, Maya, Houdini, or ZBrush).
Applicants will need to submit a portfolio that exhibits creativity and digital proficiency. We are most interested in time-based media that demonstrates capability in a 3-D software package and an interest in storytelling. Examples of the kinds of work we’d like to see: short narrative films, play-throughs of games or mixed reality experiences, turntables and animation tests for digital characters and assets. We also evaluate drawings such as concept art, storyboards, and character development, though these should be supported by time-based media work. Please submit 2-D work as a pdf and 3-D work as a link to a Youtube, Vimeo, or movie file hosted on a server that can easily be accessed by our faculty.
All applications must include a breakdown of videos and images. A breakdown is a shot by shot explanation of the software and techniques used to construct the image. If any marketplace elements have been used, please indicate that here. Otherwise, explain very briefly how all assets were created and rendered (if appropriate). Select students will be asked to submit a capstone proposal and prepare for an in person or skype interview.
Domestic students can enrol via our online enrolment system (enrolments open in October) and international students can fill in this International Application Form and mail it to Wellington University International – the University’s international office.
This is a full-time 180-point Master’s programme that starts in March and is delivered by the School of Design at Victoria University of Wellington. You will complete this qualification in three consecutive trimesters over 12 months.
Trimester One includes Creative Coding for Digital Content and the choice of one elective course.
Creative Coding for Digital Content
Course Code: MDDN451 | Dates: 2nd March – 27th June Mon and Wed 12:40pm | Lecturers: Areito Echevarria
This course will teach you computer graphics techniques that are used as current practice in the film industry through a range of projects ranging from generating special effects to the algorithmic treatment of media. Using Houdini and the Vex programming language we will build procedural models and parametric tools, generate environments, grow complex systems and more. Learn more?
Compositing and Motion Graphics (elective)
Course Code: MDDN421 | Dates: 2nd March – 27th June Tue and Fri 9:30am | Lecturers: Areito Echevarria
This course will teach you professional approaches to previsualisation, production planning and coordination including workflows for post-production and compositing. You’ll progress to asset creation, which may include live action plates, set extensions, visual effects elements, matte painting, and modelling. The primary software for this course will be Nuke from The Foundry. Learn more?
Character Animation (elective)
Code: MDDN432 | Dates: 2nd March – 27th June Tue and Fri 12:40pm | Lecturers: Raqi Syed
This course will teach you how to analyse and create digital animated sequences with a strong focus on using character-based animation to convey compelling and emotive narratives. It’ll focus on technical workflows, skills, and good practices for animating complex characters and will culminate in a final animated short. You’ll primarily be using the industry standard 3D platform Maya from Autodesk. Learn more?
Trimester Two includes Mātauranga Design and Design Professional Practice and the choice of one elective course.
Course Code: CCDN412 | Dates: 6th July – 8th November Thu 3:40pm | Lecturers: David Hakaraia
This course will teach you how to engage with toi (Māori creativity) and mātauranga (Māori understanding) in the production of both visual and material cultural design that honours our place and past in Aotearoa New Zealand. Guided by traditional Māori protocols and knowledge, you’ll learn how to understand and interact with Māori symbols and visual spatial strategies in ways that are culturally sound and appropriate. Learn more?
Course Code: CCDN422 | Dates: 6th July – 7th November Mon 1:40pm | Lecturers: Raqi Syed and Kevin Romond
This course is an advanced investigation of a range of topics relevant to professional practice in design practice today including branding, marketing, networking, presentation, and portfolio. You’ll consider both traditional and emergent approaches to these topics while demonstrating an autonomous design style and content. Learn more?
Lighting and Rendering (elective)
Code: MDDN431 | Dates: 6th July – 7th November Tue and Fri 9:30am | Lecturers: Raqi Syed and Jessica Millar.
This course will teach you about traditional applications of lighting such as portraiture, practical studio lighting, and cinematography. You’ll develop a mastery of digital lighting and rendering software in creative focus in areas such as CG animation, games, VR, and motion capture. Working primarily in the 3D software packages Houdini and Unreal, this course will focus on the fundamentals of telling a story through scene construction. Learn more?
Effects and Simulation (elective)
Code: MDDN422 | Dates: 6th July – 8th November Tue and Fri 12:40pam | Lecturers: Sunny Teich
This course will teach you the skills relating to the creation of creature, human, and mechanical puppet rigs for digital characters, as well as creating digital simulations of physical phenomena. The principle software for this course is Houdini. Learn more?
Visual Effects Practicum
Course Code: MDDN541 | Dates: 9th November – 14th February | Lecturers: Raqi Syed
This course consists of a supervised practicum, working on design studio based research and production. You’ll work in teams to produce a complete time-based short narrative work with the guidance of faculty and industry mentors. Learn more?
Raqi Syed began her career in feature animation as an Assistant Technical Director for Disney Feature Animation on films such as Meet the Robinsons and later as a Lighting Artist on Tangled. She then went on to work as a Senior Technical Director with Weta Digital on films like Avatar, The Planet of the Apes films, and The Hobbit Trilogy. A full list of her film credits can be found over at IMDB. Her current XR research is supported by DevLab and the New Zealand Film Commission.
Contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org or 04 463 6403
What work have our students created?
What do our students have to say?
“It was tailored by industry professionals and had a hands-on relationship with the lecturers, it made me feel like my work was appreciated - it opened new doors.”CamdenMDT Student
“These people have a huge understanding & an immense experience in VFX. The programme has so far lived far beyond my expectations!”MaurizioMDT Student
“The MDT programme is the best, it’s reached far beyond my expectations! I’m learning things that I never imagined I could learn by myself. ”MuraliMDT Student
“It's certainly strengthened my passion for animation. It’s shaped and reformed what I thought & refined my skills.”DavidMDT Student
“I learned from experienced professionals in industry and explored the whole production pipeline from various angles.”ClaireMDT Student