Film, animation and VFX research

Our researchers are world-class practitioners in their field. We are directors, producers, cinematographers, screenwriters, animators, concept artists, and visual effects technical directors. Our practice-led research advances the film, animation, VR/AR/MR, and special effects industries.

Research expertise


Our researchers have expertise and industry experience in traditional animation, 3D animation, character and creature rigging, 3D modelling, and look development.


Character, concept and entertainment design

Our research explores the design of imaginary spaces for entertainment and education including worldbuilding, character design development and narrative structure. We also engage in game and play theory as a method of interactive engagement.



Our award-winning researchers in cinematography have expertise in camera control, steadicam, colour grading, and lighting.


Film concept, props and set design

Our researchers are the new storytellers and narrative-enablers, focusing on storyboarding, prop design and construction, set design, and lighting.


Illustration and narrative design

We explore how storytelling can be harnessed to better communicate messages of social and cultural significance. Our research encompasses two-dimensional and three-dimensional narrative-based media for print, interactive, time-based, and spatial environments.


Sound engineering and audio production

Our researchers in sound engineering and audio production have recorded and engineered albums that are celebrated in New Zealand and around the world. They investigate novel ways to deploy the studio for making music for the 21st century. We have expertise in film audio, voice overs, ADR and foley.


Visual effects (VFX)

Visual effects are the processes by which imagery is created and/or manipulated outside the context of a live-action shot. Our researchers are experienced artists and engineers with expertise in particle effects, compositing, and dynamics simulation.



Find programmes with a research element, including the PhD.

Research degrees

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Research projects

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