Think Tank Online FAQ’s

What is Think Tank Online?

Think Tank Online is a new way of learning based on more than 10 years of working with students from across the globe.

Designed by skilled professionals to produce industry-ready artists, our online programs cater to individuals at the beginner or advanced level. However, you must be ready and prepared for a serious time commitment since this is not a casual course load.

Our curriculum consists of four semesters over 16 months and has been created to produce quality work that meets the benchmark set by top studios worldwide. This means that each semester is centered on constructing a final project of a high professional standard.

The quality of our work here at Think Tank is paramount. Trained techniques applied to professional grade projects will teach artists to problem-solve, prepare for future projects and solidify skills. More importantly, this approach systematically instills the confidence to move forward through advanced terms, gives the ability to produce a highly competitive demo reel and ultimately prepares the student to be market-ready for placement in the industry.

What You Will Get
  • Terms are full course loads, 3-5 courses/week
  • Pay by term or pay all at once
  • Director-derived curriculums for specialized job focused demo reels
  • Weekly lessons and live Q&A with seasoned industry professionals
  • Access to Think Tank’s comprehensive resource centre
Community / Industry
  • Access to our network of studios who value Think Tank students
  • A platform to share and collaborate with fellow students
  • An industry advisory panel that is consistently up-to-date on all the latest tools and techniques
The Learning Portal
  • A custom-built unique learning experience
  • A place to connect and share your work with the Think Tank Community
  • The ability to ask a question anytime, anywhere
  • A tailor-made desktop app for handing in assignments
  • Custom Maya plugins for quick and easy submissions
Support Infrastructure
  • An unrivaled support system – your questions directed to the right people
  • Fast response times
  • A support team made up of industry professionals
  • Supervisor reviewed support metrics to ensure you are excelling at all times
How do students access the classes and feedback?

Think Tank Online has its own student “Portal”. Portal is an amazing custom designed interface that brings all a student’s needs together in one place.

What jobs do you train for?

We give broad in-depth training to all of our students, and then make you specialize and plan your career path. The jobs we train for include:

  • Modelers
  • Texture Painters
  • CG Generalists
  • Character Artists
  • Environment Artists
  • Lighting Artists
  • Look Development Artists
What are the main differences between the Online Program and Think Tank Vancouver?

The Online Program is not your average Online Program. You start to specialize earlier in the Online Program. It has the same instructors and the same aggressive curriculum. You should expect the same great results with regard to your work. We created the Online Program to give more opportunity to students with less financial resources and less opportunity to travel abroad.

What does it cost?

Our full-time four semester program is $15,840 CAD including Mentorship (fourth semester).

If you pay for all 4 terms up front, you will receive 5% off.

Can I pay for just the Foundation term to start with?

Yes, our online Foundation semester is $3,580 CAD. You can opt to pay for this alone.

If you pay for all 4 terms up front, you will receive 5% off.

What’s the cost breakdown per semester?

Asset Creation Online :

  • Term 1 | Foundation: $3,580 CAD
  • Term 2 | Intermediate: $3,580 CAD
  • Term 3 | Advanced: $3,580 CAD
  • Term 4 | Mentorship: $5,100 CAD

You will receive a 5% discount if you pay for all 4 terms up front. $15,840 – 5% ($792) = $15,048 CAD

If you want to take your Mentorship Term, in-person, in Vancouver it would be $11,200 CAD
($11,200 – $5,100 = $6,100 CAD additional)

Can I change my payment terms?

You have the option of choosing to pay for our online programs all upfront or pay per term when you apply and cannot change it after.

Students who opt in to pay upfront will get a 5% discount!

Can I do the first 3 semesters Online and then move to Vancouver for my Mentorship Term?

The answer is yes!  If you want to take your Online Mentorship Term, in-person, in Vancouver it would be $11,200 CAD for that Semester.
($11,200 – $5,100 = $6,100 CAD additional)

Upon finishing your Mentorship, students will be allowed to stay for one semester after graduation with the possibility of an additional semester at the discretion of Think Tank at no additional charge.

Can I just take a Mentorship?

Yes, you can take a mentorship through our Mentorship Program. Online standalone Mentorship is under our leapfrog application found here.

What about the software? (Photoshop, Maya etc)

We will be providing you with all software required to take our online programs.  The list includes but is not limited to Photoshop, Maya, Mudbox, ZBrush, Mari, Nuke, Substance Designer, Substance Painter, Vray and more!

For a quick glance:


Do I need any previous knowledge or experience?

Previous knowledge will help you to succeed but it is not mandatory. The Foundation term is intended to equip you with the necessary skills to progress further in the program. It is expected that you attend your classes, participate in discussions, work hard and ask pertinent questions.  If you do what’s required, there’s no reason a total beginner can’t become the next great industry professional.

What are the computer requirements?

