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Start Date

0.5 year(s) full-time

Program Code

Study as


$AU 12,400 per 0.5 EFTSL for students enrolled in 2021

Degree overview

  • Be mentored by industry leaders and professionals at Adelaide-based world-renowned visual effects studio, Rising Sun Pictures.
  • Benefit from face-to-face sessions with key staff at Rising Sun Pictures.
  • Deliver work using industry-standard tools, such as Shotgun and Houdini.
  • Produce your own show reel.
  • Benefit from unique networking opportunities when you work alongside skilled visual effects artists and industry professionals.



This unique qualification will set you apart from the crowd, provide you with the skills and techniques needed to produce industry-standard visual effects, and offers the opportunity for you to learn first-hand from the professionals at Rising Sun Pictures

You will immerse yourself in the world of visual effects when you embark on this intensive 12-week graduate certificate. Working alongside qualified visual effects artists at Adelaide’s Rising Sun Pictures studio, you will:

  • learn how to create 3D visual effects such as explosions, water effects and clouds, as well as procedurally generated environments such as cities, beaches and forests
  • learn how to use computer generated lighting applications
  • produce a finished show reel
  • graduate with a professional resume and reel to show prospective employees

Download our brochure.

What you'll learn

What you Learn

This intensive 12-week graduate certificate will immerse you in a simulated studio environment where you will:

  • learn key digital asset development techniques
  • learn how to create 3D visual effects such as explosions, water effects and clouds, as well as procedurally generated environments such as cities, beaches and forests
  • learn how to use computer generated lighting applications
  • graduate with a professional resume and reel to show prospective employees
  • gain theoretical knowledge, skills and techniques needed in professional practice
  • join in Rising Sun Pictures company meetings and events
  • produce a finished show reel of screen shots
  • work with Rising Sun Pictures’ recruitment team to professionalise your resume and reel

You will also develop an understanding of current trends, technologies and professional practices, ensuring you graduate industry-ready.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
Visual Effects Professional Practice COMM 5073 4.5
Effects Skills Development COMM 5074 4.5
Effects Element Development COMM 5075 4.5
Look Development and Lighting COMM 5076 4.5

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects and contribute to online discussion forums. So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12 – 26 hours of study when at university and 14 – 28 hours of independent study per week.



Your studies will incorporate practical, professionally focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include:

  • reports
  • projects
  • supervisor evaluations
  • continuous assessments
  • portfolios
  • journals

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. Australian and international students may have the option to do an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas. We have links with universities worldwide. You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

Why Graduate Certificate in Dynamic Effects and Lighting

Why this Degree

This graduate certificate offers students from a range of disciplines a unique, highly regarded opportunity to fine-tune their skills and gain experience working for world-renowned visual effects studio, Rising Sun Pictures.

Under the guidance of highly skilled visual effects artists you will develop your own show reel and graduate with a professional resume and portfolio. You will also get the opportunity to use industry-standard software and build important industry relationships and connections.

Our commitment to research with an industry focus is unprecedented in South Australia. In the 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia evaluation, 97 per cent of our assessed research was rated world-class or above. It’s a very good time to choose UniSA for your postgraduate study.

Real-world connections

This qualification is all about industry experience and connections – and from day one you will be working alongside industry professionals, building important relationships and learning on the job. Rising Sun Pictures' Adelaide-based studio has created thousands of visual effects for over 120 motion pictures, including Dumbo, Alita: Battle Angel, Captain Marvel, Gravity and the Harry Potter series. Through this industry placement you will graduate with a valuable connection with one of Australia’s leading visual effects companies.

We also host regular University-wide employee master classes, employment expos and alumni events in Australia and overseas.

Career outcomes

Your career

This unique offering prepares students for an exciting career in the entertainment industry, and our collaboration with Adelaide’s own Rising Sun Pictures means you may even land a job before graduation. Careers to consider:

  • FX artist: construct dynamic effects such as simulations, explosions and natural phenomena for feature film and television
  • lighting technical director: ensure lighting, colour and mood are consistent
  • Production assistant / coordinator: ensure all aspects of a production run on time and to budget
  • VFX producer: responsible for the running of the project
  • VFX supervisor: ensure VFX shots are ready for post-production

Industry facts


Rising Sun Pictures has created visual effects for over 100 motion pictures including: Gravity, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, The Great Gatsby and the Harry Potter series.


In 2015 Rising Sun Pictures' staff received two awards at the 13th Annual Visual Effects Society Awards in LA.


Between now and 2020, the total Australian media and entertainment market will reach $47.4 billion1.

1PwC Media and Entertainment Outlook report 2016

How to apply

To apply to study with us go to the top of this page and click Apply. You will be directed to our online application portal.


Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

Our campuses have fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, tech zones, and areas that simulate real work environments. You’ll also find student gyms and campus sport activities to keep you active. We also offer flexible study options, with online resources available for accessing lecture recordings, virtual classrooms, library resources and learning support. 

Adelaide has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation or private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages for plenty of options. If you need somewhere to live, our new student accommodation by urbanest is on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, a perfect location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

Our student support services can make your life at university easier. We provide a full range of support services including academic and personal counselling. You can also access a range of services through our students association, USASA. When you become a UniSA student you can contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and any other questions you might have.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with advanced facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your study spaces

You will have access to Rising Sun Pictures simulated studio environment where you will be introduced to the various roles and responsibilities of visual effects.

Your study spaces

Your program director

I have specific interests in visual effects, animation, graphic design, photography and digital art; I am also the director of Electricityscape, an Adelaide-based company delivering digital solutions to local and international clients.

Dr Josh McCarthy

Program Director

Portrait image for Dr Josh McCarthy
Portrait image for Dr Josh McCarthy

Dr Josh McCarthy

Program Director


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