Games, VR & VFX

at Engine Shed

This Level 3 Extended Diploma is centred around delivering real life projects, in real working environments and often for commercial clients. On this course you’ll develop your skills across a number of disciplines including 3D modelling, rigging, texturing & animation, 2D animation, motion graphics & compositing, 2D illustration and image manipulation, games engines programming for VR and interactive media and film and visual effects.

Studying at Engine Shed isn’t like being at school, you’re learning where the work is. Engine Shed is Bristol’s central location for creative companies to meet and create up-and-coming business ideas, such as app development, web design and smartphone technology. Studying here means you’re not just in a classroom, you’re sharing a workspace and developing your games design, animation and programming skills alongside creative professionals and businesses such as Channel 4 and Bristol Media.

​Our tutors are embedded in the industry and work at the cutting edge of digital production. They will inspire your learning and fuel your creativity alongside guest lecturers from industry and master classes from technical staff and engineers from some of the most innovative and influential development studios on the planet.

Key Info

Recent Projects.

boomsatsuma courses hold immersion and opportunity at their core. The Games, VR & VFX Extended Diploma changes its projects and students' outcomes year on year, by making new connections with specialists and building industry-facing projects. This allows students to not only gain a valuable qualification, but, at the same time, develop a realistic and well-informed portfolio of experience at the earliest stages of their career.

Engine Shed Model

Students spent weeks painstakingly recreating their learning space at Engine Shed. This project provided students with an initial understanding of how technologies traditionally for video games have non-recreational applications.

3D Characters

An introduction to Maya and Cinema 4D for iniital animation of main charcaters. Students produced their characters following a seminar and group discussion with SUMO Digital.

Lighting, Cameras and Materials

Students are introduced to Maya to learn the manipulation of lighting, materials and virtual cameras. Exploring emissive materials in this project to achieve the desired 'glowing' effect.

Course Structure.

Games and VR

  • Engine population and operation

  • C# script and code

  • 2D and 3D game production

  • Troubleshooting and diagnostics

  • 3D character and environment creation

  • 3D Animation

  • Professional interactive workflows and pipelines

  • Platform export and optimisation

  • Simulation and immersion techniques for VR and AR

  • Illustration and digital painting VFX

  • Pre-Production

  • Filming and editing

  • Rotoscoping

  • Compositing

  • Keying and greenscreen

  • Camera tracking and match moving

  • Object removal

  • 3D to 2D Integration techniques

  • Parallax and forced perspective

  • Particles and fluid dynamics


  • Photoshop

  • Illustrator

  • Premiere Pro

  • After Effects

  • Unity

  • Unreal

  • Maya

  • zBrush

  • Substance Painter


  • Xeon PCs 64Gb Ram 1080 TDI

  • Lenevo PC workstations

  • iMacs

  • Oculus VR

  • DSLR and production video cameras

  • Green Screen

  • Wacom drawing tablets

  • PS4 and Xbox One


  • Communication and networking

  • Teamwork and group management

  • Critical thinking and problem solving

  • Pitching ideas and presentation skills

  • Evaluation and extrapolating data

  • Workflows and professional pipelines

  • Remote collaboration

  • Business and marketing strategies

Student Spotlight.

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"I've always loved art and games but I didn’t know there was a course like this that existed until I heard about boomsatsuma..."

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My passions are to help others bring their visions/ stories into a creative and visual media, being creative, making games and personalising my work to a degree that echoes my inner intentions and visions.

Career Progression.

On completion of this course, you will have the strong practical skills and knowledge of the working industry needed to progress to university, higher education courses, high level apprenticeships or even entry in the work place.

Students progressing to university from this course are often better equipped than students that have studied A Levels because of the time management skills that are needed to complete a diploma and portfolio based assessments.

By the time you leave us, you will have skills in collaboration, communication, creativity and problem solving, this means you are also able to apply for courses outside of Games, VR & VFX, having completed the diploma. If you decide you want to study something different, you will still be able to apply for a range of arts, humanities and social science courses. Past students have even gone on to study subjects such as Business, Sociology, Fine Art and Sports Journalism.

Art & Design

  • 3D Modelling Artist

  • Lighting Artist

  • Character rigger

  • 3D Character artist

  • Concept Artist

  • Technical Artist

  • Graphics Programmer

  • Animator

  • Gameplay Designer

  • Level Designer

  • UX/UI Designer

  • Roto Artist

  • Match Mover

  • Compositing Artist

  • Texturing Artist

  • Environment Artist

Programming and Technical

  • Generalist Programmer

  • Engine Programmer

  • QA Tester

  • Gameplay Programmer

  • Tools Engineer

  • Physics Programmer

  • Network Programmer

  • Build Engineer

  • Artificial Intelligence Programmer

  • Creature TD

  • Pipeline TD

  • Effects TD

  • Shader Development TD

  • R&D Programmer

Editorial and Production

  • Production Coordinator

  • Production Manager

  • Community Manager

  • Assistant Producer

  • Marketing Executive

  • Esports Producer

  • Producer

  • Publisher


  • Audio Programmer

  • Music Composer

  • Sound Designer

  • VO Designer

  • Audio Implementer

  • Audio Lead

  • Audio Director


Key Details.

Application Process

Level 3 Extended Diploma worth up to up to 168 Points - equivalent to 3 A* A Levels. On successful completion of the course you will be awarded an overall Distinction*, Distinction, Merit or Pass grade.

Typical Offer

You will need to be on track to get at least five GCSE grades 4 - 9 including Maths and English or BTEC Level 2 Diplomas (at merit or distinction). In exceptional cases we can take students who don’t have GCSE English or Maths at grade 4 or above and we can provide tuition in those qualifications alongside the course.


Submit your application online via our website. All candidates are interviewed and selected primarily on their creative ability. Though experience of creative and media subjects are advantageous, we are more interested in energy and commitment, and welcome your application even if you have had little or no experience.

Course Costs

The course is funded for students ages 16-18 at the start of their course, however we ask for a £150 Studio Fee to cover enrichment costs. Students will be eligible to apply for a discretionary bursary to cover this and to assist with travel costs. Students will be expected to contribute to the cost of trips.

Course Duration

Two years, 15 hours a week + studio day.

Location Address

Station Approach, Redcliffe, Bristol BS1, UK


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