One of the top 10 schools in the world in VFX, 3D animation and video games
In 2021, ARTFX was named by The Rookies as the number one school in VFX and animation (for the 3rd year in a row) in the “production excellence” category, which recognises the quality of end-of-studies team-based projects.
ARTFX students’ graduation projects have been nominated in nearly 1,000 international festivals. They have received 1 award at the VES Awards in 2019 and 2 Genie Awards for best student film (2018 and 2021) at the Paris Images Digital Summit (PIDS).
The independent ARTFX school was founded in 2004 in Montpellier by Gilbert Kiner, a pioneer in special effects in France. He began his career in the 80s as a rigging editor for the private channel Canal+, before leaving for Mikros Image to shape the first “trick effects” department. Gilbert Kiner worked at Medialab Technology and then Mainstreet studios, where he supervised the visual effects of various feature films and commercials, working with directors such as Alain Resnais, Jean-Paul Goude, Jean-Baptiste Mondino, Mathieu Kassovitz, Bruno Dumont, Claire Denis, Peter Greenaway and others.
Eager to pass on his expertise, he surrounded himself with enthusiasts working in animation and special effects to found his own school – the first VFX one in France – after unsuccessfully proposing to develop a curriculum within a public university. As technologies evolved, special effects, 3D animation and video game industries became mutually reinforcing. In the same way, digital technology has changed the manufacturing processes of 2D animation, which is making a powerful comeback. ARTFX has therefore developed its educational resources to train young talents in these different professions, based on a common core curriculum.
Creation of the ARTFX school in Montpellier, with a course in 3D animation and special effects.
Co-creation of the Réseau des écoles d’animation (network of animation schools: RECA), of which ARTFX is still an active member.
The film ‘The Archiver’, directed by three students from the school, receives rave reviews on the web and surpasses one million views.
1st nomination of a film directed by ARTFX students at the VES awards (the equivalent of the special effects Oscars)
Launch of a video games course
Launch of a programming course, which trains technical directors in video games and special effects, at the request of studios.
‘The Endless’ wins the Genie Awards for best student film at the Paris Images Digital Summit
Launch of a foundation art class (optional)
ARTFX ranks 1st in the world in special effects (The Rookies)
Launch of a 2D animation course
ARTFX is once again ranked as the world’s leading school for special effects (The Rookies)
Opening of 2 new campuses in Lille – Plaine Images and Paris – Enghien-les-bains (the Paris campus specialises in 3D animation and special effects)
March 2020: launch of the AKB (ARTFX Knowledge Base) digital flipped classroom platform
The film ‘Time’s Down’ wins the Genie Awards for best student film at the Paris Images Digital Summit
Opening of a student residence on the ARTFX campus in Montpellier (215 rooms) and a projection room reserved for the school
ARTFX is once again ranked as the world’s leading school for special effects and animation (The Rookies)
Opening of the ARTFX campus in Lille – Plaine images, an 18,000 m2 building (school, film studios + student residence)
ARTFX has developed an original teaching approach, which excludes competition and fosters cooperation between students. Team spirit is a necessary quality to help produce a film or a video game, as well as technical excellence and creativity. ARTFX courses combine traditional art disciplines (drawing, sculpture, photography, etc.) with training in the most advanced technologies (software and filming equipment). On graduating, students are excellent technicians and have an acute artistic awareness and good knowledge of the entire film- or game-making process. Better still, they have all the tools they need to continue learning in a rapidly evolving industry.