Visual Effects Major

Become a visual artist • Learn about digital design • Impact the industry

Learn to create expert visual effects for the film industry

When filmmakers can't physically shoot something with a camera, they'll turn to you to augment footage or create something entirely from scratch. With hands-on experience with state-of-the-art technology, you'll build a marketable film reel and develop the skills you need to impress the industry professionals.

Start your application

Request information

Learn more about the Visual Effects Major

What to expect as a Visual Effects student at JBU

Experience Excellent Curriculum

The JBU VFX curriculum covers multiple subjects with a focus on tools, processes, and workflow, utilizing software such as Blender, Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere, SynthEyes, Substance and more. Our curriculum is distinguished by our innovative philosophical approach which maximizes the creative process instead of mere technical proficiency.

Use a Professional Studio Space

As a student at JBU you will be working in a professionally equipped studio using the latest tools and techniques and working as part of a team on high quality creative projects. View all the capabilities of the studio here.

Learn Hands-on with Industry Professionals

You will have intensive, hands-on tutorials with industry professionals who will regularly provide quality feedback on your designs. We keep our courses up-to-date with the latest technology and industry trends, because we work alongside industry professionals.

Develop a Professional Portfolio

You will graduate with an industry standard, professional portfolio of work to show potential employers, developed with input from your professors and industry professionals.

Have Access to Incredible Facilities

Our three art buildings provide over 45,000 sq. ft. of two state-of-the-art computer labs, multiple green screen areas, student innovation labs, a cutting edge VR lab, and best in the area cyc wall and studio.

Receive One-on-one Contact

We pay attention to your individual area of interests, your specific flare, and niche, and we train you towards honing your own unique style and talents in the field of VFX.

What can you do with a Visual Effects degree?

CG Supervisor

A CG supervisor is in charge of everything 3D. You’ll lead a team (or teams) of artists from modeling through rendering as well as being the one ultimately held accountable for the quality of their work.

Visual Effects Technical Director

If you’re an FX TD, you’ll be in charge of designing and creating any effects such as explosions, fire, smoke, water, dust, clouds, debris and so on.

Digital Matte Painter

When you’re working as a matte painter, you can expect to spend a majority of your time in Photoshop. You’ll be doing everything from digital painting, image manipulation and, of course, compositing.

VFX Supervisor

Being a VFX supervisor makes you responsible for all things VFX in your project. You are the equivalent of a director on a film. You build your crew and supervise all phases of the process from the set to the post-production process.

Visual Effects Producer

When your VFX studio is working on a big budget film, it’s producers expect someone to be on set on a daily basis—someone who can interact with and manage the progress of the shots. 

Roto Artist

You’ll work closely with the compositors to create the mattes they need to composite better. A similar knowledge of color, composition and photography is helpful.

Compositing Artist

Working as a compositor, you’ll be expected to seamlessly integrate elements of a shot. Those elements are most commonly merging CG elements into live-action footage. This requires a good eye for detail and being able to spot when things look out of place.


Matchmovers are essentially the bridge between 2D and 3D, so you’ll need a knowledge of both. You’ll also need an advanced understanding of how trackers work and how you can troubleshoot when a track isn’t giving you the results expected.

Pipeline Technical Director

Being a pipeline TD is all about helping your team be successful. In this position, you’ll lead the charge on designing and developing custom tools to help everyone else get their work done faster and better.

Bachelor in Visual Effects + Master in Business Administration

John Brown University's Visual Effects + MBA program helps students develop a portfolio of visual effects skills combined with business and management skills and leadership strengths that will enable them to excel in their areas of calling, empower their colleagues, and be light and salt in the world. With JBU’s culture of training the head, heart, and hand infused into its programs, JBU visual effects + MBA graduates are uniquely prepared to offer leadership with character, competence, and conscience.

The Visual Arts Department has awesome facilities: two large buildings in the center of campus with over 36,000 sq. ft and every resource an art student needs. Students have 24-hour access to both buildings. Our newest building is a 10,000 sq. ft. “art barn” on the north side of campus with additional space for photography studios, drawing and painting, ceramics, a visual effects/virtual reality work space, a wood shop and individual artist stations. 

Studio Capabilities


Dive into the world of virtual reality with HTC VIVE. Blending high-fidelity visuals, optimized ergonomics, and a Hi-Res soundstage, it offers a fully immersive experience that blurs the line between the real and virtual worlds.

VIVE Studios is our virtual reality brand building hardware, software and creative platform to unleash imaginations from the limits of our tangible world. Jump into the future of art, storytelling, gaming, enterprise and entertainment.


Rokoko's Smartsuit Pro and Motion Library provides creators with the ability to build motion assets as if they were using a full-scale motion capture studio, but in a much more affordable, easy, and instant way. 

This changes everything in the motion capture business—no expensive camera grids to lease, rig up, and maintain. Instead, a Smartsuit enables the actor to deliver a top performance by communicating wirelessly with the Smartsuit Studio. Once a range of motions and scenes are recorded, the software can output to whatever platform the creator requires, as they develop their movie, game, or animated project.


In movies and on television, actors walk — and sometimes fly — through elaborate and fantastic landscapes that simply don't exist in the real world.

All of this happens with the help of backdrops of brightly colored fabric or paint, and a process called "chroma keying.” Chroma keying allows media technicians to easily separate green screens and panels from the people standing in front of them and replace those backgrounds with pretty much anything — from animated weather maps to the skyline of 1930s-era New York City to the icy wall guarded by the Night's Watch in HBO's hit TV series "Game of Thrones."


The highly-anticipated RED EPIC-W/HELIUM 8K S35 contains he HELIUM sensor that maintains RED DRAGON's reputation of delivering superior image quality and massive dynamic range, all while incorporating groundbreaking 8K resolution in an S35 frame. The RED EPIC-W 8K camera supports RED's commitment to putting industry-leading cinema tools in the hands of many.


SynthEyes is a standalone application optimized for camera, object, geometry, and planar tracking, stabilization, and motion capture, with high performance and a huge feature list at an affordable price. You will use SynthEyes for object insertion, fixing shaky shots, virtual sets, stereoscopic production, 360°VR, architectural previews, accident reconstruction, product placement, face and body capture.


Get the largest VFX Stock Footage library in the world. The ActionVFX Drive brings you all of our collections at a highly discounted price. With our elements at your disposal, you'll spend less time searching for assets, and more time creating VFX magic. The ActionVFX Drive is used by the top studios in the world.


A massive online library of thousands of physically based material and object scans.

Prepare for a successful career and a life of purpose

Start your application

Schedule a campus visit

Is JBU worth it?

Find out