We strongly advise that you use a Windows computer to participate in the program. We suggest at MINIMUM a 2.5 GHz 6-Core CPU (AMD/Intel) with 16GB of RAM and an NVIDIA GPU with 6GB of RAM.

A headset (with microphone), webcam and broadband internet are also required for communication.

If you absolutely must use an Apple computer, we would not be able to offer technical support concerning software issues and installation. We recommend that you do NOT install windows on your Mac using Bootcamp but instead install the necessary software and work within Mac OS.

You will also need a tablet – we recommend Specifically their Intuos Pro line.

Do I need to submit a portfolio?

No, it’s not required to submit a formal portfolio. However, we do ask that you submit some examples of your work which we can then use as a reference point. The program is designed to help judge your aptitude and guide you to a chosen area of specialization. After finishing the Foundation term, you then decide which learning path to follow for the remaining three terms.

What is the time commitment?

5 classes, 9 hours class time total and a one hour live session per week. Plus time for assignment completion and any related activities. In short, it’s like having a full time job, online.

Can I work while I’m studying?

Think Tank Online is very demanding of your time, and you must put in many hours each week to be successful in your studies. So it’s your call but we would rather you didn’t work full time.

When are the live sessions?

The live sessions are later in the week in the evenings. Typically Thursday nights at 7 or 9 pm. They are offered at this time in different time zones.  The normal start times are based on Pacific Standard Time. Think Vancouver and Los Angeles. If you are in Europe or South East Asia we can usually find a start time that is more convenient for you.

How long is the online program?

The program consists of four terms: Foundation, Intermediate, Advanced and Mentorship. Each term is four months. The entire program, including the one-on-one mentorship, is 16 months in total. In addition, Think Tank will continue to support students beyond graduation.

When is the next start date?

Date: Online Program

Now accepting students for the February 2023 intake and beyond.

What are the start dates each year?

Intakes are three times a year – February, June and October.

When should I apply? And is there a cutoff for each semester?

You can apply to any future semester of your choice, as long as it’s two weeks before the start date. Apply early! Think Tank Online has become very popular. While we accept more students, there are limits to the number in each semester. Please email if you have any questions.

Can I apply for student loans?

Our online program is not currently eligible for Canadian student loans and we are working hard at becoming accredited.

Is there any funding or scholarships for international students?

Some schools offer partial or full scholarships because they can add one or two seats easily to an already crowded class, and it costs them nothing. Or they are desperate for students, so they try and discount 50% off to get students to come. We offer small classes (8-10 students max) because it makes for a better learning environment. The best schools offer no scholarships because you get what you pay for – a great job. All that said we did recently offer some of our students awards of a full semester tuition as a reward for doing great work. These awards are not available to incoming students.

How do you decide who is accepted?

There are no rigid boundaries. If you are serious and hardworking you will make a good candidate. Once you have applied and paid for at least the first semester you are considered accepted.

What does the in person Mentorship include?

You will be given your own dedicated workstation. A portable 1Tb drive. The ability to stay for an additional 4 month semester at no extra charge to finalize and polish your Demo Reel. The ability to view any class running at Think Tank, attend workshops, go on studio tours and in general be part of the Think Tank “Vibe”.

How does the cost differ if I take the final semester in Vancouver?

If you take the first three semesters online the cost of the Mentorship in person in Vancouver is $11,200.

Can I take three semesters online and the final “Mentorship” semester in person in Vancouver?

Yes! This is something we are offering. This would give you access to the local film, television and video game industry. Networking is big. You would be able to attend lectures, workshops and go on studio tours organized by Think Tank Vancouver.

How do I know if I need more training or if I’m ready for a Mentorship?

Mentorships are designed to give you the final push that you’re missing to make a Demo Reel that will get the attention of industry recruiters and ultimately get you hired. If you feel you know a great deal and have the work to prove it, then maybe you’re ready for Mentorship. Or.. you may be able to skip a semester or two and jump in to the full time online program part of the way through.

Is the Loch Ness Monster real?

We are just checking that you’re actually reading these FAQs – let us know!

Of course everyone knows the  Loch Ness Monster is real!

I have previous training. Do I need to start from the beginning?

No, if you have already been trained a good place for you to start is our Mentorship program. It is specifically designed for people with prior training who haven’t yet made the jump to the industry. This also qualifies you for unlimited access to Think Tank after the program is over.

I want to be a modeler, can you describe the modeling path?

We specialize in modeling and animation and it represents the bulk of the paths our students take. The path for modeling is very integrated and thorough. In the first semester, you learn the basics of complex poly modeling as well is working on your tablet to model with Mudbox.

In the second semester there are several courses that help students to focus primarily on modeling. Here are examples of these courses:

  • Advanced Modeling: This is a backbone course that works with the Digital Sculpting
  • Digital Sculpting: In this course students will learn ZBrush organic sculpting
  • Traditional Sculpting: This course involves building models with Super Sculpey on an armature.

In the last and third semester you will be entirely focused on modeling with the help of your personal mentor.

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