Skip to main content

TAMK educates specialists for the growing AV sector

Published on 4.11.2022
Tampere University of Applied Sciences
VFX-erikoistumiskoulutuksen opiskelijat seuraavat opetusta.
Applicants for the VFX specialisation studies were excellent. All admitted students had a media degree and field-related work experience.
The AV field has grown and internationalised fast during the past years. The need for special competence has also grown. Tampere University of Applied Sciences responds to the needs of the field with English-language specialisation studies called Visual Effects Artist for Audiovisual Production.

A total of 17 media professionals started the specialisation studies in October.

“The studies are conducted in English because the terminology of the field is mainly English and our aim is to educate international-level professionals,” tells Head of Competence Area and Project Manager Timo Kivikangas from Tampere University of Applied Sciences’ School of Business and Media.

“In practice, visual effects or VFX mean that digital sets, robots and explosions are added or something, such as an actor’s tattoo, is removed after filming,” explains Senior Lecturer Ilmari Huttu-Hiltunen from Tampere University of Applied Sciences.

In cooperation with companies from planning to implementation

The pilot education financed by the Ministry of Education and Culture was built in close cooperation with field-related companies. The initiative came from the companies.

“Film Tampere’s Ilkka Rahkonen informed TAMK of the companies’ need. It is quite an achievement that it only took a year to start the education. Especially President Tapio Kujala, Head of Competence Area Leena Mäkelä, who led the application process, and the teacher group who participated in the preparations deserve commendation for this. Other universities of applied sciences supported the education and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences also participates in its implementation,” Kivikangas praises. 

Kivikangas and Huttu-Hiltunen also praise the planning cooperation with the companies.

“The application-stage plan was already good. Now it has been developed further with the companies. The process taught us a lot: we received more information on productions and the companies had their tacit knowledge put into words.”

Cooperation with the companies will also continue in implementation of the education. Company representatives participate as educators and the programme includes several company visits.

Osaamispäällikkö Timo Kivikangas ja lehtori Ilmari Huttu-Hiltunen.
Timo Kivikangas (on the left) and Ilmari Huttu-Hiltunen consider that the VFX specialisation studies have even potential for education export.

Deeper competence and better employment possibilities interested

“We were able to select students among excellent applicants. All admitted students have a media degree and field-related work experience. Applicants’ motivation and willingness to specialise were also important admission criteria,” Kivikangas and Huttu-Hiltunen tell.

Satu Mäkinen, who recently finished her media studies and works as a freelance editor, also emphasises the meaning of motivation

“I became interested after familiarising myself with the VFX artist’s work. Further competence also improves employment possibilities and helps in my present-day work.”

Employment possibilities were also a reason for participating in the education for Sakari Pyhänniska, who completed his prior studies abroad.

“I hope that I will gain more contacts and competence in the Finnish operating environment and thus have better employment possibilities.”

Olli Pöykiö, who works at Karu Film in Tampere, applied for the education to deepen his competence and respond to the growing demand.

“I particularly appreciate that we can learn from experienced professionals and learn to use software, which would otherwise be not only difficult but also expensive.”

Potential for education export

Experiences and infrastructure of the pilot education will be used in TAMK’s future degree programmes. Because the need for professionals is also high internationally, Kivikangas and Huttu-Hiltunen consider that there is even potential for education export.

“The high-quality education and need for professionals in the growing international field is a combination which may also attract paid education students from outside Finland.”


Further information:

Timo Kivikangas, Head of Competence Area, School of Business and Media, Tampere University of Applied Sciences
tel. +358 50 3291 888, timo.kivikangas [at] (timo[dot]kivikangas[at]tuni[dot]fi)

Ilmari Huttu-Hiltunen, Senior Lecturer, School of Business and Media, Tampere University of Applied Sciences
tel. +358 50 4347 387, ilmari.huttu-hiltunen [at] (ilmari[dot]huttu-hiltunen[at]tuni[dot]fi)

VFX Artist for Audiovisual Productions -specialisation education


Text: Helena Pekkarinen
Photos: Emmi Suominen